Fridge / Forrest Gump

Fridge Brilliance
  • 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.
    • Mama was not a prostitute or a madam. Forrest's father ran off, leaving her with no money and just the house. Mama had no job, and she turned her big home into a boarding house and hotel to pay the bills. Forrest didn't quite understand that, and thought those people were just friends stopping in for a visit for a day or two.
  • 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.
      • My thoughts have always been that after she got clean there, she realized that she wasn't worthy of him and that she had to get her life back on track on her own before she could marry him.
      • Jenny's promiscuity is most likely a function of her childhood full of sexual abuse. She subconsciously thinks that sex = showing affection, or sex = how people will like her. When she's an adult, she sees the innocence in Forrest that she herself was denied. She can't make him understand things like sex or drugs because she doesn't want that innocence she sees to be destroyed. Yet she is attracted to him sexually - again tying back to her childhood abuse - although she feels terrible about initiating sexual acts with him (because that is also destroying the innocence she sees in him). When she finally is able to come to terms with what has happened to her, and how she has been self-destructive and allowed her childhood trauma to get the better of her, she accepts the long-ago death of her own inner child and is no longer projecting it onto him. She doesn't have to protect his innocence any more in "exchange" for her own innocence being lost.
  • When they were showing Jenny about to jump off her balcony and she stopped herself. The next scene we see her in is when she reunites with Forrest at his house. Her life was a living hell, due to her abusive father, the drugs and sex with different guys who didn't seem to care for her and were outright abusive to her, so nothing should have stopped her from jumping. However when she nearly slipped, she snapped out of it suddenly before cradling herself in the cold. When someone survives nearly killing themselves, often their lives flash before their eyes. It was her thoughts of Forrest that kept her from going too far.
  • When Forrest first tells Lt. Dan about his plans to be captain of a fishing boat, Dan scoffs at the idea, saying, "the day that you are a shrimp boat captain, I will come and be your first mate." And then adds, "If you're ever a shrimp boat captain, that's the day I'm an astronaut!" Not only did Forrest become a shrimp boat captain and Dan become his first mate, but Lt. Dan later appears at Forrest's wedding with artificial legs made from titanium alloy — as he explains, "it's what they use on the space shuttle."

Fridge Horror
  • 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 Forrest is his true father he needs intelligence badly.
      • While breastfeeding is ideal, the benefits are not as significant as some make them out to be and they are certainly not worth the risk of contracting a fatal disease.
    • There's 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 that's 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 it to Forrest or Forrest Jr. was just a happy coincidence.
    • A nicer theory that takes a lot of edge off: Jenny could have had some complications during childbirth, lost a lot of blood, and needed a transfusion...that unfortunately was contaminated. That way, neither Forrest NOR Lil Forrest is infected, unless Lil Forrest contracted it through breast milk.
  • 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.
    • Not to mention that Lennon apparently based his vision of utopia on Maoist China.
  • As pointed out on Cracked's "After Hours" program, the only way for Forrest to have picked up on the fact that Jenny's father was "a very loving man" was to have heard it from other townsfolk. Meaning Jenny's molestation as a child was well-known enough for others to mention it (or "clarify" for Forrest when he asks about it), but no one actually intervened.
    • To make matters worse, this was pretty typical for the time, especially in rural communities. For example, To Kill A Mocking Bird is set in a rural Alabama town similar to Greenbow, and it is strongly implied in the book that Bob Ewell abuses his children and that everyone in town knows about it. Back then, people did not publicize this type of behavior, similar to how alcohol or drug abuse and mental disabilities were kept secret. But, everyone in Forrest's town would still know what went on in that house, and even if it remained unsaid, the townsfolk would make sure their children never went near that house or anyone who lived there. This would explain why Jenny is sitting alone on the school bus, and is never shown interacting with any other children. A bigger question would be why Forrest's mother allows him to hang out with Jenny, but we never see Jenny interact with Forrest's mother, and Forrest's mother is rather busy trying to convince everyone her son is normal and does not have any mental disabilities.
  • While it's certainly not Forrest's fault, but this Cracked article points out that the movie glossed over that the storm that put Bubba-Gump shrimp as the only shrimping boat in Bayou La Batre, Alabama also destroyed every other shrimping boat. The area, in real life, is pretty high in poverty, in part because for many of those shrimpers, this is their livelihood and only source of income. So all those captains and their crew are SOL while Forrest is raking in the money.
    • Though Bubba Gump may have hired at least some of the now boat-less fishers as employees when it expanded. (The company had several ships at the time of the framing story, and why not man them with the people who already have plenty of working experience in shrimp fishing?)