If you’re a fan of ’90s movies and culture, you’ve most likely seen the cult classic Ferris Buller’s Day Off. The iconic film about a high school student who has an adventurous and exciting day off from school has long been a favorite of many. But, while the film looks—on the surface—like a regular day in which a smart, cunning, and witty teenager manages to pull off the ultimate prank on his principal, people online think that there is much more than meets the eye.
The theory, which was originally posted on Reddit by duncandy, shares that Buller actually relives the same day over and over again until it’s absolutely perfect (think Groundhog’s Day). The user points out details and plotlines that correlate to the idea that he actually does relive the same day numerous times, as he is able to obtain the “perfect” day with “years of practice.”
Hit upon a theory when watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and I was shocked I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. The reason things constantly seem to go right for Ferris Bueller is that he has lived this exact day countless times before a la Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow.
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.
This theory also justifies his mostly 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 (by all accounts in its early days since the administrator isn’t sure who Sloan is dating) to have some kind of meaning because in his head, he’s been in a relationship with Sloan for years.
Thirdly, the constant fourth-wall breaking. This is a sign of the strain this time-loop has left on his brain – it has deluded him into thinking he has a constant audience that he can explain all his thoughts to. The camera is 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 – 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.”
Other Reddit users chimed in with their own takes on the film and the theory—many agreeing with the idea that there could be this kind of component to the movie without us even knowing.
The theory makes even more sense when you consider that perhaps, like the actual Groundhog Day, the “point” of the loop is to make Ferris reconsider every aspect of his day and approach to life and actually achieve something by helping someone else (Cameron) and perfecting the romance in his life (Sloane)
This is awesome! It also puts a new spin on the very end of the movie where he tells everyone that “it’s over”. He’s finally accomplished the “perfect” day.
I really, really dig this theory. May I add that the day we see in the movie is his “final day” in the loop? Through his actions, he is finally found worthy by the universe to escape the loop.
Maybe it’s the universe he is talking to. Maybe his intention is being so cool and entertaining because he is trying to appease the gods (think Cabin in the Woods).
My two cents.
You could also go further and say the entire plot stemmed from this loop he got trapped. What I mean is Ferris probably went to school normally one day and from there his day started resetting leading him to realize he doesn’t need to go to the school to learn the same material so instead he devises the perfect day off, correcting his mistakes as time passes.