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Movies You Weren't Supposed To See As A Kid (But Watched Anyway)

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You're a child or young adult, you're watching television and you stumble upon a movie that you're definitely not supposed to see. But you keep it on anyway because #yolo no parents no homework no rules! Such is the premise for this post, a compendium of forbidden features watched by the editors here at The Huffington Post when they were far too young to process all the sex, violence and foul language. Enjoy the sometimes mortifying details below!

"Wild Things" (1998)

I can't quite remember the specifics of how my best friend and I were able to obtain and watch the very R-rated "Wild Things" when we were 13, but I do remember being very scandalized by Kevin Bacon's split-second full-frontal scene (which, in truth, might have been the part of our motivation for wanting to watch the movie in the first place). Being the very immature and sheltered suburban teens that we were, seeing Mr. Bacon's penis ended up being a catch all joke for years to come. #friendship.

I also recall that the movie itself was incredibly convoluted and disappointing. And looking back on it now, it's hard to believe that anyone would cast Neve Campbell and Denise Richards as high school students. -- Stephanie Marcus

"Clueless" (1995)

I was 5 years old when "Clueless" came out, and I watched it for the first time with my sister and our babysitter as soon as it hit Blockbuster shelves. My sister is 18 months older than I am (and much, much wiser), so I was sure she understood all the hip lingo and why Christian liked "Spartacus" so much. (She didn't.) After our parents got home and the babysitter left, I asked my mom what "virgin" meant. More specifically, I think I asked her, "What's a virgin, and why can't virgins drive?" Mom was mad, and from then on we had to get all our VHS picks approved on parents' night out. -- Jessica Goodman

"Threesome" (1994)

"Threesome," the sexy story of a two-guys-and-a-girl love triangle, brought up themes I was certainly not familiar with at the age of 9. But I did get a sense of what college would be like: composing papers on a typewriter, doing tequila shots at your desk and, of course, roommates going to the bathroom with the door open. But nothing prepared me for 1994-Stephen Baldwin. Chain necklaces, earrings, cut-off denim and a backwards hat.

Lara Flynn Boyle (always seemingly on the verge of tears) is assigned to live with Baldwin and Josh Charles, whose character comes out as gay and reveals that he’s a virgin. Some lines that left an indelible impression on my 4th grade brain include: "If a girl wants you to f-ck her, you f-ck her." And, "You know, it's not a good time to be a sexually promiscuous homo."

"Threesome" might have been my first introduction to a gay character in film. But complicating what is already complicated as a college student comes out, is adding a love triangle on top of it. Literally. A ton of nudity and enough orgasms to make even a 9-year-old uncomfortable, "Threesome" left me with more questions than answers. Ominous music played while the three finally consummated their passion, and I imagine I asked myself, “Is this what sex is supposed to be like?” “Why is his hand there?” and “Is this what friends do?” Questions, that I’m afraid to admit, 20 years later, I still sometimes find myself pondering. -- Sasha Bronner

"Watership Down" (1978)

An animated film about adorable bunnies going on an adventure? What little girl whose parents just got HBO wouldn't want to watch that? I'm guessing it was the very early '80s when I first saw "Watership Down," and while it remains one of my favorite films (and books), it certainly did its fair share of psychological damage. The violence was shocking enough for a 6-year-old, but the final scene of an elderly Hazel floating off into the sky with the Black Rabbit Of Inlé pretty much ensured I would think about death 100 percent of the time for the next few years. So, naturally, I became obsessed and watched it whenever it was on. If "Fraggle Rock" hadn't come along I'm pretty sure I'd be in a straightjacket somewhere. Still, great movie. -- Carol Hartsell

"Dirty Dancing" (1987)

When I was 6 years old, I watched "Dirty Dancing" at my best friend's house with another girl who we knew from our Jewish pre-school. After that day, she was no longer allowed to play with us. I had no idea why at the time -- all I got out of the film was a vague understanding of a love story that culminated in a fun dance number to "The Time of My Life." But when I re-watched the movie years later, I saw why the parents of a kindergartener might think it emotionally traumatizing for her to view a film whose entire plot circles around a deeply tragic, mishandled abortion. -- Lily Karlin

"Scream" (1996)

Most of my forbidden movie titles as a child had to do with the buffets of genitalia on display, but "Scream" wasn't your average horror movie. It was of the semi-raunchy teen variety that rose to prominence in the '90s, so while my parents were all for me watching "Poltergeist" and "Halloween" at a young age, "Scream" was on the veto list. (To be fair, I was 6 when it came out.) I should clarify, though, that said veto list was mostly a function of my mother's parenting, so when she left town for the weekend shortly after "Scream" arrived on VHS (I was 7 by then), I had dear ol' daddio take me to Blockbuster to rent a copy. I didn't make it past Drew Barrymore's opening scene. The image of her boyfriend tied up to a chair did me in -- although not enough to stop me from watching "I Know What You Did Last Summer" about a year later. Good call, mom. (For the record, I've since made it past the first five minutes, and the film is among my favorites from the '90s.) -- Matthew Jacobs

"Scary Movie" (2000)

