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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2005, 17:55 
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Just finished a Fight Club re-watch, and there's one scene that always bugged me.
I thought I knew what "the big twist" was even before seeing it (people have a way of ruining these things for me - like quoting "Luke I am your father" at me just before I saw Episode V), so I was checking my guess against the movie all the way through. And then I hit a scene that made me think I must be wrong. Except I wasn't.
Everytime I see it, it continues to bug me. I figure someone here might be able to provide a satisfactory explanation.

The scene in the car: Tyler is driving and the Narrator is in the front passenger seat. Two Project Mayhem soldiers in the back. Tyler and the Narrator are arguing, and every once in a while the back seat dudes jump in when the Narrator asks a question.
So what would that scene look like from the soldiers perspective? One dude driving arguing with himself? And then debating with himself whether he should let the wheel go or not? Seems to me their reactions might have been a bit...more, in that case. And wouldn't one of them try to get in the front seat at the outset?
I'm just really curious about what their perspective on the discussion would have been. And if it was really Ed Norton saying both sets of lines out loud, wouldn't they be a wee bit concerned? Or were they too indoctrinated by that point?

It just doesn't seem to work to me.

Alrighty then. That was kind of a rant, but I would also appreciate hearing people's perspectives.

(Also checked it against the Calvin and Hobbes theory as I watched...and have to say, I like it!)


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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2005, 18:33 
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The way I look at it is this.

They are programmed by Tyler to do what he says when he says it. And to NOT ask questions about anything. Including his "odd" behavior. Much like the scene when Ed comes home to see what they just did on the evening news with the big Smiley face. He walks in as and greets everyone as Ed, sees what they did, and then asks "What the Hell?" .... immediately they go into "we dont know shit mode" .... as if he is testing them to see what their responce will be. I think they take his "mood swings" and "talking to himself" as part of his genius and dont let it bother them.

Incidentaly ... one big proof that Ed is indeed driving the car during the scene is that ... if you notice ... he gets "pulled" out of the drivers side.

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 00:31 
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Spikel7l wrote:
The way I look at it is this.

They are programmed by Tyler to do what he says when he says it. And to NOT ask questions about anything. Including his "odd" behavior. Much like the scene when Ed comes home to see what they just did on the evening news with the big Smiley face. He walks in as and greets everyone as Ed, sees what they did, and then asks "What the Hell?" .... immediately they go into "we dont know shit mode" .... as if he is testing them to see what their responce will be. I think they take his "mood swings" and "talking to himself" as part of his genius and dont let it bother them.

Incidentaly ... one big proof that Ed is indeed driving the car during the scene is that ... if you notice ... he gets "pulled" out of the drivers side.


This is a good theory, I too have wondered about that particular scene. I must watch Fight Club again, you don't get many films like that these days.

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 08:41 
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Yes, by that point in the film, he's done much weirder shit than argue with himself while he drives.


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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 10:19 
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I dont understand how he could have started the craze by fighting with himself!!!!..if i remember correctly you see the two of them fighting, attracting an audience and at one point somebody says he want to try...now surely...one guy beating himself up in the street....."oh can i join?"...join what!!! some nutter beating himself up..surely if some mixed up loon did ask to join...he would also beat himself up. Also another thing...the subliming image's you see....3 if i remember correctly, are they not illegal or were they too long (and are not short enough to be a sub) or was it the case they are allowed as they are part of the story?


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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 10:26 
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Fat Head wrote:
I dont understand how he could have started the craze by fighting with himself!!!!..if i remember correctly you see the two of them fighting, attracting an audience and at one point somebody says he want to try...now surely...one guy beating himself up in the street....."oh can i join?"...join what!!! some nutter beating himself up..surely if some mixed up loon did ask to join...he would also beat himself up. Also another thing...the subliming image's you see....3 if i remember correctly, are they not illegal or were they too long (and are not short enough to be a sub) or was it the case they are allowed as they are part of the story?


I'm no expert but if I remember correctly subliminal images are allowed if they meet a certain number of frames (I think it's 3) in a row. Anything smaller is (consciously) invisible to most people and that's what makes it illegal.


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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 10:37 
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Fat Head wrote:
I dont understand how he could have started the craze by fighting with himself!!!!..if i remember correctly you see the two of them fighting, attracting an audience and at one point somebody says he want to try...now surely...one guy beating himself up in the street....."oh can i join?"...join what!!! some nutter beating himself up..surely if some mixed up loon did ask to join...he would also beat himself up.


When the next guy asks to join, Brad Pitt kind of beckons to him - so I guess at that point it would be obvious that he wanted to fight. As for watching one guy fight himself, I agree, kind of a random thing to want to get involved in, but then again, Ed Norton was really getting into it...look at later in the parking garage, when he drags himself along...Maybe it's his sheer depth of involvement that was so appealing.

About the driving scene, I understand that there was no questioning, and they all just accept Tyler's brilliance and eccentricity. But in the earlier scene where Ed Norton first learns about Project Mayhem and freaks out, they react - they think it's a joke, then they get really uncomfortable. So I guess I would expect something like that.

But I guess by the time of "His name is Robert Paulson" they do just accept...and if it seems against what he said before, they figure out a way to make it fit.

