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"My dear friends, my beautiful disruptors, my closest inner circle. We could all use a moment of normalcy. And so you are cordially invited for a long weekend on my private island, where we will celebrate the bonds that connect us. And I hope your puzzle-solving skills are whetted, because you will also be competing to solve the mystery of my murder. Travel details to come, please forward any dietary restrictions. Love and all my kisses, Miles."
Miles Bron's invitation to the Disruptors

Glass Onion (also known as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) is a 2022 murder mystery film directed and written by Rian Johnson. As the subtitle indicates, it is a standalone sequel to Johnson's 2019 film Knives Out.

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, reprising his role from Knives Out) has been invited to the private Greek island of tech oligarch Miles Bron (Edward Norton) alongside Bron's eclectic and influential friend group, the Disruptors: Connecticut governor and aspiring senator Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn); macho car/alt-right streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and his much younger girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline); controversial supermodel-turned-fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick); one of Bron's most prominent employed scientists, Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.); and Bron's estranged former business partner Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe). The problems? Bron didn't invite Blanc, everyone's motives are not as they seem, and something more complex is afoot.

The film was given a one-week theatrical engagement by Netflix from November 22-29, 2022, and was released on the service on December 23. It was also screened at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

Johnson has confirmed that he is developing a third Benoit Blanc mystery film.

Previews: Netflix 2022 Movie Preview (as Knives Out 2), Teaser, Tudum Clip, Official Trailer


Glass Onion contains examples of:

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    # to C 
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The film was released in November 2022, but it is set in May 2020.
  • Academic Athlete: Serena Williams is engrossed with Gravity's Rainbow, which, in the first movie, Blanc even admitted to never reading.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Affectionate Parody: As with Knives Out, the film is a wryly indulgent and subversive take on the mystery genre. Notably, it features the twist of a character being revealed to have an identical twin, a classic mystery turn often considered cliche, but done here with sincerity for the reveal and complete characterization of the film's true protagonist, and the resolution of the mystery is a big subversion of the genre and the previous film— The culprit is the most obvious, immediate, and uncomplicated answer, but nobody would have expected it because the killer would have to be extremely reckless and stupid for that to be true...which they absolutely are. The film also parodies the Red HerringDerol is a conspicuous character, but he's described as "not part of the experience" and tells the other characters to ignore him...and ultimately, he isn't part of things and can be ignored because he truly has no relevance to the mystery.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Subverted; while Helen-as-Andi does get tipsy and lashes out at the rest of the Disruptors, it leads to a major break in the case when the rest of the Disruptors confront her. Blanc even encourages her to drink more after the fact.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The size of the repercussions for Miles — with his reputation tarnished by means of Klear proven to be extremely unstable and destroying both the Glass Onion and The Mona Lisa — and if a bigger investigation is opened as a result of that are not specified. However drastic things will be for the lives of the Disruptors after that are is also left up in the air — though it's clear they either won't help Miles or will totally lie to make him look worse if they have to say anything at all.
  • Applied Phlebotinum:
    • Klear is a new alternative fuel source being pushed by Miles. A solid-state hydrogen fuel created from seawater, it's already powering the Glass Onion, and Miles plans to expand it to everything from residential to transport uses.
    • When they arrive in Greece, the characters have their throats sprayed with some sort of spray can and are simply told "You're good" regarding catching COVID. This unexplained bit of superscience neatly sidesteps the characters having to wear masks for the rest of the film. Considering what we later learn about Miles, one has to wonder if it actually did anything at all.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: A confrontation taking place after the pool scene features a piercing question that not only shuts up the questioned on moral grounds but lets the asker escape a conversation they're not fully on top of. In the second half of the film, Helen (as Andi) calls out Claire and Duke about the events after Andi threatened them with the email, angrily demanding to know why they didn't respond to it. Claire and Duke catch Helen completely off-guard with information she didn't know by telling her they did, attempting to email and call Andi and even trying to visit her house to speak to her, only to get no response (because Andi had been killed). Helen saves face and regains her footing in the ruse by feigning that Andi didn't answer any of it because she didn't trust the Disruptors, and going with this, Helen successfully stuns Claire and Duke by asking if they were coming to check on Andi's welfare, or if they were just coming to prevent her from making good on her threat to Miles' empire. They can't answer.
  • Artistic License – Art: The Mona Lisa, which Bron has in his possession to brag how rich he is, is depicted as larger than in real life and having been painted on canvas, best shown when it burns. The real Mona Lisa was actually painted on wood.
  • Artistic License – Geography: When Duke is murdered and the characters try to summon help from the mainland, the police won't be able to land until the next morning because the fancy dock that Miles had installed is only accessible at low tide. However, the Aegean Sea (as part of the Mediterranean) has minuscule tides that wouldn't be a problem in real life; at the very worst someone landing at the dock would get their feet wet.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: When Duke gets out of the pool, he immediately pulls out his handgun-which is holstered to his swimsuit-and fires a shot in the air. In Real Life, he'd have been lucky to not have the gun explode in his hand and blow a few fingers off. Guns are not designed to be immersed in water. If they have been, there is a clearing procedure that one must perform before attempting to fire it. The reason is the water cannot be compressed, so any droplets of water in the barrel would basically act as a solid object when the fired round impacted them, possibly rupturing the barrel.note 
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • Laws for gun ownership, possession, and open carry are a lot more restrictive in Greece than they are in the US, so in reality, Duke shouldn’t have been able to bring his gun from the US for the trip, let alone walk about in Greece with it in full display. It's possible that Miles' connections helped him with this, but never confirmed in the film.
    • The court case between Andi and Miles is implied to have hinged on proving which of them came up with the original idea for the company. Andi originally wrote the idea on a napkin, which she threatened to use as evidence against Miles. Business ideas are generally not legally protected. Control of the company would be determined by contracts and ownership of company shares. It does not matter who came up with the business plan.
  • Artistic License – Politics: Claire, the governor of Connecticut, is shown to be running for the United States Senate in 2020. There were no elections for the Senate in Connecticut during 2020. They were actually held during the 2018 and 2022 midterms. There would only be an election in 2020 if a senator who was last elected in 2016 or 2018 died or resigned prior to the 2020 election cycle and a special election was held to fill the remainder of the previous senator's term, which would have expired in 2023 or 2025 depending on when the last regular election was.
  • As Himself:
    • Angela Lansbury, Stephen Sondheim, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Natasha Lyonne cameo in a Zoom call at the start of the film, playing Among Us with Blanc.
    • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is a guest at Birdie's party early on. His musical know-how helps solve one of the box's puzzles.
    • Tennis player Serena Williams appears as an online Peloton-style fitness instructor ... but since there's a murder mystery going on and everyone's preoccupied, she just sits and reads instead. It takes Benoit and Helen a minute to even realize it's a live feed.
      Serena: Whatever, man, it's your money.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Miles had a glass dock flanked by Banksy statues installed as the only landing point for his personal island. It looks incredible, but it's also a fixed dock only accessible at low tide.
    • His case for the Mona Lisa is a high-tech security system that will slide the glass over it at the slightest hint of a flame, a loud noise, or a phone dinging, but is still ultimately less secure than simply securing the glass over it full-time because he wants to see it without the glass, to the point he installed an override to lower the glass at will. It bites him in the ass when Helen activates the override, exposing the painting to the flames of his burning house.
    • Miles has invented Klear, a clean crystalline fuel that can be derived from common seawater. It also produces extremely flammable hydrogen gas and, as Claire puts it, turns houses into the Hindenburg.
    • Using only fax machines for communication, as well as having all his machines running on the same number, may make Miles seem artsy and unique, but it also makes a walk in the park for prying eyes to glance at his incriminating documents. Which is how Blanc and Helen find out he knew about Andi's E-Mail.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Miles invites everyone to partake in a murder mystery party game, which looks like it's going to end with an actual murder. Blanc manages to solve the game before it even begins, and it turns out that the real murder took place a week earlier.
    • In the first film, Blanc was anonymously hired to investigate a crime that didn't actually look like a crime from the outset, so when he's mysteriously invited to Miles' party without Miles' knowledge, it looks like there's once again someone on the inside who wants him there because they know a crime is about to go down. It turns out someone did want Blanc there, but unlike the anonymous invitation in the first film, Blanc was in on the plan from the start.
    • Before the flashback sequence, Blanc calls Andi "Helen", and right after "Andi" is shot proclaims that it's time "to find out who killed Cassandra Brand." It seems that he's referring to the person who just shot "Andi" right in front of him on the steps of the Glass Onion. But he's actually talking about the person who killed the real Andi days previously. Oddly enough, they're the same person.
