For movie lovers, watching our favorite movies over and over again is what we live for. But after a while, we start to wonder. We start to think of all the possibilities to the unanswered questions we still have. Imagining what could have been has become a favorite past-time of movie buffs around the world. Whether it’s connecting entire movie worlds like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Quentin Tarrantino’s special brand of reality, there seems to be no end to the crazy fan theories out there today. While some theories are completely insane, and offend us to our core (Hogwarts was all a figment of Harry Potter’s imagination? Not on our watch!), there’s also plenty of fan theories that have us thinking, “what if?” Here are 15 fan theories that actually work with the movies and make just too much sense not to be true!
15. The Pulp Fiction briefcase contains a soul
One fan theory states that the ever mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction actually contains Marcellus Wallace’s soul. This is why he is so adamant on getting it, having sold it for wealth and power. Evidence for this theory is the fact that “666” is the combination to open the case, as well as the band-aid on the back of Wallace’s neck where the Devil supposedly sucks his souls from. Of course there’s always Samuel L Jackson’s many bible verses to reference as well. Speaking of Samuel L Jackson, there’s another briefcase theory that involves the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The briefcase supposedly contains the “mind stone” from the MCU, eventually finding its way to Loki and prompting the other fan theory that Jules Winnfield is actually Nick Fury. Too much to think about. Our minds are blown!
14. Forrest Gump’s son isn’t really his
If there’s any theory we don’t want to be true, it’s this one. But no matter how we feel about it, the theory that Forrest Gump’s son isn’t really his, is a real possibility. We all know that Forrest’s on-again off-again love interest Jenny never treated him that well to begin with. She was problematic in a lot of ways, always using Forrest when it was her best interest, and leaving as soon as she got what she wanted. While there’s no real proof that the baby wasn’t his, it makes sense that Jenny would run to Forrest right when she realized she was pregnant and had to clean up her act. Jenny was flighty, care-free, and sexually liberated, and we also know she had a couple male partners before Forrest. But Forrest was always her go-to safe place, and whether she sleeps with him out of love or just so he’ll think the child is his, it’s never clear. The beauty of Forrest Gump is that this never occurs to him, loving Jenny was a constant for Forrest, and we think that even if he somehow knew the child wasn’t his, he would love and take care of him all the same. The theory is definitely possible, it just completely sucks to think about.
13. Fight Club is a screwed up version of Calvin and Hobbes
This theory starts out obvious, but it gets dark pretty quickly. The obvious part is that Jack, like Calvin, has created an imaginary friend/alter-ego. These imaginary friends have a lot of similarities, they both start out as decent companions, but we see that they become destructive as well, Calvin often blaming Hobbes for troublesome behaviors, as does Jack with Tyler Durden. The darker part of this comes in if we consider that Calvin is actually a young Jack. At some point Calvin must grow up and let go of the notion that his Tiger is a living entity, and this was probably a pretty traumatizing experience that he likely repressed. Fast forward to adulthood, and we have Tyler Durden coming back from the depths of Jack’s mind. Notice Tyler has a huge distrust and contempt for authority, always telling Jack that he needs to set himself free of societal constraints. Doesn’t this sound like something a neglected imaginary Tiger would also say, bitter that society’s expectations are the reason Calvin had to give him up, after Calvin was always so intent on refusing to let the world or his parents control him? It’s depressing, it’s brutal, but it actually makes a lot of sense.
12. Harry Potter corrupted the Dursleys
We’ll be the first to admit that the Dursleys were the worst to poor Harry Potter, and after the horrible way they treated him all through his childhood, we’d be crazy to think it was actually all his fault… right? Well, a lot of people think otherwise, and they have a good reason too. The story goes that Harry technically turned into a horcrux as a baby when Voldemort tried, and failed, to kill him. As we find out later on, horcruxes corrupt whoever they are around. A horcrux had Ginny doing the bidding of Voldemort, and one even turned Harry, Ron, and Hermione against each other. Now multiply that by 11 years and imagine how the Dursleys were affected. Is it much of a surprise that their hatred for him slowly grew over the years? It makes a lot of sense, but either way we still feel bad for Harry who seems to always get the short and of the stick in life.
