Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Details That Are Darker Than You Think

Throughout the 2000s, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" made Disney Channel viewers everywhere wish they could live an adventurous life in a metropolitan hotel. Zack and Cody, portrayed by Dylan and Cole Sprouse respectively, lived in a suite with their mom at the Tipton Hotel. And as you would imagine two young boys to do, they got into endless hijinks with other guests and staff that typically got them into a world of trouble. 

"The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and the spinoff "The Suite Life On Deck" brought endless laughs on the network until its end in 2011. The show also starred Ashley Tisdale, Brenda Song, Kim Rhodes, Phill Lewis, and more. Even though many of the episodes were light-hearted fun, with a good life lesson thrown in here and there, the show did have a dark side at times. And looking back years later, it's easy to see how some of the unsettling themes completely went over kids' heads at the time the live-action series was on the air. 

The Suite Life of Zack & Cody tackled eating disorders

"The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" had a handful of episodes that took on super dark topics for a kids' TV series. Particularly, one episode in Season 2 titled "Health and Fitness" shows Maddie (Tisdale) and London (Song) tackling the concept of eating disorders in an understated way. 

The episode surrounds the two polar opposites preparing themselves for a fashion show. While they practice their walks and do fittings for their looks, they also take on the task of preparing their bodies for the runway. As Vogue reports, eating disorders in the modeling industry are rampant due to unrealistic beauty standards. London and Maddie each take different — and unhealthy — approaches to this that reflect disordered eating behaviors. 

London, for example, essentially starves herself to the point where she is light-headed and unable to function, even stumbling on stage. Meanwhile, Maddie, who is trying to gain weight, binge-eats to the point of discomfort, burping down the runway. Both approaches show different extremes of what eating disorders can look like without explicitly saying it. The episode also shows the girls looking in the mirror and seeing a reflection that is exaggerated from their actual appearances, which is a hint at the body dysmorphia going on in their minds.

London Tipton's troublesome childhood

In a Season 1 episode of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," London goes broke and reveals some childhood trauma that takes a turn for the dark. London is typically seen on the show prancing around the lobby in designer looks and bossing around the staff. But when her father loses money and she's forced to move in with Maddie for a bit, she reveals some sad truths about her childhood. 

London reveals to Maddie that she was completely unaware that it was normal for families to sit down and eat meals together regularly. She comes from the background of spending time with rotating nannies while her parents wined and dined at nice restaurants on the regular. She also reveals that she never learned how to cook because literally no one ever taught her how to make something as simple as grilled cheese. 

As for being raised by nannies, London admitted she could never get very close to them because they were often fleeting, and rarely spoke English. She was often left feeling alone without a person to talk to or relate to. Once her parents divorced, she then spent the majority of her free time flying back and forth from their respective homes, leaving her with few positive memories from her childhood.