The Walt Disney Corporation is one of the world’s largest entertainment producers and they should know what is and is not going to be a hit. They are gargantuan and the Mouse Ears hover over every continent, but they aren’t immune to error and nonsense. We’ve seen this time and time again, but we are compelled to consume it more and more. Sometimes it is a whole lot of fun and other times it can be frustrating to watch something from one of our favorite content producers fall short of having a thoroughly logical story.
This failure can take many forms. We generally think that we will be able to tell when gross errors or nonsense occurs, but generally, we fail to figure out what exactly is wrong. Now, in all fairness to Disney, we have to admit that most of their stories couldn’t possibly happen, so that makes it harder to point out.
So, are there a lot of things that don't make sense in Disney shows? The answer is obviously yes, but it goes beyond the kind of flaws in logic that you would expect it to be. Luckily, we've pointed out some of the most glaring issues we could find. Without further ado, here are some of the times that Disney made zero sense but no one really took the time to notice.
25 A Little Too Young For The Army
Many of us remember Kim Possible, the character and the show. It showed us a lot of things about teenage life, mole rats, and how to get away with completely weird stuff. It was a fun program, but it featured the frequent use of soldiers. Sure, by the end of the series, Kim and Ron were both of age, but at the start, they were both 14. As some of y’all might know, teenagers such as Ron and Kim shouldn't be helping out the army in any capacity, especially not to the extent that they are. Yes, technically Ron and Kim aren’t soldiers (especially by the last season), but they were used as armed agents and everyone just seems to be okay with it!
24 Duck Eat Duck World
Duck is good, duck is delicious. Duck in a nice curry is one of my favorite meals ever. We also know that ducks are jerks, but that is another discussion for another time. As you may have noticed, Donald Duck is a duck-eater and potential harmer based entirely off of his love of eating ducks and other avian organisms.
Donald is one of my favorite cartoon characters but this is really disturbing to think about.
There should be some sort of logical explanation for this, but there really isn’t one that comes to mind other than the old line from Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This kind of brings to mind those images of Goofy and Pluto.
23 Money Floats, It All Floats!
Coming back with our favorite Anatidae family, we have the giant money vault with its water-like properties. If all of you remember Scrooge McDuck’s great avarice and his love of swimming, you’ll definitely remember this common scene. How common was it, you ask? Well, it seemed to happen almost every other episode. The physics behind it are questionable at best. In fact, the way that Scrooge even dove into his vast wealth would result in either his demise or grave injury. It’s impossible to swim through all that money simply because the laws of physics wouldn’t allow for it. In the original comic there’s even a joke about it when the Beagle Boys get hurt in the attempt only for the miserly Scrooge to tell them that there’s a “trick” to wading through such wealth.
22 You're A Wiza-Witch... Selena!
So, much like hydrofluoric acid, magic just will not work on plastic; this is one of the strangest things ever shown in the series. If you are familiar with Wizards of Waverly Place, there are a number of scenes where plastic just zaps the ability to use magic, particularly in the “Saving Wiztech” episodes.
This weakness is never explained and just seems to be laziness written away under the plot armor designation normally reserved for the protagonists.
The only explanation for why it exists as a magic ender is because the writers watched Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and thought it was a good idea. It drives me absolutely nuts that they never explain why plastic is so formidable against magic. Does it bug you, or am I the only one?
21 School's Out Forever!
So, this one isn’t attached to any one particular show, but rather a whole spectrum. Ever notice how in shows that take place at schools, they almost never have the kids in class? Sure, yeah, we know that watching kids in class may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it would make sense since the show almost entirely takes place at a school.
Throughout a large number of series, even teachers are rarely seen! Class is shown as being entirely brutal and not worth being in. Kids may relate to this feeling, but that isn’t that good of an excuse. The interpersonal relationships of students could probably be better explored if the totality of their interactions with other students is demonstrated, right?
20 When Kids Can't Be Kids
Shows that appear on Disney have a strange way of getting you to suspend your disbelief in really strange ways; just think of Mickey for example. Although it wasn’t originally a Disney program (it appeared midway through its series run), So Weird makes it onto the list because of how it enthralled its audiences into believing its knockoff X-Files plot lines with parents being hardly anywhere to be found.
