Few stars in the ’90s and 2000s could compare with the legendary duo Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. For many of us, the twins saw us through our mischievous childhoods, our confusing pre-teens, and our rebellious teen years. It’s easy to see why so many ’90s kids felt they grew up with the Olsen twins. After all, the pair made a staggering number movies together (via IMDb).
For those who are unfamiliar with the Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, these twin capers were filled with mistaken identities, travels in Europe, matchmaking hijinks, ineffective bumbling villains, and, of course, some boy crushes as the twins got a little older. What’s not to love!
Chances are, you haven’t seen many of the Olsen twin movies since they came out on video. Well, we rewatched some of our favorite Olsen flicks and were shocked by how many moments jumped out to us as adults. So, here are the things in Mary-Kate and Ashley movies you only notice as an adult.
New York Minute is a Mary-Kate and Ashley flick filled with comedy legends
New York Minute was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s last film together. The movie saw Mary-Kate as the rebellious Roxy and Ashley as the "good twin" Jane running around Manhattan, attempting to side step what Rookie rightly called a "strangely gung-ho truant officer." In 2004, when the movie came out, you probably didn’t pay much attention to the goofy truant officer called Max Lomax who chases the twins around the city. However, as an adult, you’ll definitely do a double-take when you see him. You may not have noticed, but the truant officer was actually played by comedy legend Eugene Levy. These days, you probably know him better as Johnny Rose of Schitt’s Creek fame.
Apparently, the comedy star transformed his New York Minute character, giving him a more understated wardrobe. "As he was scripted, Max was written a little on the broader side, with him going undercover and constantly showing up in different outfits," Levy told Coming Soon. "He doesn’t make much money, he always wanted to be a cop and never made it." Seems like Levy is the real reason the character is so great — and we can’t say we’re surprised!
Other comedy greats who make appearances in the movie include Andy Richter, Darrell Hammond, and Bob Saget.
The male soccer coaches in Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Switching Goals were misogynistic
The 1999 film Switching Goals featured Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as soccer playing tweens who — you guessed it — switch places to get onto their preferred soccer teams. One soccer team was a hardcore, serious team and the other was, well, not so serious. While it’s great to see a ’90s movie about young girls playing sports, there are still some aspects of the movie that will strike adults today as a little sexist.
As Bustle pointed out, one moment in particular was especially "anti-feminist." At one point in the film, we find out that the league is becoming co-ed, which means that all teams will need to start letting girls on to their teams. Instead of embracing this move towards equality, both male soccer coaches seem extremely annoyed, assuming that girls will slow down their teams. This moment is definitely seriously outdated and would never fly these days. In fact, even at the time, the girls-can’t-play-soccer trope was already pretty out of touch. As Variety jokingly wrote, "The squabbles over the newly formed co-ed soccer league, which re-ignites the men vs. women debate, make reruns of The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family look downright topical."
That green screen montage behind Mary-Kate and Ashley in Passport to Paris is a bit cringeworthy
Fans of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will definitely remember the girls’ globetrotting adventures in Passport to Paris. In our memories, the film showed off a romantic, sophisticated version of Paris that left us all dreaming of a European adventure. However, when we rewatched this flick as adults, we couldn’t help but notice that certain aspects of the movie’s portrayal of Paris aren’t what we remember.
As Frenchly noted, the twins’ love interests have shocking accents and a few of the scenes are a little unrealistic, especially when it comes to the lack of tourists. However, one of the most shocking realizations for adult viewers is that the scene in the Louvre is completely fake. In fact, it may be the worst CGI we’ve ever seen!
The cringeworthy green screen montage sees the twins walking through the famous Louvre art gallery with the paintings magically floating around them. As kids, we all thought this scene was super cool — now, it just comes across as a little weird!
The Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Winning London includes a fun little Sherlock Holmes reference
In another globetrotting film featuring the Olsen twins, Winning London, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen take their adventures across the pond to London, England when their school’s Model UN team is chosen to compete in the international competition. As kids, we probably paid more attention to the cute teen love interests and the twin shenanigans. What you may not have noticed is that there is a fun reference to a famous British novel.
Did you notice that the twins’ teachers are called Ms. Watson and Mr. Holmes? That’s right — the teachers are named after the main characters from Sherlock Holmes! At one point, Mr. Holmes even adopts Sherlock Holmes’ catchphrase, saying, "Elementary, Ms. Watson." As Bustle noted, this is definitely a joke that only adults are likely to catch. Who would have thought that a silly Olsen flick would feature this reference to classic literature!
