When watching a movie for the first time, it's easy to get absorbed in the plot. After all, that's what they're made for—to take us on a journey in a cinematic world that doesn't really exist. But maybe there is more to the plot than meets the eye sometimes. Maybe we've missed the real point all along! There are all sorts of fan theories out there, and some will really make you think. Check out the wildest ideas about your favorite films, next!
Maybe Forrest's Son Wasn't Really His
Millions agreed that Forrest Gump was the perfect movie. We laughed, we cried, and we learned something about life. Then, we watched it again and again, and started all over. Spoiler alert: What really moved us near the end was the discovery that Forrest had fathered a child, years ago with Jenny. He was just as surprised as we were! But online, it seems there are some skeptics. What's the alternate theory about that plotline?
Apparently, some people think that Jenny knew she was dying and decided she needed someone to raise her son. Maybe it was never Forrest's DNA, and he was too gullible to ever question the claim. Could that be true?
Zion Is Still Part of The Matrix
The Matrix really blew our mind the first time around. Then, the sequels made our hearts race as we followed Neo and the gang in a neverending saga. One place they all hoped to save was Zion, the last bastion of civilization outside robot control. It's a noble goal, to be sure. But some fans have a disappointing theory about that aspect of the story. What if Zion was an illusion, too?
If true, that's a pretty bleak situation. In such a scenario, all of humanity would be in a fantasy world. Plugged into machines, they would have no way out. Sad!
Sandy Was Dead The Whole Time
Grease is a musical that even jocks loved. Those songs were undeniably catchy! But in one duet, we remember lyrics implying that Sandy was having trouble in the water. We recall: "She swam by me, she got a cramp. He ran by me, got my suit damp. I saved her life, she nearly drowned. He showed off, splashing around." But honestly, do we really know that this is how that played out?
Some fans say that Sandy actually did drown. The love story is a fantasy playing out as she tries to maintain consciousness, and the flying car at the end is her death as she ascends to heaven. Pretty freaky if true!
James Bond Is Purposely Many Guys
Sure, we know that James Bond has been played by numerous actors over the decades. The film franchise just goes on and on, and each generation has their handsome leading man. But what if we told you that this wasn't just a feature of real-world aging? With 25 movies to date, some fans theorize that there is an internal plotline that justifies the changing of faces. And it's an order straight from the Queen!
Some believe that 007 is just a code for whoever the top MI5 spy happens to be at the moment. That way, it makes sense that all these actors have the same job. Seem plausible?
Morgan Freeman Was Satan in Bruce Almighty
Bruce Almighty was a film concept we loved. What if God himself granted everyone's wishes at the same time? Obviously, that would be chaos. We all want different things, and opposites cannot exist at once. Some fans wonder if Morgan Freeman was really the big man, though. The test given to mortal man Bruce seems like a trick that only the devil would try out. It's not like he has to be honest about who he is!
It's clever, it's devious, and we are honestly open to this plot twist. But we don't know if we're ever going to get definitive answers to this one. The mystery continues!
Ferris Bueller Was All in Cameron's Head
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic adored by film fans to this day. The pressures of teenage life are a timeless theme, and we loved the idea that a few youngsters tricked the system. Just for a day, anyway! According to some fans, though, that might not have actually happened. There is some chance that the adventure with Ferris was all a daydream of Cameron. We could see that he needed a mental health break in that story!
We can see that Cameron idealized his friend Ferris, and it makes sense he would be leading the group. Did the perfect day ever happen? We can't say we know!
The Moon Landing Was Faked by This Surprising Director
There have been numerous conspiracy theories over the years regarding the moon landing. Did Apollo 11 actually go there in July 1969? Was Neil Armstrong lying about his historic walk? We weren't there, but we do want to bring up an intersection with The Shining. What does this classic horror movie have to do with it? Well, fans have a theory, and it all centers around legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Was he trying to tell us something?
