Five Ways ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ Ruined My Life

If you just close your eyes and think about a movie that you loved growing up or really shaped you, John Hughes was probably involved. (At least if you’re around my age.) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a great example of this. It’s a perfect precursor to another favorite of mine, Clarissa Explains It All what with the talking directly to the camera and having a sibling who hates your guts. In that contest I’d take Jennifer Grey as Jeannie over Ferguson 100 times over. She is so good in this, but also, let’s not forget how awesome she is in the episode of Friends when she plays Mindy. Amazing.

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this in one form or another: “I am very cute, very alone and very protective of my body. I don’t want it violated or killed, all right? I need help!”

It’s from 1986, which means it’s right in the time frame of Erin Wishes She Had Every Item of Clothing In This Movie. I’d ideally dress somewhere between Clarissa Darling and anyone in Reality Bites or Singles all the time. And obviously I just want to be Sloane.

So let’s not forget, “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!”

Here are five ways Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ruined my life:

1. Gave Us The Perfect Line For Whenever You Aren’t Being Listened To

Ben Stein, besides being generally amazing, is the best for helping to bring this amazing line to us all.

When Ferris skips school he misses roll call, obviously.

Side bar: remember thinking about your teacher calling attendance? I used to get so anxious thinking about what was going to happen when my name was called and I wasn’t there. Would anyone say anything jerky? Would anyone wonder where I was? Would nothing happen?

(I probably have some unresolved anxiety issues.)

Here are some awesome scenarios where you can use this immortal line:

When you pitch an idea at work and no one responds: “Bueller? Bueller?”

When you tell a hilarious joke at a party and everyone is silent: “Bueller? Bueller?”

When you offer all your co-workers some cool new gluten-free thing you baked and no one jumps on it: “Bueller? Bueller?”

When you (hopefully) give your name as Bueller at Starbucks and run away to the bathroom: “Bueller? Bueller?”

2. Made Me Terrified To Drive A Car That Wasn’t Mine 

Everything about really fancy cars scares me.

All I understand about cars is how to drive them and sometimes I don’t even know that – as evidenced by the fact that I couldn’t get the keys out of the ignition recently, called my husband to ask what to do and realized I put the parking break on but never put the car in park. I cried in my car in the rain after that one.

So needless to say, I’m not super comfortable with cars.

But once you make a car a convertible, shiny and bright red – then I’m REALLY nervous.

First of all, sneaking away in anyone’s dad’s car will always stress me out. Then leaving it at a lot where the parking attendants go drive off in it? Super stressful.


I mean, really. That is just bonkers insane.

The whole saga of the car and Cameron going berserk is just too much for my fragile little self to handle. Fits of stress over this!

3. No Trip To A Museum Could Ever Compare To Theirs

Everything about their trip to The Art Institute is what I want from a trip to any art museum.

  1. Be there with my friends – or at least people I like
  2. Run into an adorable group of schoolchildren
  3. Stare at some art
  4. Feel deep and cultured for an hour
  5. Kiss Matthew Broderick

Okay I guess I don’t specifically want to kiss Matthew Broderick but you know what I mean.

4. Desperate To Be A Genius At Deception Just Like Ferris

These kids who are masters at deception are my idol. You know?

Zach Morris, Ferris Bueller, I want to BE you guys! They’re so quick-thinking and fearless and always know how to get out of a bind.

I was especially jealous of Ferris’ Rube Goldberg-esque bedroom ruse and you better believe that’s the idea of what I WANTED to make in middle school when we had a Rube Goldberg assignment in science class.

And of course, kids like that are always great at computers – I love when he changes his absent days in the school computer – and technology in general. I mean, he has an awesome sound system, he hooks things up to his doorbell. And he just really sets the scene for Kevin McAllister who obviously goes above and beyond everyone’s wildest dreams of deception.

I mean, I was way too much of a rule-follower as a kid for any of these shenanigans. I don’t even think I faked sick. I would mostly just get so stressed out about whatever reason I didn’t want to go to school that I’d actually get sick: hives, throwing up, etc.

Who knew Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was going to make me get into all my anxiety issues? Awesome!

5. I Just Want to Jump On a Parade Float

There are two things that are clear from the whole parade scene: I always associate “Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” with this movie and I’m desperate to perform some sort of lip sync performance on a parade float.

I mean, lip synching on parade floats is basically the entire premise of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and somehow this German parade in Chicago with guest appearance by Matthew Broderick is the most compelling parade I’ve ever experienced.

Song ideas for my parade float performance: “What Makes You Beautiful” “Lucky” (B. Spears) or “No Scrubs.”

(Main image via, images from the movie screengrabbed by me)

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