Top 10 Best Bandersnatch Endings Explained

Bandersnatch characters discussing the best ending

SPOILER ALERT!

You make the main character’s decisions for him and choose his fate. Through the movie you pick things as important as whether he eats Frosted Flakes or Sugar Puffs cereal, to what he listens to on his Walkman, to whether or not he kills his dad with an ashtray. Each decision can lead to a bunch of different endings. Netflix funnels you through most of them, kind of ruining the payoff of the ending, but it allows different story lines to develop as well. If you watched the movie already, did you manage to see all the best endings?

The movie follows the story of a game designer, Stefan, in 1984. He makes a game about a choose-your-own-adventure-style book called Bandersnatch (the name of a monster picked up from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky). The game is the first ever RPG, where you get to make choices for your character which affect the story, basically the same thing as the movie but with 8-bit graphics. The various endings you can lead Stefan to can get downright super meta, with the camera panning out to show Stefan on a movie set, or to depressingly realistic, like when Stefan’s game fails miserably.

After most of the ending selections, the game rewinds and lets you choose Stefan’s destiny again, followed by a short recap that follows your previous paths. The recap might be changed as characters become more aware of these things happening before.

Ending #1: Reality bites

Realizing this ending kind of blows

The first ending you can get to is just about the most realistic path the movie can take, and it makes the list because we can relate with it the most. You leap into your first job where a company lets you lead the design of a game. Then the game tanks.

  • Most realistic
  • Almost immediate fail ending
  • Nothing special about the story

Ending #2: Deal with it

Be a good boy and don't kill your father

Like the first ending, this ends in Stefan’s ultimate failure. You go to the psychologist, Dr. Haynes, and refuse to talk about his dead mom. Then she prescribes a pill and you can choose to take it. Choosing to take it makes you function normally, but makes you boring. Being boring means your game fails.

  • Also realistic
  • No character development
  • Fail ending less than an hour in
  • A little bit meta: Stefan complains about someone controlling him

Ending #3: Tea or smash!

This code deserves some tea

This one is also pretty relatable and kind of hilarious. Depending on the previous paths you took, Stefan finds his game still full of glitches. You get the option to either throw tea on it or hulk smash the computer to smithereens. Breaking the computer means losing his data which means he doesn’t finish the game on time. Game over, man.

  • Realistic
  • Characters start to develop
  • Fail ending, but get a good chunk of film
  • Things may be getting weird, depending on how you got here
  • Doesn’t finish game dev -- possible reason behind every Blizzard delay?

Ending #4: Kill Dad

In the kitchen with an ashtray

There’s a couple of different routes to this one, but most paths eventually lead here somehow. It usually comes after realizing that dad is part of a government conspiracy, or if you just decide to try to make Stefan go violently crazy. Then Stefan goes downstairs with him and smashes an ashtray across his head, as you do. The option comes if you should bury him or chop him up. Bury him is the dead end here.

  • A dog digs up Stefan’s dad
  • The dog was seen in the second scene with the cereals
  • Police arrest Stefan
  • The game is finished by the Tuckersoft company, but it’s a flop

Ending #5: Murder Spree

The voices on the TV made me do it

Depending on how many times you’ve murdered dad and decided to bury him, Tuckersoft head Mohan Thakur might come rolling around. Depending also on whether you sent Colin to his demise, he might show up for the slaughter-show as well. Though if you did kill Colin (in ending #6), he might have respawned, but having some sort of insight into the world of alternate realities, chooses not to go to Stefan’s house.

  • If Colin doesn’t come, then he tells you (or Stefan) thru the TV report to make different choices
  • Always a thrill to take it out on boss man

Ending #6: Nohzdyve

When games are reality are games

The ending everyone in Colorado and Washington State can relate to. Colin takes Stefan in and Stefan gets high with him. You actually have the choice to refuse Colin’s LSD offer, but Colin drugs you anyway. Then Colin starts ranting about government conspiracies and Stefan starts feeling his dose as he looks at a moving PKD Ubik poster. Colin then compares life to a PAC-man game, where PAC-man is trapped, controlled by a player, and cursed to respawn every time he dies. If you tell Stefan to jump, you’ll quickly find him with a PAC-man like fate.

