Nope: what was the importance of Gordy the chimp?

·3-min read

Jordan Peele’s latest horror offering Nope delves into the world of terrifying UFOs, as it follows Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings OJ and Em trying to get the money shot of the flying object that appears to have settled itself over their home. However, the film opens very differently with the disastrous story of Gordy’s Home, so what on earth was the two seemingly unrelated stories all about? Find out here, and spoiler alert…

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In the film, it is revealed that Gordy’s Home was a popular show in the 80s in which OJ’s neighbour Jupe appeared as a child star. However, while on set, an accident happened where Gordy was triggered by a balloon popping and proceeded to violently attack the actors and crew, with just Jupe surviving unscathed by hiding. However, after Gordy spots Jupe hiding under a table, he appears to show his friendship by holding out his paw for a fist bump before being shot and killed. 

WATCH: Have you watched Nope yet?

So how is this relevant to the main plot? Although it isn’t explicitly explained in the film, we think we have a pretty good idea of what Gordy was all about. In the film, Jupe clearly has an obsession with the TV show he once starred in, even having a secret room with memorabilia from the show, which he explains he receives a great deal of money from keen fans who want to visit.

gordy-paw
gordy-paw

Jupe thought he and Gordy had a special connection

His fascination with the horrific incident is ultimately down to the fact that he believed that he and he alone had a special connection with Gordy, who chose to offer him friendship rather than attack him. His belief that he alone was chosen by Gordy shaped his life, and explains why he believed that he had built a special rapport with the UFO and thought he could use it for monetary gain - explaining to the audience that they had built a trust between them.

However, like with Gordy, the UFO is a wild, territorial animal, who can’t be tamed - and Jupe was woefully wrong about their connection (as he finds out when he and the audience are devoured).

jupe-gordy
jupe-gordy

Jupe is borderline obsessed with his experience on Gordy's Home

Meanwhile, OJ is shown from his introduction that he has an innate understanding of how animals work. They aren’t natural performers and they won’t do what you want just because you want them to do it. As such he realises how to treat the UFO - as a wild and territorial animal, giving him a chance to kill it (and to get the Oprah shot, of course).

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Fans were loving the scenes, with one writing: "Saw Nope again and loved it more the second time. So many details and scenes that became clearer on second watch. That Gordy scene is actually terrifying," while another added: "NOPE had a b-story that will stay with me forever. The Gordy’s Birthday scene was the most uncomfortable I’ve been in a theatre in so so long."

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