Spice World: Ranking the film's 42 greatest elements
The Very Best of 'Spice World'
In January 1998, the Spice Girls released Spice World, a master class in the art of not taking oneself too seriously. Filled with self-aware digs at the Girls, the movie was not only hilariously over-the-top, but it reinforced the Spice Girls' firm stance on feminism and all things "girl power." In honor of the release's anniversary, we're reliving all of the film's greatest moments ... and there are quite a few.
When all of the bathrooms on the Spice Bus break down, the girls are forced to pull over to the side of the road to do their business. But what they discover in the woods is more than we could've ever hoped: There's a UFO! And that's not all! When a group of aliens walk off the UFO, all they ask for is an autograph (or five) and a photo to remember their experience. And then the movie just goes on like everything that just happened was totally normal. Also, LOOK AT THOSE ALIENS.
2. The Spice Bus, Interior
Every young girl who watched this movie wished she lived on the Spice Bus. Baby had a slide and a swing, Posh had a runway, Ginger had a couch shaped like lips, Sporty had a miniature gym, and Scary had animal print everything. They even had fireman's poles to slide down. And a fish tank. So yes, it was incredibly unsafe, but its cool factor protected it from any accidents, so it's fine.
3. Sporty’s Belly-Flop
When hosting two young winners of a fan competition, the Spice Girls decide to take an impromptu boat ride. Their boat driver gets a little distracted by the beautiful women on his boat and ends up swerving to avoid hitting a log, throwing both children — and Posh — overboard. But don't worry, Sporty is there to save the day ... with a lethal belly-flop that will forever be a top highlight of the film. (It's safe to say that diving is not her sport of choice.)
4. The Final Bus Chase
There aren't enough wonderful words in the world to describe this sequence. The Spice Girls are rushing to make their final concert ... by standing on top of the bus? Then there's a miniature toy bus jumping the bridge, and wait, is that a bomb? This movie knew it was campy and cheesy, and boy, did it have fun with it.
5. The World's Sneakiest Photographer
The photographer hired to document the Spice Girls and force their breakup went to great lengths for his job. Hey, remember that time he CLIMBED OUT OF A TOILET? Someone get this man a raise!
6. The Spice Bus, Exterior
With the Union Jack on both sides, a peace sign on the back, and "SpiceBus No. 19" across the front, the girls were riding in serious style.
7. Roger Moore as The Chief
This film got James freakin' Bond to use a bedazzled martini shaker, say things like "When the speeding melon hits the wall, it's Christmas for the crows," and pet a baby pig. Any questions?
8. Scary’s Space Suit
Which she just casually wears to multiple rehearsals and no one says a thing.
9. Motherhood Daydream
When the Spice Girls imagine how motherhood would change them, we get Baby, who's lost count of what pregnancy she's on, Posh, who's sending her children to boarding school, and Sporty, who's trying desperately to work off the extra baby weight. And it's glorious.
10. The Cameos
Not only do the girls casually bump into (and possibly assault) Elton John, but later in the film, right after Deborah talks about how fame is "fickle," she gets served by Elvis Costello, now working as a bartender. Don't tell us that isn't brilliant.
11. Alan Cumming
If there's anything better than watching Alan Cumming be out-smarted by the Spice Girls, it's watching him do it while wearing all-jean everything.
12. Ginger Spice's outfits
Jessica Rabbit would be proud.
13. Kevin McMaxford Literally Makes it Rain
Spice World understands what it means to be a great villain: It means spitting a lot, and being able to literally make it rain indoors when you get upset.
14. Mr. Step's Boot Camp
The ladies join Mr. Step for a dance lesson, but end up marching through an obstacle course chanting, "We're the Spice Girls, yes indeed. Just girl power is all we need. We know how we got this far. Strength and courage and a Wonderbra." GENIUS.
15. The Spice Force Five
Of all the fake movie pitches in this film, Spice Force Five is the best. No other idea had Baby as a martial arts expert, Sporty as a counter-espionage agent, Scary as an explosives expert, Ginger as a master of disguise, and Posh as a ... cat? Whatever, we'd watch that movie.