Skeptics of the landing believe that there are hints placed all throughout this film about his involvement in the fakery. Kubrick was a master of film effects, and could have helped NASA. From sweaters to one-liners, they really read into things. Could they possibly be right?
The Dursleys Were Controlled by a Horcrux
Harry Potter is a phenomenon we can't deny. The books, the movies, and the merch have made author J.K. Rowling a billionairess. It all started in a little closet that Harry was forced to live in at his relatives' house. The Dursley family was nasty, and they mistreated the future wizard icon. We can't say we liked them at all, but some readers have a little forgiveness for them. Why the positive attitude?
For those who have made it to the end of the series, they may know that Harry himself turned out to be a Horcrux. Is it possible that the Dursleys were simply under the influence of evil magic, right in front of them?
Jack Only Existed in Rose's Imagination
When Titanic first came out, America went to the theater multiple times just to see that big ship sink, over and over. It's hard to imagine anyone doing that now, with the new streaming norms we have in our homes. But it was a big deal, and most of us can say the lines to this day. Most of all, we loved the romance. But what if we told you that Jack and Rose may have never happened, even in this fictional world?
Some fans think that lower-class Jack was a fantasy for upper-class Rose. At the beginning of the movie, she is lost and feels trapped in her uptight life. Jack was a way for her to break free, psychologically. Does that sound reasonable?
Donkey Was Previously a Child in Pinocchio
Shrek was a loveable green ogre, whatever those are. We felt like the donkey was pretty straightforward, though. Sure, he talked and that was weird, but we understood the concept of the animal. Some fans think there was more to this character, thinking back to another famous fairy tale. Was he was just a reference to Pinocchio? After all, that was a story where boys turned into donkeys. We never did see what happened to them!
It's possible that there is some connection. We don't know how to prove it, but there are those who will always insist this is the case. We wonder if Eddie Murphy has heard the rumor!
The Blair Witch Project Boys Craved Murder
When The Blair Witch Project came out, it shocked moviegoers everywhere with its innovative plot. It was a unique format for a film, and the creep factor was major. It seemed like a real documentary, and then the murder started. The ending was vague, and some people think that the two boys secretly wanted to gang up on Heather all along. Everyone would think a witch did it, and they wouldn't be blamed.
One Redditor theorizes: "Ultimately, Mike led Heather into the house and did the 'stand in the corner' thing to freak Heather out before Josh struck the killing blow behind her at the end of the movie. So the two dudes were in charge of navigating, and they faked being lost the whole time." It kind of makes sense!
Mary Poppins and Pennywise Are Two of a Kind
Pennywise from IT and Mary Poppins may not seem like characters who have a whole lot in common. We wouldn't blame you for brushing the comparison off altogether. But astute viewers have noticed there is something they each do. Both focus on children and have the power to influence their imagination. Mary uses her power for good, and Pennywise, for evil. But that certainly seems like a similar skill set!
Could they have come from a similar land? Do they share genes? There might be something to the idea!
The Addams Family Can't Kill One Another
The Addams Family are creepy, spooky, and all-together kooky, as the old song goes. We loved how dark they were, especially in a time when most American TV was hunky-dory and bland. A more modern movie starring Angelica Houston and Christina Ricci was made about them decades later. It seems to be a theme that works! But what is their backstory? That has always been pretty mysterious. Like, why don't they ever die?
They keep trying to murder each other, and it doesn't work. Some fans theorize that they did it because they know they are under a curse. That curse is that they can't die!
The Muffin Man Has a Dark Past
In Shrek and Shrek 2, there are all sorts of hints that the muffin man is more than just an innocent baker. One Redditor notes: "In the first movie when Farquaad is interrogating Gingy, he hears the name muffin man. He is surprised, intrigued and almost...worried? Especially when he says 'shes married to the muffin man' you can see the worry and slight despair in his eyes." What did he know that we don't?
There are fan theories out there ranging from evil scientist to sorcerer. We never do find out exactly what this character has been up to, and it's kind of creepy!
