Study Guide

Groundhog Day Time


PHIL: I wake up every day right here in Punxsutawney and it's always February 2. And there's nothing I can do about it.

When Phil realizes that he'll never escape Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, he develops a crippling depression because he feels like nothing he does matters. It's only later when he realizes he should become good for its own sake that his life has meaning.

PHIL [about God]: Maybe He's not omnipotent. He's just been around so long He knows everything.

Phil develops an interesting theory about God after he has relived Groundhog Day and bunch of times. He figures that maybe God is just like him. He's not some supernatural and all-powerful being. He's just some guy who's been around so long he knows way more than anyone else.

PHIL: It's like yesterday never happened.

Phil realizes that his actions don't have the same kinds of consequences he's used to because nothing he does has lasting effect. Every day, time gets reset and Phil has to live all over again.

RITA: How do you know so much about Punxsutawney?

PHIL: I've spent a lot of time here.

When Phil says he's spent a lot of time in Punxsutawney, he's not kidding. He's spent more than ten years' worth of experience living the same day in this small town, so he pretty much knows everything there is to know about Punxsutawney on February 2nd.

PHIL: I've killed myself so many times I don't even exist anymore.

Phil starts to get deep and philosophical after a while. He's even tried to kill himself just to escape the endless cycle of Groundhog Days he has to live through. But this point, he figures that he's doomed to relive Groundhog Day for all eternity.

RITA: Sometimes I wish I had a thousand lifetimes.

When Rita first hears about Phil's predicament, she thinks it might be pretty cool to live the same day over and over. Then again, she hasn't had to go through it the way Phil has.

PHIL: What would you do if you were stuck in the same place and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?

LOCAL MAN: That sums it up for me.

Phil doesn't realize that for many people, life sometimes feels like the same day over and over. That's exactly the kind of thing he's always been terrified of because he wants to feel like he's spending his time trying to get somewhere. It doesn't really matter where as long as every day feels different.

LOCAL MAN: Do you think it will be an early spring?

PHIL: I'm predicting March 21st.

Phil Connors thinks it's silly how some people believe you can actually tell how long the winter will be by whether a rodent sees its shadow. That's why he matter-of-factly says that spring will probably start on the actual first day of spring rather than when the groundhog says so.

PHIL: What day is this?
LOCAL MAN: It's February 2nd. Groundhog Day.

The first time he relives Groundhog Day, Phil Connors feels like the entire world is playing an elaborate prank on him. Little does he know that some magical force has cut off the flow of time and wrapped it around into a constant loop.

PHIL: Do you ever have déjà vu?

LOCAL PERSON: I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen.

It's totally possible that the flow of time has only been disrupted in Phil's head. After all, we can only know time insofar as we live it. So it's totally possible that Phil has some psychological condition that's made it impossible for him to stop reliving the same day. Maybe his actual body is somewhere in a hospital in a coma. Let the Groundhog Day conspiracy theories begin!

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