Sigh. Not sure that I will ever like that particular scene though. Of course, my least favorite will always be 'Hey Jared Leto, let me beat your face into a pulp'.


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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 16:23 
When the suit & tie guys askes to be next. Tyley is not fighting Jack. Jack is "watching".


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2005, 03:45 
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Also, I think everyone here is underestimating Chuck Palahniuk's capacity for fucked-upedness. The story started out that way. Making it into a movie isn't going to suddenly make it a paragon of logic.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2015, 18:17 
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Mind blowing fight club theory that Marla and Bob and everything else are all parts of the narrator's imagination, not just Tyler. I usually enjoy these kind of ridiculous theories and then dismiss them as the works of crazies with too much time on their hands. However, the link for this site was given out by Pahlaniuk on his facebook page so I assume the theory has his endorsement. I'd recommend you read it on the site so you have the pictures to corroborate the theories but I'll include the text below if you're too lazy to go to a new page.

http://www.jackdurden.com/

Marla and Tyler Dress Alike

One of the first clues that Marla is not real is her likeness to Tyler. Fincher offers us clever, subtle hints that Tyler and Marla are the same person as Jack. One of the most obvious signs are the clothing that Marla and Tyler wear.

Tyler’s hair is styled and worn almost identical to Marla’s throughout most of the film. Marla and Tyler are both seen wearing a similar faux fur coat, wearing sunglasses, almost identical rings and they are seen smoking in virtually every scene in the film.

Even the framing of the shots is nearly identical when they are shown wearing similar clothes as well as the same facial expressions.

Fight_Club_0977 Fight_Club_0928
Fight_Club_0966Fight_Club_0422


Marla and Jack (Edward Norton) Dress Alike

fight-bldgsThis is even more telling than Marla’s likeness to Tyler, but slightly more symbolic.

Jack (the narrator, Edward Norton) is seen gradually looking more like Marla up until the final scene where we see the silhouettes of the two standing together, holding hands.

From the back, it is virtually impossible to tell who is who.

Note how Jack’s long coat and lack of pants have made it seem as if he is wearing a dress, a near perfect mirror image of Marla as they watch the 12 skyscrapers be demolished.

Marla Has No Reflection, Neither Does Tyler



Marla and Tyler do not have reflections, because they do not exist.

Unless Jack is with Marla (or Tyler) their reflection or image will not appear. This is because this is the only time Marla is “real” to the narrator.

We can see a great example of this in the scene when Tyler is saving Marla from suicide and goes to her hotel to save her. On their way down of the hallway, they walk directly by a convex mirror in the hallway.

When they both walk by, neither of them has a reflection. The mirror is facing the camera and should show the reflection of the two walking by, but the only reflections we see are of the paramedics running past Marla and Tyler in the same exact spot where they had been walking.

We know for a fact that Jack’s imagined alter personalities have no real objective “image” in the real world. This is clearly the case in the final scene of the movie where Jack is fighting Tyler in the parking garage.

The film cuts to the security cameras in the parking garage (which Jack never saw, just like he never saw the scene where Tyler saves Marla) and we can see that Tyler is not visible, since he does not exist.

The reason we see that Tyler and Marla have reflections in other scenes (e.g. when Jack is checking Marla for breast cancer or when Tyler is looking in the bathroom mirror) is because at those points Jack was acting his himself observing the alter personality as a separate person.

In the scene where Tyler goes to save Marla, Jack is supposedly not there, meaning Tyler and Marla are not actually being observed (except by us). We are being told to “imagine” what it would be like to see Tyler and Marla escape the hotel and in doing so the illusion of Marla and Tyler’s existence begins to disintegrate.

We are not watching Tyler save Marla in this scene, we are watching Jack leave the hotel completely alone, yelling at the paramedics franticly about how Marla is infectious human waste (hence the user of the 3rd person when Marla is yelling at the paramedics.

Check the 3 slides above for proof or go to 50 minutes, 40 seconds in to the film to see it yourself.

Any 3rd person view will show they have no reflection (which is why we don’t see it here, Tyler is telling us to imagine it – so we see them). This is just like at the end of the movie where we see the security footage from the garage. We see it is just Jack, because Jack did not see the footage, we are just supposed to be imagining seeing it.

The blue arrow in the first slide is showing the reflection in the convex mirror as Tyler approaches it reflecting the image of the metal box/cables on the wall. In the second slide you can see Marla and Tyler coming around the corner, directly in the line of the view of the mirror – and all we see is the reflection of the box on the opposite wall (even though the mirror is pointed TOWARDS them).

In the 3rd screenshot they still have no reflection even though the paramedics, who are now behind them, have a reflection.

Marla Takes Over Jack In the Laundromat

laundromat

In the laundromat scene we watch Marla take control over Jack, becoming his primary alternate personality.

Marla opens 2 Speed Queen brand dryers and takes out multiple pairs of men’s blue jeans. She then walks to the vintage clothing store and sells them. This all takes place while Jack is negotiating with her about sharing the support groups.

This marks the point in the movie where Jack is “becoming” Marla. If Jack is Marla then this means he is selling his own pants to the thrift store and figuratively surrendering his masculinity.

