YMMV / Ferris Bueller's Day Off

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • It's become somewhat popular to view Ferris as a sociopathic Manipulative Bastard rather than an irreverent, fun-loving and somewhat irresponsible teen. Supporters of this view point to his charm, his ability to con and manipulate his way into getting the things he wants, and being apathetic toward the possibility of consequences for him or his companions. However, one has to ignore Ferris's confrontation with Cameron (in which he offers to take the heat for the wrecked Ferrari) and his genuine interest in helping Cameron come out of his shell, to maintain this interpretation.
    • Some modern want Jeannie to "win" and turn in Ferris to be punished due to her being an undeserved chew toy. There is also a quick throwaway line that her actions caused her mother to miss out on a business deal and therefore prevented the family from buying Ferris a car. This could be interpreted as a consolation prize to Jeannie in indirectly getting one over on Ferris.
    • Rooney is a He Who Fights Monsters case. His crusade to take down the rulebreaking Ferris for the sake of enforcing the rules causes him to commit some morally questionable acts himself; and he abandons his own post for the day to do so. See Designated Villain below.
  • Chaotic Neutral: Ferris Bueller definitely qualifies. His whole goal in life is just to have a good time, with little regard for rules or even moral righteousness (his incessant lying speaks for itself).
  • Designated Hero: Alternate Character Interpretation holds that Ferris is spoiled, immature, selfish, obnoxious, and manipulates close friends and family for no reason beyond his own amusement. Despite his near lack of redeeming qualities, his name's in the title, so you're supposed to root for him.
  • Designated Villain: Rooney is depicted as a Dean Bitterman-type who's seemingly trying to stop Ferris and his friends from having fun for no good reason. Except he does have good reason: it's his job to enforce school regulations, and Ferris has been breaking said regs by skipping school at least nine times before he hacks into the school computer to alter the records, and does so by blatantly exploiting the good will of everyone around him, including his parents. Yet, the movie turns the audience against him by having him go way too far in trying to catch Ferris; breaking into his house and assaulting his dog and having him act as though he's trying to catch Ferris out of spite instead of trying to enforce the rules.
  • Ear Worm: "Oh Yeah" by Yello.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The economics teacher played by Ben Stein is easily the film's most iconic character, even though he only has a minute or two of screen time, and he serves no plot purpose whatsoever. His signature line ("Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?") has approached almost memetic levels, and it's often jokingly quoted in everyday conversation when someone asks a question that fails to get a response. Stein turned this persona into a career.
  • Epileptic Trees: A fairly popular theory is that Ferris is actually a figment of Cameron's imagination, like a less destructive Tyler Durden, that Cameron created as a way to force himself to steal his dad's car and have fun. Part of the theory that changes depending on who you ask is that either Sloane is also imaginary, or is real but goes along with Cameron's delusions so she can have a good time. For this to work though, not only would Jeanie and Bueller's parents have to be imaginary, but Ed Rooney, his secretary, and the economics professor would have to be, if not imaginary, then having imaginary days, and that just brings up the question of why Cameron's illusion includes such an elaborate B-plot.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • Living life to the fullest means defying people who refuse to do so. This can mean lying, cheating and stealing.
    • Jean's character arc comes down to letting Ferris get away with his behavior by accepting who he is and moving on with her life, because all of her attempts to expose him have only given her more grief than Ferris ever did to her personally. Conversely, Rooney never gives up his vendetta against Ferris and ends the film more worse off than Jean. It's a stark contrast to other aesops that make you think you are only validated if you can achieve an unreachable goal.
  • Fan Fic Fuel: Anyone who has seen the movie would write fics that would answer the question that Sloan has asked as far as Cameron confronting his father is concerned. "Do you think Cameron will be ok?" Based on how the movie describes his dad, the results usually range from tragic to nightmarish. Or both.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Several scenes became much less funny after Jeffrey Jones' 2003 arrest for possession of child pornography and soliciting a 14 year old. These include the scene in which Jeanie mistakes Ed Rooney for a prowler and the part where he comes up behind who he thinks is Ferris (but is actually a short-haired girl) and says "Your ass is mine!"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The biker Jeannie meets at the police station is played by a very young Charlie Sheen, whose first three lines include the word "drugs"; the first and third lines simply are the word "drugs".
    • Jeannie's scream before she runs after kicking Rooney looks similar to Kevin's scream and run during Home Alone.
    • The Stinger was just a silly non-sequitur at the same, but is now utterly hilarious in these days of huge movie franchises featuring teasers for the next film after the credits.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jeannie have her moments too, though its more of this trope, given how she reacts to her problems by being a spiteful, bitter Jerkass to everyone around her.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ferris, if one believes him to be a villain.
  • Memetic Mutation: How many tropers have had a class where the teacher didn't say "Bueller? Bueller?" at least once during attendance? Ben Stein has said he wants it on his tombstone. "Oh Yeah" gained popularity online as music to play during a creepy sexual situation.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Ben Stein as the economics professor. (Technically two)
    • Charlie Sheen as the druggie in the police station.
    Druggie: You oughta spend a little more time worryin' 'bout yourself, and a little less time worryin' 'bout what your brother does...
    • Numerous others come to mind as well (the snooty waiter, the "nurse-gram" woman, etc.)
  • One True Threesome: Ferris/Cameron/Sloane is quite popular. And, if you're watching the movie with Shipping Goggles on, surprisingly plausible.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Rooney's quest to prove that Bueller is ditching school is a legitimate concern. Most schools in America are legally required to maintain student attendance, or they face the possibility of having their funding cut.
  • 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!)
  • Values Dissonance: A lot of modern teens (especially ones who understand rules) see Jeannie as more The Chew Toy. She could either A) right a wrong (her brother manipulating her parents and the whole school, which he had done before—9 times) and stand up for what she saw as right and wrong or B) give up. Her giving up was supposed to be a good thing.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/FerrisBuellersDayOff