Yep, ​​Abbott Elementary's Lisa Ann Walter Was Shocked To Learn How Many Parent Trap Fans Work On The Show

lisa ann walter abbott elementary abc
(Image credit: ABC)

The ABC comedy, Abbott Elementary, has quickly become a true television success story. After its December premiere the mockumentary turned into nearly an instant hit, to the point where it’s now even crushing competitors outside of the 2022 TV schedule. While the stars are recognizable to many fans of stand-up comedy, movies, and television, Lisa Ann Walter, who plays second grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti, recently opened up about how shocking it was to work on the series with so many young fans of The Parent Trap.

The Abbott Elementary Cast Are Fans Of Lisa Ann Walter’s Work In The Parent Trap

Lisa Ann Walter has been in a number of TV shows and movies since making her television debut in 1995, but few of her appearances before her time on Abbott Elementary are as well known and loved as her work as Chessy in 1998’s The Parent Trap. During a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Walter talked about realizing that many of the kids on her new show actually recognize her from the movie, which was made many years before they were even born, and said:

They recognize me from The Parent Trap, so they think I’m that character. My boss, Quinta Brunson, who created the show and stars in it and is all of 32 years old, she’s like, ‘That is an entire baby that just recognized you from a movie that is 28 years old!’...It is a good movie.

The Parent Trap starred Lindsay Lohan (who recently reenacted a Parent Trap scene) in the dual roles of twin girls who were separated at birth in a senseless custody arrangement, discover one another for the first time at summer camp, and soon become determined to get their parents back together. Walter’s Chessy was the long-time housekeeper / surrogate mother to one of the girls, and is incredibly loving, kind, and very observant. So, if Walter is going to be confused with any of her characters by the young stars of Abbott Elementary, Chessy is a very good one to have them identify her with.

Of course, the biggest shock about so many of the kids on Abbott Elementary knowing Walter from The Parent Trap is because of just how long ago the movie came out. Even if you factor in that some of the kids on the show are pre-teens or young teenagers, and that the film had its 23rd anniversary last summer, that still puts The Parent Trap at being released a decade or more before any of the Abbott actors playing students were born. 

If nothing else, it just goes to show how enduring the popularity of the movie is, and how beloved it was by the kids who saw it when it was first released. There’s no better proof than the fact that many of those now-parents seem to be passing their love for The Parent Trap on to their own kids today. And, I’m sure Lisa Ann Walter loves knowing that something she was a part of had such an impact on young lives.

Abbott Elementary, which also stars Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Williams, Chris Perfetti, and Janelle James, continues Tuesdays on ABC at 9 p.m. EST. 

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.