A bunch of actors in Mary-Kate and Ashley movies went on to find fame
As kids watching the Olsen movies, most of us probably only paid attention to our favorite twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley. However, when you rewatch their movies as adults, you’ll be amazed by how many well-known faces pop up. In fact, plenty of the young stars in the Olsen movies went on to have seriously impressive careers.
In Billboard Dad, for instance, the one and only Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars fame co-starred with the Olsens as one of the members of their swim team. As the actress revealed to BuzzFeed, she actually grew up as a neighbor to the Olsens (via HuffPost). You may have also spotted a familiar face in Switching Goals. That’s right — the sassy young boy in the shoe shop was played by the one and only Michael Cera! And, of course, who can forget the high-pitched mean girl in Holiday in the Sun? Adult viewers rewatching the film will be super shocked to realize that she was actually played by a young Megan Fox (via Cosmopolitan)!
It seems that landing a role in an Olsen film was a sign for child actors of great things to come.
Australia is a little different to how it is portrayed in Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Our Lips Are Sealed
The Mary-Kate and Ashley flick Our Lips Are Sealed featured plenty of action and romance all on the sunny beaches of Sydney, Australia. For teen viewers, it was the ultimate teen flick. However, for more discerning adult viewers, the setting of this film can come across as a little unrealistic.
As GOAT pointed out, "It is not the Australia that we know. This is an Australia that is so, so much better." The Australia of Our Lips Are Sealed is definitely a made-up teenage heaven that probably doesn’t exist in reality.
For one thing, the twins immediately meet a pair of stereotypical bleach blonde, surfer boys. Also, they have a literal pet kangaroo. In fact, their lives in Australia seem to revolve around beach parties and surfing. Finally, one of the twins even stops the villain with a boomerang. It kind of feels like the producers of this movie tried to shove in as many Australian references as possible — and, to be honest, it totally works!
The Mary-Kate and Ashley film Holiday in the Sun borrows its plot from this classic play
In Holiday in the Sun, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen lived out all of our teenage dreams of a romantic, rebellious vacation in the Bahamas. For teens, the movie was the epitome of carefree teen life — but what most teens probably didn’t realize is that the writers of the movie actually snuck in a reference to classical literature!
As adult viewers may notice, one of the subplots is definitely a reference to the play Cyrano de Bergerac. The play basically involves a love triangle where one guy agrees to help his buddy come up with things to say to woo a woman called Roxanne. This is pretty much exactly what happens in Holiday in the Sun. As Bustle noted, "Is this at all starting to sound like the Griffin/Scott/Madison love triangle in Holiday in the Sun? Yeah." Wow, we never would have caught that in our teens!
Mary-Kate and Ashley’s early flick It Takes Two is actually incredibly empowering
It Takes Two is one of the earliest — and best — Mary-Kate and Ashley films. The movie features the two twins playing (shockingly unrelated) identical girls — one is rich and posh, while the other is a girl of the street complete with backwards baseball cap, baggy t-shirt, and baseball bat. The pair switch places and decide to do some matchmaking.
As Refinery29 noted, the movie is careful to present nuanced versions of both rich and poor life. As they put it, "Amanda may have fewer material comforts, but she has friends, and she’s loved and well cared for by a woman who fiercely looks out for her." Not only that, the two girls in this film get to rewrite their own futures — much like the real-life twins eventually did by becoming successful businesswomen. Deborah Dean Davis, the screenwriter of the film, said, "The legacy of the film is the empowerment of the little girls."
Mary-Kate and Ashley’s It Takes Two definitely reminds us of The Parent Trap
It Takes Two, starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, was released in 1995 — three years before another kids-switching-places flick, The Parent Trap. When you rewatch the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie as an adult, it’s pretty hard to ignore all of the similarities between the two movies. In fact, BuzzFeed even mused that the Olsen movie might have been borrowing plot elements from the original 1964 Parent Trap movie — so it’s no wonder the Lindsay Lohan version borrowed elements from this Olsen movie. As BuzzFeed put it, "Sure they totes copied the old Parent Trap, but there are a TON of similarities between this movie and the remake Parent Trap."
