Skip To Content

    Here's Every Inexplicably Bizarre Moment From The 2003 Live-Action Adaptation Of "The Cat In The Hat"

    I wasn't prepared for this, and quite frankly, neither are you.

    Certain movies have the privilege of enjoying a second life through online infamy. Bee Movie, The Room, The Last Airbender, all those YouTube videos where Bee Movie is sped up every time they say "bee" (and if Bee Movie counts as a movie, so do those videos). But I believe one film is missing from this unfortunate pantheon.

    The Cat In The Hat escorting two children in his weird car

    We all know that the 2003 live-action The Cat in the Hat is the Citizen Kane of movies that star Mike Myers in a giant furry cat suit. Still, I worry that somehow, it's faded from our collective memory.

    That's why I've made it my mission to rewatch this absolutely inexplicable movie for the first time since I was 5 years old. I'll journey into chaos to document every single bizarre, haunting, and straight-up offensive thing that The Cat in the Hat has to offer, because no film the late, great Roger Ebert described as "the ritual sacrifice of a big star to a high concept" ought to be forgotten.

    The cat in the hat wreaking havoc on the family home.

    And right off the bat, Peacock's letting me know I'm in for the time of my life.

    Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, with a 9% Rotten Tomatoes score

    1. First of all, the city of Anville looks like this.

    A pastel pink city with large symbols attached to the front of buildings advertising what they sell

    I get the schtick of attaching giant versions of the things you sell to your store, but what does this place on the left sell? Exclusively globes? Seems like a money-laundering front to me.

    Stores that sell globes, ice cream, and books

    2. Do you think hand sanitizer jokes are funny, The Cat in the Hat? DO YOU!?

    A bulk order of hand sanitizer

    3. This "joke" is an insult to wordplay and a crime against punnery. Also, it gives us the deeply unpleasant phrase "baby leavers."

    Joan says: What do you mean you're leaving? You're a babysitter, babysitters don't leave...they sit! Baby leavers leave!

    4. Seriously, what the hell, movie?

    A line of sinks with note, "employees must wash hands constantly"

    5. The gentleman in the green suit is Joan's boss, a realtor by the name of Mr. Humberfloob, and it's becoming increasingly clear that he's an opportunity for this movie to make cruel jokes about OCD. So that sucks.

    Mr. Humberfloob fires someone for shaking his hand

    And what's going on with the fired guy's hair?

    The fired guy has one piece of hair that sticks straight up

    6. Here, we have Humberfloob's hand sanitizer holster.

    a bottle of hand sanitizer attached to his belt

    7. Terrible jokes aside, Humberfloob is clearly the worst, and he makes his employees host monthly events for his business in their own homes.

    Humberfloob: Joan, let me make this perfectly clear. If your house is as messy as last time, you're FIRED!

    8. DYSTOPIA. PASTEL DYSTOPIA.

    a neighborhood of pastel colored houses that all look the same

    9. It's in one of these pale lavender nightmare homes that we meet Joan's children, 12-year-old Conrad and 8-year-old Sally.

    Conrad and Sally

    Here's what you need to know about the dynamic duo. Sally is too serious for her own good...

    Sally checks off items on her PDA

    ...and Conrad is a demon.

    10. The dog gets returned by Alec Baldwin, but for some reason everyone calls him Lawrence (or Larry, in Conrad's case).

    Alec Baldwin, holding the dog, with his teeth glinting

    Larry wants to send Conrad to a military school that's eight hours away, but Joan isn't so sure about it. When she leaves the room and Conrad confronts him, Larry straight-up tells this child (who, while demonic in nature, doesn't deserve this) that he hates him and wants him gone.

    Larry holding the brochure for the military academy

    11. There's an entire scene dedicated to this non-joke.

    A man introduces himself as Kate of Kate's Catering to a confused Joan

    12. Joan has to go back to work, so she calls in the elderly Mrs. Kwan to babysit. Mrs. Kwan promptly settles in and turns on "Z-Span," where she watches members of the Taiwanese Parliament physically fight each other, so I think it's probably for the best that we start an "Offensive Jokes" counter now.

    Mrs. Kwan watches the Taiwanese Parliament, where people are physically fighting, and says "no more big government. rip his heart out."

