9 Things That Probably Happened The Next Day In Dazed and Confused

6 minute read

By Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Richard Linklater’s classic slacker drama Dazed and Confused examined a day in the life of a group of Texas high school students on the last days of classes in 1976. As with most Linklater films, Dazed and Confused‘s plot was minimalist, instead relying on character interactions and a healthy dose of nostalgia — spurred on immeasurably by a stellar soundtrack — to tell a simple story about a group of teens just hanging out and wondering about the existential value of “the best years of their lives”. As a result, the film simply ends while leaving pretty much every character’s story open-ended. This means that Dazed and Confused invites rampant speculation as to what happened to everyone after Foghat’s “Slow Ride” fades into the closing credits. Since there doesn’t seem to be any plans for a Dazed and Confused 2 anytime soon (the very idea is blasphemous), we can only wonder at what might have been. These are the 9 things that probably happened the next day.

9. Slater Gets High

Well, he did spend most of, if not the entire film high, so it’s not much of a stretch to think that Slater would spend the next day-tripping out as well. Although considering he tagged along to get those Aerosmith tickets and assuming the group is stranded for a significant amount of time (more on that later), it’s likely that Slater’s stash would run out pretty quickly. He’d have to spend the rest of the day sober and the proposition of a sober Slater is just too much to handle, man.

https://fogsmoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/20111113-082606.jpg Source: fogsmoviereviews.comSource: Screenshot via Gramercy Pictures

8. Tony and Sabrina Go On a Date. It’s Sweet

While there are a couple of romantic pairings that spring up throughout Dazed and Confused, the one that sparks between Tony and Sabrina is the sweetest. The two would have gone on a nice date the next day; a sufficiently awkward date given their sheepishness, but a good one nonetheless. As far as speculation goes, this one’s pretty uncontroversial, but really, what else were these two lovebirds going to do other than spend the next day together?

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7. Mike Takes Up Boxing

It’s a shame that Adam Goldberg hasn’t achieved major mainstream success, as his neurotic turn as social outcast Mike Newhouse is easily one of Dazed and Confused‘s best performances. The climax of sorts for Mike in the film is when he foolishly instigates a fight with future roid-rager Clint and receives a pretty good beating. While it’s just as likely that receiving a few good punches to the face reinforced Mike’s pacifism, we’d like to think that he was instead compelled to take up a sport such as boxing to stand-up to bullies like Clint in the future. With his lanky build and a surprisingly mean right hook, he probably would have been pretty good too.

http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/21800000/Adam-in-Dazed-and-Confused-adam-goldberg-21875056-853-480.jpg Source: fanpop.comSource: Screenshot via Gramercy Pictures

6. Michelle Launches a Music Career

In addition to the likes of Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey, Dazed and Confused also helped launch Milla Jovovich’s career. While it’s difficult to imagine that her character, Michelle, achieved the same level of success, we’d like to think that she started putting things in place to launch a successful music career the next day. The film depicts Michelle as having a talent for singing/guitar playing with a Joni Mitchell vibe, and who’s to say she doesn’t embrace that and take things to the next level? Of course, she’d probably have to ditch her burnout boyfriend Pickford along the way if she wanted to make it big.

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5. Mitch and Julie Listen To Zeppelin All Day, Despite Mitch Being Grounded

If there had to be a central character in Dazed and Confused, it would be Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins), who enjoys an awesome night hanging out with cool upperclassmen and getting to second base with Julie the sophomore. Although Mitch’s extreme curfew-breaking likely led to him being grounded, the film depicts his mother as being surprisingly lenient. So while Mitch probably had to spend the next day at home, he was probably allowed to invite Julie over. As for what they did? More making out and listening to a few Zeppelin records (there are no copyright issues in fan fiction, after all) feel like the safe bet.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/192880796513946926/ Source: pinterest.comSource: Screenshot via Gramercy Pictures

4. Wooderson’s Car Breaks Down On The Way To Buy Aerosmith Tickets

Dazed and Confused ends with Pink, Simone, Slater, and Wooderson traveling down a highway to buy Aerosmith tickets. It’s likely that the group was successful and enjoyed more opportunities of smoking copious amounts of weed while discussing the trajectory of their lives (and considering Linklater’s general lack of conflict-ridden plotting, this is a pretty safe “what-if” scenario). However, wouldn’t it have been better if they never made it to the ticket booth and instead suffered a flat tire on the way? If only to hear Matthew McConaughey utter some variation of, “Aw man, aw man, aw man.”  Looks like Wooderson wouldn’t get to take that cute redhead Cynthia to Aerosmith after all. Speaking of which…

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3. Cynthia Turns Wooderson Into a Scientologist

As far as improbable scenarios go, this one ranks near the top, but it’s just too great to pass up. Marissa Ribisi, who played Cynthia, is infamous for being a Scientologist and being married to fellow Scientologist Beck. While it’s ridiculous to assume that Ribisi’s character would have this trait in common, Cynthia is shown to be pretty spaced out and dreamy, so far all we know, she could be a Scientologist. And since Wooderson would still likely hang out with her regardless of whether he snagged Aerosmith tickets or not, it would give her the perfect opportunity to convert the laid-back slacker. After all, he loves those redheads!

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2. Pink’s Actions Inspire His Football Buddies To Follow His Example

One of the most memorable plotlines from the film involves quarterback Randall “Pink” Floyd refusing to sign a pledge promising not to take drugs or partake in any other illicit activity over the summer. Pink’s bold anti-conformist stance receives a lot of flak from both his coach and fellow players, and the film ends with his future on the team in question. While it’s probably more likely that Pink simply loses his place on the team after taking a stand against his coach, it would be a more interesting turn of events if Pink’s defiance inspires some of his teammates to take the same stance, until Coach Conrad is forced to back down on his pledge requirement. And even if they didn’t, Pink’s position on the team was probably safe anyway, as being the coolest guy in school comes with some sweet perks.

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1. O’Bannion Beats The Crap Out of Kids, Gets Arrested

If Dazed and Confused were to have an antagonist, it would be Ben Affleck’s Fred O’Bannion, the meathead senior (who was held back at least once) and made life a living hell for incoming freshman. O’Bannion’s last scene in the film shows him getting humiliated by some of Mitch’s friends as payback for his intense paddle hazing while swearing that he’ll get back at them. Even if it didn’t happen the next day, it’s likely that O’Bannion did track them down and pummel them into oblivion. That being said, considering that he’s also at least 18-years-old, assaulting minors would probably lead to serving jail time, an occurrence that likely became a recurring trend for someone like O’Bannion.

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Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)