    • Being a wealthy man on a remote island who invited a group of people who each has a valid reason to want him dead, it looks like Miles is going to be the murder victim. Not only does he survive, but he is responsible for the actual murder that is at the center of the mystery.
    • Blanc arrives on the island seemingly truly out of his element and with a more theatrical, showy attitude than he showed in Knives Out. It's chalked up to him going stir-crazy in isolation. He actually is acutely aware of why he's there, and told Helen that he would play up his "Southern hokum" as a way to distract the others from noticing she was posing as Andi.
  • Ballroom Blitz: The first murder we see onscreen happens during Miles' party, which is why everyone is still glammed up as the culprit wreaks havoc. Miles wastes no time whining about the interruptions to the festivities. Even though he's the killer.
  • Batman Gambit: In order to have the freedom to search the other guests' rooms, Helen-as-Andi has to provoke a confrontation with at least one of the guests that she knows she will lose, giving her a reason to leave the evening drinks party.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: When Helen (and the audience) learns that her twin sister Andi has apparently committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning, she goes to see Andi's body at the morgue, and said body looks basically as if Andi is just sleeping.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Miles always wanted to do something big that would get him remembered in the same breath as the Mona Lisa. His dangerous fuel blowing up his complex and the Mona Lisa itself ensure that'll he'll be remembered as the man who destroyed the Mona Lisa.
  • Big Fancy House: The Glass Onion, Miles' luxurious estate on a Greek private island with lavishly designed guest rooms, lush gardens surrounding an infinity pool, a living/dining room filled with expensive pieces of art, and a private gym coached by Serena Williams, all powered by a state-of-the-art energy source. Also lampshaded; he insists that it's much more than a "rich asshole house".
  • Bittersweet Ending: More on the triumphant though. Miles destroys the napkin with his lighter and thus disposes of the only piece of evidence that could not only prove he stole creative control of Alpha from Andi, but could also prove that he killed her and Duke to further cover his tracks; but Helen—inspired by Blanc to do so—then uses Klear to destroy both the Glass Onion and the Mona Lisa, knowing full well that Miles will take the blame for both the painting's destruction and for Klear being a proven failure that he bet everything he has upon. The Disruptors also determine that they'll take Helen's side if they have to, knowing full well that he no longer has any power or influence to hold over them, even with their own situations likely not improving during the circumstances too.
  • Black Comedy: The extent of Birdie saying or doing incredibly offensive things would be pretty unpleasant, if it weren't for the fact that she's a total idiot and all of her gaffes were born from her staggering ignorance rather than actual bigotry.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Played with. Although Duke (played by half-Filipino actor Dave Bautista) is the first person to die on-screen, it turns out that Andi was the first to die chronologically, having been killed by Miles prior to the events of the film.
  • Blackface: Alluded to when Birdie Jay insists that the Halloween costume that landed her in hot water was supposed to be a tribute to Beyoncé, though we never see what exactly her costume looked like.
  • Blackmail Backfire:
    • Andi tried blackmailing Miles' friends after discovering evidence that would ruin them. Lionel faxes the email to Miles, which leads to Miles killing her personally and stealing the evidence.
    • Upon piecing together that Miles killed Andi, Duke subtly blackmails Miles during the party to put him on Alpha News or else he'll reveal the truth to the public. This results in Miles tricking Duke into drinking a glass filled with pineapple juice, which Duke is deathly allergic to, killing him.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Jeremy Renner's short-batch hot sauce. Blanc dabs some into his eyes so he can pretend to cry. Helen also uses it as fake blood after she gets "shot" and almost ruins the charade when some drips into her nostril.
  • A Bloody Mess: All the bright red blood on Helen after she is shot is actually hot sauce, which Blanc had splashed on her to make her look dead and shock everyone else into going along with the investigation.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: Helen and Blanc's plan is for Helen to impersonate her dead sister in order to get the still unknown murderer to panic and reveal themselves at the gathering.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Coming into the mansion and seeing Miles' ridiculously elaborate Banksy dock, Lionel asks what it is and the captain replies "Pisceshite", which Lionel assumes is the island's name in Greek. Later, when Lionel tries to call for help, he's told no one can arrive because that same dock won't work outside low tide. It's only when the operator repeats that word over and over that Lionel realizes the first captain was just calling the dock a "piece of shit."
