Fan theories are a dime a dozen. You can’t turn a corner on the internet these days without running into some crazed fan’s theory about movies and their characters, plotlines, and endings. It’s safe to say that most of these ramblings are garbage and nothing more than a poor attempt at fan fiction. They’re either too far-fetched to make any sense or demand too much imagination from the audience.
But every once in a while, a ridiculous fan theory will pop up and you’ll realize that the more you read it, the more sense it begins to make. That’s what this post is for. I’ve compiled 15 fan theories that may sound completely crazy at first, but gradually begin to make a lot of sense when you really connect the dots with the evidence that’s presented to you. I’ll admit… some of these are so bizarre that I wish they were actually true! And while none of these theories have been proven to be factual, they’re still fun to speculate about nonetheless. Here are 15 of the best fan theories from the internet, compiled in an attempt to blow your mind and change the way you see these movies and TV shows… forever.
18. Mr. Bean Is An Alien From Outer Space
Although it was never officially mentioned, we all know that Mr. Bean is an alien… right? I mean the show’s opening sequence literally shows him dropping down to Earth via a beam of light from what is presumably a spaceship, so what else could it mean? There have been fan theories about the hilarious character made famous by comedic legend Rowan Atkinson for decades now, but this one seems to be the most obvious, and most likely to be true, of them all.
Think about it. Mr. Bean is an alien who was sent down to Earth either because his own race couldn’t stand his bumbling antics any longer, or because they wanted to place a “spy” among us to study our ways. This would perfectly explain why he’s so damn odd around people and has no sense of what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. He also tries his best to integrate himself into society as a regular person by going on dates with his girlfriend, or by throwing extremely awkward New Year’s parties for the two people in this world who consider themselves his friends. Of course, all of this often results in typical Bean-esque hijinks. Heck, there’s even an episode in the Mr. Bean animated series that shows him meeting up with aliens from outer space who look exactly like him!
17. Bikini Bottom Is A Nuclear Test Site
It’s not a post about fan theories unless it gets a little dark. SpongeBob Squarepants has always had a subtle connection to atomic bomb tests (especially during the show’s earlier seasons), and that’s probably because Bikini Bottom is actually at the sea floor surrounding Bikini Atoll… a site that used to be a hotbed for nuclear testing!
Here’s some evidence to back this ridiculous fan theory. The connection to atomic bomb tests I mentioned before actually comes from the fact that early episodes in the show would regularly use stock footage of Operation Crossroads: Baker whenever the cartoonists wanted to show a massive underwater explosion. Of course, the imagery was used lightheartedly and was part of the show’s eccentric sense of humor, but it gets a little weird when you realize where Operation Crossroads came from. ‘Baker’ was basically the first series of post-war atomic bomb tests, and both of these ~20 kiloton drops were conducted at… you guessed it, Bikini Atoll!
And that’s not all. Whenever the show uses live-action footage of an exploding nuclear bomb, they always use visuals of the Bikini Atoll bomb test. This became such a recurring choice of imagery on the show, that fans pretty much considered it canon that SpongeBob and his friends are a bunch of irradiated sea creatures.
16. Jessie’s Owner Is Andy’s Mom In “Toy Story 2”
This fan theory goes way back, but it’s one of the most reasonable ones to ever surface on the internet. In Toy Story 2, we’re introduced to Jessie, a character in Woody’s line of toys based on a popular TV show that ran in the 60’s and 70’s. In one of the film’s most heart-wrenching moments, Jessie talks about her owner, a girl named Emily, who gave Jessie up a long time ago. It seems like a sad story until you realize that Jessie’s real owner may have been none other than Andy’s mom, and that’s when things start to get really emotional! Notice how Andy’s cowboy hat is actually Jessie’s instead of Woody’s… and the hat is probably a couple of decades old. How do we know this? Well, the string of white lace that goes around it is missing… but if you look closely, you’ll see that the hat has a faded area from where the lace used to be!
Still not convinced? During Jessie’s flashback scene, there’s an identical hat to the one Andy wears on Emily’s bed. Emily’s bedroom is also filled with 60’s and 70’s memorabilia, which would line up with Andy’s mom’s age. If I could pick one fan theory to buy, I’d pick this in a heartbeat. It’s just poetic how Jessie finally found her way back to her old owner… or at least her old owner’s son.
