Monica, a high school tech whiz, is determined to become prom queen and planning to go to MIT or a state university. She prepares herself the day before prom so she can save time when it comes, and thinks nothing will go wrong. But on the big day, she suddenly wakes up having a bad hair day, and her destroyed prom dress, broken shoes, and everything that can go wrong does go badly wrong. While all this is happening, Monica's friend Sierra witnesses everything. Then, a doorbell is heard and Monica opens the door to a lady claiming to be an FBI agent. Liz seeks the necklace that Monica somehow ends up possessing, after buying it at an antique shop, wanting to recover it and get her job back. In verifying Liz's credentials, Monica discovers that Liz is not actually an FBI agent but a private investigator. Monica smartly deduces Liz's claim and she insists on coaxing Liz into giving her a ride around town to fix her hair, replace her outfit, and take her to get driving lessons in exchange for the necklace.
Prom day goes from bad to worse as the pair is pursued by Pierce Peters, an intelligent British jewel thief who is also pursuing the diamond to give it to a buyer. To make matters worse, she finds that she can't get an appointment to fix her hair or replace her dress and shoes. Furthermore, her supposed boyfriend Kyle has been cheating on her with her school rival Ashley who is also running for prom queen.
After Liz tries to retaliate by scaring Monica's boyfriend with an arrest on trumped-up charges, Liz gets arrested and Monica learns that Liz is a suspended police officer who has been scolded by the police chief from her department after her previous failures of catching Pierce. While Liz is being scolded, Monica meets her former partner Ed. Afterwards, Liz confesses that the necklace had a priceless diamond that was on display at a museum that was stolen by Peters, a crime she felt guilty for allowing to take place as she believed that she can handle it herself, instead of calling for backup. The diamond was on the verge of being sold to a shady buyer wearing "the safari look," but was passed along to someone else by mistake with a similar look, and had been lost in various exchanges.
When the time comes to take her driving lesson, she talks to the instructor, and Liz into letting them use her car, named Brando, when suddenly they encounter Pierce and are taken on a wild ride throughout the city. After Monica fails her driving lesson and Liz gets her car towed away, they argue over their predicament splitting the two of them up, when Pierce makes a phone call to Monica informing her that he had kidnapped her father. Monica and Liz work together to get the car back. Liz flirts with the man at the impound lot while Monica changes info on the computer.
Arriving at Pierce's hideout, Liz states that she can't transfer to another police station to get away from the police chief because the police chief is her mother. Monica and Liz are lured into a trap by Pierce, but they outsmart him where Liz actually called for backup this time. After being tasered by Liz, Pierce is arrested by the police who arrived with Ed.
Liz is reinstated on the force by her mother who has Ed book him and get the necklace down to evidence. Liz then sorts out Monica's hair and clothes. Monica and Liz go to the prom (with a full police procession) where Sierra tells Monica she's been voted prom queen after Kyle cheating on Ashley went viral. Monica tells the crowd that being perfect is overrated, and all enjoy the night. She also decides to go to MIT. They both enjoyed the prom, Liz danced with Ed and Monica as the prom queen.Laura Marano as Monica
Leigh-Allyn Baker as Liz
Christian Campbell as Pierce
Alain Goulem as Monica's Dad
Christian Paul as Ed
Kiana Madeira as Sierra
Jake Manley as Kyle Timmons
Zoé De Grand Maison as Ashley
Susan Almgren as Chief Edna Morgan
Filming occurred in the city of Montreal, Quebec. In an interview with Variety, Baker said, "I wanted to executive produce because I wanted to see what it was like to build and fulfill a vision from the ground up, and since this was Disney Channel’s first movie with an adult lead, I wanted that role to be protected and I wanted the movie to have my creative stamp on it." She also liked that she got to work on the Disney movie because it taps into her family unit fanbase. Marano also mentioned that it was her first DCOM. Filming took place in Montreal, standing in for an unnamed American city. Marano noted that in contrast to Austin & Ally which had four cameras and shot about ten scenes a day, the film shot with fewer cameras and fewer scenes, one of which took the entire day.
Marano said that she likes that her character embodies two normally contrasting high school cliches – a prom queen nominee who likes beauty and fashion and is popular, and a computer whiz who has a nerdy tech obsession and codes. She also likes that she relates with her character when deciding whether to go to the state college or MIT.
The film's soundtrack was composed by Michael Corriveau. He mixed over 60 minutes of music with Sylvain Lefebvre of Lamajeure. According to the Lamajeure website, the soundtrack used pop, rhythmic and classical music. Corriveau worked with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague, and the recording was done at the Dvorak Hall at the Rudolfinum.
The feature song is "For the Ride" by Laura Marano. The song used in the trailer was "Nuthin'" by Lecrae. Other songs include: "Rooftop" by Skylar Stecker, "Colorful World" by Shayna Rose, "All Over The World" by The Fooo Conspiracy, "Happy Place" feat. Hanna Ashbook by Oh, Hush!, and "Heatroc" feat. Lazarus by Agzilla.
The film was first released on February 6, 2015 on WATCH Disney Channel, and had its premiere broadcast in the US on February 13. It premiered in Canada on the Family Channel on March 20, and in Australia on April 17.
Bad Hair Day delivered 4.0 million viewers for its television premiere and has had 435,000 views on the WATCH Disney Channel app since it was released on February 6. Amy Amatangelo of The Hollywood Reporter found the duo of Baker and Marano "played well off each other", and that Marano's character was "refreshingly age-appropriate". She found the movie to be goofy but not slapsticky, and that it was "like a junior version of Thelma and Louise albeit with a much, much happier ending."