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13 Fan Theories That Are So Intense, They're Guaranteed To Blow Your Mind

Because nothing is ever as simple as it seems!

As an avid lover of all things movies and a big ol' nerd in general, there are few things I enjoy more than reading an expertly executed, highly passionate fan theory.


And there are few places on the interwebs that tickle that fancy quite as intensely as r/fantheories on Reddit — a place where my fellow film fans post their absolute BEST theories all in one place.


So, I rounded up a sampling of some of our favorites for your viewing pleasure. Hold onto your minds, folks, because they're about to be BLOWN (listen, idk, I tried):

1. Willy Wonka planted the last golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), and the candy store owner worked for him the whole time.

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Paramount Pictures

"At one point in the film, we are led to believe that all five of the golden tickets have been found. The news is reported from Paraguay, and Gene Wilder, who plays Willy Wonka, also played the reporter who relayed the news, so we can easily assume that — in-universe — the reporter is Wonka and he intentionally fabricated the report. Why, you ask? Because he saw how kids and parents were abusing the system, and he wanted somebody to find the last ticket in a purer way.

Now, let's look at how Charlie got the ticket. He found money and went into the candy store run by 'Bill' (another nickname of William, like Willy). My theory is that Bill was working for Wonka the whole time. Remember Slugworth? At the end, Wonka even admitted to Charlie, 'he works for me!' so we know Wonka employed double agents. Wonka instructed Bill to give the last ticket to a local kid, a poor kid, an unselfish kid. Bill probably already knew these things about Charlie, but needed to confirm them, so when Charlie walked out of the store after buying himself a Wonka candy, and used the last of the money on a bar for Grandpa Joe, THAT was the clincher. It's an unselfish act.

Charlie NEVER got to choose what candy to get for Grandpa Joe. Bill simply said 'Here, try the traditional Wonka bar this time' and grabbed a very specific one. He didn't grab one from the stack, as an owner would. Instead he gave the one on display to Charlie. He knew exactly which one had the ticket. It was displayed right out front, but behind the counter, so it could only be retrieved by him."


2. Phil, Stu, and Alan are all part of Doug's imagination in The Hangover (2009), and the narrative is about Doug — literally — finding himself.

Warner Bros.

"Doug was getting married. While he seemed excited about it, he was hesitant. He was not sure if this is the right move.

So, in my theory, Doug went to Las Vegas before the wedding with his friends — but, in reality — he went alone. Phil, Stu, and Alan don't exist. They are instead elements of Doug's personality.

Alan was his fleeting sense of youth — not wanting to take the seismic step of marriage as it signaled an end to childlike freedom of responsibility.

Stu was his sense of complacency and timidity — afraid to make drastic changes that would upset the status quo, even if that status quo made him unhappy.

Phil was what Doug wanted to see himself as — his Tyler Durden, if you will. Most men want to imagine themselves as a more handsome, suave, cooler version of what they already are. Phil was everything Doug wished he was, but knew he'd never be.

Phil, Stu, and Alan are the competing pieces of Doug's personality that need to work together and reconcile with each other so that they can — literally — 'find Doug.' So, in the movie, when they all finally work together by admitting reality (with Phil calling Tracy), taking charge (Stu confronting the drug dealer), and accepting responsibility for his actions (Alan admitting what he did), they create harmony and Doug is finally able to find himself."


3. Captain America was able to delay Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) not by using physical strength, but by sheer power of will.

Marvel Studios

"Thanos moved his gloved hand towards Cap, and Cap stops it with both of his hands. Thanos strained, but was unable to move his hand forward, so he just knocked Cap out with his non-glove hand instead. If you look at his facial expression, he looks shocked upon the initial block, then he looks really perplexed — like he's thinking, 'How is this guy able to do this?!' — but what is the 'this' that Cap is doing?

I don't believe Cap is physically blocking Thanos' hand. Thanos beat the Hulk, and Cap is definitely not stronger than the Hulk — not to mention Thanos knocks out Cap seconds later.

My theory is the glove works by responding to the will of the user, and both of them were in physical contact with the glove. Cap was 'out-willing' Thanos in that moment, and while none of the infinity stones were actively being used, they were implicitly responding to both Thanos' and Cap's wills respectively, with Cap's influence being greater."


4. Everything that transpired after the first wish was made in Aladdin (1992) was done purposefully, and was simply the Genie fulfilling that wish.

Walt Disney Studios

"Aladdin did not wish to BE a prince, he specifically wished for the Genie to MAKE him a prince. This culminates at the end of the movie, when he marries a princess. He is now, legally, a prince. The Genie's work is NOW completed.

The Genie states several times in the movie that his powers are both 'phenomenal and cosmic,' virtually making him omnipotent. He also states he can see at least one million years into the future. Dressing Aladdin up as 'Prince Ali' and giving him an elephant and parade to make a fantastic entrance into Agrabah were means to an end. The reality is Aladdin didn't even want to be a Prince, he just wanted to be with Jasmine.