15. Gandalf Gave Away The Ending In The First Movie
People normally ask, “If Gandalf could summon the Great Eagles at any given moment, why didn’t he just ask them to fly the Fellowship to Mordor in the first place?” Well for one, they’re giant mythical creatures… not Uber drivers. And second of all, he actually did! (Well… according to this theory, at least) Remember when Gandalf and the Fellowship were confronted by the ancient being known as the Balrog in the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring? It’s the scene that created the iconic “You shall not pass!” moment that has echoed through time in the form of memes, one-liners, and bad punchlines. In any case, Gandalf sacrifices himself by staying back and fighting the beast while telling the rest of the crew to flee. Unfortunately, Gandalf is dragged down to the abyss by the primordial entity, but not before whispering something very important to his friends. “Fly, you fools!”
That’s right, Gandalf smartened them up to the Eagles very early on… but his advice went unheard. Maybe it was because one, he was being dragged down by a monster made of literal fire, and two, he’s the only one who could summon those big birds in the first place. No biggie though, since Gandalf would return looking fancier and more wizardly than ever in the next movie.
14. Anakin Tricked Padme Into Loving Him
Since we’re already in darker territories, let’s keep the vibe going with the Dark One himself… Darth Vader! Fans of Star Wars have always found it a bit weird that Padme Amidala would have formed romantic feelings for Anakin, let alone completely fall in love with him. Even if we ignore the fact that she met Anakin when he was only a child, her sentiments towards him in the beginning of Attack Of The Clones were the opposite of romantic. So what happened? Well, some fans theorize that Padme’s love for Anakin was nothing but a twisted Jedi mind trick. I told you we’d get dark with this one.
There are two theories here. One states that Anakin’s Force-powers were so powerful that his obsession with Padme seeped into her psyche unbeknown to Anakin himself. But the more popular theory is that Anakin was more damaged than we suspected, and he used the Force to trick Padme into obsessing over him as well. That would explain why she was so nonchalant – let alone somewhat sympathetic – when Anakin told her about butchering innocent Tuskan raiders. While this gives the story a much darker vibe, it also means that Darth Vader had taken over in Anakin’s psyche a lot sooner than we were led to believe.
13. Jack Is A Time Traveler On The Titanic
Okay, this theory is so ridiculously stupid that I wish it were true! Moviegoers have perpetuated the theory that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic, Jack, is actually a time traveler who is sent back to the year 1912 to save Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, from jumping off the edge of the ship and killing herself! As if that wasn’t crazy enough, theorists explain that if Rose killed herself, the ship would have had to stop, hence preventing it from hitting the iceberg, because apparently warmer weather would have settled in by the time the search for Rose ended, and the ship would have never met its horrific end… thus changing the course of history forever.
There’s even evidence to support this theory. For one, Jack has no money from that time period, which is why he gambles for his tickets. I always assumed Jack was, much like the artists of today, broke as all f*ck. But apparently it’s because he could bypass the space-time continuum. Also, Jack regularly mentions landmarks that were yet to be built in 1912… such as Lake Wissota and the Santa Monica Pier. Some people have also pointed out that his haircut and backpack were not accurate for that era. And to top it all off, director James Cameron also made Terminator and T2: Judgment Day, both movies about convoluted timelines and cybernetic time travelers… so there you go!
12. “Aladdin” Takes Place In A Post-Apocalyptic Future
Since we’re on the subject of time, let’s talk about Aladdin for a second. What if instead of taking place in the old-timey fictional city of Agrabah (which sounds like a name based on Agra, the city in India that houses the Taj Mahal… which ironically looks a lot like the Sultan’s palace in the film), it actually takes place in a futuristic post-apocalyptic wasteland! That’s right, even though this is a kid’s cartoon that’s meant to be taken lightly, fans have gone above and beyond to provide evidence that Aladdin actually takes place in the year 10,300 A.D. Here’s proof: Genie calls Aladdin’s clothes “so third century”, and also says earlier in the film that he was locked in the Lamp for 10,000 years ie it must be the year 10,300… I think? Also, notice how Genie makes so many pop-culture references that seemingly hadn’t even taken place before that time, like mimicking Jack Nicholson in one particular scene. There’s even an expanded version of this theory that explains Carpet’s ability to fly as futuristic hover technology, and says that Iago can talk either because parrots had developed complex speech by then or we just figured out how to understand them.