First of all, It Takes Two features its very own Meredith Blake in the form of Clarice — who, incidentally, you may recognize as Carol from Friends! It also features a summer camp, a friendly butler, and, of course, some mischievous switching places for the purposes of matchmaking. In short, these movies are basically interchangeable — and we love it!
The Mary-Kate and Ashley movie It Takes Two is also pretty similar to this classic novel
While Mary-Kate and Ashley’s It Takes Two is definitely pretty similar to The Parent Trap, it also bears some similarities to a much older story. As one reviewer for SFGate noted at the time of its release, "Take The Parent Trap, the old Disney summertime chestnut with Hayley Mills, toss it with Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, and you’ve got the formula for It Takes Two." As a kid, you probably didn’t notice this classic reference.
The Prince and the Pauper is a Mark Twain novel that tells the story of two boys from completely different social spheres — one’s a prince and one’s a pauper — who switch places and struggle to fit in their new surroundings. Sound familiar? Apparently, there are tons of stories about identical strangers switching places out there. This movie definitely borrowed a few plot elements from this book, too.
The parenting in Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Double Double Toil and Trouble could never happen today
Few Halloween movies can compare with the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Double Double Toil and Trouble. This Mary-Kate and Ashley film from 1993 saw the twins taking on a materialistic witch who has trapped her twin sister, the good witch, in a mirror. Back in 1993, the Olsen twins were pretty small — about 7 years old. So we couldn’t help but wonder while we rewatched this movie: Where are their parents?
As E News! noted, the parenting in this movie is seriously questionable. Things start to get awkward when the girls’ parents go to Aunt Agatha’s house to ask for a loan, leaving their daughters alone in the car. Much, much later in the movie, after the girls have been running around with witches, clowns, and other bizarre characters, their parents finally realize that their kids are missing. "When they go to the cops, the officer is waaay too chill about two seven-year-old blonde twins being missing, telling them to just retrace their trick-or-treating route and come to file a Missing Person report at the 24-hour mark," E News! wrote. It’s safe to say that could never happen today!
Mary-Kate and Ashley were never that great at accents
Throughout their various onscreen adventures, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen played a wide array of characters — and, sometimes, they had to try their hand at a new accent. As kids, we never really thought much about the accuracy of the twins’ dialects. However, for adults, some of the Olsen accents can be nothing short of painful to listen to.
As BuzzFeed noted, their accents in It Takes Two were seriously questionable. "Mary-Kate’s Brooklyn accent for Amanda is hilarious," they wrote. As for Ashley, she has gone for what sounds like a British accent. As BuzzFeed wrote, "Honestly, we don’t know which accent is worse."
Little White Lies also picked up on the questionable accents, writing, "Mary-Kate goes full New York as the fast-talking Amanda from the Bronx, and Ashley steps into the role of Alyssa, a baby socialite who inexplicably has a British accent, in spite of being raised by an American father." Needless to say, most adults seem to pick up on the inexplicable voices of these two characters.
The Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Getting There may be the most unrealistic road trip
In Getting There, Mary-Kate and Ashley set off on a road trip from L.A. to Salt Lake City to see the Olympics. For teens, the movie was a light caper movie about a series of misadventures. However, for adults, the movie is actually pretty much impossible to take seriously. As one Olsen fan wrote for Bustle, "Watching Getting There as an adult was probably the most infuriating movie I have re-watched." As she went on to explain, the road trip is totally unrealistic. The girls get their car stolen, book a flight to the wrong city, and miss a bus. It’s completely crazy!
Another viewer agreed that this road trip did not come across well for adult viewers. "This movie, which is about travel, shows just about every irresponsible thing a young person can do," the viewer wrote in an Amazon review. It’s true — the girls don’t wear seatbelts, they take a trip with a stranger, and they never call their parents to ask for help.
Mary-Kate and Ashley come across as the worst interns ever in When in Rome
If you watched the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie When In Rome, you may have thought that it would be pretty easy to get an internship in Italy — a dream come true for kids. After all, the Olsen twins don’t make it look too hard. However, for adults watching the movie, it’s clear just how unrealistic the premise of the movie is. These two girls are pretty terrible interns. And, as Bustle noted, they were apparently chosen out of hundreds of applicants for the job? We don’t buy it!
After being terrible interns, the girls get fired, which makes sense. But then, the CEO of the company sends them to his personal villa to get some rest. As adults, we know that this would never happen. The only plane these girls would be getting on is the one that takes them back home in shame!
We have to admit, though — we’d much rather live the Olsen universe!