Groundhog Day

Question: Phil is unable to leave Punxsutawney after his broadcast because of the blizzard. Has there ever been any explanation as to why he doesn't try to leave Punxsutawney as soon as he wakes up? I'm sure the time loop would have still been in effect, but unless I'm mistaken, the movie never addresses whether or not Phil ever tried to leave town before the roads were closed.


Chosen answer: As you stated, it's never addressed as to whether or not he attempted to leave town. Phil lived through many more days than is shown in the film, so it's possible he left at some point, though there's little reason for him to do so because he wouldn't get far, and, when he wakes up the next morning, he'll be right back in the town.


Question: Toward the beginning of the movie, on Phil's first day at the bed and breakfast, he turns on the shower and it is very cold. He asks the lady in the hallway why there is no hot water. The lady answers "Oh no, there wouldn't be any today." Why not?

Answer: Old fashioned hotels have a single boiler for all the hotel rooms. Once the hot water reservoir is used up there won't be any more to use until the reservoir is refilled. This only happens once every few days.


Answer: Likely because there are a lot of people staying there and using up the hot water.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: When Phil and the two locals are driving on the railroad tracks, they are closely followed by a police unit. Phil drives off the tracks at a crossing where the tracks became level with the street surface. How did the police car get out from in front of the train?


Answer: We know the police car survived because unit 2 is the car that followed them onto the tracks, and unit 2 is also one of the cars present when they are stopped (though it came from the wrong direction). The movie doesn't explain how the car survived so it is left to the viewer's imagination.


Chosen answer: It was never explained in the film but there could be two possible explanations. One is the police car never got off the tracks in time and was hit by the train. Another is the car managed to get off the tracks in time despite the difficulty of getting off a railroad track so quickly. Up to the viewer to decide.

Gavin Jackson

Question: I read somewhere that for Phil to be as good as he is on the piano in the jazz club scene he would have had been trapped in that day for about 10 years. Is it known anywhere (DVD, directors, actors) that say about how long Phil actually repeated the same day?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: Harold Ramis, who wrote and directed the film, had said the in the original draft Phil spent a total of 10,000 years trapped in his timeloop. They ended up scaling that back quite a bit for the final version, but it's still in the ballpark of 100 to 1,000 years. Quite a broad window, I know, but the point is it's easily plenty of time for Phil to have become a master pianist along with all the other skills he appears to have mastered.


Answer: Harold Ramis flat out said it was about 10 years. I think the final numbers calculated by some groups said it needed to be just over 8 years, to learn and do all the things he did. I'm not sure how they actually calculated it, but I'll go with the writer and directer of the movie for 10 years.

Question: When Phil Connors is playing the piano with the jazz group, his piano teacher excitedly tells Rita that he is her pupil. Why has he has a piano lesson that day, when he obviously learnt to play brilliantly in previous days?

Answer: He has been doing the same routine for who knows how many "days", that is would not be unusual that he would have a lesson that day - no matter how well he played.

Zwn Annwn

Answer: After he finishes playing, you'll notice she takes his place at the piano. So, he took the lesson to get to know her, so she would allow him to sit in for her.

Question: At the end of the film, Phil finally wakes up in bed with Rita on the day after Groundhog Day (meaning he's finally broken out of the time-loop and temporal continuity is restored). Doesn't this necessarily imply that everything he did the day before will have repercussions for him? I mean, as far as everyone knows, Phil Connors just suddenly became a local sensation in one day, flashing a lot of money on the same day as the armored car robbery. Wouldn't Phil naturally fall under suspicion?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: On that particular previous day, he didn't rob the armored car. All he did was spend the day doing good deeds and the only repercussions will be people thinking highly of him.

Brian Katcher

A huge part of his "good deeds," no doubt, was his flashing a lot of money around town, buying a full insurance package from Ned, paying the piano teacher a significant wad of cash, gifting the newlyweds tickets for their honeymoon, etc. That's a big part of how Phil became so beloved by so many townspeople in one day. Plus, he bought the ice-carving chainsaw and who knows what else. He wasn't just pulling all that cash out of thin air. I think robbing the armored car every morning had become second-nature to Phil.

Charles Austin Miller

Phil seemed to be trying to do everything just right to break the cycle. It's unlikely he would choose to rob the armor truck. And it's unlikely the truck was robbed that day. However, Phil was a professional with a good paying job. Rita herself had almost $400 in cash on her. If Phil didn't have that much cash on him, he could easily get it from the bank and then write checks (or use a credit card) for everything else.


Question: What is the reason Phil's in this time loop? Just to force him to be nice or be stuck for eternity like that?


Answer: No explanation is given in the film. In an early draft of the script it is revealed a spurned lover cursed him, but that concept was dropped. The writer and directer felt it was more interesting to have the reason left a mystery.

Question: How does the time loop affect everyone else? Like does it create a new timeline each time, or does the whole world reset every morning?


Answer: It only affects Phil, nobody else is affected as the world is indeed reset every time.


Question: Phil asks the landlady at the hotel if there is any hot water, and she laughs and says there wouldn't be any today. Why wouldn't there be any hot water? Wouldn't the hotel have boilers?

Answer: In a lot of old hotels those days used water heaters instead of boilers. A water heater has a limited amount of water heated, stored in a tank. So at the end of the week and every guest showering and using hot water during that week, the hot water will be gone before they refill the water heater at a specific day.


That's not how hot water heaters work. The water temperature is maintained by a thermostat. Once empty, it would take time to heat the refilled tank-but it's not heated on a specific day. The other answer is more correct.


Answer: Her laughter seems to imply that the rooms never have hot water when it's as cold as it was that day; maybe the pipes freeze, or her boiler just isn't very good. This isn't a five-star hotel, it's a small B&B run, it seems, solely by Mrs. Lancaster. Maybe she hasn't gotten around to fixing/arranging to fix whatever is wrong with the hot water, or it's just not something she sees as a big problem.

Question: This might be a silly question but it did puzzle me just a little bit. The old man in the film, when Phil first starts to care for him he starts referring to him as Dad and Pops. Is there supposed to be any actual relation between them, or is he just referring to him as this as sort of a kind title?

Quantom X

Answer: I think he is just using them as terms of elderly respect. It would be pretty callous even for Phil to completely disregard the homeless man at the beginning of the film if he was some sort of relative. The old man also does nothing to indicate a shared history between them.


It was a common term that was often used in the early-to-mid 20th century where a kindly, older man would affectionately be referred to as "Pops." In movies of that era, there was often a minor character referred to in this way, particularly if no-one knew his name (i.e. the stage doorman, the custodian, etc).


Revealing mistake: When Phil drives the truck off the cliff, you can see right through the grill of the truck (meaning there is no radiator or engine), and the transmission is also missing, as you can see when the truck is falling upside down. Without an engine or transmission it would be hard to drive off a cliff.

More mistakes in Groundhog Day

Phil: You wanna throw up here, or you wanna throw up in the car?
Ralph: I think... Both.

More quotes from Groundhog Day
More trivia for Groundhog Day

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