35 Details You Might Have Missed in ’10 Things I Hate About You’

To set the scene, keep in mind that “10 Things I Hate About You” is based on William Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew.”

heath ledger and julia stiles in 10 things i hate about you


Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in “10 Things I Hate About You.”

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“10 Things” isn’t the only adaptation of this work — most famously, the ’50s musical “Kiss Me Kate,” the ’60s western “McLintock!,” and the 2003 rom-com “Deliver Us from Eva” are all based on the saga of Katherine, Bianca, Petruchio, and Hortensio.

That means that many of the main characters’ names in the film are based on the characters of the play.

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Julia Stiles in “10 Things I Hate About You.”

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Kat (Julia Stiles) and Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) have the same names as in the play, and Petruchio gets changed to Patrick (Heath Ledger).

Lucentio, on the other hand, gets switched to the way more common Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), which is probably a nod to the fact that Lucentio disguises himself as a Latin tutor named Cambio. Cameron tutors French in the film.

The obnoxious Joey (Andrew Keegan) is a combination of Hortensio and Gremio, though there is also a Joseph in “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Some of the characters’ last names are nods to places in the Shakespeare canon.

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Heath Ledger in “10 Things I Hate About You.”

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Biana and Kat’s last name is Stratford, as in Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of Shakespeare himself.

Patrick’s last name, Verona, is a nod to the Italian city where Petruchio comes from in the play. Fair Verona is also famously where Shakespeare lays the scene in “Romeo and Juliet.”

The name of the school, Padua High School in Seattle, is a reference to Padua, Italy, where the play takes place.



Padua High School.

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“The Taming of the Shrew” is the only play of Shakespeare’s that takes place in Padua, though Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” says he’s from there.

The Shakespeare nods continue throughout. Kat’s best friend, Mandella, has a huge crush on the playwright.

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Mandella getting her prom dress.

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Mandella’s locker is covered in portraits of the playwright, and Michael, Cameron’s friend played by David Krumholtz, eventually gets her to go to prom with him by writing her a secret note signed “William S.” Mandella is played by Susan May Pratt.

The theme of Padua’s prom is “Blasting Into 2000,” complete with a poster turning the school into a rocket.

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One of the many prom posters that Kat rips down.

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“10 Things” was released in March 1999.

Guidance counselor Ms. Perky’s office is covered in posters for a Romance Novel Writers Conference in the Pacific Northwest.

romance conference 10 things


Ms. Perky’s office.

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It makes sense — in both scenes she appears in, Ms. Perky is simultaneously doing her job and working on an erotic novel.

Ms. Perky is played by future Oscar and Emmy winner Allison Janney. This film premiered six months before she began playing CJ Cregg in “The West Wing,” her breakthrough role.

Cameron directly quotes “The Taming of the Shrew” after seeing Bianca for the first time, declaring: “I burn, I pine, I perish.”

cameron saying i burn i pine i perish


Cameron directly quoting Shakespeare.

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Lucentio, Cameron’s analog in the original play, confesses his love for Bianca to his friend Tranio in act one, scene one.

Cameron declares his love for Bianca to Michael around five minutes into the film.

In Mr. Morgan’s classroom, there’s an entire bulletin board display about England, Shakespeare’s homeland.

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The England display.

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Note that student with the mohawk in the back room — he’ll pop up again.

Kat describes herself as “tempestuous.” Of course, one of Shakespeare’s most famous works is “The Tempest.”

tempestuous 10 things i hate about you


That’s not how others see Kat, though.

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Ms. Perky corrects her by telling her that other students actually call her a “heinous b—-.”

One of the cliques that Michael calls out are the cowboys — and they take their roles seriously. They’re even eating canned beans in the background of one scene.

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Canned beans.

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They also rock huge belt buckles and 10-gallon hats.

After Kat almost runs him over, Michael calls her a “shrew.”

just a minor encounter with the shrew


Michael quotes the name of the play.

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It’s one of two references to the title of the play.

Later on in the scene, Michael also uses the word “rampallian,” which is a burn worthy of Shakespeare — he uses the word in “Henry IV, Part 2.”

rampallian 10 things


All three words are brutal.

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Merriam-Webster defines rampallian as “a good-for-nothing scoundrel.”

Kat asks Mr. Morgan why they can’t read any female authors like Sylvia Plath. Later on, she takes matters into her own hands and reads Plath’s novel “The Bell Jar” at home.

the bell jar 10 things


“The Bell Jar.”

