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'90s Movies Fan Theories

Updated February 10, 2020 90.6k votes 21.5k voters 941.0k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most compelling theories.

You can't beat the nostalgic butterflies every millennial gets from their favorite '90s films. Today, people still find inspiration from Cher Horowitz's Clueless fashion, have a terrible tendency to yell "What's in the box?" at the Amazon delivery person, and regularly contemplate whether they'd take the red or blue pill from The Matrix. One thing remains clear: the creators of these '90s fan theories have all swallowed the red one (or are desperately trying to choke it down).

These crazy fan theories attempt to unveil the truth in beloved films - whether an outrageous '90s sci-fi flick or a lighthearted Disney cartoon. Nothing in the '90s is what it seems: the lovable, dopey cop in Scream doubles as a criminal mastermind; the sadistic Sid from Toy Story grows up to be virtuous and kind; and the hunky pauper on the ill-fated Titanic was actually saving the world.

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  • Photo: Columbia Pictures

    When a future-cop asks Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) if he's "classified as human," the erstwhile cab driver replies, "Negative. I am a meat popsicle." This sounds like a sarcastic answer, especially as delivered by Willis, who can always be counted upon to land a one-liner. If he's answering honestly, though, Dallas might be a whole lot older than his appearance suggests.

    The implication of "meat popsicle" may be that Dallas has spent time cryogenically frozen. The character has a lengthy military history, so /u/vicrally filled in some gaps, asserting that Dallas was awake for deployments, but cryogenically frozen when in transit across vast interstellar distances or even simply between military engagements. His associate Finger mentions having sat next to Dallas on "a thousand missions," so if soldiers are frozen between missions, Dallas could have been kicking around for decades or even centuries longer than expected.

    And if cryogenic freezing is a military practice in The Fifth Element, it pays off nicely when Dallas hides General Monro (Brion James) in his refigerator.

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  • Groundhog Day is as brilliant as it is frustrating. Waking up to the same day over and over gets hard to watch - but maybe that's the point. Perhaps the repeated time loop was Phil Conners's (Bill Murray) personal Hell and Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky), the insurance salesman, was actually the Devil.

    A fan theory by Redditor /u/SuperConductiveRabbi alleges Ned is the Devil, and has it out for Phil. Firstly, Phil and Ned don't really get along. The moment after Phil first encounters (and insults) Ned, he immediately steps into a puddle. Ned laughs and shoots off a snide remark (almost like he was responsible). On the last day of the time loop, Phil finally purchases an insurance policy from Ned, and then he's mysteriously free? Yeah, okay.

    The theory also notices one parallel: buying a ton of life insurance is as close as you can get to selling your soul. The Devil would certainly approve.

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  • Photo: TriStar Pictures

    With its tangled time travel mythology, the Terminator franchise has inspired plenty of convoluted fan theories, but this one is deceptively simple: the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) develops desires and emotions of its own, despite being designed specifically to terminate with a minimum of fuss and no feelings at all.

    That's exactly how the T-1000 operates early in Terminator 2, efficiently killing anyone and everyone who presents even a minor obstacle or opportunity on its quest, including police officers and passersby. As that quest continues, though, the robot's terminations become less and less efficient. By the time it reaches the psychiatric facility housing Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the T-1000 is slowly, almost sadistically, running his finger through a guard's eye. This sadistic streak is fully in evidence during T2's climax, as the liquid metal villain tortures Sarah. As /u/Azumarill99 points out, the shapeshifting robot could easily have impersonated Sarah to accomplish his goal, yet it instead chooses a crueler, less efficient route, presumably just to take pleasure in her pain.

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  • Photo: Hollywood Pictures / Amazon

    Cole (Haley Joel Osment) isn't the only one who can see dead people in The Sixth Sense. According to a Reddit fan theory by /u/strudelbaker95, Anna (Olivia Williams) may have the gift, as well. Anna experiences a cold chill when spirits are around, and in the beginning scene, she freezes like she notices something present. The theory states Anna can see Malcolm (Bruce Willis) the whole time, but knows he's gone. She ignores him, hoping it will prevent her from hurting more (she's already on Zoloft while trying to cope with the loss).

    Anna does acknowledge Malcolm once in the film, while she's in the restaurant on their anniversary. She looks directly at him and speaks, but the movie leads us to believe she's just talking to herself.

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