Clueless Wiki

Melvin "Mel Hamilton" Horowitz is a character on the 1995 film, Clueless.


A gruff and successful workaholic litigator, he is constantly involved in big cases in Beverly Hills, where he lives with his teenage daughter Cher. Despite being divorced from Josh's mother, he tells his daughter "You divorce wives, not children" and is very protective of Cher, telling Christian: "If anything happens to my daughter, I've got a .45 and a shovel. I doubt anybody would miss you." He is based on the Emma character Mr. Henry Woodhouse.

Role in Clueless (film)[]

(Dan Hedaya in the film; Michael Lerner in the first TV season; Doug Sheehan in subsequent seasons)

Mel is a big-time lawyer. He is the father of Cher and step-father to Josh. He is, for the most part, a single man, having had a number of relationships prior to the events of Clueless; he is divorced from Josh's mother, whilst Cher's mother was deceased.

Mel is a highly protective father to Cher, heavily scrutinizing her dates (most famously in a sequence in which he tells Christian Stovitz: "I have a .45 and a shovel; I doubt anyone would miss you".) He also dislikes Cher wearing revealing outfits ("It looks like an underwear! Go upstairs and put something on over it.") Mel is, however, proud of his daughter's abilities, her good work for others, and her attempts to make herself better, including her debating skills ("Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades.")

Mel is also dedicated to his job and often allows Josh, a want to be environmental lawyer, to assist on his cases; he also accepts help from Cher on occasions, though Cher's ineptitude in this field means she is not as much use to her father ("I divided them into two piles. Is that wrong?").

In the film, a prop (an envelope) is seen giving Mel's surname as Hamilton; however, almost all other uses of the character's name show his surname as Horowitz.



Mel: Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades."

Mel: I have a .45 and a shovel; I doubt anyone would miss you"

Mel: I expect you to walk through this door in twenty minutes.

Mel: Everywhere in L.A takes twenty minutes.

Mel: What the hell is that?

Mel: Says who?