things you didn’t know about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

A Google image search for Ferris Bueller brings up this image:

A Google image search for Harris Mueller brings up this image:

Coincidence? I think not.


The name “Ferris” was spoken 175 times during the film.

That is one for each school day minus one(in Illinois, a typical school is required to have 176 school days). Representing the day Ferris misses.

Bueller is German for wheel.

Writer/Director John Hughes thought it would be funny to name a character Ferris Wheel.

John Hughes wrote the script in less than a week.

Hughes was pitching some film ideas to Paramount Studios but the executives were looking for a twist on the typical high school comedy. They asked if he had any scripts about high schoolers that are out of their element. On the spot, Hughes came up with the plot of Ferris Bueller, and the executives loved it. They told him to get them the script by the end of the week and they’d make the film. Six days later, Hughes sent them a 108 page script, the majority of which was filmed.


The character of Ed Rooney was based on Mickey Rooney. 

Legendary actor Mickey Rooney took time off from acting in his thirties to pursue another passion of his, teaching. Rooney taught for only one year at a public school in Chicago, calling the experience “one of the best, worst experiences of my life”. One of his students was a young John Hughes who did not realize the celebrity of his teacher, but only saw him as another grumpy teacher who would scold the class clown when he tried to make his peers laugh. Hughes drew comics featuring Rooney to amuse his friends. Years later, when coming up with the idea for “Ferris”, he came across those drawings and decided to base Ferris’ nemesis off his own middle school nemesis, Rooney. Hughes once said that he felt that Rooney was “always out to get him”. When Rooney found out that the character was based on him, he sued Hughes for damages. Although the lawsuit was eventually dropped, Rooney continued to slander the filmmaker until his death earlier this year.


The term “breaking the fourth wall” was created during filming.

Ferris Bueller “breaks the fourth wall” frequently in the film, which means he speaks to the camera and audience. The term came about in a more literal sense during a scene where Ferris was to crash Cameron’s dad’s car through a brick wall. Not achieving the effect they were hoping for, they kept replacing the wall and trying again. On the fourth take, the car went through the wall and actor Matthew Broderick turned toward the camera and said “Remember kids, always wear your seat belt.”

Hughes loved the idea of having Ferris talk to the audience, and although the car crash scene was later replaced by the infamous car-out-the-window scene, the speak-to-the-camera narration stuck, referred to by the cast and crew as ”breaking the fourth wall”.


 Every rose has its thorn…just like every night has its dawn. 


Chicago holds a parade in honor of Ferris Bueller every year.

John Hughes and the crew entered a float in an actual parade that was going on downtown. They didn’t however tell anyone that they were filming a movie as well. Broderick hopped on the float and because he had injured his knee during another scene, he was unable to do the choreography that was planned, so he improvised it all. The Governor was so impressed by the film, especially the parade scene, that he decided to make the parade an annual occurrence.



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