Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? (2024)


Sci-fi sensation Everything Everywhere All at Once pivots on the idea of being able to put "everything" on a bagel. We examine the scientific and philosophical questions this could raise.

Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? (1)By Chris Farnell | |

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Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? (2)

This article contains Everything Everywhere All at Once spoilers.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film that fires several ideas at you a minute. Some of them are profound; some of them are surreal; some of them are outright ridiculous; and some of them are all three of those things, existing in a nebulous five-dimensional space. One of those ideas, resting at the very heart of the movie, is the Everything Bagel.

This existential enigma, first teased by Stephanie Hsu’s Jobu Tupaki persona, is an object whose ripples are felt throughout the film long before we learn what it is. From the movie’s very first scene, the black circle motif recurs and recurs again. It’s a black ring of marker pen drawn around a figure on a receipt; it’s the spinning of a laundromat’s dryer cycle; and it’s what the zealot followers of multi-versal villain Jobu Tupaki mark themselves with by placing a black ring on their foreheads.

The first glimpse we get of the Alphaverse shows an armored van driving through a landscape of wrecked cars, and the only clue as to what has happened is a discarded cardboard sign that reads “Hail Bagel.” Later when Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) find food, it is, of course, a selection of bagels.


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But even once we learn what the “Everything Bagel” is, the motif keeps recurring in food, in background art, everywhere. What does it mean?

Make Me One With Everything

The bagel itself is revealed to us almost precisely an hour into the film. It is, as the name employs, simply a bagel with everything on it. Everything.

As Jobu Tupaki herself says, “All my hopes and dreams. My old report cards, every breed of dog, every last personal ad on Craigslist, sesame, poppy seed, salt, and it collapsed in on itself, because you see when you really put everything on a bagel, it becomes this. The truth. Nothing matters.”

It is, in short, a pun. A mid-level pun at best. It is also a MacGuffin, which is a term Alfred Hitchco*ck coined to describe any object that exists purely so your characters can chase after it. It also helped Everything Everywhere All at Once writers, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, neatly step around some of the plot questions in the movie.

“We spent a while inventing the religion of the bagel followers. So many things didn’t stick. She’s a nihilist; should there be dogma? Should there be a book?” Scheinert told Vulture. “What should their practices be as a religion? The bagel stuck because it became such a useful, simple symbol that we could point to as filmmakers. And you don’t have to explain it much beyond the joke.”

The Theory of Everything (on a Bagel)

And yet, despite its first appearance as a gag name for a plot device, the Bagel with Everything On It actually has some pretty hefty theoretical physics behind it.


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“There’s a scientific calculation you can do for any object in the universe called a Schwarzschild radius, an object that when you compress it down to that radius becomes a black hole. It becomes a singularity and it’s hypothetical. But the idea is, at a certain density, anything will become a black hole,” Kwan also told Vulture. “So everyone has their Schwarzschild radius. Wouldn’t it be funny if she did that to an everything bagel? Because this movie is about everything.”

Hence the appearance of the bagel itself, a big, sinister-looking black bagel that sucks everything in.

The physics of that idea checks out, mostly. Your Schwarzschild radius is smaller than the nucleus of an atom. So if all the matter in your body (or in that of a bagel) was compressed down to a size smaller than an atom, the density of that matter in one place would cause it to collapse in on itself.

The only catch is that a bagel-sized black hole, which is to say a bagel that had been compacted down below its Schwarzschild radius, wouldn’t suck in everything in its surroundings. It would actually have the same gravitational pull as a regular bagel. Gravity is just a consequence of how much mass an object has, and while a black hole can be created if that mass is located in a small enough space, a bagel’s worth of matter is still a bagel’s worth of matter. Supermassive black holes of the sort you probably imagine have enough mass that their gravity draws other objects towards it, which means its mass increases, leading towards the galactic plugholes you’re familiar with.

What changes in Everything Everywhere All At Once is that Jobu Tupaki puts everything on the bagel, and all matter in the universe compacted into a space the size and shape of a bagel, even a particularly big bagel, would definitely have a gravitational pull that would make it hazardous to any nearby objects. After all, infinite mass in a finite space is always going to be within its Schwarschild radius.

But the significance of the Everything Bagel goes beyond even this bit of theoretical physics.

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A Bagel Universe

You see, physicists studying the background radiation of the universe have found evidence that spacetime, the headache-inducing medium whose curvature is responsible for gravity and whose expansion is our evidence for the Big Bang, is not the completely flat, rubber sheet we had always imagined. There is an overall curvature to the universe’s topology. There are many theories and models about what that overall shape might be, but a popular and recurring one these scientists suggest is that it might be a torus shape, like a donut or bagel.

A bagel, with everything on it.

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Everything Everywhere, Doctor Strange, and Why We Now Love Multiverses


Everything Everywhere Takes the Multiverse ‘Further Than It Should Go’

It is a theory with some pretty wild implications. It posits a universe where, if you took your spaceship and flew off in a straight line, you would eventually end up back where you came from, just as a round Earth means that if you started off in one direction you would end up back where you came from.

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, the Everything Bagel is the ultimate expression of Jobu Tupaki’s nihilism. Much like universe-hopping characters like Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty, the existence of an unending and infinite reality persuades her that ultimately, nothing matters. So it’s ironic that a bagel-shaped universe is a rare model of the universe that would present us with a finite, and even measurable reality. A flat reality could potentially go on forever, but simple geometry tells us that if you can measure something’s curvature, you can measure its size.

If you can measure the curvature of the universe, you can determine how long it would take you to make that round trip, which in turn would tell you how big the universe is. Some scientists estimate it could be only three or four times the size of the observable universe (the area of the universe whose light has had time to reach Earth between now and the Big Bang).

