It’s easy to wax nostalgic about films from your childhood. You might remember them as funny and heart-warming, but if you take a chance to watch them as an adult, you are going to realize there are a lot of kids’ movies that are surprisingly inappropriate. Filmmakers know parents often see films with their kids, so they add some adult content to make it entertaining for everyone.
The adult movie humor that went over your head in childhood may seem obvious now, but often the adult humor is a quick line that flies low under the radar. Some of these movies you never realized are inappropriate will have you thinking, “how was this given a PG-rating?” Well, all the dirty jokes you missed in childhood favorites are illuminated here.
Ray Has A Sexual Encounter With A Ghost And Peter Brought Predator Drugs On A Date In ‘Ghostbusters’
The original Ghostbusters and its sequel, Ghostbusters II, may have been a little too grown-up for a PG rating. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) receives oral pleasure from a seductive and wispy ghost lady. How do you explain that one to the kids?
There is another joke in the film that simply shouldn’t fly with any audience. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) says he knocked out his date, the demonically-possessed Donna (Sigourney Weaver) with 300CCs of Thorazine; Thorazine was a popular method of date-raping in the ’70s and ’80s. Also, 300CCs is a dose large enough to kill six adults. Venkman did not know Donna was possessed at this time, so he didn’t bring it on his date to sedate a demon.
Actors: Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy, + more
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ Features A Brief Glimpse Into A Whos’ Swinger Key Party
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is marketed towards kids, but some grown-up jokes make it totally fun to watch for adults as well. While the film is squeaky-clean for the most part, there is one joke that may have flown over some grown-ups’ heads, too: a reference to swinging.
In the scene, a newly-flown-in baby Grinch finds himself outside the window of a Who annual holiday party. He looks disturbed as to what he sees inside: Whos putting their keys in a big bowl. Either the Whos were having a swingers’ key party, or the host anticipated the Whos to get so wasted they weren’t allowed to drive home. Either way, not the most kid-friendly.
Actors: Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taylor Momsen, Ron Howard, + more
Directed by: Ron Howard
‘The Mask’ Includes Condom Balloon Animals
The Mask starring Jim Carry looks to be your typical whacky, kid-friendly movie. In fact, kids loved it so much the movie spawned an animated TV series from 1995-1997. The movie is tame for the most part, but there are some adult jokes millennial tots probably missed.
In the film, Mask makes a bunch of balloon animals for some criminals. As he’s pulling deflated balloons from his pocket, he pulls out a condom and remarks, “Whoops, wrong pocket.” The other questionable content is the physically abusive relationship between Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) and her gangster boyfriend, Dorian Tyrell (Peter Greene).
Actors: Cameron Diaz, Jim Carrey, Ben Stein, Amy Yasbeck, Joely Fisher, + more
Directed by: Chuck Russell
‘The Brady Bunch’ Movies Make Intrafamilial Relationship Jokes And Alice Accidentally Drugs Everyone
Lots of people grew up watching The Brady Bunch. You know, the story of a lovely lady… yada, yada, yada. While the Brady family from the popular TV show was as wholesome as could be, the ‘90s movie versions The Brady Bunch and A Very Brady Sequel were very un-Brady-like.
The Brady Bunch movies were inspired by Mel Brooks-style parodies, and if you know anything about his films, they’re not exactly kid material. Since the movies are about the Bradys, it’s easy to see how kids would get a kick out of it, though a lot of the adult scenarios might fly right over their little heads.
So, what’s some of this inappropriate material? Well, for one, there are constant intrafamilial innuendos and a kiss between the two eldest siblings, Marcia and Greg. Even though they are not related by blood it still feels… gross.
In the sequel, Carol’s first husband, Roy (Tim Matheson), eats a bunch of shrooms. Alice finds the bag and adds it to the pasta dish at dinner. Fortunately, the rest of the Bradys don’t feel a thing cause they’re already “far out.”
Actors: RuPaul, Christine Taylor, Shelley Long, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, + more
Directed by: Betty Thomas
‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ Features A Creepy Baby Who Hits On Women, Alcoholism, And A Hyper-Sexualized Jessica Rabbit
Just because a movie is animated and given a PG rating, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for children. The PG-13 rating wasn’t established until 1984, but Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) was still given a PG rating despite being loaded with adult content.
For one, there’s the cigar smoking baby who says, “The problem is that I’ve got a 50-year-old lust and a 3-year-old dinky.” There’s also the extremely pneumatic Jessica Rabbit who is more sexualized than any femme fatale of noir films meant for adults. Oh, and Roger has a major drinking problem, and there’s enough booze, violence and, ehmm … patty-cake to make a Scorsese film blush.
