Disney has excelled time and time again with their flawless storytelling, iconic characters, and just all-around top-quality family entertainment– well, okay, for the most part, that is.
Due to their incredible popularity among the young and old alike, Disney’s creations have naturally become a hot topic of discussion among audiences; whether it be to discuss mind-boggling fan theories, share the love they have for certain characters, or – and most interestingly – to point out certain Easter eggs and fascinating details one may not have caught the first time.
The company’s blockbuster films are definitely rich in this department, with countless fan discoveries ranging from inappropriate imagery (the revealing lady in The Rescuers, anyone?) to possible PSAs on drug use (yep, we all know what kind of “nap” that was, Alice). It’s little tidbits like these that make their media all the more intriguing, and have us revisiting our childhoods just to get a second glimpse of these secret, hidden elements.
Their shows are no different, either – from Ducktales to Hannah Montana, the writers made sure to sprinkle in a few suggestive winks at older audiences, or simply stir up conspiracy theories with a creepy message or two.
Get your ears, eyes, and tin-foil hats ready, because here are the 15 Hidden Messages In Disney Shows They Didn’t Think You’d Notice.
15. Duck Tales – Ask About Illuminati
The 1987 cartoon series Duck Tales is a childhood favorite among most Disney fans – with a catchy intro tune that’s most likely playing in your head as you read this.
The classic animated show revolved around Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews – Huey, Dewey, and Louie – who go on a number of (mainly treasure-centric) adventures together, thwarting various villains attempting to get their hands on Scrooge’s hefty fortune.
Sounds pretty innocent, right? Well, viewers were in for a surprise when a close-up of one particular scene revealed a secret message directly mentioning the Illuminati. While there are plenty of reaching “discoveries” out there regarding the Illuminati in childrens’ cartoons, this one was as clear as day.
In an episode where Scrooge visit’s the Doctor’s office, an eye chart can be seen displayed on the wall behind them. While a typical chart would usually display a bunch of jumbled, random letters – the ones on this poster spelled out a rather telling sentence: “Ask About Illuminati.”
Of course, fascinated viewers took to the Internet to spread the clip and screencap, making it one of the most popular “hidden Disney messages” to date.
14. Jessie – North Of The Equator
Jessie was a typical Disney Channel sitcom, starring Debbie Ryan as the titular character – a small-town Texan girl who moves to the Big Apple in search of an acting career, and instead becomes a nanny to wealthy family of four kids.
While mainly aimed at a demographic of young, barely teenaged children, there were quite a number of hidden, inappropriate jokes that made their way past the censors (much to the disdain of many parents who actually complained).
One of their best ones was (ironically) delivered by their youngest actress, Skai Jackson, who plays the loveable and sassy Zuri Ross.
In an episode where their doorman, Tony, takes Jessie to their second prom, he tells Zuri that he was going to “have fun” on their date, to which the child promptly reminds him to keep his hands to himself.
However, that’s not all – she explicitly mentions that he should keep them “north of the equator, but not that far north, mister.”
While not too hidden a message, it was still an entertaining gag for the older kids watching.
13. Phineas and Ferb – Bear In The Woods
Old fans of Disney Channel may argue that Phineas and Ferb was the network’s final “good” creation before it dove headfirst into a never-ending slew of mediocre teen sitcoms. That is, of course, until Gravity Falls restored some hope for the channel.
Phineas and Ferb was a genuinely entertaining animation for young and older kids alike, excelling in a continuously witty script, loveable characters, and even catchy original songs. There was never a dull moment in the series, even if it did revolve around a rather simple premise: two bored stepbrothers on summer vacation, and the random shenanigans that ensue.
The show was filled with clever jokes and references, with many giving the old-fashioned Disney wink at adult viewers. One of their most memorable (and most subtle) ones can be found at the episode, “Wizard of Odd”.
During the episode’s credits, we see a bear squatting at the foot of a tree, reading a newspaper. Just before the sequence wraps up, he looks up at the viewer and calmly states, “Yes, yes I do.”
While this one may easily go over children’s heads, their amused parents know that this is definitely a reference to that classic question, “Does a bear s*** in the woods?”
12. Kim Possible – Ron Is Dead
If there was ever a cartoon that made being a “spy” an incredibly attractive and cool career choice, it was Kim Possible. Like our favorite heroes from the DC or Marvel universe – cough, Spider-Man, cough – the Disney animation gave us that middle school fantasy of being a top-secret vigilante by sunset, complete with a best-friend sidekick and a slightly comedic evil nemesis.
However, as popular as the series was, most may not have a known of a rather creepy fan finding in the pilot episode of the show.
In a scene where Ron is frantically rummaging through his locker in search of Rufus, eventually finding him in his shirt – the naked mole rat makes a bunch of garbled, high-pitched noises, which doesn’t seem like much upon first hearing.
However, when slowed down and played backwards, viewers can hear a crisp, deep voice making quite a grim statement: “Ron is dead, Ron is dead, Ron is dead.”
