As Alfred Hitchcock said, “drama is life with the boring bits cut out.” It is this philosophy that has always kept our eyes locked on the silver screen. Nowadays, with TV-on-demand and streaming shows and movies, access to our favorite visual material lies at the tip of a finger. In the age of binge watching and social media, fans are immersing themselves to an insane extent into their loved programs and films. For some, this love is an obsession and we see these people lurk online in chat rooms and on WattPad writing fan fiction (that often involves their favorite fictional characters getting a tad too “friendly.”)
“Always leave them wanting more,” is an adage that is often overlooked by money grabbing execs that keep making endless series after series in 2016. The what ifs of movies and TV are always keeping people’s minds active and these often are vented in fan theories. Speculation abounds and rumors fly as viewers fill in the gaps that often knit themselves together into theories… some passable, others totally ridiculous. Here are 25 weird fan theories that are thought to underpin well known and popular TV shows and movies.
25. Cameron’s Coma
John Hughes was adept at marrying teen comedy and angst and he created a stable of stars in the 80s, from John Candy to Emilio Estevez, via Macaulay Culkin. One of his most popular films was the 1986 hit, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The movie charts the exploits of roguish Ferris Bueller, his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron as they skip school, whilst dodging the bossy Dean. Although towards the end the movie does turn rather introspective in regards to Ferris’ best friend Cameron. Cameron is the cautious yin to Ferris’ adventurous yang and fears his unfeeling dad most of all. But Cameron reaches an epiphany – tired of being scared all the time – and destroys his dad’s vintage Ferrari (finding peace with himself at the same time) in the process. This leads some to think that Ferris is a figment of Cameron’s imagination and the day happened in his head, which would explain the madness of the parade for example. He is also laid up in bed with a fever when Ferris calls in the morning. So it could be a delirious spell of therapy…
24. Sergeant Psycho
In 1996, Wes Craven released Scream. The movie was the first in a series of movies of the same name and an eventual TV series, chronicling a litany of brutal murders at the end of a knife, wielded by a ghost-faced masked maniac! It is a hip, comical and brutal, as well as introspective glance at the often odd quirks of the horror genre that has achieved a cult statues all its own. Yet some people believe that there has been a third killer throughout the whole franchise, wearing the most convincing mask of all… the one of hiding in plain sight. That killer? Deputy Dewey of course! He is a bit of a wild loose cannon and never dies, despite the numerous injuries murderers inflict upon him. The killers (Neve Campbell’s boyfriend Billy and her best friend Tatum’s boyfriend, Stu) murdered his annoying sister Tatum, thus removing him from suspicion. Also, his romance with journalist, Gail Weathers, would allow Dewey insight into private information. So was the slightly weird and maverick cop a killer, pulling the others’ strings all along? It is even hinted at in Scream 2…
23. Grim Green
Disney films are often a straightforward allegory of good versus evil, whether that be Snow White or a gaggle of talking toys. There is always a cruel and scheming nemesis that is about to get their own way, when they are foiled by the hero. But there appears to be a commonly shared aspect to all of the Disney villains. In Sleeping Beauty, when Maleficent turns into a dragon and breathes fire, when Ursula attacks in The Little Mermaid and when Ska attacks in The Lion King, there seems to be an abundance of luminous green flame. What is it about this garish color that is always associated with evil? It’s certainly not easy on the eyes that’s for sure, but it’s easy for films fans who say it represents evil.
22. Clone Wars
No list of anything involving movies would be complete without mentioning Star Wars at some point. And the numerous theories and speculation about the movies or as numerous as people in the fictional gallery it’s set in. Yet amid all of the “who is Snoke?” and “who is Rey?” Hoopla, there is still some bizarre theories about other characters lurking in space. One is about Obi Wan Kenobi being a clone called OB-1. OB-1 would explain why the old Jedi doesn’t remember R2 in Episode (despite R2 saving Obi Wan’s life in Episode 1. As the it was the clone OB-1 that went to Tatooine, meaning that the real Obi Wan, “Ben” Kenobi is alive. Yet would a clone have powers in The Force, hence Darth Vader mentioning: “a presence he hasn’t felt since… ?” On the Death Star?
21. James Who?
For nearly 55 years, men have been wishing they were James Bond and women wanted him, too. But he has been portrayed by various men over the years, but there is still always a mention of Tracy Bond, the only Bond Girl to marry the secret agent, with every new incarnation 007, despite the times moving on as well as each new Bond era’s technology. Around the same time as Dr. No premiered (a couple of years after) Doctor Who was first broadcast on British TV. One of the main features of the Doctor is the fact that he can regenerate, the various appearances of James Bond has led some to speculate as to whether the Doctor himself is a Time Lord. It would also prompt a debate as to “who” has a better vehicle, the Doctor with his T.A.R.D.I.S.? or James Bond with his Jaguars and Aston Martins?
