Fan theories are a lot of fun to think about. Sure, many of them have holes larger than the Monticello Dam, but even those are entertaining, if only to prove them wrong and shut them down. Some people seem to get personally offended by fan theories. We may not agree with a theory, but if you find yourself getting overheated and emotional while reading something you don’t enjoy, just take a few deep breaths and remember that these are supposed to be fun. If you don’t agree or believe in the validity of a certain fan theory, just read it and forget about it. There’s no use in shedding valuable years off your life by raging over some random fan theory.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what we will be discussing today. There are countless fan theories out there but only a select group are good enough to give true fans actual pause and consideration. The theories on this list are well-thought-out and, most importantly, plausible. Are they true? Well, for the most part, no. In fact, the filmmakers have come out and said that some of these are wrong. But, we’re of the mindset that once a film is made, the creator has no more power over the piece than anyone else. So, if it isn’t negated in the film, it’s still a possibility. But we don’t like fan theories because they may be true. We like them because they make us think. In our minds, the fan theories on this list do nothing but improve the films, if only by adding a new layer of discussion. So, let’s see what they do to your minds. Here are 20 Fan Film Theories That Change Our Minds About Massive Films.
20. Wall-E – The Serpent
In Wall-E, we have this sweet robot making it so that everyone can return to Earth. He seems like a good guy, but one theory suggests that he didn’t necessarily make human life easier. Humans were already in paradise. Wall-E, in this interpretation, is the serpent from the Garden of Eden. After finding a seedling, which represents the apple from Genesis, Wall-E gives it to Eve. The name is obviously quite fitting. Eve then shows it to the captain and humans are cast from their Paradise, forced to come back to Earth. The theorist also shows that Genesis 3:19 reads, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
19. Jurassic Park – Nedry’s Hood
Who could have imagined that we would be learning new things about Jurassic Park after all these years? But, one redditor has enlightened us. The theory helps explain what’s happening during Nedry’s encounter with the Dilophosaurus. It suggests that when Nedry first came upon the female Dilophosaurus (all the dinos are female), he was wearing a raincoat hood over his head. Notice how the dinosaur was following him playfully and making gentle noises. This is because the yellow raincoat hood made Nedry seem like he had a yellow cowl just like the Dilophosaurus. To the dinosaur, Nedry was a potential mate. It wasn’t until after Nedry fell and his hood fell down that the dinosaur recognized him as human and attacked.
18. Home Alone – Old Man Marley
The film Home Alone is an annual tradition for millions of families. In films like this, fan theories pop up all the time and are almost always cut down soon after. This is a sacred film that people don’t like messing with, but the Old Man Marley discussion is one that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. While the theory is only half baked, we would like you to consider that Marley is an angel of some sort. Sure, he has his own storyline and history, but that does not and should not take away from the very clear signs.
Look at all the hints. We first see Marley spreading salt, a biblical symbol of friendship. This is overshadowed by the talk of “The South Bend Shovel Slayer.” But even in that, we can draw parallels to the angels who turned Lot’s wife into salt. Next time we see him, he enters the store with a bloody hand. There is a very stigmata-like quality to this wound. Also, note the bell ringing (and the camera focusing in on the bell) when Marley enters the shop. This is likely not a coincidence considering the family is watching It’s a Wonderful Life (“every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”). Obviously, Marley doesn’t get his wings here or ever, but it makes us think Angel and that’s meaningful.
Later in the church, right before Marley utters his first words, the choir sings, “hear the angel voices.” Then, there’s Marley as the Deus Ex Machina, literally “god from the machine,” coming in and rescuing Kevin when all hope was lost. In the end, Marley gets his family back, his wings in a way, and we see that he has a supernatural way of healing, evidenced by his perfectly-healed hand.
