21 DCOM Plotlines That Were Actually So Messed Up If You Think About It
If you grew up in the ‘90s, chances are you spent much of your childhood watching Disney Channel Original Movies. The movies had many memorable storylines, from alien stepsisters to clones, making them extremely entertaining. But looking back, many of the most beloved DCOM had some plotlines that were actually so messed up.
Who can forget how terrifying Smart House actually was, with the Cooper family being trapped inside the house after Pat’s (the house) motherly features take a turn for the worse? Or Don’t Look Under The Bed, that made Even Stevens fans never see Ty Hodges in the same light ever again — and develop an intense fear of what could be under your bed? And then there are the first two Halloweentown movies, which are both actually intensely scary, from Kalabar freezing Gwen and Aggie to his son Kal turning human party guests into monsters.
Many of these movies were so genuinely scary that it’s difficult to understand how we all watched them as kids. And even those that weren’t scary used fantasy to create some heartbreaking movies, like You Wish!, where A.J. Trauth’s character, Alex, wished away his little brother Stevie, deeply regretting his decision. Now that many of these movies can be re-watched on Amazon and YouTube, here’s a look at some of their craziest plots.
1'Wish Upon A Star'
Before Katherine Heigl appeared on Grey's Anatomy, she played Alexia, a teen who switches bodies with her sister Hayley. It's a severe lesson to make them appreciate each other.
The preteens in the film adopt their own mummy, Harold, which is already pretty out there. But perhaps the most bizarre plotline is that the kids are able to get away with walking around with a mummy without much attention, while also dealing with a crook who fakes his own death sending henchmen to search for Harold.
This one is amongst the first DCOMs and started the trend of movies that combine both heartbreaking and spooky stories. In this one, Susie dies in a car crash with her boyfriend, but her spirit comes back years later to help her family not get kicked out of their trailer. She becomes friends with Zack, a teen who now lives in her former home who is mourning his father.
4'Can Of Worms'
Can of Worms is also amongst the first DCOMs, with a bizarre storyline about a teen who believes he's an alien and asks to be taken away from Earth — learning the consequences that come when his wish comes true.
It's difficult to find a DCOM fan who doesn't love Halloweentown. But there are so many messed up moments in it, from the townsfolk being held frozen in the haunted movie theater, to Kalabar's way of manipulating the Cromwell-Pipers by pretending to be their friend and romancing Gwen.
6'Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century'
There are so many fun parts in Zenon that it's difficult to remember that the main plot of the film involves Zenon uncovering a plan to crash the space station while being away from her parents and not having anyone believe her at first. Lots of pressure for a 13-year-old girl to save a space civilization on her own!
Having a smart house sounds fun, until the house decides to hold you hostage while thinking it's your mother.
8'The Thirteenth Year'
Imagine trying to navigate puberty and then finding out you're actually going through double the changes because you're a mermaid—or, in this case, merman. Not only that, but Cody has to face the decision between living with his biological mermaid mom or staying with his adoptive parents who raised him.
9'Don't Look Under The Bed'
This is one of the scariest DCOMs, for a good reason. It taught that once kids stop believing in their imaginary friends, their "friends" turn into the Boogeyman, haunting them until they find a way to believe again. And don't even get me started on the Boogey World that exists under the bed.
10'Stepsister From Planet Weird'
This is hands down the most bizarre DCOM. Not only is Ariel an alien who is a refugee on Earth, there's an evil alien who invades Earth trying to find her and her father.
11'The Other Me'
Will accidentally clones himself and uses the clone to not have to go to school, with the clone getting much better grades and becoming the new popular kid in school. And then when Will decides that it's time for him to be responsible, his family is perfectly OK with adopting the clone and pretending he's Will's cousin Gil from Belgium.
There's a lot that goes on in this Horse Sense sequel that'll make you think twice about riding a yacht, from being stranded on a desert island to having to escape from pirates.
13'Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire'
Can we just talk about how it's up to the kids to save their mom from being killed by a vampire?
14'The Luck Of The Irish'
Being a teen is tough enough, but having to worry about turning into a leprechaun is a lot. Plus, it's particularly messed up that Kyle's family didn't tell him that with the use of his lucky coin, the leprechauns in the family can remain human.
Once again, Kalabar strikes back by having his son Kal charm Marnie and gain her trust in order to create havoc in Halloweentown while also tormenting mortals.
Imagine if your parents mentally regressed into becoming children. That's what happens in this flick, with Eddie (Tahj Mowry) and his sister Marie trying to get them back to normal. It's easy to confuse this one with Seventeen Again, also starring Mowry along with his sisters Tia and Tamera, which many fans mistakenly believe to be a DCOM.
17'Get A Clue'
Lexy (Lindsay Lohan) decides to investigate her teacher's disappearance after his car is found in the East River, which is a lot for a teen to take on. Even though it turns out her teacher isn't dead, the investigation of his disappearance does take a dangerous turn for her, so it's hard to understand how she was allowed to become so invested with those risks involved.
18'The Scream Team'
DCOMs include plenty of spooky movies for the Halloween season, but The Scream Team is definitely one of the darkest. It all begins when the kids think their grandfather's spirit is trying to tell them something by leading them to a newspaper clipping of a man who killed his wife by burning down their house. And once they meet the man's spirit, believing him to be a villain, it's revealed that he actually accidentally killed his wife and wants revenge now that everyone thinks he's evil.
If you've ever said you wished you didn't have a sibling, You Wish! probably made you rethink that by showing how difficult and sad life would be without them.
20'Stuck In The Suburbs'
It's crazy to think that teenage girls are given the power to change a pop star's life by having his phone — giving him a surprise makeover and making big shifts in his career.
There's a lot to unpack with Pixel Perfect. Roscoe creates the "perfect" pop star and dream girl hologram, ignoring how his best friend Sam feels about him falling for his creation while ignoring the real girl who loves him.
DCOM plotlines are often bizarre but that's what makes them so memorable years later. If you want to revisit your childhood and see how it feels to watch them years later, now's the perfect time to do so.