4 'Finding Nemo' Story Theories

We know you’re as excited about “Finding Dory,” the sequel to “Finding Nemo,” as we are. But the highly-anticipated sequel doesn’t come out until June of 2016. And so, to hold you over, we did some underwater digging and rounded up four fan theories that’ll make you go, Wait, what?! ... and watch the movies all over again.
Are they absurd? Are they plausible? Who’s to say.
Prepare to have your mind...
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1. Nemo really doesn't exist.
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This may be the most popular fan theory of them all: Nemo is a figment of Marlin’s imagination.

At the beginning of the movie, a barracuda attacks Marlin’s entire clownfish family and knocks Marlin unconscious. When Marlin wakes up, he imagines that only one of the eggs survived the tragic event. What more, he names his son “Nemo” — which means “no man” or “no one” in Latin. WE KNOW.

Reddit user darklighter5000 explains how the movie is an allegory of Marlin’s journey through the five stages of grief:
Denial: He won’t let his son go to school because it’s not “safe.”
Saddest movie since Bambi’s mother got murdered if you ask us.
Anger: He scolds his son for venturing out of his control.
Bargaining: He puts up with an amnesiac travel buddy to help him find his son.
Despair: Marlin sees his son flushed down the drain.

Acceptance: Marlin learns to “let go” and let things be the way they are.

2. Dory suffers from memory loss because she witnessed the death of her family when she was young.

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Well, this would explain a whole lot about our favorite forgetful blue tang. Reddit user shaigi1 thinks that Dory witnessed the massacre of her family when she was young, which left her mentally impaired. 

As her father was dying, he told her to “just keep swimming” to save her life. To forget the horrific event, Dory keeps on swimming, gets lost in the ocean and ends up suffering from short-term memory loss. 

This also explains why Dory is so supportive and helpful to Marlin throughout his journey in Finding Nemo.

3. “Finding Nemo” is connected to “Toy Story 3.”

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According to Slate, all of Pixar’s films “tell the secret history of a world where the little girl from ‘Monsters, Inc.’ grows up to be the elderly witch from ‘Brave.’” This means that ALL Pixar characters live in the same universe.

Crazy, right? (And good luck getting out of that Internet rabbit hole.)

This particular theory suggests that “Finding Nemo” takes place around the same time as “Toy Story 3.” The two Pixar films are connected because in “Toy Story 3,” Andy’s sister, Molly, is reading a magazine with Darla Sherman from “Finding Nemo” on the cover, who hasn’t aged and looks the same. Remember, Darla is the niece of the dentist Philip Sherman and is known for killing pet fish by accident. 

4. Marlin was trying to find his son to reproduce.

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On the surface, the story portrays a sincere father-and-son relationship, but science (or Cracked) might suggest otherwise.

A clownfish colony is dominated by a male and a female. In terms of “Finding Nemo,” that means Marlin is the dominant male and Coral, Marlin’s wife, is the dominant female. 

When the dominant female in the colony is removed, the dominant male will change into the dominant female. You read that correctly: Clownfish are all born as a male, but can n possess both female and male reproductive organs.

At the beginning of the movie, Coral dies and Nemo’s siblings are all destroyed by a barracuda. This means that Marlin changes into the dominant female, and the next fish in line, which is Nemo, takes over as the dominant male. Thus, Marlin was in search of his son Nemo so they could reproduce and build their colony.

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