Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / The Parent Trap

Go To

  • 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.
    • Advertisement:
    • And yes, there are some people who actually feel sorry for Meredith, despite her intentions. And this extends to the twins' final revenge - some see it as going too far, while others view it as adequate comeuppance for Meredith.
  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Designated Villain: While Meredith may be an unsympathetic character, at the same time she is only viewed as a "villian" by the girls, simply because she gets in the way of their plan to reunite their parents. Plus, she really didn't deserve the last prank the girls pulled on her (by moving her mattress out on to the lake), which really could have killed her- which makes her understandably upset.
  • 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 Dark Horse: 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 (they're both played by Joanna Barnes). The fact that she's aware of Meredith marrying Nick for his money lends some merit to the notion. Meredith even wears a similar charm bracelet to Vicki (which Elaine Hendrix says is a Shout-Out).
  • 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.
      • It's worth noting that the sequels were all made for the then-new Disney Channel as made-for-cable movies. In fact, IIRC, Parent Trap II might have been the channel's first original production. Back in the day, the Disney Channel was intended more to cash in on classic Disney nostalgia. It was only over time that it morphed into a source of original kid-friendly content.
    • 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 divorced father whose 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 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.
  • Nightmare Fuel: From the Lindsay Lohan version, when to complete her guise as Hallie Annie is forced to have her ears pierced. The girls resort to a massively long needle and a piece of apple to carry out the crude technique, as we see all of it. Annie's squirming and subsequent scream don't help matters at all. Not too surprisingly, this bit is often edited out when aired.
  • 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.
  • 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 phenomenally stupid since they're, you know, his daughters, one of whom he clearly loves and dotes on, and the other whom 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.


Example of: