What Miss Congeniality Taught Us About Life

Can you believe it's been 15 years?

By Julia Hays Dec 22, 2015 1:00 PMTags
Miss CongenialityCastle Rock Entertainment/E! Illustration

It's been 15 years since we met Gracie Lou Freebush.

On this Miss Congeniality milestone, the film was released on December 22, 2000, we're looking back at the movie's more teachable moments.

Beyond the hair gel and waxing, and all those New Jersey jokes, were lessons in friendship—and where to hide cheat meal donuts when you're wearing an evening gown.

Sandra Bullock gave us a lot of wisdom in this beauty pageant scholarship program comedy.

These are some of the gems that stick with us 15 years later.

Miss Congeniality reminded us that while most people coming home from work to beat the s--t out of something in their apartment could be weird or a little aggressive, it's OK when Sandra Bullock does it. She's an FBI agent having a rough day, after all. Frozen TV dinners and punching bags are the easiest way to establish that.

Lesson: Stressed? Scream, and beat the hell out of inanimate object. Your neighbors will understand.

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Sometimes those FBI agents, and other people in positions of authority, can overstep their bounds. Like when Sandra's character Gracie rushes to a Starbucks, like the world is ending, just to cut the line and get the office coffee quicker.

Lesson: The system get be messed up sometimes.

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Though she surprisingly doesn't spill coffee everywhere, Gracie is, for the most part, a wreck. Sandra's character isn't just sloppy, she's like a damn monster when she eats, and it's amazing. She drops ketchup while trying to decode evidence, chews with her mouth full, and her shirt is covered in stains. We've been there, girl. Oh Sandy, you have so far to go in the makeover montage!

Lesson: Maybe don't wear white button-downs if you literally can't eat like an adult.

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Back at the high school gymnasium that's apparently located in FBI HQ, we see Sandra's character get into it with another agent, who wants her to go undercover at the Miss United States pageant. You do not pass up the opportunity to spar with a hot coworker.

Lesson: Benjamin Bratt can gettttt itttttt.

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Once Gracie gets her entry into the beauty pageant, err sorry, scholarship program, we see her get set up with a coach and introduced to a glam squad. It takes a high tech team in an empty airport hangar to make Sandra Bullock look like this, allegedly. Bikini waxes are serious business.

Lesson: Whatever. It. Takes.

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Though she's being forced into evening gowns and swimsuits, Gracie still recognizes that there are tons of methods one can use to hide your FBI swag and snacks. Make that fashion statement work for you.

Lesson: Who needs a purse?

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Again with the hot coworker… if your colleague wants to give you a pep talk while he's doing laps in a pool late at night, just enjoy the view. Why not?

Lesson: Benjamin Bratt all wet, all dayyyyyy.

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Back at the pageant preliminaries we get to see what may be seen as some to be a very stupid answer. But girl, if someone asks you to describe your perfect date, just answer honestly. Answer in a way to makes sense to you. Who cares what someone "really meant?" A question is basically just a jumping off point for you to say whatever the hell you want.

Lesson: Forget the patriarchy. Speak your mind. Maybe take an extra sec to understand what's happening.

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If you make a fool out of yourself, or you're having an off day, a ladies night with your gal pals will always help. The key to every successful girls night: pizza and beer. Sure, the contestants end up at a weird black light, paint-filled nightclub after – but it's the pizza and beer that gets the party started.

Lesson: Carbs are what's up.

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Speaking of indulging in a little pizza, you can't be afraid to live the life you want to be living. As Gracie tells her new friend Miss Rhode Island: "You ate pizza, you stole panties! You're a wild woman!" Listen to what your heart's telling you to do.

Lesson: Let your freak flag fly, baby girl. If you want to light your batons on fire and do a sexy dance, that's your prerogative.

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After gifting your girl friend some new fire batons, you may have to rip a crown off her head, to keep her from blowing up. Sometimes friends may think we're sabotaging them, when really we're helping them out.

Lesson: Look out for your pals. Someday they'll see you have their best interest at heart.

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Never forget to just be yourself. Sandra's hot coworker isn't into her until after her makeover, but also he seemingly is attracted to the fact that she cracked this huge case. He still wants to make out with her even though she snorts like a pig (like a lot) while laughing. That's super-cute.

Lesson: Find someone who accepts you for who you are.

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We still love Miss Congeniality as much now as we did when it was released 15 years ago. As for Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous? Uhh, let's not talk about it.

Oh, and one more thing, can someone please explain that paint-filled black light nightclub to us? Was that really a thing in 2000?

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