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Bandersnatch is the 2018 Black Mirror holiday special. It was written by Charlie Brooker and released on December 28, 2018.

Short Summary[]

In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a dark fantasy novel into a video game. A mind-bending tale with multiple endings.

Full Summary[]

In 1984, the young programmer Stefan Butler begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.

The episode is a choose-your-own-adventure for us, the viewers. All of your choices lead to different consequences. There are many soft endings that lead you back to make a different choice. Additionally there are multiple final endings as well.


As is to be expected from an episode like Bandersnatch, there are many different choices to be made by the viewer leading to several endings. Although some of the choices (like what music to listen to or what cereal to eat) are inconsequential and will have little to no effect on the overall plot, others will lead the story on a completely different path. While some endings are 'soft' and will simply loop back to an earlier point in the story, others are considered 'hard' endings, although the viewer will be invited to go back and make different choices to affect what happens.

There seems to be a notable connection between the level of violence and the success of the game in the media.

Hard Endings[]

  • If Stefan chooses to work on Bandersnatch at Tuckersoft, Colin lets Stefan (and the viewer) know they made the wrong choice. The game is released on time for Christmas, however it has a 'made by committee' feel and comes out to a terrible 0/5 review. Stefan resolves to try again. If the episode is immediately replayed, the opening is condensed down with both Stefan and Colin feeling they've done it all before.
  • If Stefan chooses to visit Dr. Haynes immediately instead of following Colin, he will have the option to take his medication. If he does, Bandersnatch is released on time (with nobody dead) however the reviewer states that the game feels only half-finished and gives it 2.5/5.
  • If Stefan follows Colin and then jumps off the balcony himself, the game is released despite Stefan's tragic 'accident' but is considered to be too abrupt and dark. No rating is given.
  • If Stefan chooses to kill his dad then chop up the body then the corpse is not discovered until much later, allowing Bandersnatch to be released to a glowing 5/5 review only to be pulled off the shelves soon afterwards when the murder is revealed with Stefan ending up in prison. The game is remade decades later by Colin's daughter Pearl for streaming services, only for her to start going insane as well as the viewer can decide on her final action. This appears to be the 'true' ending of the episode, as it leads into the ending credits.
  • If Stefan chooses to kill his dad then bury the body, this will lead off into a few different endings depending on earlier choices:
    • If Stefan didn't make Colin jump, then Tucker sends Colin around to Stefan's to help him complete the (already late) game. When Colin realises what's happened, he takes it casually and invites Stefan to kill him or let him go. Regardless of which, Stefan is soon caught (Colin either calls the authorities or the neighbour's dog digs up the body), Bandersnatch is never released, Colin is either dead or arrested for drug possession and Tuckersoft goes bankrupt.
    • If Stefan makes Colin jump, then Kitty calls around to ask Stefan where Colin is. No matter what Stefan chooses to tell her, she leaves and Stefan buries the body only for the dog to still dig it up. As a result Stefan goes to prison, Bandersnatch is never released, Colin remains missing and Tuckersoft goes bankrupt.
    • If the viewer chooses to bury the body three times, Stefan hangs up immediately on Tucker when he calls to ask where the game is. This causes Tucker to visit Stefan himself, walking in on him with the body. In this ending Tucker is killed by Stefan, who goes to prison for the two murders. Bandersnatch is never released, Colin is arrested and Tuckersoft goes bust.
    • In some endings Stefan will try and call Dr. Haynes after killing his dad, meaning the phone will be engaged when Tucker tries to call leading him to give Stefan more time. Regardless of if Stefan gets through on not (depending on viewer choices) Stefan will still be arrested.
  • There are four potential safe codes to try, depending on if Stefan chose to talk his mother to doctor Haynes and/or if he followed Colin:
    • JDF and PAX are wrong choices, and will lead to jump scares.
    • TOY will lead to Stefan finding his stuffed rabbit in the safe, seemingly going back in time to the day his mother died. Stefan's dad will put the rabbit back under the bed, however his mother will end up missing the train and taking the later one anyway. If Stefan chooses to go with her, it will be revealed he suddenly and inexplicably died during his initial session with Dr. Haynes.
    • PAC will reveal that Stefan is part of a massive scientific experience testing the impact of severe trauma, which his father is in charge of. Stefan learns he has been drugged his whole life, Dr. Haynes is also in on the deception and his mother was just an actor. Stefan, in a fury from the revelation, kills his dad with the ashtray. However Stefan will then wake up having been dreaming this. This will unlock the 'P.A.C.S.' option when Stefan asks who is talking to him. If the viewer chooses this, Stefan believes there is a huge conspiracy going on. Stefan will then kill his dad (the viewer is not given the choice here) and will then try to call Dr Haynes. The phone number will be revealed to the viewer assuming that they've gone down the relevant story paths; if they have, it will lead to Stefan revealing to the receptionist he's killed his dad and intends to kill her next. If the viewer dials the wrong number, they are given an error tone. Regardless, Stefan is arrested and sent to prison with Tuckersoft releasing Bandersnatch unfinished to a 2.5/5 review.

