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Here are 10+ Characters You Couldn’t Have Identified With as a Kid But Completely Get Now

People we had previously labelled as “bad guys” Okay, I’ll agree with you there. Years ago, I saw “Ariel: The Little Mermaid,” and I remember being so..



The people we thought were evil? Yeah, not so much.

When I saw Ariel, The Little Mermaid, a few years ago, I remember being so angry at King Triton for forbidding his daughter to follow her heart and crushing her dreams.

I now recognise how wrong I was. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Ariel was pretty stupid, and King Triton only wanted to protect her from the dangers of the surface world. She went through all that trouble, including losing her voice, because she wouldn’t listen to her dad.

To prove that I am not alone in this, below is a list of films that I and many others have seen as adults and found ourselves sympathising with characters we originally despised.


#1 Hunchback of Notre Dam.

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Frollo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Disney

Preschooler: “He doesn’t like Esmeralda very much.”

An Older Person: How the F*** is this guy in a Disney film?

#2 Pokemon. 

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Team Rocket.

When I was a kid, they were just the goofballs who showed up in every episode for slapstick.


As an adult viewing the series for the first time, they stand out as the most likeable couple because they are given the most character growth and development. Not to mention all the jokes and puns I missed as a kid.

#3 Dennis the Menace. 

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Dennis the Menace’s Mr. Wilson. And his parents don’t do squat to stop their kid from being a destructive force.

#4 Mrs Doubtfire. 

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Daniel Hillard from Mrs. Doubtfire

Young Me felt bad for him because his wife had abandoned him and the kids despite how funny and enjoyable he was to be around.

And now that I’m an adult, I can say, “Yeah, there are multiple good reasons why she divorced you, Daniel.”


#5 Donald Duck. 

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Acclaimed cartoon character, Donald Duck. When I was younger, I thought he was a slacker and a bore. As I get older, I find more and more in common with him.

#6 Hey Arnold. 

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Maybe this has been brought up before, but Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold comes to mind. When I was younger, I thought she was an odd and ugly girl. It didn’t hit me until I was an adult how badly she was treated.

Her alcoholic mother and narcissist father treated Olga like a princess and made her their favourite child. It’s no secret that most of the people in this story have had pretty miserable lives. As a kid, I didn’t appreciate the complexity of that show.

#7 King of the Hill. 

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Henry Hill, or Hank. Whenever I was a kid, I always thought Hank was being a jerk to his kid for no good reason. I now understand that his upbringing has contributed to a wide range of emotional problems, and despite his best efforts, he has yet to make much progress toward resolving these issues. He is making the best effort he can and eventually comes around.

#8 Disney parents. 

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Every single one of the parents in a Disney film. They’re just trying to make it through life, and suddenly they have to deal with a bunch of 15-year-olds who think they’re magical princesses.

#9 The Little Mermaid.  

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Lord Triton. As a young person, you probably see him as Ariel’s domineering and repressive father. It’s only when you’re an adult that you realise how incredibly naive Ariel is, and how much Sebastian is actually trying to protect her.

#10 Lilo and Stitch. 


Nani from Lilo & Stitch.

Growing up, she was the strict, angry “mother,” while Lilo was the hapless outcast who took the rap for everything.

When viewed through the eyes of an adult, the film becomes devastating. The fact that Nani is just a kid trying to keep her family together in the worst of times makes her one of my favourite characters ever.


#11 Clavin and Hobbes. 


I used to enjoy reading Calvin and Hobbes. As a parent myself, I can finally understand.

#12 The 70’s Show. 

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That show’s red from the ’70s. At first, I thought he was just a complete jerk. I see how stupid Eric really was now. To put it bluntly, I feel my age.

#13 The Simpsons. 

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Back in the day, I thought Bart Simpson was pretty sweet. Now I know for sure that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Do you find yourself identifying with any heroes or villains that you used to despise as a kid? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.