Actors: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins, Mel Blanc, Frank Welker, + more
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Has A Slew Of Phallic Innuendos
The much-beloved Mrs. Doubtfire is about a hip old granny who can hip-hop, bebop, dance ‘til ya drop, yo-yo, and make a wicked cup of cocoa. It’s a heartwarming movie that teaches kids valuable lessons about divorce. The film has a PG-13 rating in the US, but many felt it was OK to show their children at a young age.
But you simply can’t have a movie starring Robin Williams without some filthy-mouthed sexual euphemisms. As Doubtfire, Williams goes on a rant with his ex-wife’s new love interest, Stu (Pierce Brosnan), about how his expensive new gift means he’s trying to buy her into bed. “Hide the weasel,” “sink the sub,” and “rumpleforeskin” are a few of the innuendos Mrs. Doubtfire throws at Stu.
Actors: Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field, Mara Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, + more
Directed by: Chris Columbus, Chuck Jones
‘Hocus Pocus’ Wouldn’t Have Happened Without A Virgin To Light The Candle
Hangings, witches being burned alive, virgins lighting stuff on fire, zombies, excessive cleavage, roadkill… Hocus Pocus has a lot of adult themes. However, there are a couple throw-away lines that are really gross.vThere is one scene where the Sanderson sisters are getting on a bus and tell the sleazy bus driver that they “desire children,” to which he responds, “It might take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think that’d be a problem.” Yuck.
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Thora Birch, Penny Marshall, Kathy Najimy, + more
Directed by: Kenny Ortega
The ‘Shrek’ Franchise Sprinkles Drug And Sex References Throughout
Shrek – in all its installments – is a great source of entertainment for the entire family. Watching this as an adult, you’ll quickly pick up on lots of grown-up content. In Shrek 2, for instance, Puss in Boots gets arrested for “catnip,” and claims “it’s not mine.” There’s also a reference to the OJ Simpson high-speed chase, when human-Shrek rides donkey (transformed into a white Bronco). In the first installment, there’s a few references to Lord Farquaad’s, ehh, diminutive size.
‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory’ Features A Scene That Feels Like A Nightmare Acid Trip
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is essentially about a reclusive child-murdering sociopath who employs a tiny race of enslaved factory workers. Still, there is candy and a river of chocolate involved, so naturally, it appeals to children.
One of the most scarring scenes of the original film is the now-infamous boat ride through the tunnel. Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) takes the children and their guardians on a ride through a dark tunnel which ends up like an acid trip gone awry. The walls of the tunnel are plastered with horrifying images like decaying animals covered in maggots and severed chicken heads.
Also, let’s not forget all those “accidents” that happened to those bad kiddos; once they disappear, they are never seen again in the film.
Actors: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Roy Kinnear, Pat Coombs, + more
Directed by: Mel Stuart
‘Grease’ Has Countless References To Birth Control And Sex
Kids grew up watching Grease, dressing up as its characters for Halloween, and blasting the soundtrack over and over until their parents wanted to toss their stereos out the window. While many consider it a kid-friendly movie, it’s got a ton of very adult topics. For one, most of these “high school students” were in their late-20s and early 30s. The movie deals with topics like teenage pregnancy, unwanted sexual advances, and “flogging logs.”
And – perhaps the most problematic aspect of the film – is it teaches girls they should completely change their personas and looks to fit in with their boyfriend’s expectations.
Actors: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Sid Caesar, Joan Blondell, + more
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Half The Lines From ‘The Goonies’ Are Swears And Chunk Alludes To His Mom’s Sex Life
What millennial kid didn’t love The Goonies? While the movie was targeted at children, there is definitely some grown-up content. Movie ratings back in the ‘80s were relaxed, and perhaps ‘80s children weren’t so sensitive and sheltered as kids raised in this generation are. Some 21st century parents were so offended by the innuendos and bad language in The Goonies they were compelled to write scathing reviews of the classic film.
At one point, Chunk drops a small replica of Michelangelo’s David, and his penis breaks off. Mikey responds, “That’s my mom’s favorite piece.” The motley crew of kids also have a vocabulary rivaled only by the filthiest of sailors.
Actors: Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Joe Pantoliano, Martha Plimpton, + more
Directed by: Richard Donner
‘Gremlins’ Has Several Violent, Disgusting Deaths
Even parents in the ‘80s thought Gremlins was way too violent for a PG rating. In fact, it was Spielberg’s Gremlins and Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom that prompted the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to create the PG-13 rating in 1984.
Yes, Gizmo is super cute, but the creatures he spawns are completely grotesque. They also die in violent ways. One gets turned into a gremlin protein shake in a blender, while another is blown up in a microwave. It’s easy to see how Gremlins could easily scare the crap out of a child.
Actors: Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates, Howie Mandel, Frank Welker, + more
Directed by: Joe Dante