Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • High school student Ferris Bueller wants a day off from school and he's developed an incredibly sophisticated plan to pull it off. He talks his friend Cameron into taking his father's prized Ferrari and with his girlfriend Sloane head into Chicago for the day. While they are taking in what the city has to offer school principal Ed Rooney is convinced that Ferris is, not for the first time, playing hooky for the day and is hell bent to catch him out. Ferris has anticipated that, much to Rooney's chagrin.

  • One fake sick day sends high school senior Ferris Bueller, his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron on the adventure of their young lives, as they ditch school and take off on a raucous journey through Chicago as they stay one step ahead of their principal and Ferris's sister.

  • A high school slacker pretends to be sick to skip school and have an exciting day off alongside his girlfriend and his best buddy through Chicago, while trying to outwit his obsessive school principal and his unconformited sister along the way.

  • Ferris is a street-wise kid who knows all the tricks. Today he decides to take the day off school. When Ferris takes the day off, so must his best friends, Cameron and Sloane. Cameron is reluctantly persuaded to borrow his father's Ferrari, and together they hatch a plan to get Sloane out of class. Suspicious dean of students Ed Rooney knows all about Ferris, but can never catch him. Ferris' sister Jeanie is also frustrated that Ferris always gets away with his tricks and she doesn't. Furthermore, Ferris is an 'angel' in his parents eyes. It's Ferris' day off, he's out to enjoy himself, and he does!.

  • Ferris Bueller has played hooky numbers of times, and this time he's got the entire school and more believing he is on the verge of death. On this special day off, Ferris invites his friend Cameron Fry and girlfriend Sloane Peterson to his day of fun, while taking Cameron's father's precious Ferrari for transportation. All the while, the principal Ed Rooney is determined to prove Ferris is faking his illness and Ferris's agitated sister Jeanie also has a goal to catch Ferris off guard. Ferris enjoys his day with his friends, until the mileage of the Ferrari reads one too many miles driven and Cameron has a blow out.

  • A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • High school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides to skip school on a spring day by faking an illness to his parents (Lyman Ward and Cindy Pickett), then encourages his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), and his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to spend the day in Chicago as one of their last flings before they graduate and head off to different colleges. Ferris persuades Cameron to let them use his father's restored 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California to pick up Sloane (as part of their cover) to travel into the city. The rest of the school and many residents learn of Ferris' exaggerated illness and offer donations to help "Save Ferris". However, only two people are not convinced by Ferris' deception: his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), outraged at Ferris' ability to defy authority easily, and the school principal, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), believing Ferris to be truant.

    Ferris and his friends arrive downtown and leave the Ferrari with two garage attendants (Richard Edson and Larry Jenkins), who drive off in it a short while later to take a joyride. Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron enjoy the sights, including taking in a game at Wrigley Field, visiting the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and taking part in the Von Steuben Day Parade, with Ferris lip-syncing to "Danke Schoen" and the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout." Ferris also uses his ploys to pretend he is Abe Froeman, the Sausage King of Chicago, to dine at an upscale restaurant on Rush Street (while narrowly avoiding his own father who is dining out with some business associates).

    Meanwhile, Mr. Rooney has gone off-campus to try to find Ferris, first at a local hangout, then to Ferris's home, where Mr. Rooney attempts to gain entry, but ends up getting stuck in the mud and losing his shoe and wallet while being chased by the dog. Jeanie comes home to look for Ferris, instead discover Mr. Rooney, whom she mistakes for a burglar. She calls the police, forcing Mr. Rooney to flee the scene. When the police show up, they haul Jeanie in for prank calling, and at the police station, she talks to a drug dealer (Charlie Sheen), who tells her that she needs to stop obsessing about her brother and focus about herself. Jeanie's mother shows up to collect her, upset at having to do so.

    At the end of the day, Ferris and his friends retrieve the Ferrari, but discover on the way home that hundreds of miles have been added to the odometer, sending Cameron into a panic fearing his abusive father's reaction. After calming Cameron down, Ferris comes up with a plan to run the car in reverse, in place, with its rear wheels jacked up, at Cameron's father's hillside garage, hoping to reverse the odometer. When they realize this is not working, Cameron unleashes his pent-up anger against his father, yelling about how his father loves the car more than his own son and damaging the front of the car, but comes to realize he is long due to stand up to his father, and vows to accept the consequences. Cameron calms down and rests himself against the car, but his previous actions have unbalanced it from the jack it was on, the car hits the ground, races in reverse, and crashes through a glass wall, landing in a ravine. Despite Ferris's offer to take the blame, Cameron still plans to admit his actions to his father and take the consequences.

    Ferris walks Sloane home, then quickly races through the backyards of his neighborhood, attempting to beat his parents home. When he gets there, he finds Mr. Rooney waiting for him. However, Jeanie, apparently having come to appreciate her brother's craftiness, has sped home despite her mother's demands, and finds the two first. She pretends to scold Ferris for trying to walk home from the hospital while he is so ill, and thanks Mr. Rooney for driving him home, making sure to show Mr. Rooney the wallet he left behind when he broke in earlier. Ferris races to his room and makes it into bed just as his parents check on him. After they leave, he breaks the fourth wall and imparts some wisdom to his audience: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

    As the credits roll, Mr. Rooney in his disheveled state is forced to catch a ride back to school on a school bus as it drives students home. And in the tag at the very end of the credits, Ferris emerges from the bathroom, pleading to the audience directly, "You're still here? It's over! Go home! Go!" before he turns around and reenters the bathroom.

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