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Fridge: Forrest Gump
Fridge Brilliance
  • Like everyone else, I always thought "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." was rather nonsensical because there are descriptions of them all on the box. Many years later it struck me: it might not be true for most people, but it was true for Forrest's mama, because she was illiterate. - Q4
    • And yet she read "Curious George" to Forrest in the beginning of the film.
    • There are, in fact, many boxes of chocolates that do not include a map or description. In my experience, there are more without the description than there are with.
    • Who reads what the box says anyway?
    • You know, I keep on reading from tropers who automatically assume that all boxes of assorted chocolates ever made included a guide that told you what was in those chocolates, and am shocked by their critical research failure and unwillingness to consider that things could've been different in other eras. I was a child in the 1980s (like, an actual, literal, under-10 child) and still have very vivid memories of that decade, including having relatives gift my family with a box of Whitman's assorteds during Christmas time. I still remember being kinda scared to take a chocolate from the assortment for fear that I'd end up with a caramel-filled chocolate (I'm still not a fan of caramel) instead of one with a nougat or fruit filling, which I would've happily devoured. And it's not that I couldn't read, because I knew how to read at that level by the time I was 3. It's simply that there was no way of figuring out via diagram or other helpful pointers what filling was in what chocolate at that time. And since my last encounters with those assorted chocolate boxes was in the very late 1980s, I'm actually surprised that they come with those inserts now (and more than a little miffed that they didn't start doing that a long, long time ago). Anyway, you would either have to have been of an age where this sort of thing was the norm to understand the quote, or have made the effort to do a little research into that era to be able to comprehend what Forrest and Mrs. Gump were stating.
      • Exactly! I was also a kid in the 80s, and I don't remember diagrams appearing in chocolate boxes until sometime in the 90s. Up until then it was a total crap shoot.
  • Forrest is a simple minded fellow, but he is good at one thing: following orders. Jenny told him to run as a kid, and he ran so fast he broke right through his leg braces. She told him to run if he encountered danger at Vietnam, and again he outran the entire ambush. His drill sergeant told him to disassemble his weapon, and Forrest took it apart so fast he set a new company record. Why? "[Because] you told me to, Drill Sergeant?" How did Forrest get so good at ping-pong? Because the soldier who introduced it to him told him just to never take his eye off the ball. It's the reason why Forrest found the Army so easy, because all he ever had to do was follow their orders. So while he may be handicapped in thinking for himself in life, give Forrest a command to do and he will do it to the highest of human potential.
    Forrest: (telling Jenny about his Medal of Honor.) I got it just by doing what you told me to do.
  • It took me years to realize that Mama was a prostitute. Forrest was obviously born out of wedlock and since it was the 1950s, and women were expected to be more conservative then. She has sex with the principal to get Forrest into school, Mr Gump is "on vacation" and Forrest mentions him and Mama got money from people passing by, so the house had to have been a brothel.
    • One problem with that: it was clearly being used as a hotel. Unless you think Elvis hooked up with Mama Gump...
      • Brothels and hotels are not mutually exclusive. Stay the night, enjoy the amenities for an extra fee!
      • Except Mama is clearly uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with the principal and only does it because she has to. It would have taken away from the power of that scene if she was supposed to have been a prostitute in the first place.
      • Or she could be uncomfortable because her young son is sitting right outside the door when the topic comes up. Also, she's not THAT uncomfortable.
    • The owner of brothels often did a lot less sleeping around than the hire girls. They would be considered experienced, and typically charge considerably more and be more picky. Mama probably did less sleeping around than you'd think.
  • A lot of the problems in Jenny's life would never have happened if she'd settled down with Forrest. I always considered her kind of a bitch. She clearly looks down on Forrest at several points, thinking that because he's slow, he'll never amount to anything. Then when he does, she shows up again. She treats him quite badly, while taking advantage of his lesser intelligence. Her getting AIDS is obviously a pointer to the idea that she was also kind of a slut - true, there's other ways, but that's the one you're meant to think of.
