You may be under the impression that a 1986 film about students skipping school would not warrant much more in-depth discussion. Yes, Matthew Broderick’s titular character would go on to provide yearbook quotes for all of time, but what’s left to analyze here?
It turns out, a lot. Redditor duncandy just shared their thoughts on the movie, and honestly, it makes so much sense.
According to this fan theory, Ferris Bueller was repeating the same day, over and over — participating in a Groundhog Day situation that no one in the audience was privy to. That means that this “day off” was actually just one of many identical days off, which Ferris could then perfect as he saw fit.
Duncandy breaks it down:
“The biggest piece of evidence is how he is able to plan for almost all possible contingencies to make sure his plan works - the Rube Goldberg-like mechanisms that are just good enough to work on his parents, outsmarting the snooty waiter, constantly outsmarting Rooney, covering every single possible flaw in the plan (the answering machine messages, calling Rooney while he's on the phone to 'Mr. Peterson'). The reason every gambit he makes works is that he has had the trial-and-error opportunity to perfect his day. He's incredibly lucky with every situation - able to catch the baseball at the game, able to sneak onto the float, able to hit the baseball perfectly onto his tape recorder at the end - and has mastered complex skills at a young age including being able to hack into his school's computer network.”
When you think about it, isn’t this the only thing that makes sense? After all, what high schooler is that smooth, that cool under pressure, and that capable of pulling off a fairly elaborate con?
You may be wondering where the evidence is in the dialogue. Duncandy proves the proof was under our noses this entire time.
“The theory is even supported by some of the dialogue - the moment where he looks into the camera and says 'This is the bit where Cameron goes berserk' suggests that he is recalling current events as a memory. 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.’”
Unfortunately, the writer and director of the film — John Hughes — died in 2009. Still, we see your winks at the camera, Hughes: Ferris was in a prison of time, and his “day off” was just one of many.