I clearly had a lot of fun with Thomas, using him to take shots at Apple and the black comedy of being in a workplace with dysfunctional leadership, something I knew a fair bit about by then.

In an earlier draft, Ferris’ motivation for going into HR’s basement was that after Carol chewed him out in their last scene, he was worried he’d be fired and was seeking some information he could use to make himself essential. Instead, we intensified his belief in the company, making his words here a blast of morale that Carol didn’t realize she needed. I think that heightens the irony of his fate and definitely makes it harder on Carol, who might otherwise try to rationalize his loss as “that guy I almost fired, making a really poor decision… I mean, of course it’s tragic, but…”

I did a whole lot of ultimately fruitless research into the world of gaming at the time, looking for more concrete examples of bad behavior than “Electronic Arts: It really sucks!” But all the links I found are dead now, so maybe simple was the better way to go. “Our games have soul in them” (wink, wink) was Phil’s addition.