Things You Never Noticed In Grease

By Nick Hadji 10 months ago

They're all like... super old

Image Source/ The Hollywood RecorderThe majority of the actors that portray characters in "Grease" are well past high school age. Olivia Newton-John was 29 years old, while John Travolta, 23, was one of the film's younger stars. When the movie debuted, a few of the stars, including Stockard Channing, Jamie Donnelly and Michael Tucci were even in their thirties.Original content sourced from

Their misogyny is a little problematic

Image Source/ InsiderGrease can be excused for being somewhat dated since it's set in the 1950s. However, the movie isn't shy about implying that women are beneath men, whether it's the slut-shaming of poor Rizzo or Frenchie's description of Cha Cha as the girl with the "worst reputation" at her high school.

There were loads of innuendos

Image Source/ PinterestThere is an innuendo in Grease almost every minute. There is a lot of brazen flirting going on: "Bite the weenie, Riz"... "With pleasure." In fact, nasty talk makes up the majority of Rizzo and Kenickie's banter. Even her boyfriend makes fun of the marks on her neck, saying "a hickie from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card" as if that will make her feel more proud of them.

The principal and her assistant are the funniest pair

Image Source/ YouTubeThe small exchanges between the principal and her helpless assistant are an absolute treasure. They share some of the best moments in the entire film, whether it's finding the schedule from last semester instead of this year's or playing the xylophone too loudly for morning announcements.

Rizzo is the undisputed best character in Grease

Image Source/ Grease WikiAs we get older, we begin to understand that Rizzo is actually the best character ever. While Frenchie is kind and caring, she quits high school during her senior year when she definitely should have waited. Sandy is a bit of a sucker, and Marty doesn't get nearly enough of an arc. The most complex and nuanced female character is Rizzo.

An example of Rizzo's magnificence

Image Source/ YouTubeRizzo teases Danny by asking if someone is "snaking" him for gazing wistfully at Sandy. Soon after she emerges from the restroom holding an ice cream cone and licking it. Rizzo doesn't care much about what people think of her, but she could have asked Marty or another person to hold her cone while she went to the restroom, couldn't she?

...and her song is the best

Image Source/'s song "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" is the best of the film. It's fundamentally about a woman who won't put her sexual needs aside, who fears being vulnerable with a man because she's been hurt so many times in the past, and who realises how much worse it would be to actually admit she cares than to be labelled the school's tramp by people like Patty Simcox.

Who the heck is Annette?

Image Source/ The GuardianRemember the line "Nobody's jugs are bigger than Annette's?" Well, a lot of us racked our brains about that, and we're here to reveal who Annette really is. Kenickie is referencing Annette Joanne Funicello, a 50's movie star known for her curved after playing a hot chick role in surfer movies.

Danny rudely forces himself on Sandy not once but twice

Image Source/ Yahoo FinanceWhile at the beach, Sandy warns Danny not to ruin it because he is trying to kiss her against her will. He dismisses her objections. Danny then tries to cop a feel at the drive-in when Sandy is already annoyed. He grabs her and puts her on top of him, much to her loud concern. He then reassures her that nothing is being seen, therefore everything will be fine.

Doody pulls a water gun on the Scorpions

Image Source/ InsiderGrease makes several allusions to The T-Birds' protracted turf dispute with The Scorpions, including the line "75 cents for the whole car" and their leader inviting Rizzo (and Marty) to the dance. A body of water helps them defeat and humiliate their sworn adversaries in a final fight at Thunder Road.

Vince Fontaine tries to roofie Marty

Image Source/ The MirrorYou might remember an inadvertent line to Rizzo that reveals exactly the kind of man Vince Fontaine turned out to be. Marty reveals that she saw Fontaine "trying to put aspirin in my Coke during the dance" when they were talking about Rizzo's possible pregnancy. He thus attempted to roofie her.

Rizzo disagrees with Sandy's Summer romance so much that she doesn't take part in Summer Nights

Image Source/ YouTubeWhile "Summer Nights" is the opening number, one character refuses to acknowledge its magnificence. Rizzo doesn't want to become involved in the discussions about Sandy's summer romance. She tries to discourage her from ever sharing the experience by telling her there is no such thing as a special guy.

