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Headscratchers / Happy Death Day

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  • How did Tree get away with killing Lori? Sure, we know Lori is a murderer, but all the police would know is that Tree shoved poison in her mouth and kicked her out a window.
    • Considering the interview Danielle gave on the news apparently they were all fine with pretty much believing Lori was a murderer.
      • Danielle mentions the poisoned cupcake was a dumb idea, so it's possible the police had enough evidence to prove the cupcake was poisoned, after that it's not much of a stretch to say Lori's death was self-defense.
      • Also, poison that has no taste to tip Tree off doesn't grow on trees. It's possible that the police could trace back her purchasing the poison and prove Lori had been premeditating murder for some time.
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    • Plus, Tree has some bruising of her struggle with Lori to prove she did it in self-defense.
      • Could even call it a case of Fridge Brilliance, considering that Tree should still have the physical trauma from all the previous killings... which would definitely be evidence in favor of self defense.
      • Except there's nothing left of that trauma but scar tissue. From a doctor's perspective, it looks like she miraculously survived those things many months ago.
    • Additionally, during their struggle, Danielle knocks on the door, wanting to know what all the noise is about, and Lori tells her that Tree "just fell"- which is an obvious lie on Lori's part.
    • It's entirely possible Lori left records or history on her personal computer about researching the poison used in the cupcake, as well as her fingerprints (and only her fingerprints, aside from Tree's) on the wrapper and candle. Not to mention, if she stole the poison note  from the hospital, it would be in a storeroom with very limited access, for which you would need a registered security card. How many people in Tree's life would have access to a hospital poisons/drugs cabinet? Gregory and Stephanie Butler were both alibied, if you go by the 'Confident' montage.
  • Tree's teacher is a physician, but he appears to be teaching particle physics in his class. Is he supposed to be an Omnidisciplinary Scientist?
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    • Could easily be a pun. After all, he’s a “physics”ian...
    • His talk sounded more like biochemistry/organic chemistry than physics (specifically discussing carbon-hydrogen bonds), which wouldn't be totally out of the question for a medical doctor. The sequel confirms Gregory teaches a biomedicine class of sorts.
      • in 2U, Tree states she takes Butler's Advanced Biochemistry class.
  • Why doesn't Tree completely flee the state? I mean she's got at good ten hours from the time she wakes up until her death. She could literally be in another country.
    • For most of the earlier loops she was focused on identifying her killer, and by the time she realises that she has limits on how many 'loops' she can take before she dies for good, she may have become subconsciously fixed on the idea that her killer will find her whatever she does, particularly after the loop that ends with her killer catching her on the highway and blowing up a police car to kill her.
    • She tried. Reality Ensues: She gets into a car, drives as far and as fast as possible... however the car's not hers and she smashes into a car behind her dents which is likely to put out a warning for a stolen car with the matching plates. Her speeding meant nothing as the cop caught her. And even if she did get that far, the killer had a car of his own ready to go after her.
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    • That's what she's trying to do at the end, but then she realizes the actual truth about the cupcake and...
    • Even if she survived the day, there's still a maniac out there dead set on killing her. How does she know they won't turn up tomorrow?
  • So the serial killer still escapes doesn’t he? Without Tree to kill him he still breaks out, kills a cop, and is at large.
    • The serial killer only escaped because Lori let him free. With her dead before he's brought to the hospital he won’t get out.
  • Why did the killer think poison cupcake was the best choice as the Sorority had made it known that they don't eat such foods? It was even pointed out at the end of the film.
    • Lori knows Tree from being her roommate all that time and probably knew she'd probably cheat occasionally regarding off limit foodstuffs.
    • She also might assume that Tree might make an exception for her birthday.
      • Well, didn't Tree explicitly describe birthdays as "an excuse to eat cake"?
    • Also, if it doesn't work and Tree doesn't eat the cupcake, then hey, she can just throw it out and try again tomorrow with something different.
