Warning: This post contains spoilers for Everything Everywhere All at Once.Everything Everywhere All at Once ending explained in detail. Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as Daniels), the film explores the multiverse in an action adventure that gets out of hand for its protagonist. The film, which stars the inimitable Michelle Yeoh, is chaotic and wildly imaginative in its unique exploration of the multiverse. The sci-fi comedy premiered at South by Southwest, and eventually became A24’s highest-grossing film, properly dethroning the horror movie Hereditary. The Everything Everywhere All at Once ending sets up the multiverse in a way that puts the Marvel Cinematic Universe to shame, and if financial success weren’t enough, Everything Everywhere All at Once made it to the Golden Globes in 2023, with lead star Michelle Yeoh winning Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.
In EEAAO, Evelyn Wang (Yeoh) is a stressed laundromat owner who is in the middle of an IRS audit. Her life is beginning to tilt off its axis, with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) wanting a divorce and daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) on the brink of leaving her family behind because Evelyn can’t own up to the fact that Joy doesn’t live up to certain expectations. Naturally, when Evelyn is thrown into the multiverse in a bid to fight Jobu Tapaki, the Alphaverse version of Joy who was pushed to the edge, she has to face the mother-daughter issues with Joy/Jobu Tapaki to save the multiverse. The Daniels crafted an ending that saw Evelyn embracing every version of herself in the multiverse and pulling back her daughter from the darkness that was the everything bagel Jobu Tapaki created. Everything Everywhere All at Once has so many layers, however, so it’s only right to break down the film’s themes, the multiverse rules, and more.
The Alphaverse and Verse-jumping Explained
The Everything Everywhere All at Once ending is set in the multiverse, which is vast with various worlds that are all based on every human decision ever made. For every choice, a new universe is created, branching off into its own thing. The interesting thing about the film’s version of the multiverse is that each universe doesn’t seem to have existed at once. Rather, the universes that branch out are predicated by an individual’s decision and how it affects their life’s journey. The Alphaverse, as its name infers, is at the top of the multiversal chain because it was the first to discover the multiverse existed. The people of the Alphaverse were able to figure out how every universe came to be and the decisions each person took to get them to their current place in life.
The Alphaverse is also the only one to create technology to communicate with other parts of the Everything Everywhere All at Once multiverse, including verse-jumping, which involves tapping into another version of oneself to borrow their skills or inhabit their mind for a while. Evelyn and Alphaverse-Waymond are able to separate their consciousnesses by doing something strange; for Evelyn, that involves switching her shoes from one foot to the other. But Alphaverse-Waymond has another trick up his sleeve as well. To fully inhabit Evelyn’s husband Waymond in her universe, the Alphaverse version has to do something completely bizarre before pressing the BlueTooth headphones to be zapped into another’s consciousness. This could be anything — from sticking a sharp object up one’s butt to Evelyn declaring her love for Deirdre, the IRS agent, who she hates. The more outrageous it is, the easier it is to verse-jump.
Why Evelyn Was The Perfect Choice To Save The Multiverse
In the Everything Everywhere All at Once ending, Evelyn’s multiverse doppelgangers were all fairly accomplished in one way or another. At the very least, they had chosen a path and stuck with it, while Evelyn’s own life was up in the air and often unclear. Crucially, Evelyn is just as chaotic as the events of the multiverse because she has all of this untapped potential. Whereas all of the other Evelyns have settled into their lives, the film’s primary Evelyn is full of regret about the decisions she didn’t make. She leads a life she didn’t necessarily see for herself and her feelings of inadequacy — of not living up to the standards of her father’s expectations — still haunt her, coloring Evelyn’s relationships with Waymond and Joy.
Alpha-Waymond chooses Evelyn to save the multiverse because she’s “so bad at everything” that she’s “capable of anything.” No other Evelyns could understand what the Everything Everywhere All at Once villain Jobu Tapaki was going through because their feelings of desolation were not as strong. What’s more, Jobu Tapaki’s Evelyn was so hard on her daughter, which is something Evelyn can relate to because she has been the same with Joy. She also carries the trauma of her own father disowning her after she marries Waymond, and it’s these very emotions that allow her to step up to meet Jobu Tapaki on a level playing field. All someone had to do was believe that Evelyn could do something extraordinary — which Alpha-Waymond did, seeing beyond what she saw in herself — to make her the perfect choice to help the multiverse and bring back the balance that was lost.
