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WMG / Fight Club

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As this is a Wild Mass Guessing page, beware of unmarked spoilers for Fight Club.

Tyler Durden and the Narrator are Francois Dillinger and Nick Twisp (respectively) from Youth in Revolt
In Youth in Revolt, the mild mannered Nick Twisp creates an alternative persona that is everything he wants to be, and leads him to commit crimes that including major property damage. The course of events that Tyler Durden initiates is similar, if on a larger scale. He is also a similar creation: he is everything the narrator wants to be. Is it so hard to believe that Nick Twisp lost track of the fact that his illusion isn't real, leading him to cause even greater destruction later in life?

Project Mayhem wasn't as widespread as the Narrator was lead to believe.
Tyler led him to a station that had several members of Project Mayhem who were on watch for him trying to come in and start asking questions or talking about Fight Club, as well as to a vacated credit building with a mostly-fake bomb, like he said he would do with the wires. It worked because the Narrator wasn't expecting it, or because pulling any wire would have defused the bomb and he wasn't even trying then.

Tyler Durden is, in fact, a vampire.
For Vampire the masquerade players, there is a vampire cult named "Bahari" who follow the teachings of Lilith. The cult believes in absolute freedom, which comes from knowledge, which comes from suffering. Their credo is "Be teacher, torturer, and lover to any who seek enlightenment". A typical Bahari doesn't kill, he tortures and destroys. Tyler unwillingness to kill connects to that, just as the scene of the "chemical burn" where his speech is exactly one that could be found in the mouth of Bahari. Tyler acts like a dark teacher, then as a lover with all the homoerotic tones between him and the narrator, and finally as a torturer. Final argument : One of the most important things in Bahari philosophy is to live your life (or unlife) to the fullest while being unafraid of death. Rings a bell ?

The narrator is the son of a (deadbeat) vampire father and a mortal mother.
Tyler Durden is the vampire half of him that only needed sufficient catalyst to push through.

The punishment for interfering with Project Mayhem has to do with Bob.
The beginning of the film sets the scene in the testicular cancer group as very emotionally important to the Narrator, who probably mentioned or even suggested it offhand to Tyler during one of his rants (being more punishment than killing them, after seeing how it messed with Bob and killing someone, while it would shut them up, would not teach them not to ask about Project Mayhem).

The narrator is Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes
(spoiler for childhood-destroying Poison Oak Epileptic Trees)This is also seen at the WMG page for the series mentioned, and it is written about thoroughly ((and convincingly) in this essay.

The Narrator is Jack Napier
Think about it, Tyler Durden's goal in life is to cause pure chaos. He also knows how to makes explosives from regular household materials. What really set this for me, is the scene when Tyler gets beaten down by the bar owner and then jumps on him and laughs at him. Also when you see the place they bombed and Tyler painted a smile on the building. That's when I knew that Tyler really was Jack beginning to become The Joker and Fight Club is an alternate take on his beginning. Tyler may have been beaten at the end of the movie but there's always a chance he'll come back.Alternatively, The Narrator is Bruce Banner, and the part of his mind that is Tyler Durden is what causes him to become the Hulk during the accident.
  • Building on the first half of that WMG, Fight Club is a prequel to The Killing Joke. The Narrator (now married to Marla) tries to go back to being a working man, but he just can't bring himself to do it. He quits his job at a chemical plant (since Tyler taught him plenty about that) and tries to take on a more carefree career as a stand-up comedian. When that fails, Marla (who reveals she is pregnant) gives him an ultimatum to find a way to provide for his new family. In desperation, he gathers up some of the old Space Monkeys to rob the chemical plant he used to work at. The robbery is botched, and The Narrator is knocked into a vat of chemicals. On top of it all, he learns that Marla died in a freak accident. This, coupled with his disfigurement, pushes him over the edge into becoming The Joker.
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  • An alternate theory is that it's a prequel to The Dark Knight. Think about it. Both Tyler and The Joker feel that society is horrible, and want to change it with massive amounts of destruction and mayhem. Seeing as The Narrator has trouble separating fact from fantasy already, something could easily cause the further deteriorated state seen in The Dark Knight. It's highly unlikely that Tyler would have covered his tracks well, and it's also unlikely that he would have escaped the notice of the NSA, CIA, FBI, US Military and all the other badasses that would really want him dead. Tyler says that the buildings are empty, but really, you collapse buildings in every major city in America and you're going to have massive destruction, not to mention the death caused by the aftermath. So, you have an easily tracked man responsible for massive death and destruction across the nation. America's going to be on the warpath. So, perhaps, The Narrator and Marla are together when they are attacked. The military opens fire, killing her, screwing up his face even more and making them think he's dead. With all the previous destruction, Wayne Enterprises easily takes over every single sector of business, becoming the largest corporation in the world. Hell, perhaps their tech was used in the attack. After a few months of healing (and perhaps a botched plastic surgery, perhaps not) and years of planning, The Narrator is neither himself nor Tyler, he's beyond the possibilities of both. He's The Joker.