11. Wizards Of Waverly Place – All Right, Justin!
Selena Gomez fans may have first heard of the singer-actress in her leading role as Alex Russo for Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place. The teen sitcom centered on a dysfunctional family of wizards, who, of course, get into a number of crazy, magical hijinks.
Like many Disney sitcoms on this list, the series definitely didn’t shy away from an occasional adult joke or two.
In an episode titled, “Fashion Week”, Justin brings a model from one of his bedroom posters (a Cindy Crawford-esque character named Bibi Rockford) to life using one of his spells, who later joins Justin and his friend, Zeke, in the family living room.
When asked by Zeke on where she came from, Bebe truthfully responds, “From Justin’s bedroom.” It’s a statement that elicits a congratulatory “All right, Justin!” from Zeke, followed by a high five.
It’s a little joke that could well fly over the kiddies’ heads, but we all know what Zeke was thinking.
10. The Proud Family – Please Say You Love Me
The Proud Family was another Disney Channel classic, centering on the life of a teenage girl named Penny Proud and her comical experiences as a junior high student. The series was like your typical American sitcom, with the characters getting themselves into all sorts of Modern Family situations – only in animated form.
In one particular episode titled, “There’s Something About Renee”, Trudy Proud attempts to find a suitable nanny for her children, inviting a number of candidates over to their house for an interview.
As she scans through her list of potentials, the family comes across a rather unstable character, who exhibits behaviour strangely close to that of a malfunctioning robot.
While a memorably funny scene, audiences will discover a strange message in the character’s audio when reversing the clip – a clear voice of a woman saying, “Please say you love me.”
Not only is it a slightly eerie find, but one might wonder why the creators chose to insert that line in particular.
9. Hannah Montana – Dead People
Oh, Hannah Montana. An innocent and wholesome era of Miley Cyrus’ life where we weren’t constantly exposed to her incessant twerking and outfits straight out of a Lady Gaga nightmare.
The then-tween actress made her mark in the Hollywood sphere as a fictional student-by-day, popstar-by-night performer named Hannah Montana, starring in a Disney Channel sitcom with her own father – Billy Ray Cyrus – and churning out bubble-gum singles by the dozen to thousands of screaming, middle-school fangirls.
The show was decent enough for what it was, with pop culture references and subtle adult jokes snuck in from time to time.
One of their most notable mentions was during a scene in which Miley is told off by her best friend, Lilly, for constantly complaining about her cousin. Lilly goes on to say, “Next you’re going to be saying, ‘She sees dead people!’”
8. Gravity Falls – Intro Sequence
Gravity Falls is one of Disney’s finer modern creations, centred on two siblings and their uncle known as Dipper, Mabel, and Grunkle Stan. The three have cryptic adventures in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where strange mysteries abound.
The series is chock full of easter eggs and hidden messages that invite a ton of viewer discussion – and some of their most notable ones are actually found in the intro sequence itself.
Once the show’s title flashes on-screen and the music winds down, keen audiences can hear a mysterious voice whisper “I’m still here” right as the intro comes to a close.
When played backwards, the message actually plays out as “Three letters back,” which fans have discovered is a reference to the Caeser Cipher – a method of decoding the mysterious codes displayed at the end of every episode.
Just before the intro sequence wraps up, we also see a split second of images flashed onto the screen, one of them being the Illuminati-inspired demon, Bill Cipher. Next to him is a short code that can be easily unscrambled with the Caeser Cipher – an eerie message that reads: “Stan is not what he seems.”
7. Bunk’d – Candy Dealing
Bunk’d is a currently running Disney Channel tween sitcom, starring a bunch of kids and the summer hijinks they get themselves into at Camp Kikiwaka. The series is actually a spin-off of the late series Jessie, and involves the Ross children going off to live the outdoors life in the same camp where their parents met as teenagers.
Like Jessie, you’d think a live-action show starring a cast of wholesome young actors would stay clean and overall kid-friendly. However, like Jessie, this wasn’t always the case.
In only the second episode of the first season, we discover that a child at their camp, Tiffany, had never tried candy before in her life. The bizarrely deprived child eventually gets her hands on some and immediately becomes addicted. Soon after, we see her camp-mates, Zuri and Jorge, attempt to operate a candy-smuggling ring – making sugary dealings to other kids on the premises.
You can pretty much swap the candy out for a harder substance – but then again, it may just raise a few eyebrows. Just maybe.
6. Goof Troop – Pete Turns Into Various Objects
Since Goofy’s just that awesome of a Disney character, the Disney Channel eventually gave him his own animated comedy series in 1992 – Goof Troop, a show revolving around the family shenanigans between him and his mischievous son, Max.
The cartoon was strictly aimed at children, maintaining a squeaky-clean reputation throughout its run. While it was free from even the subtlest hint at adult humour, there was one particular scene (found in the episode, “Have Yourself a Goofy Little Christmas”) that showed some slightly eerie, hidden imagery – one you’d need to really slow the animation down to catch.
This one takes place during a scene in which Pete, Max’s best friend’s dad, gets himself caught up in a bunch of telephone wires, getting comically electrocuted in the process.
