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On June 11, 1986, director John Hughes premiered his newest film. The fourth entry from the filmmaker, the story was about a popular teen who decides to fake sick one day and tour the city of Chicago with his best friend and his sweetheart. The end result was a movie jam-packed with charm and hilarity, securing it as a modern classic. That movie was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and tomorrow it turns 25.
In order to celebrate the momentous anniversary, I’ve scoured the internet for hours trying to track down the best moments from this wonderful film. While I ended up with 15 entries, I could have easily come up with 50, as nearly every line in the movie is perfect, every character is delightful and the overall message (Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it) is something we should all take to heart. Without further ado, I present the 15 Best Moments From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Cameron Needs To Make A DecisionFerris may get the coveted title position, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that Cameron is the most interesting character in the film. Constantly at war with himself, he is filled to the brim with angst, and when he’s not stressing about his strict father he’s trying to convince himself that he shouldn’t let Ferris make him do things he doesn’t want to do. The best part of all this? Alan Ruck’s performance is absolutely hysterical.
The CallI’ve never met anyone who can operate a phone quite like Ferris Bueller. The man has such brilliant timing and strategy that you’d think he could put an end to the Cold War by himself. He is only a high school student, though, so why not use those incredible phone powers to get your girlfriend out of class? He can deal with world diplomacy when it’s not his day off.
Bueller? Bueller?This is easily the most quoted line from the film and everyone has tried their own impersonation, but nobody beats Ben Stein when it comes to being the most boring economics teacher of all time. Cap it off with a young Kristy Swanson summarizing the rumor mill into one incredibly complex list of sources and you have a truly classic scene.
Visiting The Art Institute of ChicagoFerris Bueller’s Day Off is best known for its laughs and teenage philosophy, but this scene is just stunning and demonstrates that John Hughes wasn’t just a great writer but director as well. While I love the kiss that Sloane and Ferris share in front of the stained glass window, I will never get sick of Cameron analyzing Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”
Rooney vs. JeanieThere’s an ancient proverb that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Apparently Jeanie Bueller should spend less time worrying about what her brother does and more time focusing in class because this lesson went way over her head. Sure, she doesn’t know that it’s actually Principal Rooney in the kitchen and she unleashes quite the impressive kick, but imagine what would have happened if they decided to team up?
The NurseThis is a pretty quick scene, but certainly an amazing one. It’s not just that the nurse at the door is singing a poem about screwing sick kids, but the fact that someone actually thought that it was a good idea to hire a prostitute to entertain Ferris while he’s bedridden. Also, who are all those other guys? Are they going to watch? That’s disturbing on so many levels (and not just because of the guy in the creepy mask).
Twist And ShoutIf only we all had the balls of Ferris Bueller then we could be just as happy as he is. I would guess that 99% of people wouldn’t even dream of getting onto a float in the middle of Chicago’s Von Steuben Day Parade, but Ferris not only does it, but sings two songs that gets every spectator in the street jumping and dancing. Also: God bless The Beatles.
You’re Abe Froman, The Sausage King Of Chicago?While I won’t go into details, I have actually used the alias “Abe Froman” in order to get out of trouble before (and fortunately the person I was talking to wasn’t a Ferris Bueller fanatic. From the snooty (or is it snotty?) waiter to Ferris employing his wonderful phone magic again, this scene is pure awesomeness. Important lesson: every lie, no matter how ridiculous, requires total commitment.
Ferrari In FlightI drive an ordinary Volkswagen Jetta, but if I owned a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California I’d be just as worried as Cameron is about these two valet guys. Sure, these guys can definitely be classified as assholes, but it’s really hard to blame them for this. The Star Wars theme is just icing on the cake. Thank you, John Williams.
Ferris Bueller, You’re My HeroI’ll admit that this clip is a slight failure on my part. I wanted the whole scene at the pool, with Cameron in a full-on catatonic state before taking a nose-dive into the water, but at least I was able to find the best line. Cameron, you are not alone. He’s our hero too.
Charlie SheenBefore he turned into a drug addict that had constant run ins with the police, Charlie Sheen played…a drug addict that had a run in with the police. One of the actor’s earliest roles (the movie came out a few months before Oliver Stone’s Platoon), it’s amazing how quickly he manages to step on Jeanie’s nerves. “Oh, you know him?”
Cameron Needs To Take A StandRemember how I said at the beginning that Cameron is a much more interesting character than Ferris? This is the scene that proves I am right. Finally releasing all of his pent up anger and aggression towards his father, Cameron finally decides that he needs to stand up to his father and stop being afraid. Will his father probably kill him when the precious automobile-turned scrap metal is discovered in the woods behind the house? Most definitely, but at least Cameron is finally growing up and deciding to become an individual.
Run Ferris Run!How do you make a fun movie like Ferris Bueller even more fun? You throw in an incredible race sequence. The scene succeeds in being both intense and hilarious, as you laugh at Ferris hitting on the two sunbathers while wanting him to hurry the hell up and get home before his family. I’ve seen entire action films less compelling than this moment.
Life Moves Pretty FastTrue, he actually says this line earlier in the movie, but by the end you know exactly what he means. Ferris Bueller is not only a teacher of a philosophy, but also a student. Of course, one can’t imagine he’s advocating that everyone skip work to party around Chicago, but the idea of taking life a little less seriously is something we all should learn.
Go Home!Decades before Nick Fury informed Tony Stark about the Avenger Initiative, Ferris arrived after the movie credits to tell us all to stop waiting around and to just go home. An added bonus from the film’s penchant to break the fourth wall, this is just a funny, silly tag that helps you walk away from the movie with an even bigger smile on your face. I am proud to say that I’ve never watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off without staying all the way through the credits.