We’ve all heard the classic fairy tales like The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk for years, but what kind of lessons are they really teaching kids? Sure there are bits of timeless wisdom in there, but a large portion of the stories are outdated and unrealistic. Here are some much more realistic endings to your favorite childhood stories
Cinderella had a garbage stepmom and fugly stepsisters that made everyone of terrified of their dad remarrying. Everything works out in the end when Cinderella gets a magical TLC makeover, which leads to the prince falling in love with her after he retrieves her shoe. By the way, how did every piece of fancy attire vanish except for the glass slipper? Pretty convenient magic, isn’t it?
First of all, way to go Cinderella’s dad. He rebounded by marrying a psychopath and forcing his daughter to live in hell. Great foresight on that one, pal. If this were realistic, the prince would have recognized the love of his life as soon as she walked into the room. If you rubbed some soot on Kate Upton’s face and put her in a baggy Fruit of the Loom t-shirt, I wouldn’t need to verify her shoe size to know it’s her. Maybe he knew it was her, but had a bizarre foot fetish and used it as an excuse to rub up on all the feet in town.
2. Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel had some Dateline-style parents that decided to abandon them in the woods. I can’t imagine what they did with pets they became bored with. The kids find a house made of candy (because that’s not creepy at all) and get captured by a witch. Eventually they trick the idiot witch into getting in the oven and they cook her alive.
These two young siblings are going to have one heck of a “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay when school starts back. “Ok cool Jimmy, you went to visit your grandma and got a new hat? WE MURDERED A WITCH!” This event would probably send them down a self-destructive path that requires years of therapy to process. They’re definitely not going to trust their Casey Anthony-like parents and trick or treating will never be an option for the rest of their lives.
3. Beauty and the Beast
A hot princess gets trapped in a house with a wolf man and a bunch of talking flatware until she finally falls in love with him. When she finally gives in and makes out with him, he turns hot as well. Hooray hot people!
If, by some weird chance, Belle did actually fall in love with the beast and kiss him, instead of transforming, he would have started following her around everywhere and gotten way too clingy. She would be like, “Oh no, look, it was an accident. We were tired. We had been stuck in this place for so long and I just wasn’t myself. You’re a great guy and I want to stay friends, but I’m just not looking for anything serious right now.” Then he would say, “Oh yeah, totally. No I totally get that and, honestly, I feel the same way. I’ve got a lot going on myself with grooming and whatnot.” But deep down inside he’s super sad and he even made her a mixtape. Now everything is really awkward because all the inanimate objects have to choose sides, even though Belle and the beast say they’re going to remain friends. We know the truth.
4. The Ugly Duckling
Ok this is an absolutely terrible story. The message is, basically, you’re really ugly now, but maybe one day you won’t be as ugly? This poor duck bounces from home to home just looking for acceptance and spends his entire childhood being shunned by society. The only time he feels the least bit loved is when he grows up and isn’t considered unattractive anymore. Tell that one to your kids, mom and dad.
Instead of growing up to be beautiful, he probably would have grown up to be an ugly adult just as he was an ugly baby. People would continue to ridicule him and never really give him a chance because they’re shallow and terrible. He would have lived alone and probably got really into posting in online forums, because that’s the only place he can mask his ugliness.
5. The Princess and the Pea
This is the worst children’s story of all time. This prince lets a girl stay at his house and sleep on a giant bed made of 20 mattresses. He puts a single pea under it and falls in love with the girl when she complains about not being able to sleep. What is the message of this? Find the most high maintenance partner imaginable, then be terrible together?
I’m hoping no normal human being would have noticed a single pea under a stack of mattresses, but if they actually ended up getting together they’d both be miserable because he would keep trying to please this diva and never live up to her expectations and she would always be expecting more, only to be let down. They’re both awful and deserve each other.
6. Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and his mom are really poor. They get so desperate that she tells Jack to go sell their dried up cow to try and get enough to survive. Instead, this guy trades it for some magic beans that turn out to be real and lead Jack to a magical land in the sky. After dealing with a giant, he and his mother live happily ever after.
Hey kids, don’t listen to any of the advice from Jack and the Beanstalk. Take the money 100% of the time and don’t deal with some shady guy in a trenchcoat trying to peddle magic beans in exchange for anything of value. If this were realistic, Jack would have lost everything and his mother would be dead almost instantly. If not from hunger, it would be from knowing that she raised such a gullible son that traded their last item of value for either junk or possibly Molly.
7. Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood goes to visit her grandma but finds a wolf dressed as her grandma instead. After having to ask way too many questions she realizes it is a wolf and not the mother of her mother.
There are two possible outcomes to this story. The first one would be that she would walk in and see a wolf wearing her grandma’s clothes and say, “Hmm. Yep, that’s a wolf.” Then she would run out the door before being murdered. The second options would be the wolf wouldn’t waste his time dressing as an old lady for no real reason while entertaining a series of obvious questions and he would just be waiting around the corner to devour her. I’m really not sure which one is dumber in this situation.
8. The Three Little Pigs
A wolf is hunting down some pigs to eat. These are no ordinary pigs, however. These pigs can assemble homes. The first one is really dumb and builds a house out of straw, which the wolf decides to blow down for some reason. I wasn’t aware that wolves had such strong lung capacity, but I can accept this. The second pig uses sticks and sees the same result. The third pig uses bricks, which, as we all know, are stronger than the breath of a wolf. The wolf decides to climb the chimney, but it’s a Home Alone-style trap and the pigs kill the wolf.
Oh I don’t know, maybe this obsessed wolf would just move on to pigs that don’t have a degree in architecture. Either that, or he could just wait outside of their brick house and eat them when they were going to the store. There are literally millions of other ways to eat these pigs other than climbing down their chimney like some sort of deranged Santa. Get your life together, wolf.
Rob is a writer and comedian based in Louisville, KY. Follow @robfee on Twitter.