In saying that, the song is a little bit messed up

Image Source/ DecadesThe song may be one of Grease's most well-known and cherished songs, but it is also quite problematic. In one particular memorable lyric, Kenickie asks Danny, "Did she put up a fight?" Everyone just keeps dancing and singing merrily as though that were a completely acceptable query.

The teachers really care about their students

Image Source/ Grease WikiCoach Calhoun perseveres with Danny despite his lack of interest or ability in any of the sports. The auto shop instructor is another character who assists the men with starting Kenickie's automobile even though it contains stolen parts and then shows up at Thunder Road to support them.

The school's bonfire is very sinister

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesGrease is a rather happy movie despite the conflicts between Danny's gang and a rival gang. However, the bonfire focuses more on displaying displays of animosity toward the competition than it does for the Rydell High Rangers. "RIP" and "Death to the Gladiators" signs are carried by students. Even a doll of the players on the other squad is being burned.

Prankster Kenickie plays trick on a girl on first day of school

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesOn the first day of school, cheeky Kenickie sneakily slips a fake snake into a girl's purse during homeroom. While being an easy target, she should've definitely seen Kenickie snooping around behind her, so doesn't make it very believable, does it?

The Pink Ladies' name was on screen several times before it's said

Image Source/ NerdistThe first hint to the movie's well-known girl group is a framed certificate in Rizzo's room in the animated opening sequence that reads 'Pink Ladies'. The moniker is then shown once more on the girls' jackets as they make their way to Rydell before anyone brings up the group in conversation.

Staff members have adverse reactions to Coach Calhoun's speech

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesAt the pep rally, Coach Calhoun delivers a speech that aggressively promotes school spirit. He talks of murdering and destroying the opposing team and the assistant principal's eyes light up. The principal makes no attempt to be cheerful. She seemed concerned by the speech as well as her coworker's response.

In Sandy's opening animation sequence, two Disney films are referenced

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesIn Sandy's animation segment, she is seen with jovial forest creatures. A similar moment in Disney's "Cinderella" seems to be mirrored by the two birds who assist her in donning a blue dressing robe. A deer and a rabbit that are reminiscent of Bambi and Thumper from "Bambi".

Rizzo rolls up her jeans like the T-Birds do

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesThe T-Birds wear their pants cuffed at the bottom the entire time, a look that has come to be associated with the 1950s. Rizzo also shows up at the bonfire wearing cuffed jeans, but none of the other females appear to be experimenting with the look. This particular element might have been included to emphasise her role as the Pink Ladies' leader and to portray her as a fierce "guy's lady."

Sandy doesn't address why she didn't return to Australia

Image Source/ Daily ExpressDanny and Sandy say goodbye after their summer romance in the opening scene. But we forget that Sandy had intended to return to Australia, then wound up attending Rydell High. Sandy's justification for why she isn't in Australia when she arrives at Rydell is that there was a "change of plans."

In the opening animation, Rydell High is referenced through paraphernalia

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesDuring the animated opening credits, the name of the school where the majority of the film is set, Rydell High, first appears on pennant flags in Danny and Rizzo's rooms. It is obvious from the memorabilia that the imaginary school's colours are red and white.

The 1950's attitude to cigarettes was obvious

Image Source/ PinterestAll of the females but Sandy smoke when the Pink Ladies spend the night at Frenchy's residence. Sandy claims she doesn't smoke, and Rizzo responds, "why not You won't die from it." As the health risks of smoking weren't really known and publicised until the 1960s, this properly captures how many people felt about cigarettes in the 1950s.

The animation references real people and companies

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesThe opening titles feature 1950s-era famous people and brand names too. A Dwight D. Eisenhower "I Like Ike" campaign button, a well-known image of Marilyn Monroe, a James Dean poster, a couple Lucky Strike cigarette advertisements, a Pepsi-Cola billboard, are among the Easter eggs.

What was with that pool in Frenchy's backyard?

