The Best Fan Theories About "Us"

Horror movies terrify me. Jordan Peele’s last blockbuster film, Get Out, gave me nightmares, and it didn’t even have a scary ending. I watched his latest film, Us, two weeks ago, and I still get a bit creeped out if I think about it at night. While Get Out was clearly a metaphor for performative wokeness, Us left moviegoers impressed yet confused. It’s no wonder then that in the weeks following this movie’s release, the internet — and by “internet” I primarily mean Reddit — has blossomed with theories about the film. Here are a few of the most interesting ones.


1. The tethered were given scissors to kill and eat rabbits.


Redditor Primetime22 has a fairly simple explanation for the question many of us asked after watching this film: What’s up with the rabbits and scissors?


Primetime22 points out that Red, during her roam around the Wilson family’s summer home, sees Adelaide’s old stuffed rabbit and cuts the head off. They extrapolated from there to say that the tethered were provided scissors to eat raw rabbits with “much like a restaurant might provide you with a steak knife for your T-Bone.” Yikes. Primetime22 then goes on to note that this would explain why the tethered kill like it’s nothing: they already did it every day to survive.


2. Each tether is tied to a rabbit.


This theory, also about rabbits but definitely more out there than the one mentioned above, was created by Reddit user OverthinkingChild. This overthinking child theorized that Red, being from the regular human world (catch up on the plot twist ending you may have missed if you’re confused), was able to free the rabbits from their cages. Since each rabbit was tied to a tethered, the entire tethered population was then able to rise to the surface as an army.

This explains why the tethered could walk freely above ground when they were normally forced to mimic their human counterparts below ground. It also explains why all the rabbits were out of their cages at the end of the movie.


3. Jason is a tether.


One theory that’s caused a splash is hoopsterben’s musing that Adelaide isn’t the only family member who’s actually a tethered. Our hoopster friend points to Jason forgetting his magic trick and building tunnels at the beach, Adelaide seeming upset when Pluto dies, and a look of understanding shared between Jason and Adelaide as signs that Jason had swapped places with his tethered as well. Many others have echoed the hoopster’s thoughts by providing additional evidence.

However, Alex Abad-Santos and Aja Romano disagree strongly with the theory, enough to write an op-ed about it on Vox. Their main argument is that Jason can control Pluto but not vice versa. Read on to see more of their arguments.


4. Get Out and Us take place in the same universe.


Although many call Us a follow-up to Get Out because it is Jordan Peele’s second thriller movie, Fan Theory World believes it is a literal follow-up to the first movie because they exist in the same universe.

This theory stems from Peele’s statement that the society members in Get Out were descendants of the Knights Templar. Fan Theory World and subsequent supporters now believe that the tethered were results of a precursor experiment to the society’s chase after immortality. By the time Adelaide wanders into the “find yourself” machine in 1986, the experiment has been abandoned and the clones have been left to go insane in their underground tunnels.


5. The entire movie is a metaphor for the American Dream.


Us has been released for about a month now, which makes it prime time for dedicated YouTube channels to upload in-depth videos analyzing it. The Film Theorists’ channel has an interesting one saying that Us is really about US... the U.S.

The Film Theorists point to Red’s statement that “we’re Americans” (the theater I watched this in exploded in shocked laughter after this line was delivered), empty tunnels, Hands Across America, Gabe’s Howard University sweatshirt, boats, Black Flag, materialism, and dualism to argue that Us is actually a Gatsby-reminiscent critique of the American Dream. Check it out here!


Us has been released for less than a month now, which means that as far as fan theories are concerned, this is only the beginning. Internet theories are a strange rabbit hole to find yourself in, but if you’re like me and wasn’t quite sure what to make of the movie after watching it, they aren’t a bad place to start. While you’re at it, let me know if anyone has an explanation of how Red got a hold of all those red jumpsuits because I still have no idea.