6 Horrible Lessons Hollywood Loves to Teach Kids

#3. A One-Speed Bike You Can Take Anywhere!

As Seen In:

Dennis The Menace, The Goonies, ET

In the course of one adventurous day, a squad of movie kids will visit the water tower, the junkyard, the school, their house and the lake, all on their one-speed Huffy. And they still have the energy to get up to a variety of wacky hijinks upon arrival! What's this shit about today's kids being lazy and obese?

Hell, in The Goonies the kids bike from their house all the way to the abandoned restaurant in a single thirty second montage. Even the fat kid.

In the Real World:

Eighty percent of the reason being a kid sucks is you can't drive. You can't just zoom across town whenever you feel like it, you've got to wait for Mom or Dad to get home, or save up your allowance for cab fare, or latch onto the back of a garbage truck. Your ability to participate in adult-level adventures is thus severely limited.

To smooth over this depressing fact, Hollywood gives kids Lance Armstrong-esque biking abilities. In reality, the Goonies kids would wind up getting to the shore well after dark, too winded to even walk and having lost their hilarious fat buddy Chunk to a heart attack on that last hill climb.

Taking the pro-bike propaganda a step further, kids movies often paint kids who aren't riding a bike as insanely hostile toward anyone caught pedaling. In both The Goonies and The Karate Kid main characters are pushed off a cliff for daring to be on something not propelled by a motor. According to Hollywood, your Huffy isn't just a magical teleportation device, it's a choice in the battle between good and evil.

#2. Bad Guys Are Slower, Clumsier and Dumber Than Kids

As Seen In:

Home Alone, Pokemon, Scooby Doo, Loony Tunes, The Goonies

Wile E. Coyote made millions for Warner Brothers by driving home the fact that even with superior technology and elaborate planning, no one will ever catch the good guys, because the bad guys will always forget the little details. Like the giant fucking mountain in the way of the rocket.

There is a whole genre of kid adventure movies that drive home the same point, that the bad guys who're after you will always make some stupid mistake or, most importantly, underestimate you. They can't hope to match the smarts and sheer moxie of a fast, clever kid!

In the Real World:

This is one Hollywood lesson that's legitimately dangerous. Real crooks show up pissed off, desperate and with weapons. And, even strung out on meth, they're not stupid enough to be foiled by quickly scampering under coffee tables (even crackheads are known to negotiate simple obstacles). The real world has a term for kids who try to use Micro Machines to outsmart bad guys during a robbery: missing and presumed dead.

And don't get us started on Scooby-Doo. When a criminal goes to enough trouble to fake their own death so that they can use an elaborate system of projected lights and bed sheets to convince the entire town that the bank is haunted while they rob it, they fucking mean business. Don't show up with your stoned friends to try to stop them, call in a SWAT Team.

#1. The School Bully is Abused at Home, So It's Not His Fault

As Seen In:

Breakfast Club, Harry Potter, How to Eat Fried Worms, Countless others

It always goes the same way: the troupe of good kids spends half the story dealing with some big bad bullies who rule the school. But eventually they meet the bully's drunk redneck dad and everybody suddenly understands why the bully is such a dick.


"I hate my father!"

Then in the spirit of goodwill, the bully becomes good and they all band together and defeat the real evil in the world, Grown Ups! It's a seductive way of thinking for anyone who's ever been a victim of bullying. I'm in this locker, smelling some fat kid's sweat socks because the bully hates his parents!

That way you can rationalize the bad treatment without having to admit that you're 1) just physically weaker and 2) an insufferable nerd. That might mean giving up things that you enjoy, like wearing T-Shirts that express your opinion on the Greedo Shot First controversy.

In the Real World:

The real lesson to learn is that sometimes people are just cruel, and sometimes the cruel people are way more powerful than you. The bully doesn't have to have a mean family member that sits atop the jerk food chain, dishing out verbal abuse that trickles down onto your sorry ass. Sometimes a bully's just a spoiled rich kid who never experienced a minute of hardship. And often, the bully will go on to great success and continue to bully people as an adult, from inside a huge mansion.


Up top.

Just look at the way Ken Lay stole all the lunch money from a multinational corporation and died on a beach in the Caribbean surrounded by women in bikinis. In the real world, the bully wins.

If we haven't totally ruined your favorite childhood movies yet, allow us to finish the job with 8 Classic Movies That Got Away With Gaping Plot Holes and The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History. There, that oughta do it.

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