    • She didn't deserve to catch AIDS... but at the same time, she kind of did.
      • Horror right here. She deserves a fatal disease for being mentally unstable after sexual abuse? A disease that kills you in a painful and slow way, rots your brain in the end, since your immune system cannot kill mold anymore, starves you, lets you bleed etc... I'd say nobody deserves that. But then again I am against capital punishment. Especially for People who are mentally unstable because they've been raped when still very young...
      • Besides, I don't think Jenny did all she did because she thought Forrest wouldn't amount to anything. She wanted escape and as much as she cared for Forrest he was steady and simple and content wherever he was. I also think that part of Jenny felt that she didn't deserve him.
      • That's how I took it too. I always thought the reason she left after she slept with Forrest was that she felt guilty about taking advantage of him.

Fridge Horror
  • Forrest Gump. Jenny is implied to have died from AIDS. Forrest Gump, Jr. is less than 10 years old. This means one of two things: Jenny gave Forrest AIDS or cheated on him (in the viewer's heart and mind anyway), contracting the disease. Ask yourself if you'll still cry at the end! You will, I will, the Earth will, that rock will, and the VHS/DVD you're watching it with will (destroying your VHS/DVD player) But that's beside the point.
    • As female-to-male transmission of HIV is actually somewhat less likely than male-to-female (for anatomical reasons meaning there's greater chances for tissue tearing in the female and let's leave it at that) it's possible Forrest simply dodged a bullet there. The implication is definitely that Jenny got her illness from her "wild" past. The Fridge Horror extension of that is... how about maternal-to-fetal transmission of HIV?
      • Given Forrest Jr.'s age, it's possible she got infected after her son's birth.
      • Even if she was infected before, it's still far from a sure thing that an HIV-positive mother will transmit the virus to the child, especially if the child is born before the appearance of symptoms indicating that the immune system is starting to give in. Now we just need to hope he wasn't breastfed.
      • Better hope he was breastfed. The chance of contamination by this way is rather low, but children who don't get breastfed have a lower intelligence than healthy ones, and if Forest is his true father he needs intelligence badly.
    • Theres a very strong implication that Jenny came back to Forrest's house to sober up. After she gets sober she starts spending time with him and grows very close with him, culminating in her sleeping with him. But she hates herself, feels guilty for what she did (despite it making Forrest happier than he'd ever been) and leaves. It's very possible that her guilt pushed her to relapse and thats when she picked up the virus.
    • Donated blood was not tested for HIV at that time so she could have been infected through blood transfusion.
    • The rate of transmission for females-to-males is less than half of one tenth of a percent per encounter and Forrest and Jenny had sex ONCE. It's reasonable to say that Forrest did not contract AIDS. However, the chance that Jenny passed the disease to Junior is anywhere from 20-35% depending on if she breastfed him, for the sake of a happy ending the audience may assume Junior either just dodged a bullet, or Jenny contracted the disease after giving birth.
      • If Jenny got AIDS, it's way more than likely she got it through needle exchanges (Jenny did a lot of drugs). Not giving Forrest or Forrest Jr. it was just a happy coincidence.
  • This little snack from the Fridge came to me after I read an old Reader's Digest article about Viet Cong tunnels. More often than not, those tunnels would be fortified with deadly or incapacitating booby traps, such as grenades-in-a-can on tripwires or feces-covered punji sticks. That's why Forrest is most often sent into a hole to see if there are any Viet Cong inside. Because of his low I.Q., he's expendable.
    • On the subject of Vietnam, I realized later that the flag hanging on Lt. Dan's latrine in the scene when Forrest and Bubba arrive is a Viet Cong flag. Three guesses what they use for toilet paper when they run out of the usual stuff.
  • After he returns to America, Forrest appears on TV with John Lennon, where he insipres the song 'Imagine'. Mark David Chapman killed Lennon, among other reasons, because he was angered by the fact Lennon's lyrics included 'imagine no possessions' when he had quite a lot compared to tha average person. So in a way, Forrest was indirectly responsible for Lennon's death.

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