‘Ricky Stanicky’ Ending Explained: Why Was Rod Rimestead Declared A Hero?

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Starring Zac Efron, John Cena, and Andrew Santino, Ricky Stanicky is centered around a lie that three childhood best friends came up with when they were young. They blamed Ricky Stanicky for all their naughty ideas and managed to always get out of trouble. Even as adults, Stanicky continued to be an important, non-existent figure in their lives. When they were young, Dean, JT Levine, and Wes planned on pranking their neighbor on Halloween, but it backfired, and they found themselves in a bit of a pickle. Dean came up with the idea to blame the entire fire incident on an imaginary person named Ricky Stanicky. He left evidence to distract the police from finding the actual culprits. The three best friends continued to use false Ricky stories. They lied about Ricky’s cancer to leave Susan’s baby shower and attend a concert. All these years, they managed to get away with the lies, but when JT missed the birth of his child, the families took an interest in finding out more about this mysterious entity.

 Spoiler Alert


Why was Rod hired by Dean and his friends?

The boys headed to Atlantic City for a good time while lying to their partners about their best friend Ricky Stanicky being sick. They created Ricky’s social media account to make his existence all the more believable. It was at a bar in Atlantic City that they met adult entertainer/impersonator Rock Hard Rod. He performed at a local casino and offered Dean, JT, and Wes tickets to his show for half the price in return for free alcohol and food. JT was vocal about not wanting Rod to tag along with them, and the impersonator took the hint. Dean apologized on behalf of his friends, and Rod handed him his contact details in case he ever needed a trained actor for a gig.

The minute Dean turned on his phone, he realized that Susan was about to give birth. JT wanted to be there with Susan during birth, but fate had a different plan, and the baby arrived six weeks early. The situation had gotten tense at the hospital, and Wes was about to confess the truth. But Dean stopped him and lied about Ricky not having cancer and that their best friend had pranked them to celebrate his fifth anniversary of being cancer-free. The families had started to doubt the Ricky Stanicky story, and to confirm that the man in question was indeed real, JT’s mother-in-law, Leona, asked the three best friends to invite Ricky to the bris. Dean realized that they had no choice but to accept the invitation. To put all the doubts to rest, they needed to present someone as Ricky Stanicky, and Dean was reminded of the alcoholic impersonator he met at Atlantic City. Dean contacted Rod, and he immediately agreed to the gig. Rod’s shows were not sensational, and he was in search of a big break. With Ricky Stanicky, he had the opportunity to try something new and to be a different person altogether. He familiarized himself with the Bible—the book of lies related to Ricky that the boys came up with.

Rod wanted to perfect his role, and he decided to sober himself up before the big day. After a rocky start, Rod smoothly transformed himself into the Ricky Stanicky that the three friends always talked about. To their surprise, Rod had studied the character thoroughly and had done his research on every person present at the party. Even though Leona tried to deter his confidence, Rod had his answers ready. In a short span of time, Rod managed to impress Dean and JT’s boss, Ted, simply by smooth talking. Rod ended up circumcising JT’s newborn and saving the day for his family. After the party ended, Dean, JT, and Wes paid Rod extra for his dedication to the job. The friends thought it was a little strange that he refused to be acknowledged as Rod and wanted to be called Ricky Stanicky even after the party was over. 


Why did Dean want Rod to leave?

The next morning, when Dean and JT met Ted, they learned that he had hired Ricky Stanicky, aka Rod. After his impressive input at the party regarding his business, Ted thought it would only make sense to hire him. Dean and JT did not expect Rod to return after the gig, but Ted was extremely convinced about Ricky’s potential. When Dean and JT confronted Rod, he seemed completely delusional. He refused to return to his previous life and hoped that his ‘friends’ would look out for him. Dean warned Rod that things would end badly if he chose to live the life of Ricky Stanicky. The lies that they managed to escape from once would be impossible to get past now, but Rod refused to take his advice. Along with a job Rod had no clue about, Dean’s girlfriend, Erin, a journalist, planned on interviewing him for his philanthropic endeavors. Dean wanted to stop Erin, fearing that her career would be ruined if the world figured out that Ricky Stanicky was a lie, but to do so, he had to confess the entire truth, and he was not yet ready to do so. Dean and JT’s plan was to get Ricky fired, and they assumed it would be an easy task, considering he had no clue about his job.

The next day, during the meeting, Dean and JT intentionally tried to put Ricky on the spot, but no matter what they did, Ricky’s silly responses seemed to excite their boss. According to him, Ricky brought a fresh perspective, and he considered doing more charitable work to better the image of the company. Every plan Dean and JT came up with failed, and when Ricky asked their advice on warning the boss about his strange mannerisms, they nudged him to go ahead and confront Ted. And once again, to their surprise, Ted was glad that Ricky dared to discuss the issue with him, and without a second thought, he announced Ricky was in charge of the merger with World River. Dean was disappointed by the sudden turn of events. He had been working on the merger plan for months, and all of a sudden, an alcoholic impersonator from Atlantic City took it away from him.