    • Lori isn't like the other sorority sisters and apparently doesn't realize just how strongly averse they are to eating sweets even on their birthdays. Becky, the sorority sister who brings a large lunch to the meeting also didn't get the memo, so it's apparently more of an unwritten rule that only the bitchiest of the sisters know about.
    • Fridge Brilliance actually tells us that it is an ingenious decision, as in the time which would still be left to Tree (it's been established that the poison doesn't kill instantly) she's much less likely to give away the very fact that she even had an "off-limits" cupcake, let alone who gave it to her, so in this scenario for Lori there is much less risk involved than with any healthy food.
  • How did Tree get stuck in the loop of having to start the same day all over again after getting killed?
    • They're making a sequel to answer this question.
    • Word of God states there are hints in the movie as to the reason. This troper suspects it would be the spirit of her mother, who shares her birthday, somehow playing a part.
    • The sequel answers with a machine built by Carter's friends that opened a space time anomaly (whenever it runs, it causes the blackouts of the original), that Tree just so happened to fall into.
  • Something that struck me on a second viewing. Tree figures out that Lori is her true killer because of the poisoned cupcake she only ate after getting the upper hand on the serial killer Toombs. However in the period of time between she had medical attention at the hospital. Does this give her enough time to travel back to Carter's room, eat the cupcake and die from the poison?
    • The three second blackout happens fairly early in the evening (9:23pm). Also, Tree only ate the cupcake after returning to Carter's room, and the poison must take some time to work, given it killed in her sleep.
  • On the second to the last loop, how does Tree get off scot free when she's taken a gun from a cop and used it to threaten him to run off and get backup and shoot what is essentially a hospital patient?
    • There would be physical evidence of a struggle in both her and Tombs's body to prove she shot in self-defense. The other charges, you have a point.
    • Tombs is a known and convicted Serial Killer, him being loose period would if nothing else earn some leniency since she has every right to be terrified of him. She'd probably still get in trouble, but even without knowing the time loops, it's understandable saying 'This serial killer escaped and was trying to kill me and I was scared' would get her a lighter sentence.
    • In the circumstances she's probably out on bail, or perhaps has possible charges pending, though not yet arrested, while they investigate what actually happened. But yes, Tombs did escape and he did try to kill her and he is a serial killer. Given that all she did to the cop was order him to get backup, it's possible there's some immediate pending crisis law that might apply in order to exonerate her.
    • Tombs being found fully dressed instead of in a patient gown is highly suspicious, to say the least, and I'm betting Lori didn't remember to wipe her fingerprints off the Babyface mask (Tombs is wearing gloves whenever he's out of the bed). The security guard was guarding Tombs from outside his room, and he could probably identify Lori as a nurse that entered it, as well as security cameras confirming that.
  • Isn't Tree still suffering from all of the injuries she received when she died? That would cause some serious trouble for in the future right?
    • Logically they would've healed eventually, given...well, she's still alive.
      • Her wounds are already healed imperfectly. The doctor says that she's suffering from scarring. That doesn't go away. The film doesn't treat her degenerating condition with any consistency, since she collapses midway through the film from the accumulated damage but is able to shake off the effects pretty easily after suffering even more deaths. It's just a handwave excuse to set up a ticking clock.
      • It's pretty consistent. The time she passes out is the loop after she gets killed with a baseball bat to the cranium. She's suffering a pretty severe concussion. The loop after she hangs herself, her neck is all stiff. Each death has a severe impact on her body in the next loop, but a reduced effect in all loops after. I imagine she will suffer some drastic effects as she gets older, but at least she'll be able to, y'know, get older.
      • There's no physical effects shown after Tree gets blown up in either movie. It's possible that having her body entirely destroyed 're-sets' her physical condition (and this conveniently happens in the fourth-to-last loop in the first movie, with the only deaths after it being hanging and the poison, and second-to-last loop in the sequel). This would explain why she seems fine at the start of the second movie, when it's the 19th.
  • What exactly is it that Tree gets mad at Danielle for in the loop just before they both die? A notebook falls out but it's not clearly shown what Tree saw that caused her to attack Danielle.