    • Blanc tries to have a thoughtful smoke in a secluded corner of the mansion's grounds, only for an alarm to go off and an automated voice to inform him that this is a non-smoking area. The alarm is heard again at the end of the film as the mansion burns down.
    • Blanc asks if there will be a prize for solving the murder mystery, like an iPad. After Blanc solves the actual crime, Miles snarks that he can have an iPad Pro.
    • After learning that Klear gives off hydrogen gas, Claire panics at the thought that the energy system she just endorsed could turn every house powered by it into the Hindenburg. Shortly before Miles' Klear-powered mansion blows up, she dejectedly mutters "Hindenburg".
    • Brand refers to the Disruptors who sided with Miles when he stole the company as "the Shitheads". At the end of the movie, when they finally have enough and turn on him, Miles calls them "shitheads" himself.
    • One going back to the first film. Serena Williams is seen reading Gravity's Rainbow, which Blanc mentioned in the first film to say no one has ever read it.
  • But Not Too Gay: Unlike the straight couples (Whiskey and Duke are affectionate with each other and there's a brief scene where Duke watches Whiskey seduce Bron on his bed; Claire gets a scene with her kids and husband), Blanc's live-in partner Philip isn't explicitly labeled as such and never shares the screen with him.
  • The Cameo:
    • Blanc has been whiling away the time during lockdown with Zoom chats with Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Angela Lansbury, and Stephen Sondheim. (It's the final film appearance for both Lansbury and Sondheim.)
    • Ethan Hawke appears briefly as Miles' assistant.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns to yet another Rian Johnson production, this time as the "Hourly Dong" sound for Miles' island clock.
    • Hugh Grant briefly appears as Blanc's husband Phillip.
    • Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma is one of the guests at Birdie's party. He helpfully identifies a fugue, which solves one of the puzzles in Miles' box.
    • Tennis player Serena Williams appears as a coach on retainer for a gym at the Glass Onion which never gets used.
  • Casting Gag: Blanc's Zoom buddies have their own histories with the murder mystery genre:
  • Central Theme: Disruption and the system. The film discusses how current structures and the law are broken in the favor of the most wealthy and privileged, and will co-opt disruptive ideas of progress and revolution to deaden their power, and states that the only way to address these problems and make real change is to break the system open entirely, past the point that most people are comfortable with.
    • As far as false disruption, Miles calls himself and his friends "Disruptors" who are fighting the system to change the world, but none of this is real change. Miles is just another tycoon trying to get wealth and fame from innovation, Claire is a politician dishonestly using progressivism to earn votes and willfully greenlighting dangerous plans to get financial support for her campaign, Lionel is spineless against Miles and doesn't fight for his principles early enough, and Birdie and Duke are only "disruptors" against the status quo in the sense that they spout regressive and bigoted opinions in a world they feel is too "woke" and are thus standing for an older status quo.
      • To a lesser degree, there's also the false disruption of ignoring safety regulations and precedents in engineering and technology in the belief that they "hold things back", such as all the issues with Klear. Had Miles died during the explosion, there would probably be comparisons to Stockton Rush as well.
    • As far as wealth fostering injustice, Andi was legally screwed over by Miles and his legal team— by trying to maintain ethical control over her company and halt a reckless plan, she was taken away from her seat of power and with no way to stop it. The idea is also explored with Birdie and Duke, who are the kind of "cancelled" celebrities who are stupid and morally abhorrent enough to never be able to weather controversy and recover their careers without other famous friends and money to revive them again and again—but they have those.
    • True disruption as Miles describes it (progressively breaking through barriers nobody is comfortable with) becomes illustrated with Helen. They cannot achieve justice for the crime in a truly ethical legal manner since the evidence that would save them has been destroyed and there are witnesses who will perjure against them. They ultimately have to achieve vindication in a dubious but genuinely disruptive manner through cutting through the bullshit empire of the private island and going further than anyone else is willing to by blowing up the Glass Onion with the dangerous Klear fuel, while sacrificing a priceless piece of cultural heritage, all to frame the killer as the dangerous idiot he genuinely is. After taking these steps, Helen secures the perjury of the witnesses in her favor, allowing her to achieve justice in an unorthodox but effective manner outside the rules.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • The Mona Lisa and its security system. It's initially introduced as an illustration of Miles Bron's character: he paid a lot of money to borrow it, and he plays fast and loose with the measures intended to protect it because he doesn't like the slight inconvenience of looking at it through a glass case. The security shutter's sensitivity to noise becomes a running gag, and then a plot point. In the final confrontation, his circumvention of the protection measures comes back to bite him, leaving the painting vulnerable to destruction during the explosive failure of the Klear system.
