Kids Movies Were Weird: Adults In the ’The Parent Trap’ Never Knew WTF Was Happening

Olivia Jakiel
(Photo: OBSEV / Pretty52)

Y’all remember The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan? You know, the movie that made every 90s kid want to go to summer camp so they could find their long-lost twin and switch lives to see how the other side lives? Also, remember how everyone tried to learn that super-secret handshake? Yeah, that one. I used to think it was a clever and wholesome movie, but after watching it again as an adult, I can safely say that if you still think this is a heartwarming film about long-lost rekindled love and family, then you are out of your goddamn mind.

Let me begin by asking: what's so wholesome about two people who got married, fell in love, had kids, decided they hated each other, then were like, "OK, this is how we settle this. These kids are too young to know they have a sibling, let alone a twin, so I'll take one to California, you take one to London, and we shall never speak of this again?"

OK. The parents send each kid to summer camp for eight weeks. On the dad's part: what a GREAT excuse for you to to f*ck around and find a FIANCÉE while your 12-year-old kid is doing things like playing strip poker and fencing at what I would consider a pretty damn professional level.

Seriously. What the hell kind of summer camp has no supervision and one of the activities is FENCING? You're telling me some chick from Napa Valley is an Olympic-level fencer with some chick from London and they also have witty banter DURING the whole match? What are the odds? 

OK, wait. Napa kids are rich AF. And Annie's mom is a famous wedding dress designer. Never mind, this makes sense that they're into fencing—what doesn't make sense is why some camp in the woods in the middle of nowhere has fencing for an afternoon activity. 

Anyway, when they take their fencing masks off, they don't realize THEN that they're literally identical? Neither does the camp staff? How dumb are these people? It's not like anyone even says, "Oh, wow, you guys have similar features." No one even questions the fact that they are mirror images of each other. They're just like, "OMG it's a coincidence. Hehe wowzers!"

Then there's the fact that these preteens are running an underground poker ring. Again, where is the supervision? It's not like a few people snuck off to do this; basically the entire camp was in ONE cabin while the "counselors" were nestled safely in their little camp beds, oblivious to all the illegal shit that was happening in cabin #5 down the trail. 



First off, what's the probability of Lindsay Lohan #1 getting a royal flush? And the fact that the loser has to strip herself of all of her clothes while everyone watches? SICK. Also, what kind of sick, twisted preteens actually take someone's clothes and make them walk around a campground naked?

And with that is the start of a prank war. First off, how the HELL do these 12-year-old girls get an entire cabin's worth of furniture up on the roof with no help whatsoever? How is that plausible? Furthermore, in retaliation, how does another group of 12-year-old girls rig an entire cabin for the most insane hijinks you've ever seen in your life without waking up said cabin in the process? 



Which brings me to this: the isolation cabin. OK camp supervisors—phenomenal idea! Put two people who absolutely hate each other in a goddamn cabin far away from the rest of the camp with no supervision. Doesn't sound like the start of a "Criminal Minds" episode at all. Oh! And the fact they both like Oreos and peanut butter brings up the fact they have the same birthday and also have a ripped-down-the-middle picture of their parents together on a boat? OKAY. 

Fast forward to after they find out "they're sisters, no they're like TWINS!" These unsupervised preteens are cutting their hair and piercing their ears (where did they get a lighter to sterilize the needle, where did they get a needle?) and no one questions it.



Anyway, they've made a plan to switch lives and pretend to be each other in order to meet their estranged parents. Awwww! NO. The fact that their parents have been keeping this secret their entire lives is insanely f*cked up. Even the nanny and the butler know. EVERYONE KNOWS EXCEPT THE CHILDREN. 

There are many things leading up to the revelation that Annie is not Annie and Hallie is not Hallie—like, oh, I don't know, maybe the way everyone tells them, "You seem different and not like yourself." Even Chessy (I thought her name was Jessie for the longest time; what is that short for, Chessica?) says at one point, "If I didn't know better I would say you were…" 



OH, ANNIE? Because you've been keeping this secret for forever? 

Regardless of that sh*t, before that, we find out that Hallie's dad met and got engaged to a 26-year-old gold digger in the eight weeks that Hallie was gone. EIGHT WEEKS. And she also threatens to send "Hal" (really Annie) to boarding school in "Timbuktu," which clearly shows she is an unfit step mother who just wants in on that whole winery business thing and to get rid of this dude's goddamn offspring. She's like a little blonde Al Pacino mobster. 

Meanwhile, "Annie" (Hal) is in London, making insane commentary on wine while her mother knows that Annie and Hal's dad owns a winery, yet plays it off like she learned about that sh*t at summer camp. Seriously, WTF kind of summer camp did these people send their kids to? 


Anyway, once everyone *surprise* figures out that these 12-year-olds played the ultimate April Fool's joke, there's some scheme that SOMEHOW works out in which everyone ends up at a hotel in San Fran for the weekend and the parents are too drunk to realize which kid is which. Parenting award of the year goes to: deez guys, apparently. 



Fast forward to the twins trying to recreate the night their parents took that picture on the boat. How did two kids set this up? And they employed both Chessy and the butler to serve them. Where did they get this money? They clearly didn't work over the summer—they were too busy figuring out their parents abandoned them at an early age.

Fast forward again to the annual camping trip. Elizabeth (real London mom) encourages the fam to go on this trip with Meredith, the soul-sucking millennial gold digger, in the middle of the woods. The girls devise a plan to cover her with sugar-water to attract mosquitos, then wait until she falls asleep and throw her on an inflatable mattress and push her OUT TO SEA while they giggle and laugh at the fact that she could flip over and die at any second. 



These chicks are sociopaths.

Moving forward, the dad realizes that *surprise* this lady that's like 20 years younger than him isn't the right woman, and he falls in love with his original baby mama all over again and they all lived happily ever after. 

*smacks forehead*

So basically, while revisiting this classic tale of family and love, we find out that it's not about that at all. Sure, these kids just want their parents back together, but do they have to ruin other people's lives and cause such a commotion while doing so? And the adults in this film—they're even more ridiculous than the kids. These people are reckless and certainly aren't fit to be parents or even be around children.