With summer break on the horizon, Ferris wants to skip school to enjoy a beautiful spring day near the end of the semester. In the opening scene, Ferris rhetorically asks how he could “possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this.” Nevertheless, there will be costs associated with his truancy. First, he admits:
This is my ninth sick day this semester. It’s getting pretty tough coming up with new illnesses. If I go for ten, I’m probably gonna have to barf up a lung, so I’d better make this one count.Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
At this point in the school year, Ferris’ pattern of playing hooky has aroused suspicions that could land him in trouble. The opportunity cost of his day off from school is an ordinary day of classes free of the fear of getting caught and punished with repeating his senior year.
While Ferris manages a mostly relaxed day, by the end of the movie he undergoes a nerve-wracking sprint back to his house to beat his parents home and a nearly catastrophic confrontation with his principal. In spite of the unwanted stress associated with sneaking around, Ferris’ conclusion to his cost-benefit analysis for skipping school remains the same at the end of the movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around, you could miss it.”
Thanks to Amanda Mandzik for the clip submission.