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Fridge / Fight Club

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Fridge Brilliance

  • The film is chock full of examples, many of them being plot points and scenes that only make sense upon a second viewing when you know the twist:
    • When we first see Tyler outside of the snippets but before he's introduced, it's to the line "If you wake up in a different time, in a different place, could you be a different person?" During the course of this line, the camera pans from Norton and lands on Pitt.
    • After Tyler and Marla first have sex, right as Tyler begins explaining how it happens, the Narrator offers this: "I already know."
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    • When Jack is beating himself up in his boss's room, he says that it reminds him of his first fight with Tyler, but he doesn't know why. Later, we realize that it is because Tyler is a split personality of the narrator's, so when they were first fighting, he was beating himself up.
      • Not only that, but the dialogue hints that while we're seeing things as they really are (i.e. the boss getting mad and calling for security before the Narrator beats himself up), the Narrator himself is seeing his boss beating him up, much like how he actually would beat himself up while imagining that Tyler was fighting him.
      • Actually it's a monologue, possibly delivered by the Narrator to frame his boss while security is listening on the phone.
    • During the one scene in the film in which the narrator behaves exactly like Tyler, when he's threatening his boss after the latter finds the list of fight club rules in the copy machine, he says in voice-over (presumably literally): "Tyler's words were coming out of my mouth."
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    • In the scene on the bus when Tyler talks about the underwear ad ("is this what a man's supposed to look like?") a guy avoids bumping into the narrator, but bumps into Tyler (of course he was just walking trough an empty space, but since the narrator is seeing Tyler there, he sees the guy bumping into Tyler).
      • Actually, it's the other way around. The man bumps into the narrator, but not into Tyler. The dude doesn't even look back and apologize, he just keeps walking, and the narrator throws him a glance. A man that doesn't care about shoving someone in the bus is not going to avoid the first person (Tyler) and then hit the second. So he obviously doesn't bump into Tyler because, for him, there's really only an empty space where Tyler is supposed to be.
    • When the narrator and Tyler walk up to the convenience store, Tyler takes a gun out of the narrator's backpack and the narrator asks Tyler "Is that a gun? Please tell me that's not a gun." Despite the fact that it's his own backpack.
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    • Near the end of the movie, while the narrator is flying all over the country looking for Tyler, he informs us in voice-over: "I was living in a state of perpetual deja vu. Everywhere I went I felt like I'd already been there."
      • This doubles as a bit of Hilarious/Harsher in Hindsight, as when you don't know the twist, you assume he's talking about the mundane travel he's doing to find Tyler and getting the same exact results each time, but once you know the twist, it becomes clear that he means more than just that.
    • In one scene, the narrator returns home from work early and starts cleaning a blood stain on his trousers while Tyler and Marla noisily have sex upstairs. When the police detective calls and the narrator answers the phone, the sounds of lovemaking instantly stop.
    • On the airplane, the narrator remarks how he and Tyler have the exact same briefcase. Tyler then opens his, but we never see the contents of the narrator's.
    • When the narrator and Tyler enter Lou's Tavern for the first fight club meeting in the basement, the guy standing by the front door nods only to the narrator.
    • When the narrator and Tyler first start bashing car bumpers with baseball bats, Tyler hits the car first, but the alarm is triggered only after the narrator hits.
    • When the airport employee "lends" Tyler the car, he pulls up, gets out, and says "Don't worry, Mr. Durden. Airport parking, long-term," but looks at the narrator, not Tyler. The narrator and Tyler then both enter through the driver's door and after the car flips over and falls into the ditch, Tyler crawls out of the passenger side, and pulls the narrator out of the driver's side.
    • During the scene in the car when the narrator and Tyler are arguing, the two Space Monkeys in the backseat look uneasily at each other at one point, because the narrator/Tyler is driving the car and is talking to himself.
    • After the car accident scene, the narrator lies in bed recovering with a large bruise on his face while Tyler talks, then Tyler gets up and leaves with a briefcase in hand. The next day when the narrator wakes up, the bruise is gone. Some may view this as a continuity error, while others may treat it as an indication that several days, perhaps a week or even more time, has passed, during which the narrator was not really asleep but was flying around the country as Tyler setting up the new fight club chapters.
    • Tyler gives the whole go-out-and-lose-a-fight assignment so that the narrator wouldn't realize they were the same person. Tyler needed to cover up the injuries and no one would have agreed to fight the narrator after seeing Lou's brutal beating. If the narrator didn't get beat-up, he was bound to wonder why he was injured when it was Tyler who had been in the fight.
    • The narrator first discovers Marla in his house when she walks into his kitchen and starts acting all flirty. The Narrator scowls at her and says, "What are you doing in my house?" She's indignant because she's talking to the person she just had sex with.