Consider this: What are the odds that two dryers right next to each other would contain only men’s blue jeans and not some other clothing? How did Marla know those clothes were in there? Is there any other article of clothing that is more representative of Western “masculinity”? It is obviously a deliberate metaphor for Jack’s masculinity being hijacked by Marla, his alter-ego.

Later in the film we see Marla wearing a pink bride’s maid dress she claims she “got at a thrift store.” What if Jack, acting as Marla, bought this dress at the same time he sold his own jeans? This would make perfect sense since Marla is seen selling her clothes at a vintage consignment store, which is for all intents and purposes the same exact thing as a thrift store. In fact, upon reading the script, we see that the vintage clothing store is literally labeled as “thrift store”. Marla is likely hinting at this when she says to Jack, “you can borrow it sometime,” since she knows it is actually Jack’s.

Marla Singer Prom Dress

Everything points to this scene representing the rapid change from Jack into Marla (Speed Queen…get it?) or at the very least the psychological transition of Jack into someone whose alternate personality is primarily Marla.

The Speed Queen dryers, only removing men’s blue jeans, selling them in front of Jack and Marla’s later admission that she got the pink dress at a thriftstore are all very obvious signs this is what is taking place. Fincher did not accidentally create this sequence, it was very carefully planned.

If the idea of a cross dressing Jack is hard to believe for some reason, just think about Jack’s relationship to Tyler. Everything we saw Tyler do, Jack was actually doing or imagining himself watching.

It is only in the film’s narrative that Jack shows us a flashback where for a few spliced-in frames Jack IS Tyler. If you accept that this is a fact of the film’s narrative, then it is completely logical that Marla is just another, yet unrealized, figment of his imagination he is living through. This ties in heavily with my timeline theory.

At the end of the film we watch Jack run around frantically, without pants, after he has decided he wants Marla instead of Tyler and Project Mayhem. He has abandoned his masculinity entirely and is either accepting his emasculated self or is literally becoming a woman, depending on how you interpret the film.

This culminates in the final scene where we see the mirror image of Marla and Jack holding hands . Jack creates Bob, then Marla, then Tyler, then finally betrays Bob and Tyler to accept his place as Marla (notice how Bob and Tyler both die the exact same way: a gun shot wound blowing out the back of their heads).

Jack has accepted his emasculated self, simply chosen to identify as an actual woman or is only keeping Marla as his “main” alter-ego.

Tyler Takes Over Jack On the Airplane

The first time we meet Tyler in the film is on the airplane. Did you ever notice what happened immediately before Tyler shows up?

On the plane Jack is talking to a middle aged black woman who is wearing sunglasses that resemble Tyler’s (see below comparison) and sitting next to Jack eating a meal.

Jack then begins fantasizing about the plane breaking apart mid-flight after it collides with another plane. After he snaps out of this fantasy, Tyler is now sitting in place of the woman. How on Earth could this be possible..?

“It’s called a changeover. The movie goes on, and nobody in the audience has any idea.” - Jack



This means the woman does not exist and Jack is likely sitting alone, either talking to himself or imagining himself talking to the woman and to Tyler. We watched a woman turn into Tyler, sitting right next to Jack. What might this represent? Hmmm.

Furthermore, we see the woman is somewhat older and eating from a tray, which is an interesting parallel to how Marla provides food for herself: stealing Meals on Wheels trays of food. This scene denotes the transition from Marla being the prominent alternate personality of Jack, to Tyler taking over.

Jack boarded the plane as Marla, the destruction sequence is showing us the “end” of Marla and then he “becomes” Tyler. This explains why he loses his baggage once he gets off the plane and is so confused as to why it was vibrating. Jack didn’t pack his bag, Marla did!

He is now Tyler, and this is why the damaged cardboard box is the only luggage left on the conveyor belt, since this is Tyler’s luggage.

Fincher could not have made this much clearer when you consider the emergency exit sign above the door (last 2 slides above).

The emergency exit image shows a woman on the first section of the diagram, she then opens the exit, then in the final image is replaced by a man standing in her place.

You can tell the female turns into a man by the change of clothing and hair between the first and final image of the emergency exit diagram.

Testicles and Balls, Marla is Jack Post-Testicular Cancer

Fight Club Testicular Cancer Balls

One of the weirdest aspects of Fight Club is the fixation on testicles.

If you look at the film as a commentary on the emasculation of men in Western culture, it makes sense. But it goes deeper and helps explain why Marla and other characters are not real.

There is an over-arching theme of “removing” manhood throughout the film.

Whether literally removing someone’s testicles or through references to sex toys. In either case it suggests the removal of what defines a man.

The metal cage behind Jack literally containing balls in the testicular cancer support group.

What is the significance of this? Why would members of Project Mayhem have such a fixation on removing men’s balls?

Why would Marla go to a testicular support group in the first place?

Why would testicles need to be removed? It does not make sense unless you consider the idea that very little of the film is real.

For example, in the police interrogation room it makes sense that the police officers say “We gotta get his balls” since Jack would have anxiety about figuratively “losing his balls.” Jack has essentially pussied out of a major plan, he has lost his balls (figuratively speaking, of course).

If Jack is Marla then it makes sense that Bob and Marla are both members of the testicular cancer group. Jack feels emasculated, at first he only feels moderately insecure, so he imagines Bob there to help cope with his insecurity and anxiety about his actual testicular cancer.