The show demonstrated that kids can be pretty smart.
But they were portrayed as being miniature grown-ups in quite a number of situations in attempts to make up for the lack of grown-ups. The show had a great run and many fans recall how weird So Weird was. Maybe it was just a prequel to The X-Files?
19 Did Their Parents Never Notice Their Genius?
Phineas and Ferb was a great show for the younger generation. It promoted scientific exploits and encouraged kids to seek out ways to change the world with their own ingenuity. Sure, the show was fantastical in pretty much every way, but it only broke the veil of disbelief regarding Doofenshmirtz.
Linda used to date the mad and angry scientist.
The relationship was rocky, at best, with Doofenshmirtz being a pretty childish twerp. When she told him that she wanted to be a pop star, this set off a chain of events which would set the stage for the show. Linda’s comments that Doofenshmirtz should aim to control the Tri-State Area served as the villainous scientist’s motivations. The irony to this is that Linda is completely unaware of this no matter how obvious Doofenshmirtz and the heroes make it to her.
18 Nobody Can See Past A Wig
Miley Cyrus’s career blossomed in the wake of the hit show Hannah Montana and much like the craziness that took place in her growth and development, the show made little to no sense. Think about it: Hannah Montana is a major star in the show’s universe and easily recognizable in voice, looks, and everything, yet, somehow no one was able to see through her disguise at the school. Wouldn’t you think that the most rabid of fans, like many of her peers were (are?), would be able to tell when their favorite celebrity is in their presence? At least one of them should have been able to do that, but nope, not one of them. Stupid plot hole, but, we understand why it was necessary at least.
17 Fish Out Of Time
Before we continue, I promise that I’m not going to harp about how the time travel plot of Phil of the Future makes no sense, no, I am going to harp about the poor quality of education in the post 2100 world, because everyone seemed to be so confused over what different objects were (which they supposedly learned about in their history classes).
Not everyone pays attention in class, nor do they remember everything.
In fact, most people forget the majority of what they’ve learned or observed in roughly 24 hours, but wouldn’t you expect someone from the future to know some of the more rudimentary characteristics of our contemporary culture? I would. It's just strange that Phil and his family have never heard of anything. If we went back in time, we'd at least recognize some things, I think.
16 Does Anyone Remember The Okra Farm?
Okay, real talk: when I was a kid, I loved The Proud Family. Penny, her family, and her friends were always great to watch, especially when Penny’s grandmother was involved. Y’all might remember one particular episode when Suga Mama was taken to a nursing home and put into forced labor picking okra; that was my favorite episode. There are a number of issues that we can unpack from this, but the one thing that really can’t seem to be rationalized is how the government never knew this was happening! Imagine hundreds of elderly individuals with loving families not being able to tell that their loved ones are being so grossly harmed. There should have been more than one person ratting on the slaveholders here with the government, or someone other than a bunch of kids, metaphorically burning the place to the ground.
15 Who Rules Magic Town? The Genie! The Genie!
I'll let all of you in on a little secret, when I was a kid, my favorite Disney show was Aladdin. The show was just about all I could think of immediately after getting home from school, but looking back, there were a lot of issues.
One of the most troublesome moments is that Genie's rules on elimination, love, and everything else, just appear to be made up out of thin air.
He never really explains why they are there, but, based on his breaking of most of his rules and “laws,” shows that he does as he pleases. An implication of this is that he creates the rules after disastrous results. I really want to know what happened when he made the rule about bringing people back to life.
14 Nani? Where Are You?
Parenting is hard work and, of course, parents aren’t going to be around their children all the time. Sure, Nani might be Lilo’s sister but she fulfills the parental role. Nani is not really around. In fact, she’s more absent than most bad parents in the Disney Universe. We all know that Nani works hard to provide for Lilo, Stitch, and herself, but that takes up less time than we think. Now, I won’t roast this movie and show the way I do others. Nani is a great sister and does her best for those she loves. Sure, it might not make sense how little she is on-screen, but that’s not the important part of the character. Healthy parental and sibling love is always nice. This carries over to the TV show, where she is more present but still just busy all the time.
