All the Nope Easter Eggs and Details You Missed

Jordan Peele’s MIND.
Daniel Kaluuya Keke Palmer Brandon Perea
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Warning: Major spoilers for Jordan Peele’s Nope ahead.

Jordan Peele's newest social thriller Nope finally arrived on July 22, and the Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer–led sci-fi horror comedy has taken the world by storm—and we’re not talking about the dusty whirlwind the film’s alien creates before it strikes.

Nope seems to be the Academy Award–winning filmmaker’s most divisive film yet, receiving both critical acclaim for the cinematography,  Peele’s direction, the cast’s performances, and the plot, while also being criticized for “confusing” and “empty” thematic storytelling. After trying to piece together the puzzling storyline that Jordan Peele has become renowned for, you might have exited the theater feeling exhilarated or disoriented—or both.

Nope tells the story of Otis “O.J.” Haywood Jr. (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer), two siblings who take over the family horse ranch business after their father’s mysterious and untimely death. When O.J. and Emerald discover the presence of a remarkable—and threatening—phenomenon in the sky, they set out on a mission to capture it on camera.

The film deals with many themes, but at the center of it all is the theme of spectacle, which is introduced in the first few minutes of the film with the Bible passage Nahum 3:6: “I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.”

Within the Biblical context of this passage, being made a spectacle is the most brutal of punishments. Spectacles are barbaric, as they strip the autonomy and dignity of a living thing for the entertainment, amusement, and invasive curiosity of others. To bear witness to a spectacle is not always an experience of wonder. As shown by the rampage of the film’s predatory alien entity and the tragedy of Gordy the chimpanzee, witnessing a spectacle can be an experience of sheer terror and trauma.

“The word I said the most on set was spectacle,” Jordan Peele said while appearing on Entertainment Weekly’s Around the Table series to promote the film. “A lot of our analysis dealt with spectacle and this business of spectacle. There’s a magic to it, something I’ve devoted my life to being a part of, and there’s also something insidious about it. And when you have that duality, that’s a perfect kind of thing for me to tackle because I love that. I love duality.”

Through the lens of spectacle, Nope teaches lesson after lesson about the greed of Hollywood, the insatiable hunger of capitalism, the false promise of legacy that a spectacle offers, and who and what we are willing to sacrifice for the spotlight.

Didn’t catch all of that on first watch? Well, you know what they say about Jordan Peele films: They are made for rewatching. But if you can’t wait until your second watch, we’ve got you covered. Below, check out all the Nope Easter eggs and tiny details you might have missed.

The opening credits are seen through Jean Jacket’s mouth, which is shaped like a camera lens.

The alien entity that makes Agua Dulce, California, its home is dubbed Jean Jacket by Otis Jr. during the second half of the film, named after the horse that his sister Emerald never got the opportunity to train, even though their father had promised her so. The opening credits of the film are seen through what appears to be a square tunnel with billowing walls. Though it’s not confirmed until much later, this point of view is actually through Jean Jacket’s eye/mouth, which is shaped like a camera lens. When the alien reveals its full form in the final minutes of the movie, this green camera lens eye/mouth is seen in even better detail, and makes a repeated snapping noise…kind of like the shutter of a camera.

This visual also reinforces the driving plot point of the film: Emerald’s obsession with capturing a spectacle on camera. As the Haywood siblings are the fictional ancestors of the real-life unnamed Black man featured in the first motion picture, who had been erased from history, documenting a spectacle like the alien can fulfill their legacy and permanently etch their names in stone. No more being forgotten, no more being erased, no matter what it takes.

Angel is a walking reference.

A bad miracle is still a miracle. And Angel (Brandon Perea), the Fry’s Electronic Store employee who becomes an accomplice in Emerald and O.J.’s mission to get the “Oprah shot” of Jean Jacket, acts as a symbolic guardian angel for the siblings as they bear witness to this bad miracle. Literally named Angel, he lends the siblings his apartment as a safe haven when they are forced to escape Agua Dulce, repeatedly voices his belief and support in what they are pursuing, and is one of the few characters who wants their documentation of the alien entity to save lives, and possibly save the world. And as a bonus, Angel wears a T-shirt that says “Earth” with imagery of the cosmos. He’s all in, and he sticks by Emerald and O.J. up until the very end.

Gordy was a cautionary tale.

