During the 1990s, the world gave birth to something that we couldn’t have possibly predicted would take over the world, and that was the Internet. Connecting people all around the world in ways that had never been done before, the Internet made the world suddenly a lot smaller.
More than that, the Internet gave people a place in which they can put their thoughts, feelings, and opinions out there in the world and also find like-minded people to share these thoughts with. A big proportion of the Internet these days is home to fans, whether they’re writing fanfiction for their favorite TV shows or movies, or if they are debating about those shows and movies themselves. As with all forms of art, movies are often open to interpretation and fans love to get sucked into a movie and look at the underlying meanings, layers, and themes. Sometimes, those theories get a little bit crazy. With that in mind, here are 15 fan theories about popular movies that actually might make sense.
15. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – A Figment Of Cameron’s Imagination
We start our list with one of the earliest and most famous fan theories around. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a cult classic which tells the story of Ferris Bueller as he decides to skip school for the day and gets into also sorts of trouble and adventures. The movie became a huge smash and made a star of its lead Matthew Broderick.
The fan theory has to do with Ferris’ friend Cameron, who is actually off from school because he really is sick in bed. The theory goes that everything that happened in this movie, and in fact Ferris Bueller himself, is all a figment of Cameron’s imagination. Everything that happened is Cameron’s dream of what he could do and what he could be like, even the girl in the movie, Sloane, is a girl that Cameron loves but has never had the courage to talk to, except in his imagination of course. A lot of people think that’s why Ferris constantly breaks the fourth wall to explain his thoughts, because that’s Cameron talking to himself.
14. Home Alone – A Deal With The Devil
Back in the 1990s, child star Macaulay Culkin was everywhere. Possibly one of the biggest child stars there has ever been, Culkin was in a string of big movies: My Girl, Uncle Buck, Richie Rich, and the biggest of them all, Home Alone. Telling the story of a young boy who gets left alone at home while his whole family goes away on vacation, the boy not only has to deal with being by himself, but he also has to fend off two burglars from breaking into his house, Micro Machines and paint cans at the ready!
However, there are some fans out there that think Home Alone has more of a sinister undertone to it than the family friendly comedy it claims to be. This theory comes into play when Kevin’s mother is desperate to get home. She stands in an airport crossroads and says she would sell her soul to get home. Suddenly John Candy appears, and when every other mode of transport seems to be out of action, Candy comes out of nowhere and takes her home in his van. People think that John Candy’s character is the devil and he’s claimed another soul.
13. Finding Nemo – Dealing With Grief
Next we come to a Disney classic, and with like a lot of Disney movies, they like to start with a tragedy. All of our childhoods have been affected by the death of Bambi’s mother or by Mufasa’s murder in The Lion King, and Finding Nemo is no different. At the start of the movie Nemo’s mother is killed, no doubt continuing Disney’s plan to fuel children’s nightmares! But that first scene in this movie is the cause for many fans to rethink this movie altogether.
As well as having the death of Nemo’s mother, the word “Nemo” actually comes from the latin meaning “no one.” Put those two things together and some people think that the entire movie is a fabrication by Nemo’s dad in order to deal with the loss of his wife. Nemo’s dad invented Nemo, but not only invented him, but invented a scenario in which Nemo was lost and he had to go on a quest in order to save him, that way he didn’t have to deal with his grief. There may be some of you out there that think we are looking too hard into this, after all it’s only a kids movie. However, Disney aren’t just known for putting death into their movies they’re also known for hiding metaphors and hidden meanings for the adults to find. So this fan theory is possibly true.
12. Forrest Gump – Who’s Your Daddy?
Our next entry is an Oscar-winning movie that put Tom Hanks firmly on top of Hollywood royalty and cemented him as one of the best actors of our generation. Forrest Gump told the story of lovable, if not simple-minded, Forrest Gump as he lived his life through many of the major historic moments of the 20th century such as Vietnam and Watergate, as well as interacting with some of the major figures in 20th century culture, like JFK, Elvis, and John Lennon to name a few. Throughout the entire movie there, is an underlying love story between Forrest and his childhood friend Jenny. Although Jenny grows up away from Forrest and has a very different life, Forrest always loves her willingly and blindly.
This love story is the subject of many of the fans theories about this movie. At the end of the movie, Jenny is dying of AIDs and returns to Forrest so he can help raise her child, which she told him is his. However, given Jenny’s lifestyle the child could be anyone’s and many people believe Jenny manipulated Forrest into thinking it was his child when in fact it wasn’t.
11. Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory – A Secret Slasher Flick
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a classic retelling of the Roald Dahl book in which poor boy Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to see his hero, Willy Wonka, and the chocolate factory in which he makes the best candy in the world. The movie, and the book, is littered with many of the worst traits any human beings can display; all the children that visit the factory display are examples of this, showing signs of greed, selfishness, stupidity, arrogance, and even lust. One by one these kids are caught out by their own personalities and the factory deals with them until there is only one kid left standing, Charlie Bucket.