  • Philip Dick’s Ubik story is about an alternate reality, kind of like Colin is rambling about
  • Since you restart, does the suicide even work?
  • Colin talks about various realities -- basically explaining the movie
  • Is Colin talking about the movie or about us?
  • Colin mentions mirrors letting you move through time, which Stefan remembers later
  • Play Nohzdyve with a ZX Spectrum emulator, download at Stefan and Colin’s fictional company site here
  • By telling Colin to jump, you get a glimpse of the Bandersnatch demon (or Pax in the game) himself
  • Colin mentions PAC-man, alluding to the later revealed government mind-control program, P.A.C.S., which is pronounced the same as the demon.

Ending #7: Netflix 1

The ninja therapist

You know you’re headed in the right direction when Stefan sits down at the computer, breaks the fourth wall, and lets you know he’s on to you. It’s been a while coming that he’s been figuring out an outside force is controlling him, and now he addresses that outside force (which is you). Depending on how you got there, there’s a variety of answers, but my favorite is to tell him about “Netflix”. His dad comes in and asks what’s going on. Stefan confesses his anxiety, saying what he thinks is happening. His dad promptly sends him back to Dr. Haynes, who makes the point that if this was all a simulation or game, why isn’t it more interesting or fun? Stefan throws coffee in her face, she pulls out her ninja sticks, and you can choose for him to fight or go out the window.

  • If you choose to fight, then it quickly turns into a kung fu scene
  • Stefan fights his dad too
  • Dad hauls Stefan out, Stefan screaming about his Netflix friends from the future
  • Meta enough for you?

Ending #8: Netflix 2

Why didn't the tea work?

Same as the previous one, but instead of choosing to fight Dr. Haynes, you tell Stefan to make an escape through the window.  

  • The window is fake
  • The window is part of a set
  • The director yells cut
  • An aid addresses Stefan by “Mike”, presumably the name of the actor
  • Stefan is confused
  • This was all just a weird, badly made movie!

Ending #9: PACSman

Don't worry, it's all for the children

At some point, Stefan enters a semi-sleep state and the filming starts to go all Donnie Darko as he sleep walks to a room with a safe. You get the choice of entering different codes into the safe depending on which route you went to get there. Entering “PAC”, you learn about what Colin was on about: the government conspiracy. Stefan finds that as a child, he was led down a course of brainwashing and experimentation, and his dad and Dr. Haynes were incahoots about it. This is one of the paths that leads to Stefan killing his dad.

  • Everyone around Stefan is just an actor
  • Kind of a Truman Show-type ending
  • P.A.C.S. means “Program and Control Study”
  • It would seem the author of the Bandersnatch book, Davies, was also onto it

Ending #10: The Remake

Not again

If you decide to chop up Stefan’s dad instead of leaving him for the dog in the backyard, then you might be able to break through to this ending. Having chopped his dad up into pieces, Stefan is now free from distractions and can focus on coding his game. This leads to success: his game is published with rave reviews. But his dark secret is later revealed and the games are pulled from the shelves. Years later, a young woman learns about his story and decides to remake the game...

  • Just like Ghostbusters, remade with a female lead, you mad bro?
  • The young woman is Pearl Rittman, Colin’s daughter
  • She releases the game on Netflix
  • Oh dang, is this a true story?!
  • Options pop up and now you’re controlling Pearl

And that's not all folks, the film has even more hidden endings that you can find and explore for yourself. Which one is your favorite?
 

Not sure of which level of the simulation we're in, Shawn continues making layers on his PC. Not just in games, he creates worlds in science fiction and historical fiction novels and stories.
Gamer Since: 1989
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Cities: Skylines
Top 3 Favorite Games:Cities: Skylines - After Dark, Total War: Rome II, Civilization IV
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