We all know Jenny's past in Forrest Gump, so I wonder:

is Forrest Jr. actually Forrest's son?

Can we draw any conclusions about this from the movie or has it ever been clarified in one or the other direction?

Is it intentionally left ambiguous or are we to just plain believe Jenny's claims of him being his son?

  • 8
    How are we supposed to know? She says that he is and we have no other information.
    – Catija
    Jan 9, 2017 at 13:33
  • 8
    I hope that inhibits any further close-votes. While a strange question on first view, it's actually quite interesting and can be well-reasoned by the film or any other material, as the existing answers show.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:10
  • 11
    No matter what, he is. Being a son sometimes has nothing to do with being a "biological" son! Jan 9, 2017 at 16:40
  • Are you implying that Jenny was...promiscuous? Jan 9, 2017 at 18:39
  • 1
    @DustinDavis well, I suppose she was.. what's that "free love" culture of that time called?
    – NVZ
    Jan 10, 2017 at 3:46

4 Answers 4


There are probably a lot of opinions about this. My opinion is that he is.

But one thing I am sure of is that there are two clues in the movie. Their inclusion into the movie plot indicate that the creators wanted you to conclude that Little Forrest is in fact Forrest's biological son.

When Forrest first finds out about being a father, he asks if he can be with Little Forrest. He goes over to him, sits down, and they both start watching TV. From that point on their actions are identical: They get caught up in the show at the same time, AND they tilt their heads slightly to the left at the same time.

Later on, we see that they both love the same things naturally. Little Forrest loves to fish. Once again they get caught up in the sitting "action" of fishing with their heads tilted slightly to the left.

Please observe this YouTube clip that shows the father and son tilting their heads to the left. Forrest, the father, goes to his son at around 4:20 minutes; they tilt their heads at around 4:38 minutes.

In this YouTube clip, we see at 1:11 minutes that Little Forrest has a knack for ping pong. At 1:18 minutes, both father and son are fishing and again have their heads tilted slightly to the left.

  • 4
    I have never noticed that
    – mattiav27
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:01
  • 11
    Not sure if I remember the movie correctly, but doesn't Forrest also ask Jenny (when he sort of understands it's his son), if the boy is like him (ie. somewhat challenged), to which Jenny replies "No". So Forrest obviously think it's his son (and Jenny probably got why he asked, but didn't correct the assumption). Jan 10, 2017 at 1:16
  • 9
    @BaardKopperud Yes, he does ask her this. The look on his face is painful as he asks if his son has a low IQ like he has. He is elated when she says that Little Forrest is smart. Forrest himself never doubted that Little Forrest was his biological son. My opinion.
    – John
    Jan 10, 2017 at 1:21
  • 1
    @John I always assumed he had some mental illness which resulted in his behavior, not low IQ... Though then again the low IQ would probably be a result of something else.
    – Maurycy
    Jan 10, 2017 at 17:40
  • 2
    @Maurycy I agree that I am making an assumption here. Perhaps the safest thing would be for me to have quoted Forrest himself and describe it as being "not a smart man". Although, if you recall Mrs. Gump's conversation with the school principal, he stated that Forrest's IQ was too low for admission to public school.
    – John
    Jan 10, 2017 at 17:48

She says he is...and she loved Forrest too much to lie to him about that.

I found this related answer (by sanpaco) which includes an excellent excerpt from a character study of Jenny.

"Jenny always loved Forrest, during the whole fucking movie. She loved him so much, she thought she was taking advantage of him and ran away for his sake. She didn’t realize she was wrong until it was almost too late.”


I can agree that he is his son because Forrest Jr. is about 3-4 and remember Forrest was running for 3 years.. so the time line makes sense. However, I believe it could go both ways.. Because Jenny told Forrest she had some kind of virus (implied that it’s HIV) and she knows she’s going to die and Forrest Jr. would be left in this world alone. Because if she knew she was pregnant why wouldn’t she have told him any sooner?

  • 3
    I think she knew she was deeply damaged and wouldn’t have went back to Forrest after finding out she was pregnant to protect him. I think becoming a mom helped ground her and finally find some peace. I think the more interesting question is: would she have reached back out to Forrest if she hadn’t gotten sick? May 4, 2019 at 3:37

I do not know for sure.

There are indications that the boy is really his son.

However, this post in 9 gag suggest otherwise


enter image description here

It seems that Jenny says the same thing to all the men.

Another theory is that because Forest accept him as his son than the boy is his son irrelevant of whether he is the biological father or not.

In that case, the boy is his son only in that sense.

  • 3
    "It seems that Jenny says the same thing to all the men.": that *never ever happens in the movie. 9gag is ... well, 9gag! it's like using xkcd as a solid evidence :) at least your answer should mention that IMO
    – OldPadawan
    May 20, 2023 at 10:20

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