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Nope | The Definitive Explanation

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Reader Interactions


  1. thanks for the great review chris! definitely aligned with some of my thoughts as well. “The Viewers” being unable to distinguish the real thing from the fake seems important, as does the detail that the TMZ reporter is covered in mirrors. It’s easy to criticize TMZ, but the true reason why they continue to exist and perpetrate their obnoxious behavior is because we eat that shit up, in Costco-sized portions.

    • Happy to hear that! Oh man, yeah, the commentary on Viewers is pretty fascinating. TMZ reporter covered in mirrors and looking like an alien feels very on point. They’re both predators, in a way.

  2. Great analysis and explanation! I will say in an interview the Smartless podcast team (Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes) Jordan Peele said NOPE is also an acronym but he wouldn’t give it away. Will Arnett guessed “Not Of Planet Earth” right away and Jordan Peele was stunned that he guessed it on the first try. All that to say it should be fully assumed that the creature is from another planet.

    • Nice! That’s a good detail. It’s one of those conflicting things because in the movie, you don’t really get details (at least that I saw on first viewing) that clarify it’s from another planet rather than something mysterious born on Earth. But clearly Peele had it in mind. So do you accept what Peele says because he wrote it? Or do you go by the details which are in the movie? The whole “death of the author” argument is so fascinating.

  3. Thanks for the explanation Chris! Just saw the movie today and had basically all of my questions answered with this article. Do you have any thoughts on why Gordy spared Ricky before he was shot? Also I’m excited for the WTT episodes on mbdtf!

    • That’s definitely something I should have included in the article. The movie definitely places emphasis on not making eye contact with animals. Then makes sure to have a shot where the tablecloth essentially acts as a veil between Gordy and Ricky. Was it that simple? Maybe if the cloth hadn’t been there, Gordy would have run wild on Ricky. Or it might have been a long enough time between balloon pops that Gordy had calmed down and would have been cool to Ricky regardless of eye contact. Maybe if a balloon popped right then and there, Gordy would have snapped? Logically, I lean more toward the latter than the former. But the emphasis on the tablecloth block the eyes seems to imply the former over the latter.

      Thanks for checking out both the movie content and Ye content! New season should be fun!

      • There’s a brief moment early on where Ricky says that his show is where the ‘exploding fist bump’ was ‘first invented.’ That’s what Gordy was trying to do with young Ricky. Yet another reason why that scene was completely gut-wrenching!

  4. Great analysis!
    I think the question about the tv inside Jean Jacket is about the early cast names sequence where we see what we later know is some part of Jean Jackets mouth and then the Muybridge clip. I don’t think Jean Jacket ate a tv and it remained on and also it is not shown in the digestive system. I think Peele showed the clip like that because 1. Emerald references it in the next scene 2. Is the pilar of the movie because it represents the birth of spectacle in the way we know it today 3. It would be a metaphor because Jean Jackets can literally eat horses and humans and metaphorically eat our perspective of spectacle, represented with the clip, as a “entertaining time”.
    Also, I do not think at all that O.J. is dead in the end. In my opinion, the reason we see O.J. far away, blurry, sideways, iconic and perfectly framed in a square like shape underneath the “out yonder” sign is because Peele wanted to imitate how we see the horse jockey in the Muybridge clip. However this time we connect with him from “out yonder” through his actual offspring (O.J.) He is looking at Emerald/us stationary and proud because the spectacle is over thanks to her. He can finally rest and we appreciate him not as a spectacle but because as a human.
    I truly think that the last shot of the movie with the picture of Jean Jacket in butterfly mode that Emerald took is Peeles way of testing us as an audience after showing what spectacle can be. He is showing us the picture like “look this is a great event right?. Here you go. But remember we gotta learn from what we just saw so… now is your turn to act accordingly because in the end it doesn’t matter if Emerald and O.J. decide to exploit it or not because they can’t do it without your attention. So are you gonna let the world exploit animals again? Are you gonna let the world exploit people again? Are you gonna blindly seek spectacle without thinking about it’s repercussions? NOPE”
    Please let me know what do you think about my takes on the movie. Keep the great work

    • Thank you! Yeah, that seems about the best explanation for the tv inside Jean Jacket as I can think of at the moment. And that reading of OJ does bring a full-circleness to the film which is nice. I also don’t think he’s dead. And like what you’re getting at with a potential reading of the ending but I just will go to my grave saying Peele chose the wrong way to execute on whatever thematic statement he was trying to make. Like say what you’re saying is what he was going for, I still think you need an additional 2-4 minutes of scene to show or tell that. Or have set it up earlier in the movie and put more emphasis on the choice Emerald has to make. As is, there’s no reason for us to think she won’t go for it. And the movie isn’t really asking us what we’d do. Spectacle wasn’t the issue for everyone. It’s not like word of Jean Jacket got out and people flooded to the spot voluntarily despite warnings and were eaten. There are some really great ideas in Nope. But I think it’s just not brought together all that well. But you’re definitely finding a lot to admire!

  5. Hey Chris read your article and loved it. However the whole movie I was trying to figure out what the floating shoe meant? Have any idea?

    • Oh man, I haven’t seen the movie since it released. Can you remind me what part its at? I’ll take a look at it and get back to you.

  6. Another little detail at the end is how Emerald shoots the picture of Jean Jacket. She uses this old fashioned camera inside the fountain that is operated by a coin slot. Em picks up a coin from the ground an takes the shot. Their father was killed by a coin through his eye, taking his vision, now she has taken a picture of Jean Jacket, basically having the sides turned around. While the animal, as an apex predator, was always in a high ground position, constantly observing the humans, it is now being “observed” by them in form of that picture. Exactly in the purpose that cameras are being used as weapons throughout the movie.

    • That’s a great call! I need to rewatch Nope and revamp the piece now that it’s available on streaming.

  7. Jean Jacket didn’t eat OJ because he released the flags that were attached to the horse statue. Before Jean Jacket eats everyone at Jupiter’s Claim, it shows the flags hanging out of the cloud, implying that it hadn’t digested the horse. Then when Jean Jacket “gives the house a new paint job,” it drops the horse statue on the vehicle that OJ is in. OJ makes a comment about “the horse statue messed up its insides, bet it won’t be fucking with those flags again.” So when Jean Jacket is about to eat OJ, he releases the flags, which scares it into avoiding him. Loved the article, thanks!

    • Thanks, Danny!

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