Given the series’ heavy hand in creative depictions, Euphoria is full of symbolism using vivid imagery. Whether through colorful aesthetics or cultural metaphors through the lens of Hollywood blockbusters, it’s clear that every artistic seed planted has a purpose.
Euphoria Creator Sam Levinson has repeatedly stated that, like any artist, he draws creative inspiration from other art forms and pays homage to them through the show. Whether fans have caught all the references or not, there’s no denying that there are countless top-notch movie homages in the series that perhaps tell a deeper story.
Royal Wedding (1951)
The cinematic references begin from the first episode of the first season when Rue is seen doing drugs in the bathroom of a party. When Rue exits the bathroom, the hallway begins to slowly rotate and spin her around, depicting her in another world as everyone stays grounded.
While many movies have used this same technique, including Creation and even musical high school 3Nevertheless, royal wedding was among the first films to do so, dating back to 1951. Fans loved this portrayal because it still makes a statement and paints a striking picture.
In the second episode of the first season, Cassie watches TV and shows a pivotal moment from the film Fear, which is a movie about a boy who starts seeing a girl and starts to become obsessed with her and her family in a sinister way. In the scene, Mark Wahlberg’s character is shown battling his chest, which strongly foreshadows what’s to come next with Nate.
The reason Mark’s character beat his chest was so he could blame his girlfriend’s father for beating him after their confrontation. Just like in the movie, Nate is seen beating up Tyler, the guy he blames for his negative relationship with Maddy at the party, and he even transforms into Mark’s outfit afterwards.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
One of Zendaya’s best performances on the show was in the third episode of the first season where Rue is seen knocking on Fes’ door, begging him for more drugs while hurling insults at him and having an emotional breakdown. total. After this scene aired, fans noticed that the scene was quite similar to one of the basketball diaries.
Just as Euphoria portrays, basketball diaries also focuses on a drug addict, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo plays a similar scene when he comes to his mother’s doorstep begging for money, and he also has an eerily identical breakdown scene that fans are also having trouble watching.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The fifth episode of the first season is called “Bonnie and Clyde“, so it’s safe to say that one of the best movies of runaway couples plays a part in the Euphoria parcel. The episode continues the investigation storyline with the Nate and Maddy incident from the carnival, so the episode, in general, alludes heavily to the crime and investigation as it is.
While the fifth episode shows a rift between Maddy and Nate as they suffer from this predicament, the sixth episode to follow shows them finally reunited. The Halloween episode ends with Maddy and Nate attending a party together, with Nate dressed as a prisoner and Maddy dressed as Iris “Easy” Steensma from the crime movie. Taxi driver, which was a humorous way for both characters to essentially say, “we don’t care what people think, we’re in the trenches together.”
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
In the same Halloween episode, Jules disguised as Juliet Capulet from the Romeo + Juliet 1996 adaptation. A scene is even recreated when Jules falls into the pool with Rue and they kiss underwater, as shown in Act II of the play.
This depiction was the first of many times fans caught on to the sudden symbolism, as Rue is insinuated to be the Romeo to Julius’ Juliet. In the play, Romeo comes to terms with his fate by drinking poison, which fans believe is a direct parallel to Rue’s heavy drug use that could later kill her. However, knowing that Juliet ends up killing herself in the play after Romeo, this comparison makes fans uncomfortable, as they can only assume that Jules will end up dying as well if the two stories are really similar.
The second season began with another tribute to fans of classic crime movies that fans love to watch over and over again, Freedmen. Martin Scorsese’s film had a distinctive look, which Levinson clearly tried to embody right down to the shooting style and vibe of Fes’ grandmother’s edgy throwback past.
In addition to using famous songs from the film, Levinson paid homage to the film a second time in episode five. Similar to how Henry turned on Karen for flushing her meds down the toilet in FreedmenRue also lost her mind when she discovered that her mother, Jules, and Elliot teamed up to get rid of the suitcase and also flush her medicine down the toilet.
The beginning of the fourth episode of the second season begins by depicting Rue and Jules as stars of different films, one of them being Phantom. The film involves the ghost of a woman’s lover who she communicates with through a medium, and Rue played the character of Patrick Swayze while Jules played that of Demi Moore.
While Phantom is beloved by many as a tragic love story, Euphoria fans didn’t enjoy the foreshadowing as much. Given that Swayze’s character obviously dies in the film, Rue portraying him was no coincidence.
Another movie that Rue and Jules starred in was Titanic, with Rue as Jack and Jules as Rose. Fans of the movie know that Jack dies at the end, so knowing that Rue was Jack in the script further proves that Levinson wants us to think Rue will eventually die.
Not only is the foreshadowing strong with this depiction, but it also speaks to the relationship between Rue and Jules. Rue would have gladly sacrificed herself to save Jules if she needed to, so this strong symbolism has an even deeper meaning.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Rue and Jules also paid tribute to Brokeback Mountain in episode four. The story of the film is about two cowboys, Jack and Ennis, who share a complicated and secret romance, Rue being Jack and Jules being Ennis. Brokeback Mountain is adored by many, as it was an unconventional story for its time, but has one of the most realistic depictions of love.
However, fans were once again shocked to see Rue portray another character who dies in the film. While Euphoria chose big movies to star in episode four, fans were nervous, wondering exactly what Levinson was trying to foreshadow with Rue’s fate.
Support Me (1986)
In the sixth episode of season two, Lexi and Fez bond over the fact that they both love the movie. support me while discussing the trajectory of Lexi’s game. The film involved four young boys who became fast friends as they searched to discover a dead body.
When the film moves forward to show the boy’s entire future, it is revealed that Chris was murdered while breaking up a fight. While the primary motive for this film’s inclusion may have simply been a message for Fez and Lexi to stay together, fans believe the same message could be extended to Maddy and Cassie, as they navigate putting their friendship on unhinged Nate. However, fans even speculate that perhaps it serves as a foreshadowing with an unexpected character sacrificing himself during a larger conflict later in the series, much like Chris’ fate in the film.
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