Glinda Kidnapped Dorothy to Kill Rival Witches
The Wizard of Oz dazzled us, even though it was made decades ago. We loved the scenery from the yellow brick road to the emerald castle. The Cowardly Lion and the munchkins won our hearts, and we were fascinated by Dorothy's journey in that magical land, but some viewers are now suspicious. Why did Glinda the good witch really bring the girl there? Maybe there was something more self-interested all along.
Some theorize that Glinda wasn't so altruistic after all. She just wanted someone to kill her green rival, the wicked witch of the west. Could have been the plan, right?
Neville’s Bad Memory Was From a Spell
Harry Potter has a friend named Neville Longbottom. He wasn't part of the circle because he was sharp, though. This character had a notoriously bad memory, and we never really knew why that was. It's not like he was an old man, and young people shouldn't have as much trouble as he did. Maybe there was a magical source for his issue all along, and fans have a theory about that.
Neville’s parents actually died when he was very little, and it wasn't a pretty sight. It's possible that someone did him a favor and wiped away his painful memories on purpose. As you may remember the memory charm was: Obliviate!
The Joker Was a Black Ops Officer
The Dark Knight was one of the very best Batman movies if we do say so ourselves. Sure, it's debatable which Joker was the best in the history of the franchise, But Heath ledger is probably on the top of most fan lists. In that story, the Joker was unhinged and wreaked havoc on the entire city. He did it well, and as some note, maybe too well. Could he have some professional background in this subject?
Some have noticed he had military precision in his evil plan. That points to a former career in the field. Maybe he wanted revenge on the system, as a soldier?
Ed Imagined Anton in No Country for Old Men
Did Ed Tom imagine Anton Chigurh? According to one Redditor, yes: "I believe those scenes between Carson Welles and the man who hires him are imagined, on account of the fact that neither of them live to tell the tale. Again, this is based on the assumption that the motel scene depicts Ed Tom imagining Chigurh hiding on the other side of the door. He doesn't know what Chigurh looks like, but yet in his imagination he looks identical to the scene where he kills Carson Welles and his employer. This suggests to me that it's Ed Tom's imagination."
Imagined or not, Anton was a terrifying character. No Country for Old Men wouldn't have been the same without his cruelty. We doubt the Oscar committee would have even noticed the film!
Doc Brown Is Just Future Marty
Back to the Future is an iconic 80's flick thanks to Doc Brown, that time-traveling car, and Marty McFly. The entire premise is that Doc was from a different time. But is it possible he was Marty from a different time? Some fans have revisited the film and think that is a plausible theory. Apparently, it's all an attempt to improve his past self, which can only be done with the foresight from the future.
It seems wacky, but Doc's vague backstory lets us fill in the gaps in many ways, and this is one explanation. Sounds plausible!
The Bride Never Really Kills Bill
Kill Bill was an instantly beloved Quentin Tarantino film. Millions of viewers have analyzed it to death by now, but is it possible that a key idea has been missed? Some say that the bride actually leaves Bill alive because she never mastered the five-point palm exploding technique. Maybe she just faked it and Bill himself played along. We all know this director likes to leave a little ambiguity in his stories. Could this be true?
Some skeptics say Bill took his own life, which changes our perspective on the character, if true. Will somebody just ask Quentin, and get this answered once and for all?
John Wick Is Just Blue Pill Neo
John Wick and The Matrix both feature Keanu Reeves. We know they are different movies, but could there be a connection? According to some Redditors, John is a version of Neo is he had chosen to take the blue pill. It's possible that Neo could have become this character, even without knowing the truth of the universe. But not everyone is so convinced. Wasn't Neo kind of a loser, professionally?
If we are honest, the answer is yes. Perhaps this theory goes a little far to see a pattern in the films. But it's an interesting idea!
