30 Shocking Inappropriate Scenes That Sneaked Into '80s Family Films
By Sophia Maddox | May 30, 2023
Splash - Daryl Hannah Rarely Wears ClothesAh, the '80s — a decade of big hair, even bigger shoulder pads, and some of the most unforgettable movies of all time. But amid the shopping montages and funky fashion, there were a few, shall we say, "cheeky" scenes that left parents gasping and kids giggling with glee. Whether it was the unexpected flash of skin in a supposedly innocent comedy, a steamy encounter that left us all hot under the collar, or a hilariously risqué innuendo that flew right over our young heads, these R-Rated moments were the secret ingredients that spiced up our favorite family flicks. So, come along on this tantalizing time-travel adventure, as we reminisce about the most scandalous, surprising, and utterly delightful R-Rated moments that had us all wondering, "Did they really just show that in a family movie?" Let's get ready to embrace the unexpected, and dive headfirst into the naughty nostalgia of R-Rated Moments in Family-Friendly '80s Movies!
Directed by Ron Howard, Splash introduced us to the captivating Daryl Hannah as Madison, the whimsical, enchanting, often unclothed mermaid who steals the heart of Tom Hanks' character, Allen Bauer. Who could forget the steamy, saltwater-filled bathtub scene? In a display of sheer cheekiness, Madison's mermaid secret is revealed to Allen, leaving him completely, and understandably, flabbergasted.
Clash Of The Titans - This PG Fantasy Is Packed With T&A
Wait...this was supposed to be a PG movie? Back in the 1980s, Clash Of The Titans transported us to the mythical world of ancient Greece, complete with gods, monsters, and, curiously enough, a surprising lack of clothes. Many parents probably thought they were getting kids a mythical adventure, and were shocked (and awed) by the many unclothed women and tight-fitting outfits. Weren't we all! Still, Class Of The Titans helped us learn our Greek mythology - the film brought to life the epic tale of the hero Perseus and his quest to save the princess Andromeda, albeit in a racy way at moment.
Weird Science - Two Teens Create The Perfect Woman And then Take A Shower With Her
Weird Science follows two socially awkward teenagers, Gary and Wyatt, played by Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, as they embark on an outrageous, madcap adventure to create their dream girl. Cute, right? Well, not always. Once the "perfect woman" has been created - a sultry, alluring, and seemingly magical being, played by the stunning Kelly LeBrock - leads the boys into the bathroom for a shower. Clad in their underwear, Gary and Wyatt are hilariously out of their depth, shyly trying to navigate the baffling, intimidating world of their newfound creation. As they fumble through the encounter, Lisa showers with them, teasing and testing their limits. The scene is a lighthearted exploration of every teenage boy's wildest fantasy, but definitely seems a bit inappropriate for kids. Yowza!
Poltergeist - Dr. Casey Rips His Face Off
This unforgettable scene from Poltergeist, a product of the '80s practical effects wizardry, is simple nightmare fuel. It's a moment so gruesome and visceral that it leaves you questioning reality: Dr. Lesh's paranormal investigator, Marty, played by Martin Casella, is peeling his face off with his own hands. To create this horrifying illusion, the special effects team built multiple layers of skin, filling the mask with fake blood and viscera. During the scene, Casella's double donned the mask and acted out the horrifying moment with a combination of intense physical performance and clever camera angles. When the film was released, audiences were shocked and mesmerized by the grisly visuals. Honestly, we still are!
The NeverEnding Story - Artax Drowns In The Swamp Of Sadness
If you didn't cry at this scene, are you even human? The NeverEnding Story, Wolfgang Petersen's 1984 fantasy classic, takes us on a magical journey filled with fantastical creatures and epic battles, but this scene is filled with nothing but heartache. Atreyu, played by Noah Hathaway, is a brave young warrior tasked with saving the mystical land of Fantasia. By his side is his faithful companion, Artax, a noble and gentle horse with whom he shares an unbreakable bond. The duo enters the Swamp of Sadness, a place where despair can have devastating consequences. Tragically, Artax falls prey to its influence, and is overwhelmed by terrible sadness. Atreyu, heartbroken and desperate, helplessly pleads for Artax to get to safety as his friend sinks deeper and deeper, eventually disappearing beneath into the murky swamp for good:
Artax, don't let the sadness of the swamps get to you! You have to try! You have to care! You're my friend. I love you.
