American Girl Dolls Had Some Really Messed Up Backstories

List Rules
Vote up the darkest things about this beloved children's property.

If you're a kid of the '90s, you remember American Girl dolls. You probably associated the dolls – each from a different period of US history – and their accompanying books with horses, frolicking, and tales of best friendship. They're fun, easy-to-read stories about plucky young girls learning life lessons and wearing old-timey dresses. What possible hardships could a range of '90s toys aimed at young girls have faced? As it turns out, a ton.

Take another read of those cute little books, and you'll notice so many disturbing things about American girl dolls. Messed up American Girl doll stories include such horrifying details as slavery, kidnapping, child labor, frozen corpses, attempted horse murder, cholera, and poverty. Not to mention the existential terror brought about by war. Kids love that stuff!

When we say we're talking the darkest stories from American Girls, we mean daaaark. It's a miracle an entire generation wasn't traumatized. Let's revisit some of the more horrifying story elements that, while historically accurate, are kind of a heavy read.