Movies for children are one of the cornerstones of the movie-making industry. As long as children think something looks fun or interesting, a parent will take their darling, little bundle of joy to the theatre (or using one of the numerous streaming sources available). Of course, that doesn’t stop the movie from boring the parents to death. While there are some exceptions to that rule, films that are truly for all ages, it’s just as likely parent will find themselves incapable of enjoying a majority of the film. However, there are those little tidbits, those incredible jokes, that never fail to knock a parent out of their stupor.
Here are adult jokes in kids’ films that go over the kids’ heads.
“Wipe your… face” (Shrek)
Shrek is a goldmine of raunchy humor and other such jokes. There’s plenty of the obvious jokes for people of all ages, but there are just as many of hidden ones that only older audiences would understand (what else would expect from a movie designed to give the finger to Disney). The one for this list is from the scene where Shrek and Donkey had just arrived at the Kingdom of Duloc, ruled by Lord Farquaad. To introduce them to their new surroundings, a show is put on by a group of small, animatronic dolls, singing about how great Duloc is and some of the rules they need follow. As with many songs, this one is full of rhymes, which is why we we get to one particular lyric, we can’t help but bust out laughing; “Please keep off the grass. Shines your shoes, wash your… face!”
“I’ve got a little, tiny…” (Ratatouille)
Despite their general perception as being completely unwilling to go raunchy and be kid-friendly, sometimes something slips through the cracks at Disney every once in a while. In the mostly innocent and fun Pixar film, Ratatouille, there is one moment throughout the course of the film that might make an older viewer do a double take. During one particular scene, Linguini is trying to reveal to his soon-to-be girlfriend Colette that his secret to success as a chef is the rat that’s been controlling his body. During this exchange, having trouble finding the right words, he says “I’ve got a little, tiny…”, and in a blink and you’ll miss it moment, Colette looks down at his crotch with a concerned look on her face.
“That’s like, my favorite name!” (Scooby-Doo 2002)
The 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo film is rather raunchy, and might even make you think that it isn’t even for children. And one joke early on in the film will probably help with that assertion. When Shaggy boards a plane headed to a secluded island for a vacation with the gang, Shaggy finds himself sitting next to an attractive young woman played Isla Fisher. The two instantly hit it and off and she introduces herself as Mary Jane. This prompts Shaggy to respond by saying “That’s like, my favorite name!” an obvious nod at how everyone perceives Shaggy to be a pothead.
“Should I leave you and the blackboard alone for a moment?” (Tarzan 1999)
In this scene from the beloved Disney film, Jane, a researcher from England, had recently encountered and been rescued by the titular hero, Tarzan. While she hadn’t known him for that long, Jane was able to draw a rather excellent work of art. When she started to draw Tarzan’s eyes, Jane started to get lost in them. This prompted her father to ask if she’d like a moment alone with the blackboard. A little bit more heavily veiled in comparison to some the other things on this list, but the older audiences will still understand the implications.
Cars may not be regarded as the best Pixar movie, but it certainly has its merits. It may also hold the record for fastest dirty joke in a Pixar film. While Lightning McQueen is meeting with the press shortly following his race, two girl cars drive up to him. Sporting his colors and claiming to be his biggest fans, they briefly flash their headlights, much to our protagonist’s amusement. In other words, they “flashed” him.
“Foot size doesn’t matter.” (Frozen)
During this blockbuster of a Disney film, Anna, our protagonist, needs to chase down her sister, Elsa, to hopefully undo the spell she inadvertently cast on their home of Arendelle. With the land now covered in ice she enlists in the help of Kristoff and his his reindeer, Sven, in order to brave the cold. And during the early stages of their journey together, Kristoff begins grilling her on her recent engagement to a foreign prince named Hans. He asks her a bunch of questions about Hans, none of which Anna can answer, with the most notable question he asked being his foot size. And of course, she responds by saying “Foot size doesn’t matter”. Most people are probably aware of the correlation between foot size and a particular body part.
“Sugar Honey Iced Tea!” (Madagascar)
In this film about “intelligent” animals, the main cast get stuck on the titular island following a transporting mishap. As Alex the lion gradually runs into his friends one after the other, he finally spots his best friend, Marty the zebra. The two run at each other in a hilarious slow motion sequence as they call each other’s names. But as they get closer, Alex slowly remembers how the situation they’re in is technically Marty’s fault, and the zebra begins to realize this change in personality as well. When Alex finally lets loose his anger and charges Marty, the zebra says “Sugar Honey Iced Tea!” Nothing wrong there though, right? Take the first letter from each word and turn it into a word.
“So it’s a girl house?” (Monster House)
During this children’s horror, the trio of protagonists enter the titular house in order to attempt to kill it. As they travel through the house, they begin to make parallels between the house’s “anatomy” and a normal human. One of their members, the girl, Jenny, makes note that the chandelier near the entrance is likely the house’s uvula. Chowder, the less intelligent member of the group, then asks “It’s a girl house?”, having mistaken her statement for a different body part. Funny thing was that he wasn’t actually wrong.
“Children can be cruel” (The LEGO Batman Movie)
A sequel and spin-off to the critically acclaimed Lego Movie, this film managed to somehow produce a faithful, yet hilarious, version of the famous Batman. Early on in the movie, while visiting an orphanage as Bruce Wayne, Batman encounters the child that would soon become his ward. The child introduces himself as Richard Grayson, before saying that the other kids at the orphanage call him Dick. This causes Batman to say “children can be cruel”. The joke simultaneously makes fun of a legendary comic book character while serving to introduce us to one of our main characters.