When the Genie's mission was about to succeed, Aladdin suddenly got cold feet. The Genie — who saw into the future — allowed his lamp to be stolen by Jafar because he knew that Aladdin's heroic efforts to set things right would convince the Sultan to change the law, and thus let Aladdin marry Jasmine."


5. Despite what it initially looked like, Biff was happy and his life was overall improved by Marty at the end of the first Back to the Future (1985) film — just like Marty's family.

Universal Pictures

"As a youngster, I watched this movie and was pleased to see at the end of the film that Biff had got his just deserts. 'Ha,' I thought, 'Biff is a nobody now, and he has to clean George's car!' What I didn't notice for years was that Biff's truck in the background had a company logo that said, 'Biff's Automotive Detailing.' Owning your own business is nothing to be sniffed at, even if it's a one-man operation.

At the start of the film, we see that Biff has George writing his reports for him at work. Given what we know, Biff probably CAN'T write his own reports, he's not qualified for his own job, and he knows it.

So, here's how my theory shakes out: Back in 1955, at the climax of the skateboard chase in the town square, Biff drove into a truck full of manure which filled his vehicle. I imagine that — while he states he paid for some of the repairs — in an effort to save some money, Biff would have cleaned most of the car himself. In the hours spent restoring his car, he discovered that he had an aptitude, if not genuine love, for auto detailing, which led him to start his own business.

So Biff goes from working a job he is not qualified for to owning his own business working at something he's pretty good at! There's no doubt in my mind that Marty's actions changed his life for the better — just like everyone else's."


6. In Tarzan (1999), the titular character wore a loin cloth not because he knew he was a human man and therefore should cover up, but because he was embarrassed by the comparative size of his genitals.

Walt Disney Studios

"Over the years, many people have vocally wondered how Tarzan knew to wear some form of clothes. He was raised by gorillas and gorillas don't wear clothes — they have their genitals proudly exposed for the whole world to see.

Well — a lot of people don't know this — but humans are actually unusual for having proportionately huge penises compared to other ape-derived species, possibly as an adaptation for walking upright. Seriously, a gorilla's penis is only two and a half inches in length when fully erect.

Even when he was younger, Tarzan likely would've had a bigger penis than the other gorillas, and he was already freakish enough with his lack of fur. So my theory is that he's not being modest, but instead that he ended up choosing to cover up to avoid further bullying."


7. Obi-Wan Kenobi was not sent to Tatooine to protect Luke in Star Wars (1977), but to protect the universe FROM Luke should he choose the same path as his father.

LucasFilm Ltd.

"We know that Obi-Wan was on Tatooine to watch over the young son of Anakin Skywalker, but why? Darth Vader didn't know he existed — he assumed his children died with Padmé at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Vader even came face-to-face with his daughter multiple times and didn't figure it out. So, why the hell was Obi-Wan stationed on Tatooine?

Here’s my theory: He was there to monitor Luke and make sure that he didn't become the next Vader.

Obi-Wan loved Anakin like a brother, but had also seen the horrors he committed. He was worried Luke would go down the same path, so Obi-Wan was under strict direction from Yoda to not train or interact with the boy. Yoda likely sensed anger in him — the same anger that he sensed in Anakin. Together they made the difficult decision not to mettle in his fate. If the force willed Luke to be involved in the galactic conflict, then so be it, but he was too great a risk otherwise.

Leia’s fate was different because Bail Organa likely planned to make her a leader within the rebellion from the beginning. Yoda and Obi-Wan approved because they sensed no darkness in her, which is why no Jedi was sent to monitor her."


8. The actual Hunger Games in the The Hunger Games (2012) were not created as a punishment and/or propaganda tool, but as a way to gauge each district's strengths and establish countermeasures where necessary.

Lionsgate Films

"President Snow wasn't an idiot. He knew that his method of ruling was bound to cause a rebellion of some kind eventually, especially with district 13 lying in wait.

As any dictator would tell you — the only people you need to keep happy are the ones you’re most afraid of. So how does Snow decide who he fears most? Easy. Every year, he rounds up a smattering of kids from each district, and drops them into a controlled environment so that the Capitol military can see exactly which districts are a threat to the established order. Who is giving their children combat training? Survival training? How would the average members of each district population fare in battle? It would be incredibly easy to get this vital information just by watching the games.

So, in my theory, District One and Two don’t dominate the games because they’re treated well — they’re treated well because they dominate the games. Snow realized he needed to keep them happy because he constantly watched their fighters kick everyone’s ass."


9. Ferris in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) is actually living in a Groundhog's Day-type situation — reliving the same day countless times — but we only get to see the best one.

Paramount Pictures

"The biggest piece of evidence for this theory is how Ferris Bueller was able to plan for all possible contingencies to make sure his plan work. The reason every gambit he made worked was because he had the trial-and-error opportunity to perfect his day.

This theory also justifies his live-in-the-moment, no-care-for-consequences attitude. His fixation on getting married to Sloan is another sign of this — he's desperate for this romance to have some kind of meaning because in his case, he's been in a relationship with Sloan for years.