    • The portable butane torch Miles carries to demonstrate the portrait's security and which he uses to destroy the genuine Alpha napkin. Helen takes it moments later to start a bonfire that she ultimately uses to ignite the Klear hydrogen fuel powering Miles' house.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Alpha fax machines which all use the same number. Lionel faxed Andi's e-mail to Miles, who received the copy in New York. The fax machine on the island also received it, which proves Miles was also aware of the threat.
    • The invitations have a small note on the bottom asking for everyone's dietary restrictions. Which is how Miles knows about Duke's allergy to pineapples.
    • Literally with Duke's pistol, which he fires in the air several times for fun. After murdering Duke, Miles takes his gun and uses it to murder "Andi" (or at least tries to).
    • The napkin on which Miles Bron wrote the original ideas for his company. It was actually written by Andi, and Helen comes to the island to try and find it to prove her sister was the real genius.
    • Miles' one-of-a-kind Porsche which follows him everywhere he goes. He drove it to murder Andi and nearly ran over Duke on his way back.
    • The bottle of Jeremy Renner's hot sauce is used by Blanc and Helen to help fake Helen's death.
    • The tiny chunk of hydrogen-based Klear fuel Miles shows off at the beginning of the party and then tosses to Blanc. Blanc gives it Helen, who uses it as an explosive catalyst to destroy the Glass Onion, proving how dangerous it is in a way that the media can't overlook.
    • Early on, it's mentioned that Helen is wearing flats, which allows her to beat Miles to the Mona Lisa security case's override switch.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Or rather, lack of skill. Miles is shown time and time again to be not nearly as smart as he appears. He frequently misuses or makes up clever-sounding words, his intricate mystery boxes weren't actually made by him, and even his planned murder mystery game is immediately solved by Blanc. And it turns out this extends to him as the killer: Blanc finally pins him as the guilty party once he realizes that, yes, Miles is stupid enough to murder a high-profile businesswoman he'd just had a bitter public legal dispute with.
  • Closed Circle: The murder mystery takes place on an island that can only be accessed by a two-hour boat ride, and the impractical dock means boats can only arrive at low tide. This means that after chaos ensues when Duke dies, the cast is stuck there because nobody can reach or leave the island until the morning.
  • Clothing Damage: Helen's white suit jacket got penetrated by the bullet, and in the finale, when she starts to destroy Miles' house, she fiercely sheds said jacket and throws it in to the bonfire.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality: How the characters wear their masks when they are meeting on the docks helps establish their character:
    • Lionel wears his professional N95 mask the entire time and tries to avoid social contact, showing that he takes the pandemic seriously and is reasonably considerate of others.
    • Claire's mask covers her mouth but regularly falls off her nose, showing that she's only interested in appearing socially and morally conscious. She's only wearing her mask properly when the public can see her, and is seen adjusting it to cover her nose properly after Blanc addresses her as "Governor", showing her self-consciousness about her performative political image.
    • Birdie wears a mesh mask that looks (and probably functions) more like a veil than a face mask, and immediately tries to initiate a hug regardless of the others' protests, showing that she is much more concerned with how she looks than how protected she is — meanwhile, her responsible assistant, Peg, is wearing a functional face mask and keeps it on the entire time the group is on the dock.
    • Duke doesn't wear a mask at all, and neither does his girlfriend, Whiskey, implying that neither of them believe the virus is a real threat or simply won't be inconvenienced.
    • Blanc wears what appears to be a homemade mask that coordinates with his outfit, reflective of his dandy fashion sense, while also wearing his mask properly and keeping his distance from the others.
    • While we never see Miles wearing a mask, he has one of his employees spray something in the throats of all the guests that supposedly protects them from the virus. With the revelation later on of Miles' stupidity, it shows that he's more interested in flashy stuff that looks cool rather than anything that has been actually tested and proven to work.
    • Helen's first chronological scene shows her properly wearing a disposable surgical mask, emphasizing her propriety and respect for others. The fact that she wears a disposable mask also highlights her modest background compared to the Disruptors. In addition, when she appears as Andi on the dock, she doesn't have a mask because she's already wearing one — taking on Andi's identity.