Image Source/ InsiderWhen Sandy steps out of the sleepover at Frenchy's, she goes into the backyard and ends up singing by a kiddie pool. It's possible that Frenchy used the pool to cool off in the summer. But by this time, it's fall, and most of the characters are shown wearing heavy jackets. So what was with that?

This is what Sonny's joke actually meant...

Image Source/ InsiderDanny tells the T-Birds that girls are "only good for one thing," and Sonny responds, "Then what are you supposed to do with them for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day?" The joke, which implies that Sonny's sexual encounters last 15 minutes, earns a roar of laughter from the guys.

Was the makeup actually any good?

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesAt the diner, Rizzo blends only a portion of the makeup, leaving streaks of powder on her cheek and nose. Another Pink Lady was doing her makeup in full darkness earlier, during the school bonfire. Frenchy's incorrect hair colouring and these peculiar makeup selections make it obvious that the Pink Ladies' fame is not the result of their aesthetic abilities.

The original trailer for The Blob was actually shown

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesPart of the original "The Blob" trailer is played throughout the drive-in sequences. Given that Grease takes place around the same period as the movie, which was released in 1958, the trailer makes sense. It's so cool to see some of these pop culture Easter eggs.

Frenchy uses a virgin pin to piece Sandy's ear

Image Source/ Paramount PicturesMarty gives the girls her virgin pin to pierce Sandy's ears with. Jan quips that she no longer uses her virgin pin. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was typically a sign of affection from her boyfriend, but it also revealed whether she was still virgin. If she wore it on her right side, it indicated that she had gone all the way while wearing it on her left side indicated that she was still virgin.

After all of that, Sandy and Danny are definitely doomed

Image Source/ Metro UKThe notorious makeover scene at the end of Grease is one topic of conversation that has garnered significant traction in the 40 years since the film's debut. There is a case to be made for how Danny alters physically as well in order to satisfy Sandy. She still needs to alter a lot more than he does, let's face it.

Danny Is Basically Telling His Mates In Detail That He Had Sex With Sandy

Image Source / Grease Wiki - FandomIn all the buzz during the Summer Nights performance when most of us sing a long - it is catchy - we might actually not pay too much attention the lyrics. It's obvious how problematic the lyric about her putting up a fight is, but also the lyric, 'Well, she was good, you know what I mean,' is Danny saying 100% that not only did he have sex with Sandy, but rating her performance.

Danny Elbows Sandy In The Boob - And Laughs

Image Source / OnStage BlogAll woman will tell you it definitely hurts to be elbowed in the boob, and even though it looked to be an accident, Danny doesn't look too apologetic about it - and actually laughs. At the time, we probably didn't even realise how messed up this is!

... And Then Rolls His Eyes At The Idea Of Respect

Image Source / IBTimes UKIn the same scene, Danny - once recovered from his laughter - gives a ring to Sandy, who says that she now knows he respects her. His response? To roll his eyes. Danny isn't taking her for a nice, respectful date - he just wants to have his way with her - respect optional!

When Sandy Storms Off, He's More Bothered About What Other People Will Think

Image Source / YouTubeDid you notice that when Sandy storms off out of the car after Danny tries to throw himself at her, he's not bothered about apologising to her or making sure she's okay - his main concern (based on his next song of choice) is what they're going to say about him Monday at school!

Vince Fontaine Actually Has His Hand Around Marty's Neck

Image Source / Girls Do FilmAs if this guy wasn't creepy enough already, and especially when we find out later he tried to put something in her drink, there's a shot where Fontaine can be seen - when the show goes live - with his hand on Marty's neck.

Jan Was Designated As 'The Fat Girl' Trope

Image Source / ReelRundownThe character of Jan actually wore oversized sweaters to play more into the 'fat girl' trope, even though she wasn't fat at all. The shirts were to make her appear bigger! So you might have missed the fat this beloved movie plays into the hands of fat shaming - to someone who isn't even fat.

And Then Jan Is Actually Called Fat By Putzie

Image Source / PinterestIn what was probably supposed to be some bizarre sweet moment where we'd all go 'aw what a nice thing to say' when it was the exact opposite, Putzie tells Jan in the diner that he always found her to be a very understanding person, and that he thinks there's more to her "than just fat". Wow.