In the movie, and the book, we don’t actually see the kids again but it’s implied that they are safe and are taken home. However, what if they weren’t? Many fans out there believe that this is the ultimate “slasher” story and in fact Willy Wonka lures the worst kids into his factory and uses them to make his secret candy. If he deems you as worthy then you can leave but if not then you are turned into the famous, and secret, Wonka Bars.
10. James Bond – Is It Really Bond?
So our next entry isn’t exactly a fan theory as such, but more of people’s reasoning for how the character can last as long as he has and how the super spy is seemingly immortal and indestructible. Ian Fleming’s James Bond has been gracing the big screen for many years and through many movies, and with each movie, and each actor, James Bond takes on the world’s worst terrorists and bad guys to keep us all safe.
There is a theory out there that the world’s most famous spy isn’t actually called James Bond. Just like 007, James Bond is a code name either passed on by person to person or given to the best agent at the time. This would easily explain how James Bond can change actors with each movie and more importantly, why James Bond always tells everyone his name. If you’re a super spy who lives his life under cover and in the shadows, you don’t go around introducing yourself to everyone. That is unless James Bond isn’t your real name.
9. Mary Poppins – A Time Lord Or A Nanny?
In 2018, Mary Poppins is getting a long awaited sequel with Emily Blunt starring as the magical nanny who brings wonder and excitement to the lives of children. The original movie, starring Julie Andrews, became a box office success and is often considered one of the best family movies ever made.
There are some fans out there who like to find hidden meanings within movies and their characters, and many people have focused that attention on Mary Poppins herself. Out of all the theories about her, the one that sticks in our mind is that Mary Poppins is a Time Lord. Just like The Doctor from Doctor Who, Mary Poppins defies reality and physics a lot, as well as bending the laws of time and space. After all, her bag can fit anything in it as if it were bigger on the inside, just like the T.A.R.D.I.S. There’s also her dress sense and the way she interacts with humans plus of course her umbrella that can seemingly fly, which is a very Time Lord thing to do.
8. Grease – Not Such A Happy Ending
Grease is the word! This high school musical made superstars of its stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and is still one of the most watched, and most staged, musicals in the world. Grease tells the story of high school students Danny, the cool greaser, and sweet girl Sandy as they meet, fall in love, and deal with everyday high school life and all set to a toe-tapping soundtrack. At the end of the movie we see our stars happy in love and then they… fly off in a magical flying car? This ending has always had people thinking “What?!” And that is the reason many fans have gone back through this movie and came up with one hell of a theory.
This fan theory states that Sandy is in fact dead and everything that happened in the movie is her dying. The flying car is her journey into heaven and Danny is her guide. The reason for this is not just the flying car at the end but how the pair met. Having met on the beach frolicking in the water, many people believed that Sandy drowned and the high school is a hallucination as her brain is being starved of oxygen. In the song “Summer Nights,” they recount how they met and the line “I saved her life, she nearly drowned” is enough for people to think she did in fact drown.
7. Harry Potter – A Young Boy’s Descent Into Madness
There is no denying that our next entry not only took the world by storm, but pretty much took over the world in general. The books became an instant smash hit and they made children, and adults, fall in love with reading again. The movies have become one of the biggest franchises in the history of the big screen and the brand name is even bigger. With theme parks and merchandising, the Harry Potter brand is almost as big as Disney!
However, there are some fans out there that think the events of the Harry Potter stories didn’t happen. (We know they didn’t happen in real life, we meant real in the Harry Potter universe!) Having had his parents die in a tragic accident, Harry is forced to live with his aunt and uncle who despise him. They bully him, lock him away under the stairs, and basically treat him like garbage. Then suddenly Harry Potter finds out he’s a wizard, not only a wizard but the most important person in the entire world. A lot of people out there think this is too good to be true and in fact the whole wizarding world is in Harry’s head and Hogwarts is a metaphor for a mental institute. It’s certainly an interesting theory.
6. Toy Story – Seen In A New Light
Pixar’s first big smash hit movie and a movie that changed family films, Toy Story, with its groundbreaking CGI technology, told the story of toys that come to life and what they get up to when adults aren’t around. The toys look to Woody the Cowboy as their leader until a new and exciting toy, Buzz Lightyear, comes along and steals Woody’s glory. The movie was a box office smash as were its sequels.
However, throughout all the Toy Story movies, there is one character that gets forgotten about and his story could be the most interesting. In the first Toy Story, Sid is a young brat who spends most of his days burning toys; firstly, many fans don’t believe that Sid was evil as he didn’t realize toys were alive so therefore didn’t do anything wrong. By the time we get to Toy Story 3, we see an older Sid as a garbage man. Many fans believe that being confronted by Woody in the first Toy Story movie changed Sid’s life and he took the job as a garbage man in order to save toys from the furnace.