Soft Endings[]

  • If the viewer decides to reveal to Stefan that he's being controlled by them and tries explaining how Netflix works, Stefan goes to see Dr. Haynes and attacks her. Dr. Haynes will then surprisingly get into a fighting stance and invite Stefan to come at her:
    • If Stefan chooses to fight, he gets into a huge brawl with her and his dad. He eventually is dragged away, presumably to be sent to a mental institution.
    • If Stefan tries to leave through the window, it will be revealed the whole episode is just a show being filmed, and Stefan is an actor called 'Mike' who has apparently gone so deep into the role that he believes it to be reality.
  • In a couple of endings, Stefan will be given the choice to destroy his computer. If he does so, this will wipe out the Bandersnatch game, but presumably Stefan's mental state will recover.
  • If the viewer chooses to back off from the confrontation with Stefan's dad instead of killing him, the episode just ends; presumably Stefan will recover, however it is never revealed what happens to Bandersnatch.

Important Choices[]

These choices will greatly influence what will happen in the episode.

  • Stefan will be given the choice to talk about his mother during his therapist session. This will unlock choices for the safe later in the episode (assuming the player goes down that plot route).
  • When arriving for his second session with Dr Haynes, he has the choice to attend or follow Colin. If he chooses to follow Colin, Stefan will get into a drug trip with him and will then be told by Colin about PAC (opening up another safe choice). Colin will then invite Stefan to choose which of them will jump over the balcony. If Stefan chooses Colin, then Colin will jump off to his death. Stefan will then seemingly wake up from a nightmare, however Colin will disappear for the rest of the story (although replaying certain elements will restore him, possibly a glitch).

Unimportant choices[]

Choosing either of these options will not largely impact the final ending.

  • Cereal - Frosties or Sugar Puffs (an advert for whichever cereal chosen will play prior to the video documentary on Jerome F. Davis)
  • Music - Now 2 or Thompson Twins (affects soundtrack, and Stefan will tell Colin which of these he listened to later on when asked)
  • Vinyl - Phaedra or The Bermuda Triangle (affects soundtrack)
  • At Dr Haynes’ - Bite nails or Pull earlobe (Stefan will resist the urge to do either)
  • Destroy Computer or Throw tea over computer (Stefan resists again)
  • Take drug while at Colin's (If Stefan refuses, Colin spikes his tea anyway)


A complete flowchart of all scenes and transitions generated from the official Netflix data is available here.


  • Fionn Whitehead as Stefan Butler
  • Craig Parkinson as Peter Butler
  • Alice Lowe as Dr. Haynes
  • Asim Chaudhry as Mohan Thakur
  • Will Poulter as Colin Ritman
  • Tallulah Haddon as Kitty
  • Catriona Knox as Leslie
  • Paul Bradley as Robin
  • Jonathan Aris as Crispin
  • AJ Houghton as Young Stefan
  • Fleur Keith as Mum
  • Laura Evelyn as Pearl Ritman
  • Alan Asaad as Satpal
  • Suzanne Burden as Judith Mulligan
  • Jeff Minter as Jerome F. Davies
  • Sandra Teles as Reporter
  • Rochenda Sandall as Pippa 1st AD
  • Ellie Piercy as Receptionist
  • Tom McCall as Paramedic
  • Jon-Jo Inkpen as Pax
  • Stephen Rashbrook as Narrator

Notes and Trivia[]


Episode Stills[]