Things about The Parent Trap you only notice as an adult

What things in The Parent Trap do you only notice as an adult? If the first few chords of Nat King Cole's song "L-O-V-E" don't immediately make you think of the 1998 film, did you even have a childhood? The legendary kids' movie featured Lindsay Lohan — who's undergone a stunning transformation — in her breakout role as two identical twins who were separated when their parents divorced. When the girls accidentally meet years later at summer camp, they decide to switch places, each going to the other's home. Mayhem, romance, and hilarity inevitably ensue, along with some absolutely classic, unforgettable moments. 

The Parent Trap is without a doubt one of those movies that you can quote by heart. Plus, watching it as an adult is sure to fill you with pangs of nostalgia. To that end, we re-watched it and we have to say, we were a little surprised by a few details in the movie! Here are all of the things in The Parent Trap that you only notice as an adult.

The twins' parents made some pretty poor life decisions in The Parent Trap

We really have to talk about the dreadful life decisions made by the two leading adults in The Parent Trap, Elizabeth James (played by Natasha Richardson) and Nick Parker (played by Dennis Quaid). In the film's opening sequence, we see the pair getting married aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, a boat that sails across the Atlantic Ocean. As Elizabeth later reveals, the couple actually met while aboard this boat — meaning that this was a seriously rushed marriage. No wonder they ended up getting divorced — they barely knew each other!

After that, Nick and Elizabeth decided to separate their twin daughters and pretend the other twin didn't exist. While this is the basis for the entire plot of the movie, we have to say, this type of separation is pretty monstrous.

And it turns out, it might not even have been allowed by law. The Outline looked into a real life case of triplets separated at birth, and noted that there have only been a few cases like this in history. We definitely did not realize the problematic nature of this movie's plot as kids!

You may recognize one of the camp counselors in The Parent Trap

When the twins are sent to the same camp in The Parent Trap – Camp Walden for Girls – they first become enemies, and pull a series of pranks on each other. When things get out of hand, and the mother-daughter counselor duo who run the camp fall victim to one of the pranks, they decide to send the girls to an "Isolation Cabin." And while these two counsellors don't have a hugely significant role in the movie, you may actually recognize the younger woman of the pair. It turns out she's played by Maggie Wheeler, the comedic legend behind the unforgettable Janice from Friends. Oh. My. God! That makes two iconic '90s roles that were given to us by Wheeler!

Knowing that the counselor is played by the actor who portrayed Janice makes us look at her scenes in a whole new light as adults. For instance, in this amazing scene when they slide across the camp cabin after the prank gone wrong, you can literally hear the high-pitched notes of Janice in the camp counselor's screams. Oh, and here's what Janice from Friends looks like today.

The twins had some pretty bizarre skills in The Parent Trap

Once the two twins are at camp in The Parent Trap, they take part in a few activities that are pretty unusual for children their age. As kids watching the movie, most of us probably just assumed that poker and fencing were normal activities for 11-year-old girls — but watching the film as adults, we suddenly realized they weren't!

First of all, in the famous fencing scene, both Annie and Hallie appear to be excellent at the sport. The two girls run, flip, and jump while exhibiting some seriously impressive fencing skills. It's clear that both girls have been taking fencing lessons for years — not exactly the most normal after school activity for 11 year olds!

In another unforgettable scene, the two girls meet up for a late night poker game. Annie shows off an impressive card shuffling technique, before the twins — and all of their friends — proceed to play poker like seasoned pros. There's no doubt that these girls both had a pretty usual upbringing based on their bizarre skills.

That ear-piercing scene in The Parent Trap is seriously terrifying

We can't talk about The Parent Trap without mentioning the infamous ear-piercing scene. After the two girls realize they are actually twins, they decide to switch places; this means that they both have to look exactly alike. And for Annie, this means piercing her ears. As a kid, watching the scene was kind of funny — but as adults, we find it totally terrifying! Imagine letting an 11-year-old child pierce your ear with some random needle. Yikes!

Some broadcasters actually cut the scene as they thought it was dangerous and might encourage copycats, according to E! News. As it turns out, Refinery29 published an entire piece based on this exact problem. According to Samantha Sasso, who was inspired to try Hallie's questionable ear-piercing technique on herself, it doesn't work! She was even left with a scar. 

Sasso also spoke to a professional piercer about the scene. He confirmed that using a match to sterilize the needle isn't effective. He also said that holding ice against the ear wouldn't numb the pain. At least it's not the most painful piercing you can get!

