There are five main endings to Netflix's massively popular new 'Black Mirror' choose-your-own adventure movie. Here's how to get the best ones.
If you’ve had an hour to yourself over the holidays, there’s a chance you’ve wanted to dip into the newest Black Mirror thingamabob everyone’s talking about on Netflix; the dark choose-your-own-adventure movie Bandersnatch. But, because there are so many ways you can screw-up, Bandersnatch might be frustrating for some because unlike a video game or one of the real Chose Your Own Adventure books, going back and starting over is a little more time-consuming. So, what are the best endings?
We’re not going to pretend to have figured out all the various endings to the storylines, and some people on Reddit have gotten through a lot of permutations. But, we can guide you to the five, seemingly most significant endings. You know, just in case you don’t have 10 free hours to go through this story over and over and over again.
(One note: whenever you are presented with the option of pouring tea over Stefan’s computer, don’t do it. It’s like one of those instant endings in the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.)
Now, onto the five best endings. At least, we think.
5.Everything Ends Before It Begins
Ostensibly, the “story” of Bandersnatch is about depressed teenage computer programmer Stefan trying to finish writing/creating an ’80s video game based on a weird fantasy novel he loves. To that end, you’d think that trying to give Stefan want he wants — a shot at working for a big game designer — would make sense. But, if you “accept” the offer from Tuckersoft near the beginning of the story, the story will end quickly. The narrative wants Stefan to write the code for Bandersnatch at home with his dad. So, if you want to avoid this quick ending, tell Tuckersoft no when that choice pops up. If you want to get the gist of Bandersnatch and only spend 10 minutes, then, by all means, click “accept.”
4.Stefan Dies, But That's Probably For the Best
In multiple versions of the story, the therapist character will ask Stefan if he wants to talk about his mom. You should do this because if you don’t, the story will just try to make you do it anyway. Also, when you do find out about Stefan’s mom, and the missing toy rabbit incident from his childhood, things start to get a little more interesting. So, talk about mom in all versions.
However, if you get to a point where the dad takes Stefan to the therapist and Stefan sees Colin on the street, always, always choose the option to follow Colin. Do drugs with Colin. This will give Stefan the ability to “time travel” through a mirror at a very important point.
This point occurs when you find Stefan’s dad’s secret room. When you find that room, there’s a safe. If you use the word “TOY” as the password, you’ll get the most bittersweet ending available. Stefan is able to go back in time and as a five-year-old, join his mother on the train that is doomed to be derailed. This effectively kills Stefan in the present. It’s sad, but it’s the only version that doesn’t lead to patricide. However, prior to this point, when Colin asks who should jump off the building, you obviously have to pick Colin, because if Stefan dies, the story just ends.
3.Stefan Goes to Jail
If you follow any of the storylines in which you have the opportunity to kill Stefan’s dad, you’ve got to do it. Stefan’s dad is a dick and in all versions of this, he’s a terrible father and maybe not even Stefan’s real father. If you don’t kill Stefan’s dad (when prompted) nothing interesting happens. (Though there is one exception noted below.) Anyway, if you smack him with the glass ashtray (which some paths force you to do) he’ll die. In some of these versions, you have the option of burying him or hacking him up. If you bury him, the dogs next door will find the body, and Stefan will go to jail. In some of these versions, Bandersnatch will still get released and in some versions, it won’t.
In any case, if you hack-up the body of the dad, Stefan won’t go to jail, because the dogs won’t find the body.
2.Bandersnatch Gets Great Reviews and Is Revived In the Future
If you do kill Stefan’s dad and cut up the body, this has the effect of giving Stefan and kind of sick euphoria, which allows him to complete the code for the game. This, weirdly, might be the happiest ending. Yes, Stefan goes to jail in this version, but everyone loves the game. During the credits, there’s a flashforward to the future where its revealed that Colin’s grown-daughter Pearl is reviving Bandersnatch for a streaming platform. It’s pretty twisted, but it feels like the most appropriate kind of ending for a Black Mirror episode. Dark, scary and a little bit meta.
1. You Reveal to Stefan that You Are Watching Netflix
Many, many paths will lead you to a moment where Stefan is questioning his free will, because, duh, you are making his choices for him. At this moment, Stefan will ask “who’s there?” over and over again. (Note: the dad has to be alive for this to happen.) In most paths, you’ll have the option of telling him that you are watching him on Netflix. Of all the ways Bandersnatch can end, this is easily the most absurd. Because the story takes place in the ’80s, “explaining” to Stefan what Netflix is exactly, becomes silly quickly. It gets sillier when you go to the therapist after the Netflix revelation. There are two ways this scene can go when the therapist suggests there should be something “more interesting” happening. You can either enter into a Kill Bill-style fight with her, or you can try to get Stefan to jump out the window. Which… will put him onto the set of a Netflix movie. Best ending or worst ending? It’s still not clear.
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