Movies

Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’ Shares Something In Common With A Classic ‘Simpsons’ Episode

[This post contains spoilers for Nope — seriously, turn back now if you haven’t watched the movie yet… this is your last chance]

Jordan Peele and Paul Anka both have the same advice: just don’t look.

Early in the director’s new film, Nope, Haywood’s Hollywood Horses owner O.J. (played by Daniel Kaluuya) takes one of his horses to a film set, and even after instructing everyone to not look the animal in the eyes, they don’t listen and the horse freaks out. To make ends meet, O.J. loans his and his sister Emerald’s (Keke Palmer) horses to Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun), a former-child star who now runs a Western theme park.

That’s one connection between the Haywoods and Park. The other? Aliens.

I won’t go through the entire plot of Nope or do one of those “Nope ending, explained” posts — there are plenty of those elsewhere on the internet. Instead, I want to focus on one element of the film: how O.J. and Emerald manage to survive their encounters with the flying saucer, henceforth referred to as “Jean Jacket,” and why Ricky doesn’t.

In short, Simpsons did it.

O.J. learns that if you don’t look at Jean Jacket, it will basically leave you alone. This is also how Springfield’s mascots, including Lard Lad (but not the captain of the high school basketball team), are defeated in the “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores” segment of “Treehouse of Horror VI” on The Simpsons. “To stop those monsters, one-two-three / Here’s a fresh new way that’s trouble-free / It’s got Paul Anka’s guarantee,” Anka sings, while Lisa adds, “Guarantee void in Tennessee.” Together, they repeat, “Just don’t look.”

Some animals see direct eye contract as a threat, and Jean Jacket is no exception. It’s why it devours Ricky and his paying customers at Jupiter’s Claim; they’re too blinded by the spectacle to realize they’re in danger. If only they had listened to Paul Anka.

For more on Nope, check out our interview with Jordan Peele.

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