The Narrator's real name is Terry Ludden.
It's an anagram. We've all seen it before, so why not?

The Narrator's real name is Tyler Durden.
It's what he tells everyone his name is, including Marla and the rest of the Club. He doesn't recognize it as his own name when Idealized Tyler tells it to him because of the very same psychological problem that caused him to generate the Idealized Tyler persona.
  • That's exactly how I've always interpreted it. The narrator literally doesn't recognize himself anymore. He's become so dehumanized and dissociated from his own identity that even when people are saying his name, even when he's introducing himself to other people by it, he doesn't mentally connect it to himself.
    • And since the narrator probably has some sort of schizophrenia in addition to multiple personality disorder—since he has delusions/hallucinations of his "alter" as being physically a separate person from him—it's possible that said schizophrenia has affected to a certain extent his perceptions in his everyday life: the movie makes it seem like no one, even his boss, ever addresses him and since the film is one long flashback, that's only how the narrator perceives everything; his "alter" gives his name as Tyler Durden because that is actually the narrator's real name but by the time the movie begins, which is before he's "met" Tyler, he has reached a point where he literally thinks he has no name.
    • Possible in the film, but not the case in the original novel, since the narrator at one point shows Marla his driver's license to prove Tyler Durden is a name he just made up.

The Narrator's real name is Rupert.
What? Why are you looking at me like that?

The Narrator's real name is Sebastian
In the comic book sequel to the novel, the narrator gives Sebastian as his name. It is, of course, possible he's using it to avoid giving his real name, such as with Cornelius, but there are two big factors that help make the Sebastian case: both Tyler and Marla use the name. Tyler absolutely knows what the narrator's real name is, since they share a mind, and, per the novel, Marla knows his real name since he shows her his driver's license at one point in the novel.

Marla is a trans woman.
No particular reason, except the lack of testicles.
  • Or... She's a biological woman and her line about not having testicles was a joke about how not-masculine she thought The Narrator was. But that's just silly.
    • She'd have had to at least pretend to be a trans woman, or they'd kick her out of the testicular support group.

The Narrator is one of the awake.
He has chronic insomnia, and his madness talent is convincing people to listen to him. Tyler's what happens when the player added Madness Dice once too often.
  • Likewise when the people around him seem to be acting soulless and completely apathetic, it's because he's stepped into the Mad City without even realizing it.

The Narrator's real name is Jack
Because being Jack's wasted life (and other stuff) is how he feels - in that particular moment - filled with that sensation (and the other ones).
  • Beat me to the punch! Yes, Jack is the closest thing to a definite name we're given and it's the name they used backstage. The very reason Norton is so tickled by the "I am Jack's..." articles, which you'd think would sound inane and moronic enough to him to be virtually beneath notice, is because he really is a Jack. This lends all of his self-reflections in the "I am Jack's..." mould a great deal more meaning and rational sense.

The Narrator's real name RUDELY TREND
It's an annogram of Tyler Durden
  • Try Rudy Redlent.

Tyler started out genuinely trying to enlighten people.
As he/Jack got nuttier, he decided the awakening needed to happen faster . . .

Mark is The Narrator's son.

