When it comes to people listening to fan theories, there are two types of extreme receptions. There's the group that considers the theory, thinks about how it could apply to the show, and then applauds the thought that went into it. The other group involves the ones who snark, criticize, and point out all the places where the theory is weak. We invite both groups to ponder on the fan theories in this piece. Sitcom fan theories are some of the most challenging to put together, if only because sitcoms are often random and sprawling over time. Outside of characterization, there is little consistency in a sitcom's plot, at least when compared to a drama. Although many have a few threads of plot development over the course of a season or the entire series, most sitcoms focus on single episode storylines. All this jumping around doesn't help fan theorists, but some still found a way.
There are countless fan theories out there. While most are just silly ramblings based on a single episode or thought, there are some that are brilliant. Sure, it's possible that absolutely none of these have any accuracy at all, but they make us think and they're fun. So, why not hear them out? Rather than highlight the newest and most original, we decided to include the best of the best fan theories. These are the theories that fans have taken a real liking to. If you're a die-hard TV fan and fan theorist, you've likely heard many of these. But they're discussed often because they are the strongest. Here are 15 Wild and Potentially True Sitcom Fan Theories.
15 Sabrina The Teenage Closeted Gay Witch
Sabrina the Teenage Witch was the awesome story about a witch who needed to hide her true identity to her real-world friends. You can see how homos*xuality could fit in here, but so could every other unfairly persecuted people. What other evidence was there to relate it to being gay? Well, when she traveled to the witch world, she could be true self. There was also the fact that the access point to the witch world was a closet. Then, there were her "aunts," two attractive single women who take care of Sabrina. Sure, there are backstories for each of them and Sabrina's mother is on the periphery, but at the core, these two women appear to be a happy lesbian couple raising a gay daughter, each forced to hide their identities to protect themselves.
14 Time-Traveling Uncle Jesse
Time-traveling fan theories are a mixed bag because they are impossible to disprove. Still, the one that involves Uncle Jesse from Full House is interesting. OK, so remember how Steve Urkel was on Full House. Steve was the cousin of one of DJ's friends. When he knocks on the Tanner's door, it's uncle Jesse who answers. Jesse then helps Steve to be cooler, showing him how to walk and hold himself. So, they build a relationship and later, when Urkel builds a time machine, he returns the favor to Jesse. Now, think back to Jesse's mysterious "cousin" Stavros. Stavros looked exactly like Jesse with a fake mustache. He came over and took Michelle to the horse track, where he won big on a long shot bet. Seems fishy. Almost as if he knew the results. He then tries to con the rest of the family for more money and calls a fire hydrant "a little rocket ship." Well, this theory suggests that Stavros is Jesse from the future, trying to earn some cash while visiting his "perfect family." It's also possible that Jesse even ends up ruining his family later on and becomes Stavros, a cynical future version of himself. By ruffling some feathers, Stavros reminds Jesse how important his family is and saves him from his future.
13 Kramer Is A Widower
Many Seinfeld fans get angry when you try to apply logic or psychology to Kramer, but here we are. The Widowed Kramer theory is one that has been around for almost a decade, but people still enjoy it. The theory suggests that Kramer is a widow and this explains his personality. Although we learn that he has free rent (thanks to Paul Buchman from Mad About You) and he falls into money seemingly by accident, he still seems to have more money than he should. Some say inheritance, whereas this widow theory says life insurance from his wife's untimely death. But the evidence is clearer when dealing with the psychology of Kramer. He has a strange disassociation from women. His relationship with his mother is strained. He never has a serious relationship, almost pushing women away. Hell, he doesn't even know Elaine's last name. Then, there's Jerry. Kramer is overly attached to Jerry because he depends on him. Lonely to the core and needing Jerry to be a substitute partner in many ways, Kramer shares his life with Jerry.
12 Malcolm Becomes Walter White
For years, there's been a joke about Breaking Bad being the sequel to Malcolm in the Middle. This is funny because Hal and Walter are both played by Bryan Cranston and are wildly different characters. Now, that one's a joke, but the theory that suggests Walter is actually the grown-up version of Malcolm is more serious and better. Both Malcolm and Walter are incredibly intelligent and manipulative. Malcolm is very clever with a chemistry set and has been known to use that cleverness for bad. Interestingly, Malcolm's grandfather is named Walter, so he could be going by his grandfather's name or maybe that's just his middle name. The last name White is mundane enough that it could have been plucked out of the air easily.
