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The 7 Reasons Why ‘Space Jam’ Was Totally Realistic

1. Michael’s Secret Stuff employs the placebo effect.

Michael's Secret Stuff employs the placebo effect.

Spoiler alert! “Michael’s Secret Stuff” is just water. And yet, after drinking it, the players on the TuneSquad miraculously transform into a whole new team. How does that happen?

This phenomenon is known as “the placebo effect.” Placebos are basically non-medicinal treatments given to unknowing patients, who will have perceived or actual improvements, solely because they believe they are receiving medicine.

So, when the team drinks Jordan’s “secret stuff,” their brain tricks them into actually experiencing the effects of something special. It’s a metaphor!

2. Falling into the earth happens.

Falling into the earth happens.

After sinking a hole-in-one, Michael Jordan poses for a celebratory picture, only to be sucked into the hole and into Tune Land. Wait. What?

It’s called a sinkhole. Sinkholes are natural depressions in the Earth’s surface that vary in size and can form gradually or suddenly. And they’re all over the world, so it makes sense that one could happen to be on a golf course.

It’s merely a case of bad luck on Jordan’s part. The depression must have formed the exact moment his hand entered the cup, causing him to be swallowed by the hole.

Trust me: it’s happened before.


Sinkhole in Guatemala.

3. Adding characters to an amusement park is good business.

Adding characters to an amusement park is good business.

Mr. Swackhammer’s whole scheme is to capture the Looney Tunes and make them the newest attractions at Moron Mountain. And while his methods might be unconventional and, uh, illegal, that is precisely what a good businessman would do.

In the words of Steve Jobs, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Well, in this case, Mr. Swackhammer is not only copying the idea from Disneyland — he is also quite literally stealing. I guess he’s a bit of an over-achiever.

4. Michael Jordan is a notorious gambler.

Michael Jordan is a notorious gambler.

During the game, Michael Jordan changes the bet with Mr. Swackhammer to make himself the newest attraction at Moron Mountain, instead of the Loony Tunes, if the TuneSquad loses.

Of course he did that.

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as a bit of a… gambling enthusiast. In fact, some conspiracy theorists believe NBA Commissioner David Stern forced Jordan to take a year off, as punishment for his extreme gambling.

So, it should come as no surprise that His Airness would make a deal like this. He just can’t help himself.


Stacks on stacks

5. A magic ball is nothing new.

A magic ball is nothing new.

To beat the TuneSquad, the aliens steal the talent of Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, and Shawn Bradley through the use of a magical ball.

This is nothing new. Magical balls have been around for years!


Magic 8-Ball

Crystal ball


The snitch. Cool wings, ball.

6. Bill Murray has a history of showing up in unexpected places.

Bill Murray has a history of showing up in unexpected places.

Just as the TuneSquad was in danger of having to forfeit the game, due to numerous injuries, in comes Bill Murray to save the day.

Yeah, we’ve seen that move before. It’s sort of his calling card…


Bill Murray showing up to a kickball game, much to the surprise of everyone in the park.


Bill Murray crashing a party in Phoenix.

Bill Murray performing karaoke with a bunch of strangers.

7. In 1996, nobody could beat Michael Jordan. Not even aliens.

In 1996, nobody could beat Michael Jordan. Not even aliens.

In the 1995-96 season, the Chicago Bulls set an NBA record by finishing the year 72-10 to win their fourth title in six seasons. Jordan also captured the scoring title and all three MVP awards (regular season, All-Star game and the NBA Finals). On top of that, he made the All-Defensive First Team.

In other words, Michael Jordan was invincible the year Space Jam came out.

Sure, this looks unrealistic. But I wouldn’t put it past him.

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