20. Super Salesman
Disney’s Aladdin instantly became a favorite down the ages, most notably for the comedy of Robin Williams as he portrayed the Genie. There are many theories about this ancient tale’s Disney reimagining and the one here centres on the man at the beginning of the movie. He is on a stall and is selling exotic lamps and it is his speaking to the audience that introduces Aladdin and “A Whole New World” that goes with it. Although what if the elaborate tale of a street peasant, who woos a princess, goes on a magical journey, frees a Genie and falls in love with the princess, is all a tale fabricated by this man to sell a lamp on his stall? It certainly helps business if one is adept with sales patter, but this is taking it to “A Whole New World!”
19. Yabba Dabba Destitution
There were two famous cartoons that arrived on TV screens in the 60s and they offered a glimpse at both ends of human civilization’s pendulum. One was The Flintstones, featuring a family in the Stone Age, complete with dino dogs and utensils that were actually wisecracking prehistoric animals. At the other end of the spectrum was The Jetsons. They were a Space Age family that lived in space in terraformed domes and had a robot dog and robot maid (who often wisecracked). There was a crossover called “The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones,” which left some wondering whether or not the two families actually existed in the same time frame and instead of a gulf in time, it was a gulf in wealth that separated the two. The Jetsons being extremely rich and privileged, whereas The Flintstones lived impoverished lives. BAM BAM! That’s a sobering thought!
18. Absorbing Theory
Sponge Bob Squarepants is odd enough, with a sponge that works in a restaurant and is surrounded by his weird and wonderful aquatic friends. But then when the symbolism is taken into account it leads to fans thinking some rather bizarre things about a rather innocuous clutch of sea creatures. Rumors abound that his neighbors, Sandy Cheeks (who resembles a beaver) and a starfish, are actually euphemisms for a female undercarriage. Sponge Bob is a sponge and sponges soak up fluid and once a month women need something to soak up excess fluid, which makes some people deem Sponge Bob as a metaphor for a tampon, no less! Cartoons often contain the odd undertones that only adults pick up, but this is a rather odd one… period!
17. Bel-Air? Or Heavenly Cloud?
Will Smith shot to fame in the early 90s, rapping with DJ Jazzy Jeff and playing a similar named role in a TV sitcom, The Fresh of Bel-Air. Smith is sent to his wealthy aunt and uncle’s after getting in trouble in the slums of Philadelphia. In the titles, Smith raps about how he “got into one little fight.” So did he actually die in this fight? Is the opulent mansion in Bel-Air actually heaven? Are the sporadic appearance of Smith’s parents not them visiting him in Los Angeles, but are instead visiting his headstone in a cemetery? A rather sad twist to what was a funny and iconic 90s comedy.
16. Sherlock Spock
This fan theory is actually rooted in a scene from a Star Trek movie itself. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, sees Spock say: “If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Spock attributes the saying to an ancestor of his and of course Spock is half-human, half-Vulcan. In the BBC series Sherlock, Holmes says the quote and attributes it to Spock. So it makes for a nice marriage of the two series, films and fandoms. Even more poignant is that if the two were relatives, their equal love of inquiry and penchant for logic is apparent in both as a familial trait.
15. Elven Heart
In The Lord of the Rings, animosity and distrust developed between the elves and the dwarves over the ages and initially, this hostility is mirrored in the fellowship members Legolas and Gimli. However, Gimli is quite taken with the beauty and pure awesome presence of the ancient and powerful High Elf, Galadriel. According to elven legend, Galadriel’s uncle, the mightiest of the elves, Feanor, asked Galadriel three times for a strand of her hair the shade of pure gold. Galadriel thrice refused. Galadriel could peer into Gimli’s heart and see his purity. So when he asks her for a strand of hair, she gives him three. This symbolism is not lost on Legolas. Furthermore, Legolas can now rest in the knowledge that he can trust the dwarf and their friendship and healing of iciness between the two races are relieved by this trust.
14. Murder, She Committed
Murder, She Wrote was a popular series that ran for 12 years, from 1984 to 1996. The series recounts the successful crime stories that the main character Jessica Fletcher lives through, with herself solving the mysteries. Yet what if the greatest mystery was never solved? What if Fletcher was a psychotic mastermind who put her murderous serial killing exploits to paper? It is also described throughout the series that Jessica is a widow, yet there is never an indication of the cause of her husband’s passing… was the sweet and gentle-natured Jessica the architect of her husband’s (and many others) demise?
