Significance of the hot dog hands in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’
(Credit: A24)


Significance of the hot dog hands in 'Everything Everywhere All At Once'

As the Oscar sensation that earned Michelle Yeoh her first Oscar, Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO), makes its grand entrance onto Netflix US on February 23rd, 2024, audiences are in for a treat. 

A multiversal tale of kindness, acceptance, and generational love, EEAAO is a film that challenges the boundaries of traditional storytelling. Directed by the visionary duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, AKA the Daniels, the movie takes viewers on a mind-bending journey through alternate realities, where the surreal becomes commonplace and the absurd finds beauty.

In Everything Everywhere All At Once, we follow the protagonist, Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang. Evelyn’s life is burdened with mundane struggles, from managing a failing laundromat to navigating a strained marriage and dealing with familial disapproval. However, her world is turned upside down when she discovers she is just one of many Evelyns scattered across the multiverse. 

Amid this revelation, Evelyn encounters versions of herself and her loved (and hated) ones that challenge her perceptions of reality. One of these encounters happens with a version of Jamie Lee Curtis’s Deirdre Beaubeirdre, a tax auditor in the main timeline. But they all have hot dog fingers in this universe. If you are curious to know what they meant, read on to find out.

What do the hot dog hands in Everything Everywhere All At Once mean?

One of the most surreal aspects of the film is the depiction of alternate realities, replete with anthropomorphic raccoons, sentient rocks, and hot dog hands. One such reality features Evelyn and her IRS nemesis, Deirdre Beaubeirdra, in a romantic relationship. However, what sets this reality apart is the peculiar physical attribute they share: hot dog hands. But they aren’t just one of the many absurdities in the film. There is a reason why the Daniels thought it would be perfect for the story.

They understood the silliness of the idea, as Kwan noted to the LA Times, “It’s such a stupid idea. A 5-year-old has probably thought of this — oh, they look like fingers!”

“We were writing and thought, ‘We need to come up with a universe that’s the biggest empathy challenge,’” Scheinert explained in the same interview. “What was the toughest universe that was going to make Evelyn think the multiverse is gibberish when she first visits it — and by the end, can we make her and the audience care about that universe?”

However, the real test for Evelyn in this story is to understand and accept her daughter Joy (Stephani Hsu), her queer identity, et all. As Kwan went on, “Evelyn has to find a way to love a universe in which her auditor, the woman she hates the most of the world, is her lover, and their genetics have evolved in the way in which their mating ritual is so foreign and grotesque to her that she literally wants to gag from it. To take that absurd image and try to force her to see the beauty in it was a really fun challenge.”

You can watch Everything Everywhere All At Once on Netflix starting February 23rd, 2024.