30 Shocking Inappropriate Scenes That Sneaked Into '80s Family Films

By Jack Ripley | February 1, 2024

Gremlins - Phoebe Cates Fries The Gremlins In A Theater

Ah, the '80s — a decade of big hair, even bigger shoulder pads, and some of the most unforgettable movies of all time. But amid the shopping montages and funky fashion, there were a few, shall we say, "cheeky" scenes that left parents gasping and kids giggling with glee. Whether it was the unexpected flash of skin in a supposedly innocent comedy, a steamy encounter that left us all hot under the collar, or a hilariously risqué innuendo that flew over our young heads, these R-rated moments were the secret ingredients that spiced up our favorite family flicks. So, come along on this tantalizing time-travel adventure, as we reminisce about the most scandalous, surprising, and utterly delightful R-rated moments that had us all wondering, "Did they really just show that in a family movie?" Let's get ready to embrace the unexpected, and dive headfirst into the naughty nostalgia of R-rated moments in Family-Friendly '80s Movies!

test article image
(warner bros.)

Gremlins is a staple for both family film nights and holiday parties, a chaotic romp that effortlessly combines comedy, horror, and cuteness.  But amidst the holiday mischief and mayhem, there's one particular scene that stands out for its unexpectedly violent twist. Kate Beringer, played by Phoebe Cates, is desperate to get rid of the gremlins, leading to the unforgettable scene where she fries the pesky creatures in a movie theater. It's a bold, daring move, and one that certainly had parents shielding their children's eyes and questioning the film's family-friendly rating.

All Dogs Go To Heaven - The Hell Sequence

test article image
(United Artists/MGM/UA Communications Co.)

All Dogs Go To Heaven, with its lovable characters, catchy songs, and heartfelt moments, is remembered as a childhood favorite by many. However, some parts of this animated film are not so lovable - in fact, they're downright scary - particularly the hell sequence. In this scene, Charlie, our German shepherd protagonist, falls asleep and experiences a nightmarish dream where he is transported to a hellish landscape. He finds himself surrounded by monstrous creatures and tormented by terrifying visions. Flames engulf the screen, and the eerie, unsettling atmosphere creates a sense of unease as a demonic figure taunts and threatens Charlie. The entire sequence is a stark departure from the rest of the film's lighthearted tone, t's hard to deny that the imagery might be too much for some young viewers. Woof!