8 of the cheekiest adult jokes in children's films, from Shrek to Happy Feet.

Thanks to our brand partner, Stan

The summer holidays are six long weeks a time for the kids to relax and recharge after the school year.

After a morning out, or on a chilled Friday night, it’s nice to be able to put a movie on that everyone can enjoy – and everyone includes you too.

Films that weave in some adult humour certainly make the experience a lot more fun. They’re those jokes that go right over the kids’ heads, a subtle wink to us parents from the filmmakers.

“We see you, parents, and we know you’re watching this movie AGAIN to make your kids happy. Here’s a little something for your trouble.”

Here are some of the cheekiest hidden jokes you may have missed in your kids’ animated films. Add these to your holiday watch list – they’re all available to watch anywhere and anytime on Stan now.

‘The Waffle Hole’ in Shrek Forever After

The Shrek films set the gold standard for adult in-jokes (hello, say the name Lord Farquaad a few times over).

As the film series progressed, the boundaries got pushed further and further.  Take Shrek Forever After for example.

When Donkey falls into a trap set with waffles as bait, Shrek tries to explain to Fiona with this, er, colourful wording:

"My donkey fell in your waffle hole."

The look on her face says it all. Not. Happy.

To kids it sounds silly, but to adults it's something else.

Swear on this, Madagascar


Marty the Zebra gets a fright when Alex the Lion starts chasing him. Instead of swearing, he says ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea’ – we’ll let you work out that acronym...

Very, very happy penguins in Happy Feet

Happy Feet
Innocent penguin play, right? Image: Supplied.

As Mumble crashes into Gloria post swim, they quickly slide around the ice in Happy Feet. In the short scene, they appear to ‘fall’ into some popular sex positions.

The kids won’t suspect a thing, but will you be muffling your laughter into a bowl of well-deserved popcorn? Absolutely.

Well, that's a dirty Cat in the Hat


Mike Myers plays the risqué ‘cat’ in the big-screen adaptation of Dr Seuss' famous book The Cat in the Hat. The cat gets rather ‘excited’ when he sees a centrefold style picture of a woman – his hat begins to grow and becomes rather stiff (even complete with a classic ‘boing!’ to drive the message home).

In another scene, he throws down a garden tool calling it a ‘dirty hoe!’ and then quickly picks it up again saying ‘I'm sorry baby, I love you’ while he tries to lick it. Subtle, much?

Getting high in Shrek The Third

Don't do drugs, kids. Image: DreamWorks

So the sexual innuendos are rife in Shrek's world, but in Shrek The Third, DreamWorks subtly threw a sly drug reference in there.

Shrek and his crew come across a carriage that's filled with smoke inside. The passengers stumble out of the carriage looking very relaxed, and one says "For lo, bro! Don't burn all my frankincense and myrrh!"

Said like true stoners, bro.

A closeted shark in Shark Tale

shark tale
Many have interpreted Lenny as being gay. Image: Supplied.

Featuring Robert DeNiro as the gangster-dad shark Don Lino seems a subtle nod to the adults in the room with his Goodfellas roots.

But the real side plot that would go over most children’s heads is the less than subtle idea that Don Lino’s son, Lenny, is hiding something about himself.

As well as being a vegetarian shark (LOL), Oscar (Will Smith) asks him, “So he likes to dress like a dolphin. So what? Everybody loves him, just the way he is. Why can’t you?”

Gay innuendo in How to Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon
What reason might that be? Image: DreamWorks.

The sexual orientation of How to Train Your Dragon's Gobber is hinted at in the second film (and pretty much confirmed in the third). Gobber is explaining that the tension he saw between another couple was why he didn’t get married. Adding "That, and one other reason".

In the third film, there are more overt hints, such as his comment that Eret is ‘built like a Norse God’ and some obvious staring at Eret’s God-like behind.

Prison talk in Puss in Boots

puss in boots
Puss is all sass. Image: DreamWorks.

Featuring The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis as the scene stealing Humpty Dumpty, Puss in Boots pushes the boundaries without totally alienating the kids.

Plotting to steal the beans with Puss, Humpty asks, “Do you know what they do to eggs in prison?”

Only an adult can answer that question!

If you're looking to re-watch some of these movies or introduce your kids to them for the first time, you can jump on Stan and stream the very best of the DreamWorks back catalogue (also including Trolls, Kung Fu Panda and Bee Movie) as well as a massive range of movies and shows from Paramount, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and ABC Kids.

They’re all available to download and watch offline, making any travel plans over the holidays a much more dignified affair.

But don't worry, they won't get the jokes that are made just for us!

What's your favourite 'wink wink' adult joke from a kids' film?


Stan has got you covered these school holidays, with all the best content from DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and more – and it’s all available to download and watch offline so they can watch any time, anywhere. Start your 30 day free trial today.

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