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Fair is fair!
A 1985 film starring Helen Slater and Christian Slater (no relation in real life), about a small group of Texas teens who become outlaws after they are accused of attempted murder.
The trouble starts when Billie Jean and her brother Binx get into a squabble with a local bully, Hubie Pyatt. Hubie escalates the war by beating up Binx and vandalizing his motor scooter. When Billie Jean goes to seek reimbursement from Hubie's father, a local businessman, the sleazy Mr. Pyatt instead attempts to rape her; and, in the process of trying to rescue her, Binx accidentally shoots him.
Now the siblings, along with their friends Putter and Ophelia, are on the run from the law, as Mr. Pyatt quickly sics the cops (who had previously refused to pursue the vandalism) on them. While on the lam, they meet Lloyd, the son of the District Attorney, who chooses to join them as a "hostage". At this point Billie Jean, inspired by an old movie about Joan Of Arc, cuts her hair, changes her whole persona and begins making her own demands for justice. But can a bunch of kids really stand up to the long arm of the law?
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Parents: Putter's mom, and the father of a little boy, Kenny, that Billie Jean rescues.
- Breakaway Pop Hit: Pat Benatar's "Invincible"
- Chekhov's Gun: Putter's marbles.
- Girlish Pigtails: Putter.
- Groin Attack
- I Am Spartacus: Several teenage girls turn themselves in to the police claiming to be Billie Jean, but Lt. Ringwald knows her and sends them home.
- Important Haircut: Billie Jean does this halfway through the movie. It serves two purposes: 1) the new look invokes comparisons to Joan Of Arc (more specifically, a Classic Hollywood depiction of her); and 2) it marks her shift from passive, fleeing Distressed Damsel to tough "We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore" badass (see Crowning Music of Awesome, above).
- More soberingly, when Putter is struck by her own mother, the younger teen grabs some scissors, holds them up defiantly as if to ward off -- or strike -- another blow, and then grimly uses them to hack off her own hair.
- Jeanne D Archetype
- Jerkass: Hubie and, later, his father
- No Periods, Period: Utterly averted; furthermore, the moment is simultaneously Played for Drama and For Laughs.
- Police Are Useless: The scooter vandalism which sparks off the whole plot is dutifully reported to the local police, but they choose not to act.
- Shallow Love Interest: Lloyd.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Lt. Ringwald.
- Those Two Guys: Putter and Ophelia
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Taken quite literally as the gang sets up a public hostage exchange; Billie Jean wears a wig to infiltrate the crowd, and Binx wears a dress to impersonate Billie Jean.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Semi-example, with copious amounts of Never My Fault: Mr. Pyatt's gunshot wound, which he plays up for sympathy, is very real and was actually caused by those he accuses. Nonetheless, the trope is played straight as A) the gunshot was accidental yet he paints it as intentional; and B) he uses it as an excuse to persecute the heroes and also to downplay his and his son's own wrongdoings.
- Wrongful Accusation Insurance: While on the run, Billie Jean and her gang break into a home to steal food, shoplift toys to use during an amateur sting operation, and try to steal a car. For the toys, at least, Billie Jean leaves IOU notes.