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21 life lessons from musicals and shows worth remembering

guides Apr 29, 2020

When you were young, did your parents ever say 'Don't talk to strangers' or 'hard work pays off'? Turns out they weren't as original as you (or they) thought and they'd just ripped these life lessons off shows they'd seen.

With that in mind, we thought we'd revisit some classics from our childhood, as well as newer releases, and pick out the pertinent lessons that still apply today, regardless of whether you're five or fifty.


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#1 Life is tough
If you'd been brought up in an orphanage, forced into sweatshop labour and had an unscrupulous couple trying to abduct you, you'd be singing about your 'Hard Knock Life' too.

#2 Don't accept food from strangers
Even if it's the reddest, most delicious apple you've ever seen.

#3 Don't eat food you find lying around, even if it says 'Eat Me'
Basically don't trust food that tries to speak to you.

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#4 It's all about changing your mindset
When the dog bites, when the bee stings or when you're feeling sad, try to think of your favourite things and maybe, just maybe, you won't feel so bad.

#5 Let it go
The cold never bothered you anyway.

#6 It's what's on the inside that counts
They may look like a Beast, but I'll bet you they have a heart of gold.

#7 Lying gets you nowhere and nothing
Except a really, really long nose.

#8 Blood is thicker than water
Your act of true love could save yourself – and your sister's kingdom.

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#9 Money won't buy happiness
While you're slaving away in rags, your evil stepsisters are flouncing off to the ball. But guess who's laughing when the prince chooses you?

#10 Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose
OK, so this one is not from a specific show, rather any National Geographic documentary where the predator becomes prey. And that's a lot of them.

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#11 It's cool to be nerdy
It could make you lots of money, especially if you come up with the formula for a green, super-bouncy goo. Just try not to miss your own wedding for the third time.

#12 Make the most of your skills
Even if you feel like the most useless X-Men-in-training ever and aren't able to kiss boys without making them fall into a coma, you could save the world.

#13 Laughter solves many problems
It can power the whole electricity grid – no need to scare little children any more.

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#14 Don't go kissing strangers
They may end up being your sister or brother.

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#15 Listen to your elders
Their instincts and knowledge have kept you and your elephant kin alive for decades. (Bonus lesson: Do what you love and narrate a documentary, even if you're the Duchess of Sussex.)

#16 Being rich doesn't make you a good person
It could turn you into a Scrooge.

#17 Dare to fight for your rights
If a newspaper tycoon in New York City tries to make a profit at your expense, stage a strike and get the president's attention.

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#18 Never leave your kids at home alone
You'll end up with the house destroyed and a tarantula running loose.

#19 Stand firm behind your actions
Don't feel the need to explain yourself. You're practically perfect in every way.

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#20 United we can achieve anything
Band together with your fellow rodents and you just might be able to cook a dish that melts the heart of the city's harshest food critic.

#21 Never lose hope
No matter how many times the dark side appears to overwhelm the rebel forces, hope is the spark that will light the fire to bring the First Order down.

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Watch all these films, as well as a vast selection of Disney classics, Pixar films, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars and more on Disney+.

Catherine Mah

Catherine likes to run, eat and read but not simultaneously. If you can't find her doing these things, she's most likely sleeping.