Gordy the chimp’s tragic story opens the film and is returned to and referenced many times throughout because of how central it is to the themes and plot. O.J. and Emerald’s Agua Dulce neighbor Ricky “Jupe” Park may be the owner and showman of his very own Wild West–themed amusement park, Jupiter’s Claim (based on a role he played in a ’90s kid Western movie), but back in the day, the former child star was also known for appearing on a family sitcom called Gordy’s Home, starring Gordy the chimp. 

One fateful day, Gordy was accidentally triggered by a prop and killed nearly everyone on set. The chimp was later killed by police right in front of young Jupe, who was the only cast member to make it out of the attack unscathed.

The Gordy incident is a tragic spectacle, one caused by the desire to tame a wild animal and use it for spectacle: profit and entertainment. Despite the attack being one of the most traumatic moments of his entire life, Jupe still tries to capitalize on the spectacle as a grown man, charging a couple $50,000 to spend the night in the hidden, unsettling Gordy’s Home museum he’s assembled in his office. He dramatically retells the story of the attack to Emerald and O.J. by referencing an SNL sketch that recreated it (a detail xoNecole’s Brooke Obie points out is a spectacle of a spectacle, one Jupe refers to because he can’t fully access his own traumatic memory). Gordy’s story was a cautionary tale, one that Jupe clearly—and unfortunately—does not learn from.

Steven Yeun as Ricky “Jupe” Park in Nope

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Jupe wanted to buy the entire Haywood ranch to keep the Star Lasso Experience going.

Through discussions between O.J. and Emerald, it’s revealed that the Haywood ranch is struggling, and O.J. has been selling horses to temporarily keep the family business afloat. At the beginning of the film, O.J. and Emerald visit Jupe at Jupiter’s Claim to negotiate buying the horses back at a later date. Jupe acts a bit cagey, hesitating to negotiate or lock in a deal with O.J. However, it’s later established that Jupe is interested in buying the entire Haywood ranch to expand Jupiter’s Claim. He invites O.J. and Emerald to his new live show, the Star Lasso Experience, in efforts to get them excited and interested about the potential expansion of the park.

When the Star Lasso Experience is finally shown, Jupe’s motive behind his repeated interest in buying the ranch and his strange behavior is also revealed. Jupe knows about the alien entity—and has known for months. While speaking to the crowd, he turns away from the camera, revealing the adornment on the back of his suit jacket: a rhinestone design of the alien amongst the clouds.

Jupe has been using the horses O.J. sells him as sacrifice, as bait to lure the alien down from the sky. The alien devouring the horses is the entire live show—and Jupe wants to buy as many horses as he can to keep the “life-changing” attraction going. He has his children dress up in Martian costumes, sells Martian-shaped stuffed animals, and institutes a no-phone policy for his audience of paying spectators in hopes of preserving the wonder—and the exclusivity of his spectacle. 

As though Gordy taught him nothing, Jupe thinks he can tame this unknown entity for commodity and his endless pursuit of fame. Jupe claims he has a trustworthy connection to the entity, believing the alien is a flying saucer/alien ship carrying “viewers” who have an interest in him. But he gravely miscalculates and underestimates the creature. The alien shows up earlier than he expects it to and devours the entire audience, including him and his family. A life-changing attraction, indeed.

Jordan Peele recently told Entertainment Weekly that Jupiter’s Claim is one setting that holds symbolism of many of the film’s themes, noting that Nope is “about the Hollywood mythology of the Wild West.” “And not only the sugarcoating of the barbarism of it, but the erasure of the Black cowboy,” said Jordan. “That’s all wrapped up in this movie. In a lot of ways, it’s about Hollywood.”

Jean Jacket terrorizes Agua Dulce at 6:13 p.m., the same time Gordy attacked on Gordy’s Home.

As previously explained by Jupe, during a season-two Gordy's Home episode all about celebrating Gordy’s birthday, a balloon rose to the ceiling and popped when it hit the stage lights, startling Gordy and sending the chimp into a rampage at 6:13 p.m. In Jupe’s showy introduction to the Star Lasso Experience, he shares that the alien has appeared in Agua Dulce every Friday at 6:13 p.m. for the past six months. The time of Gordy’s attack and Jean Jacket’s attacks, 6:13, could also be another Bible reference. 

Two of the most notable passages are Matthew 6:13—“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”—and Romans 6:13—“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death.” Both of these passages could hold meaning for the characters of Nope, as the temptation of spectacle can make one act as an instrument of wickedness, or a cog in the machine of fame and capitalism. Bottom line? Spectacle is the evil they should fear. (Bonus: A balloon is what sets off Gordy on the Gordy’s Home set, and A giant balloon is what kills Jean Jacket in the end.)