    • It's the birthday card/black envelope she found in her dresser during the loop where she died in her room.
  • Why does Tree cross Danielle's name off her suspect list after they are both killed by the car? Even if Danielle was guilty time still would have reset.
    • It's implied that we don't actually see every time that Tree dies in the film. Tree tells the guard at the hospital that she doesn't want to die "for the sixteenth time," implying that she has died fifteen times prior to her encounter with Tombs at the end of the movie. There are only nine onscreen deaths prior to this event, so it can be assumed that the montage was only a summary of what happened, and that there were five deaths that we didn't see. Tree discovered that Danielle was innocent during one of the unseen loops.
    • Logic failure on her part, unless she saw her murderer driving the bus.
  • Did she do all the good things, she did in the second to the last loop again in the final loop after killing Lori or day after or she didn't anymore?
    • No, she was too surprised to be still stuck in the loop. She ran right back to her sorority house and missed the opportunity.
    • Though considering her change of heart stuck, it's likely that she at least started doing good things in general. She may not have been able to put a pillow under a fainting guy's head or warn people about the sprinkler, but she could still have given Tim a pep talk, signed the global warming girl's petition, and reconciled with her father. Just would have been at different points.
  • Before the loop starts, Tree throws the cupcake into the garbage and says 'too many carbs' as one of the reasons to not eat it, and thus prevented her dying in her sleep from the poison. What made Tree decide to finally eat the cupcake, when she previously has kept refusing to do so? Horray-I-Killed-Whom-I-Believe-To-Have-Been-My-Killer celebration?
    • Character development. The whole film shows her slowly grow from a vain alpha bitch to a nicer person less concerned with her looks and societal expectations. She eats large, fattening meals several times over the course of the film before ever eating the cupcake. Besides, given that she survived god knows what by means of the loop; what's a cupcake going to do?
  • I apologize if this is something that US watchers might know automatically, but what's Danielle's position in the sorority? She's the one running the house meetings, is spokesperson to the news, and in 2U is already taking action on the 19th to try and repair the Kappa's reputation; she also has a very Alpha Bitch in charge attitude - and more importantly, everyone else in the sorority acts like she has a right to it, implying she's the chapter president. But during the party in loop 2, she tells Tree that Lori 'is so out of the house next year'', implying that Lori, Tree and Danielle are juniors at the very most. note  Shouldn't the chapter president be a senior?
    • I always assumed she didn't have any official role; she was just a bossy and bitchy girl that proclaimed herself leader, and everyone else went along with it.
  • Why doesn't Tree just retry the Killer-in-the-bathroom loop until she wins? That was one of the most predictable scenarios she had. Just repeat that loop and be more prepared. She could hide a knife or a hammer or even a gun under her pillow. And even if she didn't win immediately, there would be more opportunities to learn the killer's identity. Obviously, the actual reason is that characters thinking logically + horror movie = very short horror movie, the movie would be like 15 minutes long. Plus, Tree likely wouldn't have her change of heart and there would be no lesson learned. But in universe, it makes no sense.
    • The killer in the bathroom was an unexpected result of Tree locking herself in feeling it would save her. She would only consider it a scenario to endure if she attempted "don't leave the room" again, thus giving a certain location of the killer. But why would Tree try that again when it already killed her, instead of doing different things?
      • I guess that's a subjective thing. I would think of it more like a video game level or a puzzle. Like "Hmm, that didn't work, I'll try another strategy on the next loop." Though that's kinda the whole plot of the movie. I guess I'm just thinking of the "puzzle" too small. The whole possible puzzle area is the entire town. But then again, decreasing the puzzle area would help narrow down a solution. I suppose it's the subjective thing of how much you would change your strategy. Like I would just try the same room again, but Tree tried a whole other part of town.
  • Shouldn't the film have lost quite a bit of steam once Tree realizes who the killer really is? It should become immediately obvious to her that it should be really easy for her to deal with this kind of a threat - if not on this loop, then on any of the following ones. A case not unlike San Dimas Time really.
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