16. "Based on an Idea By The Spice Girls & Kim Fuller"
Based on an idea ... can you even imagine?
17. The Way Scary Says "Go"
When Scary says "go," you "go."
18. Those Colorful Robes (and That Colorful Tent)
Don't even try to tell me that you watched this movie and didn't instantly ask your mother for a beautiful tent-robe combination for your next sleepover.
19. The Milan Performance
For one thing, this was a great performance of "Leader of the Gang" that would get any fan pumped. And then pair that with the naked butts of Italian men, and suddenly, it's even better.
20. Meat Loaf as Dennis
Only Spice World could take Bat Out of Hell rocker Meat Loaf and turn him into Dennis, a harmless bus driver who can't get over how catchy "Mama" is.
21. The Oh-So-Meta Filmmakers
By adding in a pair of filmmakers determined to make a Spice Girls movie, Spice World finds yet another way to make fun of itself. Plus, if it weren't for these guys, we wouldn't have Spice Force Five or the final bus chase. So perhaps they're the real heroes of this film?
22. Running Stairs Set to the 'Rocky' Theme
If there was ever a moment to play the Rocky theme music, it's when the Spice Girls are running up stairs — in heels — to get to their big show. Sylvester Stallone would be proud.
23. Clifford's Monochromatic Suits
Clifford might be the Spice Girls' manager, but what's most important about him is his inability to wear more than one color at once.
24. "Spice Up Your Life" Performance
Slam it to the left ... if you're having a good time. (Spoiler: You are.)
25. All of the Platform Shoes
Ridiculously high platforms were a Spice Girls signature, so obviously they made multiple memorable appearances.
26. Opening Credits
Is this a Bond film? Is this the '70s? Whatever it is, we're in.
27. "Wannabe" Performance
Before they were famous, the Spice Girls spent their nights drinking coffee at a pizza shop and promising that they'd make it big one day. And to prove it? They put on an impromptu performance of "Wannabe," complete with salt shakers, Baby's prep school sweater, and Sporty's (somewhat spastic) dance moves.
28. That Time They Took Nicola Out Clubbing and She Went into Labor
Even though their friend is nine months pregnant, the girls still think that a night on the town is always the answer. And when Nicola goes into labor, they turn into helpful midwives, armed with rubber gloves and absolutely no medical knowledge. Because if anyone can properly deliver your baby, it's the Spice Girls.
29. End Credits
Taking the camp factor to another level, the film ends with the Spice Girls realizing that they're being watched and addressing the audience directly, even encouraging the couple in the theater to enjoy themselves. See, they care about their fans!
30. Role Reversals
Sick of feeling stuck in their designated roles, the girls use a photo shoot to dress as one another. And if seeing Sporty dressed as Posh isn't everything you've ever wanted, well, you're not a real Spice Girls fan.
31. Their Rocking Rehearsal Band
As the girls perform "Say You'll Be There," it's the rehearsal band that stands out as the real rock stars. Talk about joy.
32. Everyone Dancing
During the final performance of "Spice Up Your Life," the camera fittingly cuts to the other characters in the film dancing, including the aliens, Nicola's newborn baby, Roger Moore — who's doing the Soulja Boy? — and Meat Loaf. Bet you never thought you'd see those four things in one scene, did you? Spice World taught us to #dreambig
33. Posh Yells at an Unconscious Child
When the girls take Nicola to the hospital, a couple of parents come over and ask if they'll talk to their unconscious son to see if it will wake him up. (Fame is a superpower, you know.) The real debate is what exactly woke him up: Posh screaming at him or Geri mentioning taking her top off. (Hint: Definitely the latter.)
34. Hugh Laurie
Fun fact: Before House, Hugh Laurie was known for playing "that weird guy with a mustache in Spice World."
35. That time Baby slaps Posh
Sure, Posh asks for it, but still. BABY slaps POSH.
36. Dominic West
Fun fact: Before The Affair, Dominic West was known as "that hot photographer with great hair in Spice World."
37. This Woman's Hairdo
Honestly. The '90s were the best.
38. Baby’s Lollipops
You KNOW you went out and bought a whole pack of those lollipops after the movie. (And your dentist hated you for it.)