YMMV / The Parent Trap

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The remake's "11 years and 9 months later" caption gives the implication that Elizabeth got pregnant very quickly after meeting Nick - suggesting that may have been the reason they got married in the first place.
    • The odd thing is that "about twelve years" would've served the purpose equally well. It's not like Annie and Hallie remark that they just barely turned eleven when they meet at camp anyway, they've been eleven for at least a few months.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The relationship between the parents in the Hayley Mills version seems a little abusive by modern standards. In the remake, the parents both make mentions of having stupid tempers when they were younger - but they've clearly matured and they talk through their issues a bit more rationally.
    • Hayley Mills's American accent is just about passable in the original. The remake makes one of the twins British, and Lindsay Lohan's accent is much more decent.
    • Some viewers of the original are a little shocked at the drastic haircut that Susan has to get - from just past her shoulders to completely short. The remake lessens it to Annie just having her hair cut from elbow length to shoulder length.
  • Broken Base: Viewers are split over the twins' plan. Numerous parodies and deconstructions find it unrealistic and that the majority of divorced couples don't usually get back together. On the other hand, some fans point out that some do get back together and the movie leaves plenty of Foreshadowing that the parents still feel something for each other.
  • Designated Hero:
    • The parents. In both movies, they were people who got divorced and, to make it easier on themselves, decided that each would only get custody of one child and never mention the existence of their sibling. Robot Chicken demonstrated the couple's despicable behavior in a fake trailer for a mid-quel of the remake.
    • Hallie in the remake comes quite close as well. She initiates all the arguments (pulling Annie into the water, stealing her clothes), behaves like a spoiled brat in the isolation cabin and forces Annie to deal with all the drama surrounding Nick's relationship with Meredith because she wants to spend more time with her mother. And there's the fact that Annie is forced to both cut her hair and get her ears pierced, all Hallie has to do is change her accent, though Hallie does point out that she can't exactly unpierce her ears.
  • Ear Worm: The original movie has "The Parent Trap" and "Let's Get Together," two of the first songs that The Sherman Brothers wrote for a Disney movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Martin and Chessy are beloved in the remake. Both of them provide the majority of the film's funny moments.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: If children actually tried to bring their divorced parents back together, chances are the consequences would be disappointing and devastating. But then again, there are a few real life examples on the Divorce Is Temporary page...
  • Fanon: Some fans like the idea of Vicki in the remake actually being the same Vicki from the original, as a way of tying the two films together. The fact that she's aware of Meredith marrying Nick for his money lends some merit to the notion.
  • Fetish Retardant: The appearance of the Butler in the Lindsay Lohan version, wearing a Speedo. To be fair, he's not fat or ugly. It's just that for some Americans, there's something uncomfortable about a middle-aged or elderly adult in bathing suit typically worn by the younger generation.
  • First Installment Wins:
    • The Hayley Mills version had three sequels, the last one coming just nine years before the Lindsay Lohan version. Anyone remember them? The third and fourth got hit especially hard; The Parent Trap II at least became bundled with the original on DVD.
    • On the other hand, whether you're more familiar with the Hayley Mills version or the Lindsay Lohan version will probably depend a lot on how old you are. The first VHS and DVD of the latter explicitly called it a remake on the back cover, while the newer DVD case does not.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Hallie makes a joke about heading into her teenage years "and I'll be the only girl I know without a mother to fight with" - which is especially harsh when you think of Lindsay Lohan getting brought to nightclubs by her mother in real life, and said mother using her daughter's own troubles to launch a reality show.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • On the red carpet for this film, the then-twelve-year-old Lindsay Lohan was asked about doing more movies. She responded that she might in the future, but she wanted to have a normal childhood for a while. At the time, a relief that she wouldn't become a Former Child Star. Nowadays, she fell headlong into the trap and is one of the most famous examples of her generation.
    • Lizzie's heartwarming speech at the end of the remake mentions her and Nick growing old together. Her actress, Natasha Richardson, later died in a skiing accident in 2009 at age 45.
    • This film started Lindsay Lohan's career. Another film where she played twins was the nadir of her downward spiral that pretty much killed her career.
    • Hallie mockingly says of Annie's nose "don't worry, dear; those things can be fixed". Lindsay Lohan would later get a bit of plastic surgery herself in real life.
