20 Insensitive Moments From My Favorite Movies And TV Shows Growing Up That Make Me Go “Yikes” Today

I grew up on a lot of weird and random movies/TV shows. They range from action to horror. Musicals to raunchy comedies. My film and TV show tastes were all over the place as a child.

Universal Pictures

Not every movie and TV show I watched in my youth has aged well, though. So, I compiled a list of moments from my favorite things growing up that don't really feel appropriate (and some that are just flat-out awful):

Warning: This post contains discussion of rape, sexual assault, racism, and ableism.

1.Nute Gunray's accent in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is extra bad when you learn who voices him.

Nute Gunray speaks

So, the Star Wars movies have a plethora of stereotypical depictions of different groups of people, but for me, none is worse than the antagonist of the first episode, Viceroy Nute Gunray. British actor Silas Carson, who also plays Ki-Adi-Mundi (cone-head Jedi), uses a voice that could only be described as someone trying to mimic an Asian accent. While I love the practicality of Gunray's character design, the character itself feels like a walking stereotype.

I'd rather Carson stick to playing Mundi and ask about the droid attack on the Wookiees.

20th Century Fox

2.Saturday Night Live making light of Boy Scouts being sexually assaulted in the "Canteen Boy" sketch is really tasteless.

Canteen Boy being smelled by his Scout Master

SNL has always pushed the envelope, but this skit definitely went too far. We have Adam Sandler doing Adam Sandler things as the recurring character, Canteen Boy, but we also get Alec Baldwin, his Scout Master. In short, the comedy revolves around the Scout Master trying to seduce his boy scout.


3.The jokes Borat directed at Kazakhstan take the film from satire into stereotyping.

Borat walks with townspeople

Borat was as quotable of a comedy movie as any when it came out, leaving 13-year-old boys responding to everything with "very nice." The movie itself was huge, but now that time has passed the majority of the humor just stayed in the 2000s.

While the movie itself is meant to use offensive humor to put our own ways and biases under a microscope, it is at the cost of dragging the poor and very real people of Kazakhstan. So, I find this movie just about unwatchable because of the stereotypes.

I will neither confirm nor deny that whenever I sit in a new chair I say "king of the castle, king of the castle" to myself.

20th Century Fox

4.The "just boys being boys" tropes in Grease make anything beyond the songs almost unwatchable.

Paramount Pictures

The bullying of Gene and Patty. The treatment of the Pink Ladies. Kenickie pulling up Patty's dress as a "comedic" bit. I could go on and on. The movie itself idolizes the T-Birds, who, come on, are really just a bunch of degenerates.

The FBI should figure out which kids mooned everyone at the dance any day now, lol.

5.The love story in Big gets worse the more I think about it.

A kid in big work clothes

Oh, boy.

So, in Big, a young boy's wish backfires when he changes to become Tom Hanks...I mean, a grown adult. The story unfolds and he eventually finds a love interest that he goes on to sleep with and actually develops a strong romantic relationship with. They then part ways and he becomes young again...and she's left knowing he was a child all along.

WHAT? The movie is a classic, but the romantic subplot is a creepy mess.

20th Century Fox

6.The brother, Warren, from There's Something About Mary is literally just a comedic punchline to make fun of people with disabilities.

Warren holds a solved Rubix cube

I could have made this whole list about things that are offensive in Something About Mary, and, to me, it is the poster movie for inappropriate raunchy comedies. But the greatest offense, in my opinion, has to be the character Warren.

Of all the things in this film, this feels like the most undebatable example of punching down. Like, Matt Dillon's character (a great performance by the way) being the creepy a-hole that is laughed at by the audience makes sense, but making fun of people with disabilities comes off as just trying to be edgy when, in reality, it is just extremely offensive.

20th Century Fox

7.The "manly love" bathroom scene in Dumb & Dumber is a double dip of terrible humor.

Lloyd Christmas looks terrified in a bathroom stall

Oof. Another comedy I still quote, but this scene takes the cake as the worst scene in the film.

Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) finds himself in a bathroom stall that is marked for "manly love" when he is confronted by a rough, burly man he had screwed over earlier in the film. So, not only is it "oh, no, this man is gay" humor, it is also "ha ha, Lloyd's about to get raped" humor. Yikes.

A lot of channels cut this scene (at least in my teenage years), but, man, it is really awful.

New Line Cinema

8.The "grotesque" dinner table in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom enforces biases against Indian food.

A man eats two snakes

You can throw the whole book at the depictions of Eastern culture in Temple of Doom, but the royal dinner scene sticks out to me. Again, it's inappropriate to paint Indian people as "uncivilized" people who eat "gross" foods.

From "chilled monkey brains" to "eyeball soup", it was an unnecessary touch to an already questionable treatment of Indian characters.

Paramount Pictures

9.The way Libyans are showcased as bloodthirsty terrorists in Back to the Future just feels wrong.

A Libyan nationalist with a gun

This one is more of a "think about it from a kid's perspective" moment. I wouldn't have been able to point to Libya on a map as a kid, but if I had heard the country's name, my movie-loving kid mind would have gone to Back to the Future, which showcases Libyans as terrorists who wanted Doc Brown to build them a nuke.

I mean, the whole movie is outlandish and wonderful, but this is just an example of bad representation in movies.

Universal Pictures

10.The twist in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is so inappropriate, that it basically ruins what is a hilarious movie.

Jim Carrey yells in the ear of Sean Young

Yeah, this one is on every list.