11. Cobb’s Totem Is Not The Spinning Top… It’s His Wedding Ring!
The ending of Inception has been debated ad nauseam. We still can’t be completely sure if Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, is in the dream world or if he finds his children in reality. Does the spinning top actually stop spinning? And… what if the spinning top was never his totem to begin with? It’s somewhat obvious in the film that the spinning top was always Mal’s totem. She used it before she lost her mind and eventually lost herself to the dreamscape. Director Christopher Nolan hid Cobb’s totem in plain sight… and it’s none other than his wedding ring! In the real world, Cobb doesn’t wear his ring, but in the dream world, he always has his ring on. This puts a slightly disturbing spin on that last scene, because Cobb doesn’t have his ring on, which means he must still be in the dreamscape. It probably means he has lost himself in there, but it doesn’t matter because he’s finally with his children… or at least he believes he is.
10. “Frozen” and “Tarzan” Are In the Same Universe
Here’s a notion that might be more than just an outlandish fan theory. While it’s common for Disney characters to make brief, almost-hidden cameos in movies that aren’t their own, this theory about Frozen and Tarzan being a part of the same narrative tapestry actually makes a lot of sense. If you remember, Elsa and Anna’s parents are presumably doomed when their ship gets destroyed at sea. But apparently that’s not completely true. According to this theory, the King and Queen are shipwrecked on a jungle island, where the Queen gives birth to a baby boy. Unfortunately, there’s a man-eating leopard on the loose (talk about sh*tty luck), so now this King and Queen who had to survive a frickin’ shipwreck and deliver a baby in the middle of the goddamn jungle are devoured by a bloodthirsty predator. Great. However, the baby is saved by a family of gorillas and grows up to be… Tarzan?
Does that sound too crazy? Keep in mind that Chris Buck, the man who directed Frozen, is also the director of Tarzan! He even jokingly confirmed the popular theory on a Reddit AMA. Although the timeline may be a little wonky, knowing that Frozen and Tarzan are in one big shared universe is actually pretty cool.
9. The Joker Is A War Veteran
Of all the fan theories I’ve seen, this one makes a heck of a lot of sense. In fact, it’s not even remotely ridiculous. In The Dark Knight, we never get to really see the origins of The Joker and we’re given absolutely no backstory to this character. Much like the comics and cartoons, The Joker’s true identity remains a mystery. However, the most popular theory is that The Joker is ex-military. He’s possibly either a war veteran whose psyche has been severely damaged by the effects of war, or someone who joined the war for all the wrong reasons… because it gave him at outlet to unleash his thirst for killing.
The theory is backed up by the fact that, as seen in the movie, The Joker is an expert strategist who has a proficiency with explosives and firearms, and he even knows how to march and salute with the rest of the policemen. But by far the most telling sign is The Joker’s line about no one batting an eye when a truck full of soldiers is blown up. For a maniac who has absolutely no value for human life, his sudden sentiment regarding soldiers always seemed a bit uncharacteristic. While I’m actually hoping The Joker’s origins are never truly revealed, if this theory was considered canon I’d be totally okay with it.
8. Everything In “Grease” Is A Coma Dream
It’s safe to say that Grease is the movie that took musicals and made it “cool” in the American mainstream consciousness… but what if the movie isn’t the happy-go-lucky parade of songs, romance, and dance numbers that we think it is? What if Olivia Newton-John’s character, Sandy, actually drowns on the beach in the beginning of the movie, goes into a coma, and the rest of the film is just an elaborate fantasy that takes place insider her own head? In the tradition of taking a carefree movie and turning it into a dark and depressing case study of the depths of one’s own mental abyss, fans have theorized ad nauseam that the only way flash mobs and flying cars could be considered an everyday, normal occurrence in Grease is because none of it is real. They’re all hyper-detailed delusions of a young girl who’s drunk on youth, love, and the “what ifs” of life that she’ll never get to experience. In the final scene of the movie, Sandy and Danny (John Travolta) fly up, up and away in Danny’s red convertible, signaling the end of the school year and in reality, Sandy’s ascension into the afterlife.