BRB, ugly crying.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom - A Man Has His Heart Ripped Out Before He's Burned Alive
KALI MA! We're pretty sure every 90's kid has this scene burned into their memory. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom follows our favorite archaeologist, played by the charismatic Harrison Ford, as he embarks on a perilous quest to uncover the mysterious Sankara Stones. When Indy and his companions infiltrate the hidden temple of doom, they stumble on a human sacrifice in progress. A hooded figure leads a trembling, helpless victim to an ornate altar, where Mola Ram proceeds to extract the man's still-beating heart using nothing but his bare hands. As the heart is held aloft, the victim's body is lowered into a pit of molten lava, with his heart bursting into flames just as he meets his gruesome end. The sinister chanting of the Thuggee cult members and the horrified reactions of our protagonists make this scene a heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat experience that continues to send shivers down the spines of audiences worldwide.
Ghostbusters - Ray Has A Dream About A Sexy Ghost Having Her Way With Him
Who you gonna call? Naughty ghosts, I guess. In 1984, the supernatural comedy Ghostbusters took the world by storm, combining the talents of director Ivan Reitman and an all-star cast featuring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Among the numerous hilarious and spooky moments in the film, there's one scene that stands out for its cheeky, risqué humor, featuring Dr. Ray Stantz, played by the lovable Dan Aykroyd. Ray drifts off to sleep and finds himself caught in a steamy, supernatural daydream. In his fantasy, Ray is visited by a rather seductive and ethereal specter who proceeds to have her way with him. It's a delightful moment of comic relief, but definitely not one for kids.
Big - A 12-Year-Old Boy In The Body Of Tom Hanks Hooks Up With A 20-Something Elizabeth Perkins
The setup of Josh and Susan's romance in Big is pure 80's: the flicker of candlelight, the undeniable chemistry between the two characters. It's hard not to be swept up in the magic of this unexpected romance. Except for, you know, the elephant in the room. After all, we're watching a 12-year-old boy in a grown-up body navigate the complexities of adult intimacy. As the situation unfolds, we can't help but squirm in our seats, witnessing Josh's childlike innocence clash with the adult world. That's a whoooooole lot of cringe for family movie night.
Howard the Duck - A Human Woman Almost Hooks Up With An Anthropomorphic Space Duck
Let's face it, Howard The Duck is already a weird as hell concept, even for the 80's. But it got even weirder when the lovely and very human Beverly, played by the talented Lea Thompson, seems to be inexplicably smitten with our quacky protagonist. The chemistry between them is palpable, and the sexual tension reaches a boiling point as they share an intimate moment in Beverly's bedroom. The audaciousness of the scene — a lady and a duck almost getting it on in a family-friendly movie — is enough to make us blush and laugh out loud at the same time.
Return to Oz - The Hallway Of Severed Heads Comes To Life
Do you dare to return to the fantastical world of Oz? Honestly, I'd rather not - this entire movie was terrifying. . Among the many strange and spine-tingling moments in this cult classic, there's one scene that particularly caused nightmares – the Hallway of Severed Heads. The macabre collection of glassy-eyed heads gaze eerily at Dorothy from their shadowy display cases, sending shivers down the spines of kids and adults alike. Just when you think things couldn't get any more unnerving, the heads suddenly come to life, their chilling whispers and blood-curdling screams echoing through the dimly lit corridor. Eek!
Poltergeist II: The Other Side - The Vomit From Hell
Poltergeist II is full of spookiness, but there's one part that takes the spooky cake. Steven, the loving father portrayed by Craig T. Nelson, has been tormented by the malevolent spirits haunting his family. But after he unwittingly (and disgustingly) swallows a demonic creature disguised as a tequila worm, the dread truly starts hitting the audience. The scene reaches its horrifying peak when Steven, gripped by the evil force growing inside him, regurgitates the worm-like creature in a display of pure, gut-wrenching horror. The gruesome, writhing mass of demonic vomit, unlike anything we've ever witnessed, slithers across the floor, transforming into a monstrous, menacing entity that threatens the family's very existence. Now that's some nightmare fuel!
