Why Was The Shoe Standing Up In Nope? What It Really Means – Trending News

Why Was The Shoe Standing Up In Nope? What It Really Means


There is a shot of a mysterious shoe standing upright in Nope that plays an important role in Jordan Peele’s movie, and here is what it really means.

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Nope!The reason behind the standing shoe in Nope — much like the origin of its alien villain Jean Jacket — is a question that’s left for audiences to ponder. The latest from Get Out director Jordan Peele, Nope primarily focuses on an attempt to capture a UFO dubbed “Jean Jacket” on camera, yet there’s another element of the story that receives ample screentime. Nope repeatedly mentions and shows an incident from Ricky’s (Steven Yeun) past when a chimpanzee performer went on a violent rampage during the filming of a sitcom. Amid the ape’s assault on his co-stars, there’s great emphasis put on a young woman’s shoe that’s somehow standing upright in the middle of the set. The importance of Nope‘s standing shoe is clear, as it is part of one of the movie’s earliest sequences, revisited again later in more detail.


Strangely, however, the mystery of the standing shoe in Nope is never explained — not in the ending of Nope, and not even during the second depiction of the horrifying tragedy, which ended in the chimpanzee being shot dead. The movie shows the blue and white shoe standing upright with a few drops of blood on it. Ricky is later revealed to have kept the shoe and included it as part of a collection of artifacts from the sitcom. While there is no exact explanation given for why the shoe was pointing up in Nope, its real meaning can be found in the overarching themes that comprise Jordan Peele’s latest entry into the world of strange sci-fi comedy.

Related: Jordan Peele’s Nope Title Explanation Is Even Better Than The Theories

What The Shoe Standing Up In Nope Really Means

Nope Young Ricky Gordy Attack

Notably, when Nope protagonists and siblings OJ and Em Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) realize they are dealing with a UFO, OJ labels it a “bad miracle,” which could explain the standing shoe in Nope. One of Nope‘s overarching themes is the concept of spectacle. As amazing as the uncovering of an alien presence is, the phenomenon comes at a horrible cost since the UFO dispelling waste killed their father and continues to wreak havoc. The shoe standing up in Nope could also be seen as a bad miracle given the unexplainable nature of the phenomenon and how it happened during a tragedy. It plays into the movie’s theme of turning tragic events into a spectacle, as Ricky is profiting off the collectible despite the trauma of its circumstances.

There is also the reading that Nope‘s standing shoe is tied to how the movie examines predator instincts. Once OJ realizes the UFO is a living being, he realizes that they should not look Nope‘s alien villain in its eye. The movie repeatedly shows how some animals react poorly to eye contact and to reflections. While several of Ricky’s co-stars were attacked by the chimpanzee, he focused on the shoe standing up instead of the bloody incident. It was only after the animal calmed down that Ricky and he made eye contact, which led to the ape not attacking Ricky. In that regard, the miracle of the shoe standing up in Nope represents protection or survival — even though, as seen in Ricky’s fate, the lesson was ultimately lost on the child actor.

Nope’s Symbolism: Shoe, Gordy, and Alien Connection Explained

Standing shoe in Nope real meaning

The standing shoe in Nope is just one of the many symbolic elements in the movie, and it’s much easier to understand once the shoe’s connections to Nope‘s other symbols are considered. For starters, the entire Nope subplot about Ricky surviving Gordy the chimpanzee’s rampage by staring at the shoe is symbolic of how OJ would eventually learn to deal with the alien predator called Jean Jacket. Rather than how the shoe remained standing, what’s more important to consider is how this “bad miracle” allowed Ricky to dissociate from the ongoing traumatic event and survive — just like how OJ avoided getting hunted by Jean Jacket by looking at something else. In relation to this, while not much is revealed about Jean Jacket’s origin or biology, Gordy actually symbolizes everything else that humans can expect from Jean Jacket’s violently territorial species.

More importantly, Nope’s plot is symbolic of modern capitalist society’s attitude towards anything with the potential to be a spectacle. Whether it’s a familiar trauma like Ricky’s shoe or something completely alien and dangerous like Jean Jacket, humans will find a way to make any bad miracle profitable — as symbolized by how every single character in Nope is motivated by personal gain — even OJ who took the time to understand the creature’s motivations. In fact, it’s notable how, rather than humanity’s best experts on extraterrestrial matters, it was TMZ and a famous Hollywood cinematographer who were first on the scene. While it can be surmised that Nope is simply criticizing the entertainment industry’s poor treatment of misunderstood animals for entertainment, even this aspect of the movie represents a larger, harsher truth in Nope‘s core message: humans are so enamored by the power of spectacle that we will literally do nothing and stare at it until it devours us whole.

More: What Jordan Peele’s Next Movie Is (After Nope)


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