11 Classic Movies That Have Not Aged Well

Time to leave the past in the past.

20th Century Fox

When making a movie, writers, directors, and producers always need to consider longevity: Will this movie remain relevant to audiences in five years? Ten? Twenty?

Of course, some movies are made to capitalize on current trends, make a quick buck, and then slip away into the annals of zeitgeists past. You've Got Mail was dated even before AOL went out of style. But for every hacky "hey old people, check out this modern technology!" movie, there's a whole slew of movies that try to capture something honest and sincere in an attempt to appeal to audiences far beyond their era of creation.

Some succeed, earning the status of "classics" as viewers pass them down from generation to generation. But society changes with time, and our greater social ethos changes along with it. As a result, even some "classic" movies fall short when viewed with fresh eyes––and for some of them, perhaps it's time for their "classic" status to be revoked.

Dumbo (1941) and The Jungle Book (1967)

dumbo jim crow Disney

Both Dumbo and The Jungle Book were early, animal-oriented Disney films that imbued a surprising degree of racism into their otherwise still-relevant narratives. Dumbo featured a singing crow who was actually named Jim Crow after the segregation laws of the era. His character design, voice, and mannerisms all mimicked black caricatures of the time period.

The Jungle Book, which came out over 20 years later (but only two years after the end of Jim Crow laws), continued a similar stereotype with King Louie, a villainous orangutan coded as a black man who sings to Mowgli about wanting to act more human. To Disney's credit, the Jim Crow character has been removed from Dumbo entirely, both in the live action remake and the upcoming Disney+ streaming service release of the original.

One important point to note is that unlike many of the other entries on this list that should probably be retired completely, Dumbo and The Jungle Book both hold historical relevance. Their racist scenes are largely reflective of the larger, segregation-era and post-segregation-era sentiments in America during the 40s and 60s respectively. They continue to hold importance within the larger canon of Western animation but should be viewed with the caveat of being products of their time. The same cannot be said for many of the rest of the movies on this list.

Porky's and Animal House

animal house Universal Pictures

Consider this entry a catch-all for basically every "teen boys sexing it up" comedy of the late '70s and early '80s. All of these types of movies follow a group of raucous guys who engage in shenanigans revolving around sex with women. This would be fine if not for the fact that "sex with women" really means objectifying women, lying to women, peeping on women, and getting women very drunk and doing things to them without their consent. Female characters in these movies never seem like real people, existing entirely to fulfill the wishes of male viewers. It's no wonder that many of the men who grew up watching these movies still hold ridiculously toxic views about women.

Revenge of the Nerds

revenge of the nerds 20th Century Fox

Revenge of the Nerds is a lot like all the movies from the previous entry, except it goes a step farther by including an outright rape scene and passing it off as comedy. Here's the set-up: One of the nerds, Lewis, has a crush on Betty, the girlfriend of a jock named Stan. At a costume party, Betty waits in a bedroom to have sex with Stan. Lewis steals Stan's costume and has sex with her instead. Betty thinks she is having sex with Stan because she consented to have sex with Stan. She did not consent to have sex with Lewis. Therefore, Lewis raped her using deception. HAHAHA, right?

Of course, Betty is a non-character written by sexists, so she responds by falling in love with him. This has lead many other sexists to decide that this is not rape. They are incorrect. Rape by deception is rape. The act portrayed in this movie is rape. Anyone who disagrees is objectively a rape defender and a sexist. Feel free to out yourselves in the comments.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

ace ventura Warner Bros.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is just another wacky Jim Carrey romp where a big, loony goofball catches a murderer by...publicly removing her clothes to reveal that she's actually a pre-op transgender person? Wait. That's pretty messed up. Everyone gags and apparently this is supposed to be very funny? Looking back on it, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective basically boils down to a big "transgender people are gross!" joke. Lame.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

breakfast at tiffanys Paramount Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany's features Mickey Rooney in yellowface performing what might be the worst hate crime against Japanese people ever committed to film. Why did they do this? Just...why?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

indiana jones monkey brains Paramount Pictures

As an action film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom still holds up surprisingly well. The action continues to feel original and creative, even after being copycatted for decades. The portrayal of Indian and Hindu culture, on the other hand, is absurdly offensive. Essentially bastardizing foreign cultures for shock value, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom popularized long-lasting, incorrect myths such as the "Indians eat monkey brains" trope. Not cool.

