5 Mind-Bending Fan Theories About Famous TV Shows

It's all well and good to predict that Westworld is a Martian colony run by invisible cocker spaniels, but let's face it: That could totally happen on that show. Where's the fun in that? No, when it comes to fan speculation, the greatest theories on the internet are the ones that are way too insane to come true -- but still make a frightening amount of sense.

To demonstrate that, here are six fan theories about famous TV shows that (predictably) didn't pan out, but whose sheer WTF-ness will make you wish they had. Spoilers ahoy!

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5
Breaking Bad -- Walt Killed His Family, And Mike Is Jesse From The Future

Breaking Bad was such a wonderful show that it naturally generated a fervent fan base, some of them so passionate, they actually went into the meth-making business. Fans who couldn't cut it cooking the blue stuff had to get by simply sharing their thoughts about the show online -- and the results were almost as deranged. One popular observation noted by fans was that Walt seemed to adopt character traits from the people he killed, such as cutting the crusts off of his sandwiches after offing Crazy 8, or drinking whiskey on the rocks after he killed Mike (he was a rocks-less man before that).

Sony Pictures Television

Sony Pictures Television

Sony Pictures Television

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When the show flashed forward in time in its final season, fans hip to that theory predicted that the story would end in the most messed-up manner possible: with Walt killing his wife, Skyler, and his faithful meth-cooking partner, Jesse. They came to that chilling conclusion after seeing Future Walt using the pseudonym "Lambert" ...

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... which any pause button fetishist will tell you was Skyler's maiden name on their divorce papers.

Sony Pictures Television
She ended it upon finding out that he had another family.

And if Mr. Lambert's jacket looked familiar, it should: It's a lot like the one Jesse used to wear.

Sony Pictures Television
Or it just manifested by itself after he went five days without showering.

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Wearing Jesse's jacket, using Skyler's name -- it all seems to point to a finale where Walt murders them both, then eases his bloodlust with a Denny's Grand Slam. For better or worse, that never happened. Also in the "never happened" camp: Some people apparently thought that Gus Fring's secret to success in the drug business was that he was a time traveler selling meth to all his jet-pack and silver-jumpsuit-wearing friends in the future. Not only that, but Mike was future Jesse, looking to help his past self out (by warning him about alopecia, presumably).

Sony Pictures Television
Now their sex scene is even more uncomfortable to watch.

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While the "Walt killing everybody" theory seems to be based on actual events from the show, this one seems to be based on the actual event of a gas leak in someone's apartment.

4
Mad Men -- More Time Travel ... And Charles Manson!

Mad Men will go down as one of the great TV shows of all time -- it had intriguing characters, existential examinations of the human soul, and enough cigarettes and whiskey to kill five Nick Noltes.

Lionsgate Television
Sterling Cooper offices probably reeked like a tobacco-filled urinal.

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Mad Men undeniably took place in the real world, and unless Harry Crane was some kind of android programmed only for douchebaggery, the show didn't have any otherworldly twists. Naturally, that didn't stop the internet from indulging in the fine art of rampant speculation.

One character who seemed to get fans' imaginations going was Bob Benson, whose true identity was a mystery. Theories ranged from a government spy investigating Don to him being Don's son Bobby all grown-up from the future -- because, as one fan points out, "Bob" stands for "Bobby," "Ben" is Hebrew for "son," and "son" is self-explanatory. Of course, this would mean that science invented time travel in the '80s and no one bothered to tell us.

Lionsgate Television
At least it would explain why he dresses like he's 6.

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Another popular theory stated that Don's second wife, Megan, was going to be killed by Charles Manson. Supposedly, the show was foreshadowing her murder with a series of unsettling moments, like Peggy accidentally stabbing her boyfriend and Don's kids being held hostage by a home invader. They also prominently referenced the movie Rosemary's Baby, directed by Roman Polanski, whose wife Sharon Tate was killed by members of the Manson Family. Also, at one point, someone holds a can of Folger Coffee, and the Folger heiress was another Manson Family victim. It all fits!

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OK, fine, this one's kind of a stretch ... until you look at Megan and Tate's wardrobe.

via Vulture
Poor Megan. People were rooting for her to be brutally murdered or die in a plane crash.

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Nothing happened to Megan, but that didn't stop fans from coming up with more tinfoil hat theories. Some suggested that Don was going to become famous skyjacker D.B. Cooper, mainly because of the show's focus on air travel and the fact that the opening credits feature a falling silhouette -- something that others took as evidence of Don's inevitable suicide. But seriously, why in the hell would people think that the opening credits would predict the ending of the show? What if the Seinfeld finale found Jerry taking bass guitar lessons?

3
The Office -- One Of The Main Characters Was A Serial Killer

Not a lot of sitcoms dare to incorporate murder as a subplot, which is why Friends never showed us what Gunther got up to at night. And yet The Office actually had a running gag about a local serial killer known as "The Scranton Strangler." One episode showed the loveable gang of paper salesmen watching the strangler's arrest on TV, and Toby even became a juror on the trial -- later confessing that he feared he helped sentence an innocent man to death. Classic office mix-up!

NBCUniversal Television Distribution
It's times like this when this show could use a laugh track.

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A lot of fans took this as a sign that one of Dunder Mifflin's goofballs would be revealed as the real strangler. It's not hard to see why, considering that the show's producer promised "explosive" twists in the final season, adding that the killer would be "unmasked." And so, even though revealing one of the characters was secretly a serial killer seemed like an odd fit for a show built on unrequited crushes and awkward silences, the internet went full Miss Marple trying to figure out who the hell it was.

