Jordan Peele’s Nope is now out digitally, so I thought we’d do a big breakdown of the film to discuss all the hidden details, Easter Eggs, and things you missed in the movie. Its story centres around the Haywoods trying to prove that there’s an alien spacecraft visiting their farm, but they unearth something much, much weirder. The movie is based loosely on the legends of Skinwalker Ranch, which is a hot site for paranormal activity. Over the decades, reports placed several UFOs at the location, but the movie changes events up to make the creature a living UAP that feeds on horses and humans.
In the same way that Peele laced hidden imagery throughout Get Out and Us, Nope also boasts a lot of subliminal content.
For example, when viewers get to see Gordy’s Home at one point, there are Panavision cameras visible as we approach the set. Later on, at Jupiter’s Claim, we see that he’s selling alien toys and masks, which have head shapes similar to the tops of the cameras. If you think that’s a reach, then it’s also important to bear in mind that these masks are later used by his kids to frighten the Haywoods. What you might not have noticed is that they’re also wearing monkey costumes, calling back to Gordy’s.
Cameras appear throughout the movie, and there are constant talks about the Oprah shot, the impossible shot, and so on.
The Haywoods set up cameras around their home, and we get a history of the device throughout, with Peele showing several digital, film, and analogue models. Elements of Jean Jacket are also based on a camera, and after the title card pops up, we travel through what we learn is its mouth. This is built to look like one of the first-ever cameras in existence, and as we travel through the passage, we see the first-ever motion picture.
The Haywoods are descendants of this man – who also just so happens to be riding a horse. While the first-ever cinematographer has his name down in the annals of history, the rider is often overlooked, and I feel like this film is very much about how Hollywood chews people up and spits them out. Jean Jacket itself literally chews people up and spits them out, possibly continuing this theme. The name of the horse’s rider is completely made up because we don’t actually know it – again tying back to this idea. I even have a theory that the Haywoods wouldn’t even get the fame and fortune that they were seeking in the end because the focus would remain squarely on the alien hovering over them. We also see several news crews show up who’d probably report the story before they even had the chance to sell it.
Keith David’s character Otis is a great example of this. After he’s killed by a falling coin, we later learn that this was caused by Jean Jacket raining down debris after a meal.
Otis’ greatest achievement was working on The Scorpion King, from which we see stills. The Scorpion King‘s logo also appears on the hoody that OJ wears at the end. Unfortunately, we find out that they replaced the horses with camels, so all of Otis’ work went to waste.
OJ ends up riding a horse adorned with a series of flags coming, which is similar to the decoy horse that Jean Jacket ate earlier in the movie. It ended up being unable to digest this, showing why it avoids eating OJ and the horse later on.
Either way, I feel like this metaphor for Hollywood’s treatment of people extends to animals, actors, horse wranglers, people of colour, set crew, and all manner of creatives in the Hollywood machine. The name OJ is likely also a reference to OJ Simpson, which is teased at during the scene on set while Haywood is riffing on Hollywood.
There’s a great moment where OJ is fired from the set after his horse is deemed too dangerous, and we can see a VFX one being wheeled in behind him to replace it.
Gordy’s Home Meaning
Gordy’s attack is a complete disaster, and it’s set off by the bursting of some balloons for the character’s birthday. This idea of balloons popping is very important, as it’s also the way that the UAP Jean Jacket is killed in the final few scenes.
Jupe ends up surviving this attack because he doesn’t look Gordy directly in the eyes. For the majority of it, he’s staring at the floor, and when the monkey eventually comes face-to-face with him, he looks at it through a veil rather than maintaining direct eye contact.
Jupe initially stares at a shoe which is facing upwards at a slight angle. This metaphorically ties in with the idea of a Bad Miracle, which is something that OJ and Emerald discuss later on at the farm. They talk about how the UAP is a bad miracle – something that seems impossible but also brings great tragedy and terror. Their father was killed, and it’s now stalking the farm – this miraculous creature is hugely negative. It’s the same with the shoe during the rampage: though it seems like something incredible, it’s happening in the midst of the vicious monkey attack.