7. Andy Dufresne Is A Guilty Sociopath
The Shawshank Redemption is a timeless classic about a man who escapes prison with an ingenious plan and goes on to live a carefree life by the sea, but there has always been an underlying debate regarding Andy Dufresne’s (Tim Robbins) innocence. As far as fan theories go, this one actually holds a lot of merit. It turns the movie on its head by asking the viewer to see Andy Dufresne not as an innocent man falsely convicted of murder, but as a remorseless sociopath and a master of manipulation. Andy’s alibi states that he did indeed buy a gun while drunk to shoot his cheating wife and her lover, only to change his mind at the last minute. In a twisted turn of events, someone else had murdered the adulterers instead, and the blame fell squarely on Dufresne. As if that doesn’t sound like too much of a coincidence, the police also found fingerprints all over the murder weapon. If this theory is true, it means that Andy Dufresne’s nonchalance inside the prison is a result of his own sociopathic behavior. He befriends Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, just to use his resources, the same way he befriends the prison guards and Tommy just to acquire special treatment and another trial.
Now here’s the kicker. In the movie, Andy Dufresne is obsessed with chess, which is an angle that never really plays out until you realize that it’s a metaphor about how everyone in this story are pawns and pieces in Andy’s elaborate scheme to escape. He basically took everyone for fools; Red, Tommy, the prison guards… and even the audience.
6. Ferris Bueller And Cameron Frye Are The Same Person
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will never not be an evergreen classic about life, freedom, and the coming of age… but we’ve all had that sinking feeling that Ferris and Cameron are actually the same person, right?
…. no? Just me? Alright then.
As far as Fight Club-level theories go, this one takes the cake! It explains that Ferris as well as the entirety of his proverbial day off are nothing but a figment of Cameron’s elaborate imagination. It’s easy to chuck this theory out the window until you think about this as a story of Cameron standing up to his super-strict father. If Ferris really is a conjured-up version of Cameron’s own reality, it makes the events of the film way more believable, especially the “Twist & Shout” parade scene. It also adds meaning to the big finale when the gang destroy Cameron’s father’s Ferrari, with Cameron eventually accepting full responsibility. It shows that Cameron has finally found the courage to break out of his cocoon and stand up for himself. Granted, there’s a bunch of stuff in the movie that doesn’t line up with this bizarre theory, but if you imagine every character seeing Cameron as himself instead of Ferris, it starts to make a little more sense. I wouldn’t want this to be true, but it turns the movie inside out just thinking about it.
5. The “Kid” Isn’t Really Forrest Gump’s Son
It’s hard to say which movie really elevated Tom Hanks into superstardom, but if I had to take a bet I’d go with the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump. The story of a fictional man named Forrest and his box-of-chocolates-like life ends with Forrest reuniting with his son, whom he didn’t even know existed until the third act of the film. That’s all fine and dandy until you realize that there’s no real evidence to confirm that the boy who was presented to Forrest is actually his son!
According to a popular fan theory, Forrest Gump’s childhood love, Jenny, might have made Forrest believe that the boy was his son simply because they shared one night of intimacy a few years ago, and the fact that she knew Forrest wasn’t very sharp. It would never occur to him that Jenny could be lying. Heck, Jenny herself may not know who the real father is! In order to ensure that her son would be looked after once she’s gone, Jenny might have had to rely on the one person she knew would safeguard her child with all his life, and it was none other than Forrest Gump. In the end, Jenny succumbs to complications from AIDS, and Forrest spends his days running his empire while raising his newfound son.
4. Stan Lee Is “The Watcher”
A “Stan Lee cameo” is something to look forward to in every Marvel film. But what if Stan’s various cameos as a multitude of different characters aren’t random, but instead a part of a greater character called “The Watcher”? That’s right, there’s a race of omniscient beings in the Marvel universe called “the watchers”, and their job is to observe and compile information about everything that happens within the context of their respective universes. And who better to cast as such a powerful, omnipresent entity than the creator of much of Marvel’s fleet of superhumans himself, Stan Lee; a man who has transcended studio laws and boundaries by appearing in the X-Men films in the same way he appears in Sony’s Spider-Man universe, while also dabbling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If you think about it, Stan Lee is the true connective tissue that binds these worlds together, even if it’s in a highly playful and unofficial way. “The Watcher” has no boundaries of space and time in the comics and can appear in any form, which gives even more credence to this theory that Stan Lee is in fact a character that looks over all these heroes and villains in all these different movies… even if they don’t take place within the same timeline.
