Ferris Bueller’s motto was that life moves pretty fast. And he was right. It’s been nearly 28 years since Ferris woke up to find a beautiful blue sky over suburban Chicago and decided to ditch school (for the ninth time). Teenagers across the country marveled as Ferris took his best friend and girlfriend on an epic adventure through their city when they should have been running laps around the soccer field in gym class. Ferris embodied everything that teens felt they were, but never had the courage to live up to. Not confined to the label of the “jock” or the “nerd”, Ferris was just Ferris. He was rebellious, yet caring; daring, yet poetic; and always cool.
Almost 30 years later, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remains just as popular as ever. It invokes nostalgia in adults and still manages to appeal to teens by relating to the need for that one thing we all crave when we’re young: freedom. But upon closer inspection, one has to wonder exactly how Ferris and his friends pulled such a day off. To a teenager, it just seems fun, but to an adult running a mental tab, it suddenly seems ridiculously expensive. And they’re right. If Ferris Bueller took his day off with his friends today, doing all the same things they did in the film, it would cost an approximate $1,946. Factor in the totaled car and that number jumps to a jaw-dropping $10,977,946. That’s quite the pricey day off. Continue reading to see how Ferris Bueller’s Day Off breaks down financially.
11 The Computerized Keyboard: $400
The keyboard Ferris uses at the beginning of the movie to simulate coughing and sneezing sounds, over the phone with other kids from his school to convince them that he’s sick, was a E-mu Emulator. In 1986, the E-mu was a popular music sampler and one of the first widely used keyboards to integrate computer technology. Technology has drastically progressed since then, but a comparable keyboard these days would be the Korg microSAMPLER, which runs a cool $400.
10 The Clarinet: $165
You can walk into a music store and pick yourself up a beginner clarinet for about $150. A pack of reeds runs in the $15.00 range. Professional instruction would tack a bit extra onto the tab but, as Ferris reminded us, he never had one lesson.
9 A Computer Fit For A Hacker: $650
As all fans know, Ferris’ sister Jeanie got a car, Ferris got a computer. He got a Commadore 64, to be exact. Ferris used his Commadore 64 to hack into his high school’s student files to change his attendance records. Apparently, along with being the most beloved teen in his town with a very active social life, he still managed to find time to be a computer nerd. Just call him a jack of all trades. Personal computers aren't the rarity today as they were in the 80s', though, so they cost a lot less. These days, a basic desktop computer fit for a student could run $650, depending on how generous his parents are feeling.
8 Posing As Abe Froman In A 5 Star Restaurant: $0
Unfortunately, the restaurant that Ferris and his friends dine in, Chez Quis, doesn’t exist (sad but true, the scene was filmed in Los Angeles.) But anyone looking for a high class meal can experience the elegance of fine dining at Everest restaurant, where a four course meal will run $120 a head. Being under the legal drinking age takes a chunk off the final tab, but with a tip, diners are still looking at a $450 without dessert. But as long as Ferris is sly enough to pass for the Sausage King Of Chicago a second time, he’ll be able to walk out with a meal on the house.
7 Visiting The Art Institute Of Chicago: $51
Adding the trip to the art museum was a good way of rounding off the events in the movie, showing that a day of care-free fun still needs some culture. Students get a discounted admission into The Art Institute Of Chicago, with ticket prices at $17 per person.
6 Climbing The Willis Tower: $57
"Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet." In 1986, it was the Sears Tower and it was the tallest building in the United States. Today, it’s called the Willis Tower and it’s the second tallest (although the folks of Chicago will argue that the antenna on top of One World Trade Center doesn’t count.) Either way, it’s a breathtaking view. Admission to climb your way to the top of the city costs $19 a pop today.
5 Chicago Board Of Trade: $0
Like any high school student would be apt to do, Ferris and his friends take time out of their day to stop and check out how the DOW is doing. If they were to visit the Chicago Board Of Trade today, it wouldn't cost a penny. But, they would have to make a reservation ahead of time in order to get in. They would also be forced to take a guided tour, which wouldn't allow for much time to debate whether or not Ferris and his girlfriend Sloane should get married.
4 A Game At Wrigley Field: $228
It wouldn't be a proper day in Chicago without taking in an afternoon Cubs game at Wrigley Field. But tickets in the Field Box Infield section where Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane sat in ’86 run an average of $60 a pop these days. Add three orders of nachos and large sodas onto the bill and it’s “sa-wing, batta!”
3 Fine For Jumping A Parade Float: $250
Critics have criticized the parade scene due to the probability of anyone actually jumping on a parade float and staging an unrehearsed, yet perfectly choreographed musical number without getting tackled by authorities is slim to none. But keep in mind that it was the 80s and life was different. So, for fun, let’s just assume it was possible. Today, Ferris could expect to get slapped with a Disorderly Conduct charge at minimum, which comes with a fine anywhere from $25 to $10,000 in Chicago. To keep with the light spirit of the movie, let’s assume the judge liked his Wayne Newton rendition and kept it at $250. Criminal charges would put a serious damper on Ferris’ day, though, as there’s no way a misdemeanor would go unnoticed by his parents, even as oblivious as they were.
2 Parking And Gas For The Day In Chicago: $145
Parking in downtown Chicago would cost Ferris about $35 for the day. With a tip, that would bring the charge to make it at least $45. Cruising to and from the suburbs (don’t forget the joyride) in a Ferrari through Chicago where gas has spiked to over $4 a gallon, a full tank of gas could run upwards of $100.
1 And, Of Course, The Totaled Ferrari: $10,976,000
Viewers are never given the chance to see Cameron’s dad’s reaction to the destruction of his prized possession, but one can imagine that it was quite tragic. One can also imagine that the conversation of what exactly happened went beyond what Cameron said would be a “little chat.” Especially considering that the car that they totaled was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California and is currently worth $10,976,000. Since a sequel was never made, the world will never know whether or not Cameron’s dad agreed with Ferris’ philosophy that “it’s his fault he didn't lock the garage.” Even if he did, chances are he expected Ferris and friends to pony up his insurance deductible.