All of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch's Endings, Explained
While choose-your-own-adventure stories are nothing new in books or gaming, it's a new frontier for TV and movies. That's why everyone is currently obsessed with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a stand-alone, feature-length episode of the Netflix series that allows viewers to choose their own path through the story of Stefan, a young game designer trying to create the titular interactive video game. There are literally trillions of different ways to navigate the story, plus options to keep the story going longer by revisiting past choices, but all roads eventually lead to one of about 10 definitive endings — which you can keep track of with this handy fan-made flowchart. Spoilers abound ahead as we recap all the different ways this twisty tale can end!
Working With Tuckersoft
One of the quickest ways to "end" the story? Direct Stefan to accept an early-story job offer at Tuckersoft. Choosing this option leads Stefan to produce a terrible version of his in-universe game Bandersnatch, which is published too soon and bombs with a 0/5 rating.
The Balcony Fall
At one point in the story, viewers can choose whether Stefan goes to his psychiatrist, Dr. Haynes, or goes after Colin, who he spots some distance away. If Stefan follows Colin, he winds up on a drug trip (regardless of if he chooses to take the acid or not — his drink just gets spiked if he doesn't take it voluntarily). Eventually, both men end up on a balcony, and the viewer has to choose which of them will jump. Choosing Stefan results in his death; his unfinished game is the version that gets published and gets a 0/5 rating.
Taking His Meds
Among the less depressing endings for Stefan is an option to just take the meds Dr. Haynes gives him. Taking this path results in a pretty mundane ending: Bandersnatch gets published and doesn't do well, but there's no drug tripping or violent murders either, so it all balances out!
Death by Time Travel
As if the show wasn't bonkers enough, one of the potential paths introduces time travel into the mix, too! One story path leads Stefan to enter the code TOY into his father's safe, which then reveals the stuffed rabbit that, in his childhood, set off a chain of events that led to his mother's death in a train crash. He then revisits the moment when his mother asked him to come on the trip with her, and if the viewer has him say yes, he dies in the crash along with her — and present-day Stefan is seen suddenly dying in Dr. Haynes's office, too.
The Government Conspiracy
A different option for opening the safe is to enter the code PAC, which allows Stefan to unlock the truth of his life. He discovers that everything in his life has been a lie; his whole life has been an experiment on the effects of trauma. This discovery drives Stefan to murder his "dad" (without any option for the viewer to choose whether or not he does it), call his therapist, and get arrested for the murder. In all this violence, you might have forgotten about his Bandersnatch game, but the show hasn't: it gets released and gets a 2.5/5 rating.
The Fourth Wall Break
A choose-your-own-adventure wouldn't be complete without at least one wink at the nature of the storytelling. Here, Stefan is able to realize that he's being controlled by an outside force, and one option allows the viewer to "tell" him about the existence of Netflix. When he starts ranting to Dr. Haynes and his father about this, the viewer can either choose to have him fight them, or jump out the window. The latter option has a surprise ending: a director calls "cut" and the shot pans out to reveal that the whole thing has been a movie being filmed, and Stefan is actually "Mike," an actor who has apparently gotten a little too in character.
Bandersnatch Victorious — At a Price
There's one ending that gives Stefan what he's been working toward: Bandersnatch is completed and becomes a huge success, complete with a 5/5 rating. However, he had time to work on the game only after murdering his father and chopping up the body. In the present day, a news report reveals that Stefan was eventually caught for his crime and his game was pulled in the aftermath. But all is not lost for his legacy — Colin's daughter, Pearl, has discovered a copy and is trying to finish the interactive game as an interactive Netflix movie!
Three of the potential endings have similar outcomes. If Stefan buries his dad's body rather than dismembering it, all outcomes lead to him being arrested before he can finish his game. In one scenario, it's because the neighbor's dog digs up the body; there's another version that's identical except that Stefan also kills Colin along the way. Yet another variant has Stefan call Dr. Haynes and threaten her, again leading to his arrest. In these endings, Bandersnatch is never released (and Colin is arrested for drugs in the scenario where Stefan doesn't kill him), and Tuckersoft is totally dismantled.