"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"
— Ferris Bueller
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 teen comedy movie written and directed by the legendary John Hughes. It's considered one of the best films of the eighties, and has been very influential.The film follows Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), a senior in high school, who pretends to be sick and skips school for the day. He's able to convince his neurotic best friend Cameron and his carefree girlfriend Sloane to come along with him. The three of them take Cameron's father's prized car, heading out to Chicago to spend one more day together before graduation. However, his principal and his younger sister are hot on his trail, ready to prove that he's skipping school.In 1990, a TV series based on the film began to air on NBC. Due to poor ratings, it was cancelled during its first season. Dueling showParker Lewis Can't Lose was its Spiritual Successor (and some say was the real TV adaptation).Also happens to be movie critic Richard Roeper's favourite film.Provides examples of:
"I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?"
Ambiguously Jewish: Ferris and Jeannie were certainly not meant to be interpreted this way (their parents are as WASP-y as they come). But the fact is that they're both played by actors who both are Jewish and "look" very Jewish (until Jennifer Grey got her nose job, of course). The name "Bueller" is German, which could go either way.
American Accents: The school secretary speaks in a delightful Minnesota/Wisconsin dialect.
Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Ben Stein as the economics professor never says, "Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?" He does say these lines but separately. He first says, "Bueller? Bueller?" while taking attendance and then later during his lecture asks, "Anyone? Anyone?"
Berserk Button: The car, for Cameron, who blows his gasket twice. Ferris lampshades the first incident.
Here's where Cameron goes berserk.
Bifauxnen: Mr. Rooney finds who he believes is Ferris at the arcade, but turns out to be a girl (with some Pepsi).
Book Ends: The movie starts and ends with Ferris in bed.
Brick Joke: At the beginning, we see Ferris preparing something with his trophy, and start singing "Danke Schoen." Later, we see that he has used his trophy in a Rube Goldberg device to deceive his parents, and even later, he sings Danke Schoen in one of the great scenes of the movie.
Caught on the Jumbotron: Ferris catches a foul ball at Wrigley Field. It's shown on national TV, although Rooney looks at the television a second too late and misses seeing Ferris.
Chekhov's Gun: The scene at the pizza parlour where Rooney mistakes a girl for Ferris; Ferris is actually on the TV in a baseball game, catching a baseball on camera. Much later (at the end of the movie) in order to turn off the snoring sound effects playing on his stereo while he's still in bed, he retrieves the baseball from his pocket and throws it at the stereo's "off" button.
Follow the Leader: After this movie became hugely successful, many teen shows throughout the next decade or so (particularly those aimed at children) implemented a Ferris Bueller-like character (i.e. Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell, Ronnie Pinsky from Salute Your Shorts, Parker Lewis from Parker Lewis Cant Lose, etc.). Some of these were just shallow/one-dimensional caricatures of Ferris; others weren't.
For the Lulz: Why Ferris does anything. Ferris says he's doing it to give Cameron a fun day.
French Cuisine Is Haughty: The upscale French restaurant that Ferris and company visit has the requisite snooty maître d’. Also parodied, in that the restaurant is named Chez Quis, as a pun on the pizza chain Shakey's.
Funny Background Event: When they go to pick up Cameron's dad's 1961 Ferrari 250GT California at the end of the day, they stand outside the parking garage talking...while, in the corner of the screen, we see the garage attendants bringing the car in through a different entrance after having spent the day joyriding in it.
You can also see the car pulling out of the garage right after the gang has dropped it off, and the second attendant jumps in and shouts "Go! Go!"
Grey and Gray Morality: Ferris is a con artist without much empathy for other people(or at least a warped sense of empathy that sees manipulation as compassion), and Rooney is on a personal vendetta that involves assaulting a student's dog. Neither of them are particularly great people.
Green-Eyed Monster: Jeannie is jealous of the fact that Ferris can do whatever he wants, and get away with it, while she ends up getting in trouble for something she didn't even do.
Harpo Does Something Funny: Ben Stein originally only had his iconic "Bueller......Bueller" scene, but the director thought he had such distinctive voice that he asked Stein to just talk about any subject he knew a lot about, which led to the short scene of him teaching a class on the Great Depression.
Heel Face Turn: When Rooney finally nails Ferris at the end, it's Jeannie of all people who bails him out.
Heroic BSOD: Cameron undergoes one when, after thinking that maybe things won't go so bad after all, and maybe he's just being a worry wart, he notices the "slightly" increased mileage on the odometer on his dad's car, and proceeds to go catatonic.