17. Harry Potter – Avada Kedavra Origin
J.K. Rowling is a fan theorist’s worst nightmare. She is constantly shutting down theories and answering fan questions. She continues adding to the Harry Potter canon in interviews and even on Twitter like a parent trying to control her child into adulthood. Still, we like this one. Rowling herself said that she spun the word “abracadabra” to create “Avada Kedavra,” the killing curse. Now, Rowling was most interested in how the word was posted above doorways during the plague years as a way of magically keeping the plague away from homes. She figured the word meant “let the thing be destroyed,” in Aramaic, which it does not. Instead it means, “I create like the word,” but that’s neither here nor there. In the Potterverse, Muggles are familiar with the word “abracadabra.” This word is obviously closely connected to the very real word of Avada Kedavra. This well-liked fan theory suggests that the reason muggles are so familiar with the term “abracadabra” is because they have heard, feared, and associated all magic with the killing curse.
16. Jurassic World – Human DNA
When watching Jurassic World for the first time, one of the big questions was, what DNA was in the Indominus Rex? Of course, we learned that the big mystery was that it had velociraptor DNA in it. While this was interesting, it doesn’t explain everything. Some fans argue that the dinosaur’s intelligence was too high and that its hunting for sport was still out of character for what we know about the hybrid. There was also the biology and makeup of the dinosaur, the opposable thumbs mainly. What DNA would account for all of this? One of the easiest and perhaps most logical solutions, considering Dr. Wu’s personality, is that Wu put some of himself in the I. rex. The early talk surrounding Jurassic Park 4 had human dinosaur hybrids, so maybe.
15. Mulholland Drive And Twin Peaks
The parallels between these two projects are so great that we can only fit a fraction here, but still, we want to talk about some. Originally, Mulholland Drive was pitched as a spin-off from Twin Peaks. In Naomi Watts‘ place was meant to be Audrey Horne. That all changed, but look at the connections that remain. Many see the man behind Winkie’s Diner as a Woodsman from Twin Peaks. There’s also the theater in the Giant’s home in Twin Peaks, a theater that looks nearly identical to Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive. Also in Club Silencio, look at the other audience members. Sitting there is none other than Ronette Pulaski and Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks.
14. Fury Road – The Feral Kid
George Miller heard this theory and shut it down, but we think it’s solid enough to discuss here regardless of what Miller thinks. The theory suggests that the Max from Fury Road is not the same Max from the first films but instead, the feral boy from Road Warrior. Max came across this boy in the second film and gave him a music box, not coincidentally very much like the music box that the wives found in Max’s possessions in Fury Road. There’s other evidence too. In Road Warrior, we learn that this feral boy is the narrator of that film, grownup and old and remembering back.
What if Fury Road was also narrated by this boy? At the end of Fury Road, we hear the narrator say, “Max. My name is Max. That’s my name.” According to the theory, this delivery could be interpreted as marked by indecision, as if it is the first time the boy has claimed the moniker of Max. Sure, it goes against what we know of the boy’s life after Road Warrior, but maybe he took a break from setting up a new civilization and did Fury Road, still grunting and basically mute. After the events of the new film, he learned to speak more and grew into the old man who told these tales, starting with Road Warrior.
13. Back To The Future – Marty’s Many Attempts
All of Marty’s journeys seem to work out pretty great in Back to the Future. If you think about it, the very first time Marty sees the time machine, Doc Brown is killed. So we know that death is an option in the franchise. Obviously, Marty rewrites history and tells Doc about it because he has a conscience. But, Doc Brown is different. This theory suggests that Marty likely died several times throughout his journeys, but Doc was just always there to rewrite history for his pal and get things right. Basically, all of the crazy narrow escapes, such as the tunnel and the rooftop scenes, Doc probably had to try out several times to get Marty out safely. This is the only reasonable explanation for how Doc knows precisely when and where Marty will be able to escape in the nick of time.
12. Shrek – Pleasure Island
Even if there isn’t a whole lot of evidence in support of this theory, it’s interesting to consider what Donkey’s backstory might be in the Shrek universe. Since pretty much every character in the films are from a fairytale of some sort, fans have wondered where Donkey fits in. It may be that he was once a boy who turned into a donkey. Where would that crazy idea come from? Why, Pinocchio of course.