11. The Joker is a war veteran
In the movie The Dark Knight, there are a lot of signs that the Joker is actually a war veteran suffering from PTSD. If you look at the details of how tactical the Joker is, he seems to be something more than just a crafty villain. He knows the proper military burial movements when disguising himself as a soldier, he is clearly experienced with assault weapons designed for military use as well as explosives, and he has a massive distrust and contempt for authority. He even alludes to the war in the Middle East when he says, “a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all part of the plan.” It’s also worth considering that the Joker got his infamous scars in the war too. When being interrogated by Batman, the Joker is not phased, leading us to believe he’s been through interrogations before, or at least trained to handle it.
10. Aladdin takes place in a dystopian future
At first glance the Disney classic Aladdin seems like any other film set in a magical world, but an overwhelming amount of signs point to Aladdin actually being set in a dystopian future. A huge part of this theory stems from the Genie, and if you want to take what the Genie says literally, it actually makes sense. When the Genie emerges from the lamp he says, “ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck,” and also refers to Aladdin’s clothes as “so third century,” so we’re looking at a world that is, at minimum, 10,000 years old. But considering the celebrity impressions and modern references the Genie makes, that pushes the year up to somewhere around 12,000. The “Cave of Wonders” has also been compared to a sort of safe-haven for historical objects, possibly protecting them from nuclear fall-out (which could also explain the talking animals). Of course this can all be chalked up to Disney magic and a Genie who has a different concept of time than humans, but this popular theory has plenty of fans convinced.
9. Stan Lee is “The Watcher” in the Marvel universe
Stan Lee has made a cameo in every single MCU film, and while many see it as a fun way to keep the legendary creator of Marvel involved in the films, we think it might be something else. A popular fan theory is that Stan Lee is actually playing Uatu the Watcher in every Marvel movie. The Watcher is part of a race that observes the events of the universe, and has been doing so for billions of years. They are meant to observe and record without interfering, and Uatu specifically is in charge of watching over Earth. This would explain why Stan Lee is always present for such big events, and why he is always playing different characters to blend in with the human world, but never actually interferes or does much of consequence. The reason fans love this theory so much is because Stan Lee has appeared in Marvel franchise films owned by different studios, so this could mean that we’ll eventually get an epic crossover where all studios will come together to make a complete Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now THAT would be something to watch!
8. The aliens in Signs are actually demons
Okay, it’s weird to think that the mega scifi hit Signs created by M. Night Shyamalan isn’t actually about aliens. That’s kind of the whole point of the film, right? Well, maybe not. One fan theory gives us the overwhelming evidence that this is, in fact, a film about demons, not aliens. The film centers around a priest who is having a sort of crisis of faith, and because of this the demons appear to him as tests of faith, just as they appear to an Army officer as invading military and to the police officer as troublemakers, the demons reflect each specific person’s fears. We never see any alien technology, the only UFO evidence we see is by the children who, again, are projecting their fears which are being manifested by the demons. It makes the “death by water” thing a little less lame too, seeing as how demons are defeated by holy water. The holy water is explained through the priests daughter, Bo Hess, who is referred to as both “holy” and “an angel.” She leaves partially sipped glasses of water around the house, essentially leaving holy water in her path which is eventually used against the demons. Knowing M. Night Shyamalan and his crazy mind, nothing is impossible, and this one makes a lot of sense.
7. Spiderman is all about puberty
This one’s more symbolic than anything, but it makes sense all the same. Many fans believe that Peter Parker’s evolution after he’s bitten by the spider, is a direct metaphor to puberty. He wakes up completely confused, his body has grown bigger and more muscular seemingly overnight, and he can now shoot sticky white stuff out of his wrists? Sorry, we did not come up with this, but you have to admit it’s a pretty obvious albeit disturbingly accurate metaphor. If you think about it, in a world full of usually older men taking on the role as superhero, Peter Parker has always been known for his youth, awkwardness, and basically his all around relatability. This makes sense if you’re consdiering a kid, especially a slightly nerdy one, going through the most awkward phase of his life: high school. We’re totally on board for this one, especially since Peter eventually learns to control his “powers” and finds more confidence in himself and his relationships in the end.
6. The Shining is Stanley Kubrick’s apology for faking the lunar landing
Alright, so for this fan theory we have to consider seriously for a moment that the moon landing was faked all those years ago. While it’s definitely not an accepted theory by most, it has a huge following of people who believe it to this day. Proponents of this theory believe that Kubrick was so tormented by guilt over faking the first moon landing, that he actually put subtle messages into The Shining as a sort of apology letter to the people. The Apollo 11 sweater on top of a launch pad design is one of the most referenced examples, as well as the deadly winter setting which is supposed to represent the cold war, the haunted room being the faked NASA film set, the hotel room number being changed to 237 (in the book it was 217) because the moon is 237,000 miles from the Earth, and the singular children being changed to twins for the film to represent NASA’s Gemini program. We’re right there with you, it’s a hard pill to swallow, but keen-eyed movie buffs sure have pointed out a lot of convincing details that make us really wonder.