Ventura is an icon to most '90s boys, but his reaction to the Einhorn twist really falls flat today. This movie is ridiculous and filled with genuinely hilarious visual gags, but this scene is just such a red flag, especially considering the struggles of trans people and the threat of violence that many of them face. The mere existence of trans people is something people still can't come to grips with, and media like this doesn't help.

Warner Bros.

11.The depiction of the African tribes in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls are, shall we say, pretty offensive.

A painted-faced tribesman screams

Honest opinion, this might be the better Ventura film, but it doesn't come without its own set of problems.

The film takes place in Africa, but other than like one guard, the only Africans we see are from two tribes. One tribe are nice warriors but a bit daft, while the others are straight-up like a '30s movie tribe depiction. For the most part, the movie tries to make Jim Carrey the butt of the joke, but the visual stereotyping goes way too far.

Even all the fake names (country, tribes, etc.) are insensitive, like the "Wachootoo" tribe.

Warner Bros.

12.Even though Scare Tactics is scripted, it's totally mean-spirited and led to a wave of invasive "prank humor."

Hallock Healey Entertainment

I love horror, so growing up I obviously enjoyed every second of the prank show Scare Tactics. That being said, I think it became so popular that viewers thought overly-mean pranks were the way to go. In YouTube's early days, you saw prank accounts get huge using that same mean humor. The show itself was mostly scripted, which means even the "victims" were in on it. So, yes, the clips themselves are still hilarious, but the type of mean humor that trickled down from it is not my cup-o-tea.

13.In one episode of King of Queens, Doug likes his wife Carrie better drunk, so he introduces cocktail night...daily.

Carrie Heffernan with a cocktail

In the King of Queens episode, "Lush Life," Doug realizes Carrie is "more fun and relaxed" when she has a cocktail hour at work, so he...gives her cocktails every day.

Similar to the Seinfeld episode about Jerry giving his girlfriend pills so he can play with her vintage toys while she is passed out, it just has the wrong...everything. In both scenarios, women are being drugged by their significant others. Not the best look.

So, in conclusion: oof.

Sony Pictures Television

14.In a temporarily banned Seinfeld episode, Kramer stomps on the Puerto Rican flag as a visual gag.

Kramer stomps on a burning Puerto Rican flag

The episode, "The Puerto Rican Day," ends with Kramer accidentally setting a PR flag on fire and stomping it out in front of Puerto Ricans attending the festivities.

Growing up and seeing how people react so intensely over the American flag or National Anthem, I can only imagine what the outraged reactions would have been if this joke was done with a closer-to-home red, white, and blue flag.

Columbia Pictures Television

15.Shallow Hal tries to say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" while leaning on every fat joke in the book.

Gwyneth Paltrow holds up a large pair of underwear

Shallow Hal tries to balance fat jokes but also says, "Oh, wait a minute...fat people have feelings, too?"

20th Century Fox

16.Rush Hour 2 can be kinda cringy overall, but Jeremy Piven stands out.

Jeremy Piven in a turtle neck

The Rush Hour movies clearly pride themselves on their "edgy" humor, but they lean on anti-gay tropes throughout the trilogy. In the sequel, Jeremy Piven plays a clothing store worker. The crux of the "joke" is Carter feeling uncomfortable around an effeminate man talking about fashion, and when the worker goes near him, he flips out and acts disgusted simply because a man was trying to touch him.

New Line Cinema

17.The depiction of the singing crows in Dumbo are a little...nah, let's say very racist.

An animated crow winks

Fast-talking black crows appear in the film Dumbo. Their names are Jim Dandy Crow, Fats, Deacon, Dopey, and Specks.

Jim Crow wink included above. Well, there you go.

RKO Radio Pictures

18.MXC on Spike TV dubbed Takeshi's Castle with all kinds of inappropriate commentary.

A reporter with the title "guy le douche"

MXC was a Japanese obstacle course game show dubbed with crude, sexual...Spike TV humor.

I was in college by the time I saw the original show, Takeshi's Castle, which has all of the hilarious physical blunders without the mild racism and sexism. For example, take MXC field reporter, "Guy Le Douche," who would sexually harass the female competitors and add his own creepy comments throughout the show.

Magnolia Home Entertainment

19.It's A Wonderful Life ends with a twist about Mary that is somewhat hilarious now (but, of course, outdated).

Mary Bailey in glasses and a librarian bun

Long story short if you haven't seen it: the main character wishes he was never born and sees how awful his town and friends would have been without him. Fast-forward to the MC George searching and finding his wife Mary, who is...(dramatic music) without a man and a librarian. *GASPS*

The notion that Mary being single and a librarian is the worst thing in the world that could've happened to her is pretty outdated. Heck, give me that life right meow.

RKO Radio Pictures

20.The way A Christmas Story plays Chinese restaurant workers' accents for laughs is wrong.

Men caroling in a Chinese restaurant

A top-20 movie for me, A Christmas Story is the most realistic and raw family comedy. It's hilarious and relatable, but the movie takes a weird turn at the end when they go to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas (their home dinner was ruined) and they listen to some of the workers sing Christmas carols.

The joke is that the singing Asian men can't pronounce their "r's". Ugh. We're going to come to a point when the 24-hour marathon cuts this and everyone throws a fit, but it really offers nothing to the story.

MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Are there any moments from shows or movies you watched growing up that now make you cringe? Do you disagree with any on this list? Comment below!