So it makes sense that one of the most popular Ask Reddit threads this week had users divulging their favorite unauthorized and unofficial conspiracy theories behind popular TV shows, movies and books.
"What 'fan theories' have blown your mind with their devastating logic?"user Exdee1 asked. Redditors were happy to deliver their answers — a special kind of fanfic lite where back stories are invented by avid readers and watchers of franchises like "Star Wars,""Harry Potter," and even "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Twenty-four hours in, this most recent thread had accumulated 10,000 comments and counting. Here are some of the best theories we found. (Just keep in mind — these are unofficial and all in good fun. What they show more than anything is just how obsessive certain online fan groups can be.)
"Scooby Doo" is more political than you thought
"The original Scooby Doo series is set after a horrible economic depression,"user King_of_Swag postulates. "Everything is abandoned and falling apart, and all of the villains are people who would normally be really respected (professors, museum curators, celebrities) who have fallen into hard times just like everyone else. How many times have the gang helped someone NOT go out of business?"
"I'm personally partial to the theory that they're draft dodgers during the Vietnam War,"says liljakeyplzandthnx, while linking to another subreddit that enumerates that particular theory. "The show takes place in 1969, a big year for protesters. Fred's a draft-dodger on the run, Daphne's his fiancée, Shaggy's a nomadic hippy, and Velma's a campus activist."
There's a reason "Inspector Gadget" has a soft spot for Penny
"Inspector Gadget is actually an android who's been programmed to believe he's really Penny's uncle,"yakusokuN8 writes. "Her real uncle was in a terrible accident, and left horribly disfigured, so that his voice is raspy, and his face is terribly mangled and never wants anyone to see it. That man is actually... Dr. Claw. Dr. Claw has been driven mad having lost everything and vows to destroy Inspector Gadget at every turn. This explains why Dr. Claw never hurts Penny, why a bumbling fool barely manages to function like a human adult, and why Dr. Claw is so hellbent on exacting revenge every episode."
"Aladdin" wasn't really set in the past
One redditor posted this meme, which postulates that the Genie in "Aladdin" was actually trapped in his lamp for 10,000 years, and that the world of "Aladdin" is actually post-apocalyptic. "How else could the genie do impressions of long-dead celebrities like Groucho Marx, Jack Nicholson, etc.?" it reads.
"The Magic School Bus" has a touch of "Doctor Who"
Reddit user psykulor postulates that fictional third-grade teacher Miss Frizzle, who owns a magic school bus that she uses to take her kids on field trips to caves, prehistoric times, and outer space, is a "time lord," borrowed from the "Doctor Who" franchise.
The evidence, according to psykulor:
- She's cheerfully blasé about the most perilous situations - clearly a trait of the species.
- She's in casual contact with aliens and parahumans.
- Most notably, she has a device which allows her to travel through time and relative dimensions in space (though she clearly prefers shrinking to time travel).
"The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" opening credits hid a dark secret
"Will was murdered on the basketball court in West Philly,"user Naweezy posted. "The taxi driver is God (that's why we felt that the cab was different or "rare") [...] God takes him heaven where he lives in a mansion with his wealthy aunt and uncle and slowly works out his issues and hardships."
In "Star Wars," the Emperor wasn't even focused on fighting the rebel forces
One user, BlackClaw24, dug deep into the archives of Reddit and located an exhaustive post from a similar thread started three years ago. It explains how the Emperor in "Star Wars" was not antagonizing Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, et al. Instead, he was preparing for extra-galactic invasion.
The thread goes on and on, and is a must-read for anyone who likes diving deep into the politics of "Star Wars."
Of course, redditors don't stop at theories that explain the backstories of just one franchise at a time. They also put a considerable amount of thought into whether the fictional worlds of distinct movies and shows overlap.
Kevin from "Home Alone" becomes the twisted villain from the "Saw" movies
George Weasley from "Harry Potter" becomes Willy Wonka
"George Weasley goes on to become Willy Wonka,"user PM_Me_Your_Asian_Self writes. "The scene where Willy has half of everything in his office kinda hints that he lost his better half, that is his brother who died."
This one seems like it could have legs — until you remember that the source material for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was written by Roald Dahl 33 years before the first "Harry Potter" book was published.
Plus, as user TomatoSlayer puts it, "I doubt even with magic could he make the snozzberries taste like snozzberries."
There's a link between "Sons of Anarchy,""Cops,""The X-Files," and more
"Sons of Anarchy shares a universe with Raising Hope, My Name is Earl, Cops and X-files,"lokigodofchaos writes. "So in an episode of Raising Hope, Jimmy is going door to door for some reason. One of the doors he knocks on is answered by Filthy Phil wearing his Sons of Anarchy vest. On the first episode of Raising Hope, it me[n]tions a New Jersey man finally finished his karma list, a reference to My Name Is Earl. In an episode of Earl, they appear on Cops. The X-Files also had a Cops crossover."
Read farther down on that thread, and you'll see some redditors have pushed this even further to include "30 Rock" and "Arrested Development."
All of Quentin Tarantino's movies are connected — not just "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs"
Tarantino himself has admitted to the overlap between the worlds of two of his earliest films, "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction." Redditors have taken this even further, striving to link every one of Tarantino's films — even the World War II film "Inglourious Basterds." One redditor says the character called the Bear Jew is the father of a character in Tarantino's other film, "True Romance."
Click here to read dozens of redditors' extensive Tarantino theories.
"Fight Club" and "Ferris Bueller" share one specific plot element
Redditor pbbtttb links to SlashFilm's theory that in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," Ferris doesn't exist. Instead, he's a manifestation of the more introverted Cameron's id — just like Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt's character in "Fight Club."