Even Disney isn’t immune to slipping in a few mature jokes here and there. But not all of these jokes are of the dirty variety. We’ve laughed about foot size and had "The Talk" before, but how about those jokes younger viewers don’t get until they have a few more years under their belt?
Disney’s adult humor is top-notch, oftentimes falling into clever wordplay, and—we'll admit—it does fall into more crass humor at times. How can anyone resist? Here are 10 Disney movie references that we missed as a kid.
10 Gaston, You Are Positively Primeval
Book-smart, compassionate, and driven, Belle is still goals with a heart of gold. This was one of the lines needlessly cut in the live-action remake, which is really unfortunate because it’s a nice little nugget for Belle’s character.
When Gaston attempts to flirt with her—and is downright misogynistic at that—Belle shoots back this “compliment.” Seeing as Belle is one of the few literate people in town, Gaston takes it as a compliment. Kids, for the most part, don’t know was “primeval” means, but can get that it’s not meant to be a compliment from context. As adults, we can fully appreciate Belle’s wit. Yes, that was an incredibly backward thought Gaston was spewing out. Go Belle!
9 The 'S' Stand For Sitter
When The Incredibles finally came out on DVD, Pixar included the short Jack-Jack Attack to show us what happened with baby Jack-Jack and Kari, the babysitter. It’s one in a long tradition of hilarious add-on shorts, with Kari’s phone calls cleverly lining up with certain scenes in the movie. During her first call with Mrs. Parr (aka Elastagirl), viewers can actually hear the missile alert from the plane going off.
More importantly, it answers the question of why and how Syndrome got Jack-Jack. Poor Kari, mentally scarred by our favorite superpowered baby, eagerly hands Jack-Jack over to The Sitter. Because, as a babysitter, he couldn’t be running around with a big “BS” on his chest. Incidentally, that was a load of BS.
8 Herc Had Cash To Burn
Hercules has a bop of a soundtrack. From the emotionally impactful “Go the Distance” to the inverted power ballad “I Won’t Say I’m in Love,” the song list is just plain fun. Of course, the Muses steal the show with “Zero to Hero.”
Out of the 90s Disney movies, Hercules probably contains the most pop culture references. Most of them we catch, like the Brittany and Jason joke. But “Zero to Hero” slips in those lyrics, which sums up Michael Eisner’s (the previous Disney CEO) humor pretty well, considering the late, not-so-great Superstar Limo attraction. Please, just don't even bother to look it up, it's not worth it.
7 There Are Children Present
Coco manages to slip a few jokes by us, but “Everyone Know Juanita” takes the cake for being on the nose and so cleverly done. Created to mimic Mexican ranchera, a genre of traditional Mexican music, Hector sings the song to Chicharrón as a final send-off.
Midway through the song, Hector realizes he gets to some questionable lyrics, definitely not appropriate for Miguel or other children to hear. He switches the line to "And her...knuckles, they scrape on the floor." Our minds can fill in the rest. Hector, nice censorship job. Juanita’s "knuckles" would be proud.
6 Chopped Up and Served Into Soup
The whole “Fish are friends” scene is brilliantly done, giving a good laugh to both kids and adults. Kids probably won't get the whole AA theme, but that’s fine. But this particular joke has some dark implications since Bruce is referencing shark fin soup.
It’s not exactly a light subject given how inhumanely shark fin soup is made and the resulting loss of the dorsal fin, most often for great white sharks (aka Bruce), is a death sentence. But it’s a clever way to say “I swear on my grave.”
5 You Old Rascal
The original Disney-animated 101 Dalmatians was released in 1961, so we would think that the 60s production team wouldn’t have slipped in anything. Yeah, they did.
Due to the live-action remake, a lot of us think that Perdita gave birth to 99 puppies. She actually only gave birth to a litter of 15. You know, only 15. When the dogs take the puppies back to their owners, Roger and Anita, Roger congratulates Pongo on, um, a job well done.
4 He Looked Like A Bear
Inside Out portrays the trials and tribulations of moving as a tween. And oh boy is it accurate. If it didn’t get a good cry out of viewers during the bus scene...what’s wrong with them? But like any Pixar movie, Inside Out has its fair share of hilarity.
Riley goes through a massive move from suburban Minnesota to San Francisco. At one point, she gets startled by a noise in the new house. Fear thinks it’s a bear, Disgust says there are no bears in the city, and Anger pipes up that some hairy guy looked like a bear. Not every adult would get this joke, but for those of us who are familiar with San Francisco’s reputation and are or have friends in the LGBT+ community, you probably laughed out loud.
3 And Got Busy!
The Incredibles is a film that just keeps Disney fans coming back for more. Being an adult definitely gives viewers more of an appreciation for the entire concept of the movie, especially considering we were only five years out from the superhero craze.
At one point, Syndrome discovers the entire Parr family. He seems puzzled at first, but he’s a smart guy, so all the pieces fall into place quickly. As soon as he realizes Mr. Incredible married Elastagirl, he looks at Dash and Violet and, with far too much amusement, exclaims, “AND GOT BUSY!” Oh Buddy, just wait until you meet Jack-Jack.
2 Bless You For Coming Out In Public
The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the many underrated films of the 2000s Disney era. The plot may be shaky, but the witty dialogue and general step away from typical Disney storytelling make it feel like a breath of fresh air. And, let’s face it, Yzma is the most relatable Disney villain to ever exist.
During the diner scene, Kuzco cross-dresses in order to even get a seat. Pacha claims they’re on their honeymoon, the waitress can only assume that they’re some flavor of gay. As a kid, we probably wouldn’t get a “coming out” joke, especially if you saw this movie in theaters in 2000. Now, it’s a meme.
1 Your Great-Granddaughter Had To Be A Cross Dresser
Everyone can relate to grandparents who maybe don’t say completely appropriate things in public, but how about ancestors?
A discussion about Mulan’s decision to take her father’s place in the army turns into a full-blown argument among the ancestors. The entire scene is filled with a goldmine of lines, including “We can’t all be acupuncturists!”
But, “your great-granddaughter had to be a cross-dresser!” is not one most could appreciate until they're older. It just happens so quickly, comes out of nowhere, and is a painfully accurate comment. Thankfully, this one’s aged pretty well considering cross-dressing is more socially acceptable now and Mulan just has some really gay undertones. So understanding the reference makes the entire movie better.