He then creates Marla, who helps him cope but also represents his feeling of being literally feminized by the prospect of losing his balls.

If most of these things are not happening at all or are happening differently than they are presented (i.e. interactions with Marla, the support groups, etc.) then this evidence lends itself to the theory that we are simply seeing Jack’s insecurities leak into the narrative through the coping mechanisms he created to suppress them.

Marla makes a really interesting comment when she says that she has more of a right to be at the testicular cancer group than Jack, since “you [Jack] still have your balls.”

He says, “You’re kidding…” and Marla says “I don’t know, am I?”

This is a really telling exchange, particularly when you consider they have this conversation mere seconds before the Speed Queen scene.

It suggests that if Jack is Marla neither one of them can possibly know if he does still have his testicles, since Jack is already so far into denial he has already created two alternate personalities as coping mechanisms already.

Big Rubbery One

Fight_Club_0318

Dildos are extremely prominent throughout the film and lend a lot of credibility to the fact that Marla is not real.

Dildos represent the fact that Marla is taking Jack’s masculinity or that he is surrendering it, and this could likely be a metaphorical device used to illustrate Jack literally no longer physically has his testicles.

This would explain why we see Marla with dildos at the times and places that we do.

For example, outside of the support groups we see Marla smoking a cigarette when Jack goes to see if Marla is still attending groups.

In the shot, it is very difficult to see what she is holding in her hand as she lights her cigarette. If you adjust the color levels of the image, you can make out what is clearly a dildo.

Why on earth would she be holding this outside of a support group if she were actually real? It makes no sense what so ever unless this is all just being imagined by Jack as he is fondly remembering Marla and the support groups, only to remember that she (and the support groups) are the enemy of his masculinity, which explains why she is holding the dildo.

Did you ever find it odd that when Jack is hugging Bob for the first time he says, “strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.” Have you ever heard this phrase used before? No? That is because no one says it. It makes no sense. Unless you consider more of his insecurities are leaking into the narrative. He could only be referencing the BIG, RUBBERY dildo that he owns.

marla-dresserAnother significant place we see a dildo is on Marla’s dresser, which is a very interesting place for it. When Tyler goes to save Marla, he leans against the dresser, causing the dildo to move. Marla then says, “Oh don’t worry, it’s not a threat to you.”

This could be interpreted a number of ways. If Marla is Jack, and Jack is Tyler, then the dildo is likely not going to be used by any of them, so it is literally not a threat. In addition, if Tyler is a coping mechanism who represents masculinity, he presumably actually has a penis – so the dildo is not a threat – while Jack who has been possibly physically emasculated would see the dildo as a threat.

In addition, the positioning of the dildo on the dresser and next to the door lends itself to another interpretation that I feel makes more sense.

If Jack believes that this is where Marla stays, yet he is Marla, then this is a clever way of communicating to the viewer that Jack is leaving his manhood at the door when he arrives and takes on the role of Marla. This would also help add even more strength to my vibrating suitcase theory (below).

The Vibrating Suitcase (Dildos Part II)

So, what was vibrating in there anyway..? The security guard says himself…

Fight Club Security Guard It's a Dildo

This is one of the strongest points for Marla’s non-existence. The most interesting part about this scene is that Jack is utterly confused.

If he had been the person to actually pack his bags, then surely he would understand what COULD be vibrating in the suitcase.

The security guard even says, “9 times out of 10 it’s an electric razor.”

But Jack continues to look at the security guard confused and says, “my suitcase was vibrating?” Implying he has no idea what could possibly be the cause.

However, if Jack is actually Marla, then Marla is likely the one who packed his bags. Which means there actually is a dildo in the luggage.

Jack acts totally confused about this because he himself has no idea he is Marla.

Think about it: the dildo is even sitting on top of the dresser, and Marla packed it.

The security guard even hints at this by saying, “of course it’s company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo, we have to use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo” and looks at Jack skeptically.

Fight Club Vibrating Suitcase

This is brilliant because the security guard is essentially saying we cannot say it’s actually Jack’s dildo, because we do not know he is Marla, it is indefinite and ambiguous on purpose.

The fact that it is a security guard telling him this adds even more weight to this theory, as security guards act as a clever and reoccurring theme in the movie as a metaphor for Jack’s insecurities.

This also helps explain the box on the luggage carousel. This is likely the luggage that Tyler packed, or at the very least is supposed to represent Tyler’s luggage being picked up by Jack while Marla’s luggage has now been confiscated.

This ties in absolutely flawlessly with the transitioning theory where the woman sitting next to Jack becomes Tyler instantly on the airplane.

Jack then leaves the plane, his luggage is no where to be found (which is really Marla’s luggage) yet Tyler’s tattered, broken box is on the luggage carousel waiting to be picked up.

The fact that the security guard also refers to the baggage handlers as “throwers” is very interesting.

This is not a common term that is actually used, which you could argue is supposed to be funny, but if you accept the fact we are potentially talking about a character whom is either figuratively or physically becoming a woman, then this could be a reference to the homosexual slang “pitcher.”

Marla and Jack Live In a Hotel, the Paper Street House Doesn’t Exist

The house Tyler lives in, where Jack moves into and Project Mayhem uses as a base does not exist.

