If you were anything like me as a kid, you spent a lot of your time rewatching the same kids movies over and over again. And, because I was a dumb child with zero survival skills and only the faintest element of cognition, my poor old parents also had to sit through my constant reruns of whatever happy-clappy film I happened to be obsessed with that week.
With this in mind, it's not surprising that the producers of kids movies occasionally slip in the odd risque joke for the no-doubt bored out of their mind parental overwatchers.
So, here are 10 jokes in kids movies which went straight over our collective heads when we first saw them. Expect adult content (including but not limited to swearing, drug use and the discussion of reproductive organs) from here on out:
Scooby-Doo - Shaggy Loves Mary Jane
Now, I don't know if the Scooby gang are subject to mandatory drug tests, but if they are, I think we can all agree Shaggy would fail every time. If the constant need to munch on 'Scooby snacks' isn't enough of an indication, the writers also slipped a subtle drug reference into the live-action Scooby-Doo. Check it out below:
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Mary Jane is a well-known euphemism for marijuana.
The Santa Clause - Tim Allen Makes Drug Reference to Oblivious Child
The Santa Clause: A 'hilarious' family Christmas movie in which Tim Allen murders Santa and steals his job. But murder isn't the only crime on this guy's rap sheet. When Tim Allen's character, Scott, starts to fly like Santa, his adorable wide-eyed son comments, "Woah! You're flying!" Scott replies by explaining, "It’s okay, I’m used to it. I lived through the ’60s!". Of course, the implication here is that Scott (not unlike the real Tim Allen) did a whole load of hallucinogenics back in the free and swinging '60s.
Shrek - Lord Farquaad? Oh, I See What They Did There
Say Lord Farquaad's name over and over again. Can you hear the not-so-subtle joke in his name? Well, apparently Farquaad's name was actually chosen because it sounds extremely similar to 'fuckwad' - one of the lesser used fuck-based insults. Apparently, multiple sources have confirmed the Shrek writers chose the name in order to slip a rather severe naughty word into the Dreamworks animation. In hindsight, its rather impressive they got away with it.
Mrs Doubtfire - Innuendo Onslaught
When you cast Robin Williams in a movie and tell me him to go crazy with the improvisation, you're going to get a lot of fast-paced adult humor, even in a PG-13. Indeed, Williams apparently slipped in so many risque jokes that there was a PG-13, R, and NC-17 rated edits of the movie. One of his most blatant segments of blue humor comes when Mrs Doubtfire launches an avalanche of sexual innuendo at Stu - including references to 'Rumpleforeskin' and Miranda's bedroom 'power tool'. These all went straight over my head when I first saw the movie. Although to be honest, back then I didn't know what a linguist was, let alone a cunning one.
Mrs. Doubtfire: Sink the sub. Hide the weasel. Park the porpoise. A bit of the old Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horny, the Horizontal Mambo, hmm? The Bone Dancer, Rumpleforeskin, Baloney Bop, a bit of the old Cunning Linguistics?
Stu: Mrs. Doubtfire, please.
Mrs. Doubtfire: Oh I'm sorry, am I being a little graphic? I'm sorry. Well, I hope you're up for a little competition. She's got a power tool in the bedroom, dear. It's her own personal jackhammer. She could break sidewalk with that thing. She uses it and the lights dim, it's like a prison movie. Amazed she hasn't chipped her teeth... I hope you bring cocktail sauce. She's got the crabs dear and I don't mean Dungeness.
Mrs Doubtfire - Chewy Gribenes
Let's stick with Robin Williams and Mrs Doubtfire for a moment. When Daniel is trying on various pieces of makeup to transform into an elderly lady, he breaks into a Yiddish accent and says the following: "I should never buy gribenes from a mohel. It's so chewy."
What does this mean? Well, gribenes is a kosher dish made from onions and chicken skin, while a mohel is a man who performs circumcisions. Yep, that's right. It's a joke about eating presumably discarded man bits.