Tyler Durden is a real person
The Tyler from the plain is real, and the Tyler the narrator made is based off of him

Tyler Durden/the Narrator is the Joker from the Dark Knight.
In the novel, the narrator shoots himself in the opposite cheek from the one that has a hole in it, and says that it gave him a "jagged smile from ear to ear." And now we know how the Joker REALLY got those scars.
  • A lot of people have pointed out that the scar on Heath Ledger's left cheek does look more like a bullet hole than a knife wound.

Most of the members of the Fight Club are just as imaginary as Tyler Durden.
Because doesn't seeing them everywhere sound a bit too much like pure paranoia?
  • One person doing all that?? Still, funny you should mention that: on one of the DVD's commentary tracks the writers say that a lot of people have speculated that Marla may not be any more real than Tyler. (We do technically see other people interacting with her two or three times, but this could always be hand waved as a hallucination along the lines of Jack thinking someone else is carrying Tyler by the arms with him.) They abstain from mentioning whether or not they agree.

The Narrator legitimately has DID, and Tyler isn't the only one of his alters.
Tyler is just the first one he notices because he's the first one that went out of hand. People with DID generally don't just have one alter, but many. He probably had some sort of childhood trauma caused by his father, which is why Tyler hates their father but The Narrator remembers him being away all the time.

Marla is one of The Narrator's alters.
We never see anyone but Tyler and The Narrator talk to her, and she's just as mysterious as Tyler is. The reason The Narrator doesn't realise this is because 1) he has a horrible mental disorder and 2) she never takes over.
  • Plenty of people talk to her. The Meals On Wheels people, the thrift store owner, the waiter who takes her order, etc. Of course, the Narrator is around for all of these too, but why would we ever see Marla without him?

None of this actually happens, and The Narrator is in an asylum.
Certainly believable, considering.

Tyler Durden is a Dark Passenger.

Mugi is Tyler's Daughter.
He sent her off to live with some family in Finland, family who later moved to Japan. Just look.

Project Mayhem became the League Of Shadows and The Narrator/Jack/Tyler Durdan
is Ra's Al Ghul .Think about it, a terrorist group that destroys cities that have been amassed in both weapons technology, and material goods. They use both military tactics, ninjitsu and martial arts during their goals. To top it off their leaders have two aliases Jack/Tyler Durdam - Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul. Ducard remarks that he had a wife that perished, that could have been Marla Singer. He uses his calmer side to appeal to Bruce Wayne and Mentor him. But when Bruce burned his house down and left him for dead, The Ra's Al Ghul side took over.

Tyler Durden is Jeffrey Goines from "12 Monkeys", and the events of the movie are just a dream.
A scarily plausible one, really. Jeffrey is spastic, hyper, but ineffective for most of the movie. Of course he would create a dream self that is himself, but SO much cooler. The movie ends with his death because he has to wake up. As for similarities between the two:Both share their opinions on consumerism and the current decline of society. There is a rumor (stated by Bob to The Narrator) that Tyler was "born in an asylum and only sleeps one hour a night". In "12 Monkeys" you see that Jeffrey hardly ever sleeps. They also tend to talk the same way (though Tyler is much more calm and controlled), and The Narrator can easily be seen as a foil whose only purpose is to make Tyler look cooler by comparison. Notice that Tyler wins in the end, even though he has to "die".

Bob's death is a reflection of how he was never cut out to be in Tyler's army
Tyler's recruitment method focused on the recruit remaining on his porch, despite abuse. After Durden told him to fuck off the first time, he went to walk away, and only stayed due to the narrator's interference. He was never cut out to join the army, which is why he was the only casualty.

Fight Club eventually broke into the online world...
...and became Anonymous.
  • why is this in WMG and not Trivia?

Tyler is, indeed, a real person. The entire part of the movie after he disappears is Jack's descent into madness.
Consider how betrayed and shocked Jack is that Tyler is gone. That such an integral person to the house could up and leave without warning. And consider also that only after this happens do things start getting really, truly strange. Jack just went insane, and possibly is lying on a sofa in the house, though if Tyler ever comes back he may snap out of it. Maybe.
The Narrator/Tyler Durden
eventually combines both of his [[spoiler: personalities into one Super-personality which leads to him becoming V from V for Vendetta

The Narrator is Todd from Squee! and Tyler is Shmee.