13 Flightless Birds
You know, when I started writing this article, I thought, “there really can’t be that much nonsense in Disney.” Well, my friends, I was wrong. DuckTales was a great series that many remember, if only for the theme song. But the whole premise of it is a bit strange, and it becomes even more so when you look at the character of Launchpad McQuack.
You see, he's a pilot.
And yeah, that normally wouldn't be too much of a problem. But he also happens to be a bird. Who flies a plane. Is that normal? It's kind of like he just forgot that he's a bird who has wings and could just fly away whenever he pleases. Maybe these birds are all just really lazy.
12 Oh, It's Magic
Back to Wizards of Waverly Place! This show is full of plot holes in inconsistencies when you actually look at it. For one, Wizards can't seem to decide how, exactly, their powers work. We see physical manifestations of their power in several episodes. But they don't always look the same. Sometimes, they look like a ball of light, where other times they take other shapes (cylindrical and otherwise). Beyond that, even the powers themselves seem to change. In one episode, they mention that in cases where it's absolutely needed, wizards can create their own spells. But nobody is ever seen doing that again after that one mention. I guess you could chalk this up to a writer issue, where different writers will put different things in their episodes. But come on!
11 But You Never Wear Pants...
Donald Duck has been a staple of Disney shows, movies, and theme parks since almost the beginning. He is lovable in all ways, but sometimes he just doesn’t make much sense.
An example of this would be the time in which he embarrassingly covered himself after bathing.
For the less discerning Disney fan, you probably still noticed that he never wears pants, skirts, or any real waist covering throughout most of his skits. It seems bizarre to have to point this out, but why would you write or draw this into the show? The usurpation of expectation in comedy is key, but it falls flat here. If you don’t laugh at the visual gag, you’ll possibly be left scratching your head at it.
10 Permanent Detention
Filmore! is a children’s parody of Law and Order, and all sorts of other representatives of the cop show genre. For those of us who grew up in the time it was on air, we might think fondly on the titular character and his sidekick, Ingrid Third, but most probably overlooked the threat of detention as more than a plot device. Back in his delinquent days, Filmore was threatened with detention for the rest of his middle school days. This doesn’t make much sense when it’s observed for only its face value. When you take a step back from the threat, you’ll notice that that can’t happen. Why wouldn’t it? Expulsion would happen well before quasi-permanent detention. I will admit that I was able to suspend my disbelief at that as a kid.
9 Chipmunks And Rodents
Clothes and animals just don’t really go together, they always either tear them up or do something else to ruin them; it’s quite nasty. In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, every single character (minus the faux-ghost cat) wore clothes. Yes, I know, I should suspend disbelief but it really doesn’t make much sense in any and all cases because the clothes they wear would cause a lot of damage to the animals if they were to have them on.
As neat as they look, especially Monterey Jack, it just isn’t at all practical for them to wear.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers was another one of my all-time favorite shows as a kid, but as you grow older, you start to poke some holes in the logic of your favorite programs.
8 Magnets, How Do They Work?
Here is another glaring issue of nonsense which cuts across program lines. A trope in both Phineas and Ferb as well as Darkwing Duck is that villains may steal magnets in order to create other, more powerful magnets in order to conquer some part of the world. This isn’t a problem in its own right, but the execution is where it falls flat on its face.
The main consensus among Disney villains on the use of magnets is that they need to use magnets to steal metal objects in order to create bigger magnets to steal more metal objects to rule an area about the size of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Weird, I know, but they don’t really seem to ever have bigger visions, just tristate domination.
7 Why Are All The Grown-Ups Broken?
This is a pretty common observation across a wide number of kid’s shows, “where did all the grown-ups go?” The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show is a pretty good example of this, albeit on the less extreme end of the spectrum. Throughout the entirety of the show, the children’s parents are sparsely seen with only their lower torsos and down shown if they ever make the screen.
