- So that's where the $8,000 went.
- He's also related to Colonel Sherman Potter.
- And Ethel May Potter, who married Fred Mertz.
- Ocious P. Potter, anyone?
- And Polly Potter and her mom. (Likely Mrs. Potter married Henry F.'s brother, who then died and left her the "Potter Millions". Mrs. P may be an Expy of Mary Lily Keenan Flagler, once the richest woman in America.)
- Note that Clarence might not know that's what he's doing ("he has the IQ of a rabbit"). It's just that's what ended up happening.
- Clarence consults with someone in heaven — "Wait a minute, that's an idea. What do you think? Yeah, that'll do it. All right!", before saying "You've got your wish. You've never been born." He just put in a request, probably to God himself, considering the huge wind that comes up and Clarence's "You don't have to make all that fuss about it!" That said, Clarence is actually pretty sharp on the job.
- It's a nice thought.
- He...kinda did. An alternate (cut) scene shows him dying of a heart attack, but it was taken out. It could still happen.
- What's the opposite of personal discontinuity? That seems to be what at least two tropers are doing, deciding that an event that did not occur on screen is canon because we like it so much.
- This troper always liked to think that not only did it happen, but once the original money was found in Potter's possession after his death and George cleared, the Baileys were allowed to keep it and use at least part of it to take a vacation to all the places George always wanted to go.
- It's more likely given her character and her comment at their wedding dinner "This is what I wished for" that she wished for him to stay in Bedford Falls and marry her, only it manifested in a Jerkass Genie way.
- Getting the birth date wrong seems more likely than them not realizing what year it was.
- Since it's an alternate universe, maybe he really was born in a different year.
- Except the headstone may not be a mistake. Not mentioned explicitly, but it appears that there is a four year difference between George and Harry. Most high schools are four years, At Harry's graduation, George mentions high school was four years ago for him, thus George, 12 years old in 1919, would have made Harry eight (Possibly seven) years old in 1919. Thus the math does work out.
- It's hardly a coincidence that they died from the same illness. It just makes them two of the millions who died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of the late 1910s.
- Who's to say this might explain "It Happened One Christmas", the gender-flipped version; George Bailey may not have been born, but that didn't prevent the Universe from allowing "Mary Bailey" (Marlo Thomas) to step into his shoes. Heaven is not above a loophole or two, and I don't doubt that Potter's angel is happy with it too, as long as he gets Potter's soul. Seeing that he still can't completely keep the Baileys down is going to all but finish the banker off.
Of course, given the Hays Code at the time and the general nature of the film, there was no way they were going to come out and say that this was what Violet needed George's money for.
It's just that the world without George Bailey would have been totally unrelatable for George, and though truly awful — wouldn't have made him appreciate his life. Rather than dialing it up, the angels dialed it back so George could still relate.
Events in George Bailey's life seem to be systematically conspiring to keep him from leaving the town. The producers had realized they'd been a bit too hard on George in order to crush his attempts to leave town and he was close to snapping, so they planned the whole alternate universe setup with the help of theater-style quick set design changes and makeup/costume changes for the actors. Once George was assured of how much he was valued in the town, they ensured he would be content continuing to live there.
With the people of Pottersville being a rougher, darker bunch, and the town filled with violence and houses of ill repute, it's entirely possible that Mary was attacked somehow, leading to her jumpy behaviour when George runs into her. In one version of the script, Clarence says that "something happened" and Mary screams "don't touch me! I can't stand to be touched!" Never finding love wouldn't make her fearful of being attacked, but having a previous record of being attacked would certantly send any girl running at the slightest hint of danger.
We already know that Clarence was a human who died and became an angel. He says that its illegal to commit suicide despite the fact that America had no such law in 1946 or in the 1800s when Clarence was alive. He could be referring to the laws of heaven, which in this film seem to believe that Suicide Is Shameful but are generally sympathetic towards suicidal people. God probably sent Clarence to purgatory for his sin, and said that he would be allowed to go to heaven/get his wings by Talking Down the Suicidal and showing that he has learned to value life.
Earlier script drafts had George wanting to essentially become Mr. Potter, i.e. a successful, but lonely and unloved businessman. Presumably, Mr. Potter was once very much like George in terms of optimism in his early career, but he decided that he wanted to be wealthy and successful, and so, he became a successful businessman, but at the expense of his soul and principles, as well as alienating his former friends, allies and business partners.