Fan theory debunked for Jordan Peele’s new movie, ‘Us’

Warning, spoilers ahead

More stories from Hannah Angell


Photo by

‘Us’ is a horror mystery movie with twists, leaving viewers asking questions left open.

Jordan Peele is now known for movies that make the viewer think about bigger issues. “Us” deconstructs class, America’s ugly history, ideas about nature and humanity. Peele mentions the blurring lines between evil and good in an interview.

(Warning, spoilers ahead.)

Adelaide, played by actress Lupita Nyong’o, is actually what’s called a “Tether,” a man-made doppelganger created as part of a forgotten government experiment. At the end of the film, it’s revealed that she and her human counterpart were switched when they were children.

This changes the entire film. The viewer now starts bringing into focus every scene and detail they’d seen before.

One fan theory expands on the idea that the son Jason/Pluto was also switched at some point.

This theory comes into play at the end of the film.

In the end scene, what viewers believed to be the tethered vision of the mother is revealed that she is actually the real Adelaide. The ending reveals that she was swapped as a kid.

As Adelaide and Jason return to the above world, Adelaide drives her family to safety. Jason gives her a certain suspicious look then puts on his mask and averts his eyes from Adelaide.

While most could interpret that particular look to be Jason questioning of who his mother actually is. Some theorize that it instead indicates that just like his mother did, Jason himself has been switched with his Tether — meaning that the boy known as Pluto is actually the real Jason, who swapped with Pluto before the movie takes place.

“At the end, he has realized that his mother, at one point, has also switched bodies,”  a Reddit user explained. “She gives him a look almost like ‘I also know what you know’ and then he puts on his mask, as a symbol of the masks they will now wear for the rest of their lives.”

This fan theory is expanded from multiple ideas:  Jason doesn’t like to eat, his drawing isn’t from his point of view, he cusses oddly, Pluto is the only Tether without scissors and doesn’t want to kill Jason, Jason was the first to notice his family’s Tethers, Jason’s “fire” magic trick and Jason’s troubles focusing.

I don’t believe this theory is true and here’s why:

Pluto, the Tether, can’t control Jason.

As far as viewers know, none of the Tethers have any ability to control any of their “real selves.” The “Jason is a Tether” theory falls flat because it would fundamentally undermine too many already established facts about the film. In the scene where Jason exits the car and walks backward, he’s controlling Pluto.  

I also believe that this theory isn’t true because of Peele’s intentions for the movie. Peele’s movies are meant for the audience to think about deeper issues embedded in society.

“This movie’s about maybe the monster is you,” Peele told Empire’s Chris Hewitt when asked about the ending. “It’s about us kind of looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in a movie is the surrogate for the audience. So it felt like, at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie. We’ve been following the ‘villain.’”

Debunking this theory, Peele spoke about the look Adelaide gives Jason at the end.

“I think the little smile she gives him is a lot of things,” he said. “I think it’s a connection to the evil smile she once had as a little girl, but also a sort of understanding that her family unit was stronger from this experience.”

There are moments in the film where the theory of Jason and Pluto would be too clever. As Jason puts on his mask in the final scene, it’s best not to know. In the end, it’s best to focus on the deeper meanings that ultimately affect “us” all.

Angell can be reached at [email protected]