Equally interesting is Marla does not have an apartment…or a house…she lives in a hotel.

This is information we never directly receive during the entire film, unless you are paying very close attention. Marla clearly lives in a hotel, but Jack somehow does not even know this even after having been at her hotel room.

Who else do we know that spends almost all of his time in hotels? Oh right, Jack.

When Marla calls Jack to tell him she is committing suicide, Jack says, “just picturing Marla throw herself around her crummy apartment” but we know that Marla is staying at a hotel because the exterior shots of her “apartment” have a neon sign in the background that says “Rooms”.

marla hotel

If this isn’t enough to conclude she is living at a hotel, in additional exterior shots we see the hotel name (two different names are shown), Hotel Lindy and Bristol Hotel.

The latter of the two being the actual, real hotel in Los Angeles where the exterior shots were filmed.

In the beginning after meeting with Tyler after his condo explodes, Jack says “ah, I need to find a hotel.”

hotel lindy

hotel bristolAfter Jack’s condo exploded, he met with Tyler, said he needed a hotel, and actually went and got one.

He did not go to the Paper Street house, because it does not exist.

This explains why when he handed the beer to Tyler, the neon sign in the background went out (which is a visual representation of his masculinity…it’s an actual penis). He was transitioning back into Marla and turning off his masculine persona.

Tyler and Marla’s residences are the exact “same” residence, in that it is only the hotel Jack is living at but he is imagining two separate places for his two separate alternate personalities.

He has multiple people living in one “house” which also serves as a clever metaphor for his psyche.

fight-clubThis helps explain Jack’s distaste when Marla begins spending more time at the Paper Street house, why Tyler and Marla cannot be in the same “room” together (because he cannot be two people simultanousely) and why Project Mayhem causes the Paper Street house to turn into a “living, breathing thing”.

Jack says, “She invaded my support groups now she invaded my home” and explains why Tyler is adamant about not being in the same room.

The personalities are losing their compartmentalization (think about it, Marla begins living at the Paper Street house even, then Bob moves in and Project Mayhem, they all wind up in one house or one “compartment”) and Jack is losing his sanity as a result, which we watch deteriorate through the rest of the film.

The house itself is dilapidated because it is a visual metaphor for Jack’s mental break down between the different personalities he has manufactured.

The Paper Street house now clearly becomes just an illusion, even the name of the street of the house points to this. A “Paper Street” is a street that an engineer has planned for, but has not yet been constructed. The house does not actually exist, Jack just imagined it.

Recycle Your Animals Fight ClubThis explains why Bob is buried in the garden and essentially “recycled” into Jack’s psyche at the Paper Street house.

This explains the “Recycle Your Animals” bumper sticker on the Lincoln Towncar car Tyler and Jack crash with two project mayhem members in the back, and why Tyler refers to Marla as a “predator posing as a house pet.” And yet another nail in the coffin is Marla comparing her “death rattle” to a “hair ball.”

Bob is even referred to as “the big moosey.”
We even see that as Jack gets off the bus at the Paper Street house, the advertisement on the bus (which is not easily visible without adjusting color levels) hints at this, right before he enters the Paper Street house where the “animals” are (Bob, Tyler, Project Mayhem).

Click the images to see the full text on the bus advertisement then view the following frame of Jack walking into the illuminated Paper Street house.

pets-in-house

light-up-pets

Myself, Myself, Myself, Myself

Once Jack leaves Marla’s place after examining her for breast cancer, he runs into Bob. We can see written on the wall behind Jack the phrase “Myself” 4 times, in a column. In other shots we can see the full writing actually reads “I love myself.”

Why does Bob appear at this point when we haven’t seen him since the beginning of the movie?

bob outside marlas

He is appearing because Jack just “saved” Marla and now Bob wants to be saved as well.

This is why Bob is profoundly thanking him after the fight. By doing this he has given Bob enough attention and validation as a separate identity that he is now “alive” to his psyche again, he is again a living person as far as his mind is now concerned.

Marla has just told Jack she stopped going to the support groups, why? It’s actually because Jack is no longer at the support groups, that’s the only reason.

The same goes for Bob. Bob hasn’t been going to the support groups because now Jack is no longer there, so they do not exist without him there since they were his coping mechanism for dealing with his use of the support groups and nothing more.

His two other personalities are now using this opportunity to try to get back into his life. Need even more proof? Did you notice anything interesting about the screenshot above? Scroll back up the previous screenshot of this same scene where Jack is walking out of Marla’s hotel after checking her for cancer.

The spray painted words are not there. This is telling us that now there are 4 main people that Jack is essentially operating as, including himself in addition to Bob, Marla, Tyler. This could not be anymore obvious as the writing “I love myself” is literally written on the wall.

The only characters throughout the entire film who we ever know the full names of are Bob (Robert Paulson), Marla (Singer) and Tyler (Durden). These are the only “real” people as far as Jack is concerned.

Tyler Saves Marla from Committing Suicide

Marla XanaxEven Jack says “now why would Tyler think it’s a good idea to save Marla?” This is partly a sly reference to the twist ending, where we discover Tyler is Jack. But if you take this deeper you realize it’s because if Marla dies, Jack dies, meaning Tyler also dies. If Marla is committing suicide and she is also Jack, then it means Jack will die as well as Tyler. In other words, we are watching Jack lying in the bed trying to commit suicide – “calling” Tyler at the non-existent Paper Street House. This is the incentive for Tyler to save her. If Jack dies, everyone dies.

