The Scene: Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash) give the new kid on the block, Tai (Brittany Murphy), a new look that catapults her into the popular crowd at Bronson Alcott High School. (Bet you didn't know that piece of Clueless trivia, did you?)
Why It's Great: While acid-red hair was definitely a trend in the '90s, we're glad the girls toned things down a bit by giving Tai's hair a rich auburn treatment instead. Like other characters on this list, Tai is the perfect example of someone who changes their personality whenever they change their look. If this weren't the case, we wouldn't be able to quote one of the film's legendary moments: when the new Tai says to Cher, "You're a virgin who can't drive."
The Scene: San Francisco teen Mia Thermopolis discovers that she's the heir to the throne of Genovia (totally made-up country, by the way), and her grandmother (aka her royal highness) insists she change her "I don't care about looks" aesthetic to one more fit for a princess.
Why It's Great: Honestly, this transformation is more Kate Middleton-style princess and less extravagant than one would expect (in a good way!). But Mia's makeover process aligns with a lot of #girlproblems that women often encounter in their daily lives: painful eyebrow plucks, broken hairbrushes, and intolerable hairdressers.
The Scene: When Daniel Hillard is kicked out of his house after his wife files for divorce, the only way he can stay in his kids' lives is by becoming their new nanny. And that, of course, involves a makeover of epic proportions.
Why It's Great: Robin Williams's comedic timing during this scene is some of his best work. His brother applies an assortment of looks pulled from pop culture—including a classic Barbra Streisand ensemble that inspires him to sing a snippet of her famous Funny Girl tune, "Don't Rain on My Parade." The litany of impressions make the scene worth endless rewatching and sheds some light on the prosthetics process Williams actually had to endure each day on set to become Mrs. Doubtfire.
The Scene: Sandy Olsson will do anything to prove her love for Danny Zuko, even when that means adopting a good-girl-gone-bad look and persona. Cheers to tight leather and intense perms!
Why It's Great: Sandy was once a faint-of-heart kind of gal (she throws up when she gets her ears pierced), but the new Sandy shows up to the town fair with a badass attitude, clad in edgy makeup, black leather, and red mule shoes. It's the look she needed, and one that gives her the confidence to tell Danny that he needs to shape up before he can even consider being her boyfriend. Oh, and who can deny singing along to "You're the One That I Want," the scene's magical musical number?
The Scene: When her brother runs off to pursue his musical dreams, Viola steps in his place at boarding school to cover for him—and to play for the soccer team in an effort to prove she's as good as any of the boys. So, of course, she promptly decides to try on a bunch of fake mustaches and imitate some "manly" swaggers in order to prepare for the role of a lifetime.
Why It's Great: In typical montage fashion, we see footage of a younger Amanda Bynes laughing and playing with her friends that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. So warm and fuzzy, in fact, that it makes you forget that Viola is committing fraud and identity theft—but hey, it's just a movie, right?
The Scene: Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) entrusts Jacob (Ryan Gosling) to give his dating game a boost by dropping loads of money on a new wardrobe, skin-care regimen, and a haircut. As Jacob relentlessly belittles Cal during the shopping trip, Cal begins to realize his potential while meekly stating his new mantra: "I'm better than the Gap."
Why It's Great: Who wouldn't want Ryan Gosling to take them shopping? We rest our case.
The Scene: This one's iconic, people. Laney Boggs gets prepped and primped to be Zack's date for a house party. The big reveal involves Laney walking down the stairs to Sixpence None the Richer's classic hit, "Kiss Me."
Why It's Great: There are red platform pumps, spaghetti straps, and a flipped hairstyle, in a glorious homage to all things '90s. And it makes a great case for always having an outro song playing when you're heading out to a house party—because yes, you might be overdressed, but who cares?
The Scene: Whitney Houston plays the Fairy Godmother to Brandy's Cinderella and, while singing a rousing duet, turns Cinderella's raggedy clothes into a beautiful blue ball gown.
Why It's Great: In our opinion, this lively remake of the animated original is better because it involves Houston using her own magical singing voice (OK, and maybe a wand) to make a girl's fashion dreams come true—and who doesn't want to be dressed to the nines by her Fairy Godmother every once in a while?
The Scene: This entire movie is basically one big makeover for Eliza Doolittle. She famously (and endlessly) repeats "the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" in an attempt to turn her Cockney accent into something a bit more posh and, climactically, shows up to the ball—because there's always a ball—in a gown so different from her usual flower shop getup that she's nearly unrecognizable to the other attendees.
Why It's Great: Nothing's more glamorous than a done-up Audrey Hepburn showing up to the dance draped in a white, beaded gown complete with a heavily adorned updo. Her look is like an elevated version of prom—or what you wish you looked like at prom.
The Scene: There isn't much to see during Cady Heron's step-by-step physical assimilation into the world of the Plastics, but it all leads up to the turning-point scene of her walking down the hallway with the other Plastics in tow.
Why It's Great: Cady gets her own Regina treatment as fellow classmates pledge their allegiance to the new girl with impassioned testimonials. The film's obsession with what everybody else thinks of Cady's new look is just another pitch-perfect decision in this spot-on rendering of the horrors of high school.
The Scene: Just one day after getting kicked out of a fancy Beverly Hills boutique for being "in the wrong place," Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) is seen receiving the royal treatment at a high-end department store. She gets a classy new wardrobe—a big departure from the casual, creatively cut-out outfits she normally puts together—and then struts down the street to the tune of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" in a pristine suit and oversized hat. She makes her way directly to the store where she had been kicked out just a day earlier, and informs the disapproving sales clerk that she had made a "big mistake. Big. Huge!"
Why It's Great: This scene is a fun reminder to viewers that looks shouldn't matter—and yet it also proves that money and consumerism are very influential in modern society. So, in short, Pretty Woman is an entertaining lesson in the paradoxical truths of life.
The Scene: FBI agent Gracie Hart is going undercover as a contestant in the Miss United States pageant, for which she gets a real-deal beauty queen makeover. There's tanning, waxing, highlighting, and an intense teeth cleaning in this hilariously grueling montage. Gracie attempts to make a graceful pageant contestant debut in a tight blue dress and heels—but promptly trips and falls, turning the "she's beauty, she's grace" tagline from the film on its head.
Why It's Great: We've never seen someone hate a makeover this much, and that's what makes this particular film unique. Sadly, no matter how luxurious a full-body transformation may sound, it almost always ends up providing a little bit of pain and a whole lot of comedy.
The Scene: Popular girl Claire gives misfit Allison a boost in confidence when she adds soft makeup to her face and pushes her hair back.
Why It's Great: When Allison walks back into the detention hub, the jock, Andrew, seems intrigued by her new appearance. Not only do we see her feeling a newfound sense of beauty, we see her transform from a person who used to feel invisible into a confident individual, both seen and heard. Progress!