Okay, yeah, Squidward made some valid points.
Getting older doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the same shows and movies you did when you were a kid, but rewatching them with an adult perspective nearly guarantees that there will come a moment when you realize you sympathize less with the hero and more with the people around them trying to deal with their antics.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
“Nani from Lilo and Stitch. As a kid, I thought she was temperamental and way too harsh. As an adult, it’s obvious to me that she’s a young woman in a really tough situation who, if anything, is handling things remarkably well.”
Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants. I didn’t despise him, but I didn’t like him. Now, as an adult, I realize I would be much worse than him if I had to deal with SpongeBob.”
Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I only saw her as a villain as a kid, but now I understand how she’s also a victim of her father.”
“The dad from Elf is just trying to keep his job and put food on the table while a deranged madman claiming to be his adult son from the North Pole uproots his and his family’s lives. Walter Hobbes was no saint, but, like, come on. Most people would’ve been just as ratted and frustrated.”
Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. As a kid, I thought he was mean. Now I get it. Just leave me the eff alone. Go, Oscar.”
“King Triton from The Little Mermaid. God, Ariel’s so naive to me now as an adult. She doesn’t know this dude aside from what he looks like, and she decides she loves him and is willing to give up everything and everyone to join him on the land. Except, what if Eric didn’t love her back? She didn’t think of that at all. That contract she signed would have resulted in her being under Ursula’s control if that had come to pass.”
Bert from Sesame Street. You wanna be Ernie as a kid, but life makes you a Bert.”
“The fish in .” The Cat in the Hat book. Freaking fish was right about everything and was just trying to keep the house neat and tidy.”
Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. To a kid, he was a harsh jerk always ruining Will’s day. As an adult, I see he’s a caring parent trying to help Will grow into a success.”
Emily and Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada. Eleven-year-old me thought they were stuck up and too rude to Andy, but now I totally get them! If someone came into a job interview, and later for their job, with the same disrespect as Andy (not even bothering to learn about the business or even dressing for it), I’d probably despise her too, at least until she proved herself . After Andy actually started putting in effort, they started respecting her.”
“As a kid, I identified with Lisa Simpson. A few years ago, I realized that I’m Marge. I don’t say anything about the nonsense I’m surrounded by. Instead, I just make that grimacing noise and try to keep going on.”
Josh from Drake & Josh! I did not despise him, but he was just…boring to me, I guess. Now I fully understand him wanting to be a smart, responsible young adult and not being able to stand Drake’s constant stupidity and Megan’s terrible pranks.”
“Boromir. I remember when Fellowship of the Ring came out, I told my mom in the theater at the end that I was glad Boromir died. He was a bad man. It’s only now as an adult that I realize how much the Ring can pull and control you, and how he knew Mordor’s armies were attacking and the Ring could be used to stop that. He was also fighting for his little brother and for his (shitty) father. It doesn’t entirely excuse him, but the situation is more nuanced than I understood when I was younger.”
“Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove. That man totally ruined her life for no good reason at all, and he was an asshole to nearly everyone.”
Miranda Hillard in Mrs. Doublefire. That poor woman.”
Goofy in A Goofy Movie. I thought he was so mean for forcing Max to go on a vacation instead of letting him do what he wanted and have fun his way. But as an adult, and especially now with my own kid, I completely relate. He is just trying to have one last bonding moment with his son before he goes away. Max needed to stop being a whiny lil’ shit and just do it for his dad, and realize how much this meant Goofy because he loves him and knows how much he is gonna miss Max.”
“Uncle Owen being hard on Luke in Star Wars resonates with any kid whose parents didn’t let them have their way, but the dude took in a child, no questions asked, and was just overprotective because to his knowledge, being a Jedi (or having a life of adventure in general) killed his stepbrother.”
Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. You just feel bad for him and respect how he’s such a good father, considering his awful childhood.”
Iceman from Top Gun. He thought Maverick was a wild card and was going to get someone killed with his antics. Then Maverick goes and does just that. Iceman’s concerns were valid and later confirmed to be true, but he’s the dick?”
“Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls. I, too, get mad whenever a kid keeps on interrupting my business.”
And finally: “The Trix rabbit and the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Dudes just wanted to eat their cereal ruins in peace. Goddamn kidsed everything.”
Which characters do you feel you’ve changed your perspective on now that you’ve gotten a little older? Tell us about them in the comments!