Why I'm Convinced There's Literally No Cannibalism in 'Yellowjackets'

Let’s set the scene: In the first shot of Yellowjackets, we see a girl getting chased by through the woods by an unseen pursuer. She falls into a hidden pit trap and is immediately impaled on spikes. Her body is then picked up off the ground, strung up in a tree, and drained of blood. We then see a group of girls (aka the Yellowjackets) dressed in pelts and eating meat—the strong implication/assumption being ritualistic cannibalism, a secret that seemingly haunts the surviving team members, and one they vow to keep from the public.

Here’s why I think the show might be fucking with us, and why the Yellowjackets did something way “worse” than cannibalism:


Everyone in the town already thinks the Yellowjackets are cannibals, so if it’s a secret, it’s an open one. And if they did resort to cannibalism, why hide it? Cannibalism as survival has historically been socially “understood”—most recently after the Andes flight disaster, which co-creator Ashley Lyle confirmed influenced Yellowjackets (Jessica even brings it up while talking to Misty). In case you haven’t already done a Wikipedia deep dive on this crash, survivors made a pact that they could eat one another should they die and were publicly forgiven. Book deals followed, and nowadays the ordeal is generally seen as one of survivalism and human endurance.


The establishing shot of Yellowjackets could have been a fake out. We don’t actually see the girl who dies being chased by a person, and the show has already made it clear that there’s a fleet of super pissed-off wolves in the woods. What if that trap had been made for an animal, and the girl who died was being chased by said animal? No, this doesn’t explain why her body was strung up and drained, but at this point we have no concrete proof that she was eaten.

^Side note: the sheer number of animal pelts in this scene implies that the Yellowjackets have a lot more hunting ahead of them until they run out of food and need to resort to eating each other.


Yellowjackets has already proven that it’s willing to lean allll the way into red herrings. Case in point: the penultimate episode, where we find out that Adam is just…Adam. He’s not Javi, he’s not someone’s secret kid, he’s not anyone. IMO, the creators of the show are showing us that sometimes the truth is as simple as the evidence in front of us. And so far, none of the evidence has proven that Yellowjackets is about cannibalism, but the show is definitely having fun making us think it is.

So, what’s a secret “worse” than cannibalism that the Yellowjackets could be hiding? No clue, but considering there is also a current-day mystery unfolding on the show, my own personal theory is that whatever they’re hiding happened right after they were rescued—not in the woods. Then again, this is just a theory! If I’m wrong about literally everything I just wrote, then so be it 🥴. Bye!

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