Jean Jacket’s excretion on the ranch house explains Otis Sr.’s death.

When Jean Jacket tries to intimidate and trap Emerald and Angel in the ranch house, it excretes blood from the Jupiter’s Claim victims it had eaten shortly before and violently spits out all the things it failed to digest, such as the flag pennants and other metal things: the decoy horse, stadium seats, and loose change. This confirms that Otis Sr. was inadvertently killed by Jean Jacket, as the alien flew over the ranch house excreting indigestible items like the key that stabbed one of the Haywood horses and the coin that went through Otis Sr.’s eye and skull. (In a callback to the item that killed her father, it’s coins that Emerald ultimately uses to successfully get the “Oprah shot” of Jean Jacket using the Winkin’ Well at Jupiter’s Claim.)

Keke Palmer as Emerald Haywood in Nope

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The chapter titles refer to the movie’s animals and foreshadow death.

Each chapter title in the film refers to the name of an animal in the film: Ghost, Clover, Gordy, Lucky, and Jean Jacket. However, when each title card is shown, the animal is killed by the end of the accompanying scene. Ghost and Clover are eaten by the alien entity, Gordy is killed by police on the set of Gordy’s Home, and Jean Jacket the alien is killed by Emerald when she releases the Jupiter’s Claim inflatable into the air. The only animal that doesn’t die is Lucky the horse, whom O.J. rides during the final fight against Jean Jacket. In a literal lucky turn of events, O.J. and the horse both make it out alive.

The balancing shoe could be another “bad miracle.”

One of the biggest unexplained details of Nope is the blood-spattered shoe that balances on its heel during Gordy’s attack. It’s intentionally shown and focused in on, and Jupe even takes it as a keepsake—it’s later seen in a glass case in his hidden Gordy’s Home museum. While many fans have theorized that the shoe could be balancing because of mystic alien powers, others believe the shoe could be the film’s second “bad miracle,” an unexplainable occurrence triggered by evil or terror. O.J.’s constant reminder not to look an animal in the eye for fear of putting the animal on defense is what becomes the key to battling Jean Jacket in the end. During Gordy’s attack, Jupe hid underneath a table where the shoe was directly in his line of sight—Jupe’s life was potentially saved by focusing on the strange balancing shoe instead of looking Gordy in the eye.

Bonus Easter egg: Gordy’s Home opening credits

Jordan Peele shared the Gordy’s Home opening credits on Twitter two days after the film’s release, offering a better look at what story the sitcom told before it came to a bloody, untimely end. A somewhat diverse, all-American family of astronauts and their pet chimpanzee. How…idyllic. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, an embedded Easter egg in the show’s credits is the Gordy’s Home setting of Cape Canaveral, Florida: the launch site of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded in one of the most public tragic spectacles in history.

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Bonus Easter egg: The Jupiter’s Claim website

If you visit, you’ll be taken to the official website of Nope’s pivotal theme park. “Hello! Former child actor and reality tv star, Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park here, of Kid Sheriff fame!” reads the greeting message on the site. “I’m thrilled to have you drift on into the dusty claim I’ve staked in these here parts!” 

There are several parts of the park to explore and read more about on the site, games to play and “merch” to buy, all to the tune of cheery Western cowboy-inspired theme music. But if you stay on the site long enough, the music turns into ominous thundering and the weather indicator in the top-right corner turns into a cloud with pennant flags hanging from the bottom. The site turns a nightly dark blue, and Jupiter’s Claim is shadowed in darkness. The words on the site even change into cryptic messages—the Nope-d version of the Guestbook page turns cheery reviews of Jupiter’s Claim into wary, mysterious messages about the goings-on at the park.

On the Winkin’ Well page, the dark message reads: “Look down into the well. Look up toward the skies above. Whatever you may wish, it will not change anything. It cannot be undone. It cannot be unseen. If you fear the darkness that lies ahead, peer into the well and pray you may be spared.”

And on the tab for the park’s Bank, there’s a warning: “It’s the money you spend here to make the experience feel more fun, but do not be fooled. Our currency pushes the lie forward. It precipitates the fears of the unknown. You can spend money here. You can continue this cycle of terror. But know this, you have been warned.”

Jupiter’s Claim also has “official” Twitter and Instagram accounts, which post many of the cryptic and menacing words featured throughout the darker version of the site, alongside cheery advertisements for the fictional park. We love an interactive Easter egg.

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This post originally ran on Teen Vogue.