What is a show/movie theory that you came up with?

What is an original theory about a TV show or a movie that you developed.on your own? When you tell people this theory, do they generally agree with you or not? What I’m not looking for is a collection of theories from the web but ones that Dopers themselves created.

Breaking Bad: Walter White has dissociative identity disorder (split personalities). I knew someone that had honest-to-god split personalities and I could see when she switched. You can actually see when Walter switches to Heisenberg or vice versa. There are also places where one acts like the other but doesn’t switch and in those scenes there is something off like someone is doing a Heisenberg impersonation because someone is … Walter.
When I tell people this they are in complete agreement but the thing is Bryan Cranston would have intentionally chosen to play Walter/Heisenberg as two personality and study the subtle shift that occurs when someone switches. Maybe he as an actor he made choices that accidentally mimic this. Also, why would a chemist choose the alias Heisenberg best known as a physicist that developed the Uncertainty Principal. Well, if you have split personality there is uncertainty about who you are. OK, I admit that last one is stretching a bit.

Parks & Recreation: Chris Traeger is Robert McCallister from Brothers & Sisters. After the car accident and after being taken off life-support Robert survived but with severe brain damage that caused terminal amnesia. The Walkers paid to give him a new identity (Chris Traeger) and moved him to Indiana and set him up in a job that was familiar to him (politics). This explains why Chris (from Parks & Rec) doesn’t talk about his past, has bizarre emotional reactions (the brain damage affects his emotions) and a fear of death that borders on obsession.
This has a 0% approval rating from everyone I’ve told that has seen both shows.

Laura Innes played Kerry Weaver in ER and in a couple of episodes, Alan Alda was a guest actor, playing an older doctor who had been her mentor. (Later we learned that Alda’s character was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease.) I liked to think that Alda’s character was the same as Hawkeye Pierce from MASH, that after returning to the US after the Korean War he ended up teaching trauma and emergency medicine.

Just to add, feel free to critique other posters’ theories.

I’m partial to the theory that the Shady Rest Hotel was a brothel, and “Mom” Kate Bradley and “Uncle” Joe Carson were the resident madam and pimp, respectively. The girls came and went, but the names stayed the same, and you could be sure they’re waiting for you naked in that big water tank. The remote location and single railroad track meant a tired big-city buinessman could count on privacy and discretion while he enjoyed a brief getaway from his boring old wife and family. Even the name Petticoat Junction was enticing!

I don’t think I originated this theory, but I’ve certainly come to embrace and embellish it a bit.

Intriguing. Now fit that in with Andy Dwyer being the same character as Bright Abbot (Chris Pratt’s character way back in Everwood).

TV Tropes

  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One line in the theme song goes “Lots of curves, you bet, and even more when you get to the Junction.” just as the clip of the girls’ petticoats are seen on the exterior of the water tank.
  • Kate using the girls to lure male guests to the hotel is just this short of Unfortunate Implications. It’s all part of network head James Aubrey’s “broads, bosoms, and fun” formula.

Never heard of that “formula” before, but doggone if it ain’t right on! :ok_hand:

And that magazine cover and recruiting poster…oooooooooooooooooh! :open_mouth:

The Simpsons is set in China. Springfield is actually a Chinese espionage base designed to simulate a typical American community so Chinese spies can train on blending in while working in America. The Simpson family isn’t aware of this; they’re just brainwashed civilians who actually believe they’re an American family (this is why they don’t break character when they’re alone). They’re not spies; they’re just part of the background. They have also gone through a surgical process that prevents them from physically changing over the years.

This explains why it’s never clear where Springfield is located. It explains why a supposed small town like Springfield has so many varied sections; the government wanted to train its agents in a wide variety of environments. It explains the unrealistic depiction of American institutions like big business, the media, religion, and entertainment; these are not accurate depictions of these institutions but the biased interpretation of these institutions as set up by a communist regime. And finally, it explains why everyone is yellow.

Leverage and Chuck take place in the same universe.

Adam Baldwin played a main character on Chuck, a USMC Colonel with a back ground in special operations who is seconded to the NSA and is part of an ad hoc joint NSA/CIA/civilian task force, that occasionally includes agents from other agencies as well. He is initially disdainful of the civilian(s), and even the CIA agent(s), but over the course of the show, he grows to respect the other team members, and explicitly comes to see the unorthodox structure as an asset.

In one episode of Leverage, Adam Baldwin makes a cameo as an unidentified U.S. military special operations operator. Which is thin. But. In a later episode, he reprises the character in a significant guest role. In that episode, he is explicitly identified as a Colonel with a background in special operations, who is seconded to the NSA, and runs ad hoc joint task forces, made up of personnel from various agencies as well as civilians.