11 Barney Ain't So Bad On How I Met Your Mother
Since Ted is narrating the entire story on How I Met Your Mother and Ted is the single worst person alive, it makes sense that he would fudge the story a bit. When you consider that Ted and Barney were going for the same girl too, it makes even more sense that Ted would lie about Barney. So, maybe Barney wasn't off trying to sleep with random women the entire time. Maybe he was trying to start a family and Ted just wanted his kids to side with him. Maybe he was manipulating them the entire time to think that he is a great guy when, in fact, he is the worst.
10 Family Matters – Die Hard – Ghostbusters
Reginald VelJohnson is the cop in everything. He plays Carl in Family Matters and the cop in Die Hard. He's also in Ghostbusters and is at the scene of the crime when the streams cross. Now, this might be where time gets all messed up. You see, in Die Hard, VelJohnson is a cop who apparently shot a kid. He says, "Oh, it was dark, I couldn't see him, he had a ray gun, looked real enough." That's all we get, but you know who likes Ray Guns? Well, we don't know, but Steve Urkel probably does. So, Carl ends up shooting Urkel then helps John McClane save the world. But the timelines are backwards, you say? Yeah, VelJohnson was sent to the future after the events of Ghostbusters. He kills Urkel, then rides the time machine from Family Matters back to start a new life with John McClane. That's pretty straightforward.
9 Kevin Is Trolling The Office
While some say that Kevin's devolution from normal guy to complete moron in The Office was just a flanderization of his character, others have suggested that he might have been trolling everyone. It does seem likely. So, we know that Kevin is extremely observant. He was the first to discover almost every secret relationship in the office. He's also an outstanding poker player and is very intelligent when he wants to be. At the end of the series, it turns out that Kevin has been shrewd with his finances and is able to buy a bar. This guy is no moron, but he wants everyone to think that so he isn't asked to take on extra responsibility. His mistakes are on purpose, but he doesn't do them to screw everyone else over. He does them to bother Angela and Oscar and to keep up his ruse. Well done, Kevin. You had us all fooled.
8 Monica Bang Or Monica Bing
Over the years, there were plenty of signs that Chandler and Monica were going to get together. It was never a sure thing for the writers, but the breadcrumbs were laid out just in case. There was the whole agreement to get together if they were single when they were 40. Chandler prodded her at the beach to see when and how Monica would ever date him as well. But what about when Monica smashed little Ben's head into the beam and he kept saying "Monica Bang?" What if that head trauma caused him to become clairvoyant? Rather than saying Monica Bang, he was actually saying Monica Bing. Even if he was saying Bang, it might still make sense since, as Ross said, Ben's alphabet was all messed up too. Maybe he was accidentally replacing the "I" with an "A."
7 The Evil Forces Behind Gilligan's Island
Over the years, there have been many fan theories about Gilligan's Island. Some have been confirmed such as the seven deadly sins theory, while others, like this one, just sound neat. So, the question of who or what kept the castaways on that island has always been around. Someone must be responsible. It was not just incompetence. For one, the castaways were discovered a number of times. Yet, they were never able to make it off the island. They built a robot, and it was mysteriously destroyed. There are plenty of suspects, but the main one is the Howell's son, Thurston Howell IV. Why was he never discussed by the Howells? When we meet him later on, Thurston IV is rich and living off his parents' fortune. There was the impostor, posing as Mr. Howell, the shipwreck being falsely blamed on the Skipper, and the Howell Industries bankruptcy hoax. While we accept that Thurston IV is somehow behind the shipwreck and keeping his parents stranded, we are unsure if the Skipper and Gilligan were in on it.
6 SpongeBob And Bikini Atoll
This is one fan theory that has been nearly confirmed, but there are still plenty of people who are unaware of the SpongeBob Squarepants and Bikini Atoll connection, so we've included it. Okay, we know Bikini Bottom is below Bikini Atoll, but are the strange creatures living down there the result of nuclear testing? Although the creators have denied that they are mutations due to radiation, it does make sense. They chose the location for more than just the play-on words. This might also help explain the incredible long lives the characters seem to have. SpongeBob is still a kid, but he's been employee of the month for almost 400 straight months. That's an old kid.
