The Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory

This trailer is well done (if a bit overlong) but the theory behind it is amazing.

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn’t until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane (“He’s gonna marry me!”), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

(via Cool Papa Bell /

I don’t think for a second that Ferris Bueller was written with this complicated extra dimension in mind, but I’m curious to watch the film again and see if it holds water retrospectively!

It’s worth reading the MetaTalk thread for some more elaboration from Cool Papa Bell:

Here’s another thing that led me to adopting the Fight Club theory — the odometer problem.

Would Ferris Bueller NOT know that you can’t roll an odometer back by driving in reverse? It’s Ferris freakin’ Bueller! Yet we’re to believe that THIS is the only mistake he makes in the film? Setting aside Ed Rooney hitting the doorbell multiple times, this is the only mistake Ferris makes that leaves behind incriminating, unexplainable, physical evidence! 

There’s a reason for this. It’s Cameron’s mistake. Setting the car up to go in reverse is something hardluck Cameron would try to do and fail. Ferris says, “We’ll have to crack it open and roll the odometer back by hand.” Well, sure, but Cameron nixes the idea, because he knows he doesn’t have the skill to do that in the real world. He’s screwed, and his imaginary friend can’t help him here.

(Also, this is a prime example of why we need copyright reform)

EDIT: I meant to thank @sfslim for bringing this to my attention in the first place!


2 thoughts on “The Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory

  1. There’s another comment I like at a /Film post about the same MetaTalk thread, where Mike H gives the whole theory some typical writer’s logic:also, the climax of the film occurs when cameron decides to stand up to his father and take the blame for the car. cameron is the only one who experiences a major change in the film while the other characters are fairly flat and continue their lives the same as before. its interesting that the climax isnt centered around ferris who most people view as the protagonist.

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