After becoming something of a cult teen princess, Natasha Lyonne sort of disappeared. (Sadly, we know it was more to do with personal problems than lack of work.) However, the actress is back in a big way with two new movies, G.B.F. and Girl Most Likely, and the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. And now that her career has come full circle (with her playing a teacher in the teen comedy, G.B.F.), it’s time to look back on all the life lessons Lyonne taught us growing up.
1. It’s OK to sing your feelings
In Everyone Says I Love, Natasha and the rest of cast (including Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn and Natalie Portman) showed that you don’t have to be super talented to sing as long as you feel it.
2. It’s OK to fall in love (and then out of it and then back into it again)
In the same movie, Natasha (and everyone else) also taught us that it’s OK to fall for someone, get hurt, fall for someone else, and repeat it until you find Mr./Mrs. Right.
3. Sometimes you have to slum it up
There are times, in order to get what you want, that you have to make sacrifices. Or in Natasha’s case, live in crappy homes in order to get a decent education in The Slums of Beverly Hills.
4. It’s OK to spread a rumor (if it’s to better your friend’s reputation)
High school politics is one tricky territory. You have to know how much to say and when to say it — like Natasha did for a friend (in American Pie), to help get him a date. Sometimes a white lie isn’t always a bad thing.
5. It’s OK to be a cheerleader (and also who you really are)
Sometimes cheerleaders are gay. And that’s OK. (From But I’m a Cheerleader)
6. If he turns you down, then he’s probably an FBI agent (and that’s OK)
The only person that ever had a chance with Jason Priestley was Jennie Garth. (From Die, Mommy, Die!)
7. It’s OK to grow up
Growing older is fact of life. You just have to embrace it, hopefully do it gracefully and just party like it’s 1999 (in American Reunion).
8. It’s not OK to out someone just to have a G.B.F.
With age (hopefully) comes wisdom. And if you have that wisdom, you have to pass it on to a new generation of teens (in high school comedies).
9. Orange is the new black
We all regret that awful neon green jacket we wore in middle school. But as we get older, we learn to simplify our fashions and stick to basic colors.
10. Getting crabs from a guy may actually be a good thing
OK, not those kind of crabs — hermit crabs. If a guy is giving you one, he may just be into you. (From Girl Most Likely.)
[Photos: Getty, Miramax, Fox Searchlight, Universal, Lionsgate, Sundance, Netflix]