This is why Jack asks this rhetorical question of why Tyler would waste his time saving her. Why else would Tyler save her if she were an actual person? It makes no sense.

In addition there is this: and this is a theory with only circumstantial evidence, I admit, but it makes sense. The Xanax Marla tries over dosing on is the Xanax that the doctor prescribes Jack at the beginning of the film, which we never see happen.

Jack requests two pills, one of which is an anxiolytic like Xanax.
Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.49.02 PM

We know Jack initially sees his doctor at the beginning of the film to get medicine to help him sleep and specifically mentions two separate kinds of pills in the voice over.

Jack has in mind Tuinal and Seconal, both of which share very similar properties to Xanax, being anxiolytics and hypnotic drugs.

What if when Jack is at the doctor, he is actually getting diagnosed as having testicular cancer, and is in fact prescribed these drugs to help cope with the anxiety (along with being told to attend cancer support groups)?

Left In the Copier

jacks boss

Jack’s boss finds the fight club rules in the copier and confronts Jack about them. Jack replies with something Tyler might say, then says “Tyler’s words coming out of my mouth. And I used to be such a nice guy.”

Immediately following the phone rings and it is Marla saying she thinks she has breast cancer.

She interestingly says “my tits going to rot off” This is carefully worded, since it implies she is dead and decaying or falling apart.

Why is this? Consider that up until now Marla only seems to call out of desperation, and within the context that she is dying or about to be gone forever (her suicide call first, now she is “decomposing”).

Is it really a coincidence that Marla calls him right after we see Jack being taken over by Tyler’s personality (i.e. the words he chooses to use to tell his boss off?)

This is Marla saying to him that she is basically dying and her personality isn’t needed anymore, she’s trying to get his attention so she can continue to exist to Jack. If anyone thinks this is a stretch, consider who pops up out of no where immediately after Jack leaves Marla’s, where he checked her for cancer. Bob. What are the odds that 2 previously forgotten characters appear within 60 seconds of each other, both in need of Jack’s attention and help?

What’s really interesting about this is that if Marla isn’t real, then it means the phone never rang. Which means Jack said something that was certainly disturbing to his boss, but even more disturbing is that he just picked up a telephone that didn’t even ring and then told his boss it was important and he had to take the call.

This would explain the boss looking disturbed and genuinely put off. It also provides more proof that Marla is simply another figment of his imagination in that she is a coping mechanism. The more she is needed, the stronger she becomes. This applies to Jack’s other personalities as well.

Jack has just been found out along with his association with Fight Club, an enormously panic-inducing experience, triggering the need for his coping mechanism, Marla, to help him through the ordeal.

Right on cue, the phone rings and it is Marla to help get him out of the situation, literally asking him to leave work immediately and come to her house to check her for breast cancer.

Jack’s boss says something quite revealing as well, “Pretend you’re me.”

Self Improvement is Masturbation

Self Improvement is Masturbation

This is a big one. There are a ton of references to masturbation and “fucking yourself” throughout the film. The most notable scene is where Tyler and Jack board the bus and Tyler says, “Self improvement is masturbation, now self destruction…” and trails off.

The actual full sentence Tyler was supposed to say, according to the actual script, is “masturbation is self improvement, now self destruction is the answer.”

Fast forward to when Tyler saves Marla and they are now in the habit of constantly having sex with each other. If masturbation is self improvement, and if Marla, Tyler and Jack are all the same person, then Jack is masturbating.

So…where does the self improvement come in?

Self Improvement is Masturbation

In the scenes where Tyler and Marla are having sex and yelling, what is Jack doing? He is engaging in self improvement. He is shown reading and exercising while the house is literally being destroyed and falling on his head.

This is proof that Marla is not real, and is in fact Jack, since he is essentially masturbating in these scenes through his self improvement as the house is destroyed. This ties in later with the demolition of the credit card buildings.

Infectious Human Waste

infectious-waste

Everyone remembers how Tyler Durden makes his soap – stolen fat from the liposuction clinic. In the scene where they go to steal the fat they alert the attention of the security guard (more on this later) and hide behind a dumpster marked “infectious waste”. To be more specific, the contents of the dumpsters are in fact infectious human waste.

When Tyler had gone to save Marla, we see her yelling at the paramedics and emergency responders that are coming to save her that she’s “infectious human waste.” Even more interestingly she is speaking about herself in the 3rd person.

This makes perfect sense since Marla is Tyler and in this scene we are actually watching Jack running away from the hotel and speaking about Marla.

Fight Club Marla Being Saved by TylerShe’s referred to as “infectious human waste” because Tyler and Jack know this, so she knows it. Just like Jack said in the first 30 seconds of the movie, “I know this, because Tyler knows this.”

What are the odds that Marla, if she were her own individual person and not a figment of Jack’s imagination, would choose to use the word’s “She’s infectious human waste!” to describe herself in the third person when we know that Jack and Tyler literally use infectious human waste to make soap. This is a deliberate connection the director was trying to make.