It was the summer of 2000, I was 9 years old and “Scary Movie” had just come out. Since there's no way a 4th grader was getting into an R-rated movie, I waited until it was at Blockbuster to ask my dad if we could rent it. To my amazement, one day he came home with it on DVD. We watched it, and even more confusing than the majority of the adult jokes, was why it was rated “R.” There weren’t any sex scenes, hardly any nudity and besides some cursing and silly violence, it wasn’t that inappropriate after all. I eventually went to school to brag about watching it, only to realize I had not in fact seen “Scary Movie” in its entirely. What bathroom ear scene? What part with her hair in the bedroom? I pretended to know what scenes everyone was giggling about as I slowly realized that my dad had self-edited the movie by skipping past all the bad parts. I eventually saw all of “Scary Movie” and that R-rating finally made sense. -- Erin Whitney

"Death Becomes Her" (1992)

Between the twisted revenge plots, disgusting plastic surgeries and that whole chandelier-through-the-torso imagery, "Death Becomes Her" shook my 6-year-old psyche to the core. I can still see the look on my 1st grade teacher's face when I came into class asking if you could really stay young forever -- and not in the whimsical, "Peter Pan" way -- but with the anxiety that comes after watching Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn use spray paint to keep their skin from peeling off ::shudder:: -- Katla McGlynn

"The Crow" (1994)



I don't know what my parents were thinking when they decided it was a good idea to let their 8-year-old daughter watch a movie based on revenge killings which take place on the most demonic night of the year. Maybe they were embarrassed of the fact that I had regular nightmares from watching "Teletubbies" and thought they needed to toughen me up? In any case, the lasting damage inflicted upon me after watching "The Crow" is too great to put into words. This movie has everything a pre-teen girl would hate, including a man dressed up as a member of KISS, with a bad makeup job, greasy hair and a deranged need to stab, slice, and impale anyone near him. It was the reason I stopped trick-or-treating before age 10 –- which, in itself is a tragedy -- and it's also the explanation behind my irrational fear of birds. Thanks, mom and dad! -- Jessica Toomer

"Loverboy" (1989)

"Loverboy" was one of those movies that HBO played infinity times during my pre-teen years -- or so it seemed. It was either "Loverboy" or "The Mission," and let's be honest: a movie about Jesuit missionaries in 18th century South America doesn't stand a chance when placed opposite a teenage gigolo who works at a local pizza place. So I watched "Loverboy," which is kind of a weird movie for a kid to see multiple times considering it's about infidelity and includes an almost-incest scene ripped straight from "Back to the Future" playbook. But I liked it anyway: the sex stuff felt taboo and "adult" (as in, "This must be how adults behave!"), Patrick Dempsey was a pretty good avatar for a goofy 12-year-old from Long Island, Princess Leia had a supporting role and the closing dance number starts because a guy on clarinet can play "They Can't Take That Away From Me" from memory. As a clarinetist, that might have spoke to me most of all. -- Christopher Rosen

"Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life" (1983)

Besides the incessant swearing and vulgar language, and the scene where that massively obese man vomits everywhere and then explodes in a restaurant, covering the rest of the customers with his entrails. Besides the children choir singing about heathens spilling their sperm “on the dusty ground” and other semen-related quips, and the rugby match where a team of adult men mercilessly pummel a team of little boys to near death. Besides the incredibly gruesome and forced removal of a man’s organs, there are two scenes where women are topless. Sorry, mom and dad, I was never meant to see breasts at a such a young age. -- Ryan Kristobak

"Election" (1999)

I was a sheltered youngster, and easily frightened to boot, so I rarely ventured outside parent-approved viewing material. However, my older brother had fewer qualms. He often watched over the younger kids when our dad was out of town, and he'd occasionally rent a movie for us to watch together (this is how I first saw "Clueless" -- thanks, bro!). One night, when I was around 13, he picked "Election," a vicious dark comedy that featured far more unsettling humor than I was accustomed to at that tender age. And the extra-squicky sex scenes? Let's just say I was curled up in a ball on the other end of the couch, wishing everyone I was related to was miles away. And that I could wash my eyes with bleach. "Election" is a marvelous movie, but I would have appreciated it more, and cringed less, with several more years of maturity under my belt. -- Claire Fallon

"The Lost Boys" (1987)

I first sat down to watch "The Lost Boys" with my dad because he said the Frog brothers were in it, and I was super into frogs at the time. What followed was 90 minutes of the worst hell of my pre-double-digits life, and not one damn frog. Between the close-ups of maniacally laughing vampires and the orgy of killing, the movie pretty much ensured my mom would be washing my bed sheets every day until I left for college. Additionally, vampire storyline aside, I was convinced the character Michael was getting sick because Star gave him cooties. Then halfway through the movie, they both take each other’s clothes off and wrestle, which is like cooties central, bro. I just couldn't get behind that. Now, almost 20 years later, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have flashbacks of Kiefer Sutherland with fangs, and I'm still waiting on the frogs. -- Bill Bradley

"The Exorcist" (1973)

We all had that one friend growing up who loved scary movies and found great pleasure in forcing their friends to watch them. That's how I got roped into watching "The Exorcist" at the ripe age at 9, and let me tell you, it wasn't the "Airbud" we had originally agreed on watching. Instead of an adorable golden retriever with a thing for basketball, I was greeted by a demonic little girl with a thing for making her head spin around in a circle. As if the movie wasn't absolutely terrifying already -- which, trust, it was -- it didn't help that my friend's brother talked in his sleep and I stayed up all night, convinced he was possessed. -- Lauren Zupkus

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