5. Peter Pan is an Angel of Death
The lovely childhood story of Peter Pan that we all remember involves three young siblings with their heads in the clouds who partake on an magical adventure to Neverland with their pal Pan. Simple enough, right? Well, it looks like a lot more is going on than some imaginary playtime. If you look all the way back to the origins of Peter Pan, it becomes obvious that Peter is actually dead, or, an Angel of Death bringing other children through the passage to Neverland. He brings Wendy, John, and Michael to Neverland, a place where children are young forever and never grow up. Sounds great, until you realize that the children don’t age because they have already died. Yeah, pretty dark, and on top of that, Peter Pan is known for being a bit selfish, wanting everyone to stay with him in Neverland forever. Kind of sounds like something an Angel of Death would say to victims he had already taken to the other side. Childhood officially ruined.
4. Tarzan is Elsa and Anna’s long lost brother
This is another Disney fan favorite, and rightly so. It actually makes a lot of sense that Elsa and Anna’s parents are also the parents of the lost jungle boy Tarzan. In Frozen we learn that the King and Queen get shipwrecked and die at sea. But, this theory states that they didn’t die right away, they actually washed ashore in a jungle and survived longer than we thought. In the beginning of Tarzan, we see a burning ship on the shore, eventually resulting in Tarzan being left alone to be raised in the jungle. And if that’s not enough to make you believe in a connection, this theory actually got confirmation! The director of Frozen confirmed that this theory is actually true. Whether he planned for it all along or just decided to go with it we can’t really tell, but he was definitely enthusiastic about the idea and we are too!
3. The Stormtroopers in Star Wars miss their targets on purpose
This is one of those theories that almost everyone accepts to be true, it just makes too much sense! A great example is when the Stormtroopers attempt to stop the rebels from fleeing in Mos Eisley, and it’s hard not to notice how all over the place the Stormtroopers are. We’ve heard them spoken of as fierce and accurate warriors, so why the sudden lack of skill? Turns out, the Stormtroopers wavering competence is probably all done on purpose. Princess Leia expects that they’re being tracked because it was “too easy” to escape, and it turns out she was right. In fact, the Stormtroopers seem to use this tactic whenever someone of value needs to be kept alive for a greater purpose. Other than that, they seem to be able to take their enemies down with ease. Tricky, tricky troopers!
2. Ferris Bueller isn’t a real person
Alter ego’s make for some of the most interesting films to date, take Fight Club for instance, where a seemingly average insomniac creates an alternate personality that completely derails his life. We all knew by the end that Tyler Durden was an alter-ego, but Ferris Bueller wasn’t so obvious. The theory goes that Ferris Buller’s Day Off pulled a classic Tyler Durden on us has been circulating movie forums for a long time. Cameron, depressed teen who resents his parents and pines after a girl he can’t have, creates this imaginary friend or alter-ego that does everything he can’t. Ferris is a fun, wild, confident guy who does all the things Cameron wishes he could. In the end when Cameron’s imaginary friend offers to take the blame for trashing his dad’s car, Cameron declines. Whether this is because he has finally found his confidence or simply because none of it ever happened, either way he ultimately moves on with a better outlook on life (which is probably good considering how he started out).
1. James Bond is actually a code name
There are a lot of circulating theories about the James Bond franchise, and with a slew of successful movies dating back to 1962, it’s no surprise. One explanation for the recurring character who comes back generation after generation is that instead of being his actual name, “James Bond 007” is a code name assigned to special and highly trained agents. The theory took an interesting turn recently in Skyfall when James Bond returns to his childhood home to see the graves of his parents that, in fact, have “Bond” as their last names. This brought up a new theory with fans who think that James Bond doesn’t actually know that his name is a code name, that he has been brainwashed. A keen observer pointed out that Silva actually laughs the the Bond gravestones, possibly because he is amused at the lengths M will go to keep a secret. And TBH we wouldn’t be surprised, much crazier and convoluted things have happened in the Bond universe.