Now, the name of the character he plays in Leverage is different from the one in Chuck, but it was explicitly established in Chuck that the name he was using was a cover identity, not his real name. The character in Leverage wears a U.S. Army uniform at one point, while the character in Chuck makes a big deal about being a Marine, but the Leverage episode also shows a character explicitly identified in dialogue as being a U.S. Navy SEAL in an Army uniform, so the incongruous uniform can be dismissed as a simple error.

Colonel John Casey (Chuck) and Colonel Michael Vance (Leverage) are the same person.

Not really a theory, but a big plot hole that’s bothered me that I don’t think anybody else has ever noticed, though to be picking out plot holes in a movie as silly as “Hot Tub Time Machine” is probably a symptom of my latent OCD or something.

Anyway, the 3 friends travel back 24 years and into their younger selves, from 2010 to 1986. They then spend a considerable amount of effort jumping through hoops to get the titular hot tub time machine fixed so they can travel back to their time, except the Rob Corddry character, who chooses to stay behind (the young guy stays behind too, but that’s beside the point).

John Cusack’s and Craig Robinson’s characters return to an altered timeline in their present day in which they’ve been living much better lives than their old selves. This is presented as a glowing happy ending. Except, they have no memory of the past 24 years; they only slowly realize how much better things are by observing their surroundings, like pictures on the wall and such. Sure, their future looks good but they missed out on 24 years of happiness.

Meanwhile the Corddry character who stays behind relives an extra 24 years of youth, plus with knowledge of the future that allows him to become a fabulously wealthy rock star / internet entrepeneur. All 3 of them would have been much better off reliving their past.

I have long suspected that Tom Cruise’s manic, semi-wacky spy/action hero character in Knight and Day is actually his very serious spy/action hero character from the Mission: Impossible movies, undergoing a psychotic break and using a different cover name.

I haven’t seen the Hot Tub Time Machine movies but you seem to be making a valid point. Why work so hard on going back to your own time if that time is going to be changed?

Not sure this is a theory, but having seen The Graduate dozens of times since 1967, I gradually came to see Mrs. Robinson starting out as a fallible, sad, non-villainous person who ultimately becomes the tragic victim of Benjamin’s shallow narcisissim.

One that I came up with on my own, but later discovered that fellow Doper @Czarcasm had the same idea: the God Account in the TV series “God Friended Me” was actually the Machine from “Person of Interest”.

The Brownshirts in Firefly were actually the bad guys. The background of the story is that the main characters had fought a war against the Alliance. And they now are struggling to get by in the aftermath of that unsuccessful war.

But the causes of the war are never explained except in vague terms. The Alliance is portrayed as an oppressive regime but we’re seeing it from the viewpoint of people who fought against it.

We do see that the Firefly crew are criminals. And Whedon has said that he based the background on the experiences of Confederates after the Civil War.

So my theory is that Whedon was going to get us used to seeing the Brownshirts as the good guys for a couple of seasons and then pull the big surprise reveal; they were actually fighting for some horrible cause. My speculation is based on the fact that the worlds in the series were supposed to be settled by a mix of Americans and Chinese - but we don’t see any significant Chinese presence in the outer worlds. Maybe the Brownshirts were the equivalent of the Nazis; they were a genocidal regime that killed off most of the Chinese people. Mal Reynolds and Zoe Washburne were the equivalent of a couple of Wehrmacht veterans around in 1950, remembering the “good old days” with their military unit but never talking about the things their government did while they were fighting.

Klaus from The Umbrella Academy is really Nathan from Misfits. He looks identical and has the same superpowers and sexuality.

This is both horrifying and very clever. Well done.

I’ve written about this one before

The Teletubbies are actually the Eloi from H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.

Think about it – they live mindless, care-free lives on the sunny surface with no duties or woes, all the while being fed and taken care of by the noo-noo which “lives” underground.

Most adults found the Teletubbies weird, but it makes them more acceptable if you imagine that, after a long and happy life in the above-ground fields and eating whatever it was they ate, Tinky Winky ended up sliced into well-marbled Tinky Winky steaks for the benefit of his unseen benefactor Morlocks.

Cars is set in a post-apocalyptical world. Humanity had reached the port of building AI systems but there was a war where nanotech weapons killed off all biological life.

What we see in the movie are the AI’s that survived the war. Their society is controlled by giant underground AI systems which manufacture the surface AI’s we see. The surface AI’s were designed to serve human beings but there are no longer any humans around for them to serve. So the underground AI’s erased all knowledge of humans from the surface AI’s memories so they wouldn’t realized what was missing from their existence. The cars we see are mimicking human existence without being aware that human beings ever existed.

Doctor Who is a vampire. Not the traditional blood-drinking kind; he’s a psychic vampire who feeds off emotions. That’s why he always travels with companions even though they serve no apparent use to him. He brings them to new situations and feeds off their feelings of surprise, joy, fear, etc. It also explains why he replaces his companions with new ones; after a while of traveling with him, they become used to the excitement and no longer feel the sharp emotions he wants. So he finds a fresh inexperienced companion.