12 Of The Most Jaw-Dropping Theories About Your Favorite TV Shows

When you hear the words “fan theory,” you probably think Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. And you probably also think, Wow, this is going to make me feel sad and temporarily ruin the way I consume pop culture. And you’re right. Fan theories exist only to suggest that everything you believed to be true about a TV show is a big, fat lie.
But, damn, are they addictive.

So we thought it might be interesting to revisit some of our favorite '90s TV shows and see what kind of wild hypotheses about them we could find. As always, the depths of the internet have paid off. Presenting 12 theories that will completely alter the way you see the seminal programming of your youth.

Warning: Some of these are dark and will make you feel icky inside.
1 of 12
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Theory: Will is actually dead, and the entire show is his journey through the afterlife.

Think about it: What if Will had died in that scuffle in West Philly? The cab ride to his Uncle Phil’s is actually his journey to heaven, and the show is about Will coming to terms with the end of his life. This theory also suggests that’s why Will’s parents show up only a handful of times: They’re visiting their son’s grave.
2 of 12
Theory: Ben predicted Monica and Chandler’s relationship in season three.

In “The One with the Giant Poking Device,” Monica accidentally bangs Ben’s head against the wall. He has a small bump on his head, and she gets nervous Ross will see it and hate her. Then Ben outs her mistake by saying “Monica bang” repeatedly. But watching this episode recently, I wondered if maybe he was foreshadowing and saying “Monica Bing.” One quick Google search later, I see I’m not the first person to think this. Take a look and decide for yourself.
3 of 12
Boy Meets World
Theory: The characters are just pawns in a larger Illuminati chess match.

To be clear, this dedicated Tumblr makes the distinction that the actors themselves aren’t in the Illuminati. Rather, their characters are used as propaganda. See: Topanga making triangles above her head, I guess.
4 of 12
Full House
Theory: Danny isn’t the biological father of his children.

This site explains that Danny and Pam would have had, at best, a “1 in 6 chance” of producing three blond children, given Pam’s Greek background and Danny’s brunette genes. But you know who’s blond and also remarkably attached to those kids? Joey. Basically the theory here is that Uncle Joey is not an uncle at all.
5 of 12
Home Improvement
Theory: Tim Taylor is actually Jesus Christ.

One redditor draws a strong comparison to the fact that Tim is a carpenter who doles out morality lessons and speaks to a neighbor we can’t fully see. This neighbor often advises him. So Wilson is God, and Tim is Jesus maybe?
6 of 12
Theory: The babies are all a figment of Angelica’s imagination.

This one’s pretty upsetting, guys. One wikia page suggests the following: Chuckie actually died with his mother, which is why his dad is so anxious; Tommy was a stillborn, and that’s why Stu is always making toys in the basement; the twins were aborted, and since Angelica couldn’t have known the sex, she created one of each in her mind. This theory does claim that Dil was real, but by that point Angelica couldn’t properly distinguish between fiction and reality, so he was lumped in with the rest of the kids.
7 of 12
Family Matters
Theory: Steve Urkel is suffering from extreme abuse.

Trigger warning: This theory suggests Urkel’s parents are the worst kind of people. Since it’s such a sensitive topic, I’m not going to list the exact details, but you can read it in full here. Basically, this fan suggests that perhaps Urkel creates the Winslow family as an escape from his own abusive family.
8 of 12
That '70s Show
Theory: It’s the sequel to Happy Days.

Back in 2009, one writer noticed this connection. The Topher Grace series takes place, also in Wisconsin, 20 years later. This idea is fleshed out a bit more convincingly on reddit and points out that Red is actually a grown-up Richie from Happy Days.
9 of 12
Theory: Kramer is a widower.

A fan suggested this in 2009. The evidence at hand? Kramer seems to have enough money to live in New York, even though he doesn’t have a steady job. He doesn’t have any meaningful relationships with women, and this fan actually argues that Kramer uses Jerry as a stand-in spouse. There’s even a clip about Kramer falling into money, which could theoretically be from some sort of settlement or life insurance. What do you think?
10 of 12
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Theory: Willow killed all the slayers to make even more slayers.

This one’s a deep dive for any Buffy diehards. But basically, when a slayer is killed, a new one rises to take her place. So this theory suggests that in order for all the slayers to band together to tackle evil once and for all, Willow’s spell actually had to kill a bunch of slayers, which would create new ones, and then revive the slayers she killed.
11 of 12
The Simpsons
Theory: They live in Maine.

The Simpsons have always been coy about where exactly they are. Springfield is a town listed in more than 30 states, and the writers even toy with us when Marge is on the phone giving her address. “Springfield, O-hiya, Maude!” she says, greeting her neighbor at the final moment. But one fan has really laid out the detective work basically proving that the cartoon family must live in Maine. It’s kind of incredible.
12 of 12
SpongeBob SquarePants
Theory:: SpongeBob and friends are byproducts of early-20th-century radiation testing on Bikini Atoll.

What if Bikini Bottom is actually Bikini Atoll, the island in the Pacific Ocean where the U.S. tested 23 nuclear devices? That would make SpongeBob and his fellow cast of characters genetically mutated creatures living in the ocean.