He’s All That puts a fresh new spin on a ’90s classic, but the remake never forgets to pay homage to the original. Throughout Addison Rae’s She’s All That remake, there are tons of references to the original 1999 rom-com, ranging from very obvious cameos to more subtle costume details. The She’s All That Easter eggs in He’s All That make the new movie so much more special, and they’re sure to inspire a rewatch.
During the teen rom-com boom of the ’90s and early 2000s, She’s All That stood out as an instant classic. Popular jock Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.) takes a bet to transform artsy loner Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) into the prom queen, but ends up developing real feelings for her in the process. The newly released remake follows the same story, but with the sexes of the main characters switched for a modernized version of the tale — now it’s trendy influencer Padgett (Addison Rae) who attempts to makeover grungy outcast Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) ahead of prom. He’s All That introduces social media and new standards of popularity into the mix to bring the story into the 2020s, but the remake still includes a bunch of references to the original:
1. Rachael Leigh Cook
Let’s start off with the most obvious She’s All That connection of all. Cook starred as the transformed dork Laney Boggs in She’s All That, and she returned for He’s All That to play Padgett’s supportive mother. But no, she’s not playing a grown-up version of Laney — her character’s name is Anna Sawyer.
2. Matthew Lillard
Cook isn’t the only She’s All That star to pop up in the remake. Matthew Lillard, who played the fame-hungry Real World star Brock Hudson in the 1999 movie, portrays the high school’s dorky but beloved principal in He’s All That. Lillard’s voice can be heard making announcements throughout the movie, but he doesn’t actually appear until the prom scene at the end.
3. The Prom Dance-Off
One of the most iconic moments in She’s All That is when the prom DJ, played by none other than Usher, emcees as the whole student body breaks into an impressive, highly choreographed dance. He’s All That paid tribute to that surreal moment by having its own version of a dance battle at prom, as Padgett leads her friends in a dance-off against a group with her ex-BF and ex-BFF.
4. Matthew Lillard’s Dance Moves
The She’s All That prom dance was so major that it got another small reference in He’s All That. While everyone is dancing at the prom, Lillard’s principal character starts getting into the groove and busts some of the same moves that were part of the original prom dance. Obviously, he’s met with cheers from everyone at prom once they notice him breaking it down.
5. “A F*CKING Bet?!”
She’s All That is credited as having one of the most memorable uses of the F-word in movie history, as Laney loses it on Zack when she finds out he only got close to her because of a bet. As a gift to fans, He’s All That almost exactly recreated that scene; Cameron even delivered the exact same expletive-heavy line as Laney did when he learned the truth about his relationship with Padgett.
6. The Red Dress
You can’t talk about She’s All That without bringing up the iconic staircase scene. The whole movie hinges on Laney’s makeover, after all, so it’s no wonder the image of a freshly remade Laney descending a staircase in a red dress as Zack stares in amazement is what immediately comes to mind when you think of She’s All That. Padgett doesn’t wear the exact same style of dress that Laney did, but her deep red prom dress is a clear nod to Laney’s most important outfit.
7. “Kiss Me”
She’s All That turned a romantic ballad from a then-relatively unknown band into one of the biggest songs of 1999. The use of Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me” throughout Laney and Zack’s love story made it the go-to song choice for pretty much every romantic moment in TV and movies thereafter. Of course, He’s All That had to pay tribute to the original movie’s theme song, and it did so by scoring Padgett and Cameron’s climactic kiss to a cover of “Kiss Me” performed by Cyn.
He’s All That is streaming on Netflix now.