Why did we do Parent Trap Week? One, we have a deep and abiding love for this 1998 film and it just so happens to be turning 20 today. Two, most people we grew up with seem to have the same deep and abiding love. Three, why not?
We’ve had so much fun during Parent Trap Week. There were odes to Meredith Blake, a queer femme icon, and Chessy, who basically became the twins’ Jewish mom. There was a defense of Annie, and an investigation into whether or not Dennis Quaid is still a hot dad. One writer told the tale of seeing the film as a closeted transgender teen, and another — an only child — remembered watching the film and longing for a twin. We read about the perfection that is the soundtrack, discovered where all the actors who played the minor characters are now, and learned about how the film made age 11 a “badass” age. We talked about Three Identical Strangers, a recently released film that looked at what would actually happen when you separate identical siblings.
And last, we turned to you.
In conclusion of this fantastic week, we compiled how millennials feel about the film. We hope you enjoy:
“I was told by my dad I could only see it if I realized divorced parents don’t get back together.”
“I grew up Hasidic, so film or pop culture were strictly forbidden. Parent Trap was the first movie I ever watched, secretly, in a friend’s basement. Nobody was allowed to find out. I was 13 years old but didn’t understand how movies work; I thought it was a documentary (though I didn’t know that word then), that the twins were just so rich they hired someone to videotape their entire life for fun. It took me several years to find out who Lindsey Lohan was, and that the characters weren’t actually twins. Parent Trap was my earliest peek into an unknown world beyond that existed beyond my sheltered upbringing. It will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
“When I start to think about The Parent Trap, about a thousand details from the film pop into my head. Why do I remember SO many things about this movie? I can tell you that the evil-future-step-mom’s name was Meredith Blake, and that the boat from the torn picture was the Queen Elizabeth. I think about The Parent Trap every time I hear the song, “Here Comes The Sun” or “L-O-V-E”, every time I see a yellow duffle bag, or any time I see oreos and peanut butter *remotely* close to each other. Sometimes when I’m playing cards I’ll think about the poker scene. I rarely find myself watching fencing, but that is a certain trigger to thinking about The Parent Trap.
And I have no memory of the last time I saw this movie! Was it five years ago? Ten? And how many times did I watch it growing up? I have no idea, but I’ve clearly seen it a lot. I remember being blown away the first time I learned that both twins were played by the same person. I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 10, so I vividly remember being young and wanting to have my friend pierce my ear with a needle, ice cube, and an apple.”
“I genuinely mourned when I found out it was only one girl. Also to this day I want to like peanut butter and Oreos because they were the coolest fake twins and I wanted to be like them but alas, not my fav combo. And I pierce[d] my friend’s ear like [they do in the movie] and it got so infected.”
“I used to use The Parent Trap as inspiration for dealing with trying to bring my divorced parents back together. The movie was incredibly relatable to me because it combined my childhood obsession (camp) and childhood reality (divorce). After watching the movie, I used to make two halves of a heart out of pearler beads and give one half to my mom and the other to my dad, only to then tell them that the person with the other half to their heart was their soulmate. I also used The Parent Trap’s techniques against Meredith to try to ward off my stepfather (I even taped hair from my Halloween costume wigs to my armpits to try to gross out my stepfather in efforts to get him to break up with my mom).
I think The Parent Trap was so iconic because of how relatable it was to childhood innocence; everyone felt they could connect with Hallie and Annie because we’d all experienced a time in our lives where we hated someone bc of how similar we were with them, or a time when we wished a miracle would come true to turn a life circumstance they had no control over back to the way things used to or should be.”
“I remember when my friend’s mom brought it my house with a bunch of other movies when I was sick in first grade with mono and had to miss three weeks of day camp. I still don’t understand how they got the bunk beds onto the roof of the cabin as a prank. Also the isolation cabin was cruel and unusual sleep-away camp punishment!!”
“The Evian bottle by Meredith was a staple, and my brother and I — to this day — will instantly know any song from the epic soundtrack.”