The adults obviously have corporeal form, but their absence from the lives of their kids raises questions as to how they survive.
A number of theories have developed in the internet age as to why this is, most of them are pretty sad. To be fair, this isn’t an original Disney production but they acquired the rights to it so I’m going to count it.
6 How Did They Never Notice She Wasn't Human?
Vampires, werewolves, Big Foots (Big Feet?), there are a large number of creatures which fascinate and terrify our psyche through books, games, movies, and television programs. The Canadian show My Babysitter's a Vampire appeared on the Disney Channel after they acquired the license in 2011. The premise features the titular blood-drinking babysitter for one of the most curious and adventurous children ever. The weird thing is how the kid’s parents never learned that she was not of the mortal realm, but rather an eternal monstrosity. The parents in this show were so unobservant that they are bordering on pure neglect. The show itself was rather wholesome, but it was never able to shake the bad parenting trope.
5 Another Case Of Blindness
So we've already established that in Hannah Montana, nobody ever makes the connection that Hannah is actually Miley. Even though they literally look identical. But this gets all the more confusing when looked at a bit closer. Miley's dad, Mr. Stewart, is known (this is established in the show) as Robby Ray, who is a former singer who enjoyed a lot of fame back in the day.
People know who he is, and people know that he's the father of Miley. He too puts on a secret identity as Robby Ray Montana, but... again, why have people never put two and two together? Why does nobody ever question why Robby Ray is hanging out with Hannah Montana? I guess this all comes back to the same thing... people in the Hannah Montana universe are blind.
4 Seeing The Future
That’s So Raven was one of the biggest hits to ever grace the Disney Chanel, but, that doesn’t save it from errors of any kind. One of the biggest of these errors took place in the episode “Don’t Have a Cow,” where Eddie tossed a note to Chelsea which Raven later read after fishing it from the trash.
The problem is that the note never came close to reaching Chelsea, so she never read it, yet, her reply to Eddie is quite visible.
To make some sense of this, we will need to do a lot of mental gymnastics. Personally, I like the idea that the note Raven found was left by some sort of alternative universe Chelsea and everything went well. Yeah, I know that’s a big leap, but so is Raven’s future sight.
3 Genies Are As Genies Lie
So, yeah, this isn’t really from a show, though he later appeared in the series of the same name. But it was too good to pass up. Y’all probably remember our favorite blue magically inclined being, Genie; some of you might also remember that he had three rules and regulations regarding use of his powers. During the confrontation with Jafar, he made it clear to Aladdin that he needed to have the lamp in order to grant wishes. Where was this lamp when Aladdin was making pretty much all of his wishes? Come on, do you really think that Genie couldn’t bend the rules like he did every single other time? No, maybe Genie is just chaotic neutral and loves having fun, maybe he’s lawful leaning chaotic good? I dunno, you decide.
2 Doesn't Know He's A Toy, Until He Does
Once again, yes, I know this isn’t a TV show and a Pixar production (for the Walt Disney Corporation), but it bears mentioning. Buzz Lightyear, one of Toy Story’s most iconic characters, had the most blatant, pure, and rational moment of existential dread. When we first meet our wannabe space-faring hero, he doesn’t really know that he’s a toy.
He thinks that everyone else is some sort of space creature, but, he behaves just like every other toy when a human walks in the room.
It’s just weird that he does this. There are a few explanations, some of them are just as wacky as plastic and magic, however, only the writers of the movie can tell us why he does this. Personally, I think it was just oversight, but you be the judge.
1 Throwing It Old School
Yeah yeah, I know that this wasn’t originally aired on the Disney Channel, but I’m going to count it anyway since it reran on the Disney Channel between 1985 and 1994. To many people, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet represented a time where life was simpler, where problems just didn’t seem to exist beyond forgetting to get supper ready. Dad was always there to give a moral lesson with occasional insight from mom. But you know what was missing? People of color. When you look back at it, it doesn’t really make sense as to why only whites inhabited the town. The complete separation from reality at the time of its production was nuclear, just like the family. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet may have had huge problems with realism, but it remains one of the longest-running programs in history.