Ferris makes it home right in the nick of time, fooling both his parents and that silly school principal who was chasing him throughout the whole movie. Good job, Ferris, you're the best!
The Missing Epilogue
Five more minutes. That's all I need. Just five more minutes to see what happens when Cameron's dad gets home. His oppressive father, the guy who is so cold and distant that he's turned Cameron into a socially broken train wreck. That guy.
The most interesting thing about Ferris Bueller's Day Off is that it isn't about Ferris Bueller. His best friend Cameron is the hero in this story. Cameron is the one who goes through a journey. Cameron is the one whose story has an arc, the one who grows and changes by the end of the film, the character who actually learns something. Let's compare character arcs for Ferris and Cameron using this fancy chart I had a scientist friend of mine work up:
I guess "arc" isn't the word for what Ferris goes through.
Ferris is obviously the more inherently dynamic character, and he's lots of fun to watch, but Cameron's path is infinitely more interesting. Ferris is silly and superhuman; Cameron is real.
Now what the hell happens to him??
The fact that this movie ends with Ferris dispensing some stupid life lesson about stopping to smell the roses always felt like a slap in the face to me. I'm not going to take Ferris' life advice because he's magic, and magic people have different problems from me. That might be an OK takeaway moral for you, Mr. Silly Man, Mr. Clownshoes, Mr. I-Shit-Gold-and-Everything-Works-Out-for-Me-Always, but the truth is, at the end of the day, there are more Camerons in this world than there are Ferrises. The last time we saw Cameron, he crashed an incredibly expensive car through an incredibly expensive window, both of which belonged to a stern-bordering-on-abusive father who terrifies Cameron. Cameron's father is going to come home, and maybe Cameron will finally become the hero of his own story, or maybe he and his dad will bond and finally become friends, or maybe his dad will straight murder him -- we'll never know, because John Hughes decided to drop the thread of this amazing and heavy moment and instead focus on Ferris sprinting home so his mommy and daddy don't find out he was faking being sick.