You might think being a Disney princess is easy. But having good looks, nice hair, and talking animals for friends ain’t all the sunshine, dinglehoppers, and magic carpet rides it is cracked up to be. Have you ever been a slave to an evil sorcerer, left to die atop a mountain in China, watched your family get beat to death, or slept with a sibling? If not, then you don’t know the first thing about being a princess for the House of Mouse, because these royal ladies have had to endure some pretty horrific things to get to where they are today.
Aladdin, Eric, Flynn, Prince Charming and Co. might be the ones who (more often than not) save the day, but the princesses are the ones who have to deal with the worst of it just so there is a day in need of saving. Are the princesses of Disney the best role models? Probably not. But they can definitely teach us all a thing or two about overcoming adversity, not giving up, and why you should never leave your funeral arrangements for seven dwarves living in a forest to handle.
Here are the 15 Worst Things That Ever Happened To Disney Princesses.
15. When Aladdin Straight Up Lied to Jasmine So They Could HookUp
The movie Aladdin is basically one long story about how a poor street rat tried to lie his way into the baggy pants of a wealthy princess. Anything else that happened was just trying to distract you away from that fact.
While lying to princesses is pretty much a requisite in any Disney movie, the deception of Princess Jasmine is particularly disturbing. She is lied to and manipulated at nearly every moment by everyone. When she finally calls out Aladdin for lying about being a prince, he tries to get out of it by lying some more right to her face. Pay attention kids: when you love someone, you never tell them the truth, because what does the truth matter so long as Aladdin gets to show Jasmine “a whole new world”?
14. When King Triton Destroyed Ariel’s Secret Grotto With His Trident
Sometimes parents can be cruel, and no Disney princess knows this better than Ariel. At the start of The Little Mermaid, Ariel really doesn’t have a lot going for her (that is, unless you count the fact that she’s the princess of the entire ocean). She is constantly spied on by a snooty French crab, she is kept prisoner in her own home, and her only ”friend” is constantly checking out her rack. As a result, she has to find ways to amuse herself, which in this case means hoarding garbage.
Ariel’s Secret Grotto (which sounds a lot dirtier than it is) is where the red-headed mermaid keeps the treasure trove of lost and discarded human objects she has spent her entire life collecting. Each holds a special place in her heart, which is why it’s so terrible when her father, King Triton, learns that she is in love with a human and goes on a rampage. Using his mighty trident, Triton obliterates all her crap, even her beloved dinglehopper (again, not as dirty as it sounds) and her cherished statue of Prince Eric that she creepily talks to when no one is looking.
13. When Megara Sells Her Soul to Save Her Boyfriend and Then Gets Dumped
In real life (or as real as Greek mythology can get), Megara from Hercules was a princess. Sadly, Disney has yet to officially recognize her as one because she doesn’t make them enough money (which disturbingly makes Disney’s relationship to their princesses sound a lot like the dynamic between pimps and prostitutes). But they don’t refute her sovereignty so as far as we’re concerned – she’s just the black sheep of Disney’s royal family. Especially considering that Meg probably has the most cynical view on love of any Disney princess. This is due to the fact she once sold her soul to save her boyfriend’s life, only for him to repay her by cheating with another woman.
The story goes like this: Megara falls insanely in love with some d-bag. The dude dies. Megara sells her soul to take his place as Hades’ prisoner. He then runs off with another woman, literally leaving Meg to rot in hell for eternity. Heartbroken, she vows to never fall in love again, which she breaks thirty minutes later when Hercules walks by. A tad contradictory, sure, but the plight of Megara makes Cinderella having to scrub floors look like a vacation.
12. When Everyone Found Out Mulan Was a Woman and Left Her to Die in the Snow
Mulan is probably the most badass of all Disney princesses. After all, she does pretty much stop a Hun invasion single-handedly. But none of that matters because she is a woman. And despite having just proven herself in an epic montage that she can be made into a man, her fellow soldiers still don’t give a second thought to killing her.
When the jig is up and everyone finds out Ping is sporting lady parts, the gut response by Captain Li Shang is to chop her head off. That comes only minutes after his life is saved by Mulan and they set a fast track to becoming best friends. Fortunately, honor gets the better of him and Li Shang instead decides to let her freeze to death in the sub-frozen temperatures of China’s treacherous mountains. We’re not really sure how that’s being lenient, considering it would surely result in a far more agonizingly shameful death. Still, Mulan takes it like a woman, then moments later decides to risk another execution by riding into action to save Li Shang’s life a second time. And that was the day Li Shang brought dishonor on men everywhere.