5 Toby Is The Scranton Strangler
The 'Toby is the Scranton Strangler in The Office' theory has long been one of the internet's favorites. This theory posits that Toby, the sad office punching bag, became the mysterious strangler after he was unable to come to terms with his horrible life. Everyone was rude to Toby. He had a failed marriage, couldn't bond with his daughter, and Pam fell in love with Jim and not him. After an awkward leg touching moment with Pam, Toby decides to move to Costa Rica. He runs out of the office and hops a fence, showing incredible speed and agility in the process. Only a few days into this Costa Rica trip, Toby breaks his neck and snaps. Every time we see or hear about the strangler, Toby is nowhere to be found. Toby, after being named to the jury which convicted a man for the crimes, later confesses that he believes the man is innocent. Is this his guilt creeping back in? Near the end of the series, Toby goes to the visit the accused Scranton Strangler and is apparently strangled by him. However, Toby could have easily faked this since he would have a neck brace at home.
4 Home Improvement And Jesus Christ
Even though the Home Improvement and Jesus Christ theory is simple and extremely broad, it's one of our favorites. The theory says that Tim the Toolman Taylor is a Christ-like figure, a carpenter facing down moral and ethical dilemmas each show. This alone is not enough, but when you consider that his neighbor, Wilson, might be God, the theory firms up a bit. Whenever Tim goes to Wilson for advice, it's on a particularly challenging problem. Wilson, rather than give straightforward answers, provides clues in riddles and anecdotes. This forces Tim to discover the answer in his own way, much like the teachings of God and the bible. It's also interesting that Wilson, the eternal gardener, is hidden from view, making his presence even more mysterious.
3 Corey's Eyes In Boy Meets World
The character development in Boy Meets World has led fans to think up interesting theories and explanations since the show has ended. Throughout the series, we see Eric, Corey's brother, Flanderized down into a dim-witted jokester, while Topanga went from free-wheeling flower child to attractive and intelligent girlfriend. One theory really explains this perfectly. The entire show is seen through Corey's eyes. On the one hand, when Corey was young, his brother was his hero, smart, charismatic, and helpful. As Corey got older, Eric devolved into a dumb ape. Topanga, on the other hand, was essentially an alien to Corey when he was a kid and not interested in girls. As he aged, Topanga became more "normal" for lack of a better term. Really, she was just being seen as someone not so different from Corey.
2 It's Always Deluded In Philadelphia
We know that the characters in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are deluded in many ways, but at least three of them (Dennis, Mac, and Dee) are wildly confident. All three of these believe themselves to be much better than they are in practically every way. They are always shocked when the world doesn't accept them as they see themselves. Well, one theory which has grown in popularity over the years suggests that these three are unreliable narrators. We see them the way they see themselves, while Charlie and Frank are shown accurately. Some think that in the end, it will be revealed that Mac is a skinny dweeb, Dennis is hideous and Dee will be exactly as birdlike as the guys say. She will also have terrible posture.
1 The Tornado In That '70s Show
Much has been made about the wonky timeline in That '70s Show, but there may be a theory that helps to explain it. If nothing else, this theory seems incredibly intentional for one episode. Everything that follows is a matter of faith. So, in the "Tornado Prom" episode, there is a heavy Wizard of Oz theme. Jackie dreams about the film and says something to the effect of, "when it's your dream, you can be whatever you want."
Now, earlier in the episode, everyone is put into lockdown because of a tornado. Eric, listening to music in the car, is unaware that the tornado is right behind him. As it nears his car, the scene shifts. The next time we see Eric, he shows up to "rescue" Donna. The conversation between these two exes at this point is very positive for Eric. She calls him "my hero," they kiss, she doesn't get mad at him for lying, and they go off to have burgers. Now, the most interesting part is a small line heard on the radio. Right after the newscast says that the tornado warning is off, they follow with, "And updating our top story, a local teen is in critical condition...." Now, this has to be intentional. So, the fan theory suggests that Eric is the teen and he was put into a coma. What follows is "his dream." Some go so far as to say the reason Eric leaves the show later on is because he would later die from his injuries, thus ending his dream.
Sources: Wikipedia; IMDB; Reddit; Youtube; Screen Rant