Home » The Movie Clueless Made A Boneheaded Mistake About Jeeps And I Have To Tell You About It Because I Just Can’t Take It Anymore

The Movie Clueless Made A Boneheaded Mistake About Jeeps And I Have To Tell You About It Because I Just Can’t Take It Anymore

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I was recently watching the movie Clueless with my girlfriend and, man, I freakin’ love that film. The main character, Cher — played by the inimitable Alicia Silverstone — is so kind and thoughtful and likable while at the same time being totally aloof. And it’s a great flick if you want to see some of your favorite actors as kids — actors like Donald Faison, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash, the late Brittany Murphy, and on and on — and it’s also a great movie for Jeep YJ fans, because it prominently features a white 1994 Jeep Wrangler. Sadly, right out of the gate, the movie makes a boneheaded mistake.

In the clip below at about 2:06, 18-year-old Cher acts as narrator to introduce the viewer to her life. “Did I show you the loc’d-out Jeep daddy got me? It’s got four-wheel drive, dual side airbags, and a monster sound system!” she squeaks.

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She then admits she doesn’t have a license and hilariously decimates a potted plant on the side of the road.

But don’t let that hilarity distract you from that obvious error you just heard. Let’s ignore the term “loc’d-out,” because that’s not a thing and was never a thing (OK, apparently in the rap scene it was for a bit, and my friend from the Valleys says it was there, as well). Let’s instead focus on the features Cher claimed her Jeep had. Four-wheel drive? Yes, the Jeep had that. A monster sound system? Definitely not from the factory, but if you look closely at the YJ in the movie, you can see that the vehicle has been retrofitted with some huge speakers on the “Family-style” roll cage that became standard in 1992:

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Screen Shot 2024 05 09 At 8.07.35 Am

The error that bothers me so much is Cher’s claim that the Jeep has “dual side airbags.” Because it’s not even remotely close to true! The 1994 Jeep Wrangler didn’t offer a single airbag. Not a passenger front airbag, not a driver front airbag, no knee airbag, no side torso airbags, no side curtain airbags — nothing, zero. That’s right: Cher, a notoriously terrible teenage driver, was putting both herself and her friend Dionne at risk driving this top-heavy, airbagless deathtrap.

In fact, Jeep Wranglers didn’t offer any airbags until 1997, when the TJ became the first Jeep ever to go from offering no airbags to offering dual front airbags:

Screen Shot 2024 05 09 At 8.16.11 Am
1997 Jeep Wrangler; the first Jeep Wrangler with front airbags. (no side airbags) Image: Cars & Bids

What’s so sad is that the “dual side airbags” Cher claims her Jeep has weren’t offered until 2007, and didn’t become standard equipment until 2018! So, given that the movie debuted in 1995, this claim that a Jeep Wrangler came with dual side airbags was off by at least 11 years (2007 Wranglers came out in 2006)!

This is an egregious mistake, and one that I’m sure movie critics around the world pointed out, docking at least a full star out of five from their reviews. And I get why; it’s such a pointless blunder. Why would the writers of such an otherwise great film make such an unforced error? Why would they say the YJ Wrangler has any airbags, much less dual side ones, which were extremely rare at the time even on luxury cars? The writers could have said any number of things; they could have pointed out the Jeep’s rare chrome package, which looked awesome. They could have noted the powerful four-liter engine. They could have pointed out cruise control.

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OK, I’ll admit that there aren’t a ton of luxury-ish features to mention that would have stood out, as the Jeep Wrangler YJ is rather spartan, but you can’t just make stuff up! That’s going to get you called out on a car blog 29 years later, and trust me, you do not want that

Anyway, for reading this short rant of mine, I’ll gift you with the wonderfully entertaining DMV-test clip shown above. “Should I leave a note?”

Images: Screenshots from Clueless/Paramount Pictures

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Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago

this is the quickest I’ve ever clicked in to read a DT article, lol. that was weird, and I’ll be honest, I never noticed, I was to distracted.

also, what even happened with Stacey Dash.

JDE
JDE
1 month ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

I think she went republican and was somewhat shunned in Hollyweird.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago
Reply to  JDE

I know that, I meant what happened because she went all right-wing and weird.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

Maybe this had something to do with it:

In October 2021, Dash opened up about her Vicodin addiction on The Dr. Oz Show, stating that she was five years sober.

Vicodin’s a hell of a drug.

