Mary-Kate and Ashley is a Lie and So is Your Childhood

They’re just not realistic, okay?!?!?

by Colleen Burns


Paris, Rome, London, New York City, the Bahamas, and a nonspecific desert in Mexico. What do all these fun, romantic places have in common?! They are all settings of prime Mary Kate and Ashley movies that you once held dear to your childhood. As you get older, you may feel a need to be #retro and re-watch some of these twin classics, especially if you are spending a semester abroad.

But beware; I bestow upon you my most heartfelt warning:

If you do not wish to ruin your childhood memories and innocence, for the love of all sparkles do not re-watch any Mary Kate and Ashley movies. There are only two types of people who should re-watch these once thought to be glorious movies: 1) If you enjoy reading the redundant plots and predictable outcomes of Sarah Dessen books and are blind to nauseating cinematography 2) If you take great joy in mocking art, bad acting, and the failures of other people.

Only these people will be able to successfully watch Mary Kate and Ashley movies without feeling their childhood slip away.

Before delving into how Mary Kate and Ashley became walking money machines, something needs to be said. Something that might make you feel betrayed. Something that might make you question science itself. I’m only going to say this once: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, daughters of Jarnett and David Olsen, are fraternal twins…HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? THEY LOOK IDENTICAL.

I respect science. My parents are scientists. I’m pursuing a minor in Environmental Studies aka climate change is real. That’s how much I believe in science! But come on, someone had to have messed up here because there is just no way two different sperms fertilized two different eggs, and both girls just happened to get the same face.

They do not look like just sisters. They look like the same person. ARE THEY THE SAME PERSON? Ok, I won’t go there. Of course there are two of them, but what else could they be lying about? If they are lying about the identicalness of their identities, they ought to be lying about something else.

And you know what else is a lie? THESE MOVIES. Every single movie is set in a different, romantic place with an unrealistic (and usually shallow) reason fot why the twins are there. They all contain what I am going to call the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Movie Trifecta: adventure or mystery, sisterly hate or love, and boys. See below for examples (spoilers ahead, not that you care).

Passport to Paris: Mom and Dad ship the girls off to Paris to visit their grandfather over Spring Break in hopes that the girls will become worldlier, as they have been acting out and disrespecting authority! Love Interests: two French boys of course! Adventure and Crime: Exploring Paris is not enough. In this blockbuster, the girls end up in police custody for trespassing on private property. Have no fear, this is not the only time the fraternal twins find themselves in jail.

Holiday in the Sun: This one opens with the twins angry with their parents for surprising them with a private jet and a vacation in the Bahamas! How completely inconsiderate of their parents to not respect the twins’ wishes to go to Hawaii with their friends. Love Interests: One twin battles Megan Fox for hottie Jordan. The other twin is fascinated by cute but dumb Scott, who—you guessed it—is being coached by family friend and secret admirer Brian! Adventure and Crime: I told you jail was not a one-time thing. They land themselves in jail trying to solve the mystery of stolen and smuggled *artifacts*.

The Challenge: Set somewhere? in Mexico, the twins are forced to reconnect on a dual reality TV-show/scholarship program (where can I sign up?) after not speaking to each other for TWO WHOLE YEARS. Hating each other from the start and fighting through most of the plot, this movie takes the cake for the “we look the same but have completely different personalities” twin trope. Love interests: One twin secretly dates another contestant, and the other twin secretly dates an intern. Forbidden love is the best love! Adventure and Crime: This reality TV-show is basically Survivor. Enough said.

Seriously, the list goes on: Winning London, When in Rome, Our Lips are Sealed. All of the movies are essentially the same. Just slap on a different name for each twin, new city, love interest, and EITHER sister or parent drama. Let’s not get crazy. Suffice to say, these movies do not uphold the same values as Full House. If you really want to re-watch a Mary Kate and Ashley movie, watch New York Minute. It is the only one that made it to theaters.

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