It's pretty strange that the twins both have live-in servants in The Parent Trap

Anyone who watches The Parent Trap can see that the twins live pretty privileged lives. Hallie lives in a Californian mansion next to her own vineyard, while Annie lives in a charming London townhouse with her famous designer mother. In a nutshell, the girls are seriously rich. However, it only hit us as adults re-watching the film that both girls also have their own live-in servants! Their dad has a housekeeper-cook named Chessy, while their mother has a butler named Martin. Isn't this a little...unrealistic?

Well, we did some digging; as it turns out, according to The Resident, plenty of modern London families do actually have butlers! Nevertheless, these servants are only available to the wealthiest of families, as their yearly salary can cost up to £100,000 a year — that's roughly $130,000! And in America, live-in servants are few and far between, as noted by The Atlantic. We can only conclude that these girls both had unbelievably fortunate upbringings.

The parents probably would have spotted the switch in The Parent Trap

When Annie and Hallie switch places in The Parent Trap, they both return home from camp pretending to be the other sister. And while the two girls are identical twins, it's still pretty far-fetched to think that neither of the parents would catch on to their scheme.

First of all, Hallie, who is from California, has to speak with a British accent — surely her own mother would be able to spot a fake British accent! On the other hand, Annie, who is pretending to be Hallie, seems to have a totally different vocabulary than her sister. She also forgets how to open one of the doors in her dad's house, which is definitely suspect!

To that end, we think it's safe to say that the girls' parents really should have been more suspicious about their children's weird behavior. After all, Chessy (Hallie's servant) was able to figure it out!

The "evil" stepmom isn't actually as mean as we all thought in The Parent Trap

Of all of the characters in The Parent Trap, none are more iconic than Meredith Blake (played by Elaine Hendrix), Nick's new fiancé — and the "evil" stepmom that the twins eventually scare off. Even though Meredith was always intended to be the film's gold-digging villain, it's hard not to see her through new eyes as an adult. In fact, so many fans of the movie changed their mind about Meredith that it started a movement!

In 2018, the Washington Post reported that supporting Meredith had become a meme. Millennials had chosen Meredith as their inspiration because of her unapologetic b*tchiness. She knows what she wants, and she goes for it. Plus, the two twins are pretty horrible to her – we can hardly blame her for wanting to "ship them off to Switzerland!"

Maybe it's because we were Lindsay Lohan's age when we first watched the movie, and now we're closer to Meredith's age, but we can't help but sympathize with this gold-digger now that we're adults!

The love story between the servants in The Parent Trap is still just as cringe-worthy as the first time we saw it

After the twins in The Parent Trap reveal their real identities to their parents, the whole family travels to a hotel in the U.S. to exchange the girls and send them to their proper homes. Of course, Chessy and Martin, the servants of Nick and Elizabeth, come along too. Then when the two workers meet for the first time, they are instantly smitten. And while the unrealistic love affair between them was pretty uncomfortable to watch when we were kids, we can confirm: it's still just as awkward to watch as an adult!

In their first meeting, Martin is wearing nothing but a speedo — and boy does Chessy notice. He takes Chessy's hand, saying, "Enchanté, mademoiselle," to which she replies, "The pleasure's all mine, monsieur." Talk about some ridiculous and inexplicably French flirting! 

In another hilariously awkward scene, the two get sandwiched together in a small boat hallway. There's no doubt about it — this bizarre affair is one of the most awkward on-screen love scenes in movies.

The main love story in The Parent Trap is both totally beautiful and unrealistic

The primary love story in The Parent Trap focuses on the girls' parents, Elizabeth and Nick. As kids, we weren't particularly interested in the romance plot line. However, as adults, this love story is a lot more interesting. First of all, we were shocked to realize that we became super invested in these two characters getting back together. There's something seriously beautiful about them reuniting after 11 years, reminiscing about their past, and deciding to give their relationship another go. Anyone with a romantic bone in their body would find this plot line irresistible!

However, we also realized that their reunion is completely unrealistic. For one, just thinking about all of the immigration issues is exhausting. And did they magically forget how bad the fighting was all those years ago? While we love the romance between Elizabeth and Nick, we have to say, it's pretty hard to swallow as an adult watching the movie.

