Photo Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Universal
If you’re like me, and saw Jordan Peele’s Us, you probably spent hours googling different theories and conspiracies, but the gag is, you’re still confused. Don’t trip, I got your back!
Okay so after you walked out of the theatre, confused AF, you were probably like, “Yes, okay it was good, and yes it’s Jordan Peele but I—I don’t get it.” That was the purpose. This film is supposed to make you think, and its one you might have to watch a few times before you pick everything up, so don’t feel bad. I’m going to try my best to break down all the symbols, double meanings and the odd little nuances we all may have missed the first go round.
Read on as I do the leg work FOR you (you’re welcome) and give you the somewhat short version, of all these crazy Reddit theories.
SYMBOLS (Double Meanings):
-Rabbits: The duality with these, are that they symbolize rebirth and they also procreate QUICK. BUT, they’re another form of the tethered because rabbits are also often used as test subjects. Zora also wears a shirt with a rabbit on it and a sweatshirt with the word “Thỏ”, Vietnamese for rabbit.
-The Tunnels: At the very beginning we see text on the screen talking about how there are tunnels underneath the U.S. that basically serve no “known purpose”, but thats where the tethered live. This is EARLY early foreshadowing. Also, when Jason is at the beach and playing in the sand he is making tunnels not sandcastles.
-11:11: “Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.” When we FIRST see this symbol its on the homeless man’s sign when little Adelaide wanders away from her parents down to the beach in her flashback. Then we see it again on their way into Santa Cruz, when that same man is on the stretcher and throughout the movie on clocks a few more times. The last time we see it, it is actually carved into the forehead of the homelessman’s doppelgänger. This is supposed to be a repeated warning. Yes, the tethered are the “evil” coming, but they also bring out the evil we didn’t know was in the characters. Like when they are leaving the Tyler’s home and make almost a competition out of how many kills each family member has. After all, you never know what’s really inside of you; until you’re pushed to your limits right?
-Hands Across America: A campaign idea in 1986 where 6.5 million people held hands in a human chain for fifteen minutes across the U.S. where participants donated ten dollars to reserve their place in line. The proceeds were donated to local charities to fight hunger and homelessness and help those in poverty. The idea of this program wad great but it did little to actually fight hunger. This is similar to the tethered who were created by the Government to control the population but they failed. The tethered are all seen holding hands throughout the movie and of course at the very end.
LITTLE THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:
-The title: Yes, Us literally means, like Adelaide’s family said when they saw they doppelgängers “It’s us,” but it also could be a double meaning for the United States.
– Their tethers are physical manifestations of their obsessions: Gabe is obsessed with status and constantly talks about his boat, and is clearly envious of their family friends, the Tyler’s who are more well off than they are. When he fights both his and Mr. Tyler’s tethers, its on the boat. Kitty Tyler is vain and talks about her cosmetic procedures she’s had done, and her doppelgänger is seen putting on lipgloss and gazing at herself in the mirror. Zora also talks about not wanting to run track anymore but yet she is constantly chased by her tether.
OVER ARCHING THEME:
So at the end, the one thing above all other things that gave most viewers a run for their money, was when Adelaide and her family finally escape in the ambulance; assumingly making their way south to Mexico. Adelaide and her and Jason both give each other a sort of knowing glance and then Jason puts on his mask—END SCENE. And its like BOOM, wait wtf just happened???
So the craziest, yet also most plausible Reddit theory is that Jason is also his doppelgänger Pluto, all along. So we come know by the end of the film that the Adelaide we know, is actually Red the entire time. The two actually switched places all those years ago in the funhouse. We see at the end, how Red dragged the real Adelaide down to the tunnels and chained her to the bed.
But with Jason, someone suggested that last summer when he “went missing” because he was supposedly locked in the closet, he actually was switched with Pluto. This would explain how at the end Jason (actually Pluto) is able to put his hands up and make the real Jason, walk into the firey car wreck. The tethered are supposed to have a certain level of control over the humans so this would make sense. Also the “real Jason” who’s disguised as Pluto, is the one with the burnt face. This is because every time Pluto was attempting to do that magic trick he “forgot”, it really worked, and burned the face of Jason who felt the actual affects down the tunnels. DANGGGG.
SO this all made sense to me but the one thing I couldn’t figure out was, if Red and Adelaide switched places all this time WHY was the real Adelaide so evil and how did she have such a hatred for the humans if she was in fact just kidnapped. WELL, all those years she spent in the tunnels was a symbol for how someone can fall from grace. The humans represent the upper class and the tethered are the lower class who must suffer at their expense and watch in silence. Adelaide’s comfy life was snatched from her at a young age so it makes sense how she was the smartest of all the tethered and was able to plan her vengeful plot. This also explains all the difficulty speaking. When Red first got above ground, he parents put her in therapy because they thought she wouldn’t talk because of trauma but it’s really because she hadn’t learned how yet. This is why her doppelgänger (the real Adelaide) is the only tether who can actually speak because she’s human. She obviously was taught to talk as a child but speaks strangely after all these years because none of the other tethered speak so she’s been mute all these years….*TAKES A BOW* thank you for coming to my Ted Talk everyone!!!!
OK so these are just a FEW things to help you hopefully process what you just saw but also it may give you a new perspective and inspire you to see it again to watch with fresh eyes. If you still aren’t through with your spiral down the rabbit hole (see what I did there?) watch some of these videos below: