That Honda “Ferris Bueller” Commercial

So… Honda convinced Matthew Broderick to star in a CR-V ad for the Super Bowl in which he skips work and has a very Ferris Bueller-like day:


There are a lot of “Easter Eggs” hidden in this commercial. Here’s what I’ve been able to find so far:

– The opening shot – with Matthew in bed – is almost identical to the one in the movie, although Matthew is using a cell phone.



– Matthew’s agent’s office is one giant Easter egg: “Walter Linder” was the name above Abe Froman’s on the reservation list at Chez Quis; Walter tosses a baseball in his hand while he talks to Matthew; there are three bottles of Wite-Out on his desk, just as there were on Grace’s desk; a trophy similar to the one Ferris used to rig the sleeping dummy sits on the desk behind him; and over his left shoulder you can see the same “horse chair” that was in Ferris’ room.

Walter Linder
(click to embiggen)


– There are also three pencils on Walter’s desk. Edie McClurg (Grace) felt that her character should have a 60s hairdo in the film, but the on-set hairdresser had only been hired to work on Mia Sara’s hair and had no idea how to do a big 1960s-type hairdo. So McClurg did her hair herself. When she arrived on the set, Hughes jokingly asked her how many pencils she thought she could fit in her hair. So they tried one, then two, then three… but a fourth fell out. That’s the origin of McClurg’s first scene in the movie, when she pulls pencils out of her hair.

– The framed drawing seen next to Walter’s lamp was on Ferris’ fridge. In the original script, Ferris had younger siblings. They were written out of the movie, but their refrigerator drawings made it into the film… in case you were wondering why there were children’s drawings on the fridge when both kids were in high school:



– When Walter hangs up the phone, we see the name of his agency on the glass: Roeman, Peterson, and Frye. Mia Sarah played Sloane Peterson and Alan Ruck played Cameron Frye in the film. I’m not sure who “Roeman” is, unless it’s a spoof on “Abe Froman”:


– The next two shots – of Matthew sitting up in bed and then opening the blinds – are almost exact duplicates of scenes from the film. However, his line was changed slightly. In the film he asks “[h]ow can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” while in the commercial he asks “how can I handle work on a day like today?”

– Matthew is then seen holding a toothbrush in his hand and saying “one of the worst performances of my career and he never doubted it for a second”, a scene from the original film (however, in the film he says “they” instead of “he”, in reference to his parents buying his story).

– The next shot has Matthew with a towel wrapped around his head like a turban, speaking on a red telephone. Both the turban and the red phone were seen in the movie, although if I remember correctly, they weren’t seen onscreen at the same time:



– Of course, the valet channels Ben Stein with his “Broderick, Broderick, Broderick” line.

– The woman unloading her car has a Rottweiler dog, like the Bueller family had.

– We then see Matthew on a roller coaster; behind him is a man in a Detroit Red Wings jersey just like Cameron’s:



– We then see Matthew taking a call using the CR-V’s built-in Bluetooth system. The call is from “Grace” (the secretary from the film) and it’s from the 312 (Chicago) area code. The last four digits of the phone number (2800) was the Bueller family’s address:



– We then see Matthew at a stoplight, recreating the “taxi scene” from the movie, where he’s a passenger in a taxi at a stoplight… and his father is in the car next to him. Just as the scene starts, a man in an old fashioned “milk man” uniform carries flowers across the street. In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a stripper and flower delivery man arrive to bring “get well” wishes for Ferris:

Flower Delivery

Louie Anderson

And yes, that’s Louie Anderson playing the delivery man in the original film!

– If you look in the background, you can see clothes from the movie in the store window behind Matthew. The easiest to spot is the caduceus t-shirt Cameron was wearing when he called the school pretending to be Sloane’s father. You can also see Ferris’ vest and suit in the store window. Check the third set of screen caps (above) to see Cameron in the shirt and Ferris in the suit:


– The camera then pans over to Walter. On the other side of his car, a man on the sidewalk wears a trench coat (which Ferris wore to pick Sloane up from school) and plays a clarinet (which Ferris plays for us in the film):



– At the history museum, Matthew chases a group of kids. In the background, you can spot a man wearing Ferris’ vest and beret:


– Matthew then stares at a stuffed walrus. The shots, editing and music are an obvious riff on the scene in the original film when the three stare at Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Matthew presumably stares at a walrus because Ferris said: “Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.”

– At the race track, the man next to Matthew has flip-up sunglasses, just like Rooney had. And the man behind him has a tropical drink, just as Ferris enjoyed in the pool scene later in the film:



– This next one is hard to see: when Matthew pulls up to the parade, a brunette woman on the right side of the street is wearing a white leather fringe jacket, very similar to Sloane’s:



– Of course, the next scene (when Walter just misses seeing Matthew on TV) is similar to a scene when Rooney just misses seeing Ferris on TV (however, the TV in the commercial uses parade scene footage, while the TV in the movie used ball game footage). It’s also interesting that Rooney went to a pizza place, while modern Walter was at a sushi place:



– The dancing construction workers were in the original film. Amusingly, the workers weren’t cast members in Ferris Bueller: they were real workers doing a job who were distracted by the filming. According to legend, Hughes spotted them and had a cameraman take some shots of “dancing hardhat man”:


– Matthew then gives his CR-V to a restaurant valet. The valet works for “A-1 EZ OK Park”. Not only is that the same company from the movie, it’s the exact same logo, too:



– Of course, the valet takes off in the CR-V, just as the valets did with the Ferrari in the film (the giant panda bear takes the place of the black guy in the film).

– You can clearly see that Matthew’s license plate reads SOCHOIC. In the film, Ferris calls Cameron’s father’s Ferrari “so choice” and he advises us to get one if we can afford it. It’s funny, but few have noticed that most of the license plates in the original film were personalized too, and take-offs of Hughes’ other films: Ferris’ dad’s plate is MMOM (for Mr. Mom), Ferris’ mom’s plate is VCTN (for National Lampoon’s Vacation), Ferris’ sister’s plate is TBC (for The Breakfast Club), Mr. Rooney’s plate is 4FBDO (for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, obviously). The plate on the Ferrari is NRVOUS, for “nervous”.

– And just as the original film had a “stinger” (a small scene at the end during or after the credits), the commercial does, too.

Did I miss anything? Let me know!

4 Replies to “That Honda “Ferris Bueller” Commercial”

  1. when he’s on the phone in the car, the voice sounds a lot like Cindy Pickett, the actress who played his mom in the film or is it Jennifer Grey’s???

    At the racetrack he high fives the guy next to him. Didn’t Ferris high five Cameron at the ball game too?

    Chez Nous sign on the podium by the valet (same name as restaurant in the film…I think)

  2. – I don’t know who the voice is. You’d think it’d be Edie McClurg (Grace), but it doesn’t sound like her, does it?

    – I can’t remember, but I think they *did* high-five!

    – The restaurant in the movie was “Chez Quis” (a pun on Shakey’s Pizza). In the commercial it’s “Chez Neuf”; I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a pun, or if so, what it’s a pun of.

  3. I too listened to the voice of “Grace” on the car phone & I think it sounds just like SJP… Sarah Jessica Parker, his wife.

  4. All the lamp shades are round & circular, As all shades are also in Ferris’ original bedroom.

    In the store window, looks like Sloane’s shorts outfit is there, with the others you mentioned

    Lastly of course – the Cars are Both RED

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