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Willy Wonka Fan Theories That Are Pure Imagination

December 29, 2020 2.7k votes 575 voters 75.0k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting (and believable) fan theories.

The fantastical world of Willy Wonka has existed since Roald Dahl's book was first published in 1964, but it didn't truly come to life until Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory came to theaters in 1971. For decades, fans came up with imaginative and interesting theories about what was going on during the movie. In 2005, those fan theories exploded, thanks to Tim Burton's interpretation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Fans have been dreaming up new and fascinating fan theories for decades, and some of them are actually pretty plausible. Occasionally, fans will head over to the FanTheories subreddit to share their thoughts with others. This list compiles the most plausible fan theories about both the 1971 and the 2005 films, so take a look and see if any of them seem like they could be true. If you find one that's so plausible it has to be real, go ahead and give it an upvote!

  • 1

    Charlie Was Given The Golden Ticket On Purpose In 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory'

    From Redditor u/paulvs88:

    OK we are led to believe that all the golden tickets have been found. The news reported from Paraguay. Gene Wilder actually plays the reporter who relays the news that the last ticket has been found so we can easily make the assumption that the reporter is actually Wonka and he intentionally fabricated the report.

    Why? He wanted somebody to find the last ticket the pure way, not just as part of the contest to win the lifetime supply of chocolate. He also wanted somebody local for many reasons. 

    Now let's look at how Charlie gets the ticket. He finds money and goes into the candy store run by Bill (oddly another form of William and Willy). This theory has Bill working for Wonka. We know he likes kids and gives them free candy....lots of it..as seen in the opening Candy Man number. But you say 'Wonka has only Oompa Loompas working for him'. Not true. Remember Slugworth? 

    Bill gives the kids candy and sells it as well. He reports to Wonka about everything. Wonka instructs Bill to give the last ticket to a local kid, a poor kid, an unselfish kid.

    Bill offers him a Slugworth or a Wonka. Charlie says "whichever is biggest." So he gets the Wonka. Then as Charlie is walking out he says to Bill "I also want to get one for my Grandpa Joe"...that is the clincher. Bill HAS to give the ticket today because the event is tomorrow. Charlie NEVER gets to choose what candy to buy grandpa Joe. Bill says 'here, try a traditional Wonka bar this time' and grabs one. 

    He doesn't grab one from the stack as an owner would, he takes the display one and hands it to Charlie. He knew exactly which one had the ticket.

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    Golden theory?
  • 2

    Willy Wonka Planted The Last Ticket

    From Redditor u/mybustersword:

    Wonka said he wanted the winner to go to a child, one pure and innocent, and won't just abuse the factory for selfish reasons. But, who wins the 4 tickets? A rich spoiled brat who would ruin the factory with selfish desires, a gluttonous pig who would eat everything in sight, a hyper-competitive pseudo athlete that would drive for recognition and not secrecy, and a violent boy who is obsessed with pop culture. None of these fit with Wonka's narrative, or rather what is needed for the factory.

    So what does he do? Well, originally he releases these tickets one at a time as they are found. After number 1 is found he lets 2 out in the world and so on. He might have control over where they go, regionally, but left it up to chance generally. That explains why Slugworth had the general area down. And why someone like Veruca Salt who bought thousands of cases, only had one chance to win.

    The last ticket, however, goes to Charlie. Who apparently lives in the same town as the factory. As his tickets are found one by one, Wonka saw the other candidates and did not like them. Charlie was one that — given to the local popular candyman, could have chosen the "worthy" child. I think Wonka always intended for the tickets to be random and a true contest but became fearful once he saw the 4 winners on television, and planted the 5th one to help stack the odds to someone he would favor

    That would also explain why Wonka got so mad at Charlie at the end of the film. He didn't care at all about the other 4 kids when they messed up or got hurt, because he always banked on Charlie. And when Charlie turns out to be just as selfish and a liar as the others he initially thinks he got 5 duds.

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    Golden theory?
  • 3

    The Name Wonka Is Passed Down From Company Owner To Company Owner, Like James Bond

    From Redditor u/randomusername02130:

    Rewatching the movie, Grandpa Joe talks about Wonka and his history as if Grandpa Joe was a child when it all happened (the spies dressing as workers, etc.), and yet Wonka is seen being exceptionally younger than Grandpa Joe.

    With that and the fact that Wonka literally hands over his company to Charlie, it is reasonable to believe the company has done a similar contest before, though more discretely.

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    Golden theory?
  • 4

    Willy Wonka Originally Released Four Golden Tickets Instead Of Five In 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

    From Redditor u/PJRTCGY:

    When Willy Wonka announces his golden ticket giveaway, there is a mad rush for his chocolate bars and in the first week, 4 of the 5 tickets are found. 

    In the book, between when the finding of the 4th and 5th ticket Mr. Bucket loses his job putting on toothpaste caps and can only find work shoveling snow. Charlie is described as slowly starving and becoming thinner and thinner due to the lack of food.

    In the book, he finds the ticket on Jan 31 and the tour happens the next day on February 1 just down the street from where he lives.

    I think that this was part of Willy Wonka’s plan. He wanted to contest to continue for as long as possible since once the 5th ticket was found the rush to buy his chocolate would die down.

    If this ticket had been found anywhere but the town the factory was located in the winner would have had to travel to the town to attend the tour and that would have risked them missing the tour.

    So at the start of the contest, Willy Wonka sent out 4 tickets to the UK, Europe, and the US and withheld the last ticket until the last possible moment to continue the hype around the contest for as long as possible.

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    Golden theory?