7 Hidden Clues/Humor You Might Have Missed in Knives Out.[Spoilers!]

So far the RunPee Tamily watched Knives Out 7 times combined to do the Peetimes. Yes, it’s that hard! The movie is filled with clue Easter eggs. Like one of the characters says, “This guy pretty much lives in a clue board.”

Watching it the second time the next day, I noticed so many things I overlooked the first time. Some of them are just impossible to spot the first time because a significant plot distracts you. I can’t wait to share my findings, so let’s dive right into it!

#1 The Baseball
This is the finding that makes me most proud. The arc of the baseball contributes not to the main murder case plotline, but the “Linda-Richard” relationship. Here’s the trip the baseball took:

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  • Richard first threw the baseball out of Harlan’s office window after finding out the letter he threatened to send to Linda is a blank paper — he felt played.
  • In the next scene, Detective Blanc notices the baseball and picks it up.
  • The next day, the dogs come to Blanc, drops the piece of wood from the wall frame, and bites on the baseball he was holding at the time. Blanc throws the ball for the dog to retrieve. But before the dog comes back, he notices the piece of wood and gets distracted.
  • The dog still has the baseball in its mouth a day later, at the family gathering requested by Marta. They thought she’s going to renounce the inheritance. The dog sits next to Linda. Linda recognizes baseball and takes it from the dog. She goes to put the baseball back to her father’s office. Notices the letter opened by Richard. Thus, finding out Richard’s affair.

See the full circle here? The director brilliantly made Richard bringing it all to himself.

Read more about the Baseball story here.

#2 The “Extra Bowl”
Remember the scene where Ransom (Chris Evans) and Marta sit down in a restaurant after the will is read? Ransom asked for an “extra bowl” from the waitress — for Marta to puke in later. I didn’t notice it even the second time, but Dan did.

#3 Where Is Marta from?
You probably get the symbolic immigrates subtext the first watch. But do you remember where Marta is from? Different characters describe her as from Ecuador, Brazil, and Uruguay — and perhaps a few others I forgot. The intention is clear: nobody of the Thrombeys’ family really cared.

Read more about the political subplot in Knives Out here.

#4 Secret Messages
Yes, it was revealed at the end of the movie, that it’s a father-daughter game to use invisible ink as Harlan and Linda’s secret form of communication. But the director had actually given us a clue before that. When Linda was in her room reading the letters from her father over the years, if you look closely, you will notice the burn traces.

#5 “Dogs are the best judge of characters.”
Yes, it’s so blunt that you won’t believe it the first time watching it. But it’s that simple. The movie starts with a scene of dogs running on the lawn. The dogs interacted with three main characters. Marta, Ransom, and Linda. They are very friendly towards Marta and Linda and aggressive with Ransom. If you look back at each of the characters, Marta is the kindest. Linda is the only one in the family that actually cares. (She looks down on her brother, but still protects him in front of the police) And Ransom? I don’t need to tell you about Ransom.

#6 What’s With The Donut?
The whole “Donut speech” delivered by Daniel Craig at the end of the movie is just so brilliantly funny. But why the donut? I have a wild guess. The director takes the genre — “whodunnit” — and turns it into a wordplay. “Dunnit”, “Donut”. Yes?

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but since we’re having fun… The throne of knives forms a donut. When the detectives interview the characters they sit in the chair in front of the knives, ostensibly “filling the donut hole.”

#7 Stage prop
Last but not least. On the faithful night of Harlan’s death, as Marta gives him his medications he talks about his children and their problems. While talking about Ransom he picks up a knife and removes it from its sheath, and says, “There is so much of me in that kid: confident, stupid, protected. Playing life like a game without consequences. Until you can’t tell the difference between a stage prop and a real knife.” Then he stabs the knife into the tabletop. Of course in the climax of the movie Ransom tries to stab Marta with a stage prop.

Did you spot any other hidden clues? Let us know in the comments below.

12 Replies to “7 Hidden Clues/Humor You Might Have Missed in Knives Out.[Spoilers!]”

  1. Another Easter Egg involving the ball that is thrown by actor’s first name Don, who plays character with last name Drysdale: Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale!

      1. I was Thiiiiiiis close — I was watching the dogs, not the ball. They did NOT like Ransom. I jotted down who they didn’t like. These things are never random and a good reason to see this twice!

        Did you hear the dog bark sounds at that end?

    1. I was wondering about that myself. Detective Blanc said he noticed it right away but she didn’t come anywhere near the body. And even if she does have blood on her shoe: she’s a nurse. That shouldn’t be a surprise. I think that was just sort of a writing blunder that shouldn’t have been in the script.

      1. I disagree – Harlan slashed his jugular. That would be high velocity blood spatter, which can go quite a distance (at least by accepted crime show/crime movie rules!). I believe the implication was that the smallest drop got on her shoe, because she was far away but still in the room when he slit his throat. So small she didn’t notice. She’s a nurse, yes, but not a hospital nurse. No other reason there should have been blood on her shoe. There’s another moment earlier in the film where she’s at home with her mom nervously tapping her foot, the camera zooms in on her shoe and the blood spot intentionally – it was another small detail meant to heighten audience anticipation/concern that she’d be caught.

      2. I agree, They did a closeup on the bloody-splattered shoe. It was a thing. They don’t include this stuff by accident. The audience was supposed to get something from this.

  2. I could have sworn that Harlan’s portrait on the wall had him in a serious expression most of the way through the movie, but was smiling near the end. Did anyone else see that?

  3. How about all the references to beheading? A portrait of a man with no head. Another with a man holding his own head, and a sculpture in another room. Does it run in the family?

  4. The mechanical sailor statue at the foot of the staircase is very much like the one in the original version of the movie Sleuth. I also think that the way Don Johnson uses a letter opener to open the desk drawer came from the film version of the play Deathtrap.

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