Chasing Amy

chasing amy View Askew Productions

Imagine a movie coming out today in which a straight man romantically pursues an out lesbian in an attempt to "change her back" and then actually succeeds. Such a film would be unfathomable. But back in the late '90s when LGBTQ+ communities weren't nearly as visible in the public eye, Chasing Amy seemed not only plausible, but cutting edge. Unlike a lot of the other films here, Chasing Amy doesn't intend to turn marginalized people into jokes––it just fails to understand them.


crash movie Lionsgate Films

Crash was never a good movie. Crash never deserved its Best Picture Academy Award. Crash was a white director's shoddy attempt to boil down racism, race relations, and racial tensions into a simplified, melodramatic package meant for consumption by white people. Insane scenes delight in racially charged nonsense, like when a Persian shopkeeper, driven mad by racist slights, attempts to murder a Latino locksmith for no reason. Or when a racist white cop "redeems" himself by rescuing a black woman from a car crash after basically molesting her earlier in the movie. Crash was never and will never be anything better than stinky, stinky garbage. Please, throw Crash out.


big movie 20th Century Fox

Big may be a fun Tom Hanks romp full of whimsy and keyboard dancing, but it's also a movie where a little kid uses magic and lies to seduce and sleep with a grown woman named Susan. Ultimately, Susan discovers the truth and watches Tom Hanks turn back into a child, after which she presumably kills herself. Seriously, this poor woman needs to live with the knowledge that her emotional maturity is on par with a twelve-year-old and that she slept with a literal child. Where does a person go from there?

You know those movies that have been parodied, memed, and referenced so much that you feel like you've seen them–but you never have and, honestly, why would you bother?

You know that at the end of Taxi Driver Travis Bickle may or may not hallucinate a violent episode, and you've seen people dress up in Robert De Niro's utility jacket, black shades, and weird Roman soldier haircut at every Halloween party you've ever attended. You know that Scarface's Tony Montana screams, "Say hello to my little friend" while wearing a suit with giant lapels and holding a machine gun. How do you know this? No, you've never seen the movie; the fact is that the sheer masterpiece of a few key scenes capturing the climax of a film can overshadow the entire production. Sure, you want to sit down to watch them "one day," but you just never get around to it.

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We've all been there.

The shock of realizing that all this time the lyrics you sing along to while alone in the shower are actually, very, very wrong.

How about the Elton John classic, Tiny Dancer?

Apparently there's a whole bunch of people who believe "Hold me closer, tiny dancer" is actually "Hold me closer, Tony Danza."

Here's another 49 of our favorite misquoted lyrics.

Paradise City by Guns N' Roses

"Take me down to a very nice city" Actual lyric: "Take me down to the Paradise City."

Rock the Casbah by The Clash

"The sheep don't like it, rockin' the cat box" Actual lyric: “Shareef don't like it, rock the Casbah"

Africa by Toto

“I left my brains down in Africa" Actual lyric: “I bless the rains down in Africa"

Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival

"There's a bathroom on the right" Actual lyric: "There's a bad moon on the rise."

You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate

“I Remove Umbilicals" Actual lyric: “I believe in miracles"

Suffragette City by David Bowie

“This mellow fat chick just put my spine out of place" Actual lyric: “This mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place"

Waterfalls by TLC

"Don't go, Jason Waterfalls" Actual lyric: "Don't go chasing waterfalls"

Pleasant Valley Sunday by The Monkees

“Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, here in status in Boull…" Actual lyric: “Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, here in status symbol land"

Piano Man by Billy Joel

“Sing us a song for the yellow man" Actual lyric: “Sing us a song, you're the piano man"

I Try by Macy Gray

"I blow bubbles when you are not here" Actual lyric: "My world crumbles when you are not near."

Like a Virgin by Madonna

“Like a virgin touched for the thirty-first time" Actual lyric: “Like a virgin touched for the very first time.

SexyBack by Justin Timberlake

"Go hippie, go hippie, go" Actual lyric: “Go ahead, be gone with it"

Eyes without a Face by Billy Idol

"How's about a date?" Actual lyric:"Eyes without a face"

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

"There's a wino down the road" Actual lyric: "And as we wind on down the road"

More than a Woman by Bee Gees

"Bald headed woman" Actual lyric: “More than a woman"

Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

"Who you gonna call? Those bastards!" Actual lyric: "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"

Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix

“Excuse me while I kiss this guy" Actual lyric: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky."

Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

"Here we are now, in containers" Actual lyric: "Here we are now, entertain us"

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles

"Lucy's in a fight, with Linus" Actual lyric: "Lucy in the sky with diamonds"

Love Rollercoaster by Ohio Players

“Curly mustache of love" Actual lyric: “Rollercoaster of love"

Take a Chance on Me by Abba

"If you change your mind Jackie Chan, I'm the first in line Jackie Chan" Actual lyric: "If you change your mind take a chance, I'm the first in line, take a chance"

Vertigo by U2

"Hello, hello! I'm in a place called Oregon" Actual lyric: "Hello, hello! I'm at a place called Vertigo"

Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer

“Might as well face it, you're a dick with a glove" Actual lyric: “Might as well face it you're addicted to love"

Like a G-6 by Far East Movement

"Like a cheese stick" Actual lyric: "Like a G-6"

Two Tickets to Paradise by Eddie Money

“I've got two chickens to paralyze" Actual lyric: “I've got two tickets to paradise"

Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

"Wrapped up like a douche/when you're rollin' in the night" Actual lyric: "Revved up like a deuce/another runner in the night"

Rio by Duran Duran

"It means so much to me, like a birthday, or a preview" Actual lyric: “It means so much to me, like a birthday, or a pretty view"

Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan

"The ants are my friends, they're blowing in the wind" Actual lyric: "The answer my friends is blowing in the wind"

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds by the Beatles

"The girl with colitis goes by" Actual lyric: "The girl with kaleidoscope eyes"

In the Garden of Eden by Iron Butterfly

"In a glob of Velveeta, honey" Actual lyric: "In-A-Gadda Da Vida"

Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard

"Pour some shook-up Ramen" Actual lyric: “Pour some sugar on me"

Our Lips are Sealed by Go-Gos

"Even Dallas games, people play" Actual lyric: “In the jealous games people play"

Dancing Queen by Abba

“See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen" Actual lyric: “See that girl, watch that scene, digging the dancing queen"

Desperado by The Eagles

“You've been outright offensive, for so long now" Actual lyric: "You've been out riding fences for so long now"

Forget You by CeeLo Green

“I guess he's an expert and I'm more an attorney" Actual lyric: “I guess he's an Xbox and I'm more Atari"

Because the Night by 10,000 Maniacs

“Because the night belongs to lawyers, because the night belongs to law" Actual lyric: “Because the night belongs to lovers, because the night belongs to love"

Summertime Sadness by Lana del Ray

“I'm feeling ill like Drake tonight" Actual lyric: “I'm feeling electric tonight"

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

"If it ain't paradise, then put up a parking lot" Actual lyric: "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot"

Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes

“She's got Bette David thighs" Actual lyric: “She's got Bette Davis eyes"

Light Em Up by Fall Out Boy

“My sons know what you did in the dark" Actual lyric: “My songs know what you did in the dark"

I'm a Believer by the Monkees

“What's the use of trying, all you get is pain, when I needed suction on the brain" Actual lyric: “What's the use of trying, all you get is pain, when I needed sunshine I got rain"

The One I Love by R.E.M.

“This one goes out to the one-eyed dove" Actual lyric: “This one goes out to the one I love"

We Are Young by Fun

“But our friend's a butt So lets raise a toe" Actual lyric: “But our friends are back So lets raise a toast"

Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

“Suitcase, Dramamine" Actual lyric: “Suitcase of memories"

We Built this City by Starship

“We built this city on logs and coal" Actual lyric: “We built this city on Rock and Roll"

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke

“Mushrooms are nasty" Actual lyric: “Must want to get nasty"

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

“And I said, what about breakfast at Tiffany's, she said I think I remember the bill and I as I recall, I think, it was kinda pricey, and I said well that's one thing we bought" Actual lyric: “And I said what about Breakfast at Tiffany's? She said, I think I remember the film, and as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it and I said, well, that's the one thing we've got"

If you've got a hankering for even more gems head on over to for over 102,000 misquoted lyrics.

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