Study Guide

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Scene 4

Scene 4

Scene 4

Go Ahead, Make Rooney's Day

  • It's over to the real estate office of Koenig & Strey, a.k.a. where Ferris's mom, Katie, works.
  • Katie's at her desk when her phone rings. It's Edward R. Rooney, the dean of students at Ferris and Jeanie's school. Katie apologizes for forgetting to call and confirms that Ferris is actually under the weather.
  • While Katie and Rooney talk, we cut to scenes from the high school: a student dashing up to the building as the bell rings; a defeated kid on his knees in the hallway picking his books and papers up as other students scatter off to class around him; a receptionist pulling a pencil out of her poofy hairdo and writing something with it—then looking befuddled and pulling two more pencils out of her colossal coif.
  • Finally we cut back to Rooney who explains to Katie that he doesn't think her son is taking his education seriously. Rooney's spent the morning examining Ferris's records and has no qualms about holding him back another year. Sounds like Rooney really has it out for Ferris. Also sounds like he has too much free time on his hands. Guess this is what we did before the Internet.
  • Katie says this is all news to her, and Rooney tells her about Ferris's nine absences. Katie's shocked, and Rooney assures her that he's for real. He starts to tell her that he has the incriminating info right in front of him, but when he looks at Ferris's record on the computer again, Ferris's number of absences on screen counts down from nine to a respectable two.
  • Cut to Ferris at home at his computer. He's changed outfits, and he turns to the camera to bemoan the fact that, while he asked for a car, he got a computer. We feel your pain, but put it in perspective, Ferris: You can't hack a high school computer system with a Toyota Camry.
  • Rooney calls for Grace. Turns out she's the receptionist with the hair full of pencils. Katie assures Rooney that Ferris is definitely, absolutely, positively at home sick.
  • Cut to Ferris wearing another new outfit, this time with a jazzy fedora, while he plays the clarinet. Horribly. "Never had one lesson," he says proudly. The only thing that's sick is his clarinet skills (and we don't mean that in the good way).
  • Cut to the same high school classroom with the same monotone teacher. Today's lesson: voodoo economics. We see a series of close-ups of really bored students; no one's participating in class. One girl looks like she wants to murder the teacher. One guy's asleep and drooling all over his desk. One girl blows a massive bubble with her gum.
  • Cut back to Ferris: This guy goes through more outfit changes than an Oscars host. Now he's dancing to the theme song from the '60s TV show I Dream of Jeannie. He dances about as well as he plays clarinet.
  • Cut back to the high school, this time on Jeanie. She's walking down the hallway, when another student catches up to her and tells Jeanie she's sorry about Ferris, and that everybody says he's on the verge of death—oh, and that if he does buy the farm, he's donating his eyes to Stevie Wonder. This really ticks ol' Jeanie off.
  • Jeanie passes by three underclassmen at a pay phone on her way out of the shot. (Remember pay phones? Probably not.) Turns out the kid on the phone is conversing with Ferris. Ferris tells him he's very sick, and plays sick noises (e.g., coughs, noises best described as "barfy", etc.) on his keyboard. The kid is stunned. Ferris turns to the camera and scoffs, "Freshmen." Meanwhile, the kid's friend hopes that Ferris doesn't die because Ferris is supposed to get him out of summer school.
  • Ferris asks to talk to somebody else, and the kid hands the phone off to a girl passing by. She wants to know how Ferris's "bod" is, because that's how people talked in 1986, and if he'll be alive this weekend. After another assurance that he's very sick, and a few more disgusting keyboard sounds, Ferris says he'll probably still be alive then. She says she hopes she'll see him around then hangs up.
  • Ferris plays "The Blue Danube Waltz" on his keyboard using grunting, coughing, and barfy sounds, then mugs for the camera.
  • Back in Rooney's office, he tells Grace that he thinks Ferris is up to something, and that he threatens Rooney's ability to run the school effectively. Grace puts it more bluntly, telling Rooney that Ferris makes him look "like an ass." She explains that everybody loves Ferris, no matter what clique they're in, and Rooney says that's exactly why he has to catch him this time: to make an example out of him. Grace tells Rooney he sounds like Dirty Harry. We politely disagree.