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15 Dark Fan Theories That Change Your Favorite Childhood Movies

December 21, 2020 4.4k votes 987 voters 133.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the best dark fan theories about childhood favorites.

A lot of movies we just can't seem to let go of are those we watched growing up. Everyone has a favorite childhood film that they watched over and over; it was only as adults that we realized just how dark some of our favorites actually were. Of course, there will always be plot-points that felt unfinished or characters who we're forever curious about, which is where fan theories come in. And sometimes they tend to take a darker turn. We managed to round up a few of the best dark fan theories surrounding some of the childhood movies that we hold dear.

Which fan theory do you think could be true? Vote up your favorites below!

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    Peter Pan Kills Lost Boys Who Grow Up

    Peter Pan Kills Lost Boys Who Grow Up
    Photo: Peter Pan / Universal Pictures

    From Redditor u/morvis343:

    The first theory is that Pan never wants his Lost Boys to grow up, and so once they do, he kills them as they no longer fit into his ideal version of Neverland. This theory generally points to Captain Hook and the other pirates being former Lost Boys who grew up and escaped before Pan could kill them. So by this theory, Hook is the good guy and Pan is the villain. The second theory is that Neverland is a sort of afterlife for children who died young, and so Pan brings them to Neverland so they can have a proper whimsical childhood they were denied in this life. I realized that these two theories could mesh quite nicely if Neverland isn't just an afterlife, but more of a waypoint on the way to the regular afterlife. So children die, are brought by Pan to Neverland, where they are given a fantastic chance at a full childhood, and then, when they grow up, Pan "kills" them, sending them along to the regular afterlife, Heaven. Captain Hook figured out that Pan was killing children and escaped without figuring out that the children were supposed to die once they've grown up. They got their chance at childhood, and now it's time for them to move on. So now Pan and Hook are locked in their conflict, both of them having the best intentions for the Lost Boys, but only Pan knowing the truth, and Hook would never listen to him long enough to entertain the idea.

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  • The Dread Pirate Rogers Was Poisoning Westley
    Photo: The Princess Bride / 20th Century Fox

    From Redditor u/BARGOBLEN:

    The film gives little details about how Westley developed his immunity, only saying he built it up over the course of a few years. But how? Well it's pretty easy, as The Dread Pirate Roberts took Westley under his wing, he began testing Wesley by poisoning his food with Iocane Powder gradually enhancing the amount he puts in, hence why every night before going to bed he would tell Westley "Good Job Westley, I'll most likely kill you in the morning." Repeating it everyday for three years because it seemed likely that the next dose of Iocane might be too much and kill Westley. After three years Westley's immunity grew and persisted, Roberts decided that his friend was ready to take over the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts, seeing his devotion to true love and his strength from withstanding the effects of Iocane Powder, making him a suitable candidate to replace him as Roberts.

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  • Sandy Actually Did Drown In 'Grease'
    Photo: Grease / Paramount Pictures

    From Redditor u/atomicbolt:

    TL;DR: The entire movie was a drowning woman's coma fantasy.

    At the end of Grease, Sandy and Danny get into a red convertible and drive away from the fair. The car promptly defies the laws of gravity and flies into the sky. How did the car fly? At the start of the film, we see Danny and Sandy meeting on the beach. Later, Danny explains through song that they first met when Danny "saved her life - she nearly drowned". Sandy actually did drown on the beach that day. As she drowned, her brain deprived of oxygen, she had a vivid coma fantasy involving her summer fling with Danny, where they shared a magical year of high school together. The visions get increasingly outlandish as time passes, until finally, as Danny desperately trues to resuscitate her on the beach, she sees herself flying to heaven in her dying moments.

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  • 'Labyrinth' Is The Story Of A Girl Coping With Abuse
    Photo: Labyrinth / Tri-star Pictures

    From Redditor u/TheWard:

    TL;DR - Sarah was abused by her mother’s boyfriend. The film is her projecting the event into a context where she could learn to cope with it and stop blaming herself.

    An actress named Linda Williams and her husband Robert have a daughter named Sarah, the protagonist of the film. Around when Sarah is 10 years old, Linda has an affair with a fellow actor who goes by the name of Jeremy. and it causes a rift in their relationship. it’s entirely possible that during the affair, Jeremy found an odd attraction to Sarah, and in a moment of privacy, abuses her (possibly using something to sedate Sarah so she will not tell anyone). Jareth's language is not unlike most abusers, pointing out all the kind things he’s done when his number of transgressions far outweigh his generous acts. He also throws out confusing dissonant statements (“Just let me rule you and you can have everything that you want… Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.”) At this point Sarah recites the lines from her novel, as seen in the beginning of the film, and finally realizes what she has been searching for. She has known the feeling and the words all along, and she speaks aloud the words she needs to hear herself. “You have no power over me.” With this, Sarah is able to realize that what happened to her was not her fault. She is able to grow as a person and put the past behind her. The world she has imagined shatters around her and she finds herself back in the comfort of her bedroom.

    [Read the full theory here]

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    Interesting theory?