Aunt Bethany Knows All in National Lampoon
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a comedy classic, no doubt. Fans of the movie remember Aunt Bethany was a bit disoriented. Why? A Redditor wonders: "What if Aunt Bethany had some knowledge — conscious or confused — of the other Vacation universes, from European to Vegas, and these shifting continuities and changing realities? Perhaps there was a Rusty — maybe the Anthony Michael Hall one — who did join the Navy, and this was the universe Bethany was thinking of?"
Maybe this character was aware of the mutli-verse being created by the writers. It can get confusing when everyone has different stories, movie after movie. Aunt Bethany sensed a glitch!
The Candy Man Purposely Picked Charlie
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was literally magic on film. The original version was much better than the remake, many insist. Count us in that camp! We loved Gene Wilder as Willy, and we like the rest of the cast, too — even grumpy Grandpa Joe. But we wonder: Was it really all a coincidence that Charlie got the winning chocolate bar? According to one fan theory, no way!
Many say that Bill the candy man was secretly employed by Wonka himself to find a deserving local boy to win and to eliminate the greedy kids. We all know how he felt about them. Augustus Gloop, we're looking at you!
The Briefcase in Pulp Fiction Contains a Soul
Pulp Fiction might be everyone's favorite Tarantino film. It's definitely one of the movies that put him on the map, and it remains a cult classic. Fans may think they analyzed the scenes to death. But there is always another theory you haven't heard yet, and it's time to explore one of them. In the suitcase, there is something aglow everyone wants. Could it have been the soul of Marcellus Wallace?
If you've been hanging out on Reddit, you may have come across this idea. Many say the mark on the back of the character's neck is where his soul was extracted. Stranger things have happened!
The Men in Black Shooting Test Was Sneaky
Was the Men in Black shooting test really what it seemed? One Redditor says: "I was thinking about the scene where Will Smith shot the target shaped like a little girl with a quantum physics textbook...At one point in the comics, K tells J that it's almost always better to kill witnesses than neuralyze them, because it's 'easier to explain dead bodies than to come up with explanations for the supernatural.'...My theory is that the point of the shooting range test wasn't who they shot but how good an excuse they could come up with for why they shot them on the spot."
Maybe they were truly searching for a certain psychological profile for their alien squad. We cannot underestimate their techniques. They are the men in black, after all!
The Polar Express Train Engineers Were Extra Kids
A Reddit gal was watching The Polar Express, and realized a secret. She shares: "I wondered who the two engineers driving the train were. Then it hit me: they HAVE to be two children who stayed on the train after being picked up. Who else could they be? What backs up this theory is the fact that 1) if you look closely, you’ll notice the red-haired man’s pants are too short on him; 2) his hair and beard are INSANELY long. Like, 30+ years of it growing out and never being cut long. And 3) because him and the bigger bald man have very deep, southern accents, and don’t talk very grammatically correct, as if they were still children."
She thinks the kiddos never got off the train, and she's sticking with that theory. Does anything else make sense about their origins? Your guess is as good as hers!
Bella Coma Dreamed All Those Vampires
The Twilight series took us into a strange reality where high school kids interacted with vampires. We hope that our daughter never runs away with one, but we enjoyed watching the drama through Bella. Like many gals, she couldn't resist the charm of the undead. We don't blame her! But some fans don't believe her. They say that the entire story was just a dream. Remember when she got hit by that car in the first film?
The fan theory about Bella is simple: The entire magical saga after the accident was a figment of her imagination during a coma. That is a lot more likely, isn't it?
Janice Is the Daughter of an 80's Flick Couple
We loved Janice in Mean Girls. But who is she, really? According to one Redditor: "All right, so hear me out: I think that Janice is J.D. and Veronica's child. In Heathers, we clearly saw that Veronica had sex with J.D., so there is a possibility that she got pregnant...Heathers came out in 1989, and Mean Girls came out in 2004 — the time gap between the two movies is 15 years. Considering we don't know Janice's exact birthday, she could definitely be around 16 at the time of the movie, which would make her the appropriate age to be a junior in high school."