The Parent Trap is filled with some amazing throwback fashions

If you watched The Parent Trap as a kid, you probably spent a few months wishing you had a Chanel skirt suit and matching headband to wear to school — Annie's travel outfit was total goals! As for watching the film as an adult? The fashion does not disappoint. From the twins' oversized pastel camping shirts to Hallie's killer white leather jacket to Annie's buttoned-up-cardigan-with-collar look, this film definitely deserves more credit for its costumes! It's arguably on par with Clueless with its iconic '90s fashion, and doesn't get the same amount of credit for it.

In fact, the twins have such great wardrobes in the film that Grazia called the girls "the real style icons of the '90s." MTV also noted how the fashion in the movie makes it totally unforgettable. To that end, we think it's safe to say that few Millennials will re-watch this gem of a film without being impressed by the twins' amazing outfits.

In The Parent Trap, Meredith is only 26!

We've already discussed the fact that Meredith Blake is probably a more sympathetic character than we realized when we were kids. But we also have to talk about just how young she really is. When we re-watched The Parent Trap as adults, we were totally shocked to discover that the character is meant to be 26 years old — that's pretty young! Not only is she much younger than her fiancé, but she also has a seriously impressive career as the publicist of a gigantic vineyard.

As one Twitter user pointed out, discovering that Meredith is only 26 can be a little disorientating — she used to seem so grown up when we were kids! So if you don't feel old yet, learning Meredith's real age is sure to do the trick.

In a hilarious turn of events, Dennis Quaid, who welcomed twins into the world in 2007, announced that he was marrying a 26-year-old woman — Laura Savoie — in 2019. Elaine Hendrix, who played Meredith, hilariously tweeted, "Watch out for those twins." Apparently life does sometimes imitate art!

The girls' mother did some serious scheming in The Parent Trap

In order to get their parents to fall in love all over again, Annie and Hallie try to force their mother to go on a camping trip with their father. However, at the last minute, Elizabeth convinces Meredith to attend instead. Annie and Hallie are visibly annoyed — and as kids, we kind of were too. However, watching the wonderful scene as an adult makes you realize just how conniving Elizabeth was.

First of all, she puts on an air of total innocence, sweetly asking the annoyed Meredith if she's okay. When Meredith says she isn't "okay with it," Elizabeth confidently agrees, then states, "I absolutely insist that you come with us." Once Meredith is in the car, Elizabeth quickly backtracks and says she isn't coming after all, leaving Meredith stuck on the worst trip of her life!

As kids, we always thought that the girls were solely responsible for sending Meredith over the edge. However, watching the impeccable scheming of Elizabeth with new eyes, we had to admit: she had an awful lot to do with it as well!

The Parent Trap is jam-packed with references to the original 1961 film

If you grew up in the '90s, you may not have realized that the 1998 version of The Parent Trap was actually a remake; the original film, which was released in 1961, starred Hayley Mills – what ever happened to her, anyway? Additionally, the remake features loads of homages to its predecessor.

For one, in the original, all of the girls at the camp whistle the theme from The Great Escape when the twins are taken to the Isolation Cabin. In the remake, you can hear the same song in the background (via Buzzfeed). Also, Meredith speaks to someone named Reverend Mosby on the phone in the remake; in the original film, Reverend Mosby is a prominent character! 

Another homage occurs in the remake when we're introduced to Aunt Vicki, Meredith's mother. As it turns out, the actress who played Vicki in the remake also played the stepmom (also named Vicki) in the original. One final little homage occurs when Hallie is singing while waiting for the elevator at the hotel. She's actually singing a song that was performed by the twins in the original movie.

The Parent Trap has a killer soundtrack that any adult would love

One of the things that make The Parent Trap a great film is its soundtrack, which you might not have noticed as a kid. When we re-watched the movie as adults, we couldn't help but notice how many amazing songs were played. The soundtrack features jazzy classics like "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole, old-school pop hits like "Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles, and rock n' roll bangers like "Bad To The Bone" by George Thorogood (via Spotify). The entire soundtrack is nostalgic, uplifting, and, quite simply, super fun to listen to!

Not only does the soundtrack have some legendary tunes, the music is actually used incredibly well throughout the movie. For instance, when Hallie drives through London for the first time, "There She Goes" by The La's plays in the background, perfectly complementing the dreamy quality of the scene. And when Hallie and Elizabeth walk through London, "Here Comes The Sun" plays. The pair even walk across the same road that The Beatles once did for their album cover!