Hatebobbarker
Hatebobbarker
1 month ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

too many people told her she was “one of the good ones”

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 month ago

I think she meant windbags or some other bag. 🙂

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
1 month ago

I think we can simply chalk this up to Cher knowing as much about cars as David knows about ’90s hip hop slang.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 month ago

Word.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

PowerPoint.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Yeah, this was hilarious…I’ve always liked the movie since I grew up w/ it and have always loved Alicia and thought she was unbelievably hot- especially in the “Crazy” Aerosmith video! Also, just recently watched “Blast From the Past” which is hilarious and she’s good in that too…lots of other good ones also

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago

So you’re saying Jeep supplied the cars but not a technical consultant to ensure accuracy?

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
1 month ago

I’m with you DT. The fact that the Explorers kept changing in Jurrasic Park has bothered me endlessly to this day.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 month ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

Like when I watched Endgame and realized Stan Lee’s bumper was wrong. Why wife just ignores my car based sighs.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

Also, too, they were electrified and ran on a track, but there’s no hardware underneath connecting them to the track, and, when the one flips over, it’s bone stock underneath- engine, transmission, exhaust, gas tank, and no sign of any tour-related modifications

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago

Is this an actual mistake, or is a well written line for a character who knows nothing about cars?

Or was it a deliberate inclusion by a rival automotive blog from the future designed to drive you mad?

Dude Drives Cars
Dude Drives Cars
1 month ago

Hey Tracy – while “loqued-out” might never have been a thing, “loc’d out” definitely was, especially in the mid-’90s. Hell, Coolio himself references it not once but twice in the lyrics of Gangsta’s Paradise.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

“All I had for dinner was a can of corn.”

But “Hand on my motherfuckin’ nut sack” always made my wife laugh til a bit of pee came out…

Epochellipse
Epochellipse
1 month ago

Oh that’s because before the rewrites and the product placement deal, her father bought her a Jeep because he wanted her to die in a backwards rollover for the insurance.

Last edited 1 month ago by Epochellipse
Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Let’s ignore the term “loqued-out,” because even in The Valley that’s not a thing and was never a thing.

Well, well, look at Mister Hollywood here being the expert on Valley pop culture. 😛

Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
1 month ago

Pretty Sure Tone Loc and his “Wild Thing” would disagree that it wasn’t ever a thing (hmm what was that album called??)…. and having grown up in “The Valley” it very much was used in the early 90s….

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Swedish Jeep

Sick burn

Billy Suter
Billy Suter
1 month ago
Reply to  Swedish Jeep

The album was called Lōc-ed After Dark.

Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Suter

exactly!

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

Well great, now it’s ruined.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

I was working on an extremely low budget movie back in the early 90s.
Like so low budget that there was no money for anything that is considered normal expense in other productions.

We were shooting in a downtown area and the director asked us to please park our rides on a blocked off street to add “background” to the scene. Then in a scene that was supposed to be later in time, he had us all drive around the block and repark them in a different order. BTW it was a grand total of 6-7 cars.

Long story short the movie featured shots of this area that supposedly spanned the time of several years. Yet the director just kept using the same exact cars in every scene shot.

Some of us got tired of moving and reparking every hour as this idiot kept reshooting scenes over and over again. A few people said fuck it and just took their cars and left without telling anyone. This director was a newbie, and was really just a huge pain in the ass to deal with. When we were asked to reposition our rides for what felt like the tenth time for this idiot, I got pissed.

In my Dodge Omni 024 I had a Spuds MacKenzie cardboard cut out, and a life sized Mr. Spock cut out which I’d appropriated from the radio station I was working at.

So I took both, and placed Spuds in the back seat window, and Mr. Spock in the drivers window. BTW, Spock was doing the “live long and prosper” thing with his hand. The director never noticed this. Nor did any post filming folks during editing.

Spock and Spuds made it to the finished product uncut. Although the movie went straight to DVD I could never find a copy to watch, (for the best).

But the local TV stations all did stories on the filming of the movie, and the shots of Spock and Spuds in my Omni made the news stories. Later that night my phone started to blow up with call from friends who recognized both my car and the cut outs.

Good times. Oh, and I was also in a low budget film starring David Carradine as a bounty hunter in the future. He was also the director. Was walking around all morning with a prop gun shoved in the front of his pants. And constantly pulling it out and waving it at everyone, ala Alec Baldwin. As we were filming after a lunch break, Carradine pulled the gun from his pants, but it discharged and he shot himself in the nuts. And dropped like a rock.

And transported to a local hospital for treatment.
You should have seen the local news anchors trying to report the mishap on the news without laughing that night…

Strange shit happens when movies are made. YMMV

Last edited 1 month ago by Col Lingus
DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I was going to leave a comment on Spuds until I got the testicular trauma.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  DadBod

It was about 4 days until filming resumed. And Carradine stopped fooling around with the guns which was a relief to everyone who had to be around him.