Madagascar - "Sugar Honey Iced Tea"
Madagascar is a fun, frolicking family movie in which a bunch of loveable talking critters go on a crazy, globe-trotting adventure. But that doesn't mean the writers didn't manage to sneak in a little bit of good ol' fashioned cussing. When Marty is being chased by Alex the Lion he turns and exclaims, "Oh, sugar honey iced tea!" Look closely at these words to decode the hidden swear word. Here's a hint, it begins with 's', ends with 't', and has 'hi' in the middle.
Hercules - Serious Mommy Issues
OK, so we've done drugs, sex and swearing, how about some incest? Yep, that's right, Disney's Hercules contains a subtle - and classically inspired - joke about a son having *ahem* relations with his own mother. After leaving a theater, Hercules states: "That Oedipus thing? Man, I thought I had problems!"
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king who, according to legend, killed his own father and married his mother. To be fair, he didn't know it was his mother at the time, which barely makes the whole debauched affair much more palatable.
Despicable Me - Sticking It To The Lehman Brothers
Let's take a break from all that naughty stuff and take a look at some high-brow satire that has been smuggled into a kids film. In Despicable Me, Steve Carell's character, Gru, takes a trip over to The Bank of Evil to prepare for his nefarious schemes.
However, above the door reads a sign: "Formerly Lehman Brothers". The Lehman Brothers Holding Inc, was one of the US' biggest investment banks before it collapsed back in 2008 due to bankruptcy. As well as being known for its less than ethical business practices, it is also often blamed for the onset of the financial crisis.
Yeah, take that you irresponsible corporate fat cats!
Space Jam - Performance Issues
Another joke, which no doubt sailed far over my formerly youthful head, occurred in the pretty bizarre 1996 Looney Tunes-NBA mash-up, Space Jam. When being interviewed and treated by a psychiatrist, New York Knicks Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing is asked if there were any other areas, besides basketball, in which he was "unable to perform." His defensive response and quick negative reply show they're probably not talking about baseball.
Ghostbusters II - Egon's Epididymis
Like Mrs Doubtfire, the Ghostbusters series was always going to be packed with little winks to the adults in the audience. But even in my more worldly old age, I still had to resort to Google to get the specifics of this joke from Ghostbusters II.
Peter Venkman: Hi, Egon. How's school? I bet those science chicks really dig that large cranium of yours, huh?
Egon: I think they're more interested in my epididymis.
What's an epididymis I hear you cry? Well, predictably they're part of the male reproductive organ. If you want to find out more, head over to Wikipedia. But I'd advise you not to do it at work like I've just done. You'll get weird looks off colleagues...
Honorable Mention: Forrest Gump - I Love You Jenny!
OK, I'm breaking the rules a bit here since Forrest Gump isn't a kids film. However, if you were brought up in the 1990s like me, you probably saw the movie countless times as a child - with phrases like "Run Forrest, Run" becoming commonplace on school playing fields.
However, only during a recent re-viewing did I finally understand what actually goes down in Jenny's bedroom. It involves Jenny's chest, a moment of ecstasy for Forrest and a rather soiled bathrobe. Check out the scene below:
Still not sure what's going down? Maybe you need to ask your parents...
Any jokes I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
- 200Scooby-Doo - Shaggy Loves Mary JaneClick to answer
- 32The Santa Clause - Tim Allen Makes Drug Reference to Oblivious ChildClick to answer
- 192Shrek - Lord Farquaad? Oh, I See What They Did ThereClick to answer
- 352Mrs Doubtfire - Innuendo OnslaughtClick to answer
- 47Mrs Doubtfire - Chewy GribenesClick to answer
- 144Madagascar - "Sugar Honey Iced Tea"Click to answer
- 34Hercules - Serious Mommy IssuesClick to answer
- 18Despicable Me - Sticking It To The Lehman BrothersClick to answer
- 15Space Jam - Performance IssuesClick to answer
- 31Ghostbusters II - Egon's EpididymisClick to answer
- 96Honorable Mention: Forrest Gump - I'm Coming Jenny!Click to answer