If adult stars are supposed to be hot and sexy, child stars are supposed to be the cutest things you’ve seen in your entire life. Remember that kid from Stuart Little, Jonathan Lipnicki? He was like a real-life Pixar character. Also, remember Dylan and Cole Sprouse in Big Daddy with Adam Sandler? They were the young Hollywood equivalent of little beagle puppies who’ve just learned to howl.
And if you’ve ever wondered why the term ‘cute’ is used for both adorable, “Oh, I just wanna smoosh you up!” organisms and also for people you’re attracted to, it might be because cute kids typically turn into attractive adults. Check out Dylan and Cole Sprouse today (this is just one of them, we don’t know which one, but we can only assume the other looks more or less the same) and look at what Jonathan Lipnicki, after looking like this for a few years, eventually turned into (he done Nick Jonas’ed us!)
If you’re dying of curiosity about which beloved, adorable child actors turned out to be total trainwrecks once their pre-pubescent cuteness wore off look no further. TheRichest has compiled a list of 10 instances of cute kid actors transforming into graceless grown-ups.
10 Angus T. Jones
Angus T. Jones got his start playing a centaur/ merman/ mudblood on Two and a Half Men (get it? Cuz he was playing a half man?) When the show started, he was immediately praised for his impossible-not-to-love chubby cheeks and his high-pitched voice. Fast forward ten years, one “WINNING” breakdown, and Charlie Sheen being replaced with Ashton Kutcher , and Angus T. Jones had gone from adorable little kid to full grown troll man. In 2012, he was in a YouTube video where he asked people to boycott the show, saying: “"You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't. I'm not okay with what I'm learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show." He then parted ways with the show to find the Seventh Day Adventist God, although it looks to us like homeboy went full Amish.
9 Haley Joel Osment
Another kid who promised to be very attractive as an adult was Haley Joel Osment. His first role was in Forrest Gump, followed by a part in The Sixth Sense, and then his famous role in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, playing Frances O’Connor’s robotic son. It seems his childhood cuteness began to wear off pretty much exactly then, because every ensuing role on his imdb page is voice work, meaning he perfectly embodied the trustworthy old diss: “He has a face for radio!” Although admittedly he was almost impossibly cute in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a burden impossible for any pubescent human being to carry as their flawless skin breaks out in oily zits and fuzzy little whiskers.
8 Jodie Sweetin
Jodie Sweetin didn’t age gracefully at all, but not in the sense that she started looking more weird than cute after she hit puberty. She looked fine up til the end of Full House, which ended when she was 13, smack dab in the middle of uncomfortable body changes. No, Jodie Sweetin just went from playing the most annoying cutest kid ever, Stephanie Tanner, to being a drug addled adult who snorted crystal meth at the premiere of Mary Kate and Ashley’s New York Minute because she couldn’t be bothered to carry around a meth pipe in her purse. She reveals her misbehavior in her memoir UnSweetined (stupidest title ever), which interestingly began at 14 aka the year she realized her career was (and forever would be!) in the tank.
7 Amanda Bynes
On The Amanda Show, Amanda Bynes created some of the most memorable sketch kid comedy: from her stalker Penelope, to the world’s laziest superhero The Procrastinator, to her pitch-perfect rip-off of Judge Judy named Judge Trudy, Amanda Bynes had us all charmed. She was perched to become the next Sandra Bullock or Drew Barrymore, a sort of pretty actress with good comic timing that everyone just sort of liked. Vanity Fair even thought so, featuring her in its 2003 “Young Hollywood” edition. At that point, the acme of her career, no one thought that she would, twelve years later, tweet at Drake to “murder her vagina” and wear a turquoise wig to court for reckless endangerment charges.
6 Mara Wilson
If you ever saw Matilda, if you didn’t like Mara Wilson immediately, you sure as hell were enamored with her by the time she flipped pancakes made from scratch to the sound of “Send Me On My Way”, like the child-adult you dreamt of being (if only reading library books you had dragged home in your wagon could substitute for motor skills and life experience!) Having dramatized the inner-life of every single child in the entire world, Mara Wilson was about to become the biggest star in the world. So what happened? No one seems to be able to name anything she’s been in since the Danny DeVito adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl novel. According to Mara Wilson, she decided to quit acting and pursue a job in storytelling and she’s now a tepidly acclaimed writer.
5 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is only 29 and she already looks like a MILF. Megan Fox is 29 and she’s still as luminous as ever. Remember Lindsay Lohan in the Parent Trap, where she played one American twin and another American twin but with the worst British accent ever? She was so cute back then, with her butt-length flaming-red hair and her lovable freckles. What happened? Well, for one the stresses and excesses of fame. Years of hard partying and getting arrested for drunk driving can take a real toll on a person’s youthful glow. So although it’s hard to say Lindsay Lohan looks busted, because she’s so naturally beautiful, we’ll just say that she aged hastily and with a complete lack of grace.
4 Macaulay Culkin
Remember how cute Macaulay Culkin was in the Home Alone movies, with his twinkling blue eyes, blond hair, and always sort of lipglossed lips? Fast-forward to today, where he has become a skinny, haggard lookin’ mofo with overgrown hair and a patchy beard. That’s right, Kevin McCallister didn’t grow into all the promise he showed in the movies. Hollywood head-honchos were presumably shopping for a Justin Timberlake type, someone who’d be adorable as a kid, teen-hot as a teenager, and then conventionally handsome as a grown man. He checked off the first box, but the veered off the hoped-for course and, in doing so, fell out of the public eye.
3 Steven Anthony Lawrence
Steven Anthony Lawrence was Beans on Even Stevens, the next door neighbor who loved bacon and wouldn’t leave Shia LaBeouf’s Louis alone. The other main difference between Lawrence and LaBeouf? LaBeouf went on to become one of the most successful actors in Hollywood (for a time) and Lawrence never amount to, well, a hill of beans. He quickly lost all of his hair and started looking 45 even though he was only in his mid-20s. He has confessed to the media that he thinks it’s weird that people still recognize him from the show, even though it was such a long time ago now. He hasn’t been in anything high-profile since the finale of the Disney Channel show, so he’s been bringing home the bacon (haha!) by doing commercials and teaching.
2 Danny Pintauro
Danny Pintauro played Angela’s adorable son Jonathan on the quintessential 1980s sitcom Who’s The Boss? He’s now 39, HIV positive, and recovering from an intense addiction to drugs, which he told Oprah he indulged in because it emboldened him to pursue the sexual curiosities that had taken hold of him at the end of his relationship. He says that he would do a bunch of tina and then cruise chats sites at 4am, looking for men to hook up with. Since those men were also probably on drugs, explaining their 4am wakenness, they and Danny Pintauro would engage in drug-fuelled intimacy. He has since quit the drug and gotten married to his partner. He now hopes to re-become the beacon of light he once was to the gay community.
1 Jaimee Foxworth
Another adorable kid from a 1980s sitcom, this time it’s Family Matters’ Jaimee Foxworth, who, instead of turning to drugs like Pintauro and Sweetin, turned to hardcore triple-X porn to handle to inevitable downturn of her career. That’s right, under the adult pseudonym Crave, she starred in 2000’s Booty Talk 20: Super Fine Sistas! and in 2011’s Chillin' With Jake Steed's Freaks, Whoes & Flows 25, two titles having nothing to do with the ultra family-friendly show that spawned Steve Urkel and his ubiquitous catchphrase: “Did I do that?” (Weird that Steve Urkel, Jaleel White IRL, didn’t turn to anything, being probably the most pigeon-holed actor of all time.)