Beetlejuice - Miss Argentina's Mishap
The 1988 movie Beetlejuice has a flair for the macabre, but this little detail about Miss Argentina takes it to another level. Otho, Delia's interior designer and friend, mentions that if you die by your own hand you are destined to become a civil servant in the afterlife. Miss Argentina, as we see, is working as an office receptionist for the Neitherworld. She also subtly references her slashed wrists, that are very visible in the film:
This is what happens when you die. That is what happens when he dies. And that is what happens when they die. It's all very personal. And I'll tell you something—if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have had my "little accident."
Young Sherlock Holmes - A Woman Is Mummified Alive By A Cult
Young Sherlock Holmes is 1985 adventure film that presents a fresh and imaginative take on the legendary detective, and it certainly knows how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Enter the notorious mummification scene, where an unsuspecting woman becomes a victim of a rather gruesome fate. In a turn of events that made even the bravest viewers squirm, this poor woman is wrapped up and mummified - ALIVE. It's a moment that veers away from thrilling and straight towards terrifying, making us question the boundaries of family-friendly entertainment.
The Watcher in the Woods - Three Kids Accidentally Suspend Their New Friend In An Alternate Dimension For 30 Years During A Botched Seance
The Watcher In The Woods was an ambitious foray into the realm of the supernatural, and turned out to be quite a bit spookier than Disney's usual stuff. A group of innocent, wide-eyed children gather for a seemingly harmless séance. Little do they know that their inquisitive dabbling in the supernatural will have consequences that span decades. As the candles flicker and the air becomes heavy with anticipation, the kids unwittingly tap into the unknown, unleashing a chain of events that suspends their new friend in an alternate dimension for a whopping 30 years! It's an unexpected twist, one that certainly raised a few eyebrows and quickened the pulse of unsuspecting viewers, especially those that expected a wholesome Disney film.
One Magic Christmas - Two Kids Lose Their Home, Their Dad, And Nearly Lose Their Lives At Christmastime
The holiday season – a time for joy, laughter, and heartwarming tales. But not all festive films follow the cheerful and uplifting formula we've come to expect. Enter One Magic Christmas, the 1985 Disney holiday movie that serves up a hearty helping of darkness. In this unconventional yuletide tale, a family faces unimaginable challenges that threaten to destroy their very lives. The father, Jack, has been laid off from his job, and then is shot and killed. The two children, Cal and Abbie, are accidentally kidnapped by the shooter, and their mother is sure she has lost her entire family. Amidst the shadows of tragedy, the movie eventually brings forth a glimmer of hope and redemption, but is it worth giving kids holiday-related trauma for life?
Rocky IV - Paulie's Sex Robot
In 1985, Sylvester Stallone delivered the fourth installment of the beloved Rocky franchise, featuring everyone's favorite underdog, Rocky Balboa, squaring off against the formidable Soviet fighter, Ivan Drago. Amidst the high-stakes drama and intense training montages, there's a lighthearted subplot involving Rocky's brother-in-law, Paulie, played by Burt Young, and his newfound companion – a friendly, little too helpful robot. The robot, known as SICO, is gifted to Paulie by Rocky as a birthday present, and Paulie soon has it delivering him beer and speaking in a sultry woman's voice. He starts calling her "hon" and tells visitors, "that's my girl", as SICO fawns over him and tells him he's the greatest. The implication, of course, being that Paulie and SICO have gotten a little comfortable with each other.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Judge Doom's Super Violent Death
Honestly, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? has many a lot of aspects that aren't suitable for kids - Jessica Rabbit, anyone? Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this whimsical, noir-inspired film features a cast of unforgettable characters, including the sinister Judge Doom, portrayed by Christopher Lloyd. Judge Doom, the film's primary antagonist, is a mysterious figure with a hidden agenda. As the story unfolds, the extent of his malevolence against the Toons of Toontown becomes clear, culminating in an unforgettable showdown with the film's hero, private investigator Eddie Valiant. In a horrifying death scene, Judge Doom is exposed as a Toon himself, with the ability to alter his appearance and manipulate his body to terrifying ends. His eyes bulge out, his voice changes to a horrifyingly high pitch, and his body contorts and stretches in unnatural ways, all in an attempt to defeat Eddie. He is crushed beneath a steamroller, his flattened form oozing out from under the machinery. Hello, nightmares!