    • Hallie being a Daddy's Girl, when Lindsay Lohan was rather publicly estranged from her father during the worst parts of her bad years.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the 1961 movie's Animated Credits Opening, the father reads a newspaper with the Celebrity Paradox headline, "Walt Disney Named Manager of the Angels". From 1997-2005, the Disney company indeed owned the baseball team with the same name.
    • Dennis Quaid plays a father who just got divorced who's kids want him to get back with his wife. Seven years later, Quaid would star in the 2005 remake of Yours, Mine, and Ours where he plays a widowed Coast Guard with 8 kids who marries a widowed handbag designer (Rene Russo) with 10 kids. But this time, the kids' goal in that film is the total opposite of the twins' goal—They want the parents to split up!
    • When Lohan and Richardson are crossing the street "Abbey Road" style, parked nearby is a white, classic VW Beetle. Lohan's final film for Disney (so far) became Herbie: Fully Loaded.
    • Annie and Hallie being "punished until the end of the century" is funny when you realize that the movie takes place in 1998.
  • Love to Hate: Both Joanna Barnes and Elaine Hendrix make their respective evil girlfriends so hilariously over the top that they're usually some of the highlights of their respective movies.
  • Never Live It Down: A lot of fans forget that the twins' plan isn't initially to get their parents back together. They just want to get to know the respective parent they've never lived with. The plan also doesn't come into action until after the twins have a discussion about how neither of their parents ever came close to getting married again. So the twins are aware from the start that there's a possibility they wouldn't get back together.
  • She Really Can Act: Inverted, as this is Lindsay Lohan's first film. But it's still a clear indicator that she definitely has some acting talent, especially helping distinguish between each twin, and each one pretending to be the other.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The conversation about the break-up. Elizabeth talks about their blazing row, how she packed her bags and Nick never came after her.
    Nick: I didn't know that you wanted me to.
    • There's also the part where the families say goodbye just as Annie and Elizabeth are about to go back to London. You see Nick hugging Annie, Elizabeth hugging Hallie and the twins desperately embracing each other. They even walk each other to the car, clearly desperate to spend every second they can together.
    • Lindsay Lohan's tribute to Natasha Richardson after her sudden death in 2009.
    "She was a wonderful woman and treated me like her own. We didn't speak much over the years but I will miss her."
    • The scenes where Annie reveals herself to Chessy and Hallie reveals herself to Elizabeth are both incredibly emotional. Chessy falls to pieces the second Annie admits who she is, blurting out her birth weight and asking to hug her, in tears. And when Hallie admits to Elizabeth who she is and that she wanted to get to know her mother, there's an incredibly heart-breaking moment when you realize that, as much as she might have agreed to it or even come up with the idea, the separation has been just as hard on her as Hallie.
    Hallie: I hope that one day you'll love me for me and not as Annie.
    Elizabeth: [pulls Hallie into a hug and kisses her head]] Oh, darling. I've loved you your whole life.
    • The scene where Nick finds out about them is also fairly emotional, especially when Nick hugs Annie and is all emotional over seeing her as her for the first time in a decade.
  • Values Dissonance: The idea that parents who broke up in a divorce should get back together, no matter how much they fight, is odd to 21st century society (but quite familiar to mid-20th century American one). The remake seems to recognize this, as while the relationship between the parents in the Hayley Mills version seems a little abusive by modern standards, in the remake, the parents never actually fought, and both make mentions of having stupid tempers when they were younger. It's mentioned that the main reason for the divorce was "we were both young, we both had stupid tempers" as well as Elizabeth technically not wanting to leave — she expected Nick to stop her so they could make up but Nick believed she wanted to leave. Now that they've matured and sorted their issues out, they might fare better.note 
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: You can thank the Double Vision effects (as well as some good acting) for convincing several movie viewers that Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan had twin sisters. Jamie Lee Curtis even asked which twin Lindsay played when they were to star in Freaky Friday (2003).
  • What an Idiot!: Granted, everything had already gone to hell by that point anyway, but Meredith ranting she planned to ship Hallie and Annie off to Switzerland and telling Nick "It's me or them, take your pick" comes across as galactically stupid since they're, you know, his daughters, one of whom he clearly loves and dotes on, and the other who he hasn't gotten to see in years. Did she really think he was going to pick her in that ultimatum? But that's the way narcissistic people roll.


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