Also, the constant fourth-wall breaking was a sign of the strain this time-loop had left on his brain — it has deluded him into thinking he had a constant audience that he could explain all his thoughts to. The camera was essentially his imaginary friend, a result of the trauma of reliving the same day constantly.

The theory is even supported by some of the dialogue, like the moment where he looked into the camera and said, 'This is the bit where Cameron goes berserk.' Best of all, at the end of the movie when his parents come home and he's in bed, they ask him how he ended up so perfect. His response?

'Years of practice.'"


10. Michael Myers isn't actually after Laurie Strode — or anyone, really — in Halloween (2018).

Lifestyle pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

"A huge part of the reboot was about Michael Myers' 'obsession' with killing Laurie Strode, however I don't think he actually cares about her...I think he's just a murderous psychopath.

My theory is that — similar to how people look for something to blame after natural disasters or other unexplainable tragedies — the characters in the film constructed a narrative of revenge to either make money (the podcasters), further their own career (Dr. Sartain), or cope with survivor's guilt (Strode).

Each character brought another piece to lead Myers to Strode: The podcasters brought the mask and antagonized her, the doctor freed Myers on Halloween and drove him to her house, and Strode spent her lifetime being convinced by others that Myers was after her.

In reality, we see Myers committing random murders throughout the film without motive. He was knocked unconscious by the police car, woke up in the woods, and then continued to attack the next house he saw — which just HAPPENED to be Strode's. Nothing about his behavior indicated he is motivated by revenge — or anything tangible — only his need to keep on killing. It's the other characters who have imposed the story of the 'Halloween Killer' on him. In this way, I think the film does an incredible job of displaying the human need to rationalize tragedy."


11. In Moana (2016), the titular character dies in the storm on the way to fetch Maui, spends most of the movie dead, and is brought back to life by Te Fiti at the end of the film.

Walt Disney Studios

"In the very beginning of her journey, Moana asked the ocean for help and immediately gets hit by a huge storm. We're meant to understand that the storm drove her to her destination because, afterward, she woke up on Maui's island.

My theory is that there was a barrier between the human world and the magical otherworld, where all the things from Polynesian mythology are. The only way to get to the otherworld was to be a part of it by, essentially, dying.

So I believe that the ocean DID help Moana by having the storm kill her so that she could go to the place where all of the magic, godly stuff existed, and — after she'd succeeded at the end — Te Fiti rewarded her by not only fixing her boat, but by bringing her back to life.

Some things to support my theory include the fact that Moana didn't meet or interact with any 'normal' humans from the moment of the storm until after Te Fiti brought her back; she only ran across Maui, sea monsters, and the ghost of her grandmother. She also survived things that no human could survive, like falling into the 'Realm of Monsters.'"


12. The reason why everyone in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) sounds like they're in a PG-13 film is because we're hearing all of the dialogue through Peter Quill's universal translator.

Marvel Studios

"My theory is that there's a reason why the language in both of the movies in this franchise feels incredibly juvenile. I believe that it's because we're actually hearing it all the way Peter Quill hears it through his universal translator, which is mentioned on screen in the first movie's mugshot scene.

Quill was taken from Earth when he was only 8. He probably stopped actually learning English shortly after, since he was traveling to all different planets that likely didn't speak any Earth-bound languages. As such, his language (and all of the language he heard) is stunted to that of a pre-teen boy. Additionally, any profanity he knows likely would've come from movies and TV shows he saw before he was kidnapped."


13. And finally — the Joker was the real hero of The Dark Knight (2008) and the only one who understood how to stop crime for good in Gotham.

Warner Bros.

"Before the Joker, Gotham was a mess. Entire sections of the city were closed off due to madness, organized crime ran rampant, and the majority of important city officials were wildly corrupt. The city even tolerated a renegade vigilante who ran around dressed as a bat.

I believe that, despite his claim otherwise, the Joker really was 'The Man with the Plan.' Throughout the film, the Joker is purposefully murdering key criminals and corrupt officials that could help insulate those at the top. Dent actually argues FOR insulating the men on the top in the interest of cleaning the streets of lower-level goons, but Joker knows that won't work in the long-term.

So after a bit, Joker has a pretty clear path to getting rid of the organized crime problem and the corrupt officials problem, but the vigilante problem remains. As we saw at the beginning of the film, Batman was inspiring other vigilantes, and a society cannot stand when each individual takes their own justice. This symbol of fear and unbridled vengeance needed to be stopped, but not killed. If Batman were killed, he would just be a martyr, and his symbol would live on. So instead, Joker made him a villain and Batman had no choice but to disappear.

In the end, Gotham was clean BECAUSE of the Joker. He eliminated the corrupt police, destroyed organized crime, uplifted Gotham's spirit, and even got rid of the flying pest."


Which fan theory listed is your favorite? Can you top these? Do you have a wild fan theory of your own? Share yours in the comments below! BLOW SOME MINDS!!! And be sure to check out r/fantheories for even more fun!

Some fan theories were edited for length and/or clarity.