Total Nerd Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons  

Jordan Breeding
30 votes 9 voters 14 items

List Rules Vote up the movies that taught you all the wrong things.

Kids' movies are typically supposed to promote wholesome values. Perhaps more importantly, movies are also supposed to make lots and lots of money. In their pursuit of cash, filmmakers sometimes don't spend much time on the wholesome values, and they inadvertently release family movies with the wrong messages. So a film seemingly about friendship or family might also feature problematic themes like misogyny or racism.

At the time, it probably didn't seem like a big deal. Kids watching movies like Mrs. Doubtfire or The Mask likely don't think twice about how creepy and messed-up the male protagonists are in those films. They just seem like wacky - but ultimately endearing - characters. Go back and watch your favorites again, though, and you'll notice you took in tons of movies that messed kids up.

The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  20th Century Fox

The Sandlot may have been a lot of fun to watch as a kid, but years later, certain scenes are incredibly disturbing. The film is full of rampant misogyny. The boys mock each other for throwing "like a girl" and don't believe a woman could know about Babe Ruth. Squints even tricks lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn into kissing him by pretending to drown in the pool, which is pretty gross. 

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Blank Check is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  Walt Disney Pictures

There's a lot wrong with Blank Check. For one thing, it glorifies extreme spending and the pursuit of money at all costs, even when it's unethical. It also encourages inappropriate relationships between children and adults.

The agent assigned to the case of "Mr. Macintosh" is an adult woman in her late 20s or early 30s. She spends most of the film with a preteen boy in middle school. Not just spending time, either - the two go on dates, run through water fountains, and ultimately share a kiss on the mouth. That's not something kids should watch, lest they think it's okay for strange adults to show them affection in that way.

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The Brave Little Toaster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  Walt Disney Pictures

The Brave Little Toaster teaches kids about the power of friendship, how to believe in yourself, and that every random appliance in your house is alive. The first two lessons are innocent enough, but the third encourages hoarding. Most kids don't believe their toaster could secretly come to life, but even the most basic implication that inanimate objects have intrinsic worth beyond their function is the first step toward holding on to things you don't need.

There's no point in keeping a broken toaster, right? Well, if you've been taught to remember all the good times you've had and mediocre toast you've made with that machine, you might be less inclined to dump it. Do that a couple of dozen times, and congratulations! You're a hoarder.

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Dennis the Menace is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  Warner Bros.

Dennis the Menace really wants viewers to be okay with a horrible child. Dennis is incredibly energetic, and his boundless enthusiasm leads him to do things like break into other people's homes and shoot pills into their mouths with a slingshot. That's not normal behavior, but somehow Dennis is the protagonist of the film, while all the adults who'd prefer not to be abused by a child are the bad guys.

The movie encourages destructive and annoying behavior because that's what kids are evidently supposed to do. George tells Dennis's parents, "Kids are kids. You have to play by their rules. If you can't do that, you're in trouble. You must roll with the punches. You must expect the unexpected." Kids watching the movie probably realized they could get away with anything if they acted crazy enough.

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#51 on The Best Movies of 1993

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