13 insane fan theories that actually make sense
Willy Wonka

Folks usually know to give a wide birth to kooky conspiracy theorists and tin-foil loons, but when it comes to the world of movies and TV, not all fan theories are as mad as they first seem. As strange as they may be, some are entirely and utterly plausible.

Here are some weird fan theories so mind-bendingly crazy they may just make sense.

(Spoilers ahead…)

Batman in a Batman

To hide themselves from the horror that was Joel Schumacher’s pointed-nipples take on the Batman universe, some fans have come up with the idea that Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s outings as the Caped Crusader are actually movies within movies, locked inside the world of Tim Burton’s intensely gothic city for the entertainment of Gotham residents. That would explain the sudden change in style and tone despite the movies being set in the same timeline. Or just to bring some reason to the camp nightmare that Joel Schumacher concocted back in 1995.

2001: Aladdin

Disney classic Aladdin is actually all an elaborate tale improvised by the very street vendor attempting to flog the old lamp to the audience at the beginning of the film. What better way to sell a useless antique than creating a story about giant blue blokes and flying carpets? Another fan theory surrounding the world of Aladdin is that it actually occurs in the far-future. Genie professes to have lived in the lamp for 10,000 years, and then goes on to complain that Aladdin’s clothes are “so third century”. The only way these two facts would be possible are if it was the year 10,300 AD. This would also explain his penchant of 80’s pop culture impersonations.

Willy Wonka and the Murder Factory

If the very premise of a creepy fella inviting random kids into his “factory” wasn’t bad enough, this fan theory suggests that Willy Wonka planned to kill his guests all along and is in fact a horrendous child-murderer. This would explain why the Oompa-Loompa staff already have a song and dance number prepared for each “accident”, and why Wonka doesn’t seem to give a toss about the Health and Safety storm heading his way.

Inception: Cobb’s real totem

The ending to Inception has confused audiences worldwide since its release back in 2010. Was it a dream? Did the spinning top stop spinning? None of that matters though according to this theory, which suggests that the spinning top is not Cobb’s totem at all, but rather his deceased wife’s. Cobb’s totem is his wedding ring, which is only present in the movie’s dream sequences. Is that ring present in the final scene? Well, you’ll just have to rewatch it won’t you…

The soulcase: Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction Suitcase

The contents of the suitcase that Jules and Vincent go out of their way to protect is actually the captured soul of Marcellus Wallace. Of course! The suitcase’s lock code is 666, its undetermined contents glow with an angelic gold light, and Marcellus spends the movie with a plaster stuck to the back of his skull. So what? Well, according to folklore, the Devil typically absorbs a man’s soul via the back of his skull. Spooky, huh?

Ferris Bueller, the imaginary friend

Like a light-hearted, family-friendly version of Fight Club, this fan theory suggests that the events of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off actually occur in the mind of introverted teen Cameron. Ferris is the imaginary person Cameron wishes he was. This would explain the increasingly madcap adventures the pair go on (Ferris hijacking the street celebrations) and the ending, in which Cameron decides to stand up for himself and sends Ferris home in the process.

Bond, James Bond

james bond

“James Bond” is not simply one man, but a code name passed down to various agents. This theory would explain the various actors who have portrayed the famous spy, why he hasn’t aged despite putting out a movie every other year since the 60’s, and why “prequel” Daniel Craig-era Bond has much better gadgets and tech than his Sean Connery predecessor (or successor; we just don’t know anymore).

Family fortunes

Speaking of Bond, Skyfall big-bad Silva (Javier Bardem) is in fact M’s estranged son according to this fan theory. It certainly adds actual meaning to why the deranged Abba extra keeps referring to her as “mother”. Also, the coded message “THINK ON YOUR SINS” present throughout the movie is actually an anagram of “I AM YOUR SON”. Crazy, or what?

Avatar: Ewya’s brainwashing


One moment Jake Sully is an all-American marine, desperate to complete his undercover mission to infiltrate the local population of Pandora and win back his legs. The next, he couldn’t care less about any of that and would rather save the very folk he’s at war with. How come the sudden change? Well, according to some, the moment Jake connects via USB 3.0 to the supernatural Eywa tree, she downloads a virus into his mind and brainwashes him into becoming the ultimate soldier and weapon for leading the planet’s defenses. Simple.

Do you want to play a game?

Throughout the Terminator universe, evil A.I. Skynet appears to want to destroy the human race. Yet, that isn’t wholly true according to this fan theory. Skynet is fully aware that should it send Arnie’s T-800 back in time to kill Sarah Connor, the rebels will send back Kyle Reese to protect her. One thing leads to another and Reese ends up fathering the child who’ll destroy Skynet once and for all. With all this knowledge, why not prevent said events by not trying to kill Sarah in the first place? Because Skynet needs the war with humans to give itself purpose. Wipe them out, and it’s just a smart desktop in a desert someplace.

Mufasa is God

How is it that a lion ends up appearing in the sky as a great God-like being? It may be because Mufasa is actually God in The Lion King. Notice how the kingdom of Pride Rock is thrown into a horrendous drought soon after his death, and it is only alleviated once Simba returns to claim his rightful place as king of the lions? That’s because Mufasa caused the drought in a Plagues of Egypt style Biblical message to his former subjects, while floating about in the clouds of course.

“Fly, you fools!”

Countless smart-asses have pointed out that the heroes of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy should have just flown to Mount Doom in the backs of the Eagles, rather than slogging it out for three long films. But Gandalf did plan on using the Eagles to fly to Mordor, according to this clever theory. The ancient wizard was leading the Fellowship up to their mountain roosts when Frodo opted instead for the slightly drier route of Moria. Poor old Gandalf met his end in the underground caverns – but not before he could advise the gang on their next move: “Fly, you fools!”

Se7en Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants

The characters of kids’ animation Spongebob Squarepants are actually anthropomorphic representations of the Seven Deadly Sins. The ever-angry Squidward is Wrath; Sandy the Squirrel is Pride; down-and-out Plankton is Envy; money-grabbing businessman Mr. Krabs is Greed; Patrick is Sloth and workaholic Spongebob is Lust (that’s lust for work and meaning). Meanwhile, sea-slug and loyal pet Gary is Gluttony (hence the ongoing joke about him needing to be fed). What’s in the box Spongebob?

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