7 Scenes From ‘The Parent Trap’ That Are Still Iconic 25 Years Later

It’s been 25 years since we got the epic handshake dance, since the Hard Candy nail polish product placement, since so many of us insisted that Lindsay Lohan had an actual real-life twin, we swear. That’s right, it’s been exactly 25 years since Lindsay Lohan’s The Parent Trap came out. So many movies that ancient don’t hold up against scrutiny after all this time, especially a family movie meant to appeal to young girls who wished they’d meet their secret twin at summer camp or who desperately wanted their divorced parents to fall in love again. And yet, this unbeatable Disney classic still holds up today. Don’t believe me? Here are seven of our favorite scenes. (And then go run over to Disney+ to watch it all over again.)

1. The summer camp poker scene that’s filled with peak sass.

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Hallie and Annie, not yet knowing that they’re literal identical twins (because, of course), take to an illicit game of summer camp poker to fight for dominance as the true most popular freckled redhead of Camp Walden. “Read ’em and weep.” Who among us wanted to learn poker after that scene? Raise your hands!

2. When the twins finally bond.

Buena Vista Pictures

After destroying an entire cabin with string and shaving cream, Hallie and Annie are sent off to their own two-person cabin–because apparently shoving the problem where no one can see it is the right way to handle conflict at Camp Walden. Don’t lie: You loved watching the girls finally become friends, bonding over how cute Leonardo DiCaprio is (that one didn’t age well), and finally realizing that they’re actually long-lost twins. Took you long enough, ladies!

Best of all, this scene sparks a montage of the twins learning to become each other, clandestine hair cuts and amateur ear piercings included.

3. When Chessy recognizes Annie (and we all cried).

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You’d think that parents would notice if their daughter was switched with someone else, but it isn’t twins’ mom or dad that notices the difference. While Annie’s butler, Martin, spots the change too, it’s Chessy’s reaction that really gets us. In Hallie’s life since she was a baby, Chessy thinks something’s up almost immediately. That simple “oh” from Chessy, so full of feeling, as Annie reveals, “I am Annie,” gets us every time.

4. When Annie read their dad for the ick-worthy age-gap romance.

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The plan to get their parents back together is quickly thwarted when Annie discovers that Papa Nick is dating Meredith, a woman much much younger than him. She spends her time dodging him whenever he tries to have a serious talk about it, but when he finally does, we get this gem of a conversation:

Annie as Hallie: I think it’s an awesome idea. Inspired. Brilliant really.
Nick Parker: You do? Really? You do?
Annie as Hallie: Totally, it’s like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted a big sister.

5. When their mom gets absolutely wasted at the prospect of seeing their dad again.

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The first parent to know what’s up is their wedding gown designer mom, Elizabeth. As she makes her way back to the States from London, she can’t help but get hilariously wasted at the prospect of seeing her husband again. Cue hilarious hotel hijinks. It’s fun and silly and makes you want her to be your mom.

(Elizabeth’s played by the late, great Natasha Richardson, wife of Liam Neeson. She died in a skiing accident in 2009. Rest in peace.)

6. The elaborate handshake that we all memorized.

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Nothing is cooler than a really long, drawn-out handshake. It’s what Annie did with her butler, Martin, and what she teaches Hallie in order not to raise suspicion. And if you had the whole thing memorized? Then you were certified cool, too.

7. The moment their dad finally ditches Meredith.

Buena Vista Pictures

Meredith is the worst, I think we can all agree. Even looking back, now an adult, I still have very little sympathy for her. That’s why, when the twins’ dad finally gives her the heave-ho at the end of their hilariously disastrous camping trip, with a smile on his face, it’s still the perfect cherry on top.

Meredith: It’s me or them!
Nick Parker: Them. T-H-E-M, them. Get the picture?

Want to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Parent Trap’s release? You can watch it on Disney+.

About the author

Trisha Bartle

Trisha’s your resident tarot reader, rom-com lover, and horror connoisseur. In addition to using her vast knowledge of all things cinema for Thought Catalog’s TV + Movies entertainment section, she also offers her astrological and tarot expertise to Collective World. Trisha splits her time between making art and being awesome.