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This Willy Wonka Fan Theory Will Make You Think Twice About Charlie’s Golden Ticket

Stock up on Everlasting Gobstoppers, because we’re about to crack open the foundation of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

You’ve probably seen the 1971 movie more times than there are Oompa Loompas in those dance sequences, but one fan might have discovered something the rest of us overlooked for nearly 50 years. According to Reddit user paulvs88, Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) finding the last Golden Ticket was no accident. Apparently, Bill (Aubrey Woods), a.k.a. the man who ran that epic candy store, was in cahoots with Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) the whole time.

When Charlie finds money in the storm drain, he dashes into the candy store and tells Bill he’d like “whichever’s the biggest” candy bar: Slugworth Sizzler or Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious. After wolfing down the Scrumdiddlyumptious, Charlie says to Bill he should get something for his grandfather, too. Since (most) kids are selfish—like the first four children who find Golden Tickets—it’s a nice surprise to see someone who isn’t only out for himself.

“Bill HAS to give the ticket today because the event [Wonka’s candy tour] is tomorrow,” paulvs88 reasons. “Charlie NEVER gets to choose what candy to buy Grandpa Joe.” Reviewing the scene, Charlie is, in fact, handed a plain Wonka Bar by Bill; he never asks for a specific type of candy. The Reddit user further explains the Wonka Bar with the Golden Ticket was stacked behind the counter, something only Bill could grab and hand to customers, not the other way around. “He knew exactly which one had the ticket.” Lo and behold, not two minutes later, Charlie learns the person who “found” the fifth Golden Ticket lied, and he himself ends up with the coveted item.

Paulvs88 is convinced Bill was working for the eccentric candy creator after Willy Wonka meets Charlie the next day and tells him, “Well, well, Charlie Bucket. I read all about you in the papers.” Really? You think a poor kid who received zero screen time and publicity—unlike the other kids—was featured on the front page of a major newspaper?

Interestingly, Willy Wonka doesn’t say this to any of the others. “Could the ‘papers’ he is talking about be a report from Bill?” paulvs88 wonders. It’s definitely plausible. Willy Wonka has spies working for him, like Slugworth (Günter Meisner), so having a candy store man—who proudly sells Wonka candy—in his pocket isn’t a huge stretch.

Either way, we’re glad Charlie found that Golden Ticket, because if any of those brats had won the big prize, I think I’d quit eating chocolate. (Hah, yeah right.)