That Montage (Incredibles)
The Incredibles is hailed as one of the greatest Pixar films, one of the greatest animated films, one of the greatest superhero films, and perhaps even the greatest Fantastic Four film. During the movie, in order to relieve his glory days, protagonist Mr. Incredible ends up being hired by the bad guys to fight robots. Making much more money than he had been previously, and being much more fulfilled from his new job, Mr. Incredible’s relationship with his family drastically improves. And during the montage, there are multiple implications of Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl, having “physical relations” right before he leaves the house for work. There’s also one part where they poke each other’s butts.
“That Oedipus thing…” (Hercules 1998)
In this movie, about a young man trying to find his way and become a hero, the titular Hercules has been developing a romantic relationship with Megara. After meeting up again after having not seen each other in a while, Hercules nervously tries to talk to her about the play had recently seen, calling it “That Oedipus thing…” Hercules even remarks “I thought I had problems”. For those unfamiliar with Oedipus Rex, it’s a Greek tragedy about a man that becomes a king. Also, he unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother during the course of the story… so there’s that.
“My people!” (Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed)
Most people probably wouldn’t have expected Scooby-Doo to be on this list twice. This one happens right at the beginning. Mystery Inc. is going across the red carpet to celebrate the grand opening of a museum. Halfway through the red carpet walk, Shaggy stops, sniffing the air as he turns towards a group of people sitting at the edge of the red carpet. We see a group of obvious stoner types before Shaggy calls out “My people!” and he approaches them.
“…we are good at multiplying” (Zootopia)
In this heartwarming and gut-wrenching film by Disney, we see a rabbit team up with fox in a world of anthropomorphic animals. Judy Hopps, our protagonist and a new police officer, has been tasked with finding a missing otter at the risk of losing her job should she fail. So, she teams up with Nick Wilde, a fox that had previously insulted her, in order to find out what happened to the otter. During a particular interaction where she threatens to arrest Nick for felony tax evasion, she quickly calculated the amount of income tax he was missing over his years as a con man. And as she does so, she says remarks that while rabbits may be dumb that they’re “good at multiplying”. It means exactly what you think it means.
Catnip (Shrek 2)
Surprisingly, Shrek 2 has fewer memorable adult jokes in comparison to the original. But fewer doesn’t mean zero. One scene has Shrek, Donkey, and Puss in Boots getting arrested by knights in a parody of the show Cops. While being apprehended, a knight takes a bag of catnip off of Puss’ person. He frantically remarks that it isn’t his, but is still taken away with the others. The catnip was clearly meant to be a stand-in for a certain illicit substance.
“Want to pollinate with a real bug!” (A Bug’s Life)
At this point of this Pixar movie, we’re introduced to the rest of our major characters. A circus troupe is putting on their show when a couple of flies begin heckling them. Calling out to the ladybug, Francis, one of them shouts “Do you want to pollinate with a real bug!” Quite obviously a bug-themed euphemism, it’s just unfortunate for him that Francis turned out to be a guy.
The Bathing Scene (Mulan 1998)
Right after the iconic song “Be a Man”, this action adventure film has a scene where the titular Mulan goes into a lake to take a bath. Her companion, Mushu, is worried about the men catching her, due to the importance of keeping her gender a secret. Of course, three of Mulan’s new guy friends immediately run over and jump into the lake to bathe with her. Trying to not get found out, Mulan remains down to her neck in the water. Mushu even remarks that there are “two things” he’s sure all the men would notice.. In the end, Mulan manages to get out of the lake without anyone finding out. Unfortunately, she needed to get her eyes bleached immediately afterwards as the rest of the army ran into the lake as soon as she got out.
Pitching The Tent (The Emperor’s New Groove)
At one point in this beloved film, there’s a scene where Kronk, the stooge of the main antagonist Yzma, has set up a tent. Compared to his boss’ tent, Kronk’s is a little small. And it only covers a rather small area… Guess Kronk brought a new meaning to the phrase “pitching a tent”.
“The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!” (Willy Wonka and the Charlie Factory)
You probably never noticed this one before. When Willy Wonka is having all the children in his factory lick some wallpaper, he remarks on the flavor of them Among other things, he says “the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!” This prompts Veruca Salt to say there were no such thing. But apparently there is. Snozzberry is just another word for penis. Ya learn something new every day.
Patty-Cake (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
In this famous movie that has Disney and Warner Bros. characters cross over, one of the most notable characters is Jessica Rabbit. The impetus for the plot is actually when our protagonist, Eddie Valiant, is hired to investigate whether or not Jessica’s cheating on her husband, Roger. Eddie ends up sneaking up on Jessica with Marvin Acme. You don’t see anything, just some giggling from Acme and Jessica. Eddie has a surprised look on his face as he lifts up his camera and takes pictures. It turns out that they were just playing a game of patty-cake, but it’s enough to drive Roger off the edge when he finds out. It’s pretty clear what Jessica and Acme were supposed to be doing.
“Consider yourself lucky” (The Rugrats Movie)
Possibly a less famous movie than the other ones on this list, the Rugrats still have their fans. So many of them probably remember this joke. During a scene in a nursery with several recently-born babies, we have one of the strangest jokes I’ve ever seen. A pair of babies are examined themselves after their birth. One baby says “They cut my chord”. Following this, another one looks down his diaper and says “Consider yourself lucky”. I never would’ve expected to see a circumcision joke in a kids’ film. What makes it worse is that the children watching this might assume that something else was cut off.