Sixteen Candles - The Shower Scene
Sixteen Candles is a classic '80s coming-of-age film that captured the hearts and imaginations of teenagers everywhere, but some scenes seem a bit too mature for young audiences. One that stands out is the infamous shower scene, where our protagonist Samantha Baker, played by the charming Molly Ringwald, and her friend Randy are checking our popular girl Caroline in the locker room shower. The shot shows...quite a bit, and the girls comment on Caroline's developing figure. Not so family-friendly!
Overboard - A Man Puts A Woman With Amnesia Into Domestic Servitude
The 1987 romantic comedy Overboard has long been a beloved classic, but concerned parents have long noted that the plot is more than a bit sinister. The movie revolves around Joanna, a wealthy, spoiled woman played by Goldie Hawn, who falls off her yacht and suffers from amnesia. Dean, a struggling carpenter played by Kurt Russell, seizes this opportunity to get revenge on her for not paying him for his work. He convinces Joanna that she is his wife, Annie, and brings her home to care for his four unruly children and maintain their dilapidated house. The premise of the film essentially sees Dean taking advantage of Joanna's vulnerability for his own benefit. While the movie is intended as a lighthearted comedy, the underlying issue of a man manipulating a woman's amnesia to put her in a position of domestic servitude is undeniably troubling. Plus, Overboard ends a questionable message about the role of women in relationships and the idea that they should be responsible for domestic duties. Not the best lesson to teach the kids!
Fire And Ice - Princess Teegra's Skimpy Outfit
The 1983 animated film Fire And Ice is a fun fantasy romp, but its heroine, Princess Teegra, raises quite a few eyebrows with her choice of attire. Designed by renowned fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, Princess Teegra's outfit consists of a few strategically placed pieces of fabric that leave very little to the imagination. Covering the bare minimum, her bikini-like ensemble is adorned delicate gold chains, giving her a barbarian princess look. No matter what our parents thought, Princess Teegra definitely captured our attention!
All Dogs Go To Heaven - The Hell Sequence
All Dogs Go To Heaven, with its lovable characters, catchy songs, and heartfelt moments, is remembered as a childhood favorite by many. However, some parts of this animated film are not so lovable - in fact, they're downright scary - particularly the hell sequence. In this scene, Charlie, our German shepherd protagonist, falls asleep and experiences a nightmarish dream where he is transported to a hellish landscape. He finds himself surrounded by monstrous creatures and tormented by terrifying visions. Flames engulf the screen, and the eerie, unsettling atmosphere creates a sense of unease as a demonic figure taunts and threatens Charlie. The entire sequence is a stark departure from the rest of the film's lighthearted tone, t's hard to deny that the imagery might be too much for some young viewers. Woof!
E.T. - The Hospital Sequence
In the timeless 1982 classic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the audience is taken on an emotional rollercoaster as young Elliott befriends an alien stranded on Earth. However, it's not all heartwarming fun and games, as the hospital sequence is, unsurprisingly, intense and frightening for some young viewers. As the connection between them grows stronger, E.T.'s sickness starts to affect Elliott, and both are taken to a makeshift hospital within Elliott's home. The tension in the atmosphere is palpable, with the innocent protagonists now at the mercy of the adults who are trying to "help" them. The medical equipment, stark lighting, and frenzied urgency of the doctors and nurses create an overwhelming sense of chaos and despair. E.T., is shown lying on a cold metal table, with his skin a ghastly gray color, and Elliott is shown in emotional turmoil - this combination of elements is genuinely distressing for viewers of all ages. Why'd you do this, Spielberg??