    • When Tyler then comes in and starts to explain how he and Marla met, the narrator tells us, "I already knew the story before he told it." This is because he lived it as Tyler. The movie then flashes back to show Tyler walking up to Marla's apartment and knocking on the door. As she pulls him inside, she says, "You got here fast! ... Did I call you?" On first view, this sounds like she simply doesn't recognize Tyler, but she does. She recognizes him as the Narrator and pulls him inside, then sees his behavior and gets confused, because he's acting like a completely different person.
    • When Marla is giving her odd speech about condoms and bridesmaids' dresses, she's actually talking about herself: all her life she's felt like a beautiful object that people use once or twice and then heartlessly thrust aside. When the Narrator responds, "Well, then it suits you," it's harsher when you realize that he's the one she sees as discarding her, explaining her particularly hurt reaction.
    • When the narrator asks Marla what she gets out of her relationship with Tyler, she dodges the question and asks "What do you get out of it?" The narrator thinks she is asking about his relationship with Tyler, but she is actually asking about the narrator's relationship with her. The narrator then starts to investigate the sounds of Tyler making a ruckus in the basement, but Marla says she doesn't hear anything.
      • Even more telling is her reaction to the Narrator's use of "us" (meaning him and Tyler): question: "Us? What do you mean - us"?
    • When the narrator and the Space Monkeys are watching the news report showing the defaced office building, the narrator asks them "What did you guys do?" and they start to laugh, as if he had a made a joke about not knowing what was going on. You'll also notice that when the narrator walks into the house during this scene, he is holding the various folders with the building information seen later in the film under his arm.
    • The first rule of Project Mayhem is that you don't ask questions. Ostensibly this is to ensure that all the members of Project Mayhem will unquestioningly follow Tyler's orders, but it's also to stop them from wondering why the narrator is asking them questions about assignments that he himself assigned for them. Thus whenever the narrator asks them anything he should by all accounts know already, they think he's testing their adherence to the rule.
    • When the narrator gives Marla his contact information after they decide to split up the support groups, she asks him his name and a bus passes between them, then the scene cuts away before the bus moves out of the way. For the rest of the film, Marla thinks the narrator's name is Tyler Durden (even though she doesn't start addressing him until near the end) because while the bus was passing between them, he blacked out and became Tyler, introducing himself as Tyler Durden, and then woke up as his main personality sometime later.
    • When Marla calls the narrator at his new house, he asks her how she got the phone number, and she tells him that he left a forwarding number when they exchanged information.
    • Several times throughout the film, the narrator says "I know this because Tyler knows this."
    • When the narrator and Marla first talk at one of the support groups, he tells her that he has been coming to the groups for a little over a year, during which time he has been free of insomnia. Later, Tyler says that he has been living in the Paper Street house for about a year.
    • Tyler appears in the film in the form of subliminal flashes four times before he is introduced proper in the story:
      • In the narrator's office at work, when he is talking about how everything seems so far away when one has prolonged insomnia
      • Next to the narrator's doctor while the doctor is flippantly suggesting the narrator check out the testicular cancer support groups
      • At that group's first meeting the narrator attends
      • As the narrator watches Marla walk down the street after one of the meetings but doesn't follow her
      • Those first three times Tyler appears are before the narrator has cured his insomnia, and at this point the narrator is still subconsciously creating Tyler, hence the brief subliminal hallucinations, while during the fourth time he appears, it is during a brief period when his insomnia returns, and Tyler starts re-appearing during the narrator's waking hours since he is unable to be let out by taking over the narrator's body when the narrator sleeps.
      • Although not subliminal, the Narrator also encounters Tyler two further times before he is properly introduced in the story: once when he walks past him in an airport, and later when watching television in a hotel room and sees an advertisement for the Pressman Hotel in which a crowd of waiters exclaim "Welcome!" to the camera (Tyler is the waiter on the far right of the television screen).
    • After the narrator peeks in on Tyler and Marla having sex, Tyler opens the door and briefly talks to the narrator. As the narrator leaves, Marla asks Tyler who he was talking to, because as far as she knows, they're the only two people in the house.
      • Which makes even more sense given that Marla had actually known the Narrator for a much longer time than she'd known Tyler, so should have recognized his voice at the very least.
    • The night Tyler and Marla have sex the first time, which the narrator is unaware of, he has a dream in which he or Tyler (it's hard to tell what with the way the scene is filmed) has sex with her.
    • One of the easier ones to catch: during Tyler's first fight with the narrator, the narrator hits Tyler in the ear. The next day, the narrator notes that his ears are ringing. During the fight, Tyler never hits the narrator's ears...
    • When the Narrator is getting stitches at the hospital and repeats Tyler's cover story to explain the injury, you might wonder why the hospital staff would ignore such obvious coercion. In reality, Tyler's not there, so the Narrator seems to be speaking for himself.
