Everything Everywhere All At Once's Real Meaning Explained

Everything Everywhere All At Once appears at first glance to be an action film about saving the multiverse and reality hopping, but the visual spectacle contains multiple thematic layers and a deeper meaning beyond interdimensional travel. Everything Everywhere All At Once tells the story of Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a middle-aged Chinese-American woman who is running a failing laundromat with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), being audited by the IRS, and failing at connecting with and fully accepting her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu). What follows is an increasingly absurd, charming, and hilarious plot surrounding a depressed omnicidal multiversal entity named Jobu Tupaki, a bagel with literally everything in it, and Evelyn’s own struggle to find meaning in her unexciting life. Here’s the deeper meaning of Everything Everywhere All At Once explained.


Though never expressly stated, Everything Everywhere All At Once suggests that what makes life meaningful is the recognition that because there is no inherent meaning, all things and moments are equally meaningful. It turns out that Jobu Tupaki (a variant of Evelyn’s daughter Joy) doesn’t want to kill Evelyn, but was just seeking another person who can shift through the multiverse, largely out of hope for some different perspective to make some sense or find some meaning in it all. Everything Everywhere All At Once is very thoughtful in its treatment of nihilism and depression, and it never gives an explicit answer to the problem of meaninglessness in a vast and infinite universe. Instead, Everything Everywhere when explained reveals itself to be a prolonged argument that, perhaps, the only meaning to be found in life is the people in it, and so the solution is to be present every moment possible.

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Why Everything Everywhere All At Once Is Absurdly Funny

Everything Everywhere All at Once Michelle Yeoh

Everything Everywhere All At Once is best explained through its comedic scenes, as these drive its point home with its absurdist style and messaging. Absurdism as a philosophy accepts the lack of meaning in the world and defies it by embracing life anyway. In short, if nothing has meaning, everything is just as meaningful as anything else. The zany Everything Everywhere isn’t merely a multiversal action-comedy, but a deeply personal family drama. The multiversal trappings are set pieces meant to highlight the true message — family, love, and finding joy in one’s life are all that matter. With the movie releasing just before the MCUs Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, this inevitably drew comparisons between Everything Everywhere All At Once and Marvel’s multiverse. Inadvertently, the movie also shone a spotlight on just how lightly the MCU has scratched such a deeply promising concept in the beginning of its so-called Multiverse Saga.

Ultimately, this film is a fresh amalgam of genres. Part action, part comedy, part drama, part think-piece, but the message nevers gets lost in the mix — the real meaning of Everything Everywhere All At Once is clear enough to be grasped. What Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert achieve in Everything Everywhere All At Once is conveying its meaning without the need to expressly state it. Yet, there is an even deeper meaning to Everything Everywhere All At Once – explained and examined from the perspective of its low-budget production.

The Deeper Cinematic Message In Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Yeoh in Everything, Everywhere All At Once (2022)

Outside of the absurdism, Everything Everywhere All At Once is proof that it’s possible to deliver a visually complex, sumptuous, layered, and energetic story on quite a minimal budget. Indeed, a large part of Everything Everywhere All At Once’s release hype is the fact that the special effects team who knocked it out of the park is just composed of five people – who taught themselves to do the movie’s effects through YouTube tutorials. It’s a movie driven by stories, with its timing being so close to Doctor Strange 2 that even long-time Marvel viewers couldn’t help but realize just how much better the MCU should be. Everything Everywhere All At Once, explained from Hollywood’s perspective, is a sternly-worded message about how storytelling beats big budgets any time of the day – and not just in terms of delivering compelling cinema, but box office success as well.

Impressively, while Everything Everywhere All At Once’s $25 million budget and box office earnings of around $100 million is just pocket change to entities like Marvel and Disney, it’s still a massive and unprecedented success which proves that blockbusters don’t always need six-figure budgets. Moreover, with A-listers like Michelle Yeoh signing on for the low-budget production, Everything Everywhere All At Once further shatters the illusion that Hollywood’s future is in big-budget films. Indeed, it’s undeniable that Everywhere All At Once shook the movie industry (for the better) in more ways than one.

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