When Saturday Night Live alumni Mike Myers, Comedian Eddie Murphy, and There’s Something About Mary star Cameron Diaz signed up to headline the children’s movie franchise Shrek, it was hard to picture a family friendly PG film. Thanks to a set of clever writers, some improv from the actors, and the ability to create a ‘read between the lines’ type of comedy that would go over the heads of most children, all while entertaining parents, the film became a huge success. The franchise broke records in the box office and home video sales with each Shrek related film earning an average of 283 million dollars in the theatre alone.
For those who saw the films as kids themselves, that are now grown up, since the original film came out nearly 20 years ago in 2001, there’s a whole lot that they missed. A lot of it was inappropriate when you think about it or revisit the content again. While Shrek movies remain for children, there’s a whole lot in there that is hardly G rated, or even PG 13. Here are 20 sketchy things we never noticed about Shrek, until today!
20 Planted Catnip?
When Puss in Boots is stopped by the Royal Guards they magically find ‘catnip’ on his person. Catnip that he swears isn’t his... sure we believe you! Since catnip isn’t illegal anywhere, except for maybe in Happily Ever After Land, we know that this is a direct reference to another type of herb or spice.
19 Shrek's Fairy Tale Toilet Paper
From the opening scene of Shrek, we hear him reading a traditional fairy tale. Just a minute later we see the ogre rip a page out of the book and say, "Like that’s ever going to happen. What a load of...” It’s then that you realize that he’s sitting in an outhouse and using the fairy tale as toilet paper.
18 Overcompensating Castle?
You know that guy with the fancy sports car that looks a little phallic? Lord Farquaad is the embodiment of that insecurity, only instead of a fast car he has a gigantic castle. So, all the adults know exactly what Shrek means when he wonders aloud, "Do you think maybe he’s compensating for something?"
17 Joke About Snow White "Going Around"
Fairy tales are known for perpetuating certain stereotypes about women through their princesses. How they sit around waiting for Prince Right to rescue them is a part of this. When the Magic Mirror talks about Snow White, he jokes about her promiscuity, saying, "Although she lives with seven other men, she's not easy."
16 Donkey Has 'Sweet' Dreams
Some people talk in their sleep and Donkey is no exception. When Shrek overhears a sleeping Donkey saying, “Come on, baby, you know I like it like that..." we’re guessing he’s not talking about a back scratch or an extra carrot at dinner time. Since we later see Donkey form a relationship with a female dragon, we can only imagine what he’s into.
15 The True Way To Say Lord Farquaad's Name
Okay, we can’t literally spell this one out for you, because it’s bad language, but we can help you figure it out. Lord Farquaad’s name says everything about his personality and what a giant jerk he is. To find out about his true character just remove the R from his name and then say it again.
14 Farquaad's Requests From The Mirror
This one is a little icky. When Farquaad is obsessing about Fiona he keeps asking the Magic Mirror to show him pictures of the princess while he enjoys a little 'self-care time’ in bed. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out exactly what Farquaad is up to under the sheets.
13 The Van That Reeks Of Frankincense
Apparently young students in Medieval Fairy Tale Times also liked to party hardy. In Shrek we see a bunch of young men exit a carriage in a cloud of pungent smoke, that looks a little bit like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. As they exit looking worse for wear one of them can be overheard saying, “Hey, bro, don't burn all my frankincense and myrrh."
12 How Gingey Was Tortured
Shrek has legitimate political commentary in it. When Lord Farquaad's milk board tortures the Gingerbread Man, it’s calling to task the early 2000’s US practice of Waterboarding being used. The fact that it’s done by the big villain in the film really says something about how the writers felt about the ‘enhanced interrogation technique’.
11 Shrek Sleeps In The Buff
According to Men’s Journal around 17 percent of people sleep with nothing on, while 52 percent sleep only partially clothed. Shrek apparently falls into the 17 percent group, much to Donkey’s dismay in Shrek the Third when he pulls the covers off Shrek to reveal his birthday suit and nothing more.
10 When Donkey Finds Shrek & Fiona In Compromising Positions
Donkey has a knack for walking in unannounced and at one point he walks in on Shrek and Fiona, with Fiona sitting on his lap. While it’s not clear what they were up to before Donkey arrived, it’s fair to assume that he’s interrupted some intimate time between the pair of ogres.
9 The Books The Big Bad Wolf Reads
Prince Charming walks in on the Big Bad Wolf enjoying some leisurely reading. The thing is he isn’t reading anything ‘grandmotherly’, no matter what his disguise. He’s reading a mag called Pork Illustrated complete with a pig in a bikini on the cover. This is a big bad fetish for the wolf who apparently both likes to eat and get intimate with pigs? The bag of pork rinds beside him don't help. It’s messed up.
8 The Potion
If you have a good eye when watching Shrek 2, you may have caught this Easter Egg from The Fairy Godmother’s Potion room. In addition to the usual potions that have ingredients like, “a drop of desire, a pinch of passion and just a hint of lust” there is also some Viagra-like potion on the shelf. Perhaps she is making some extra money on the side care of big pharma.
7 Pinocchio The Politician
Pinocchio is a complicated young puppet and although he remains one of Shrek’s closest pals in the series, you wonder what the future holds for the wooden liar. Perhaps a career in politics is in the cards. When he provides an electoral endorsement he says, “I’m leaning to the left! I’m leaning to the Right! Who’s pulling my strings?”
6 A Waffle Hole?
When Donkey literally falls into a trap made of waffles, it’s a funny gag for kids watching. But when it’s later explained that he fell into ‘a waffle hole’ it’s enough innuendo to make more than a few adults raise their eyebrows. Take the sweet syrupy waffle hole however you want.
5 Robin Hood Likes To 'Get Paid'
Sometimes adult content isn’t about what is said, it’s about what’s implied. When Robin Hood sings his song about enjoying “an honest fight and a saucy little maid” his Merry Men fill in the blanks saying that he likes to get ‘paid’. The way they sing it, you know he’s not talking about making money, he’s singing about bedding babes.
4 The Take On The OJ Chase Scene
Shrek Two was paying tribute to reality TV and one of the most notorious real-life chases in modern history – the 1994 police chase involving OJ Simpson. In a point of view camera angle that mimics that of a reality cop show audience, see the Medieval Police chasing an actual White Bronco Horse. Clever.
3 The Ladies React To The New Shrek
When the local ladies react to seeing The New and Improved Shrek without his clothes it seems that they’re particularly smitten with his manliness. It’s unclear whether the regular Ogre is nearly as virile, but either way, the voyeurs approve of his bathing suit area and he gets some attention that he isn’t used to.
2 Pinocchio Likes A Certain Type Of Underwear
In the second movie Pinocchio can save the day using his underwear, or the way he lies about the type of underwear he wears, not the typical choice for a young puppet boy. It’s revealed that Pinocchio has a penchant for wearing women’s underwear, when his nose continues to grow as he denies repeatedly that he wears women’s undergarments.
1 Bad Behaviour In College
When Puss and Donkey have a freaky Friday body swap experience in Shrek the Third Donkey talks about how weird the whole experience is. He comments aloud, “I haven’t had a trip like that since college” which implies a little bit of psychedelic experimentation that may have taken place for Donkey once upon a time, many years ago.
Sources: Buzzfeed, Ranker, The Gamer, Bustle, Men's Journal