11. When Merida Almost Ruined Her Family By Turning Them Into Bears
Princesses are spoiled. A lot of them are also ungrateful. Perhaps none less so then Merida. Sure, having a strong-willed red-headed princess that can shoot arrows at things is cool, but at what cost? Apparently, that of her family’s humanity.
Merida may not have wanted to turn her mother and annoying little brothers into bears, but that doesn’t make it any better. As a rule of thumb, don’t make deals with strange crazy witches in the woods to fundamentally change your mother. Also, don’t bring home tarts that that witch gives you. Not heeding these two very obvious lessons, Merida nearly killed off 75% of her family, or at the very least almost turned them into feral beasts with no recollection of who they once were, which would have sucked just as much. As a result, Brave is one of the few times that a princess is entirely to blame for their own misfortune.
10. When Nala Slept with Her Own Brother
Is Nala a princess? Some might say no, but we feel differently. For one, she is most likely the daughter of Mufasa, who is basically the king of Africa. Don’t believe us? In a pride of a lions, every lioness is related, and the most dominant male mates with all of them. It doesn’t take a zoologist to figure out that since Simba and Nala are byproducts of the same pride they share, they are both royalty. Also, they share the same father, making their sexually taught reunion scene in The Lion King super gross.
When asked about the crazy accusation that Simba had sex with his own sister (and trust us, they definitely had sex), the film’s directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff stated that Nala’s father was either Scar or Mufasa. Our money is on Mufasa, but either way, the two are still sibling-cousins, and that means Simba knowingly committed incest with his sister.
9. When Anna Was Nearly Frozen to Death
It’s bad enough that Anna had to spend her entire life trying to make a snowman, only to be refused by her older sister. But then, when she finally comes of age, that same sister has to go ahead and freeze Anna to death (as well as build a snowman without her). That’s just cold. And on top of that, the man who Anna thought she loved and was destined to marry, turns out to be an evil brat who is complicit in your attempted murder.
Other than Snow White, Anna is the only other Disney princess to be mortally wounded. Of course, Elsa didn’t mean to turn Anna’s heart into a block of ice, and everything turned out okay in the end, but having your blood frozen can’t be an enjoyable experience. Nor can having everyone who supposedly cares about you want nothing to do with you while simultaneously nearly killing you.
8. When Belle Gets Brainwashed Into Falling in Love and Giving Up on All Her Dreams
Being forced to live out the rest of your life as the prisoner of a mutant buffalo in some spooky castle where the furniture talks is bad enough. But then being psychologically manipulated so you end up not only accepting your situation, but embracing it to the point that you become open to the thought of bestiality – well, that’s something different entirely.
It’s hard to figure out if the finale of Beauty and the Beast is really all that happy of an ending. There is no sign that Belle is anything but still a hostage when she decides to get together with Beast. Everything up to the point has shown her to be a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome. She spent the entire start of the movie singing about how she wanted to see the world and go on great adventures, only to end up moving five minutes down the road and marrying her captor after being bribed with a big room of books to stay. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.
7. When the Evil Queen Put a Contract Out on Snow White’s Heart
It’s tough enough being a Disney princess without having your evil stepmother hire an assassin to literally cut your heart out. But then again, what do you expect when you’re the fairest of them all?
Few princesses have had to deal with someone as horrible as the Evil Queen, evidenced by the contract she puts out on Snow White’s life. When the Huntsman objects to killing the young girl, the Queen threatens to kill him too. As an added bonus, she demands he rip her heart out and bring it to her as proof. Even crazier is the fact that she wants it in a box that has a daggered heart as a lock. Did the Evil Queen commission this box just for the occasion, or does she keep a collection of them just waiting to be filled with the hearts of her dead enemies? Either way, she’s the worst.
6. When Ariel Ended Up on a Beach Without a Voice or Pants
Ursula tricks Ariel into signing away her voice in exchange for a pair of legs for three days. While that might sound like a square deal to a naive 16-year-old mermaid, trust us, it’s not. Before you know it, you’ll end up stranded in some far off place, unable to ask for help…and with no pants on.
It doesn’t matter that Ariel seems thrilled to have washed up on shore naked and mute. This is not a good predicament, and it’s made even more horrifying when it takes all of 30 seconds for some dude to take advantage of the situation and whisk her off to his home. Ariel is too innocent and stupid to see the danger here, but we can guarantee that any self-respecting parent like King Triton would be none too pleased to know their teenage daughter is giving a free show on the local beach, let alone making deals with obese octopi.