Impairment Shot: Despite the fact that the audience knows Ferris is faking, Jeannie knows Ferris is faking, and Ferris is lampshading that Jeannie knows Ferris is faking — the camera still gives an out of focus view of Jeannie as she walks in to complain their parents are letting Ferris stay home.
Insert Cameo: In Cameron's first scene, we see his hand press a button on his speakerphone. The hand was actually that of John Hughes; Alan Ruck didn't get the movement quite right, so Hughes did it himself after everyone else had left for the day.
Inspector Javert/Lawful Stupid: Dean Rooney. Say what you will about Ferris being manipulative, but dropping a flowerpot on a dog's head and breaking into a student's house is taking things too far.
It's All About Me: "They could be fascist anarchists and that still wouldn't change the fact that I don't have a car."
Jerkass Has a Point: Yes, Rooney goes too far by breaking into the Bueller home and attacking their dog, but he has every right to be bothered by the fact that Ferris has skipped school at least nine times before.
Also, Jeannie gets arrested by the police for making a legitimate call about an actual intruder in her house.
Last of His Kind: Along with Pretty In Pink, which was released in the same year, and Some Kind Of Wonderful, which was released a year later, this film pretty much marked the end of an era for John Hughes. After making those three films, Hughes decided that it was time for him to grow up cinematically, and thus he began cranking out films that were more oriented towards adults, such as Planes, Trains and Automobiles, She's Having a Baby, and The Great Outdoors.
Nice to the Waiter: Inverted at Chez Quis, moreso after Ferris pulls off the trick, and partially justified as the maitre'd is a bit of a French Jerk (well, at least, it's a French restaurant). To be fair, Ferris started by trying to be nice, but that got nowhere.
Subverted with the parking lot staff. Ferris attempts to treat them well to get special treatment for the car, and they go and do the exact opposite.
Though perhaps they were just as insulted at being slipped a mere "fin" as the maitre d' was.
Played straight with the Chez Quis bathroom attendant. Ferris slips him a nice tip, and the attendant gives him a very happy thank you.
No Fourth Wall: Only for Ferris, anyway. Sloane doesn't even notice that he's talking to the audience.
Not So Different: Partially the reason for Jeannie's Heel Face Turn is that she sees how trashed and tarnished Rooney is from pursuing Ferris and trying to catch him. It shows that if she kept pursuing the matter further, she could get in worse trouble.
Obviously Evil: The parking attendant who took Cameron's car for a joyride.
Please, I'm a professional.
Oh Crap: Rooney, when Grace tells him that Ferris is on Line 2.
Ferris, when Rooney confronts him.
Again Rooney, when Jeannie produces his wallet.
Cameron, and to a lesser extent Ferris and Sloane, when the car gets kicked off the stand.
Police Are Useless: They arrest Jeannie when she calls to report a "prowler" in her home and they find no one there. Perhaps they are suspicious since she's skipping school, but a halfhearted search would have immediately turned up Rooney's wallet...
Jeannie:SPEAK-A DE ENGLISH?! (slams phone down) DICK-HEAD!
Selective Enforcement: Jeannie is a victim of this from her and Ferris' parents, who seem completely oblivious to Ferris' antics.
Self-Inflicted Hell: A lot of what Jeannie does to herself. Among other things she's ticked about why people seem to love Ferris and hate her... while Ferris treats everyone like his closest friend and she treats them all like dirt.
The scene in The Blues Brothers was filmed at famous (at the time; it's since been closed) Chicago restaurant Chez Paul. The one used in this film was designed to look similar, since it is also based in Chicago.
Suspiciously Similar Song: The Ferris Bueller TV series employed a little musical riff that seems awfully similar to Yello's "Oh Yeah". (F-F-F-Ferris B-B-B-Bueller hee hoo!)
Technology Marches On: Ferris' line, "I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?" seems odd now, because getting your own computer is almost as much a status symbol for teens as getting your own car.
If mobile phones were as widespread then as they are today, it'd be harder for Ferris to bluff his parents if he could be contacted anytime, anywhere.
It would have been a lot harder for Ferris to pretend to be Abe Frohman, the Sausage King of Chicago, since the real Abe Frohman would most likely have a webpage either for himself or for his company today complete with at least one photograph of himself.
A video of Ferris dancing on the parade float would have most likely made its way to Youtube today, and the jig would be up.
That's All, Folks!: At the very end, Ferris asks the audience why they are still watching when the movie has ended.
To see if he'd do something funny, of course! And he did!
Time Stands Still: Inverted for Ferris, whose landing off the trampoline is in excruciatingly slow motion, meanwhile Jeannie is racing home and rushing into the house in real time.
Totally Radical: Grace, Principal Ed's secretary, attempting to explain popular perception of Ferris, says "The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."