Total Nerd

Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons 

Jordan Breeding
Updated June 14, 2019 12.1k votes 2.4k voters 66.9k views 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.

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Heavyweights is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  Walt Disney Pictures

Obviously, fat-shaming and looking down on people for their weight are terrible things nobody should do. Still, the message behind Heavyweights isn't great.

When the kids first arrive at the weight-loss camp, it turns out all of them have smuggled in tons of junk food. Tony Perkis throws it all away, and the audience is supposed to see him as a villain. He's evil because he won't let them squirt chocolate syrup directly into their mouths.

Sure, Tony is a little crazy, and his motivations aren't in the right place, but he's at least trying to get these kids to adopt healthy habits. Kids watching the movie might assume anybody who tries to get them to exercise or eat better is an evil dirtbag, when they're probably just trying to help.

Is this a bad lesson?

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Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  20th Century Fox

Mrs. Doubtfire is a strange movie. A man going through a divorce attempts to reconnect with his kids by dressing up as an old woman and pretending to be their new housekeeper. When people discover his duplicity, everyone seems to think it's understandable because he was doing it for the kids.

Except what he did is illegal. He lied about his identity, donned a disguise, and tricked people into allowing him to spend time with kids the court had explicitly ordered him to leave alone. Children watching Mrs. Doubtfire could believe stalking is okay as long as love motivates it.

Is this a bad lesson?

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The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 7 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. 

Is this a bad lesson?

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The Mighty Ducks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Movies From Your Childhood That Taught You Bad Lessons
Photo:  Walt Disney Pictures

On the surface, The Mighty Ducks is about overcoming the odds and coming together as a team. At the end of the season, it's their friendship and unique talents that help them win the championship. Well, their unique skills, and how they managed to steal away the best hockey player in the area.

Through manipulation, Coach Bombay gets Adam Banks transferred to the Mighty Ducks, away from all his friends. He makes new friends, and the team ends up all the better for it, but it's the coach's underhanded methods that lead the team to victory. This behavior shows winning is more important than letting a kid play hockey with his friends.

Is this a bad lesson?

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