These are the earliest and most preliminary measurements and theories. The real Everything Bagel is still far from being a confirmed reality. Although, much like in the film, the bagel shape does seem to be an appealing and continually recurring idea.


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If the theory is correct, it tells us the what, but not the why, and one omnipotent teenager with mother issues deciding to put everything on a bagel is as good an explanation as any.

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Tags: A24Michelle YeohSci-fi

Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? (5)

Written by

Chris Farnell

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer and the author of a novel, an anthology, a Doctor Who themed joke book and some supplementary RPG material. He…

Read more from Chris Farnell

Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? (2024)


Everything Everywhere: What Does the Everything Bagel Mean? ›

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jobu Tupaki creates an everything bagel, essentially a giant, bagel-shaped black hole, as a way to escape the too-much-ness of multidimensional life. She expresses her desire to obliterate herself with the everything bagel, and to bring her mother Evelyn with her.

What does the bagel represent in everything everywhere all at once? ›

Summary. In Everything Everywhere All At Once, the everything bagel represents existential crises and emptiness. The googly eyes in Everything Everywhere All At Once symbolize kindness and empowerment, simple things that make a major difference.

What is the meaning of everything bagel? ›

An everything bagel is a type of bagel baked with a mix of toppings. The exact ingredients vary, but recipes often include garlic flakes, onion flakes, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and kosher salt. The bagels are made with regular dough and the name is independent of additional fillings such as cream cheese.

What does the googly eyes mean in everything everywhere all at once? ›

The bagel's nihilism is balanced by a series of googly eyes that Waymond habitually places on objects around the laundromat. They're the yin to the bagel's yang, a statement that it's still possible to be optimistic and find joy when the universe is in chaos.

What is the meaning behind everything everywhere all at once? ›

Thematically, Everything Everywhere deals with feeling small and irrelevant, the belief that nothing really matters, the idea that our lives are cosmically insignificant, and the experience of being overwhelmed by the apparently endless list of things that demand our energy and attention.

What do bagels symbolize? ›

Because of their shape-‑with no beginning and no end‑‑bagels symbolize the eternal cycle of life. In the old days, they were supposed to be a protection against demons and evil spirits, warding off the evil eye and bringing good luck.

What is the bagel theory? ›

The Bagel Theory stands for the principle that we Jews, regardless of how observant or affiliated we are, have a powerful need to connect with one another. To that end, we find ways to "bagel" each other – basically, to "out" ourselves to fellow Jews.

What does bagel mean in slang? ›

Bagel, a slang term among South African Jews for an overly materialistic and excessively groomed young man.

Why is it called everything but the bagel? ›

Sold in stores across the States like Trader Joes, Everything Bagel Seasoning is simply one that is used on bagels… The ones with all of the sesame, poppy seeds, garlic flakes, etc. It started as the topping baked into the bagels, but became a seasoning that goes on… well… you guessed it – everything!

What are the two meanings of the word bagel? ›

1. : a firm doughnut-shaped roll traditionally made by boiling and then baking. 2. [from the resemblance of a bagel to the zero in the score of such a set] tennis, slang : a set (see set entry 2 sense 15) in which one player or team wins every game.

What is the moral of the story everything everywhere all at once? ›

The moral of Everything Everywhere All at Once is that life is only meaningful because everything we do is meaningless. The movie shows that it is because there's no meaning to anything we do in the end; no matter what we do, every moment is worth cherishing.

What does the rock mean in everything everywhere all at once? ›

But the Rock Universe—in which Evelyn and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) are, yes, rocks—also serves as the first moment that the two characters really connect, bonding over the nihilistic idea that, in the end, nothing really matters.

What does the circle symbolize in everything everywhere all at once? ›

Hence, circles become the object that represents Evelyn Wong's dissatisfaction with her extremely mundane life with her family. 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.

What is the bagel Everything Everywhere All At Once? ›

The Everything Bagel is a weapon created by Jobu Tupaki to destroy herself and Evelyn Wang Quan. The bagel was made when she put the entire Multiverse on a bagel. It is stated that the bagel consumes more than just light and matter and is possibly capable of destroying Jobu Tupaki.

What is the message at the end of Everything Everywhere All At Once? ›

The Everything Everywhere All at Once ending takes the concept of the multiverse to its extreme, with the infinite various worlds that are all based on every human decision ever made are explored. For every choice, a new universe is created, branching off into its own version of reality.

Why did Waymond want a divorce? ›

Waymond isn't happy with his marriage with Evelyn at the beginning of the film, so he brings up the option of divorce because he doesn't feel wanted. Evelyn mentions early in the film that Waymond wouldn't be able to function without herself.

What is the message of the poem the bagel? ›

Ignatow wrote the poem when he felt he was “living a very limited and quietly desperate life.” The bagel, he notes “was a token” of his “hope for a larger life, a bigger, more varied life. A more open life.” In this way, the chase for the bagel can be read as a pursuit for this better kind of life.

Why did Jobu Tupaki create the everything bagel? ›

She intends to commit suicide by entering the bagel, with the hopes that it will destroy every instance of herself throughout the multiverse simultaneously.

What is the donut in everything everywhere? ›

If you watched the film and thought the bagel threatening to destroy the multiverse looked familiar, you were right, it is exactly what you think it looks like: a black Blender donut, a legendary model every beginner 3D artist makes. "Thousands of people have made this same doughnut with pink frosting.

What is the meaning of bagel effect? ›

But the bagel effect meme is also reminiscent of the butterfly effect, or the idea that every action has large effects on the world around us. Maybe if Miles hadn't hit the Spot with a bagel, he wouldn't have felt so disrespected and resentful of Miles.


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