10 important life lessons we learned from The Parent Trap 6 years ago

10 important life lessons we learned from The Parent Trap

1998 was an important year.

News of Bill Clinton's alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky leaked, Bear Grylls became the youngest British climber to scale Mount Everest at 23, Hurricane Mitch killed around 18,000 people in Central America and I stood on a nail after being repeatedly warned to stay away from the skip outside our house.


Most importantly, the deeply heartwarming film The Parent Trap was released. It was a world away from my simple little mundane Irish life, and opened me up to a world of possibilities.

Here's 10 life lessons we learned from this wonderful story.

1. Summer Camp Is A Big Deal In America



So much so that Annie travelled all the way from London to attend this spectacle. They don't do summer camps by halves over in the US, they sleep over, make decent friends and do actual weather-based activities. It's a far cry from our "summer camps", which consisted of a half day of playing rounders at the local school to get us out of our mothers' hair.


2. Recognising Your Twin Is Deceptively Difficult 


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While Annie pointed out very quickly that herself and Hallie looked 'similar', Hallie wasn't convinced. I mean, look at the glaringly obvious differences between the two: One has long hair, but the other has short. One has her ears pierced, while the other does not. It's like chalk and cheese.


3. 11-Year-Old Girls Are Insufferably Slow



Having the exact same face, birthday and favourite snack simply isn't enough to prove to Annie and Hallie that they are twins. What pushed the girls over the edge was a photograph. Had one of them forgotten that crinkled little slip of paper, the girls may have gone their separate ways and put everything down to coincidence. What a terrible film that would've been.


4. Ear Piercing Is Piss Easy



God be with the days when you had to reach a certain age and get both Mam and Dad's approval for this life-altering decision. Little did we know, the required implements were sitting in our houses all this time. Match? Check. Needle? Check. Ice cube? Check. Slice of apple? Check. There wasn't a child that didn't consider doing a similar stunt after watching The Parent Trap.


5. Your Mam Is So Uncool Compared To Elizabeth James


She's stunning, rich and gets to design wedding dresses for a living. For roughly six years after watching the film, I was inexplicably livid at my Mam for being so painfully average. Where's our mansion, afternoon tea chats and butler? Why can't I head down to your studio to try on ridiculous hats and join in a photoshoot? Sake.


6. In London, It's Perfectly Acceptable To Drink Wine When You're 11


They very casually glossed over the fact that an actual 11-year-old was consuming wine during the film. They edited out this part when the film aired on The Disney Channel and rightfully so. My precious little impressionable mind requested that every beverage I consumed upon seeing the film would be served in the finest Waterford Crystal wine glass. I was, understandably, denied.


7. Dads Can Be Attractive


Folks, let's call a spade a spade: Dennis Quaid is a ride. At the tender age of eight years old, I could see it. I looked around at my friends' Dads and frankly, not one of them lived up to Mr. Nick Parker and his cheeky little smile. I wasn't alone, I gingerly consulted friends and we concurred that he's 'a fine ting', back in the good old days of '98.


8. Special Effects Were On Point In 1998


It's been 18 years since The Parent Trap was released and I still for the life of me can't work out how they managed to make the entire thing look so flawless. At the time, I legitimately thought the roles of Annie and Hallie were played by two actresses. Needless to say, it blew my damn mind when I learned that Lindsay Lohan does not have a twin. Wizardry.


9. You Can Destroy An Engagement Simply By Going On A Camping Trip


It's a classic scenario that we've all found ourselves in: Our Dad is engaged to an insufferable gold digger and we need to break them up so he can reunite with our estranged twin sister's mother. Obviously, the only way we can open Dad's eyes to her dreadful ways is by going on a camping trip and exposing her for the high maintenance little madam that she is.


10. Love Truly Concordes All 

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In "less than half the time" it takes for a regular airline, Hallie and Nick were able to beat Annie and Elizabeth back to London, meaning true love really does exist and all it took was a slightly faster than average mode of transportation to reunite the long lost lovers. Beautiful.




[All images via Walt Disney Pictures]