Nods to ‘Grease’ in the New ‘Rise of the Pink Ladies’ Series

Grease nods in Pink Ladies show
Paramount+/Everett Collection

The new musical series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is now streaming on Paramount+ and is centered around the events of Rydell High, four years before Danny and Sandy fell in love. While it follows a new group of teenage girls who call themselves the Pink Ladies, Grease fans should be happy to know that there are many references to the 1978 film sprinkled throughout the episodes. There are over twenty in the first two episodes alone! Let’s talk about some of the best ones.

The series began with similar lines as the film. Jane asks Buddy, “This isn’t the end?” He replies, “Of course not, it’s only the beginning.” In the musical film, Sandy asked Danny, “Is this the end?” He replies with the same sentence, “Of course not, it’s only the beginning.” The title of the first episode is called “We’re gonna rule the school,” based on something Rizzo says in the film as they head into their first day of school as seniors. It seems that all of the episode titles may be a throwback to Grease. The second episode is titled “Too Pure To Be Pink,” a nod to the line where Rizzo says that Sandy “looks too pure to be pink.”

‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ pays tribute to ‘Grease’

GREASE, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, 1978

Paramount/Everett Collection

Of course, since it is a musical series, it is only fitting that they sing songs from Grease. The first musical number you hear in Rise of the Pink Ladies is Frankie Valli‘s “Grease (From ‘Grease’),” which was the song in the opening credits of Grease. Several of the characters and hangouts in the series were inspired by the film. Jane’s little sister is nicknamed Frenchy by her friend Betty Rizzo. Many of the kids hang out at The Frosty Palace, where Sandy, Danny, and their pals were known to visit. The backdrop of “Greased Lightning” in the film is at Rydell’s auto body shop. The T-Birds in Pink Ladies are seen there when they start a musical number.

GREASE, John Travolta (front), 1978

Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

There are very small nods that only true Grease fans may notice too. Assistant Principal McGee plays the xylophone before announcements and wears flowers on her clothing just like Principal McGee did in the movie. While there are mainly new characters in the series, some of them are very reminiscent of the characters in Grease. For instance, Dot reminds fans of Jan with pigtails and she even shoves cake in her mouth during the sleepover scene.

Grease Rise of the Pink Ladies


Speaking of the sleepover scene, it seems almost perfectly recreated with a musical number during a sleepover with outfits similar to the film. How many other references have you found? If you don’t have Paramount+, you can still watch the first full episode on YouTube! We think Olivia would be proud.

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July 2022

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