This is why Tyler is wearing rubber gloves when he has sex with Marla.

infectious-human-waste-fight-club

“I Want to Have Your Abortion”

After Tyler and Marla have sex Marla famously says “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school.” This line in the film was actually improvised by Helena. The actual line in the script is “I want to have your abortion.” This is an odd choice of words even for someone who is supposed to play a dark and cynical character like Helena – it kind of doesn’t make sense.

Marla and Tyler in Bed

However if you consider that Marla is Tyler and Jack, then Jack is fucking himself, and will ultimately destroy himself – essentially an abortion of himself. This makes her choice of words make much more sense. “Self improvement is masturbation, now self destruction…” is related to this also.

Tyler never finishes his sentence. Since we know that Tyler was actually supposed to say, “masturbation is self improvement, now self destruction is the answer” (based on the script) then this makes perfect sense. Marla is Jack, Jack is also Tyler, when Marla and Tyler are done having sex she says “I want to have your abortion” which is the same as self destruction, since they are the same person.


Rule #2 – Bob Is Not Real

Bob Had Bitch Tits

bob had bitch tits quote

Bob (played by Meatloaf), who we later come to know as Robert Paulson, supposedly was a former body builder who had his testicles removed and grew breasts after his hormone therapy.

There are a few obvious things here.

For instance, obviously Bob’s breasts represent the general emasculation of men in American culture, even under very shallow scrutiny, this is generally accepted.

But doesn’t giving a supporting character actual breasts come across as cartoonish and unrealistic?

How many men have you ever heard of have breasts as large as Bob? It’s so uncommon that it is virtually unheard of.

Jack describes Bob’s breasts as…

“Huge sweating tits that hung enormous, the way you’d think of God’s as big.”
This is yet another odd choice of words amongst many others throughout the film (remember “a big rubbery one”?) that doesn’t seem to make sense unless taken in a tongue-in-cheek, ironic kind of way.

But if this is the point, what are we supposed to deduce from it?

The actual lines from the script, to give this some context, are…

“Six months ago, Bob’s testicles were
removed. Then hormone therapy. He
developed bitch tits because his
testosterone was too high and his
body upped the estrogen.”

If you’ve been following along until now and agree that it is probable that none of the other “people” exist, and that Jack most likely was either diagnosed with testicular cancer (and feels feminized) or has chosen to actually become a woman, it makes the case for Bob’s in existence even stronger.

If Bob isn’t real and is just another personality of Jack’s, then this further supports the theory that Jack’s testicles were either removed or going to be and he received hormone therapy either to account for his lack of testicles (in the case of testicular cancer) or to complete a transformation into a woman (which would account for the anxieties related to growing breasts/losing breasts/selling his clothes and buying women’s clothing/etc.)

Additionally there are 2 very obvious things that come to mind regarding Jack’s comments on Bob’s breasts.

#1.) Most Western religions do not believe that God is a woman.
#2.) Most Western religions do not believe their male God has breasts.

So what’s the significance of this?

Bob is the creator, in the sense that he is the origin of Marla and Tyler. Think about the quote above.

God = creator.
Breasts = nurturer/mother (creator).

We know that Tyler’s appearance was “extracted” from the hotel welcome video Jack saw on the hotel tv and that he readily constructs his alternate personalities around the media and advertising he’s exposed to, so this perfectly explains where Bob comes from.

Bob is just another construct of his psyche, pulled from scattered artifacts he has experienced due to his insomnia and/or general psychosis.

Jack even hints at this when he says…

fight club gif insomnia couch

“You know that chest expansion program you see on late night TV? That was his idea.”
Who stays up all night watching television and infomercials because he can’t sleep? There you go.

The breast expansion program isn’t the only piece of media influence that we see in Bob.

When we see him again outside Marla’s hotel he is holding a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and Sunny D orange juice, 2 items that were in Jack’s garbage can in the beginning of the film.

Bob Gets His Mind Blown, Just Like Tyler

fight-club-gun-bob-tyler-dead

When Bob is doing an operation for Project Mayhem he is shot in the head by a security guard as he is running away.

Right from jump street there are some major problems with this idea that are highly unrealistic.

Bob was unarmed, running away, and was shot in the head.

Meanwhile his only partner who was helping him, who was also running away, found the time to go back and pick up big Moosey all on his own and bring him back to the non-existent Paper Street house.

The big questions here are…

Why would a cop shoot someone who was unarmed and running away? Keep in mind this film was made in 1999, long before 9/11, and the Project Mayhem members were just interested in vandalizing a “piece of corporate art.” Would a cop really shoot someone in the head for this?

Also, where the hell was the omnipresent Tyler Durden when all of this was happening? Tyler is never missing from the Paper Street house or any other Project Mayhem operation and is often the one leading them, yet he is completely absent from this operation with no explanation.

Why is this?

We see Tyler overseeing every other aspect of the house, even doing things as mundane as indoctrinating the Project Mayhem members over a megaphone as they do garden work in the backyard (informing them they are “not a unique snowflake”, more on this later), yet he was completely absent and ignorant regarding one of their most destructive operations as an organization?

My 2 Grown Kids

fight club bob quote

When Bob is first confiding in Jack at the testicular cancer support group, he even implies he has two adult children.

