We get it—sometimes, kid-friendly films are just plain unbearable for the adults in the audience. Hollywood understands this, and filmmakers often try to add some in-jokes or funny references that only the parents will understand. Occasionally, they can go a little too far, and cross the line from mildly risqué to completely inappropriate. From sex jokes to drug references to nip slips, let’s take a look at the worst adult jokes that made it into kids’ movies.
Howard the Duck
In the 1986 comic book adaptation of Howard the Duck, the protagonist finds himself unexpectedly launched from his home planet, where he lands in the middle of modern-day Earth. While Howard the Duck was a commercial and critical failure for other reasons—like the awful writing—it also contained some surprisingly graphic sexual content for a movie that was rated PG. Some prominent examples include Howard’s Playduck magazine, which featured feathered females complete with human-like nipples. Later on in the film, Howard unexpectedly finds himself falling into a hot tub—where a couple is obviously right in the middle of doing the dirty. We don’t know exactly what George Lucas screened to the MPAA when they rated Howard, but it couldn’t have been the same movie that ended up hitting theaters.
Pixar’s 2015 animated feature Inside Out was a big hit with kids and parents alike. Children enjoyed the engaging storyline, and parents enjoyed the witty references that peppered the movie. There was, however, one joke that pushed the envelope just a bit. At one point, Riley’s emotions are having an argument and Fear thinks he heard a bear. Disgust asserts that "there are no bears in San Francisco." Anger claims, "I saw a really hairy guy; he looked like a bear." If you’ve ever taken a stroll through the Castro District in San Francisco, you probably know exactly what Anger is talking about.
Aladdin and The King of Thieves
In the third installment of Disney’s Aladdin franchise, the street rat from Agrabah finally gets the girl. Spoiler alert—most of the first half of the movie focuses on the preparations for and marriage of Aladdin and Jasmine. We suppose since this was a direct-to-video production, the writers decided to play it a little more fast and loose with the jokes—Robin Williams, who returned as the hilarious Genie, made one we can’t believe made it past the editing team. At one point in the movie, there’s a stampede that shakes the palace. Genie wisecracks, "I thought the Earth wasn’t supposed to move until the honeymoon." Yes, that’s an orgasm joke. In a Disney movie.
In the live-action adaptation of 101 Dalmatians, Glenn Close does a marvelous job portraying the sinister and slimy Cruella de Vil. The smarmy villain uses Roger and Anita’s pregnancy announcement as an opportunity to poke fun at Roger. "Did Anita tell you? She’s having a baby," he tells her. "Well, accidents do happen," Cruella replies. Oh, but the writers don’t stop there. Roger goes on to tell her, "We’re having puppies, too." She smirks and exclaims, "Puppies? You have been a busy boy." Because bestiality jokes are totally appropriate, Disney.
Here’s the plot of Cars 2 in a nutshell: The bad guys are the "Lemons"—you know, those ugly, mechanically unsound vehicles nobody wants. They’re totally jealous of the cool cars and want to sabotage them. When their plan appears to be working, they hold a celebratory get-together, complete with fresh lemon decorations and festive hats. "Isn’t this a great party?" one of them asks. That’s right—the clunkers are holding a lemon party. If you know what that is, you know why it’s completely inappropriate for a kids’ movie. If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky and do not ever Google the term "lemon party."
The primary antagonist in Shrek is named Lord Farquaad. Let that sink in for a moment, or maybe say it out loud a few times. Lord Farquaad. Yes, the writers chose that name in order to get something as close to F***wad as possible. Some people have suggested the name (and character’s appearance) was inspired by Jeffrey Katzenberg’s dislike of his former boss—Michael Eisner, then the CEO of Disney. Most of Shrek is peppered with slightly off-color jokes, which is probably why adults love it so much. Probably our favorite scene is when Shrek and Donkey reach Lord Farquaad’s ridiculously large castle, and Shrek suggests that "maybe he’s compensating for something."
While the version of Mrs. Doubtfire that eventually hit theaters was rated PG-13, apparently Robin Williams was given free rein when it came to his improv. In fact, Williams got so risqué with some of his off-the-wall freestyling, there are other versions of the movie which were rated R and NC-17. While we know those versions will likely never see the light of day, we have a good idea of how raunchy they must be—if you watch the scene we linked above. In it, Mrs. Doubtfire is trying to dissuade Pierce Brosnan’s character from pursuing his ex-wife (Sally Field) as a romantic interest. Mrs. Doubtfire goes on a innuendo-filled rant littered with all sorts of creative euphemisms for intercourse and his ex-wife’s collection of sexual toys. Personally, our favorites are "Rumpleforeskin" and "a bit of the old cunning linguistics."
In the live-action adaptation of Scooby-Doo from 2002, the gang takes a flight to Spooky Island. Along the way, Shaggy finds himself unexpectedly seated next to a blonde bombshell on the airplane, who introduces herself as "Mary Jane." Naturally, Shaggy is ecstatic to hear this, and exclaims, "that’s my favorite name!" Thanks, Warner Brothers, for finally confirming what fans have long suspected—Shaggy is totally high, all the time.
The Road to El Dorado
In this DreamWorks animated adventure, heroes Tulio and Miguel are on a quest to find the fabled city of El Dorado. Tulio also has some romantic adventures with the lovely Chel. In one particular scene, we hear some very…expressive…noises in the background. The couple immediately sit up from a couch as an outsider intrudes on their privacy. Given the very satisfied expression on Tulio’s face, paired with the fact that Chel has to unstraddle Tulio so he can stand up, and that their heads pop up in two completely different parts of the frame—we think the animators were going for something a little more serious than kissing. Nothing like an implied blowjob in a movie meant for seven-year-olds.
Muppet Treasure Island
In Muppet Treasure Island, families enjoyed a rollicking tale of pirates and Muppets on a grand adventure. Unfortunately for Kermit the Frog, his erstwhile girlfriend Miss Piggy/Benjamina Gunn has been seeing some other guys. This becomes extremely evident when she and Captain Long John come face to face in a scene. When she exclaims, "Hello, Looooonng John," Kermit responds, "Oh no—him too?" Genitalia jokes and Muppets—what’s inappropriate about that?
The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue
Okay, so the writers behind The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue didn’t even bother to hide this one, which comes complete with soft-jazz bedroom music. "Wow! Wittgenstein is searching through all my files; searching through regions heretofore only dreamed of by man. Whew…that feels sorta good. My memory banks are being stroked, and by an expert. I feel something inside of me, and I can’t keep it to myself any longer!" The computer gets stroked—by an expert. Then he excitedly spits out a bunch of white printer paper. Seriously.
In the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, a trio of witches hits the town in search of children for their scheme. They find a bus, and the driver ogles them while explaining what a bus actually does. When the witches tell the driver, "we desire children," the driver replies, "Well, it may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem." Uh, thanks, creepy bus driver dude. We suppose that we should be thankful the writers didn’t go for the obvious gag—let’s be honest—the phrase "we desire children" was pretty much begging for a pedophile punchline.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
While none of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films really lived up to their often-sleazy comics source material, the 2014 reboot at least gave it a shot. In one notable scene, the Turtles are introduced to the intrepid April O’Neil when she snaps a photo of them with her phone. As Raphael tries to get her to hand over the evidence, we can hear another Turtle in the background, who remarks, "She’s so hot, I can feel my shell tightening." We were pretty sure that’s not how turtle boners actually work, so we looked it up and found out that the actual truth about "turtle power" is even more terrifying. You can learn more in this article from Scientific American, but all we’ll say is this—thank goodness the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are not anatomically correct.