Sometimes it's fun to reminisce about the good old days, aka the days in which we got to spend endless weeknights watching some of the best Disney Channel shows from our childhood without a care in the world. Most of these shows were a staple in our adolescence, and they without a doubt played a role in shaping who we are as adults. We had dreams of being psychic and saving ourselves from our own future mistakes, thanks to That's So Raven. And, with the help of Lizzie McGuire, we realized that junior high isn't exactly a walk in the park for anybody. But that doesn't mean there weren't also a few moments when some of our favorite Disney shows broke our hearts and made us sob uncontrollably.
As great as it was to escape while watching these shows, it's important to note that even though most of our favorite Disney cartoons and sitcoms put a fun, lighthearted spin on more than a few important social issues, there were still moments in which the network took a deep dive into more serious topics and deliver some of the most gut-wrenching episodes while doing so. Let's take a look back at the times your favorite Disney shows broke your heart.
1. When Mr. Turner Got Into A Motorcycle Accident On 'Boy Meets World'
If you tuned into Girl Meets World without watching any episodes of the series that inspired the spin-off, chances are you aren’t aware of the very loose end that the show tied up with its introduction of Cory and Shawn’s old teacher, Jonathan Turner, in the second season.
That’s because at the end of Boy Meets World’s Season 4, Mr. Turner was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him severely injured and hospitalized. It was one of the most emotional episode of the series, not only because of the accident itself, but because fans of the show never saw Mr. Turner again, thus never getting an answer about what happened to him. (Until GMW, that is.)
2. When Shawn's Girlfriend Was Being Abused By Her Father On 'Boy Meets World'
In “Dangerous Secret,” Cory is disappointed to find out that Shawn’s girlfriend, Claire, is staying with him in his trailer. But when he’s asked to let Claire stay at his own house, Cory soon discovers that Claire is suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of her father.
3. When Miley Dreamed Of Her Mother On 'Hannah Montana'
In the Season 2 episode "I Am Hannah, Hear Me Croak," Miley becomes anxious about a scheduled vocal cord surgery after waking up with laryngitis. During a dream sequence, her mother, who passed away a few years earlier, shows up and lets her know that everything is going to work out just fine. *insert sob emoji*
4. When Penny's Friend Experienced Xenophobia On 'The Proud Family'
Though it was a fun and family-oriented cartoon, there’s no doubt that The Proud Family was way ahead of its time when it came to addressing some serious topics that are more than relevant today. In an episode titled “Culture Shock,” the students at Penny’s school are tasked with spending a week with another family and writing an essay on their experiences.
However, when Penny gets sent to live with the Zamins, a Muslim family, a brush with xenophobia teaches her a valuable lesson about what it means to accept other cultures.
5. When Michael Was Bullied On 'The Proud Family'
Can I just say that Michael was an extremely underrated supporting character on The Proud Family? Michael managed to nab a standout episode of his own titled, “Who You Callin’ a Sissy.” In it, Michael is teased for his interest in fashion and gets called a "sissy." As a result, he's ostracized by many of his classmates, including Sticky and LaCienega. He laughs off almost all of their insults, but soon enough, many of them start getting attacked by a “monster” which, in the end, turns out to be Michael’s anger personified.
6. When Miranda Struggled With Body Image On 'Lizzie McGuire'
In this episode, which marked one of the first times Disney addressed body image issues, Miranda begins to diet before she’s set to appear in a music video that Gordo is directing.
Before she knows it, she starts skipping meals and Lizzie ends up having to convince her to love herself, while teaching her a thing or two about inner beauty. The episode ends with the two best friends dancing it out in an adorable video.
7. When Ray Remembered His Wife On 'Sister, Sister'
There were a handful of Sister, Sister episodes in which the twins attempted to dig up information about their biological parents and family members who have since passed. But one of the most heart-wrenching episodes put Ray in the hot seat, as he began to seek closure following the passing of his wife, who was Tamera’s adoptive mother.
8. When Phil Actually Went Back To The Future On 'Phil Of The Future'
You weren't a true fan of Phil of the Future if you didn’t ship Phil and Keely throughout the entirety of the show’s run on Disney Channel. So you probably cried actual tears during the show’s the series finale, “Back to the Future (Not the Movie),” when Phil and Keely finally admit that they love each other. The relationship they form is short-lived — for us viewers, anyway — as Phil soon realizes that, since the time machine is fixed, he and his family are able to return to 2121.
9. When Raven Didn't Get A Job Because Of Her Race On 'That's So Raven'
The Season 3 episode of That's So Raven, titled "True Colors," delivered an important message about discrimination and racism when it aired. In the episode, Raven and Chelsea are vying for the same job at a department store. They're given a series of tasks to perform to the best of their abilities — Raven's performance is impressive given her love for fashion. Chelsea's work is less than stellar. But in the end, Chelsea is the one that ends up getting hired, and they both soon find out that's it's because of the store manager's close-minded views.
Do you remember any of these episodes? If not, you've definitely got some catching up to do.