Bob says, “I’m bankrupt, I’m divorced, my two grown kids – won’t even return my phone calls.”

Interesting. What is something we learn about Marla and Tyler after Jack comes home to find his condo exploded and he attempts to call both of them…?

Tyler: “I star 69′d you, I never pick up the phone.”

Marla: “I can hear you breathing.”

Tyler is deliberately screening his phone calls, while Marla (who we know lives at a hotel, and cannot possibly have caller ID) simply picks up the phone.

Furthermore, it’s pretty damn hard for your 2 grown kids to return your phone calls when the phone you’re calling them on doesn’t receive incoming calls…

fight club pay phone incoming calls

Bob and Marla Lose Their Tits

Another interesting piece of evidence that proves Bob’s inexistence are his breasts, or rather him losing his breasts, just as Marla does, when the prospect of him being “retired” as an alternate personality becomes a possibility.

“My tit’s going to rot off.”
Let’s rewind.

Remember how Marla called Jack and said “my tit’s going to rot off”? Consider the timing.

We know she is virtually no longer in Jack’s conscience anymore (either as a real or imaginary person) and she begins to have anxiety that she is going to lose her breasts. Weird.

“They’re going to have to open my pecs and drain the fluid again.”
Bob tells Jack, “they’re going to have to open my pecs and drain the fluid again” while confiding in Jack at one of the support group meetings. In other words, Bob is going to lose his breasts.

The timing of this exchange is exactly in the same context as Marla telling Jack her tit is going to “rot off” since this is the time right before Marla enters the story and effectively replaces Bob as his primary alternate personality.

Bob’s pecs didn’t need to be drained, he was beginning to disintegrate the same way Marla was after Jack had abandoned them for Tyler. And just like Marla “came back” as an alternate personality after Jack checked her for breast cancer, Bob showed up immediately after seeking the same salvation.

The Father Must Have Been Huge

fight club bob bitch tits quote

Jack explains his occupation to the woman on the airplane, who later turns into Tyler on the same exact flight, saying…

“A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall?”

The movie cuts to Jack inspecting the car wreckage with two technicians. One of the technicians says…

“The father must’ve been huge. See how the fat burnt into the driver’s seat with his polyester shirt? Very modern art.”
Who is the father? Just like inferred earlier with the subtle hints regarding the breasts and God, the father is Bob. Further proof he is not real. Right now if you are thinking “so Bob is the father, mother and God..or..huh?” then try not to overthink it.

The symbology is simple and completely congruent with the theme of the film regarding the duality of the sexes, particularly within the narrator.

Bob is the creator – man and woman – or God, that gives “birth” to the rest. Even the members of Project Mayhem treat Bob like a God after he dies, almost ritualistically chanting “his name was Robert Paulson” repeatedly, even though it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the story or the timing.

So back to the car wreck.

What makes me so certain that Bob was “driving” the car…?

a.) He’s huge.
b.) The car that is in the wreck is the same Lincoln Towncar that Jack and Tyler later crash and wreck.
c.) And um, oh, yeah…Bob’s shirt is burnt to the seat.

bob-car-fight-club-compare

…we have just lost cabin pressure.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 15:46 
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Not just an impressive post; an impressive amount of time between posts. Forgive me for not waiting another ten years to chime in.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2015, 18:35 
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Steel Frog wrote:
Not just an impressive post; an impressive amount of time between posts. Forgive me for not waiting another ten years to chime in.

A² needs to think about his entire life before he posts

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2015, 19:51 
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alan smithee wrote:
Steel Frog wrote:
Not just an impressive post; an impressive amount of time between posts. Forgive me for not waiting another ten years to chime in.

A² needs to think about his entire life before he posts

:)

Think about or live?

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 18:59 
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Steel Frog wrote:
alan smithee wrote:
Steel Frog wrote:
Not just an impressive post; an impressive amount of time between posts. Forgive me for not waiting another ten years to chime in.

A² needs to think about his entire life before he posts

:)

Think about or live?

:lol:

Seeing this revived just made me realize that it's almost my ten year FW 'versary. This was one of the first things I posted. And I still haven't even hit 5K!

But I like the theory. Some of the little details (like the reflection thing) are really interesting finds all on their own. And this might actually help explain the issue I had in the first place - if backseat dudes are projections too, no wonder they didn't make an issue out of invisible Tyler in the front.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 21:33 
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Mazer wrote:
... no wonder they didn't make an issue out of invisible Tyler in the front.

Five days after the initial post, Diary of a Mad Black Woman was released, thus cursing the entertainment world with a new Tyler.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 01:57 
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Steel Frog wrote:
Mazer wrote:
... no wonder they didn't make an issue out of invisible Tyler in the front.

Five days after the initial post, Diary of a Mad Black Woman was released, thus cursing the entertainment world with a new Tyler.

Spoiler
Tyler Perry is just a figment of SF's twisted imagination...

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 18:04 
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Middle wrote:
Steel Frog wrote:
Mazer wrote:
... no wonder they didn't make an issue out of invisible Tyler in the front.

Five days after the initial post, Diary of a Mad Black Woman was released, thus cursing the entertainment world with a new Tyler.

Spoiler
Tyler Perry is just a figment of SF's twisted imagination...

:D As a theory, it kind of works.


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