    • One of the recipes Tyler tells the Narrator is dynamite. The insurance operator later tells the Narrator what his condo was destroyed with a home-made sample of dynamite.
    • When Marla calls the Narrator after overdosing and he slowly puts the phone down and walks away, she's saying "Have you ever heard a death rattle before?" In the later flashback when Tyler comes in and picks up the phone, it's to Marla saying the exact same words. This only makes sense if the Narrator immediately picked up the phone again as Tyler after putting it down.
    • An early hint about who Tyler actually is is referenced in a sort of Freeze-Frame Bonus if you have subtitles on, Tyler mentions "Strinne Green Stripe Patterns" during his and the narrator's first conversation in Lou's bar, the exact type of curtain that the narrator mentioned and had during his narration about the furniture in his home.
    • Tyler accuses the Narrator of breaking his promise ("You talked to her about me"). However, during the phone conversation immediately prior to this, the Narrator talks with Marla about himself rather than about Tyler ("Did we do it?", "What did you call me? Say my name!"). So if Tyler is referring to this conversation (which is strongly implied), then his accusation implies "I'm you."
    • Bob says there's a rumor that the inventor of Fight Club was born in a mental institution and sleeps only one hour a night.
    • On a more general level, it's easy to note that the Narrator's worldview - especially regarding consumerism - is a Bowdlerized version of Tyler's. At first we tend to think that it's just what drew these like-minded fellows together, but in fact Tyler was just the Narrator's id willing to push his ideas as far as possible without any residual civilized pretence.
  • When the Narrator is attempting to explain himself to Marla after the reveal, she's furious with him because, as she put it, "Your whacked-out bald freaks hit me with a fucking broom, they almost broke my arm! They were burning their fingertips off with lye, the stench was unbelievable." Because Marla was standing on the porch, they assumed she was an applicant. Earlier, the Narrator is seen whacking an applicant with a broom.
    • Burning fingertips off with lye might serve the purpose of not leaving fingerprints during Project Mayhem.
  • In an earlier scene, Tyler and the Narrator are in the bathroom, discussing who they would want to pick a fight with if they could. Tyler says he'd fight his father, while the Narrator says he barely remembers his father, who left him when he was six. When you realize that Tyler and the Narrator are the same person, Tyler's answer starts to make more sense; the Narrator's dad left him early enough for him not to remember much about the guy, but late enough that his id (Tyler) still wants to beat him up for leaving.
  • The priest who got to win a fight against a member of project mayhem is seen in the background of the next scene, showing that the recruitment technique worked even on him.
  • Tyler's line that "Self-improvement is masturbation" has meaning on its own, that false improvement (improving because society tell you to) is fake and therefore useless. However, it rings hollow on another level because technically, even his suggestion of self-destruction (basically tearing down and rebuilding) is still technically "improvement," being a change for the better, he just suggests improvement by moving in the opposite direction of the status quo. However, if you think about it, it's more of his brainwashing. If the Narrator did self-improve, it might also have a positive effect on his mental health, causing Tyler to disappear.
  • The pay phone that the Narrator calls Tyler on has a tiny little notice on the front of it reading, "No incoming calls allowed."
    • Also, Tyler says he dialed star-69 to call back, but he has an old rotary phone without a star button.
  • At the end of the film, Tyler "fights" the Narrator using moves straight out of a kung-fu film, which is in contrast to the noticeably realistic street fighting found in the rest of the film. This is because the Narrator now knows that Tyler is only in his mind. Tyler has dropped the pretense of being real and now simply dominates the Narrator with fantastical moves.
  • 'No Shirt, No Shoes' sounds like an odd rule for the club to have. The shoes part makes sense, they could hurt someone, but why no shirts? Well, there's a few reasons. The first could be to remove individuality, everyone will look the same without a shirt on, taking away their unique identities, removing brand logos or styles. But the second reason ties into the twist... the reason the Narrator created 'Fight Club' was, in essence, because of Marla Singer. She kept showing up at all his clubs and meetings. So how could he keep Marla out of Fight Club? Simple: no girls allowed, or in other words, 'no shirts'. The only one who IS allowed to wear a shirt is Bob, due to his bitch-tits. Marla on the other hand would probably be given no such treatment.
  • Marla's behavior toward the Narrator looks completely insane at first: why do she follows a guy who obviously hates her, like crap, and despite this, why does she seem so confused when the Narrator tells her to piss off? It becomes more rational in light of the reveal: since she was Tyler's girlfriend, from her point of view the same guy alternatively sleeps with her and treats her like crap. She's completely confused for a good reason, but from her point of view, that's ambiguous enough to not just compel her to flee the guy.
  • The narrator's main reproach towards Tyler is Bob's death. However, it was the narrator himself who convinced Bob to stay on the porch, without checking what the plan for the Space Monkeys was.
  • According to this article, it's possible that Tyler decided to martyr himself when Jack started to reassert control, something foreshadowed from the opening scene.

Fridge Horror

  • What the hell has that little girl in the movie theater been through that would make her scream at the sight of a penis?


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