    13. Folks, the Cat has arrived.

    The kids scream and run while avoiding the Cat

    14. HOW is a CHARACTER from a RHYMING BOOK "not so good" at RHYMING?

    The cat says he can't think of a rhyme, because he's not so good with the rhyming

    15. Regrettably, we've arrived at the moment when The Cat in the Hat decided to take on sex education.

    Sally asks the cat where he came from, and the cat responds "when a mommy cat and a daddy cat love each other very much, they decide to...

    16. I hate to use hyperbole, but this scene robbed me of my will to live, perhaps permanently.

    The Cat's hat jumps up in response to seeing a photo of Joan

    17. This movie thinks it's getting way more comedic mileage out of the word "babysitter" than it really is.

    The Cat asks if they pay the babysitter to sit on babies, then says, I'd do it for nothing!

    18. The Cat uses a "Phunometer" to measure how much fun Sally and Conrad are.

    After briefly being outed as a serial arsonist, Sally is determined to be a control freak, while Conrad is a rule breaker.

    The Phunometer "serial arsonist" section

    The Cat then charges them $700 for their exams, because if there's anything kids love, it's jokes about America's broken healthcare system.

    The cat says "that'll be 700 dollars, who's your insurance carrier?"

    19. I almost don't want to give any context to this image, because nothing I say to you will make it less haunting.

    The cat holds a giant syringe

    20. The musical interlude kicks off with a castration reference, and I would say that's representative of the song's overall tone and execution.

    The cat sings "there was this cat I knew back home where I was bred, he never listened to a single thing his mother said, he never used the litter box, he made a mess in the hall, that's why they sent him to a vet to cut off both his ba-

    21. I saw this, so now you have to, too.

    The cat has two watermelons for butt cheeks

    22. The Cat briefly becomes a bullfighter. Why, you ask? There is no why. There is only Cat.

    The cat as a bullfighter, with a bull charging at him

    23. During the grand finale, the Cat drinks some milk and this happens. He then burps hairballs all over Sally and Conrad, and they are not nearly as infuriated as they should be.

    The cat's stomach gets huge after he drinks milk

    24. For reasons that are no longer topical enough to understand, the Fish goes straight for MTV's jugular.

    I think these children are smart enough not to fall for your MTV-style flash at the expense of content and moral values

    25. The Cat makes the kids sign a contract before they start having fun, because of course he's been sued before.

    The Cat surrounded by lawyers

    This is tucked into the pages of the contract, because two minutes have passed since the last spaying and neutering joke, and this movie doesn't want you to forget what it's all about.

    The Cat holds a "spayed and neutered" certificate

    26. Here's my theory about The Cat in the Hat: It's trying to achieve the same sort of chaotic improvisational brilliance of Robin Williams as Aladdin's Genie...

    The Cat dressed as a gas station attendant

    ...but it's really, really bad at it.

    The Cat has plumber's crack

    27. Remember that hypothetical writer from before who scribbled down the joke about the male caterer named Kate? On the next page of their ideas notebook, they wrote down, "Clowns + hepatitis = comedy gold."

    The cat says jumping on the couch is just like being in the circus, but without those tortured animals or drunken clowns that have hepatitis

    28. Sally wants to make cupcakes, so naturally the Cat turns to violence.

    29. You could probably make another movie about the focus group that was forced to see the Cat in the Hat threatening to murder a blonde version of itself with a meat cleaver. I wouldn't watch it, but it could be made.

    The Cat accidentally chops off his own tail while threatening to "end" the television host with a meat cleaver
    Me looking horrified at this movie

    30. The murder cupcakes explode and splatter purple goo everywhere, and the Cat decides to clean it up using the dress Joan was going to wear tonight. When Sally accuses him of ruining it, he responds, "Honey, it was ruined when she bought it." Then he snaps his fingers like this for the longest seven seconds of my life.

    31. The kids are pissed that the house is such a mess, so the Cat brings in an enormous red crate and reveals the Things, two magical gymnasts whose wide grins can't mask their clearly menacing nature.

    Thing 1 and Thing 2, in red jumpsuits with blue hair

    Thing 2 has some self-esteem issues when it comes to his name. Naturally.

    Thing 2 clarifies that he's not inferior to Thing 1, and the Cat provides a list of alternative names, including Thing King, Super Thing, Kid Dynamite, Chocolate Thun-Da, or Ben

    32. The crate that the Things emerged from apparently contains a high-concept sci-fi third act, and the Cat understandably wants to keep it contained.

    The Cat tells Conrad not to mess with the crate, and when he points out it was made in the Philippines, the Cat says "yes! but not this philippines."

