Disney critics today argue that the princes of the classic fairytales gave little girls very unrealistic ideas about love. There’s Prince Phillip, fighting Maleficent to reach Aurora in the tower. Then there’s Prince Charming, who saves Cinderella from a life of servitude. And Snow White’s prince, who rescues her from the lasting effects of her stepmother’s apple.
While the Disney princes certainly do many things that give viewers high hopes, they’ve also been known to do things that, quite frankly, leave a sour taste in fans' mouths.
What’s interesting is that some of the actions the princes have taken were traditionally seen as heroic and romantic. We always applauded these characters for kissing their true love back to life, falling in love with a girl's voice, and going to extreme lengths to search for their princess who fled the ball at midnight.
But on closer inspection, it seems that some of these behaviors aren’t actually romantic but instead kind of hair-raising. At least, they would be worrying, if guys in the real world were doing them.
Keep reading to find out what twenty things the Disney princes did that would be major red flags in the world of dating today.
20 The Beast Holding Belle Against Her Will
Beauty and the Beast is considered by many to be one of Disney’s finest love stories. But if any regular guy in our modern world acted in the way that the Beast did, we would probably run the other way.
For starters, when Belle’s father wanders into the castle, the Beast holds him as a prisoner. Not only is that illegal, but he’s already getting off to a bad start with the family. Then he holds Belle there against his will just so her father can go free. Why does he have to falsely imprison anybody? The Stockholm Syndrome thing doesn’t usually work out in real life.
19 And Controlling The Areas Of The Castle She Can And Can’t Go In
Unfortunately, our issues with the Beast don’t end there. Not only does he hold Belle as a prisoner in his castle, but he’s super picky about where she goes in the castle. Obviously, it’s his property and he can dictate things like that, but in the real world, it’s a huge red flag if a guy is controlling like that, right from the start.
Yes, Belle gets to attend a wonderful dinner thrown by the servants/household objects, but the Beast still isn’t good at showing her hospitality. He’s not a good host and in real life, that would be a turn-off.
18 Also, Being A Beast In General
Without wanting to discriminate, we think it’s fair to say that humans should strictly stick to relationships with humans. Even if the Beast didn’t hold Belle prisoner and control where in the castle she could and couldn’t go, it wouldn’t matter. He’s not a human when she meets him! Pretty big deal-breaker.
Of course, he really is a human under a curse, but how did he get spell cast on him in the first place? An enchantress transformed him because he was rude and selfish and, at the time, incapable of love. If a guy was known to be all of those things, you’d probably think twice before giving him a chance.
17 Aladdin Lying Through His Teeth
Aladdin is one of our favorite Disney princes but that doesn’t mean he goes about everything the right way. From the moment he arrives at the palace as Prince Ali, everything he tells Jasmine and her father is a lie. Red flag alert!
We understand that she’s not allowed to consort with someone who’s not a prince, but he met her when he was just being himself in the market, and she liked him. It doesn’t really make sense when he assumes she’d laugh at him if she found out he was a common street rat, because she didn’t laugh the first time.
16 Hans Telling Anna Everything She Wants To Hear
The thirteenth in line to the throne, Hans is hardly worth anybody’s time or effort. There are a number of things he does that are problematic, including plotting against Anna and Elsa and trying to usurp the throne of Arendelle.
But what modern girls can probably relate to the most is Hans’s ability to sweet-talk Anna, and bait her in by telling her everything that she wants to hear. He’s the fakest person in the Disney universe and knows how to wrap Anna around his finger by saying all the right things (and meaning absolutely none of them).
15 Eric Falling For A Girl Who Has No Voice
A lot of Disney fans would choose Eric as their favorite prince. He is up there on our list, but we really have a problem with the way he is so quick to fall in love with Ariel when she can’t speak. That might be her aim and the only thing that’s going to save her from the sea witch, but in the real world, this would be odd behavior.
Is he drawn to a girl who doesn’t speak because he wants a woman with no opinions? Who knows! If there were a medical issue that stopped someone from speaking, of course, they can still be the object of someone’s affection, but the love would probably take more than three days to form.
14 And Also Falling For A Girl Based On Her Voice Alone
The other thing about Eric that is a red flag is that he falls head over heels for a voice alone. Yes, he associates that voice with his life being saved in the storm, but he’s pretty quick to decide that she’s the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
And even after he’s started developing feelings for the voiceless Ariel, he throws them all away as soon as the disguised sea witch shows up with the voice he’s fallen in love with. Never mind that he knows nothing about her—as long as she can carry a tune, it’s all good in the hood.
13 John Smith’s People Being Hugely Problematic For Pocahontas’s People
As an individual, John Smith is a decent guy. At first, he holds the same opinions as other people of his culture at the time, but then Pocahontas educates him and he comes around. It’s not John Smith alone that we have a problem with, but the fact that his people aren’t very nice (and that’s putting it nicely) to Pocahontas and her people.
We know that love conquers all and all that, but in reality, it would be very hard to have a strong relationship with someone in the midst of all that tension and all those crimes committed on a mass scale.
12 Peter Pan Refusing To Grow Up
Okay, so Peter Pan is far from a prince, but he’s still Disney royalty. And if any normal guy acted the way he did, we’d seriously re-think being with him. This is red flag central. Refusing to grow up is endearing in the world of cartoons, but frustrating (to say the least) in the real world.
Peter Pan is like the Disney version of the guy who doesn’t want to get a job, can’t cook, expects his mom to do all his cleaning, and spends his entire weekend playing video games with his friends. There’s nothing wrong with nurturing the inner-child and making sure you enjoy life, but we all have to grow up at some stage.
