This 'Elf' Fan Theory Has Us Questioning Buddy's Innocence

A viral Reddit post threatens to change your interpretation of 'Elf' completely.

Since its release two decades ago, Elf has become an undeniable holiday classic, but that doesn't mean it has aged perfectly. The 2003 comedy stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf – a seemingly innocent man raised by Santa Claus' elves in the North Pole who returns to the regular world to find his biological father. However, a viral Reddit post by user Batfan54 shows how you could interpret Buddy's actions differently.

Buddy approaches everything in New York City with a childlike sense of wonder, yet he still manages to find himself in some hilariously awkward situations. He also falls in love with a woman named Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), and the Reddit post points out that Buddy's elf-like nature doesn't quite explain his interactions with her. Most importantly, Buddy approaches Jovie while she is singing in the show, following her voice and singing along. When Jovie screams, Buddy covers his eyes and runs out of the room.

Jovie later confronts Buddy to ask him why he was in the locker room while she was in the shower, naked. "I didn't know you were naked," Buddy responds earnestly.

However, Batfan54 points out there is a scene earlier in this very same movie that shows Buddy taking a shower in a tiny, elf-sized tub, naked except for his little pointed hat. The Redditor reasons that this means Buddy does know what a shower is, and he was merely trying to use his innocence and love of Christmas as a pretext to infiltrate the women's locker room and spy on people.

Batfan54 points out several other instances to support their case, as you can see in the original post below. Some are presented more sarcastically than others – for example, Buddy's obsession with "syrup" could be read as a double entendre for drugs or alcohol, or his skills in snowball-fighting could be read as a proclivity for violence. Commenters had fun stretching their own interpretations to make Buddy sound less innocent than he seems to be.

[ Elf ] Buddy is not as innocent as you think, and is really a pretty perverted Peeping Tom, among other things. from FanTheories

Elf was written by David Berenbaum and directed by Jon Favreau. In addition to Ferrell and Deschanel, it stars Daniel Tay, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner and Bob Newhart. The movie was successful at the box office and its legacy has only grown from there. It has also been adapted into a Broadway musical and an accompanying TV special. At the time of this writing, Elf is streaming on Hulu and Max.