Tina Fey named ‘Mean Girls’ character Glen Coco after a real person. Here’s what he thinks about it, nearly 20 years later.

One throwaway line in Mean Girls has loomed over a Southern California dad for decades. He mostly thinks it’s funny.

“I get a laugh sometimes when I purchase something using my credit card,” Glenn Cocco told Yahoo Entertainment. “There are a lot of different generations exposed to the movie, so sometimes it’s inescapable.”

The 61-year-old film editor’s name is part of one of the most recognizable lines in recent film history, though it’s spelled differently in the script.

“Four for you, Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco!” Damian Leigh (Daniel Franzese) says while dressed as Santa and delivering an impressive handful of “candy cane grams” to a passive brunette student, portrayed by background actor David Reale. Reale didn’t expect the line to blow up either, for the record. He told Dazed in 2014 that he wasn’t even paid for the role.

Coco’s character doesn’t even appear elsewhere in the movie. He merely demonstrates that receiving candy canes is important social capital, so cracks continue to develop among the popular “Plastics” when Gretchen Weiners doesn’t receive a single one. Also, the name Glen Coco is fun to say.

In a December interview with Fandango promoting the movie adaptation of the Mean Girls musical that premieres in theaters on Jan. 12, screenwriter Tina Fey said that “You go, Glen Coco” was her favorite line from the movie. A clip from that interview went viral on TikTok.

“It was just my brother’s friend’s name … when I was writing the movie the first time, I was just using random names,” Fey said in the video. “Now I’ve ruined his life. He’s really nice about it, but he’s just a dad living here in Los Angeles.

“Thanks again, Glenn, for not being mad about it!” she added.

Cocco — the real-life one — confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that he is, indeed, not mad at all. “It’s funny to me that Tina thinks she ruined my life,” he said.

Though jokes about his name sometimes seem “inescapable,” people are not doing him any harm when they jokingly insist “four for you!” or ask, “Did you know your name is used in a movie?”

As Fey mentioned in her Fandango interview, Cocco has been friends with her brother, Peter, for a long time. They grew up together in the same neighborhood outside of Philadelphia and attended the same high school and college.

Cocco told Yahoo Entertainment that he was visiting Tina and Peter’s parents in Pennsylvania when they told him that they had seen a rough cut of Mean Girls on VHS and his name was mentioned.

“I promptly forgot about it, but when Tina invited me to the West Coast premiere, I was still in the cut,” he said. “I may have been the only one who laughed at it during that screening.”

Cocco himself works in film, and he said that it’s common to use friends’ names and photos to help with completing a film.

What’s most impressive to Cocco is the staying power of the movie. The number of references people make to his name in public hasn’t significantly changed over time because it’s so ubiquitous to “girls of a certain age,” he said. It doesn’t matter that the original movie is now almost 20 years old.

“The script is so funny, there are multiple lines you can quote from it,” he said. “It’s no different from young men quoting a Bill Murray or John Hughes film.”

Though he’s constantly exposed to jokes — and even T-shirts — involving a misspelling of his name for the past two decades, Cocco said, “It’s really been harmless.”

“My friends and family all get a kick out of it. It’s just the name that gets recognized, not me,” he said. Though he added, “I’ve never even been able to get a restaurant reservation because of it.”

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