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'Fight Club' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True

Updated May 29, 2020 4k votes 791 voters 34.9k views12 items

List RulesVote up the 'Fight Club' theories that make the most sense.

David Fincher’s Fight Club initially flopped at the box office in 1999, but it has since become a cult classic and one of the biggest sensations in film history. Fincher filled the screen with countless nods and winks that Fight Club fanatics have gathered in the years since the film's release. While most viewers remember the seemingly out-of-nowhere plot twist, ardent admirers of the film take their devotion to a deeper level.

There’s plenty to deconstruct when analyzing a pop-culture sensation like Fight Club, which was adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name. The rules are simple: read about these Fight Club fan theories, then decide which fan theories are way too out there and which ones actually make perfect sense. Be sure to vote up your favorites, and check out more shows and movies like Fight Club when you're done!

  • 5

    Marla Has A Split Personality

    Sometimes Marla is sweet, but she is often incredibly antagonistic. In order to explain this duality, Redditor /u/tyoung000 argues that Marla, like the Narrator, has a split personality. The theory is based on the restaurant scene, in which the Narrator tells Marla that there are two different sides to him. She barely reacts to his declaration, hinting that the notion is not entirely unfamiliar to her.

    The Redditor also points out that in the film's conclusion, Marla displays contradictory behaviors in rapid succession - when she sees the Narrator in the building, "...she yells at him and then starts to fall in love with him..."

    Is this plausible?
  • 6

    The Narrator And Durden Are Adult Versions Of Calvin And Hobbes

    Cracked argues that the Narrator is an adult Calvin and Durden is a grown-up Hobbes. In the popular comic Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is a clever six-year-old boy, and although Hobbes looks like a stuffed tiger to the outside world, to Calvin, he is a living, breathing tiger companion. 

    Both Fight Club and Calvin and Hobbes feature imaginary friends. Similarly, Calvin tells his parents that his frequent bruises are from Hobbes's playful punches, much like the Narrator and Durden square off as sparring partners, despite being the same person.

    The theory also points to the similarities between the male-only Fight Club and Calvin's G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS) club.

    Is this plausible?
  • 7

    The Narrator Is Gay

    One former Redditor theorizes that the Narrator is gay, but his alter ego, Durden, is not. At the end of the film, the characters "merge into one" - the Narrator then feels attraction to Marla, and they subsequently hold hands to close out the final act. 

    The Redditor reinforces their claim by pointing out the Narrator's derision towards Marla throughout the rest of the film. When she proposes they sleep together, he refuses and leaves. When the Narrator discovers Marla and Durden are together, he is visibly upset. The theorist believes this is because the Narrator wants to be with Durden and is jealous of Marla's relationship with him. 

    The theorist also uses a quote from the Narrator to support their claim:

    The protagonist beats up the blonde guy, and afterwards he says, "I wanted to destroy something beautiful." If he wasn't attracted to guys, he would have [targeted] a lady.

    Is this plausible?
  • 8

    'Fight Club' Is The Joker's Origin Story

    Redditor u/Bakkidza claims that the Narrator and his alter ego, Tyler Durden, are actually the Joker from the Dark Knight franchise. They base their theory on the Narrator's split personality, his unquestioning disciples, and Durden's power - which ultimately leads to chaos. 

    The Redditor also points to the ambiguity of the Joker's origin story. The Joker, like Durden, has a rabid following of flunkies who will fulfill his every request. Batman's nemesis also inflicts chaos wherever he goes, and lastly, his infamous scars are still largely a mystery. 

    The theorist fully explained the hypothetical transition like so:

    After the Narrator shoots out his cheek on top of the building, he is taken to a hospital. In the hospital, he goes into a coma/trance. While the Narrator is in the hospital, space monkeys keep visiting and telling him that things are going according to plan. The Narrator doesn't want to rejoin the world because of this, but the [Durden] part of the brain does, but the event on top of the building damaged his personality. This damaged [Durden] eventually becomes the Joker and fully takes over the Narrator's personality.

    Is this plausible?