That may sound like it's a theory out of left field. But when we look at the timeline, we can see what they mean. We just hadn't thought about Heathers in a really, really long time!
Inception and Shutter Island Are One Journey
Leonardo DiCaprio has been in more than one movie we love. In fact, we're pretty sure we love all his movies! Is there a reason we relate to them? Some fan theories suggest that two of his hit titles are actually connected, and it's hard to deny when you look at the facts. Maybe the reason Leo keeps going from one reality to the next in Inception is that he is in a mental hospital. In Shutter Island, he is!
We can't prove it, of course. There were different scriptwriters for each film. But fans won't let this one go, and it's picking up steam on the net.
Donny Died in War and Walter Couldn't Cope
The Big Lebowski is a cult classic, and no doubt your favorite from the Coen Brothers. In the movie, Jeffrey Lebowski has two close friends. One, a former soldier, is constantly told to shut up. But we notice he never really says much. Is he a real character? Some fans think he might just be part of The Dude's imagination. He was pretty unstable, and we can see him being haunted by an old war buddy.
We can't exactly ask Donnie if he is real: He's a movie character! But we can speculate along with the online Lebowski community. Maybe Walter was more complicated than we knew?
Kevin Grows up to Be the Villain in the Movie Saw
Home Alone was the story of a kid teaching bad burglars an Xmas lesson. Little Kevin used whatever he had at his disposal to get them to leave, and to great success. We didn't really get to see what he was like as a grown-up, and we are forced to theorize. Some fans online think that Kevin and Jigsaw from Saw are the same person. Is that too crazy to believe?
If you say yes, you're not alone. But online, there is speculation about the connection. Seems like Jigsaw had a lot of experience setting traps, just like Kevin. It's a rare talent!
The Aliens in Signs Are Actually Demons
M. Night Shyamalan had his first big hit with The Sixth Sense. There was a lot of anticipation about whatever his follow-up would be. One of the subsequent films was Signs, which also touched on creepy themes, just like we wanted from him. Supposedly, it was a movie about aliens. But some viewers seem to think these creatures may have actually been demons. How so, you ask? We can explain.
For some reason, the aliens were pretty afraid of water in the house. But in this religious family, they may have feared it was holy water. That would explain their aversion to it, no doubt!
It's a Wonderful Life Is The Truman Show
Was It's a Wonderful Life actually a version of The Truman Show? A fan explains: "My theory is that George was the unwilling star of a reality show, surrounded by actors who played his family, his friends, his colleagues, his wife, everyone. Possibly, the whole thing started after that traumatic accident in the icy water. George may have lost all previous memories of his childhood and was in the ideal blank state to reinvent a staged life to make believe he saved his brother (who didn't exist)."
The entire film seems like a special episode about the key moments of his life, and it's all narrated from above. Seems like a familiar concept, when it's framed like that!
The Beetlejuice Book Was Intentionally Tricky
Beetlejuice was a creepy movie, and we wouldn't have it any other way. But we do have a question that has never been fully answered. Why was the handbook so complicated? Maybe on purpose, says a fan on Reddit. He explains: "The handbook being so complicated acts as insurance against people who aren’t 'strange and unusual.' Those who are strange and unusual read the handbook the way it was supposed to be read, but to everybody else, it’s just word salad."
Thinking about it that way, the story does make more sense. You wouldn't want anyone remotely normal involved in this stuff. That strange book was only meant for the strange!
Terminators Were Just Slaves for Skynet
The Terminator series has its mysteries. For example, why did these machines want to kill us so badly? A fan posits: "In the director's cut of Terminator 2, we found out that Skynet set all Terminator chips to 'read only,' as it didn't want them to learn or have any independence...my theory is that Skynet enslaved them to its genocidal cause (which, as far as I can tell, had no endgame). It was just locked in a 'kill all humans' mode, even after a nuclear holocaust pretty much ensured its survival."
We can't go into that movie universe and do a real investigation. But if we did, we would stay far, far away from these killer robots. We're curious, but not that curious.