13. Casper the Horrifying Ghost
Why are people so scared of Casper when they see him? He seems to be a sweet, slightly translucent, cute floating ghost, yet people’s faces contort in horror and they flee. Some may assert that this is due to just seeing an apparition of a dead person, a dead child, no less. But is the friendly ghost so innocent and sweet looking on the outside as he and the viewers of the cartoon/films see him? Though meaning well, is the harmless, cloud-like puff the way Casper sees himself, but in reality, is Casper terrifying for the living to behold? Perhaps this is why they flee screaming?
12. Harry Horcrux
In the first of many Harry Potter theories that are more plentiful than Rowling’s books or there are students at Hogwarts, is why Harry’s adoptive family is so horrible to him. Before he receives his admission to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter lives with aunt, uncle and cousin, the Dursleys. His relatives keep Harry locked in a cupboard under the stairs and their maltreatment of him doesn’t end even after going to Hogwarts. Although what if the cause of their animus was Harry himself? After all, it is revealed that Voldemort accidentally created a Horcrux out of Harry (leaving part of his soul within the boy) unwittingly. So does the evil emitted by this section of the Dark Lord’s soul have an adverse effect on the Dursley’s? Does it make them behave vilely towards Harry?
11. Central Perk… ing Space
Much of the laughs in the much loved 90s and 00s sitcom Friends takes place in the coffee shop, Central Perk. But why are the bunch always gathered around the main sofa and table? It is a busy New York coffee shop after all. How do they manage to keep and retain those seats? One theory is that those seats are reserved by that gang, although there are one or two gags surrounding the seating. One time another group of six friends have commandeered the seating and in a later series Rachel is sitting at the window with Phoebe and is annoyed at two people sitting on the sofas. Rachel wants to confront them but is stopped by Phoebe. Perhaps they had forgotten to reserve on that occasion? What’s more, there’s a small reserved sign on the table that goes unnoticed by most fans.
10. Jar Jar Sith
One of the most annoying things about the annoying Star Wars prequels is Jar Jar Binks! An irritating and unnecessary character, seemingly there for comic relief but only serves to be an unwelcome addition and for promoting a rather tired Jamaican stereotype. However, what if there was more to this silly trope than meets the eye? Some think that very thing and take the unbelievable leap into assuming that Jar Jar Binks is in fact the mastermind behind the Empire, the rise of the Sith and the slaughter of all but two of the Jedi. Little is more effective than hiding in plain sight and this would transform Jar Jar’s existence, from one of exasperation, to sheer, unparalleled genius!
9. Three Men and a… Ghost?
The movie Three Men and a Baby was kind of a strange film to be directed by sci-fi legend Leonard Nimoy. It tells the story of three bachelors who have their lives turned upside down and for the better, when a baby girl is left on their doorstep. Yet for years another story has been synonymous with the movie. Legend has it that in a scene with Ted Danson and his mother, the spirit of a little boy who committed suicide can be seen as a misty shadow in the window. Yet the rumor seemed to spring up after it was released on VHS, causing a massive spike in sales of the video. Of course it was a talking point that arrived in perfect time for the release for the sequel Three Men and a Little Lady. So was the ghost theory a perfect marketing gimmick to boost video sales and promote the sequel?
8. Springfield Space-Time
The Simpsons have been on TV for nearly 30 years now. So why have the Springfield family seemingly not aged a day? The stories from Marge and Homer’s youth have ranged from the mid-70s to the early-90s, but despite Homer and Marge’s age often getting a little older, neither seem to age and as for their kids, they remain 10, 8 and 1. This has fostered the belief that The Simpsons and Springfield inhabits an alternate universe where time stands still. It would certainly explain the Halloween episode where Homer is stuck in a weird dimension that collapses in on itself and dumps (literally into a dumpster) Homer into our real non-animated world.
7. Shawshank Sociopath
The Shawshank Redemption is often cited as being one of the greatest movies of all time. The film, based on a short story by Stephen King, charts the incarceration of Andy Dufresne, wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his wife. Surviving everything from rape to corrupt prison staff, Dufresne bides his time to plot his escape and frame the immoral wardens, escaping and eventually reuniting with his friend Red (Morgan Freeman). It is clear that Andy is intelligent, his number crunching and love of literature and classical music attest to that. But the prolonged scheming and manipulation of the entire prison system hints at the traits common in psychopaths and sociopaths. He doomed the entire corrupt, manipulating the system in the process. So did he actually murder his wife? Another hint is the fact that he is expected to break down on the first night and doesn’t shed a tear, demonstrating the calculating intellect of a psycho.