On Pleasure Island, mischievous boys are turned into donkeys slowly. Over time, they lose all humanity and become hee-hawing asses. Well, this theory argues that Donkey is a product of the island. This would explain why he remembers “wedgies and swirlies.” When asked about how, Donkey answers, “Some things are better left unsaid.” If he was a human, Donkey doesn’t look too fondly on those memories. Later, when Donkey and Puss in Boots switch bodies, Puss begins to hee-haw like the donkeys on Pleasure Island, but Donkey assures him that he will be able to control that in time, as if he has experience turning into a donkey. It may be no coincidence that this is just before we see a Pleasure Island of sorts in the film, as well as Pinocchio.
11. Ratatouille – Mama’s Food
To us, this one is not a theory. It’s canon. However, since no one has come out and said it’s correct, some fans have a hard time accepting it. The theory argues that Ego, the critic, was not tasting a ratatouille dinner that reminded him of his mother’s. It was his mother’s ratatouille. This is because the country house that Remy lived in, the lady that he watched cook for all those years and the owner of the cookbook he stole, was Ego’s mother. We get two shots of the house, one from Remy’s view and one from Ego’s. It is true that perhaps too much time passed in between, but the kitchen’s in those houses are eerily similar.
10. Heavyweights Is A Prequel To Dodgeball
If you’ve watched both of these films, this theory is not that hard to accept. We know that the character of White Goodman in Dodgeball was inspired by Tony Perkis in Heavyweights, but what if the latter was a prequel to Dodgeball? What if Perkins, after inheriting his father’s fortune, started Globo Gym after failing in the Fat Camp business? This would make sense as Perkins and Goodman are very close in character. They both have had very little interactions with other humans and demonstrate social stupidity on the regular. Perkins would have changed his name after his public disaster in Heavyweights to start a new life. When he failed in Dodgeball, he returned to the fat state that he had been fighting since he was a child.
9. Harry Potter – Weasley V Malfoy
Though this isn’t quite a “fan theory,” it’s interesting, so we’ve included it. This comes from a fan discussion of the deep-seated bitterness between the Weasleys and the Malfoys and where it comes from. It’s possible that this rivalry runs far deeper than we think and all leading to the battle between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange (a sister of Narcissa Malfoy). It starts with Ron’s great-great aunt Muriel. We learn that she has a thing against French people, or so we assume because of how she treats Bill’s wife, Fleur. This possibly goes back to a rivalry with the Malfoys, another French family. When it came time for Molly to battle Bellatrix, it may not have been just a mother’s rage that led her to kill Lestrange. Molly was raised in a dark family, so her links to these somewhat evil families may have come to the surface and maybe some of that prejudice too.
8. The Dark Knight – Detonators
In The Dark Knight, we know that the Joker likes to control chaos. He acts as if he likes things to be entirely chaotic, but he always has a plan to manage it in some way. When fans look at the boat scene, the one in which the Joker tells the two boats, one with civilians and one with prisoners, that they hold the detonators to bombs on the other boat and only one boat can make it through the night, some think that the Joker is not being entirely truthful. The argument is that each detonator actually controls the bombs on the passenger’s own boat. This means that, like the locations of Harvey and Rachel, the Joker’s instructions are actually the opposite of reality.
7. Harry Potter – Filch and Mrs. Norris
Fans have long been questioning the relationship between Filch and his cat, Mrs. Norris. Who is this cat? How does she live so long and is there anything else to her backstory? Now, since JK Rowling chooses to squash people’s fun, while adding to the Harry Potter canon daily and whenever she feels like it, this particular theory has been denied. But we’re talking about it because it’s not dealt within the pages or the film and, therefore, not canon, despite Rowling’s Twitter feed. The fan theory proposes that Mrs. Norris was once a woman who Filch loved. She was turned into a cat and unable to be turned back. Perhaps Filch liked her that way, so he didn’t seek outside help. Mrs. Norris might also be an unregistered Animagus. Maybe she was stuck in cat form against her will or maybe she prefers it in that form.
