Who doesn’t love a fan theory regarding our favorite movies and TV shows? Sometimes, the crazier the better! Part of the joy of being a geek, a cynical consumer of pop culture, is the sometimes rampant speculation that goes with the territory.

Years ago this would have been playground talk. Having greedily consumed every morsel of information regarding the subject at hand (Star Wars, usually, in my playgrounds of the late 1970s and early 1980s) our imaginations would run riot.

Every plot hole would be filled, every tiny detail spun out into an entire story. Very few ever got realized, but we didn’t care. It was part of the joy of fandom.

Today, through the terrible idea that is the internet, in chat rooms, and in social media groups all over the globe, that playground talk still continues.

So what are the popular fan theories that are being shared out there on the internet? How have we entirely re-worked the message, or purpose, of a movie either in our heads or as groups of fans on the worldwide web?

Here are a few of our favorites.

Near, Far, Wherever You Are

Until James Cameron broke his own record with Avatar, the movie Titanic was King of the box-office world for years. The reason? It had a high rewatchability factor among its female target audience.

There were also re-releases including a read-along version. It also wasn’t totally horrible for a guy to have to sit through because at least there was action, explosions, and death in act III.

There is a theory out there. Ready? Here goes!

Jack is actually a time-traveler from the future and only boards the Titanic on a mission to save Rose’s life. Why does this theory have any traction? Well, Jack mentions Lake Wissota as a lake he once fished in. He also mentions a rollercoaster at Santa Monica Pier. However, neither of these things existed until many years after the Titanic sank in 1912.

Fans also point to Jack’s out-of-place hairstyle and fashion for the time period. Keen-eyed observers talk about his rucksack that wasn’t a popular mode of carrying belongings until deep into the 1930s.

Cameron, the man who hit the big-time by sending robots back from the future, slipping time travel into his biggest hit at the time? It’s possible… if you don’t think about it too much.

Something Fishy

Pixar’s Finding Nemo is a triumph. A great family film that makes Dad’s bottom lip wobble more than once as he watches it with the kids.  The fully realized underwater world, with classic Pixar characters and the emotional rollercoaster of an adventure, sets it in Pixar’s top tier.

But what if we have been getting it all wrong? What if it is much, much darker than we ever imagined?

Remember, at the start, Marlin wakes up from a barracuda attack on his family to find that only one of his eggs – Nemo – survived. His wife and other children are gone. Killed and eaten. One hell of a dark start, if we are honest. Even Roald Dahl would probably think that was a bit heavy.

So on that theme, the fan theory suggests this dark journey is only the start. In fact, Marlin, as a grief-stricken father, has lost his entire family and there were no survivors. Nemo actually isn’t real but is only a figment of Marlin’s imagination. Almost as if he’s made up to cope with PTSD, or grief, after the horrific incident.

The entire movie then becomes an allegory of a father’s journey through the five stages of grief. One fact that may seal the deal? “Nemo” actually means “nobody” in Latin.

The One That I Want

1970’s seminal musical Grease gave the world John Travolta and proved to the world that everything really was better in the 1950s.

Grease has a theory that is linked to the very beginning and the very end. Remember, Grease opens with Sandy and Danny meeting at the beach and ends with a final shot of the couple driving up towards the skies in a flying car.

Well, like quite a few of these fan theories it’s a dark one. The theory runs that Sandy actually died at the beach. Danny sings, “I saved her life; she nearly drowned” in Summer Nights. Well, he didn’t. She drowned.

Therefore the whole rest of the movie is a fantasy sequence playing in Sandy’s head as she dies. The last scene in the car signifies Sandy being sent up to heaven. She has, after all, got chills and they’re multiplying!

Save Ferris

John Hughes’ 1986 American classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a touchstone of every 80s kid. However, what if we told you there is no Ferris?

According to one long-standing theory about the classic teen flick, this is the case. The movie is actually all about Cameron and is in Cameron’s head. Ferris is simply the embodiment of the person Cameron actually wants to be.

Popular Ferris, risk-taking Ferris, with the beautiful girlfriend is the opposite of the awkward and self-loathing Cameron. Every adventure that takes place in the movie is actually a figment of Cameron’s imagination, as he lives vicariously through his imaginary friend – his view of the ideal, Ferris Bueller.

Bueller… anyone?

Chocolate Flavored Serial Killer

Is Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory a delightful, whimsical movie about a boy with big dreams and his adventures in a magical chocolate factory? Think again! Especially after the internet and fandom have got hold of it.

We know it’s creepy as hell in some places. Well, that could be for a reason. There is a theory that mystical, musical Willy Wonka is actually a calculated murderer who takes delight in luring the children into his factory.

Each of their comeuppances is actually planned and part of a Saw-style sick scheme of murder.

Suddenly it makes sense. Why is there footage of animal torture in a boat ride? Why is Wonka completely unfazed by the accidents and incidents throughout the movie? Why do the Oompa-Loompas always have a song and dance routine ready to go about what just happened?

They are all in it together, and it’s a sick slaughter game. The absolute murdering [email protected]!!

What’s In The Box?

The contents of the briefcase are the enduring mystery of Pulp Fiction, but not its main narrative drive. So it’s a strange item that piques curiosity. So what is it? The most popular fan theory that puts the much-debated topic to rest.

Take the mystical glow that comes from the case whenever opened. Remember the combination to get into the case is the number of the beast – 666. The theory runs that they have just stolen back Marsellus Wallace’s soul!

He sold his soul to the devil and now he’s stolen it back.

One thing that helps underline this? The band-aid on the back of Marsellus’ head. This correlates to the biblical text that says the devil takes your soul from the back of your head.

Marsellus Wallace is so bad-ass he survived the devil taking his soul. Damn!

Early Encounters

Spider-Man only entered the MCU in Captain America: Civil War? Wrong! He was in Iron Man 2, so the theory goes. The little kid behind the mask that Iron Man saved at the Stark Expo is Peter Parker himself. A giant science exposition in Queens, you bet your ass Peter Parker was there.

What makes this one so different? Well, it appears it is true. Spider-Man actor Tom Holland actually confirmed the theory in a 2016 interview with Huffington Post. That boy was a young Peter Parker. He was a Stark and Iron Man fan even back there.

Your Turn

What are the most outlandish movie theories you have heard? Or is there a favorite you subscribe to? Or one you have created yourself and often thought about it, but not had anywhere to share it until now?

Is the original Star Wars trilogy all Padme’s death-bed vision?

Is Romero’s zombie apocalypse divine retribution and each movie deals with a sin?

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