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In another scene, you can spot Kat reading “The Brontës: Three Great Novels,” a compilation of three of the Brontë sisters’ most famous works: “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.”

One of the low-key antagonists of the film is Bogey Lowenstein: He kicks Michael out of the future MBAs and nails a teacher in the head with a golf ball.

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Bogey Lowenstein.

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In order to get revenge, Michael turns Bogey’s sophisticated wine and cheese night into a house-destroying rager. It’s his party that Kat, Bianca, Joey, Cameron, Michael, and Patrick all attend.

Even though Patrick claims that everyone is afraid of him, he does have one friend who is by his side in biology, shop, and gym class.

patrick's one friend



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Although his name is never said out loud, according to the credits, he’s called Scurvy.

The other reference to the title of the play comes from Patrick, when he asks if Michael and Cameron will help him “tame” Kat.

taming of the shrew


It’s all part of their scheme.

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Side note: Kat’s really not that bad — definitely not “wild beast” level.

Even though his full name is said plenty of times, Joey still calls Bogey “Lowenbrau,” not Lowenstein.

bogey lowenbrau


Bianca’s starting to get it.

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It’s very easy to miss, but the first person in the door is poor Nigel and his plate of Brie. He’s swept into the house with the rest of the party-crashers.

Cameron and Bianca hang out at this strange statue under a bridge during one scene. It’s a real statue you can visit called the Fremont Troll.

fremont troll 10 things i hate about you


The Fremont Troll.

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It’s located under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle.

When Cameron and Bianca go into Kat’s room to snoop, there are plenty of nuggets to glean from her decor.

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Kat’s room.

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Just a few of the posters visible: posters for Ednaswap (best known for the original version of “Torn”), “RockCrown” by Seven Mary Three, “Whirlygig” by the Lovemongers, and for “Mr. Funny Face” by Sprung Monkey.

Sprung Monkey’s song “Get ‘Em Outta Here” can be heard in the film.

The band that Kat and Mandella go to see at Club Skunk is actually Letters to Cleo.

letters to cleo 10 things i hate aboout you


Letters to Cleo.

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The band performs their songs “Come On” and “Co-Pilot.” They also have two songs on the soundtrack, covers of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” and Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to Be Kind,” which they perform at prom with Save Ferris.

Right before Bogey’s house gets totally trashed, he assumes the doorbell is ringing because Nigel has arrived with the Brie — and he’s not wrong!

nigel with the brie


Nigel did, in fact, bring the Brie.

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It’s very easy to miss, but the first person in the door is poor Nigel and his plate of Brie. He’s swept into the house with the rest of the party-crashers.

Two guys appear to be doing the “Night at the Roxbury” head movement in matching hats at Bogey’s party.

night at the roxbury



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“A Night at the Roxbury,” a film based on the popular “SNL” sketch starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, was released the year before, in October 1998, making it a pretty topical reference at the time.

The song “Cruel to Be Kind” plays throughout the film. It’s a reference to a different Shakespeare play, “Hamlet.”

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Letters to Cleo performs the song.

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“Cruel to Be Kind” first plays on the radio while Patrick drives Kat home from the party. Letters to Cleo then perform it at prom.

The actual “Hamlet” quote is “I must be cruel only to be kind.”

Mr. Morgan raps part of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 141,” which is seemingly relevant for all of our main characters.

mr morgan the sonnnet


Mr. Morgan.

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The sonnet is all about loving someone for who they are inside, not for their beauty or how they try to make themselves appear to other people.

Kat and Patrick learn not to judge each other by their steely exteriors, Cameron learns to love Bianca because of her personality, not her looks, and Bianca chooses Cameron, who’s a bit dorky, over the handsome yet horrible Joey.

Mr. Morgan then assigns the class to write their own sonnets in the style of Shakespeare, leading to the titular list of things Kat hates.

A poster that hangs in Mr. Morgan’s classroom is a quote by Gamaliel Bailey, a famous journalist and abolitionist.

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The quote.

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Bailey was the editor of “The National Era,” an anti-slavery newspaper.

When trying to encourage Patrick, Michael quotes another Shakespeare sonnet, “Sonnet 56,” by saying “Sweet love, renew thy force.”

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“Sweet love, renew thy force.”

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Patrick, predictably, hates it.

The detention sign-in list is filled with nods to the film’s crew.

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The list of names.

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The list includes Max Chernov, whose father Jeffrey produced the film, his assistant Chuck Rapp, production assistant Hope Garrison, unit production manager Ross Fanger, and first assistant editor Brett Carroll. Of course, Patrick’s name is on there too.

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