As Seen In: Bring It On (2000)
The Cheerleader: The badass counterpoint to Kirsten Dunst’s shrill Barbie Doll, Eliza Dushku brings the raunch to Peyton Reed’s likeable teen comedy. She doesn’t take any shit you see, and she’s not like all the rest of those prissy, plastic fakes. You can tell because she likes to wear black t-shirts.
Cool Skills: She does a mean carwash, made all the better by her willingness to wear a bikini while she works.
As Seen In: Debbie Does Dallas (1978)
The Cheerleader: Come on, we couldn’t do a cheerleader feature without mentioning the most infamous pom-pom-shaker in celluloid history. And Debbie Benton certainly deserves recognition for her drive and determination to make it to Texas, and the famed Texas Cowgirls cheer squad. Just don’t tell our girlfriends we said so, yeah?
Cool Skills: She’s definitely willing to take the concept of “team spirit” above and beyond the call of duty…
As Seen In: Varsity Blues (1999)
The Cheerleader: Any chump can toss a few pom-poms about or high-kick their way to a hernia, but it takes real chutzpah to turn up to a quarterback’s house wearing a bikini made out of nothing but whipped cream. This is why people play sport – there’s a very tiny but very real chance that this will happen to them in real life.
Cool Skills: Did we mention the cream bikini?
As Seen In: Jennifer’s Body (2009)
The Cheerleader: Megan Fox’s demonically possessed cheerleader needs to consume human flesh in order to survive. Fortunately for her, she’s got access to a production line of horny high school boys who are only too willing to help out…
Cool Skills: She not only kills her victims, she disembowels them as well. Woof!
Staci & Holly
As Seen In: Starsky & Hutch (2004)
The Cheerleaders: A pair of uber-hot cheerleaders approached as “witnesses” by opportunistic coppers Starsky and Hutch. Further questioning takes place at Hutch’s apartment, via the disco, and eventually the couch. It’s a tough job, eh boys?
Cool Skills: They’re both what you might call open-minded when it comes to Hutch’s after-club entertainment…
As Seen In: We Are Marshall (2006)
The Cheerleader: Played by the wholesomely lovely-looking Kate Mara, Annie is one of the many good-natured souls looking to pull together in the face of adversity when the local college football team is killed in an air crash. Let go of our heartstrings, dammit!
Cool Skills: Not much beyond the ones she uses pitchside, although like the majority of characters in this film, she’s got a heart that’s as American as apple pie. Is that a skill?
As Seen In: American Beauty (1999)
The Cheerleader: The jailbait temptress who works Kevin Spacey into a rose-tinted lather. The film’s denouement reveals most of her sexuality to be a front, but there’s no doubting she can turn it on when she wants to.
Cool Skills: The ability to send a fully grown man plunging into a midlife crisis, simply by donning a bowler hat and a throwing some shapes in the school gymnasium. Bravo.
As Seen In: Sugar And Spice (2001)
The Cheerleader: The head cheerleader of Lincoln High School, whose high-kicking abilities are somewhat hampered when she falls pregnant to James Marsden’s star quarterback. Unsure as to how she will be able to support the child, Diane promptly sets about planning a bank job. As you do.
Cool Skills: The ability to plan and carry out a series of robberies, all whilst heavily pregnant. Girl Power in action…
As Seen In: John Tucker Must Die (2006)
The Cheerleader: Ashanti’s sexy, sassy and borderline psychotic cheerleader is one of school stud John Tucker’s many wronged ex-girlfriends. The most popular girl in school, and as a result, a bit of a bitch. Hey, to be truly popular, you always have to lose a few friends along the way.
Cool Skills: A nice line in withering smack-talk. You really don’t want her as an enemy…
As Seen In: The Beaver (2011)
The Cheerleader: Jennifer Lawrence plays Norah, doing her level best to steal this odd little film from Mel Gibson’s crackpot protagonist. Unlike most of the cheerleaders on this list, she hates to be pigeonholed by her beauty and popularity, and beneath the veneer of confidence, is secretly struggling with the death of her brother.
Cool Skills: She manages to bring about a reconciliation between Gibson and his on-screen son Anton Yelchin. Finally, something legitimate to cheer about!