Being this close to death with an animal that still ends up fist-bumping him is likely why Jupe believes that he can also tame Jean Jacket.
The fist bump could even be a reference to the name of Peele’s production company, Monkey Paw, which we see pop up in the title. Either way, the movie repeatedly hammers home the idea that wild animals can’t be fully tamed. There’s also the original horse, Jean Jacket, who Emerald couldn’t tame, and the UAP that Jupe also fails to control.
However, he still believes that he can turn something wild into entertainment, calling back to Gordy’s Home. Jupe keeps a shrine for this, which we visit in the back of his office, and you might also notice that he has the scissors from Us on his desk. This calls back to Peele’s prior work, and it’s such a great inclusion in the film.
That movie is also littered with the palindromic number, 11:11, which refers to Bible verses, figures, and reflections. This number also appears on Angel’s van, and we’ll talk more about him in just a bit.
Jupe also has the shoe in his secret room. Later on, we see another item of clothing that he’s made for the arrival of Jean Jacket. In an awesome bit of costume design, you can actually see that the back of his jacket has a UFO firing a beam. I hope this jacket is actually a jean jacket – it’d be the best Easter egg I’ve ever seen.
The room also has the intro for Gordy’s home playing on a screen. Jordan Peele actually released this full clip on Twitter, and it contains clips from Cape Canaveral due to the dad being an astronaut. This was the launch site of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded, killing everyone onboard. This was a massive tragedy that was widely publicised, similar to Gordy’s attack on TV.
It very much acts as a cautionary tale from which Jupe doesn’t learn, and it’s clear that he tried to profit from the tragedy. A couple paid him $50,000 to spend a night in the hidden museum and his actions with Jean Jacket show that he never shied away from causing a spectacle for profit’s sake.
The movie even opens with a quote discussing spectacles in general, and this comes from the Old Testament’s Book Of Nahum. The idea of profit can, of course, be represented through money, and there might be some irony in the fact that Otis took to selling horses and was killed by a coin.
It is even possible that Jupe didn’t learn from this, because he repressed the entire event. When talking about it, he tells the story through what happened on a related SNL sketch rather than what he saw with his own eyes. This might have replaced his entire recollection of the events which is why he talks about the sketch rather than the horror he witnessed.
Huge shoutouts to New Rockstars for pointing out that this might be a nod to an SNL Sketch called Papa Peepers which was about a human monkey going ape s**t.
Jupiter’s Claim Meaning
There are another couple of cool details in the office meeting. OJ asks Jupe if it’s possible to buy back his horses. Jupe seems a bit cagey about this, as he couldn’t sell them back to him because he’s been feeding them to Jean Jacket. He also hints towards wanting to buy the Haywood ranch in order to expand Jupiter’s Claim. As the creature lives in a cloud just above it, this would give him better access to the beast, and he could build an entire live show around it.
Peele told Entertainment Weekly that Jupiter’s Claim also has some symbolism to it. It’s very much about how Hollywood has made a mythology out of the Wild Wild West. He stated that movies have sanitised the time period and that it not only erased the Black Cowboy but also toned down how brutal the time was. I believe this also ties in with the Kid Sheriff poster that we see, and it shows how Jupe has very much played to this simplified version of the time period.
Whether it’s the Kid Sheriff poster or Gordy’s home, it’s all highly sanitised throughout every Hollywood depiction. However, Peele placed some Black Cowboy movie posters throughout the Haywood home, hinting at the legacy that’s often forgotten about. Peele deliberately included a poster for Buck and The Preacher, which he said was the first film he watched that acknowledged a black cowboy.
The live show at Jupiter’s Claim is a complete bloodbath, and it’s horrifying watching the onlookers travel through Jean Jacket’s digestive system.
