It’s been 25 years since the release of Garry Marshall’s timeless fairytale, Pretty Woman. When it arrived in theaters back in 1990, the film opened to mixed reviews, but the dramedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere would become a box office smash and a cultural touchstone.Twenty five years later, Pretty Woman is a beloved classic, not to mention a pop culture reference in movies like Romy and Michele’s High School reunion and TV shows like Broad City and Parks and Recreation. From those unforgettable outfits to those endlessly re-quotable lines, we’ve picked the 25 most iconic things from Pretty Woman.
1. It Turned Julia Roberts Into a Full-Fledged Movie Star
Yes, the actress broke out in Hollywood in the late ’80s thanks to her work in Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias, but it wasn’t until she nabbed the role as bubbly, sexy hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Vivian Ward that she became an A-list leading lady.
2. That Jewelry-Box-Snapping Scene, You Know the One
It’s perhaps the scene most associated with the film (not to mention Roberts’ laugh) but it wasn’t even supposed to be in the movie. Garry Marshall reportedly told Richard Gere to do it as a gag, but the moment was so charming, they kept it in. Smart move.
3. The Cut-Out Dress
The sexy blue-and-white cut-out dress (paired with the sky-high black boots) that Vivian wears when she first meets the rich and handsome Edward Lewis was something of a fashion statement and resonates just as much all these years later. In the classic Parks and Recreation episode “Road Trip,” we find out that Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) actually owns the dress and she looks “really good in it.” But the dress really made headlines again back in 2012 when Julia’s real-life niece Emma Roberts wore it as a Halloween costume.
4. Kit De Luca: Rom-Com’s Greatest Sidekick
The 90’s were filled with wise-cracking sidekicks, but no one could even compare to Vivian’s no-nonsense pal and fellow prostitute Kit De Luca (played by Laura San Giacomo). The hilarious scene-stealer forever changed the way we pronounced the Regent Beverly Wilshire (“Reg Bev Wil”) or said Cinderella (“Cinede-fuckin’-rella”). We would have watched an entire movie about Kit, truth be told.
5. “I Want the Fairytale”
Don’t we all?
6. The Shopping Sequence
Just like Romy and Michele, we just get so happy when those judgmental saleswomen finally let her shop.
7. “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
Has there ever been a more satisfying comeback then when Vivian lets those mean Beverly Hills clerks lost out on a huge commission? Nope, and that’s exactly why people still reference it, even the Broad City gals.
8. Richard Gere’s Salt and Pepper Hair
For some inexplicable reason, they changed his hair to black on the Pretty Woman poster, when he looks so much better on screen with the gray.
9. Julia Roberts’ Gigantic Curly Hair
We’re with Edward here, it’s so much better than the ridiculous blonde bob wig she wears at the beginning of the movie.
10. Julia Roberts Singing to Prince in the Bathtub
It’s truly the only way “Kiss” was meant to be sung.
11. The Entire Soundtrack
From Roxette’s weepy power ballad “It Must Have Been Love” to, of course, Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” the entire soundtrack hits all the right notes at all the right times.
12. She Rescues Him Right Back
Sure, Pretty Woman ends with as cliche an ending as an fairytale (Edward climbs the “tower” to rescue the princess), but there’s a twist. As Vivian iconically tells her prince, “She rescues him right back.” Twenty-five years later, that’s still a kick-ass twist on a fairytale ending.
13. All the Sex Scenes
Pretty Woman is one of the steamiest movies of all-time, and that’s thanks in part to the smoldering scenes like when Edward and Vivian get it on atop a piano in the hotel bar.
14. A Particularly Scummy Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander will forever be known as Seinfeld’s resident neurotic George Costanza (above), but for Pretty Woman fans it’s hard to shake the image of the actor as Edward’s sleazy boss Philip Stuckey hitting on Vivian and then, quite literally, hitting her. This guy was way more worthy of the “Can’t-Stand-Ya” name pronunciation.
15. Hector Elizondo’s Solidifies Status As a Garry Marshall Movie Regular
The Reg Bev Wil’s manager Barney Thompson turned out to be a real pal to Vivian, but one of the movie’s best characters. It’s no coincidence that Marshall has repeatedly used the supporting actor as a sidekick in many of his other movies, including Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries, and Valentine’s Day.
16. “Well color me happy! There’s a sofa in there for two!”
Come on, who doesn’t say that every time they enter a fancy elevator?
17. Vivian and Edward’s Romantic Night at the Opera
Vivian got even more emotional over their emotional, romantic date than at the Pirates of Penzance, and so did we.
18. Hollywood, Land of Dreams!
It sounds cliche when settings are described as another character, but it’s true when it comes to Pretty Woman and Hollywood. The sunny and ritzy locales are the perfect setting for the film, especially those iconic scenes on Rodeo Drive. As the flower salesman walking around Hollywood at the end of the film puts it, “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here: this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t…but keep on dreamin’…this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’!”
19. Vivian’s Arsenio Hall Impression at the Stuffy Polo Match
The ’90s were awesome.
20. The Polka Dot Dress
The only thing better than Vivian’s Arsenio Hall outburst at the polo match, is her classy polka dot dress, paired with a white hat.
21. The Lotus Espirit
Thanks to Pretty Woman we all learned that Edward’s fancy sports car, the Lotus Espirit “corners like it’s on rails!”
22. “Do you have anything in this shop as beautiful as she is?”
Now that’s a line.
23. “In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.”
No, wait, that is.
24. Vivian Eats Pancakes With her Hands
Seriously, only Roberts could make that look appetizing.
25. The Whole Damn Movie
Every outfit, every line, every sexy glance, and every hairstyle still incredibly holds up 25 years later. Of course, nothing is as timeless as a boy and a girl meeting from the other sides of the tracks and falling in love, but Pretty Woman is in a league of its own.
[Photo Credits: Getty Images (Hulton Archives) ; NBC; Michael Tran/Getty Images; Getty Images (Hulton Archives)]