The Disney Channel has launched the careers of some of the biggest stars of stage and screen, through popular series like Lizzie McGuire, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana.
As Disney stars have gotten older, many have made the successful move into prime time TV shows or even Hollywood, and for many, their families get to enjoy the ride with them. Some stars have even taken their moms and dads to red carpet premieres as a way to say thank you for all their support.
The famous faces on this list may be household names, but chances are you wouldn’t be able to identify their parents from a line-up – because many of them seem to have inherited little to no family resemblance from their folks.
20 AJ Michalka And Her Dad
One half of the musical duo, Aly & AJ, with her sister, Alyson, AJ Michalka starred in the 2006 Disney Channel movie Cow Belles, before going on to win a regular role on TV sitcom The Goldbergs. AJ doesn’t bear much of a resemblance to her tall, dark-haired dad, and aside from the blonde hair. She doesn’t look much like her sister Alyson either.
19 Bridgit Mendler And Her Mom
Bridgit started her Disney Channel career as Juliet van Heusen on The Wizards of Waverley Place before going on to star in the Disney series Good Luck Charlie between 2010 and 2014. She and her mom Leah may not look alike, but the two women obviously have lots in common as they even went to college together.
18 David Henrie And His Mom
Another star of The Wizards of Waverley Place, David Henrie played Justin Russo, although many older TV viewers will recognize him as Ted Mosby’s son on How I Met Your Mother. Henrie has inherited his mother Linda’s dark hair, though he will soon begin to wish that he also had her impressively smooth and clear skin!
17 Emily Osment And Her Parents
Emily Osment played Miley Cyrus’ best friend, Lily Truscott, on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, following in the footsteps of older brother, Haley Joel, who starred in The Sixth Sense. While the two Osment siblings look alike, neither share a strong family resemblance with either of their parents, Theresa and Michael.
16 Mitchel Musso And His Mom
Playing Lily’s boyfriend in Hannah Montana was Mitchel Musso, who also went on to host the Disney Channel series PrankStars before launching a music career. Musso has a close relationship with his mom, Katherine, but he and his brothers, Mason and Marc, definitely get their dark hair from someone else in the family.
15 Christy Carlson Romano And Her Parents
Christy Carlson Romano’s most striking feature is undoubtedly her wide smile – something which she used a lot on her role as Ren Stevens in the Disney Channel show Even Stevens. She definitely hasn’t inherited that famous smile from parents Anthony and Sharon, though time will tell whether her own daughters, Isabelle and Sophia, will be blessed with her good looks.
14 Rowan Blanchard And Her Dad
While there is definitely something exotic about Rowan Blanchard’s looks, many people will be surprised to learn that her father’s family was from the Middle East, with her grandfather immigrating from Syria. Blanchard, who played Riley Matthews on Girl Meets World, seems to look less and less like her dad as she grows up.
13 Debby Ryan And Her Mom
Debby Ryan and her mom are like chalk and cheese – unless the star of The Suite Life on Deck is hiding ginger hair underneath some blonde dye? Her mom, Sandy, not only has stunning ginger curls, but also blue eyes, unlike her daughter’s brown eyes. Clearly, Debby’s looks come from elsewhere in the family tree.
12 Corbin Bleu And His Parents
Singer, actor, and dancer Corbin Bleu is best known for his performance as Chad Danforth in the High School Musical films. He has since launched a solo music career, as well as appearing on Dancing with the Stars. While there is some resemblance between Corbin and his father, David, he looks nothing like his mom, Martha.
11 Tia And Tamera Mowry And Their Mom
Twins Tia and Tamera Mowry featured in the Disney Channel movies Twitches and Twitches Too after launching their acting career on the sitcom Sister, Sister. The two girls now have families of their own, but remain close to their own parents – though they have definitely got their height from the father’s side of the family judging by mom Darlene!
10 Jake T. Austin And His Dad
There is little family resemblance between Jake T. Austin and his Polish-American dad, Joe. Jake clearly takes after his Puerto Rican mom and has embraced that side of the family’s heritage, learning to speak Spanish fluently. After voicing Diego on Dora the Explorer, Austin landed the role of Max Russo on The Wizards of Waverley Place.
9 Ashley Tisdale And Her Dad
Glamorous Ashley Tisdale seems to have little in common with her father, Michael – and it seems that she didn’t inherit her sense of style from him either! Ashley got her big break playing Maddie Fitzpatrick on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, before going on to star in the Disney Channel’s High School Musical films.
8 Zendaya And Her Parents
Zendaya is one of the Disney Channel’s biggest success stories. Having started on the TV series, Shake It Up, she is now the MJ to Peter Parker in the new Spider-Man franchise. It has been regularly pointed out that The Greatest Showman star looks nothing like her very ordinary-looking parents, though Zendaya is always quick to stand up for her folks when Twitter trolls attack.
7 Vanessa Hudgens And Her Dad
Singer and actress Vanessa Hudgens has enjoyed a successful career on stage and screen since she got her big break in the Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies. Her Irish-American dad, Gregory, worked as a firefighter, but her Filipino mom, Gina, gave Vanessa the good looks which helped her make a splash in Hollywood.
6 Shia Labeouf And His Mom
Shia LaBeouf now has something of a reputation as a rather difficult actor to work with and has even branched out into the world of performance art. This is all a long way from his early acting roles, including playing Louis Stevens in the Disney series Even Stevens. Shia and his mom Shayna are very close, but the two look nothing alike.
5 Hilary Duff And Her Mom
Lizzie McGuire was an iconic series on the Disney Channel in the Noughties and is set to make a return in 2019 with Lizzie as a millennial struggling to cope in New York. Hilary’s perky blonde look became synonymous with the Lizzie McGuire character, but she definitely didn’t get those tresses from her mom’s side of the family.
4 Demi Lovato And Her Dad
Demi Lovato is better known these days for her musical career, including top ten singles, a number one album, and a slot on the judges’ panel on the US version of X Factor. Lovato definitely got her good looks from her cheerleader mom, rather than her father, Patrick, who she lost contact with when her parents divorced in 1994.
3 The Jonas Brothers And Their Dad
Joe Jonas starred with Demi Lovato in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, alongside brothers Kevin and Nick, and the trio went on to form a successful band together, scoring a number one single in 2019 with the track Sucker. The three boys all seem to take after their mom, Denise, with dad Paul looking more like the band’s accountant than their father!
2 Selena Gomez And Her Dad
After starring in The Wizards of Waverley Place, singer and actress Selena Gomez became perhaps best known for her on-again, off-again relationship with fellow musician Justin Bieber. Petite Selena is obviously very close to her dad, Ricardo, but there is no family resemblance when you look at the two of them together.
1 Miley Cyrus And Billy Ray Cyrus
When Miley Cyrus was cast as the eponymous character Hannah Montana, Disney invited her dad, established country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, to audition for the part of her father. Despite the fact that the two really are related, they didn’t look alike during the series, and there is even less of a resemblance as Miley gets older.
Sources: Spin 1038, MTV, Cheat Sheet, Vanity Fair, People