This attack actually happens at 6:13. Coincidentally, Gordy’s attack ended up lasting 6 minutes and 13 seconds. Jupe clearly picked this time for that very reason, showing how his entire fate was attached to that.
We see one of his co-stars there who had her face mauled by Gordy and she’s wearing a veil covering it. This is likely a nod to Charla Nash, an actress who was attacked by a chimpanzee that also happened to be an animal actor. She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show wearing a similar veil to the one sported by Mary Joe Ellio.
You might pick up on there being a pig that survived this encounter. That’s because it’s physically impossible for a pig to turn its head and look up.
The movie has obvious references to several Steven Spielberg movies. This includes Jaws, as both the shark and Jean Jacket were killed by a pressurised air explosion. There are also nods to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and I’m sure that the noise Jean Jacket makes is pulling notes from the ship in the Spielberg classic.
I also feel like there are a lot of nods to War of the Worlds, namely with the raining blood falling on the farmhouse. This was something that appeared in the original work and also Spielberg’s Tom Cruise adaptation.
Peele also stated that he was inspired by King Kong, which appropriately centres around humans attempting to catch a wild animal so that they can put it on display for profit.
It’s also likely that Peele referenced his favourite movie, The Shining.
Get Out featured a tonne of callbacks to it, and the director said that it’s massively influenced his work.
More Great Nope Details You Missed
The trailer for Get Out had the title descending and this was similar to the way the credits moved in that film. On top of this, each chapter in that movie started off with a title card denoting the days. Here, Peele does something similar, but the title cards are the names of each animal that appears in the movie. One thing you might not notice, though, is that every animal name that appears then leads to the death of said animal in the next scene.
Another source of intrigue is Angel. He’s is a very interesting character who comes from the ill-fated Fry’s Electronic store that’s now out of business.
Each Fry’s has its own theme, with every store being set up in a certain way. This Fry’s theme is coincidentally UFOs, which is why we see a big spaceship model sticking out of the entrance.
Huge credit to Teen Vogue for pointing out that he might actually represent a guardian angel for the pair as they navigate this miracle. He constantly watches over them, providing support and even a safe haven in his apartment after they leave the ranch. He also wears a shirt that says Earth on it alongside an image of the cosmos, possibly tying in with this idea.
He’s the one who brings up the term UAP, and this is a real-world phrase that was only coined recently. The Pentagon released a statement saying they were examining Unexplained Aerial Phenomena, and in official circles, it’s replaced the term UFO. It’s even possible that Nope stands for Not Of Planet Earth, but let us know what you think below.
He also talks about the Ancient Aliens documentary on The History Channel which… yeah… Aliens.
Other great details include how Emerald messes up the amount of Greats when discussing her ancestor on the horse. Her dad Otis also drops this speech word for word later on, and it’s clear she’s memorised this, which is why it’s missing the extra great that would be needed due to them being Otis’ children.
The director Antlers Holst can also be seen looking over footage of predators, likely tying into this idea of attempting to tame them.
There are also many shots of animal eyes, and this connects to the idea of avoiding eye contact in order to navigate Jean Jacket as well as a lot of real-life predators. That could tie into the use of “Sunglasses At Night,” which is first played in Angel’s van. This is about a guy who wears his sunglasses at all times, and this would stop someone from seeing directly into his eyes.
OJ brings up the Navy UFO clip which he saw online, and this references the fuzzy footage that was declassified in 2021.
The TMZ reporter that shows up also has a cool little detail attached. His name is Ryder Muybridge, and the name Muybridge belonged to the man who filmed the rider on the horse. He captured the first-ever motion picture and was world-renowned, while the rider wasn’t. Essentially, the TMZ guy was going to cash in and be remembered, rather than the Haywoods, just like their great-grandpa.
Lastly, we see Emerald do an Akira slide on the motorbike, which Peele has said is one of his favourite movies. He actually turned down the chance to direct it, because you don’t f**k with a classic. Emerald leads it to the well, and this of course was foreshadowed by the Kid Sheriff Poster from which the movie pulled.