Travis Birkenstock is Definitively the Best Character in Clueless

Travis Birkenstock is Definitively the Best Character in Clueless

By Hilary Loverher

Listen, some of you might be thinking, “Wait...Travis.  The burnout?” And to that I say, “Yes, absolutely. He’s a treasure.” Travis is, and I can’t stress this enough, the purest character Clueless has to offer us. In this chaotic, mad world we simply don’t deserve him.

1. He takes responsibility for his actions...


From his tardy record to his 12 step program, Travis is accepting of all of his flaws and owns up to them. While Cher argues her way out of most situations, like her truancies, Travis accepts the consequences for what they are. He made his choices and he ate those egg McMuffins. He takes his bow and moves on. Bravo, sir!

2. He likes Tai for her talents, not just her looks...

Travis never once asks Tai to change, nor does he want her to. He takes an interest in her art and doesn’t expect her to owe him anything from his compliments. I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with him?

3. He leads with the best intentions (however misguided)...

Sure, he ruins Cher’s shoes--shoes she doesn’t even remember by spring semester--and makes a joke about it.  But let’s be real: he was trying to diffuse a tense situation. As someone who grew up with the nickname “Hilary Spillary,” I can attest to this: sometimes, all you can do is laugh about it. He realizes his mistake and quickly feels bad. How can you hold that against him?

4. He doesn’t force himself on Tai (or anyone for that matter)...

I mean, until Dionne or Cher came around, Tai is always welcoming Travis’ advances. He doesn’t overstep, he doesn’t come on too strong, and he doesn’t put Tai in a situation where she doesn’t feel comfortable (unlike those mall rats she finds...).

5. He recognizes his faults and tries to better himself despite them…

He doesn’t have to hurt someone to go through a deep personal transformation, like most teen-movie dudes. Travis changes because he wants to improve himself, not to prove a point. It’s so refreshing!

6. He’s hella forgiving...

Regardless of how mean Cher and co. were, Travis doesn’t hold any of that against them. He is genuinely the most optimistic ray of sunshine this film could bless us with.

7. He never, not once, plays the malicious card…

Travis never sinks down to the level of those around him. Regardless of how hurt his feelings are by Tai’s pettiness or Cher’s stuck-up attitude, he doesn’t lash out; he knows who he is, and instead of turning on others, he just begins to better himself.  BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE BEST PEOPLE DO.

8. He invests time in himself instead of pining over Tai…

He doesn’t try to make her jealous. He doesn’t try to spite her. He doesn’t try to hurt her. He doesn’t try to win her over despite her rebuffs. Some nice guys finish last, but he skates hard and finishes first.

9. He is inclusive of everyone…

Party in the Valley? You’re invited. Skate competition? You’re invited. Did you wrong him or insult him? He’ll still be nice to you. HE CAN DO NO WRONG.

10. (Not that it matters but) He’s cute af…

Travis doesn’t get NEARLY enough of the credit he deserves for being one of Clueless’ resident cuties.  If he wasn’t your crush for a hot minute, then you haven’t really lived and I feel bad for you.

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