His accident mainly shows him morphing into all sorts of crazy poses as he yells in pain; though when slowed down, one can see that the frames display a number of strange images – including an electric chair, a dinosaur’s skeleton, and what even looks to be a dead (or fainted?) hooker.
While the sequence may not mean much and could just be a random bunch of Easter eggs, there’s no doubt it’s a rather peculiar find.
5. Good Luck Charlie – Getting Married
Good Luck Charlie was a family-geared sitcom that surrounded the lives of the Duncans – a family of six still adjusting to the birth of their youngest member, Charlotte “Charlie” Duncan.
Unlike many of Disney Channel’s popular live-action comedies, the creators of Good Luck Charlie – Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen – opted to write a show for entire families to enjoy, instead of relying on a merely primary-to-middle school demographic.
Of course, with this came the occasional nudge towards a more adult-centric type of humour, one of which was the amusing wedding tale of Bob and Amy Duncan.
Retelling the story to their children, Bob begins by saying that the weekend they got married, they weren’t even planning on “doin’ it.” Amy quickly butts in, only to clarify – “…getting married!”
Their second-youngest son, Gabe, looks on in confusion as Amy continues. She says that they had met someone who told her and Bob that they were “perfect for each other,” so “[they] did it.”
This time, Bob interrupts to add “…got married!,” to which Gabe curiously asks, “Why do you guys keep saying that?” Poor, innocent Gabe… you’ll find out one day.
4. The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody – Cast Names
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was one of those classic Disney sitcoms straight out of our childhood, starring a very young Cole and Dylan Sprouse – twins living troublesome lives at the Tipton Hotel in Boston.
In an episode titled “Twins at the Tipton”, the writers sneak in a clever little Easter egg that only close listeners would be able to catch.
During a scene in which Bob breaks the news to Cody that his girlfriend, Irma, was dumping him – he states that he picked up the gossip “straight from the source,” and that “Irma told Kim, who told Phil, who told Ashley, who told Brenda, who told Dylan, who told Cole, who told me.”
The names he mentioned were those of the actual cast members, which he says in a backwards order of how they appear in the title sequence.
3. That’s So Raven – Chelsea And Eddie’s Moves
That’s So Raven was that staple after-school sitcom most of us would tune into the channel to watch, and is arguably one of Disney Channel’s most iconic. With a series revolving around a high-schooler and her ability to see into the future, the show made for non-stop hilarious hijinks and excellent comedic delivery from their leading lady, Raven Simone.
Of course, like many Disney Channel sitcoms, the show would often sneak a suggestive joke here and there to appeal to older audiences, such as the case with the second season’s episode, “Out of Control”.
In the episode’s plot, Raven is convinced that her best friends, Chelsea and Eddie, are dating behind her back. Upon finally confronting them, Chelsea admits that she didn’t want to tell Raven, for fear of her wanting to “control their every move.”
Raven cringes in disgust before exclaiming, “I don’t even want to hear about y’all’s moves!”
Funnily enough, she realizes that Chelsea and Eddie had been spending extra time with one another due to practicing for an eventual dance performance. However, it’s clear she probably had some other kind of “dance” in mind.
2. Three Little Pigs – Father Pig
If you’ve spent time on the ‘net looking into some of Disney’s most disturbing Easter eggs, then you’ve probably already heard of this one.
While not exactly taking place in a series, this infamous “hidden” detail can be found in the 1933 short film titled, Three Little Pigs. As you’ve probably already guessed, the Academy Award-winning animation revolved around the classic fairytale of “The Three Little Pigs” — a rather grim story of three anthropomorphic pigs whose homes are broken into by a ravenous wolf.
Of course, in Walt Disney’s retelling of narrative, no one suffers a gruesome death – except one particular off-screen character. In a scene where the pigs are playing piano and celebrating their defeat of “The Big Bad Wolf,” two picture frames can be spotted in the background, one of their mother, and another of their father.
While their mother’s photo looks normal enough – it merely shows her nursing them as piglets – the other displays a more grisly image.
Instead of a photo, we see a line of sausages hung in the frame, with a label that says “Father” underneath. It’s a pretty dark addition to an otherwise merry scene.
1. Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil – Marco At The Stop N’ Slurp
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is an animated Disney gem starring an otherwordly teenage princess named Star Butterfly and her adventures on Earth, which involve battling villains from the multiverse, travelling across dimensions, magic training – you know, the typical teen stuff.
While generally a pretty wholesome, family-friendly cartoon (like most cartoons on Disney), Star does sprinkle in the occasional joke for older fans, still delivered with enough subtlety to fly over most children’s heads.
One of their most memorable ones can actually be found in the series’ premiere episode, during which Marco is seen in front of the Stop N’ Slurp convenience store, frantically getting passerbys to refill his drink.
His erratic and jittery behaviour – along with his bedraggled appearance – bears a close likeness to that of a homeless, unstable drug addict. It doesn’t help that he’s rabidly pleaing for others to get him his soft drink fix, acting completely maniacal in the process.
Did you catch any of Disney‘s hidden messages the first time? Are there other secret messages we may have missed? Let us know in the comments!
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