“It’s one of my mom’s favorite movies and so even just thinking about it makes me think of my mom and happiness. Anytime it’s on, we watch and I just associate The Parent Trap with happiness and love because of that. I’ve probably watched it like 500 times and maybe 480 of [those times] are with my mom!”
“Tomboy visibility was a huge draw for me — both the effeminate and tomboy aesthetics held in equal esteem — no tomboy makeover in the hopes of desirability unlike every other movie then and now… Probably a precursor to Lindsay as my first celebrity crush after Mean Girls…”
“The best movie. I wanted to pierce my ears with a hot needle and an apple just like they did, which I’m sure is not the intended takeaway. It seemed like something cool girls did at summer camp!”
“I watched this so many times. It was one of my favorites. I think it was the unconditional love the girls had from their parents that made it so special. They had such a bond with their parents, almost a friendship. Maybe I envied that a little bit. I wanted their parents to be mine. And I think I also dreamt of something like this happening to me as a kid. A long lost sister. Someone who would understand me on a level that no one else could possibly understand. Also, and this might be my older self projecting a bit, but the romantic element with their parents, that love story, was special. I never really saw my parents have that much love for one another. That much passion. I most definitely wanted to feel that level of love in my own life.”
“I was thrilled to see a famous redhead on screen. I felt like it sort of validated my existence. I wanted the same haircut and the same blue nail polish. I wanted to learn how to play poker, and I learned every move of Annie’s handshake with Martin. I am pretty sure, actually, that I can still do it all. I used to daydream about wedding dresses with a see through top, and I used to listen to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ on repeat. I refuse to drink Evian water because Meredith drinks it, and corn bread and chili is one of my favorite food combos. Lastly, every time my mom and I try a new wine, we say, ‘If you ask me, the bouquet is a little too robust for a merlot, but then again I am partial to the softer California grape.'”
“I always like knew that Lindsay Lohan didn’t have a twin but when someone told me when I was about 17 years old that she acted in that by herself I freaked out! I just never realized that both Hallie and Annie were the same person.”
“I made up an elaborate conspiracy in my head that Lindsay Lohan DID have a twin and she disappeared or died because I 100% would not accept that it was the power of editing.”
“As a kid of a nasty divorce I was not taken with the idea of my parents reuniting, but having a sister — someone who had been through the trenches of divorce — was something I really longed for.
Also, my best friend and I learned the secret handshake.”
“This was (is) my sister and my most loved and quoted movie. So many rainy days were spent watching it. I feel like the movie is just filled with great comedic timing and quality lines (‘I have class and you don’t,’ ‘Whatever you say, Mer,’ ‘Gosh it didn’t get me!’) Also, the movie has a phenomenal soundtrack — every time I hear any song from the movie I get super nostalgic. Most days when it rains, I think of the goodbye scene and ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ plays in my head. I have a distinct memory of staying up all night watching the parent trap because I had a cavity and couldn’t sleep when I was like 7 and my dad fell asleep on the couch next to me.
There’s something so great about deceiving adults — having a secret that you share with your sibling that your parents don’t know about. I literally remember my anniversary with my boyfriend because I remember it’s the day before the twins’ birthday.”
“I remember how much I loved it when it first came out. I instantly connected with it due to my own love of summer camp. I’m the same age as Lindsay Lohan and kinda resembled her in those years So it was easy to imagine myself in her shoes. I think The Parent Trap years were when the resemblance was strongest, thankfully.
And what a great idea for a movie…meeting your long lost twin at camp! It seemed super fun and and risky to switch places. It was hard not to root for the brilliant sisters in their efforts to reunite their parents. The actress who played the stepmom was such a perfect villain and I loved all the ways they antagonized her.
Some thoughts I remember having: is it really the same girl playing both parts!? At the time I remember giving that a lot of thought, like what it would have been like to be talking to nobody! Also: would a parent really not catch on and not recognize their own kid?”
“I used to refuse to do ANYTHING unless I had watched it first thing in the morning.”
Parent Trap Week is (was?) an entire week dedicated to the 1998 iconic film, in honor of its 20th anniversary. See all the posts here.