Bring it On just celebrated its 20th anniversary, so we felt it was the perfect time to give Torrance and Cliff the spotlight for the romantic moment of the month.
Ah, the good old days of mixtapes, cheerleading at football games and competitions, perfectly manicured mean girls, and dancing with wild abandon in your bedroom. When I think of the late ‘90s, and the early ‘00’s it’s hard not to think of pop music, teen rom-coms, and bright, happy colors. Well, Bring it On reflects that time perfectly!
The Bring it On movie premiered on August 25, 2000, and became a pop culture phenomenon, leading to numerous sequels. Due to its cult status and hilarious cheerleading jokes, sometimes we forget that not only is the original a satirical look at competitive cheerleading (with fantastic choreography), but it is also a teen rom-com full of sweet and memorable moments. Sure, the rom-com elements are a side story, and not the main point, but Torrance and Cliff were teen relationship goals in the year 2000.
Thus, as Bring it On turns twenty, I felt it was time to take a nostalgic look back at Torrance and Cliff’s underrated romance.
Torrance and Cliff: The Set-Up
Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is the new cheerleading captain of the Toros at Rancho Carne High School. They’re one of the country’s top cheer teams and aim to win their sixth consecutive national title.
Meanwhile, Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku), moves into town and joins the cheer squad, becoming fast friends with Torrance.
The only thing is, Missy has a gorgeous twin brother who can SING and play the guitar. And in the early ‘00s, that was like the best thing ever. So, while Torrance has a boyfriend (but, come one, is anyone taking this relationship seriously?), she soon begins a flirtation with Missy’s twin brother, Cliff (Jesse Bradford). He’s charming, flirty, a musician, sweet, and has a cute smile.
While her college boyfriend, Aaron, doesn’t think she has the right leadership skills to lead the team to victory, Cliff believes in Torrance, encouraging her to keep going, inspiring her to create a new, innovative cheerleading routine for competition. So, not only is Cliff good-looking and talented, he supports Torrance and would obviously be much better boyfriend material.
How can Torrance resist?
With the romance set up, I bring you the classic romantic moment (or romantic moments) of the month.
Bring it On: Torrance and Cliff’s Three Most Romantic Moments
Instead of picking just one romantic moment between Torrance and Cliff, I decided to pick their three most iconic moments (although I also really love the swing set scene)!
#1 Torrance and Cliff Brushing Teeth
When you have a new best friend, one of the things you must do is have a sleepover. Well, Torrance and Missy do just that. Torrance spends the night over at Missy’s and has flirtatious run-ins with Cliff. The sleepover leads to one of Bring it On’s most iconic scenes: the famous brushing teeth moment between Torrance and Cliff.
When Torrance goes to brush her teeth, she hears Cliff playing the guitar (more like banging on it and rolling on the ground). As an adult, it’s much less charming, but he’s adorable from a teen’s perspective. He notices her watching and only continues to smile and play.
Missy catches Torrance in Cliff’s bedroom with a toothbrush in hand and points her to the bathroom. Yep, it’s evident to Missy now. Torrance likes her brother.
Now in the bathroom, Torrance begins brushing her teeth. And then in a surprise move, Cliff decides to brush his teeth at the same time as Torrance. It’s one of the flirtiest scenes in teen movie history. And there’s not even any dialogue!
At first, Torrance tries to conceal her spit. You know, to hide her imperfections and human body functions from cute guys. We were all much less open about our normalness twenty years ago and wanted to be attractive all the time! But the more they brush and yes, spit, they start to smile and flirt with each other, and all while brushing their teeth.
Watch the scene above! It’s still just as great as it was to watch twenty years ago.
#2 A Romantic Mixtape
Mixtapes may be a thing of the past, but somehow, they still have a timeless romantic appeal.
In this next romantic moment, Cliff makes a mixtape for Torrance to cheer her up. It’s a song he wrote for her (obviously alluding to his feelings for her). It’s a punk rock song that starts slow and then picks up the beat. Ultimately, Torrance finds herself loving the music as she dances with her pompoms around her bedroom. (Come on, I know I’m not the only one who’s done this too!)
Watch the scene above. It’s so much fun and adorable, and while Cliff’s not even in the scene (besides his voice), it’s a sweet rom-com moment.
#3 A Romantic Kiss and HEA
Finally, we come to the ending. After the cheerleading competition is over, and Torrance and Missy did their best routine ever, Torrance and Cliff share a romantic kiss on the cheer mat. And it’s a good one! It’s the perfect happily ever after teen rom-com moment.
And that’s it, the adorable romance of Bring it On‘s Torrance and Cliff. May they continue to live on in teen rom-com film history. (I like to imagine that they eventually married, had kids, and are now coaching their kids’ cheer squads.)
Side Note: As a former cheerleader, I can attest, the spirit stick is a real thing!
Are you a fan of Bring it On? Did you enjoy the cute romance between Torrance and Cliff? Discuss your nostalgic memories of the Bring it On movie in the comments below!
Photos: Universal Pictures
ABOUT ROMANTIC MOMENT OF THE MONTH: If you enjoyed this article, check out our column, “Romantic Moment of the Month.” Near the end of every month (usually on a Saturday), we discuss a memorable romantic moment from film and television. One month we’ll pick a newer moment (recently aired), and then the next month, we’ll pick a past one. So, make sure to follow us, bookmark, or subscribe to find out our monthly picks!