Legend - The Darkness Is Way Too Creepy For A Children's Movie
In the visually stunning and fantastical 1985 movie Legend, directed by Ridley Scott, the villain known as Darkness, portrayed by Tim Curry, stands out as a genuinely terrifying figure. His character, a towering horned demon with blood-red skin and sharp fangs, is a menacing force of evil. The intricately designed prosthetics and makeup used to create Darkness's appearance only heighten the sense of dread he evokes. Curry's voice, booming and sinister, completes the frightening image of this powerful antagonist. Throughout the film, Darkness orchestrates a series of sinister plots to plunge the world into eternal night and destroy the last remaining unicorns. The unsettling scenes featuring Darkness and his minions, including one where he attempts to seduce the innocent Princess Lili, add a palpable sense of danger that may be too distressing for young audiences. You have been warned!
Something Wicked This Way Comes - A Boy Sees His Own Decapitation
We wouldn't expect a severed head in a Disney flick, but there it is. Something Wicked This Way Comes follows two boys, Will and Jim, who are battling to save their small town from an evil carnival, led by evil ringleader Mr. Dark. The movie as a whole has a pretty dark tone, but one scene really left parents gasping. As Will and Jim flee Mr. Dark and his Dust Witch, they encounter the horrifying vision of Will's head being abruptly severed by a guillotine. Will's severed head is shown on screen in all its full, terrible glory, leaving kids scarred for life.
Stand By Me - The Blueberry Pie Scene
In the coming-of-age story Stand By Me, Gordie Lachance, played by a young Wil Wheaton, tells a campfire tale to his friends: the legend of Lardass Hogan, a put-upon boy constantly ridiculed for his weight. In Gordie's tale, Lardass enters a local blueberry pie-eating contest, determined to enact a little poetic justice. To visually depict the scene's climactic moment, known as the "Barf-o-rama," a combination of practical effects and good old-fashioned movie magic was used. The filmmakers crafted a mixture of large-curd cottage cheese and blueberry pie filling to simulate the... well, let's call it the "projectile consequences" of Lardass's revenge. It was a tricky sequence to shoot. It required perfect timing, a stomach for mess, and a willingness from everyone involved to dive headfirst into the outrageousness of the scene. And it paid off: The spectacle was as visceral and chaotic as the story Gordie was telling.
Gremlins - Phoebe Cates Fries The Gremlins In A Theater
Gremlins is a staple for both family film nights and holiday parties, a chaotic romp that effortlessly combines comedy, horror, and cuteness. But amidst the holiday mischief and mayhem, there's one particular scene that stands out for its unexpectedly violent twist. Kate Beringer, played by Phoebe Cates, is desperate to get rid of the gremlins, leading to the unforgettable scene where she fries the pesky creatures in a movie theater. It's a bold, daring move, and one that certainly had parents shielding their children's eyes and questioning the film's family-friendly rating.
Airplane! - The Entire Movie
Airplane! packed with gags and slapstick comedy, has entertained audiences of all ages for decades with its quirky humor and iconic one-liners. However, there are a few scenes in Airplane! that are definitely not entirely suitable for young viewers. There are recurring jokes about drinking problems, as well as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it seen with a scantily clad woman that raised a few parents' eyebrows in its day, not to mention the automatic pilot bit: Otto, a life-sized doll, is inflated to help fly the plane. When he's "deflated" and loses air, a flight attendant is asked to "blow him up" in a suggestive manner. Yikes!
The Monster Squad - The Werewolf Transition
Dragnet - The Club Scene
Directed by Tom Mankiewicz and starring Dan Aykroyd as the straight-laced Sergeant Joe Friday and Tom Hanks as the spirited Detective Pep Streebek, Dragnet explores the wacky underbelly of LA. As Friday and Streebek delve into the seedy world of crime, they find themselves in the midst of a risqué adult club that serves as the perfect backdrop for this cheeky, engaging scene. The moment our intrepid detectives step foot inside, they're greeted by a titillating array of scantily clad dancers. While it may be a feast for the eyes, it sure is an odd choice for a PG-13 movie!
The Lost Boys - The Super Violent Finale
Set in the seemingly idyllic coastal town of Santa Carla, The Lost Boys combines horror and humor as it follows two brothers, Michael and Sam, as they get entangled in the deadly web spun by a group of eternally youthful, leather-clad vampires. But when it comes to the climactic finale, The Lost Boys truly bares its fangs, as each vampire meets their grisly end in a spectacular explosion of blood and glitter. We can't believe the amount of blood and carnage packed into this otherwise lighthearted vampire flick!