Fight Club takes place in the Matrix
Well, you know — all movies that came out in 1999 take place in the Matrix, don't they? Well, except Dogma.

Tyler is a rogue tulpa.
Specifically, he's the manifestation of all the rage and frustration of all the men who joined any fight club ever. As the generation of "Slaves with white collars" came of age, with "no great depression, no great war", they felt largely emasculated, since they had no conflict or struggle with which to identify, nothing to prove their manliness, if only to themselves, thus resulting in Tyler's ultra-masculinity. Jack's own addition to this frustration finally brought Tyler into existence, though only temporarily, since he could only take over when Jack was sleeping. Any time Jack watched Tyler do something, he was out cold, and the tulpa was in control of his body. Tyler's direct interaction with Jack made him aware of Tyler's existence solely as a thoughtform. By symbolically killing Jack, Tyler was seeking to have a permanent physical presence in the world.

The entire movie is a hallucination
None of the movie actually happened. The entire Project Mayhem is as imaginary as Tyler. A lot of the movie seems a bit implausible, like with how omnipresent Tyler's army is, and how the narrator was able to travel across the country setting up Fight Clubs without realizing it (you'd think he'd realize all the days that vanished). The biggest clue though, is his knowledge of explosives. If Tyler isn't real, the narrator never learned how to make explosives. If he can't make explosives because he doesn't know how, then the explosives in the movie can't be real. The movie is actually the narrator fantasizing about lashing out at society, and ultimately rejecting it in the end.

The Tyler Durden personality was created to attract Marla
The narrator has always had the desires/opinions that Tyler brings out into the open, but when he meets Marla, he is somewhat attracted, and all of these existing drives spring out into the open as Tyler Durden as a result. This explains why the story is said to start with Marla even though she doesn't connect directly with the story until some time in.

Tyler Durden is a Time Lord, and The Narrator is him under the Chameleon Arch.
Tyler Durden is a Time Lord, and The Narrator is him under the Chameleon Arch. The suitcase is where "Tyler Durden" is kept, which The Narrator never opens due to the perception filter, but when The Narrator notices that they "have" the same suitcase, his attention is then drawn to it, allowing Tyler Durden to slowly reach out of it. Eventually, the Narrator manages to "kill" Tyler Durden, effectively using up one of his regenerations in the process (explaining how he took a bullet to the head and survived) and becomes a separate incarnation.

The Narrator is Davey Johnson from Cloak & Dagger
According to this Cracked article, at least.

The Tyler Durden is the hotel welcome video is real
When the narrator was subconsciously building Tyler in his mind he hadn't completely figured out how Tyler would look, until he saw the Brad Pitt lookalike in the welcome video, and thought that's how he wished he looked, giving Tyler an appearance.

Tyler's last name is an Anglicization of Do'Urden
The Narrator seems like the kind of person who'd be into Dungeons & Dragons as a youth and Drizzt is frequently accused of being a Canon Sue, so it makes a kind of sense he would be part of the (probably unconscious) inspiration for the Narrator's idealized self.

Tyler Durden is A CHAR
Blond? Check. Red jacket? Check. Multiple identities? Check. Grandiose plans to bring down the world's corrupt civilization that are really just him acting out his weird mommy issues? Check and mate.

The scene where the Narrator meets Tyler on the plane really happened exactly as we saw it.
The Narrator, an nerdy, insecure, deeply depressed guy, meets this handsome, clever, very charismatic man on a plane. They talk for the couple of hours they're on the flight together. Tyler is, as the Narrator says, the most interesting "one-serving friend" he's ever had. Tyler gives him his card, they part ways at the airport. The Narrator goes home, calls Tyler, and gets no answer... and the imagines Tyler calling him back. The split personality has been brewing for his mind for months (if not years), but meeting Tyler (the real one) gave it a face and a name. Something about Tyler sticks in the Narrator's mind, growing attached despite not really knowing him, and he soon sees himself befriending him, living with him, and, of course, starting Fight Club with him. (This especially works if you believe the Narrator is a closeted gay or bisexual man, as some Alternative Character Interpretation posits — he both wants to be Tyler, and be with him.)

As for them having the same suitcase? Well, lots of people own a plain black suitcase. That was just an everyday coincidence.


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