Why Jobu Tapaki Created The Everything Bagel
Jobu Tapaki is a bit of a tragic figure in the Everything Everywhere All at Once ending. She’s the Alphaverse version of Joy whose mother, also Evelyn, pushed her way too hard to tap into the multiverse. She verse-jumped so much that something in her mind shattered, with Jobu Tapaki being able to experience the multiverse all at once. Suffice it to say it was a lot for her mind to handle and it never fully healed from that. It led to Jobu Tapaki being able to embody any version of Joy from the multiverse without having to perform any of the Alphaverse tricks that others had to do to verse-jump. Here is a woman who is representative of our modern society, where so much — global events, social media, societal issues, and personal life struggles — is calling for attention. Jobu Tapaki’s mind is split in that way, being pulled in so many wildly different directions to the point that it gets to be too much.
In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jobu Tapaki had nothing to lose after that, feeling the weight of the multiverse pressing in, so she decided to see what would happen if she threw experiences, thoughts, and just about everything she could think of on top of a bagel. Jobu Tapaki wanted to discover just what would happen if all of the chaos was in one place, especially since she could experience all of it at once. What she ultimately found is — despite the entirety of the multiverse and all that was in it — that nothing really mattered at all. It’s why she wanted to succumb to the everything bagel’s power, which was pulling her towards its void. A big part of Jobu Tapaki’s journey was learning that there is still hope and that, even though nothing matters, there are certain things, like a mother-daughter relationship, that are still worth fighting for.
Everything Everywhere All At Once Ending’s Real Meaning
The Everything Everywhere All at Once ending sees Evelyn trying to make amends with Joy, who is tired of trying to please her mother. Evelyn had a big moment when confronting her father about Joy being with her girlfriend, but it was a moment born from Evelyn’s need to defy her dad. Joy, feeling like she couldn’t live up to her mother’s expectations, breaks down, and it’s only then that Evelyn realizes that, if nothing else, the relationship she has with her daughter — as tension-filled and complicated it may be — matters more than anything. Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s multiverse leans into the layered dynamic between a parent and their child. Evelyn and Joy have so much pain from their familial relationships, but they also have a lot of love.
When Evelyn reveals she always wants to be with Joy, no matter where they are, it is the start of a healing process for both characters from the pain inflicted previously. That is key to overcoming both of their traumas and breaking the generational cycle that causes a rift between parents and their children. At the heart of the film is the message that family matters, so long as one is willing to listen and approach things with an open heart. Besides dealing with family trauma like Encanto, the film explores how a person can be caught between so many expectations, perceptions, and the constant barrage of things in life that require so much of one’s attention.
It’s also a reflection of society and how much the digital age has changed the way people consume just about everything. Jobu Tapaki has access to countless versions of herself and the multiverse at large, and the influx of information was so intense and taxing on the mind that she couldn’t take it anymore. As the Everything Everywhere All at Once ending implies, it can start to feel like nothing really matters. For Joy and Evelyn, they needed to step away from the pressures of the world and realize that they both, despite all the hurdles, are worth it in the end. In times of hardship and darkness, one can still find hope.
What Michelle Yeoh’s Thinks Of Evelyn’s Journey
The unique Everything Everywhere All at Once ending is jam-packed with layers and meaning, and somehow, actress Michelle Yeoh was able to tackle it all. In fact, Yeoh’s performance as the world-weary Evelyn was strong enough to win the actress a Golden Globe, beating out stiff competition such as Margot Robbie (Babylon), Anya-Taylor Joy (The Menu), Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris), and Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande). This is especially impressive since Yeoh wasn’t only playing one role, rather, but played every version of Evelyn in the multiverse (or those parts of it the movie explored, at least). To take on something so complex is no easy feat, and Yeoh’s performance was both endearing in all of her faults and inspiring in the face of her difficulties. It takes a strong figure to be able to embody a character that must explore and embrace every intricate detail of themselves and their choices, and Yeoh obviously did so perfectly.
The Everything Everywhere All at Once actress Michelle Yeoh opened up in an interview (via Vanity Fair) about the role and the overall themes of the film. Right off the bat, Yeoh admits, “I guess my 40 years of experience was like a long rehearsal for this movie.” Yeoh did a lot of character study going into the movie, even changing the way she walks as Evelyn to outwardly express her feelings about life. The actress also had a lot to consider about Evelyn’s appearance, trying her best to show things like a character who is living paycheck to paycheck or adding gray streaks to her hair to visually represent the familial and financial stress that Evelyn is so clearly under. That being said, at Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s core is the discussion of generational trauma and a mother-daughter relationship.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is not Michelle Yeoh’s first go at portraying a disapproving mother, as she took on the role of Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians. However, the themes surrounding the mother-daughter relationship found in Everything Everywhere All at Once is something that Yeoh discusses with Vanity Fair, saying that the problems that strike these types of relationships cross-cultural boundaries, and can be identifiable to anyone. While the Everything Everywhere All at Once ending doesn’t tidily fix the relationship between Joy and Evelyn, there is one piece of the puzzle that is clear to Yeoh, “It’s like we have to step back and say, ‘We want to be there for each other. We just don’t know how to express it yet, but let’s not give up on each other.”