With its mind-bending storylines and seemingly infinite choice combinations, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has been delighting viewers. More game-like than a movie, Bandersnatch offers viewer/player choices to guide Stefan along the path to adapt his favorite “choose your own adventure” book into a video game in 1984. As with every entry in the Black Mirror universe, things get out of hand very quickly. Some choices feel pretty routine, but others are a bit more fun or have wider implications. Here are 10 of our favorite choices in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
*Warning: spoiler alerts ahead!*
10. Sugar Puffs Or Frosties
In order to ease the viewer into the idea of making choices for Stefan, the very first option you get is what cereal you are going to eat in the morning. While largely inconsequential, your choice will affect what commercial is seen on TV later in the film. Much like the two music choices heard in the film, they don’t have a lasting impact on the story; however, they do help flavor the world that you are building with your choices later.
9. Accept Or Refuse (TuckerSoft Pitch)
The first big choice is when Stefan is pitching his adaptation of Bandersnatch to TuckerSoft game designer Colin Ritman and studio boss Mohan Thakur. They love it, and Thakur offers to have Stefan bring the design process into the game studio to allow Stefan to have more resources in developing his game. If you’re putting yourself in Stefan’s shoes, this is the offer of a lifetime, making it really hard to say no. However, if you want to continue past this point, you must refuse as acceptance leads to the game being released to a zero-star rating and is the first of many “fail” endings.
8. Throw Tea Over Computer Or Shout At Dad
Once Stefan begins working on Bandersnatch, he starts working incredibly long days and becomes frustrated at repeatedly finding bugs in the system. Stefan’s dad becomes worried and goes to check on Stefan, inviting him out to the pub for lunch. At this point, you are given a choice to either “Throw tea over computer” or “Shout at Dad.” If you choose “Throw tea,” the game will force you to go back and make a different choice.
This is the first real hint in the film that there is something truly sinister happening here. Having the film force you into making a choice other than one that would destroy the computer is the first hint that Bandersnatch cannot be destroyed.
7. Kill Him Or Let Him Go
To even get to this option, a few other game-states must be active. Colin must still be alive, Stefan must continue to promise to deliver Bandersnatch on time, and Stefan must decide to kill and bury his dad’s body. Once all of these conditions have been met, Colin will visit Stefan’s home as he’s trying to dispose of his dad’s body. Colin will realize what’s happened and you are given the option to “Kill him or Let him go.” Colin is remarkably chill and understanding regardless of your choice. If you choose to kill him, Colin accepts and even suggests a better murder weapon.
6. Follow Colin Or Visit Dr. Haynes
After choosing to have Stefan shout at his dad, Stefan’s dad convinces him to go to the pub for lunch with him. In the car, an exhausted Stefan falls asleep. He wakes when his dad stops the car and Stefan realizes he’s been taken to Dr. Haynes’ office instead. They argue and you get the choice to “Follow Colin or Visit Dr. Haynes.” While visiting Dr. Haynes ensures Colin stays alive, visiting the doctor can open up the Netflix ending, depending on your previous choices. Following Colin, however, peels back the curtain a bit as to what is really going on in this universe. Colin considers himself “woke” to the underlying theme of parallel realities and goes on a very interesting drug-fueled rant before taking things to a (possibly) fatal conclusion.
5. Bite Nails Or Pull earlobe
At Bandersnatch's approximate midway point, Stefan begins to become aware that his choices are being controlled by someone else and starts to fight back. In Dr. Haynes’ office, the viewer is given the option to make Stefan either “Bite nails or Pull earlobe.” Regardless of which one you choose, Stefan will resist the order, physically restraining himself. Although he fights some later commands, this point in the timeline appears to be as strong at Stefan gets in the film.
4. Yes Or No (Train Ending)
This is another choice that you can only be given if a few other conditions are met. If you choose to show Stefan the Glyph, then choose to “Back Off” when arguing with Stefan’s dad, you are sent back to choose another option.
If you choose “Get rabbit from Dad,” you will enter a dream and have a chance to open the safe. Then you’ll have to choose to enter the code “TOY” into the safe. This is where it gets interesting...
After these conditions are met, you get a flashback sequence where adult Stefan puts the rabbit back under the bed for young Stefan to find. Then Stefan’s mom appears and gives you the option to go with her on the train or not. If you choose to go, Stefan joins his mom on the fateful 8:45 train and the scene ends. The scene picks up again in 1984, where Stefan is in Dr. Haynes' office and a paramedic is checking his pulse. The paramedic says that Stefan is dead and Dr. Haynes is extremely shocked and upset, unable to understand exactly what happened.
3. Throw Tea On Computer Or Destroy Computer (Pearl Ending)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...
As mentioned previously, if the viewer makes any choice to damage or destroy the computer, they experience a hard reset and the film forces you to go back and make a different choice. If Bandersnatch is released, gets a five-star review, and then gets pulled from shelves, you will get what is known as the “Pearl Ending.”
This ending takes place in the present where Colin's daughter, Pearl Ritman, is now a game designer herself and is attempting to remake Bandersnatch. However, she encounters a bug in the game and the player is given a choice to either “Throw tea on computer” or “Destroy computer.” Either choice ends the film.
2. Yes Or No (LSD With Colin)
If you choose to follow Colin, he’ll attempt to explain what’s really at work behind the scenes in Bandersnatch. However, Colin asserts that Stefan should take LSD to help open his mind. Colin takes a dose and offers one to Stefan. Here, you get to choose to partake or not. If you refuse, Colin appears to respect your choice, but then doses Stefan’s tea anyway. This illusion of choice is fundamental to Colin’s view of what’s really happening.
1. The Five-Digit Code
After the deadly confrontation with Stefan’s father, if you had previously entered “PAC” into the safe during the dream sequences, Stefan can decide to call Dr. Haynes. Here you have the open-ended option to enter a five-digit code into the phone. The correct number, through clues given, is “2 0 5 4 1.” However, there are 99,999 other possible combinations of numbers. Currently, any number other than 20541 results in a “wrong number” result, and Stefan will have a chance to redial. While there are currently no other results, it’s possible that Black Mirror or Netflix may later add some endings behind the scenes. With 99,999 potentially programmable options, we have our fingers crossed for Easter eggs down the road.