The most obvious choice seemed to be Creed, the office's resident sketchy old man. Most damningly, in one episode he runs away after mistaking a murder mystery game for a genuine investigation:

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

NBCUniversal Television Distribution
He still showed up for work the next day, because it was the middle of a recession.

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Another time, Creed comes to work on Halloween wearing a blood-splattered shirt ... despite not knowing it was Halloween.

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

NBCUniversal Television Distribution
He strangled a hemophiliac, apparently.

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Other suspects included Gabe, Toby himself and Pam's ex-fiance Roy, who we know has a history of violence. Or Dwight, because he's Dwight. And his password was apparently "Scranton Strangler 666." And he interrupted Toby when he tried to talk about the jailed man's innocence. And he dressed up as the Strangler for Halloween.

NBCUniversal Television Distribution
And he's Dwight.

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However, the most mind-blowing twist of all would have been to reveal, as a BuzzFeed writer proposed, that Jim Halpert was the Scranton Strangler. Holy s**t -- if the last episode of The Office had revealed that there was a rage-filled madness hiding behind the mask of Jim's playful, furtive glances to the camera, it's probably not hyperbole to say that would be the greatest moment in narrative fiction.

2
Lost -- The Smoke Monster Was An Escaped Human Consciousness

Lost was the kind of show that encouraged fans to theorize about where it was heading. What's in the hatch? Who are the Others? Where can we find some garbage bags to tape over our windows, because we can't stop watching this goddamn show?

ABC Studios
Can Damon Lindelof do any wrong?

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But before most of the show's mysteries were wrapped up in a lousy DVD extra, people had lots of wild guesses about where the plot was headed. Some thought it was a dream, or a Truman Show-esque reality show, or even a "shadow" reality superimposed on Manhattan, in which the Smoke Monster was an invisible subway train, presumably driven by Lee Harvey Oswald and the "zoom zoom" kid from those Mazda commercials.

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But if the average Lost theorist was a crackpot, Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Jensen was a whole Bed, Bath & Beyond caught in a hurricane. On a weekly basis, Jensen came up with increasingly insane ideas about what might really be happening on Lost. One of his most creative theories projected a dramatic series of events involving Claire's baby, Aaron. The show hinted that the Dharma Initiative, the secret organization that operated on the island, was created to test psychic behavior -- thus their collection of 16 mm movies of women pointing at balls.

ABC Studios
A popular genre of film in the '70s.

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Now here's where things start to get a bit wacky: Jensen further speculated that the Dharma experiments accidentally separated one subject from their body, forcing them to roam the island as a cloud of black smoke. The reason why Claire and her child were kidnapped by the Others was to help the entity possess the baby, like a somewhat darker version of Look Who's Talking. The entity even psychically suggested his original name (Aaron) to Claire, because why the hell not at this point. This would all build up to an epic showdown between Aaron and Walt -- who, before being written out of the show, had Shining-like powers of his own.

ABC Studios

ABC Studios
Walt would be assisted by an army of polar bears he materialized with his mind.

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As you probably noticed, none of this ended up happening. It turned out that the Smoke Monster was a disembodied soul, but he became that way thanks to a magic cave ... which makes way more sense, unless you're some kind of magic cave denier. Jensen's theories were so elaborate and creative, the creator of Lost later hired him to write the screenplay for Tomorrowland -- though that film didn't end up featuring any evil monster babies either, so we're not sure what the point was.

1
True Detective -- Woody Harrelson Was The Killer All Along

Before Season 2 dropped the ball by focusing on Vince Vaughn's staring contests with his wife, True Detective was a really, really great show. The first season was an almost perfect blend of pulpy murder mystery, horror, and the rare Matthew McConaughey performance that didn't involve topless treasure hunting.

HBO
They put the scar in post-production to justify why he kept doing this.

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Before the show wrapped up, though, fans had a lot of theories on how the story would end -- and one of the best predicted that Woody Harrelson's character, the cop tasked with finding the killer, was the killer.

While this might sound like the kind of asinine twist Charlie Kaufman's twin brother would come up with, there are some hints at this throughout the show. Harrelson's character was named Marty Hart, and "hart" is an Old English word meaning "stag" -- which is significant because the first victim is found wearing antlers. Then there's the scene where Marty shoots one of the first suspects they find. On the surface it seemed like he was horrified by the evidence they found, but it's so unprofessional and hurtful to their case that it almost makes more sense if he was doing it to shut up someone who could implicate him.

HBO
"Well, you heard what he said. The killer is either Woody Allen or the cowboy from Toy Story."

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There's also a weird subplot about how Marty's daughter is doodling weird sex stuff in school and posing her action figures in scenes of sexual torture resembling the case -- so how the hell did she know about it? Also, the swirls painted on the victim's body happen to show up in some art in Marty's kitchen (the kid doesn't make a lot of art they can hang on walls, we guess).

HBO

HBO
Either this is a clue or the production designer got a crap-ton of Spirographs for Christmas that year.

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And remember how the killer is referred to as "The Yellow King"? In one scene, Marty's daughter dresses like a princess, making her dad a symbolic king. Plus, the show's poster cuts off the top of Marty's head and gives it a kind of a crown of trees, in what looks like an ominous Xeroxing f**k up.

HBO
He even has the soulless eyes of the Burger King mascot here.

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And finally, you can plainly see two dudes in the poster. So if there's only one "true" detective, the other has to be a murderous dickweed, right? Case closed!

For more fan musings created by people drinking too much Red Bull, check out 5 Crazy Fan Theories That Improve Famous Superhero Movies and 6 Kids' Movie Fan Theories That'll Blow Your Adult Mind.

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