9 Movies That Teach Us Terrible Moral Lessons

Over the years, Hollywood has given us some incredibly entertaining movies. They make us laugh and cry. They thrill us and anger us. They educate us and offer us a brief escape from our daily troubles.

Captivating Yet Confusing

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However, there are times when movies, even those that captivate us, leave us perplexed afterward.

What were the creators thinking when devising a plot with such terrible moral lessons for the audience?

Movies With Terrible Moral Lessons

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Grab the popcorn and your favorite blanket, and decide for yourself:

1. Pretty Woman (1990)

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Stefano Chiacchiarini ’74 / Shutterstock.com

Prost*tution is fun and pays off.

Never mind all of the human trafficking, child exploitation, and violence that come with the “world’s oldest profession” for many girls and young women.

2. Dirty Dancing (1987) 

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Stefano Chiacchiarini ’74 / Shutterstock.com

Abortion is how you take care of a summer fling. How about a celebratory dance (“nobody puts Baby in the corner”) at the end to take us home?

Why yes, I did have the time of my life.

3. Grease (1978)

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defotoberg / Shutterstock.com

Conformity at all costs. Whatever you do, DO NOT be yourself. You’ll get your man if you become someone else.

4. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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Stick with an abusive man for long enough and you can find the way to that big cuddly guy’s heart. 

5. Home Alone (1990) 

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Roberto Valz / Shutterstock.com

If you’re a family taking a trip to another continent, it’s normal to leave one of your young children home alone.

Kids who are left alone don’t need to call the police if strangers break into their homes.

5. Home Alone (1990) 

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New Africa / Shutterstock.com

It’s perfectly fine for an eight-year-old, armed with paint cans and marbles, to take care of deterring two grown men all by himself.

6. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Greed and fraud are good. They generate lots of money, which can buy endless amounts of hook*rs, blow, and debauchery.

There’s an investigation that leads to a conviction and some minor prison time, but Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Stratton Oakmont crew get away with it all in the end. 

7. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) 

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chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

It’s entirely appropriate behavior for a father going through a divorce to stalk their kids, impersonate a 60-year-old woman, and be hired as their nanny (while wearing a disguise) to sabotage their ex-wife’s attempts at finding new love.

8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 

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Stefano Chiacchiarini ’74 / Shutterstock.com

Stealing historical artifacts in the Middle East is okay if you’re planning to put them in a museum back home in the U.S. Ignore the Native people who just want you to leave their sacred artifacts where they belong.

9. Limitless (2011) 

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vipflash / Shutterstock.com

Bradley Cooper’s character ultimately succeeds in his career and gets the girl – a girl who had no use for him until he was ramped up on an Adderall-like wonder drug.

The moral for the kids watching: you can achieve anything with enough medication.

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This article has been produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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