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I also can’t edit “got the testicular trauma” but don’t worry everybody, my balls are fine. I’ll show you! Look!

Last edited 1 month ago by DadBod
Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

a low budget film starring David Carradine as a bounty hunter in the future

That’s gotta be “Future Force“, right?

I watched a LOT of very, very bad flicks in the waning days of VHS rentals.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Shit! Yes! I could never remember the title.
But my wife and I caught it on TV a few years later.
God damn it sucked.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Holy crap. Just went to IMDB and watched the trailer.
I had forgotten the actual plot somewhat, and that stupid looking arm thing weapon!

But I saw my best friend and myself get blown away by Carradine in the warehouse scene. My wife said she saw me in the movie, but I was in the can when they showed that scene on the TV…

Filmed in beautiful Mobile, AL.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Nice Blazer though.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I almost scrolled past this gem when seeing the length of it but am glad I didn’t!

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Now how did he die again? 😀 Let’s just call him an interesting guy. He really had bad testicular luck.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Should have stuck to roaming the Wild West and beating the shit out of rednecks?

Dug Deep
Dug Deep
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Man, I loved that guy on Kung Fu. Not because he was a great actor or anything, but for like three seasons each episode he’d teach non-violence, and then in the last 5 minutes he’d solve the situation by kicking the shit out of everyone.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  Dug Deep

Yeah. We would get stoned and just laugh our asses off watching that.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 month ago
Reply to  Dug Deep

So… Like a prototypical Patrick Swayze in Road House?

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

now this is a good story comment in a fun article.

Travis Morgan
Travis Morgan
1 month ago

Dude. It’s Cher. Of course she’s going to say that it has dual side airbags. She’s clueless!

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
1 month ago

This reminds me of the Top Gear episode where they shot a “factual car chase” where the hero had to hold down the traction control button for the required number of seconds to actually disengage it on that particular car, etc.

“Dual side airbags” is especially dumb since the Jeep doesn’t have sides to put them in the first place. It almost makes me think that was an intentional gag.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 month ago

I was once involved with a film shoot that was set in the 1980s, and the establishing shot was of the main character getting out of a mid 1990s Town Car stretch limo. I wasn’t working in a position that allowed me to talk to The People That Mattered, but I said something to an intermediary and was told, “Nobody knows or cares but you.”

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

IMCDb knows and cares.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

I’m always pointing out cars in TV/movies that are mismatched with the time period portrayed. It is SO common. My wife is deaf to it at this point..

OSpazX
OSpazX
1 month ago

In the 2017 CHIPS movie (Dax Sheppard, Michael Peña):

The movie starts with Michael driving a Chevrolet SS (Actually Dax’s personal car).

Shortly afterwards, the car is on fire. Except, the SS has been replaced with a generic Malibu. (Which is good, coz don’t waste an SS)

More details : https://gmauthority.com/blog/2017/11/chevrolet-ss-swapped-for-malibu-in-film-no-one-seems-to-notice/

Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago
Reply to  OSpazX

Speaking of which, GM announced today that the Malibu will go out of production this coming November. That name has been around for many decades. Maybe they’ll make an E-Malibu or a Malibu-E to replace it.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris D

Machlibu

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris D

MalEbu

Last edited 1 month ago by Cheap Bastard
Lotsofchops
Lotsofchops
1 month ago

Well duh, she is pretty Clueless ????
Also, agree that it is a great movie. And for those that aren’t aware, it’s a modern interpretation of the Jane Austen’s 1816 novel Emma.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
1 month ago
Reply to  Lotsofchops

The quote is also a direct reference to Emma’s commentary on her coach’s finery, where she mistakenly claims she has a landau top, despite her carriage being a fixed, full roof.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
1 month ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

If this is true, then it’s actually an amazing callback to the novel

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
1 month ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

Sadly, it is not. Just having a bit of fun in the comments.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

Next-level trolling. I’m impressed.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
1 month ago

I’m from the olden times, when trolling meant dragging bait through a thread to get a bite, before it was taken over by those with manners befitting under-bridge dwellers.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

Same. It’s a shame the riffraff hijacked what was a lighthearted activity and ruined it for everybody. 4chan 15+ years ago had some really brilliant shit but now it’s mostly vile Nazi and stalking trash.

Kaiserserserser
Kaiserserserser
1 month ago

At least they didn’t commit the recurring mistake of ENDLESS movies/tv shows: Using exhaust audio that’s obviously no the correct type of engine for the car that’s supposed to be making the noise.