3. Jurassic Park Was An Elaborate Sham
Jurassic Park is one of my favorite films, which is why this is one of my favorite fan theories. While it’s never outwardly stated, Jurassic Park on a whole may have been an elaborate sham by John Hammond himself, who was a con artiste through and through. Sound a bit harsh? Well there’s more to this theory. We’re led to believe that Hammond brought dinosaurs back to life by extracting DNA from a mosquito that’s caught in tree sap, thereby being frozen in time, right? This logic falls short when you realize that DNA has a half-life and couldn’t survive that long, tree sap or otherwise. Also, there’s no way to extract individual strands of DNA from a mosquito that probably fed off dozens of different dinos. Which means, the mosquito was just a fictional front story meant to explain to the public how these ancient creatures were brought back to life.
Jurassic Park re-created dinosaurs based on popular perception. Real dinosaurs didn’t look anything like the creatures we see in the movies, and this was even brought up in Jurassic World when it is explained that these so-called dinosaurs are really just a mish-mash of various species of animals. They’re an amalgamation of beasts and aren’t in their purest form. All this means is that John Hammond was a showman and an entertainer. He even tells a story about a flea circus during the first half of Jurassic Park, and how he loved watching people stare in awe at his gimmicks. Pump billions of dollars and freakish genetic engineering into that obsession, and you have Jurassic Park! The series itself has never shied away from themes of morality concerning creating these animals from scratch, which only further enhances the theory that Jurassic Park was never really about bringing dinosaurs back to life… in fact those weren’t dinosaurs at all, and the mosquito in the sap was nothing more than a prop piece in John Hammond’s giant con.
2. Jar Jar Binks Is A Sith Lord
There’s no denying that Jar Jar Binks is a bumbling mess of a character, but what if his buffoonery was just a ruse to hide his true hideous nature… which is that of an ancient Sith Lord! Fans have long speculated that Jar Jar Binks was always meant to be something more in the Star Wars universe, but because the backlash was so intense after The Phantom Menace, director George Lucas decided to all but write off the Gungan’s role in future movies. Lucas has also said many times that Jar Jar was meant to be a pivotal piece – probably even the epicenter – of the prequel trilogy. Here’s the evidence that gives credence to this insane fan theory.
Jar Jar is always seen walking side by side with Senator Palpatine in numerous scenes, including during Qui-Gonn’s final tribute. He seemingly uses the “mind trick” gesture multiple times during the film when speaking to high-ranking personnel and other key characters. Jar Jar even moves his lips during instances when he isn’t saying anything. Add all this to the fact that he has the fiery eyes of a Sith practitioner and a fool’s persona that rivals Yoda’s own façade in The Empire Strikes Back, and you have yourself a crazy-as-bananas theory that might actually hold more credibility that you’d expect.
Here’s the most interesting bit of information. In an interview by Jamie Stangroom with the actor behind Jar Jar Binks, Ahmed Best, he all but confirms the theory that there’s a lot more to Jar Jar Binks than we were led to believe. In fact, Best said that during initial talks, he was sworn to secrecy about the true nature of Binks and what the seemingly idiotic Gungan meant to the balance of the Force… but stops short of giving us confirmation to the “Darth Jar Jar” theory. The video also shows Best putting on his hypothetical “Darth Jar Jar” impression, and it’s as terrifying as it sounds.
1. Dorothy Is The Wicked Witch Of The East
I’m not sure if this is even considered a theory or just fact at this point. If you’ve seen The Wizard Of Oz, you know that Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept off in a hurricane and taken far away from Kansas and into the mythical land known as Oz. There, Dorothy meets a who’s who of weird characters who seem so bizarre yet so familiar at the same time. It becomes pretty obvious that these characters are mirror versions of the people she had known from back home, on Uncle Henry and Auntie Em’s farm. The farmhands are Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion, while Professor Marvel is obviously the titular Wizard. Which begs the question… then who’s Dorothy?
Shouldn’t she have a mirrored character in Oz as well? Well if you remember correctly, Dorothy’s house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her just as the story begins. Fans have always believed that the Witch was indeed Dorothy’s sideways world twin. Dorothy even plucked the witch’s ruby red shoes and wore it on herself. The notion gets weirder the more you think about it and is loaded with tons of metaphorical value, but it makes total sense that Dorothy killed her mirror image the moment she landed in Oz. How’s that for fan theory?