Filmmakers rarely pass up a chance to include not-so-family-friendly references in kids’ entertainment. After all, children’s movies and show are produced by adults and no is more juvenile than adults. Also, these weird moments in provide entertainers with the opportunity to make parents laugh. Sometimes, people take it too far, drawing, for instance, a big dick into The Little Mermaid‘s castle. Other times, writers absolutely pull it off, making parents giggle as kids eye them suspiciously. In live-action children’s entertainment filmmakers tend to turn to more subtle, tongue-in-cheek jokes that freak out adults when they rewatch their favorites shows from when they were kids. Here are the best examples of that very specific genre of humor.
Space Jam: Off-Court Performance
In Space Jam, to ensure the evil aliens win their basketball game, the MonSTARS cheat by stealing the talents of real-world NBA stars. The players get physicals to try to understand their sudden lack of skill, and a therapist asks if there are any other areas where they might be having trouble performing. Nothing like an erectile dysfunction joke in a movie about Looney Tunes playing basketball.
101 Dalmatians: Busy Boy
In Disney’s live-action retelling of 101 Dalmatians, Roger and Anita reveal in conversation with Cruella De Vil that they’re expecting a baby. Roger then chimes in, “We’re having puppies, too” to which Cruella replies: “Puppies? Well haven’t you been a busy boy!” Any adult can recognize Cruella making a surprising wink to bestiality. Later, one of Cruella’s cronies comments, “The sight of all these deceased creatures gives me a shrinky-winky.”
Hocus Pocus: Eager Bus Driver
In this Disney comedy-horror about a coven of evil witches trying to suck the life out of children, the witches enlist the help of a bus driver to track down kids, saying: “We desire… children.” The bus driver enthusiastically replies, “It may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” Yeesh.
Muppet Treasure Island: Long John Silver
From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the live-action adventure, Dumbo, expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished, and dreams take flight. Dumbo soars home on Digital, Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD June 25
While the Muppet has always enjoyed tossing in a PG-13 joke here and there, Muppet Treasure Island doesn’t hold back with some human-Muppet sex implications. When Kermit and Miss Piggy reunite, Miss Piggy is upfront about having lovers while Kermit was away. When Long John Silver (Tim Curry) shows up, Miss Piggy seems to know him pretty intimately, and draws out the first word his name rather suggestively. Kermit exclaims, “Him too!?” Yes, evidently, him too.
Scooby Doo: Shaggy Loves Mary Jane
After decades of skirting around Shaggy’s clear passion for the devil’s lettuce, the live-action adaptation went ahead with the franchise’s most explicit reference to it yet. After meeting a girl on an airplane named Mary Jane, Shaggy remarks, “Like, that is my favorite name!”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hard Shell
Aside from making its titular characters look like a pack of rabid Shreks, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also decided to feature an uncomfortable amount of sexual attraction from the Turtles towards April O’Neil, played by Megan Fox. During their first encounter, Michelangelo comments that “she’s so hot, I can feel my shell tightening.” In all fairness, they are teenagers.
The Santa Clause: I’m Used To It
Tim Allen plays a man who gets roped into serving as the next Chris Cringle in this classic holiday comedy, but he also presumably liked to experiment with psychedelics back in the day. At one point, Allen starts to fly like Santa, surprising his son. “It’s okay!” Allen reassures him. “I’m used to it. I lived through the ’60s!” Apparently, his affinity for LSD somehow prepared him for taking over Santa Claus’s job.
Howard the Duck: Intense Animal Magnetism
This 1986 adaptation of the Marvel comic series about an alien duck managed to fit in a slew of adult jokes despite being rated PG. At one point, Howard’s Playduck magazine can be seen, complete with female ducks posing suggestively. Later, Howard falls into a hot tub where a couple is clearly having sex. And while it’s not exactly a sly joke, the film’s ongoing sexual tension between Howard and Beverly (Lea Thompson) is straight up uncomfortable, especially during an almost-sex-scene between the two.
The Cat in the Hat: Dirty Hoe
Midway through the live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s children’s book, the Cat (Mike Meyers) confronts a dog with a hoe. After the dog runs away, he quips “dirty hoe” to the gardening tool, and marginally makes the situation better by apologizing to it, only to go in for a deep kiss.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Key Party
In a flashback to the Grinch’s origins, it’s revealed that the Grinch lands in Whoville on the night of his adoptive parents’ annual holiday “get-together.” Only, as the party comes into view, it’s clear that guests are tossing their keys together in a bowl, a common practice for sorting people at swingers parties.