It seems like the hollywood sound studio guide is “Always just use a V8 sound track regardless of what engine the car has, unless it actually has a V8, in which case you’re allowed to use a non-V8 sound track.

Bobfish
Bobfish
1 month ago

I see your “Hollywood V8 swapped Cavaliers”, and raise you a “Tire screeching on pavement during dirt driving” sounds
ETA Chronometric nailed this on the 1st comment page

Last edited 1 month ago by Bobfish
Clark B
Clark B
1 month ago

My fiancee and I recently watched the Herbie movies (favorites when I was a kid, and I still love them) and I have to give them credit, all the engine noises coming from Herbie belong to an air-cooled VW.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark B

I think it helps that the VW flat 4 is pretty distinctive and not exactly quiet. I can ALMOST understand someone subbing in a V8 for a generic inline 4 that makes almost no noise.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

Or in one very famous instance, you can go lateral – if it already has a street-going V8, you can use the sound of a racecar one instead.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
1 month ago

Like the EV driven by Tony Stark that sounds like a V8? Marvel must have used a really high-quality milk jug on that one.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

lol there was behind the scenes commentary on how they specifically made that noise, it wasn’t supposed to be either an EV or a combustion engine but something different and futuristic.

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

She obviously flubbed her lines and should have stated left and right airheads.

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
1 month ago

DT, man, very slick way to bump up the comments today using the Baader–Meinhof phenomenon. 🙂

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency_illusion

Last edited 1 month ago by Stoney got got (potentially)
Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago

Speaking of airbags, there’s a scene in the 2010 film The A-Team where they float a shipping container in the water by attaching a few steering wheel assemblies to the sides and setting off the airbags and using those airbags as flotation devices. Of course, as a dedicated automotive pedant, I noped out after that scene (I was already getting annoyed with the film overall anyway, lol.)

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

I love Joe Carnahan’s movies (The Grey is fantastic), but the A-Team really should have rebooted in tv show format instead, if that’s what they were set on (I’d have preferred them to just leave it alone).

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
1 month ago

You reminded me of this silliness on “Scorpion”:

https://youtu.be/cKqGKuwbnl4?si=Z1-jQMfMdWsfpSsT

Everyone knows jets get software updates on 3.5″ floppies, not Ethernet to USB dongles.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

When I was a kid, I loved the TV show. Tried watching it on Netflix or wherever a few years back and I don’t think I cleared the first 15 minutes and that was being stubborn.

Clark B
Clark B
1 month ago

My biggest pet peeve is with some period pieces. You’ve got a street full of cars from the 1950s…and they all look brand new, and perfectly clean too. Go to any parking lot today and you’ll see plenty of filthy cars, and plenty with body damage. If you go back in time, when cars had less rust proofing and in general wore out faster than the cars of today, and you should be seeing more cars with rust, missing hubcaps/trim, etc. And in a time where most cars wore single stage paint, you should be seeing some cars that have faded to a matte finish. Not every period piece does this, but it’s pretty obvious when they do, and it detracts from the realism. Not to mention the over-representation of desirable/collector models.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark B

And how often, ALL the cars on the road are from only that period. Nobody’s ever driving an older car.

You don’t notice it at first, but once you do, it gives the whole thing a Matrix vibe.

Tim Connors
Tim Connors
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I noticed that with Barbie. Other that Barbie’s pink sort of Corvette, every vehicle seemed to be a new Chevy of some kind–almost certainly product placement. But still, the idea that all cars in the real world were brand new, perfectly clean Chevys was wierd.

The rest of the movie, of course, was gritty realism.

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark B

This is something that really annoyed me about Hidden Figures. The main women are stuck by the side of the road in their unreliable car at the beginning and it’s an absolutely FLAWLESS ’57 Bel Air. The point is that they do not have the resources they deserve! The car is supposed to be a bit shit! Why are they in the top of the line model?

Put them in something older with slightly shitty paint or a few dents or SOMETHING! It’s car casting that is actually undermining the movie.

Last edited 1 month ago by Citrus
Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

For a general one, esp these days, how about how most Hollywood manual transmission cars have at least 10 forward gears and a quite audible, ratchet-y shift/clutch action?

Sure, maybe we’re not seeing it when our hero downshifts to lower gears, but all these cars have seemingly agricultural vehicle transmissions swapped in?!

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
1 month ago

So true. I do something similar when movies use non-period correct vehicles (which is fairly common) but I can’t help it by pointing that out during the movie.

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