Rizzo Is Also A Bit Of A Bully

Image Source / Now To LoveRizzo is a great character and one of the best, and she herself faces her own troubles in being slut-shamed and sings about how she's trashy and no good. But it doesn't change the fact that she's also a bully to Sandy throughout the movie, worse of which is during the 'Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee' scene when she shames Sandy for being a virgin.

Sandy's Transformation Was About More Than 'Changing Herself' For Danny

Image Source / VogueOne of the main controversies of Grease is Sandy completely changing who she is as a person to please a man. Sure, Danny throws on a nice cardigan instead of a leather jacket, but ultimately it's Sandy who changes the most. But it was also supposed to be a big middle finger to society's norms about women being preferred to be all 'virginal' and pure.

The Lack Of Diversity

Image Source / Grease Wiki - FandomDo you remember any black people in Grease? Any ethnically diverse characters at all? Probably because there weren't any that spring to mind. In this day and age, the lack of diversity of this popular movie is a huge kicker.

Putzie Is A Perve

Image Source / Grease Wiki - FandomIt's one thing to check someone out as they're walking by when you're a student whose hormones are raging, but it's another thing entirely when you're Putzie climbing under the benches where two female students are sat so that he can look right up their skirts.

John Travolta's Sister Was Actually In The Movie

Image Source / InsiderEllen Travolta is also an actress like her brother, and she was visiting the set of Grease when John asked if she wanted to be in the movie. She ended up playing the role shown in the diner, which was quickly written for her and took a day or two to shoot.

There's A Reason The Finale Carnival Looks So Real

Image Source / InsiderThe production team actually rented a real working carnival for the huge finale moment, and we all know that sequence looks realistic (up to the point where they fly away in the car, of course). And that's because all the rides were real, working rides that the cast and crew could go on.

Olivia Newton-John Had To Be Sewn Into Her Pants

Image Source / InsiderYou definitely won't have missed Olivia Newton-John wearing tight pants for the finale as Sandy, but did you miss how tight they actually were? They needed to be so tight that the actress had no choice but to be sewn into them - which must have made going to the toilet very difficult...

Danny Is Subject To Uncomfortable Peer Pressure

Image Source / YouTubeThere's the classic 'guy wants to act cool around his mates' but when Danny and Sandy are reunited, there's a fair amount of aggressive peer pressure on the part of the T Birds who suddenly swarm Danny to make sure he's not acting nice to a girl he likes. I mean, that's a bit messed up.

It's Hinted Jan May Have Also Been Bullied For Her Teeth

Image Source / AlchetronWe've mentioned about the whole 'fat shaming' with Jan for the big sweaters, but apparently this girl can't catch a break. During the girl's sleepover, a commercial comes on the TV which is a beaver advertising a new toothpaste - and one of the girls says, 'Hey look it's Jan!'. It feels like it's already been established that Jan has been called/compared to this beaver on TV.

Which Makes It Worse That She's Singing Along

Image Source / SecondHandSongsOf course, Jan seems happy as anything to be singing along to the commercial and acting like the beaver, but could this just be her defence mechanism from people saying she looks like the beaver? If she accepts it and agrees with it, then nobody can hurt her with it.

The Parallels Of 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' And 'Sandy'

Image Source / DeciderThese two songs are the biggest love ballads of the movie, sang by Sandy and Danny, but they're both sort of a perfect pairing that go hand-in-hand for the two leads. These songs are confirmation that the love is mutual, as they both sing them alone where they can let their true feelings show!

Vince Fontaine Kinda Shoves Marty, Too

Image Source / GetYarn.ioIn a scene where you see Vince and Marty getting cosy and chatting, Vince has Marty against a wall with his arm behind her head. They're hitting it off until Fontaine gets a call to be on camera, and he wastes no time in shoving Marty by the arm and making it clear she's not important.

The Principal's Assistant Is Making A Pass At A Student At The Dance

Image Source / FamousFix.comThe considerably much older female assistant of the principal at the school dance is seen pulling along a young student by his suspenders and making very obvious eyes at him. It might have seemed funny on a first watch but in hindsight it's pretty messed up!