These Four Easter Eggs Set Up Everything Everywhere All at Once’s Best Gag

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Heads up, this post has spoilers, but it also arms you with knowledge. Your call. 

Sometimes a movie or show or play or song will have a moment that feels so specifically made for you, you receive it like a personal gift, like a little inside joke between you and the artist. Daniels’ new movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once, is so bursting at the seams with gags and ideas that if you surveyed ten different audience members about whether they had “that moment,” they would probably give you ten different answers. They might name the rock scene or the romantic speech shot in Wong Kar-wai’s signature step-print style or all the butt stuff (there’s a lot of butt stuff).

But mine was Raccaccoonie. It’s a stupid-as-hell concept with an even stupider payoff, and if you were a child with elite taste in the year 2007, you’ll lose it. The setup is this: During a high-stakes action scene, scatterbrained Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) seems to remember the film Ratatouille all wrong. She calls it “Raccaccoonie” and thinks it’s about a raccoon sitting under a chef’s hat pulling at his hair to help him cook. The way she explains it is ridiculous, but then again, so is Ratatouille. Evelyn’s family — daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) and husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) — crack up at her malaprop (anyone whose parents got all the Pokémon names wrong gets what’s going on here) despite facing imminent peril.

But then!

Evelyn plugs into a different multiverse to gain some fighting abilities and lands on one in which she becomes a hibachi chef who can nimbly handle a knife. She uses this power to fight off her family’s attackers, but as she loses control of her shifts between ’verses, we see her one moment in the heat of battle, then back at the hibachi grill the next, getting food all over a customer. Chef-iverse Evelyn is fired, and she shoots a resentful glare at a grill top across the restaurant where a handsome young chef (is that Harry Shum Jr.?) is acting smug. Is that a raccoon tail sticking out from the back of his chef’s hat?

In one of this movie’s many tangents that thematically aren’t really tangents since they’re the whole movie’s M.O., Chef Evelyn goes back to the kitchen to hang up her apron and knives, and she discovers the star chef’s secret: There really is a raccoon under his hat that pulls his hair to make him cook. Raccaccoonie. And just as people think the rat from Ratatouille’s name is Ratatouille, the chef calls the raccoon Raccaccoonie. I won’t spoil the way this gag pays off toward the end of the film, but I will say that while this whole shtick seems extremely random, the directors drop little clues about it throughout — raccoon droppings, if you will. Here are all the Raccaccoonie Easter eggs:

The Opening Shot

The film’s opening shot is a slow zoom in on a circular mirror that reflects Evelyn and her family doing karaoke. Later, at the IRS office, we learn the karaoke machine is one of many things Evelyn has tried to write off as a business expense because, as Waymond puts it, she confuses her hobbies with businesses. Jamie Lee Curtis’s disgruntled tax agent, Deirdre Beaubirdra, says these write-offs tell a story and it’s “not looking good.” She draws a dark circle around the machine entry. But Evelyn’s dilettantism, setting up the multiverse plot, tells us that singing is one of many possible paths she could have taken. Back to the opening shot (itself a circle around a karaoke machine, letting us know it’s about to tell a story): a porcelain raccoon figurine sits to the mirror’s right, just outside the circle in another, diverging universe. A raccaccooniverse.

In the Laundromat

In the movie’s early scenes, Joy brings her girlfriend, Becky, to the laundromat her family owns. Before Evelyn hurts Joy by introducing Becky to her elderly father (James Hong) as her daughter’s “friend,” the couple chats elsewhere in the laundromat. Right behind them is an arcade cabinet showing a cartoon raccoon wearing a hat, like some kind of inverted Raccaccoonie situation.

In the Hidden Sex Dungeon

After Evelyn’s family laughs at her over the Ratatouille mix-up, she finds a place for them to hide in a secret room behind a painting in the besieged office. It’s a room full of BDSM toys, including a cat o’ nine tails and what looks like a raccoon-tail butt plug hanging on the wall. This is just one of many significant butt plugs in the movie.

Randy Newman

The best Easter egg of all is that the raccoon is voiced by Randy Newman, the musical king of Pixar. And while Newman might never have recorded a track for Ratatouille in our universe, he did make one for Raccaccoonie. When the Everything Everywhere All at Once soundtrack comes out on April 8, watch out for track 47, a Newman song called “Now We’re Cookin’.”

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