How did the truth about Ricky Stanicky come to the surface?

Dean lashed out at Rod after Ted’s announcement; he did not expect his life to change so drastically, and he struggled to keep his emotions in check. Dean asked Rod to quit and reminded him how Ricky Stanicky was a lie they came up with. Rod pulled out an ID to prove that he had legally adopted the identity of Ricky (Richard Barbara Stanicky). Rod requested that Dean think about the last couple of days from his side to understand where he was coming from. He was an alcoholic who had no job and no friends. His life was a disaster, and the gig helped him become a better person. He became sober, got a well-paying job, and had people he could call his friends. While Dean empathized with his situation, he did not think that lying was the right solution. Rod had no choice but to confess that he had people looking for him and that he would not survive if he returned to Atlantic City. He had no idea why people were looking for him, but he assumed that they were one of the many he owed money to. Becoming Ricky Stanicky was his way out of the mess.

Dean admitted that he was the one who messed up his perfect life. Erin would have never stopped him if he told her the truth, yet his childhood habit of lying to get away from tough situations stayed with him. Lying had become a part of who he was, and the life that he had carefully built started to fall apart because of his compulsive need to lie. Dean’s father was an alcoholic who used to rough him up time and again, and that was why, from a young age, he started lying to his friends because the truth was hard to confront. Dean finally gathered up the courage to come clean to Erin, only to realize that already she knew the truth. 

Erin was alarmed when Dean mentioned that Ricky had to travel to Nairobi to fight Ebola; she knew it was a lie, and she confronted Ricky about it. He showed her the Bible that Dean, JT, and Wes had come up with, and she could not figure out why Dean had been lying to her. Erin doubted Dean’s love for her, and she decided she needed some time to be on her own. On the day of the screening of the MFMBC Heroes segment, Ricky went missing, and Dean decided to confess the truth to everyone present at the watch party. He admitted that Ricky Stanicky was a lie he and his friends came up with, and that was why the MFMBC had decided to cancel his segment. He apologized to everyone he had hurt in the process, particularly the people from World River who had come for the merger. Dean assured them that Summerhayes Financial was a trustworthy company, and his actions must never impact their partnership. After Dean’s little speech, Ted fired him from the company.


Why was Rod Rimestead declared a hero?

During Ricky Stanicky‘s ending, Rod, aka Richard Barbara Stanicky, was interviewed for the MFMBC Heroes segment. Ted was embarrassed, and he assumed that it would only bring negative attention to his company. The host of the show, Stan Grant, revealed to the public how an adult impersonator from Atlantic City, Rodney Rimestead, managed to bag an executive position at a finance company. In the interview, Rod confessed that he led a miserable life, and it took only three people to completely change it. Surprisingly, Rod spoke positively about them and suggested that it was they who encouraged him to become a better version of himself. Ricky Stanicky was his opportunity to move on and become the man he always wanted to be. In the interview, he stated that the Bible written by the three friends guided him to live a good life. Becoming Ricky helped him get sober and eventually land a job at Summerhayes Financial. Ricky believed that Ted had a good heart, and without him, feel-good investing would not have been possible. Ricky did not think he was the hero; according to him, the three men he met at the bar were the heroes of his story. Even though Ricky’s story began with fraud, it eventually turned out to be a tale of redemption and rebirth. Ricky was crowned an everyday hero because of his belief that anyone can become the person they want to be.

Ricky Stanicky ends with everyone cheering for Ricky. His story was strangely inspiring, and the people from World River were impressed that Ted believed in the man’s potential even before he proved himself. Ricky’s story helped them understand the company better, and they were glad that their mindsets matched. Dean spoke in favor of Ted, and Ted realized that he had made a mistake by firing Dean. Ultimately, he accepted Dean back into his company, and finally, the merger deal was finalized. Dean did not expect Ricky’s story to make it to television, and Erin explained that she took a real interest in his story when she learned that he was hired by Summerhayes Financial. The story eventually got picked up by MFMBC, and that was how Ricky made it to the screen. Dean and Erin patched up and the threat that Rod was running away from turned out to be harmless. Billy Idol had sent Rod a notice for impersonating him onstage, and his men threatened to take him to court if he dared to perform his songs again. The film ends with the three best friends accepting Rod as the real Ricky Stanicky. The chance encounter turned out to be a blessing for everyone, and the new addition to the group worked out just fine. 


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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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