Backstory to Brittany Murphy's Iconic "Clueless" Quote: 'You're a Virgin Who Can't Drive'

Brittany Murphy is perhaps best-known for her role as Tai in the cult-classic Clueless, released in 1995.

Her fame in the coming-of-age flick saw her grace our screens again in Sin City, Girl, Interrupted and Just Married, before tragically passing away aged 32, in 2009.

But the popularity of Clueless, which also starred Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash, hasn't waned in the decades since its release.

The impeccable outfits and catchy one-liners have seen it remain at the forefront of popular culture, and is still referenced today.

Which could be why the late actress is fondly remembered for her role as the high schooler, with one memorable quote in particular turned into countless memes and gifs.

During the film Tai chats with Cher, played by Silverstone, and reveals her crush on her ex-stepbrother, Josh, played by Paul Rudd. But the pair fall-out over it, as Tai utters her now-infamous line: "You're a virgin who can't drive."

In the years since the film's release the quote has been widely shared across various social media platforms, alongside a snap of Murphy a few years later with another quote.

"Actually, when I filmed it, I was a virgin who couldn't drive," Murphy is reported to have said in an interview. But the true inspiration for the quote wasn't Murphy, rather director Amy Heckerling.

nothing else just brittany murphy

— nats (@nataliaagayoso) October 12, 2021

She later revealed she drew on her own experiences for the salty remark, as she explained to Interview Magazine in 2018: "I was the last person that I was aware of to lose their virginity of my friends and the people I knew in school, and I failed the driving test five times when I got to Los Angeles. So that's how I felt. [That line] was purely personal."

It's not been a hit with just fans, as Silverstone, 45, claimed it was her favorite part of the movie as well.

Chatting about the movie at an expo, quoted the actress saying: "I love when she says, 'You're a virgin who can't drive.' It's just one of my favourite moments of the whole movie. It's just, her face scrunches up so good."

Despite Heckerling's revelation that she's the reason the line was written into the script, Murphy is hailed by fans as the embodiment of the burn.

“You’re a virgin who can’t drive,” still cuts deep. Brittany Murphy put her all into that line.

— Imago Bei (@nicole_symmonds) October 11, 2021

A snap of the two quotes was shared to Reddit's Movie Details forum last year, by fan BufordTeeJustice, which was upvoted more than 50,000 times.

And on Tuesday fan @nataliaagayoso shared the meme on Twitter, writing: "Nothing else just Brittany Murphy."

While @nicole_symmonds tweeted the gif on Monday, which she captioned: "'You're a virgin who can't drive,' still cuts deep. Brittany Murphy put her all into that line."

The circumstances around Murphy's death, on December 20, 2009, are re-examined in HBOs What Happened, Brittany Murphy, due to be screened on Thursday.

The documentary is billed as an "intimate, in-depth character portrait" of the late actress.

Her death was officially ruled as accidental, caused by pneumonia, anemia, and drug intoxication.

Photo of Brittany Murphy in 2006.
Photo of Brittany Murphy at the Happy Feet premier in London in 2006. A documentary released this week is exploring the actress' untimely death. Jon Furniss/Getty Images