Popular high school friends Courtney (Rose McGowan), Julie (Rebecca Gayheart), Marcie (Julie Benz), and Liz (Charlotte Ayana) have a game of kidnapping each other on their birthdays for fun and games. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong this year, resulting in the untimely death of the most popular girl in school. This black comedy follows the remaining three friends as they try to cover up their mistake.
This is not the typical light and fluffy high school fare. It is a much darker look into the perils of popularity, the fickleness of high school adoration, and the teenage experience. The main characters embody different high school stereotypes.
The movie opens with the doomed kidnapping. Early in the morning on Liz's birthday, her friends pounce on her in her bed, playfully tie her up, and gag her, shoving her in the trunk of the car. One of them carelessly sticks a jawbreaker into Liz's mouth in order to keep her from screaming in the trunk. Laughing, they drive to their destination and return to the car to free Liz. Their laughter trails off in horror as they discover that Liz has tragically choked to death on the jawbreaker. The remainder of the film is about the resulting investigation and cover-up effort.
Although Liz was the leader of the foursome, cool Courtney quickly steps to the forefront to take over. She ruthlessly plots to get away with the accidental crime - but her deception is discovered by Fern, the biggest nerd in school. In exchange for Fern's silence, Courtney comes up with a plan. She will groom Fern to take Liz's place, turning her overnight from an unattractive wallflower into the hottest, most popular girl in school.
The plan is a success, as Fern's makeover and new personality are a smash success. Unfortunately, the plan backfires as Fern quickly becomes more popular than Courtney and realizes that she does not need to maintain her silence to keep her new-found popularity. Dark hilarity ensures as the two engage in a power struggle, other friends choose sides, and the truth is finally revealed to everyone.