6. Star Wars – Connected Life Force
We all know the story. Anakin goes crazy. Padme gets scared and gets choked. She gives birth to two children and then dies, apparently of a broken heart. But what if her life force was transferred to Anakin when he became Darth Vader? This was all manipulated by Palpatine and, when Palpatine died, so too did Vader. This would help explain how a couple of Force Lightning bolts took down the great Lord Vader and how all the timing between deaths and rebirths seemed a little too convenient. Basically, everything is connected when you start tinkering with life forces.
5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Inferno
Despite this theory’s insistence on using Dante’s Inferno, we’re content just discussing the film being connected to hell in general. This begins with each of the children being manipulated by Slugsworth/Mr. Wilkinson, each being spoken to over their left shoulder as if communing with the devil. Then there’s the boat ride and the language used by Wonka. He’s clearly taking them to hell on the ferry. There are the various rooms which act like levels or rings of hell (this is where the Dante talk comes from), and each child is punished for their sins and written off. In the end, Charlie makes a deal with the devil to take over Hell.
4. Groundhog Day – Ned Is The Devil
People have long looked at Phil and Rita’s relationship as the key to the loop in Groundhog Day, but this theory suggests that it’s more likely Ned. On the first day, Phil insults Ned and then steps in a puddle. This marks the beginning. Note the framed shot of a steaming (or smoking) red coffee cup behind Ned as he laughs at Phil. This imagery seems to be symbolic. When Phil is finally freed, he breaks the loop by purchasing insurance or selling his soul to the devil. It might not be the happiest theory, but it certainly makes a whole lot of sense.
3. Labyrinth – Origins Of The Goblins
We are led to believe that Jareth, the Goblin King, seeks out Sarah in Labyrinth, because she resembles his former love (also named Sarah). He abducts her baby brother and Sarah must set out to save the baby (and learn valuable lessons along the way). If Sarah doesn’t rescue her brother in the allotted time, the baby will be turned into a goblin. One fan theory suggests that Jareth has been doing this for quite some time. What if all the goblins in the Labyrinth were once babies? To take it further, the babies were once the brothers of a Sarah too. This is why some of the characters that Sarah runs into expect her. They even expect her name to be Sarah. This is a cycle that has been going on for some time.
2. Predator – Masculinity
Maybe of all the theories in this list, this is our favorite. The theorist argues that every man in Predator dies in such a way that it mocks their outward display of masculinity. There is Hawkins who continuously tells a crude joke about his girlfriend’s private spot and how large it is. Later, he is killed by having a large gash cut into his stomach. There’s Blain who, after being shot, says that he “ain’t got time to bleed.” When he dies, he is shot through the stomach with a plasma beam, which cauterizes the wound so it doesn’t bleed. After Blain says this, Ramirez mocks him and asks if he has “time to duck”? This comes back when Ramirez is thrown through the air by a log trap much like he was throwing enemies through the air. Ironically, the log hit him in the chest when everyone else ducked. Dillon shows his masculinity by arm wrestling. He loses. Later, he loses that same arm. Mac is the one always shaving his head. He threatens Dillon by saying he will “bleed him slow and quiet.” Later, he dies slowly after being shot in the head that he was so obsessed with shaving.
1. Split – The Train
If you haven’t seen Split yet, don’t read ahead. Gone? Ok good.
So the rest of us have seen Split. We know the other movie connections in it. But, aside from one big connection at the end, think about what else we know. We know that Kevin’s mother beat him after he lost his father. His father died in a train crash that was set to arrive at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. We know this because Kevin lays flowers at the station. We also know that this was the station that David Dunn was headed to in Unbreakable, which can’t be a coincidence. This theory suggests that David Dunn’s train accident was the same one that killed Kevin’s father.
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