25 Perplexing Things From 'Spy Kids,' Because Your Favorite Kid's Film Is Made Of Pure Nightmare Fuel

If you were a preteen in 2001, and tickets for Shrek were already sold out, you've probably seen in the amusing-if-not-terrifying Spy Kids . If you were unaware, Spy Kids is a Robert Rodriguez (think From Dusk 'Till Dawn) film, so by nature when it's bad, it's sort of winkingly bad — in fact, it almost bounces back to good in the end. Still, I needed an excuse to rewatch the film, and a chance to point out some things that are especially peculiar, so that makes it today's bad movie rewatch.

Here's a refresher for the film, since I know odds are that it's probably been a while: Carmen and Juni Cortez live with their mysterious parents Gregorio and Ingrid. Gregorio and Ingrid are spy consultants who gave up field work to raise a family, but decide to go out for one last mission. Unfortunately, though, they then get captured by children's television series star Floop, who's helping a businessman named Mr. Lisp create an army of robot children with spy intelligence. Bottom line, it's up to the younger Cortez's to save their parents... and the day.

Altogether though it's wacky it could be worse, and as a bonus it includes the unlikely origin of another character from Rodriguez's catalog. So, strap in for a journey back to the early 2000's classic, Spy Kids.

1. Juni has warts on his hand, because his parents buy him medicine from the 99 Cents Only store.

Really, guys, you're working with two spy salaries, splurge a little.

2. Carmen asks her mother to tell her the bed time story about the two spies who fell in love.

And she does, it seems like a story Carmen's heard a thousand times.

But then she acts all surprised and weird and "that story needs a better ending, mom."

3. These two spies have gigantic interfaces that they use in a bedroom directly connected to their children's room.


4. Gregorio is rocking the Cosby sweater.

Weird on many levels, particularly because they live somewhere generally South West-y.

5. Everything about this show.

It's like if the acid-trip boat scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was stretched out into 22 minutes.

6. This dad, who casually encourages his son into bullying.

Of course he wears a salmon colored polo shirt. Of course.

7. This wonky Floop action figure.

Terrible likeness, and undoubtedly another dollar store purchase.

Pictured here is the real Floop, which is, by my dad's assessment "Basically Alan Cumming doing Martin Short." Yeah.


Not even regular unleaded nightmare fuel, but PREMIUM nightmare fuel. JUST LOOK AT THEM.

9. The CGI thumbs take the edge off, though.

And suddenly I feel a lot less scared.

10. "Hey churros, how are you?"

Did he just compare those children to the cinnamon stick dessert?

11. This pencil-thin mustache.

His code name was "The Creep."

12. Somehow Ingrid and Gregorio's car doubles as a submarine.

If they've retired formally from spying, why would they need this sort of advanced vehicle? Is this just part of your benefits of being a spy consultant? 401(k), dental, and water minivan?

13. The Thumb-Thumbs wear masks to conceal their identity. Um.

Few humans are that thumb-shaped.

14. "Check it out!"

"Product placement!"

15. Presented without comment.

16. "It's a cruel, cruel world/all you little boys and girls/all you little boys and girls/and some mean nasty people/want to have you for their supper"


Incidentally this song is pretty much something dug out of Danny Elfman's waste basket.

17. "This hardware gets in the way of my creative abilities!"

Me vs. the Internet.

18. "You better stop calling me names?"

"Or what?"

"Or I'll call you names."

Just of note, this is like every brother-sister relationship ever. Honestly, my little brother just stopped quoting this three months ago.

He's 22.

19. Nobody on the playground notices that the roundabout is not only being bogarted, but going a kajillion miles per hour.

Oh no, wait, JK.

20. Um. This is Machete.

People forget this. I forgot this. But Danny Trejo, the badass that eventually starred in the Rodriguez films Machete and Machete Kills (also Breaking Bad), first turns up as Juni and Carmen's weird uncle.


So that.

21. Juni's Fooglie design is decidedly less sophisticated than the others.

So he won't be receiving a RISD scholarship anytime soon, but at least I'll be able to sleep enough.

22. Gregorio, however, is somehow masterful at Fooglie creations.

You need to fulfill art credits before you can graduate spy school. Gregorio was excellent at sculpture. He was less successful with watercolors.

23. Anything, all is well and good after the Cortez's adopt some Thumb-Thumbs.

Why not.

24. Plus we get a random George Clooney cameo, because, also, why not.

Never a bad time for a Clooney cameo!

25. And we end with these demonic robot children fronting Floop's show.

Nightmare fuel forever.

Images: Miramax/Netflix (26)