Kids movies are often fun, family-friendly adventures involving talking animals, precocious babies, or any number of silly animated creatures. However, there is actually a lot of adult humor in kids movies. This makes sense. Little kids can’t go to the theater by themselves, so there have to be some jokes for grown-ups too.
Typically there are adult jokes in movies that kids do not get. They can range from cleverly hidden swear words, to innuendos, to out of date pop cultural references. When adult humor in kids movies is done right though, the results are amazing. Sometimes these jokes even go over people’s heads for years until they revisit the films.
Watching one of your favorite kids movies as an adult and finding the jokes for grown-ups is a fun experience. You can realize how little you understood as a kid. All of these movies had jokes that kids do not get, but as adults, it’s easier to appreciate these sneaky examples of adult humor in kids movies.
1. In Madagascar, Marty is heard saying “Sugar honey iced tea!” Sounds like just a ridiculous exclamation, but just look at the first letter of each word.
2. Sometimes adult humor in kids movies has a scholarly source. For instance when Hercules goes to see a specific play and finds that he can relate to the main character.
3. There’s a joke that kids do not get until later in life in The Rugrats Movie. One baby is upset about his cord being cut, another baby is angry about getting cut somewhere else.
4. Animators can slip adult jokes in movies in a number of ways. Sometimes it’s just a visual cue, such as in The Emperor’s New Groove, where Kronk has pitched himself a tent.
5. Jokes for grown-ups that end up in kids movies can sometimes seem so obvious when they’re revisited, such as this little exchange from Hocus Pocus.
6. Sometimes the adult humor in kids movies is just way too subtle, such as this mutant toy from Toy Story. The lady legs on this fishing hook should give away this clever visual joke.
7. In Zootopia, Officer Judy Hopps makes a remark about rabbits being good at multiplying. Kids do not get this reproduction joke, but maybe they think it’s funny that a rabbit is good at math.
8 In the classic film, Space Jam, Lola Bunny flirts with Bugs Bunny. Afterward, Bugs goes stiff as a board. As far as jokes for grown-ups go, this one is pretty obvious
9 Adult jokes in movies typically seem to focus on the idea of having babies. This subtle joke from Robots has a wife telling her husband “making the baby is the fun part” before presenting a baby kit.
10. Inside Out was an emotional film, literally, but it also had some great jokes for grown-ups, such as this reference to a particular group of people in the LGBTQ community.
11. Going back to yet another classic 90’s film, Little Rascals definitely has some jokes kids do not get. Chief among them is Alfalfa’s hair, which stands up when he gets… Excited.
12. Adult humor in kids movies can slip by quickly, so it’s sometimes hard to catch. For example this quick sign joke from Cars where a bar says they have “all convertible waitresses.”
13. Sometimes jokes for grown-ups are references to major news stories. Adults chuckle, but kids do not get it. Take this Evil bank from Despicable Me for example.
14. Though it was a different flavor than most kids movies, The Fantastic Mr. Fox had fun having the characters replace every swear word with “cuss.”
15. Adult jokes in movies can get a little racy at times. Luckily they go right over the kids’ heads, like in Shrek when Shrek suggests Lord Farquaad’s castle is “compensating for something.”
16. Sneaking in references to swear words seems to be one of the most popular adult jokes in movies, such as this humorous exchange in The Incredibles.
17. In Cars 2, the evil cars, known as the lemons, have themselves a ‘lemon party.’ If you don’t get the reference, don’t Google it at work.
18. Sometimes adult jokes in movies almost go too far. In The Road to El Dorado, Tulio and Chel are interrupted during a kiss, but her head seems a bit too low for kissing…
19. When it comes to adult humor in kids movies, Pixar seems to do it the most. In Toy Story 2, after Buzz Lightyear gets some attention from cowboy doll Jessie, his wings shoot up involuntarily.
20. Sometimes adult humor in kids movies is all about the implication. In Ratatouille, Chef Skinner tells Linguini “One can get too familiar with vegetables!” We all know what he means.