1. George Bailey was dead the entire movie.

As a 12-year-old, George did save his brother Harry from the ice… but then himself succumbed to hypothermia. The movie’s “story” actually begins (as per the original Ingmar Bergman script) with Spirit George facing off against the Angel atop the Bridge of Souls. Angel shows Spirit a vision of a life he could have on Earth, if he will repent. But instead, George throws the Angel into the briny deep (editors ran this scene backwards to simulate a “rescue”), incepts his way into the angel’s vision and takes possession of it, malevolently declaring himself “The Richest Man in Town!”

2. George and Mary are undercover Soviet agents

Blowing the lid off the hidden “aquatic ops center” beneath the dance floor. Restricting all communications to top-secret protocol, “BUFFALOGAL.” Handing off detailed blueprints for a plan to subjugate the moon. Zhordzi and Marushka’s sabotage operation was seemingly unstoppable. That is, until it was brought to a halt by Agent Wainwright’s secret alert to the Feds, “Hee-haw.”

3. Mr. Potter is literally a “scurvy little spider.”

Why else would he work so hard to get rid of Uncle Billy’s folded-up newspaper — a spider’s biggest enemy?

4. Bailey Building & Loan is built atop the Hellmouth

In the famous scene of the mob assailing George Bailey, they appear to be demanding money — but they are, in fact, demanding mana, a form of great supernatural power in Austronesian religions. Aided by his portent-spewing black Raven of Death, George enters a shamanic trance and recounts his vision of where exactly, and in whose houses, the mana lies.

5. Young George Bailey didn’t stop druggist
Mr. Gower from sending a boy poison; he stopped
him from sending Captain America serum

Secret Operative GOW-R. wasn’t receiving a call about his son dying from Spanish flu; he was receiving orders from the US government to “launch the trial.” However, a 12-year-old, hearing-impaired boy named George Bailey — arguably the best-placed HYDRA asset in history — instead diverted the formula to his boss, Johann Schmidt, who would ill-advisedly test it on himself, resulting in the hideous disfigurement that would cause the world to call him “Red Skull.” Admittedly, much of this takes place off-camera.

6. Bedford Falls is part of the Capra Cinematic Universe (CCU)

Ella Andrews, the fugitive heiress of It Happened One Night, first makes her escape by jumping off her family’s yacht… and swimming up the same river where George meets Clarence. “Old Maid Librarian Mary” in George’s what-if-I-hadn’t-lived storyline goes off to joins her WASPy spinster sister in a life of poisoning bachelors with arsenic. And yes, believe it or not, “Mr. Smith” is actually a carefully chosen pseudonym for George Bailey, lobbying Congress to build a boys’ camp so that no boy ever again be forced to save his brother from the ice in a life-transforming way.

7. Zuzu’s petals are opium-strength poppy

How else do you explain the “long, strange trip” George goes on just minutes after receiving them from “Zuzu” (which, come on, could any name sound more like “dealer”) — or the joyful tears of a lifelong addict upon discovering that his belt buckle “stash” is still intact?

8. George’s life would have been transformed
if it had just not been for World War One,
the Great Depression, and Christmas

It almost seems like a cliché, but this simple tale shows us that sometimes all it takes is decades of fracture among world imperial powers, an unsustainable global asset bubble wiped out by risky new banking methodologies, and God’s decision to send His only son to earth to die for our sins…. to give one guy a different job.

9. “Old Maid Librarian” Mary would have
actually been way happier than Mary Bailey

Forgive us, but some fan theories are too way-out-there for even us to contemplate. Back through the Looking Glass with you, nutballs!