5. The Karate Kid – A Different Perspective
This 80s movie is a classic example of a happy ending and a “loser” becoming the hero. The Karate Kid tells the tale of Daniel as he struggles to fit into his new town and school. He starts to get bullied by local thugs, led by Johnny. Soon Daniel meets an old man who takes him under his wing, teaches him the ways of karate, and Daniel bests his bullies and wins the girl. A true feel good movie. Well, that all depends on which view point you have.
A lot of people out there think that Daniel is actually the real bully and bad guy of this story and Johnny is the good guy. So from Johnny’s point of view: a new kid comes to school and takes a shine to your girlfriend. You try to scare him off a little but that doesn’t work as the new kid suddenly has a karate expert on his side, who Daniel then sets upon you, and he kicks your ass! You then decide to get revenge on Daniel but instead of doing it in the streets, like Daniel did, you decide to take you vengeance in the karate dojo like a professional would do. However, when you’re in the tournament your master wants you to cheat against Daniel, which you refuse to do because you want to win fairly, unlike everyone else! So the time comes at the end of the tournament when you get your chance to shine. However, Daniel decides to cheat and kicks you in the face, which is illegal, and he suddenly gets the glory and your girlfriend. What do you do next? Do you shout and scream? Do you call him a cheat and try to beat him up? No, you happily hand him the trophy and apologize for everything like the bigger man you are. Johnny is the hero of this story.
4. Harry Potter (Again) – A Grim Metaphor
We are back in the magical world of Harry Potter with our next entry, only this time we are not focusing on Harry himself but the story within the last instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In this movie, Hermione tells the story of The Three Brothers. In that story there were three brothers who met death while trying to cross a river. Because the brothers used magic to cross the river, where as normal people would have drowned, Death decided to reward the brothers. He gave one of them the Elder Wand, which is the most powerful wand, he gave another brother a stone so he can communicate with the dead, and the third brother got an invisibility cloak.
Some people out there think that the brothers represent characters within Harry Potter. The first brother is Voldemort, who craved power and eventually died because of it. The second brother was Snape, as he longed to be with the dead Lily Potter who he loved with all his heart, and the third brother was Harry himself, who greets Death as an old friend. Many people believe that Dumbledore is Death as he did in fact greet Harry in the afterlife, and also he has possessed all the Deathly Hallows at one point or another.
3. Groundhog Day – Stuck In Purgatory
Our next entry is a classic comedy which sees Bill Murray‘s character Phil the weatherman going to Punxsutawney in order to cover the Groundhog Day festival for the news, which of course he hates! While there, however, Phil gets caught in a time loop and every time he wakes up, it’s the same day again and again. Groundhog Day. The movie is a comedy classic and Bill Murray is at his grumpy best. However, since this movie first came out, fans have been watching and rewatching it in order to work out what this movie actually means. There have been many theories about it, even one that involves Phil being Buddha and having to repeat the day until he becomes enlightened and then he’s allowed to re-enter the world.
The most common, and we think the most likely, theory that we think best fits Groundhog Day is that the town of Punxsutawney is actually Purgatory and Phil died at the beginning of the movie. As fan theories go, this one actually works well as Phil has to re-live everyday, stuck in an endless loop until he realizes that he’s dead and then is allowed to move on.
2. Peter Pan – An Angel From Heaven?
Now we come to a magical story that many people grew up with. Peter Pan is the eternal child that lives in a magical place called Neverland. In this magical world, children never grow up and they can live out their lives in happiness doing whatever they want. They can even fly! This land is full of fairies, mermaids, and other magical creatures and you even get to have epic battles with pirates! Peter Pan is a truly great children’s book and a story that is filled with wonder and whimsy and it also fuelled many children’s imagination.
However, what if there was a more sinister undertone to everyone’s favorite story? Many fans out there think this is the case and that Peter Pan isn’t just a happy child from Neverland, he is in fact an angel that takes dead children to the afterlife. After all, Peter Pan flies into your bedroom and promises to take you to a land where you will never grow old or be unhappy. Given the fact that the book is set in a time when a lot of children died, there could be some truth to this hidden meaning as J.M. Barrie, the author of the book, wasn’t opposed to ideas such as this.
1. Titanic – Jack The Time Traveller
The number one entry on our list of movie fan theories is probably one of the most well known and debated theories around. James Cameron’s record-breaking movie about the Titanic has had people talking about it ever since it splashed onto the big screen.
We all know the story of the Titanic and what happened to it, so Cameron decided to make the movie a huge love story between Jack and Rose. In a Romeo and Juliet kind of way, Jack was poor and Rose was rich so they could never be together. Of course they got together, but their love story started when Jack stopped the depressed Rose from trying to jump off the ship and kill herself. Many fans out there think that Jack is in fact a time traveller and was sent back to stop Rose from killing herself because that act would have changed the future. Fans have looked at the character of Jack and a lot of things don’t add up to them; his clothes, hairstyle, and backpack weren’t common until later and he also mentions some things that weren’t around yet such as a roller coaster on Santa Monica Pier and Lake Wissota. Could Jack be a time traveller or could there have just been a few oversights in the script and the costume department? Either way, it’s an interesting theory.
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