5. When Tiana Was Frogwashed
Just take a look at the differences between poster princess Cinderella and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. One hangs around talking to fat mice all day crying herself to sleep over how awful her life is, while the other earns her way despite having warts and an evil Voodoo doctor out to kill her.
Some might say Cinderella had it tough living as a maid in her own home. But when you realize she was 19-years-old and could have walked away at any moment for a better life elsewhere makes it hard to feel bad for her. Getting turned into a frog at the exact moment that you’re trying to work your way out of poverty to fulfill the dreams of both you and your father, that’s something to get upset over. Even more upsetting? Disney finally breaking the color barrier with a princess and then immediately transforming her into a green anthropomorhpic amphibian for the majority of the film to hide the fact (aka frogwashing).
4. When Rapunzel Was Kidnapped as a Baby by a Crazy Old Lady
Stealing babies is never cool. Even if doing so grants you immortality. But there you have ole Mother Gothel in Tangled, sneaking into King Frederic’s castle and kidnapping his only child. Gothel then hides the girl away in a secluded tower and raises her as her own so she can harness the power of hair. As a result, Rapunzel has to endure over a decade of abuse, unwanted hair brushings, and never being allowed to leave her room. Not an ideal life for anyone, let alone a princess.
Luckily, everything turns out alright in the end thanks to a frying pan and an over-intelligent horse, but its a miracle Rapunzel doesn’t come out of the whole ordeal more mentally unstable. Then again, psychology isn’t really something that exists in the Disneyverse. Floating lanterns on the other hand, they make every occasion better, even child abductions.
3. When Kida Watched Her Father Get Beaten to Death
Atlantis: The Lost Empire isn’t at the top of too many best-of Disney lists. A byproduct of their early ’00s steam-punk phase, the film does have a few good moments that it probably doesn’t get enough credit for. One of those is definitely not the scene when the villainous military commander Rourke sucker punches the King of Atlantis right in front of his own daughter.
Probably on account of her movie doing horrible at the box office, Princess Kidagakash Nedakh (or Kida, for short) doesn’t really get a whole lot of credit for being a princess. But as the daughter of King Kashekim Nedakh, she definitely fits the bill. Sadly, when Rourke and his mercenaries take over Atlantis, she is held at gunpoint and forced to watch as her ten-thousand-year-old father gets slugged right in the gut. A little while later, the elder dies of internal bleeding. Some paradise Atlantis turned out to be for this princess.
2. When Snow White Died, Was Turned Into a Shrine by Dwarves, and Some Random Stranger Kissed Her Corpse
You know when you’re a sleaze ball? When you stumble across a dead 14-year-old girl in the woods and decide to take advantage of the situation by kissing her. Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how the end of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves went down, and maybe the prince’s loving kiss did bring Snow White back to life, but that doesn’t make the events surrounding this moment any less horrifying.
Despite being the first Disney animated full-length movie in history, the climax of Snow White is as brutal as any that would follow. To begin with, our heroine is painfully murdered by the Evil Queen. Next, the Seven Dwarfs can’t do the decent thing and bury Snow White, and instead opt to encase her body in glass so that they can turn her into some kind of pilgrimage site, left exposed for any weirdo to do whatever they please. As it turns out, the first weirdo to come by is a prince, and he does what any weirdo would do to a dead body they find in the middle of a forest – kiss it while a group of dwarves and the entire animal kingdom watch.
1. When Jasmine Became a Sex Slave
Jasmine likes to complain a lot, changes her mind from one minute to the next, and is pretty much your prototypical spoiled rich girl, but that she deserved a better fate than this. Especially disturbing about her plight as a sex slave is when you realize that, in Aladdin, Jasmine is only fifteen years old, while Jafar is, well, Jafar.
When Jafar finally has the genie in his possession and takes control of the Sultan’s palace, it’s not too long before he starts taking full advantage and gets his long pencil-y fingers all up on Jasmine. Fortunately, our young impressionable minds were spared seeing all the things Jafar forced Jasmine to do under his capture, but you don’t dress someone up in a skimpy red outfit and slap shackles on them because you want to preserve their chastity. Seriously, he even made her feed him an apple in some twisted recreation of Original Sin. Worst of all, Jasmine had to prance around in this revealing state in front of her own father. Tell us again why the other Disney princesses had it so bad?
Know of anything else horrible to happen to Disney’s princesses? Share them in the comments.
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