Newsflash, Miley Cyrus is back to her normal self again. Or at least, she's regaining the chill that allows her tongue to stay in her mouth for more than five seconds. Is it a strategic career move? A compromise to keep Liam Hemsworth in check this time around? Or has she simply cycled out of her rebellious phase? From recently bad Bella Thorne to longtime troublemaker Shia Labeouf, the intensity of the Disney Channel and it's squeaky clean reputation has led some of its stars to act out. And while sometimes actors take things a little too far (to say the least) there's always a chance they could come back.
To get a better understanding of DC stars' rebellious phases, we color coded the erratic behavior of some of the most infamous celebrities that were kicked out of the House of Mouse, showing the trajectory of how they got to code red (peak badness). Is it possible to get back into the green and have a Disney ending? Scroll down to see who has been welcomed back, and who, uh, is continuing to entertain America in a less family-friendly kind of way.
Rebellious Phase: Four Years
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: Hannah Montana
To recap what we've already covered, Miley had a few brief brushes with scandal before her infamous VMAs performance. In 2008 she stipped down in an Annie Leibovitz portrait for Vanity Fair and the 2010 video for “Can’t Be Tamed” (spoiler alert: she could be). But we all remember the moment Miley killed Hannah Montana and twerked all over the 2013 VMAs with a bunch of Satan’s Care Bears.
It was rough.
Her tune started changing once she became a mentor on The Voice last year, because hosting a competition show apparently chills you out (further proof below). And yes, we do believe that reuniting with Liam has literally and metaphorically helped her sober up. With the release of "Malibu" and Miley very literally going back to her roots, we feel further comforted. Hannah Montana may be a thing of the past, but we at least feel like she's just being Miley again.
Rebellious Phase: Approximately nine months to a year (and counting)
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: Shake It Up
In the grand scheme of things, it feels like Bella started rebelling literally last Thursday. In reality, her rebellious behavior seems to have spiked around the end of 2016. Between stripping down for Snapchat, gratuitious make out seshes with everyone (also for Snapchat), and getting nipple (ouch) and septum piercings she’s gone from 0 to 100 real quick.
But honestly? This could still be some very surface level acting out. Even with her most questionable decisions her rebellion only seems intense because it’s getting documented in real time with an array of ever-changing hairstyles. So maybe this will end up all tweets and hair dye: we think there's still hope for her yet.
Rebellious Phase: Three years
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: Camp Rock
Demi is a unique case because while we all now know about her days in the red, it went mostly unseen. The former Camp Rock star has been super candid about her early struggles with bulimia, self-harm, alcoholism and cocaine addiction, but at the time it was kept under wraps.
Seriously, when you look back to 2008 and 2009 there’s only a baby’s whisper of gossip blogs that speculated she had been cutting; it was quickly lamp-shaded as indents from “gummy bracelets.” And even when she went to rehab in 2010 (after punching a back-up dancer) her publicist positioned it as a vague “emotional and physical issues” thing. Awww.
But for what it’s worth, Demi got a happily ever after. She exited rehab with a new lease on life, and has been sober ever since (and very serious about it). Now strong and much more (ahem) confident than her Sonny with a Chance days, we'd like to think that the full green glow came back when she covered “Let It Go” off the Frozen soundtrack back in 2013. It doesn’t get more Disney than that.
Rebellious Phase: Three Years
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: High School Musical
Look, in retrospect, we totally understand the nude photo scandal of 2007. She was young and Drake Bell was in his prime. They were meant to be private, they ended up not private, it unfortunately happens all the time.
The problem at hand was that the images leaked when she was the fresh-faced star of Disney's biggest tween franchise, and they made her prostrate herself at the altar. Vanessa sort of had to grin and bear it, approximately until her unceremonious breakup with Zac Efron in 2010.
Enter Vanechella, the festival-hopping Bohemian flower-crown-wearing alter-ego of Vanessa, marking a brief era of Gabriella Gone Wild. That, and Vanessa was willing to let loose with Harmony Korine’s 2013 flick Spring Breakers. You just can’t unsee Vanessa making out with with Ashley Benson and then a grill-mouthed, corn-rowed James Franco.
It... it was just a lot, is all.
But bottom line? Aside from one nude photo scandal, Spring Breakers, and an unfortunate flirtation with bindis and crocheted crop tops, Vanessa is hardly the most controversial Disney Channel star. As of 2017, she doesn’t really do anything more extreme than your garden variety 28-year-old celebrity.
Rebellious Phase: Roughly a decade and counting
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: Get A Clue
Popular misconception: Lifesize is a Disney Channel Original movie.
Other popular misconception: We will ever have the Lindsay Lohan that starred in Mean Girls back.
The former Parent Trap and Freaky Friday darling burst onto the Hollywood party scene around the time she went bleach blonde (and amped up a bra size), solidifying her status as a regulation hottie. Then came the bleached blonde hair, the hang out seshes with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, and the perpetual slosh-face, and the car crashes. 2007 saw Lindsay totaling her vehicle and subsequently getting arrested for a DUI and drug possession, and she hasn’t had much luck with the law since.
Watching Lindsay’s downward spiral has been a heart-wrencher because Mean Girls, that delightfully over-quoted film, should’ve marked a seamless transition from Disney Princess to bonafide actress. But NOPE.
Since she hasn’t been arrested super recently we put her on a soft orange alert right now, but we’re not encouraged by the peculiar behavior, bizarre accents, and weird Twitter pitch to make a _ Mean Girls _ sequel (about what?) with Emma Stone.
Sigh. We're still not optimistic, but it'd be lovely to have Mean Girls era LiLo back, guys. We don't think she'll ever be the freckle-faced ginger with a heart of gold from her DCOM days, but maybe someday she'll come out of this wiser and healthier. If Cady Heron could get over her mean streak, Lindsay could maybe at least attempt to get into yellow alert status.
Rebellious Phase: 12 years, going balls-to-the-wall in the last quarter (and counting)
Disney Channel Claim to Fame: Even Stevens
True story: Actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf has had some scrapes with the law prior to his paper bag/giant rattail days, never quite coping with the pressure of being in the spotlight. Back in 2005 he was arrested for assault with a weapon, and a smattering of other charming incidents including drunk driving and a garden variety of bar fights followed over the course of the next few years. But when he was called out for plagiarizing the Daniel Clowes comic Justin M. Damiano with his 2013 short film HowardCantour.com, it sent Shia on a downward spiral of bizarre AF behavior.
Like what even.
LaBeouf has been going hard with the performance art ever since, and we'd like to think that it's as cathartic as it is concerning to watch. We'd like to think that eventually he'll get clean and stop with the arrests, but it was only this July that Shia was taken in again for drunken erratic behavior. Someone needs a sit-down with Demi Lovato, stat.
Clearly the magic of the channel doesn't touch everyone in the same way. However, if you keep on believing, your favorite star may find the strength to break the Disney curse and revert to their original form.