The Darkest Parts Of Labyrinth That Nobody Talks About

Labyrinth, the 1986 fantasy film brought to us by Jim Henson, Terry Jones, and George Lucas, is a cult classic that has some extremely dark themes and scenes. Watch it once, or watch it a hundred times, the Muppet magic and catchy songs make it easy to overlook certain things that are super dark and disturbing.

Sarah is a complete brat

Labyrinth is, in essence, a movie about a spoiled teenage girl who has dress-up clothes to die for, a room full of cool toys, and a neat shaggy sheepdog, yet she still isn't happy. We're led to believe she had a famous actor mom who ditched the family, and her dad married some lady with big shoulder pads who had the nerve to give Sarah a crying, red-striped baby brother.

Sarah is so ticked off about having to babysit, in fact, that she wishes for the Goblin King to come take her brother away. Between the shouts of "It's not fair!" and all of Sarah's stomping around, it's easy to forget that she wished this nightmare of having to go through the Labyrinth to save her brother into being. It's all her fault. So it may be a "learning about responsibility while making friends with Muppets" kind of movie, but at the center, we have a complete brat of a girl who told a supernatural being to come kidnap her brother. Sick.

The Helping Hands are so very creepy

It's charming when the Helping Hands come together and makes little hand-faces that talk with British accents, so it's easy to overlook that an underage Jennifer Connelly is actually being groped on the thigh, waist and all over, really, by large, green, man hands. To up the creep factor just a little bit more, Sarah actually says things like "oh yuck," "help," and "you're hurting."

At that point, the hands threaten to let her go, dropping her, and she barks "no" and basically has to give them permission to grope her a little bit more. They ask her which way she wants to go, mock her for her decision, and then maneuver her right into a dark pit. Sarah is clueless, as she is through most of the movie, so on the way down, she asked if she was wrong. No, Sarah — think of where those hands would have gone if they had to boost you up. That's wrong.

Sarah's a little young for Jareth

All signs point to Jareth, the mid-40s Goblin King, being in love with Sarah, who can't be any older than about 16. Since most girls who watched the movie back in 1986 thought that was super romantic and awesome, nobody really considered that Jareth is actually a worldly, supernatural predator with a not-so-healthy obsession with a minor.

If you take into account how Sarah, at points, seems to reciprocate some of Jareth's attraction, you're in a Humbert Humbert/Lolita type situation, but nobody cares about that, because, well, Bowie. Heck, what human wouldn't want Bowie to be in love with them?

The Goblin King's intentions are pretty wack, too: "Just fear me. Love me. Do as I ask, and I shall be your slave." No thanks, Christian Grey. Don't think we'll be signing that contract.

Jareth straight-up drugs Sarah

The scene that really makes you think Sarah might think Jareth is pretty awesome is the ballroom scene, which occurs in Sarah's mind after Jareth sends a drugged peach her way. One could argue that if the fantasy is happening in her mind, she's revealing truths that are lurking in her subconscious, but it took some Goblin King LSD for her to get there — that's pretty icky. Plus, the ballroom scene is like a cross between Eyes Wide Shut and the "Lucy gets violated in front of everybody" scene from Sweeney Todd.

So either Sarah's a freak, deep down, or Jareth's drugs have some suggestive power. But unless you're really thinking the particulars, you've got a very grown-up looking Sarah with almost-woman cleavage dancing romantically with the always-package-showing Jareth, and it's sorta dreamy. But dark and creepy. Really creepy. Sarah wakes up splayed in a junkyard with a maggoty peach in her hand, which is probably the most surreal walk of shame ever.

Hoggle would probably have to register as a sex offender

We're introduced to Hoggle, the fairy-spraying goblin that becomes one of Sarah's best friends, as he's whizzing into a pond or fountain or something. We're not really sure why that was necessary, unless it was to give us the idea that Hoggle is a sort of rough, uncouth guy who finds his true purpose after he betrays and abandons Sarah a bunch of times.

Public urination in the U.S., at least, is a crime, Hoggle, and usually goes hand in hand with indecent exposure or public lewdness charges. The urinator sometimes has to even register as a sex offender. Guess the laws aren't the same in Goblinville. Why would they be, in a land where worms talk, there's a Bog of Eternal Stench, and a Goblin King pursues a teenage girl by kidnapping her baby brother?

The torture of Ludo is over-the-top harsh

When we first see Ludo, he's hanging upside down by a rope while weird little armored guys torture him with bitey lizard babies on sticks. He hollers, clearly experiencing some very real pain and frustration. Given how sweet the big lug turns out to be, that is seriously effed up.

If Ludo had been a humanoid type of character, that scene would have never made it into a kids movie. Can you imagine if Sarah had to go through that instead of that utterly worthless scene with the Firies? They would have slapped a PG-13 rating on that flick in a heartbeat.

The trash lady is the most terrifying thing ever

After Sarah's hallucinatory school dance with Jareth and subsequent awakening in the junkyard, she runs into a really cranky Muppet who fusses at her for not looking where she's going. It's this junk lady Muppet who directs Sarah into a room that looks just like her bedroom at home. So much so, in fact, that Sarah thinks it was all a dream, until the Muppet trash lady comes in and starts distracting Sarah with all her own stuff. Sarah forgets that she's looking for Toby. The garbage Muppet starts piling stuff on Sarah, presumably to also turn Sarah into a walking piece of refuse.

Luckily, Sarah realizes the triviality of material possessions, and remembers she's supposed to save her brother. The thing that is so terrifying about this Muppet is that she knows what things are important to Sarah. She knows Sarah's childhood. She knows Sarah's heart.

It's so scary when you think about it. Something that uses the things that comfort you to lure you away from yourself. Ugh.

Jareth is one lonely Goblin King

Jareth is the Goblin King. In his world, he is the only being that isn't a goblin or creature, other than Sarah and her baby bro. Why is that? Why would the goblins have a non-goblin king? Why are there no other human-type people in their world? What did Jareth do to them?

There are talking worms, Helping Hands that talk, those dumb doors with the guy at the top and the bottom, Firies, Sir Didymus, et al., but no other humanoid figure around. So, presumably, before Sarah called on Jareth to steal Toby for her, he spent all his time hanging around these dumb goblins. How lonely must that be? No wonder he got super obsessed with Sarah and wanted to be with her.

Toby is in serious danger almost constantly

Jareth, to say the least, has a total disregard for baby safety. Labyrinth is a fairy tale of sorts, so there have to be stakes, and there has to be a villain, but baby Toby finds his striped self in some perilous situations. Jareth throws him really high in the air. He has every intention of turning Toby into a goblin if Sarah doesn't complete the Labyrinth. He puts Toby on the M.C. Escher-type stairs toward the end of the movie, so he ends up on the top of a very high tower. And that's just what happens to Toby once Jareth takes him.

What about Sarah when she roughly bounces him trying to get him to stop crying? What about Sarah practically throwing him back into his crib? What about the time that Sarah summoned a Goblin King to kidnap him? Toby has it worse that anybody else.

Except maybe that bird that sat on top of that old Muppet lady's head. That guy had the most boring job ever.