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Bagels & Googly Eyes Meaning Explained

Bagels & Googly Eyes Meaning Explained #Bagels #Googly #Eyes #Meaning #Explained Welcome to Lopoid

Everything Everywhere All at Once features one really powerful bagel and a load of googly eyes, but their meaning is much deeper than you think.

Everything Everywhere All at Once’s emphasis on bagels and googly eyes suits the movie’s brand of absurdist comedy, but both objects have much deeper meanings than they seem. Directed by The Daniels, also known for their strange comedy Swiss Army Man, Everything Everywhere certainly lives up to its name with its multiverse premise and maximalist tone. Despite this, the movie certainly struck a chord with audiences, as Everything Everywhere is now the highest-grossing movie distributed by indie-powerhouse A24, surpassing Hereditary’s worldwide haul of $80.2M.

While Everything Everywhere’s success indicates that moviegoers still desire to see original stories beyond superhero flicks, it’s also a testament to the film’s quality. The originality of its plot cannot be denied, nor can its ability to balance reference-filled comedy with tender family drama. This family drama is arguably the main reason why so many audience members gravitated towards the film, as when boiled down to its essence, Everything Everywhere purveys a straightforward message underneath the prevailing insanity of its plot.

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That dichotomy between absurdity and meaning is best illustrated by Everything Everywhere’s two key symbols: googly eyes and an everything bagel. The two symbols visually oppose one another, with the villain Jobu Tupaki’s bagel being black with a white center, while the googly eyes are white with a black center. Concurrently, the symbols’ meanings are antithetical. Yet when considered side by side, the googly eyes and bagels resemble the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, which promotes the importance of balance and how oppositional forces within nature — and a multiverse — are interconnected and complement one another.

What Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Bagels Represent

everything everywhere all at once bagel

Beyond bagels and googly eyes, circles are everywhere in Everything Everywhere All at Once. When Evelyn first visits the IRS building, the inspector, Deidre, circles her paperwork in black ink, telling Evelyn that she’s going to have to produce more accurate paperwork for the year. Nothing ever goes according to Evelyn’s plan, yet time keeps moving relentless, the hand keeps moving around the clock. Even in her struggling laundromat underneath her home, the circular windows of washing machines whir all day and all year long. In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Evelyn becomes aware of the circularity of her life — at a birthday get-together in the laundromat she runs, she gives a less-than-inspiring speech saying, “Another year, pretending we know what we’re doing, but really we’re just going around in circles.” 

Hence, circles become the object that represents Evelyn’s dissatisfaction with her life. This dissatisfaction is what negatively impacts the philosophy of her daughter, Joy, as well as Jobu Tupaki, who is another, evil, version of Joy in the multiverse. Jobu Tupaki’s beliefs are also influenced by her ability to freely verse jump and experience the entirety of the multiverse in Everything Everywhere. After becoming aware of the meaninglessness of her existence, Jobu Tupaki creates the everything bagel as her tool to destroy the multiverse. In essence, the bagel becomes a symbol of Evelyn and Jobu’s nihilistic worldview — it’s got everything seasoning, everything in the multiverse, on every inch of it, and yet its core is empty, like a black hole. The destructive nature of the bagel, and the fact that its original purpose was to destroy its creator, Jobu Tupaki, demonstrates that the bagel also becomes symbolic of despair once one discovers the hollowness of their existence.

What Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Googly Eyes Really Mean

Michell Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

The one way to withhold crushing existential dread is with googly eyes — a sentence that in itself demonstrates the playful absurdity of The Daniels’ movie. In the hilarious Everything Everywhere All at Once, googly eyes are synonymous with Evelyn’s husband, Waymond. To her annoyance, he puts them on everything he can find. Evelyn, who is dissatisfied with her life and husband, removes the googly eyes and rejects his trivial attempts to encourage humor and happiness. Despite her interference, he remains undeterred. As such, the googly eyes symbolize Waymond’s philosophy that even if existence is meaningless, one can find joy within it. As he says in the movie, “The only thing I do know is how to be kind.”

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Since the googly eyes resist the bagels, the googly eyes can be seen as representing existentialism — that is, the human pursuit to create meaning for themselves. As Everything Everywhere progresses, Evelyn sees the value of Waymond and his beliefs. By the final clash between Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn and Stephanie Hsu’s Jobu Tupaki, instead of taking the googly eyes off everything, Evelyn places a googly eye in the center of her own forehead. This references bindis in Hinduism, which are placed between the eyes since the belief is that this is the location of the sixth chakra, which represents concealed wisdom and enlightenment.

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Evelyn’s enlightenment is that she must create her own meaning, and use that newfound purpose to combat the nihilistic dread of Jubo Tupaki and her multiverse-destroying bagel. Yet, this enlightenment cannot be achieved if Evelyn does not accept the nihilistic philosophy that the everything bagel represents. Thus, one cannot exist without the other, and the co-existence of the bagels and the googly eyes is demonstrative of the ideals of balance behind the philosophy of yin and yang.

Next: Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Real Meaning Explained

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About The Author

George Lawley
(72 Articles Published)

George Lawley is a writer for Screen Rant, specialising in Film and TV.

Based in Manchester, England, George aspires to be a screenwriter and is often distracted by football.

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