The following post contains minor spoilers for Nope.
The main story in Jordan Peele’s Nope is about a mysterious UFO terrorizing a horse ranch in Southern California. But that plot is informed by several flashbacks to the late 1990s, and a sitcom called Gordy’s Home! that takes its cues from television shows of that era like Full House and ALF. The show is about a suburban family in Florida who lives with a monkey.
The character played by Steven Yeun in Nope’s present day was a child actor on Gordy’s Home! In one scene, he describes a tragedy that took place on the set, and then later Peele actually shows us some of what happened, when the chimp playing Gordy snapped and attacked his human co-stars.
Yeun’s character, Ricky “Jupe” Park,” only survived by hiding under a table while the chimp went on a rampage. But eventually, the animal spots him and slowly creeps towards him. The chimp tries to give young Jupe a bloody fist bump — just as the cops show up and shoot the animal dead.
It’s a terrifying scene. And it appears that it’s one that’s been in the back of Jordan Peele’s mind for a while. Someone combing through Twitter discovered a tweet from the filmmaker back in the fall of 2014 where he wrote “Dreamt that a baby chimp attacked some people then ran to me and hugged me all scared. I woke up with tears streaming down my face. #bruh”
That’s not exactly what happens in the Gordy’s Home! flashback, but it’s awful close. (The only difference is the hug instead of the fist bump.) And what’s more impressive is that the version in Nope captures both of the emotions that Peele describes in the dream; the terror of witnesses an animal run amok and the sadness of watching a frightened creature that doesn’t really understand what it’s doing seek out comfort.
Nope is in theaters now. This is only like the fifth or sixth coolest thing about this movie. It is worth your time.
Nope: Answers to All Your Questions About the Movie
Let’s break down the shocking twists and mysteries in Jordan Peele’s sci-fi thriller.