All the ‘Heathers’ movie moments you can see on stage
This article contains spoilers for Heathers.
Heathers: The Musical has returned to The Other Palace, the theatre where the Heathers first set up their “candy store” and played croquet on London soil. But before then, and even before the show’s world premiere in New York, the Heathers reign began on screen in 1988, when the original film premiered and quickly became a cult classic. If you’re here, you probably already know that, and you’re dying (no pun intended) to see your favourite movie moments made even more very with edgy, catchy songs.
Now that Westerberg is back in London, you can see all the classic scenes, sharpest one-liners, and most morbid moments from the film come to life (and death) on stage. Check out some of them below!
7-Eleven is the first place Veronica and J.D. get to know each other in the movie without the whole school cafeteria watching. J.D. opens up to Veronica about how he’s moved around all his life, and 7-Eleven is the only reliable constant he knows. This movie moment is made into J.D.’s first major song in the musical, “Freeze Your Brain.” The encounter also doubles as their “first date” where he converts Veronica into a Slurpee fan. Nothing says romance like splitting a drink at a cheap convenience store.
“Lick it up, baby, lick it up.”
This is one of the most famous insults in the movie. After Veronica embarrasses Heather by vomiting at a hip college party, Heather vows to ruin her reputation — but Veronica doesn’t stand down. Eager to humiliate Heather herself, she tells Heather to, well, “lick it up.” In the musical, this goes down at Kurt and Ram’s high-school house party, after the song “Big Fun.” The fight is quite the opposite of big fun for both girls, but Veronica’s insult is no less iconic.
The 2 a.m. tryst
Just because Veronica just delivered an incredible one-liner doesn’t mean she’s not angry and upset about Chandler. Though she starts by taking her feelings out on her diary in the movie, she’s quickly distracted by J.D., who appears at her window for a game of “strip croquet.” The roles are reversed in the musical: Veronica tracks down J.D.’s house and resolves to sleep with him, because she’s just told off Heather and is going to have her reputation ruined anyway, so what does she have to lose, right? It’s probably best not to wonder how they tracked down each other’s addresses in the middle of the night, but who’s thinking about it, anyway, while we’re all rocking out to “Dead Girl Walking”? (Besides J.D., who asks Veronica mid-song and never gets an answer.)
The “hangover cure”
After a night of romance, Veronica and J.D. go to whip up a prairie oyster for Heather as an apology. After J.D. “jokingly” suggests they serve her drain cleaner to knock out her hangover instead, the mug with the real hangover cure is “mysteriously” swapped out. It’s definitely not the kind of scene that screams “musical,” and yet it’s followed by Heather Chandler’s second showstopper (after “Candy Store,” of course), “The Me Inside of Me.” As it turns out, she’s somehow more popular beyond the grave.
As a bonus, this scene gives way to another of Heathers’s most iconic lines: “Dear diary,” a (sort of) horrified Veronica laments, “my teen-angst bullshit has a body count.”
The scrunchie snatch
Scrunchies are The Symbol of power at Westerberg High. No Heather Chandler costume is complete without a red one around the wearer’s wrist or in their hair. Chandler’s scrunchie showed that she ruled the school, and once she’s gone, the first thing Heather Duke does (after getting an interview on every TV network she can find) is steal the scrunchie from Chandler’s locker to declare herself the new queen bee. And with that, Heather Duke never shuts up again. In case the stakes aren’t obviously apparent, a spotlight on Duke and dramatic music drive the point home as she puts the scrunchie around her ponytail.
“Our love is God.”
It’s a throwaway line in the movie: “Our love is God; let’s go get a slushie,” J.D. says to Veronica as he rescues her from a disastrous double date with Kurt, Ram, and Heather McNamara. But like, that’s a pretty major thing to say to someone! So in the musical, “Our Love Is God” is the title of the harrowing Act 1 finale, where Veronica starts to realize how scary and deadly J.D. can be even when he’s professing his love for her. That definitely captures the stakes.
Ram and Kurt’s funeral
The various funerals in the Heathers movie are unexpected jackpots of morbid comedy — at Heather Chandler’s, her “friends” offer prayers of gratitude over her casket, and at Ram and Kurt’s, the pair are buried in their football uniforms as though they were sporting legends. That’s the funniest thing at their funeral in the film, but the show goes full musical theatre comedy by setting the scene to the aggressively upbeat Act 2 opener, “My Dead Gay Son,” and adding in a gasp-worthy plot twist. Get ready to dance in the aisles!
The ghosts of Westerbergers past
Just because Westerberg’s most popular students die doesn’t mean they’re truly gone. We only get one scene with Heather Chandler’s ghost — who’s just as hellish in death as in life — in the movie, but she haunts Veronica with condescending comments throughout the musical. So the appearance of her ghost is no longer a “moment,” but Chandler makes herself the center of every moment she has onstage, and they’re all highlights of the show. She’s like the devil on Veronica’s shoulder, talking down to Heather Duke and Martha Dunnstock and urging Veronica to follow in her mean-girl footsteps.
The ghosts of Ram and Kurt appear alongside Chandler here and there, too, which doesn’t happen in the movie but is a hilarious addition to the musical. The jocks are no different in death — besides being thick-headed and immature as ever, they perpetually appear in the outfits they died in. Chandler was fortunate (if you can call it that) to have died in a chic red robe, but Ram and Kurt are stuck in only underwear and socks for eternity. It’s a bit hard to take them seriously singing the grim “Yo Girl” in those outfits, but then again, there’s no better motivation for Veronica to escape J.D. than making sure she doesn’t end up in the afterlife with those scantily-clad jocks.