The Most Transformative "Nerdy Girl" Makeovers from Movies

Voting Rules
Vote up the most extreme makeovers that totally tricked the boys.

From Josie Grossie to Laney Boggs, these nerdy girl transformations from movies will live on in pop culture history forever. Who can forget when Julie Andrews (as Grandma Renaldi) took Mia under her wing and transformed her geeky, klutzy granddaughter into a swan who we could suddenly envision on the throne? Or when Julia Roberts captured the nation with the transformation of her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold to elegant lady?

From Eliza Doolittle's makeover in My Fair Lady (arguably the girl who started it all), to Sandy's sultry turn in Grease, this list covers all of the on-screen triumphs and failures. From transformations that make us shake our heads - like when Allison from The Breakfast Club left her quirky self behind - to makeovers that made our hearts swell (looking at you, Toula Portokalos), this list has it all.

A lot of these transformations seem to follow a common pattern -- frizzy, unkempt hair becomes sleek and styled, glasses are switched out in favor of contacts, makeup is applied (or intensified), and outfits are drastically swapped. The best, most successful makeovers happen when the character's personality remains intact throughout the transformation. Look for the familiar patterns and rank your favorite makeovers in teen movies. May the best one win!
Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

  • At the start of The Princess Diaries, Mia is frizzy-haired and awkward before her royal grandmother (played by the perfect Julie Andrews) takes her under her wing. And with the help of a new hairstyle and some contacts, the ugly duckling blossoms into a swan.

    1,064 votes
  • Gracie Hart is a gun-slinging cop who has to go deep undercover as her exact opposite - a Miss America pageant contestant. With the help of Michael Caine, she pulls it off - complete with plucked eyebrows, makeup, and a hairstyle other than that sloppy ponytail.

    979 votes
  • 3
    935 VOTES

    Sandy Olsen in Grease

    Sandy decides to go bad gurrrrl to win the heart of Danny Zuko, who has - in a twist of funny fate - gone with a clean-cut jock look to woo her. Complete with black leather pants, heavier makeup, a new hairstyle, and cigarette (gross, but a sign of the times), Sandy looks sultry and oozes sex appeal. "Tell me about it, stud."

    935 votes
  • The classic 'from geek to chic' transformation, Laney trades in her artsy, nerdy style in order to fit in with the popular crowd - but it's not exactly the most noble-minded of makeovers. Laney discovers Zac's secret bet that he could make her popular and is rightly upset - yet still keeps her makeover look (because duh).

    It's hard to forget the scene when she comes downstairs in her stunning red dress, not unlike when Eliza Doolittle reveals her new look in My Fair Lady.

    887 votes
  • "Josie Grossie" makes herself over a few times in the movie, finally getting it right after her brother Rob helps her get into the popular crowd. She truly comes into her own when she realizes that she's fine as she is - albeit with a new haircut and outfits that flatter her instead of hang off of her.

    We can't help but cheer when her heartthrob English teacher falls for her in the process, claiming his kiss in the end.


    767 votes
  • When Henry Higgins took a bet to transform her, he already had tons of natural beauty to work with. Eliza's raggedy clothes, soot-smeared face, frazzled hair, and appalling manners gave way to elegant dresses, perfectly done-up locks, and impeccable etiquette worthy of a queen.

    She still maintained her true self throughout it all, making her transformation the standard by which all others should be judged.


    663 votes