6. Alfred Wayne?
Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler. He has raised Bruce and serves him faithfully and utterly, which would explain his fiercely protective nature. However, is he too faithful and protective for a butler? Highly trained professional staff know how and when to maintain a professional distance from the gentleman of the house. Alfred flouts such reserve often, with loyalty, passion and often irreverence, as an exasperated father does with an exuberant son. Yes, Bruce is like a son to Alfred, but is Bruce really a son to Alfred?
5. Dragon Snow
Game of Thrones is easily one of the biggest shows in recent years and one of the few characters to survive, Jon Snow, has so far led a checkered adventurous life since leaving Winterfell. Ned Stark’s wife, Catelyn, treated Jon Snow as a pariah because he was the result of a tryst Ned had early on their marriage, or was he? Ned promised to tell Jon about his mother when they would next see each other, after he departed for King’s Landing (that trip went well) and the truth of Jon Snow’s heritage has often been speculated as more intricate than him being a lord’s bastard. The theory goes that Ned Stark is Jon Snow’s uncle, not his father. That Jon Snow’s sister was raped and became pregnant by Rhaegar Targaryen (the overthrown Mad King Aerys’ son and heir). So that would make Jon Snow Daenerys’ cousin and of the Targaryen bloodline. Where is the silver hair though?
4. Titanic Time Traveller
What could be more of a gripping movie premise than doomed romance set on the most infamous sinking ocean liner in history? Well, what if one of those lovers had breached the space-time/continuum, just to save one woman (and draw her naked!?) It is often thought that even treading on a bug or snapping a twig if one ventured into the past that this seemingly innocent act could have huge consequences in altering the future. So perhaps Rose, marrying her betrothed and not having sex with a time traveller (kinda the opposite of The Terminator) would wreak terrible effects on the future. Jack having no money and an out-of-place, more modern backpack… and a collection of naked woman drawings.
3. Hallowed Harry
There are so many plots and sub-plots, as well as back stories and legends, occurring in Harry Potter that it is often hard to pick and single out a theory. But this one seems to tie up the whole story and themes rather nicely. The legend of the Deathly Hallows tells of three brothers that cheated death and death offers them three rewards. The Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Invisibility Cloak. The Peverell Brothers in the tale closely resemble Voldemort, Snape and Harry according to this popular theory. Voldemort and his lust for power (and the Elder Wand) represents the eldest. Snape’s heartache for Harry’s mother Lily (whom he always loved) mimics the tale of the second brother (who used the Resurrection Stone to raise his deceased love). Harry symbolizes the third brother (and has his Invisibility Cloak to boot) dodging death at the hands of Voldemort. The legend goes that the youngest brother greets death “as an old friend” and he does. He is brought back to life on the other side by Dumbledore, which would mean Dumbledore would signify death in this complex metaphor. Of course, the youngest is an old friend of death, yet he claims the lives of the other two, in tandem with the legend.
2. Another Matrix?
The Matrix movies were a cult smash from The Wachowskis, laden with metaphors about spirituality and existence. It charts Thomas Anderson’s – AKA Neo’s – journey from pedestrian office worker to a god-like savior, destined to liberate humanity from the ruthless machines that have enslaved them. So entrenched in philosophy are the movies (about the multiverse and levels of consciousness) that a theory about Neo being a machine himself is plausible. Neo is “freed” from a computer generated world called “the Matrix,” however a popular theory goes that Zion (the last free human city in the real world) exists as a simulation itself. Why? It actually keeps the AI machines in check, by duping them into thinking they have enslaved humans and battle Zion in a rebellion/war, with a plot to keep the robot minds occupied and they are the true slaves! So complex, only the mind bending speech of The Architect would be at home understanding it!
1. What’s In The Briefcase?
Pulp Fiction is par excellence of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. So much so that it won Tarantino an Oscar for writing. It is full of an A-List cast, slick story and music and even tampers with normal beginning, middle and end film structure. The biggest mystery though is: “what is in the briefcase?” Main characters Jules and Vincent (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta) go through a lot to get that case, nearly being shot twice and accidentally blowing off a guy’s head! All viewers can see is a golden glow when the case is opened. There are many theories about what is in the case. Some say it is Elvis Presley’s legendary gold suit, an Oscar, a nuclear weapon, The Holy Grail. Or even the soul of Marsellus Wallace himself. Fans speculate that the band aid on Wallace’s neck is the spot where the Devil took his soul. It would also explain the bullets missing Vincent and Jules. Although how would the robber in the restaurant know what it is? Perhaps it becomes obvious what a soul is when one sees it? Or perhaps what’s in the briefcase is a MacGuffin? Meaning something merely to progress the story along. Ah, what an enigma!