11 Quasimodo Living In A Bell Tower
Quasimodo has a kind heart and soul, which is always the main thing. But since we’re being picky, what’s with the bell tower lodgings? It might be a stretch to call this a red flag, especially given the time and setting of the story, but in reality, we’d probably think twice about getting involved with a guy who lived in a bell tower.
Imagine having to stay the night there. Forget safety and security, and say hello to your belongings flying everywhere at the first sign of breeze, and freezing your toes off. At least you wouldn’t need an alarm clock!
10 Simba Ignoring Nala For Ten Years
Simba is everyone’s favorite lion, but he’s got a lot to learn about what’s okay in a relationship and what’s not. He runs away from the Pride Lands when he’s still a cub, which is understandable considering Scar lies to him and scares him off. But when he runs away, he knowingly leaves his pride at Scar’s mercy.
As a cub, he might be scared to go back. But once he’s just a little older and stronger, he should return instead of hanging out with Timon and Pumbaa and ignoring Nala (and the rest of the pride) for ten years.
9 Prince Phillip Kissing A Girl Who’s Asleep
Sleeping Beauty is the classic fairytale most people associate with true love and romance. What could be more romantic than a prince coming to save you from the curse of a sorceress, right? Except, he saves her by kissing her when she’s not awake. This sort of thing is not okay in real life.
We understand he was trying to break the spell and save her life, but that doesn’t happen in our world, so we’ll leave the sleep-kissing to the fairytales. In the original story, Aurora wakes up not from a kiss, but after she gives birth to the prince’s baby, which actually makes the kiss seem not so bad.
8 The Prince Kissing A Girl Who’s Unconscious
There’s only one thing worse than kissing a girl who’s asleep, and that’s kissing a girl who’s straight-up comatose. When the prince finds her in the glass coffin, Snow White has eaten a bite of the queen’s apple and has fallen into ‘sleeping death’ until the spell is once again broken by love’s first kiss.
The problem is, though, the prince doesn’t know that she needs to be kissed to be saved. Nobody tells him that. Unless he’s truly versed in black magic, he has no idea that the kiss is important and just chooses to do it because he wants to.
7 Flynn Stealing Things From Rapunzel Before He Even Knows Her
Flynn Rider has a lot going for him, and Rapunzel is lucky to have him. When you look at some of the other Disney princes she could have ended up with, it could be a lot worse! Still, Flynn isn’t perfect. He’s a thief, actually, who snoops around and takes her crown from the palace.
Of course, he doesn’t know Rapunzel at the time, and as they get to know each other, he becomes a good guy. But in any case, being a thief is, unfortunately, another deal-breaker and would probably deter us from starting up a relationship with him.
6 Dimitri Being A Professional Conman
Speaking of thieves, Dimitri from Anastasia suffers from the same flaw as Flynn Rider. While he’s a good man deep down, he’s also a professional conman. We know that he helps reunite Anya with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, and also helps to protect her from Rasputin.
He makes up for his wrongdoing in the end, but facts are facts and he’s a conman. IRL, this would be a huge hurdle to get over. It would be hard to trust him and take him seriously after finding out that a huge part of his life was based on telling lies.
5 Tramp Having A Whole Bunch Of Side Dogs
Tramp is lovable, and that move with the last meatball earns him some serious brownie points. But one problematic part of his personality is his tendency to string along every female dog in town. He’s a charmer, with Lady and Peg, not to mention Lulu and Fifi and Rosita Chiquita Juanita Chihuahua, all giving him their hearts.
In the film, Lady is different from the others and becomes the one dog to get Tramp to forget his old ways and become a one-dog pooch. It never happens like that in real life, though. Once a player, always a player.
4 Li Shang Not Being Understanding Of Mulan’s Situation
Li Shang is a military man, and he has all the discipline you would expect of such a character. He’s quite rigid around the edges, and although he comes around in the end, he’s not very understanding of Mulan’s situation at first.
When he first discovers that she’s not a man called Ping, but a woman called Mulan, he sends her away from the army, even though she’s already proven that she’s even more capable than all the men there. He just doesn’t empathize with her having to fight in order to save her father from joining the army.
3 Prince Naveen’s Excessive Partying And Lack Of Responsibility
When we first meet him, Prince Naveen has few positive traits, other than the fact that he’s good looking and he’s a prince. He’s grown up with the mother of all silver spoons in his mouth and is content to be waited on for the rest of his days. He doesn’t do anything for himself, including something as basic as cooking, and instead spends all his time partying.
The real-life equivalent of Naveen would be a pretty lousy boyfriend if we’re being honest. Like many of the other princes, Naveen does change his ways after he meets Tiana, thank goodness. But in short, entitlement like that: major red flag.
2 Maui’s Massive Superiority Complex
Maui isn’t a prince or a Disney love interest, but he is a demigod. A demigod with a massive superiority complex. Thanks to his reputation of being a fearsome and clever trickster, Maui thinks he’s all that. And in all fairness, he is all that—his achievements prove that he’s got some skills.
But nobody enjoys spending time with someone that arrogant and pompous. In addition to thinking he’s better than everyone else, Maui also tends to be bitter and short-tempered. In our world, where nobody is a demigod among men, an ego as huge as Maui’s is even more of a turn-off.
1 Prince Charming Being Far Too Clingy
Prince Charming is synonymous with Mr. Right, but he’s far too clingy for our taste. After falling in love with Cinderella at the ball (despite knowing little to nothing about her personality, but anyway), he goes to great lengths to find her again.
He basically disrupts the whole kingdom to find the girl in the pretty blue ball gown who lost her glass slipper. Some say that’s romantic, but we think it’s more on the clingy side. If a guy went to that much effort to find us after one brief meeting, we’d probably be more worried than flattered.