    33. Story update: The Things wreck the house, and Conrad picks the magical lock that the Cat uses to lock his crate of plot devices. The lock, being magical, attaches itself to the dog's collar, and the dog makes a run for it. Something bad will happen if the crate opens, and the only thing that will stop the crate from opening is the lock, so the Cat suggests murder.

    The cat, playing piano and suggesting murder

    34. Alec Baldwin update: He's secretly a slob, and his TV just got repossessed.

    Alec Baldwin holding the repossession notice

    35. Who is the intended audience for this joke?

    The cat calls a literal gardening hoe a dirty hoe, then says "I'm sorry, baby, I love you"

    36. I'll wait for a moment while you try to guess what could possibly be going on in this sequence of images.

    The cat hanging from a tree like a pinata, waving a white flag, and then dressed in a weird colonial outfit while swinging with a white horse in the background

    37. This is sort of funny. I guess. It's more cute than funny. And is it just product placement for Hummers? That's not good. I don't know anymore. Where am I?

    The cat has a hummer dustcover for his cartoonish car

    38. I like to think that this is the moment where a young Dakota Fanning realized her parents and agents made a terrible mistake in signing her up for this.

    The cat says: GPS, check. DVD, CD, check. Someone from Czechoslovakia is a Czech.

    39. Apparently we've entered the "random geographical humor" portion of the film.

    before running into a truck, the Cat sees that it has a Rhode Island license plate, and says "you never see those"

    40. Nope. I refuse.

    The cat wearing dreads and holding a petition

    41. With Larry in pursuit, the Cat leads the kids to a secret underground Cat in the Hat-themed rave...

    The kids at the rave

    ...where they encounter Paris Hilton.

    Paris Hilton at the rave

    Here's a picture of them in the same frame to prove to you that I'm not lying (and prove to myself that it's real).

    Paris Hilton and the cat dancing together

    42. Meanwhile, back at the house, this CGI goop is leaking out of the crate.

    Purple goop enveloping Mrs. Kwan

    43. The Things dress up as cops so that the Cat and the kids can beat Joan and Larry to the house, lock the crate, and restore balance to the universe. Or something.

    The Thing dressed as a cop, speaking to Joan

    44. And the family home now looks like what would happen if M.C. Escher sold out.

    A surreal and twisted version of the house.

    45. The Cat, Sally, and Conrad use the sleeping Mrs. Kwan as a raft to journey through this house of cold digital sorrow, because every character besides this poor babysitter is clearly a sociopath.

    Everyone climbs on top of Mrs. Kwan

    46. Didn't Mike Myers already do this product placement bit in Wayne's World?

    Conrad: This is amazing! It's like a ride at an amusement park! You mean like at Universal Studios? Cha-ching

    Yup, he did.

    Mike Myers as Wayne holding up a pepsi can

    47. Conrad manages to close the crate, but the house gets destroyed in the process, and the Cat reveals that he didn't in fact lose his magic hat (oh yeah, the Cat lost his magic hat), but only pretended he did in order to teach the kids some sort of overwritten lesson. Conrad and Sally kick him out, because honestly, the Cat's a dick.

    The kids, standing in their destroyed home, point the Cat towards the door

    But wait! Someone at Universal noticed that the movie didn't have a theme, so the Cat returns and tells the siblings they learned about having fun responsibly (or something), so he cleans up the house for them.

    The lawyers standing behind the kids with the contract

    48. Here's a Lovecraftian hand machine of terrors.

    A scooter with a bunch of hands sticking out of it

    49. The Cat and the Things rebuild the house while Smash Mouth's cover of the Beatles' "Getting Better" plays in the background.

    The cat says, "we even managed to work in an uptempo pop song for the soundtrack, that's important."

    50. Final Alec Baldwin update: Before the crate got closed, the Cat tried to murder him (classic Cat!) by pushing him off the ledge and into the river of sci-fi goo. Joan dumps him for being a purple weirdo, and the children rejoice.

    Conrad says to a paint covered Alec Baldwin: You look terrible, and my mom things you're insane

    51. The Cat in the Hat concludes by turning one of its few actually whimsical aspects — the rhyming narrator — into another cheap joke.

    The cat reveals he is the narrator when he starts talking about how approachable and attractive he is
    Mike Myers standing next to the Cat, with text reading Final Thoughts

    Fin.

    The things and the Cat walking down the street