  • Complexity Addiction: A running theme throughout the movie, as Miles and the Disruptors delight in grand theatrical displays and puzzles to solve as a means of 'proving' their intelligence, and Blanc is shown in the beginning to be going a little stir-crazy when the COVID pandemic forces him to stay indoors without a case to stimulate his mind. Conversely, main protagonist Helen has little patience for these 'games' and prefers the inelegant, but effective method of solving her problems. Ironically, both Blanc and Helen run into problems with the case because of this, as both of them assume the motive and reasoning behind Andi's murder is much more complicated than an outside perspective makes it look, when in actuality her killer is just really dumb and opportunistic.
  • Continuity Nod: Some moments allude to the previous film:
    • Blanc warns Miles that being sent an anonymous invitation to a seemingly uneventful gathering means things are likely to be a lot more serious than they appear, likely something he learned from the culprit inviting him to the Thrombey home in the previous film.
    • One of the glass sculptures in Miles' mansion which gets smashed by Peg later closely resembles the now-iconic knife wheel in Harlan Thrombey's office.
    • When he sees a knife rack with one knife missing, Blanc responds in exasperation. He may well be having flashbacks to the last time we saw him.
    • In Serena Williams' cameo, she is reading Gravity's Rainbow - disproving Blanc's assertion that no one reads it.
    • Several times throughout the movie, characters will toss or hand things to Peg, who is just confused as to what to do with it, echoing the way Richard nonchalantly passed his plate over to Marta as if she were "the help".
    • The first death is seemingly a suicide, like in the first movie. Like in the original, it's suspected the suicide was in fact hiding a murder. Unlike the first movie, this is actually the case.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: Knives Out was set in a cozy old New England mansion in fall, but this film is set in a modern mansion on a Greek private island during spring.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: When Helen ignites the Klear powering the Glass Onion and the titular dome explodes, none of the characters in the building are seriously burned either by the initial explosion or the subsequent flames.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Helen and Andi have no living family beside one another, meaning that Helen is the only person who's been notified of Andi's death. That buys Helen and Blanc a little time for Helen to impersonate Andi and try to solve her murder, with Blanc pulling strings to delay the public release of her death so none of the guests will find out.
  • Cool Car: Probably the only genuinely charming thing about Miles is his 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder which he has dubbed "Baby Blue". He supposedly takes it with him anywhere he goes in the world, and at the Glass Onion, it is on a large turntable on the roof. This turns out to be a very poor location once the Glass Onion is destroyed.
  • Cool Shades: Benoit Blanc and all the other characters sport sunglasses on their spring retreat to a Mediterranean island.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Defied in the denouement. Both because it is evidence of Bron being an idiot who killed Andi without thinking that he may be a primary suspect and because the one who brings up the "crazy enough to work" metaphor is one of Bron's Disruptors, who is still trying to kiss his ass in spite of it all.
    Benoit: It's so dumb...
    Birdie: It's so dumb it's brilliant!
    Benoit: NO! It's just DUMB!
  • Crocodile Tears: Blanc puts some hot sauce in his eyes to stimulate tears while he and Helen fake the latter's death.
  • Cry into Chest: Whiskey, kneeling on the floor over Duke's dead body, ends up burying her face into his chest and sobbing while everyone else freaks out. Blanc eventually leads her away so he can examine the corpse properly.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • The invitation to the island is an intricate puzzle box that Claire, Lionel, Birdie, and Duke delight in solving together. After this montage, we see Andi receive her box, and instead of solving all the individual puzzles, she takes a hammer to it. This turns out to have been meaningful: Andi is dead by this time, and her sister Helen was the one who opened the box. She has no patience for the Disruptors, and opted to smash it instead of indulging in their games.
    • This is actually a running theme in the film, as both the good guys and the bad guys cut through complex problems with surprisingly simple solutions. A thing doesn't have to be intelligent to be effective.

    D to H 
  • Deadly Gas: Andi was killed by drugging her and placing her in her garage with the engine of her car running, leading to death by carbon monoxide.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Andi is being impersonated by her identical twin sister, Helen.
  • Deconstructed Trope: A common murder mystery set up is a rich person inviting a group of people, all of whom have a history with the host, to their estate. The guests all have a reason to wish the host harm and then, when the host dies, the rest of the mystery is finding out who-done-it?. This movie instead asks the question "who is dumb enough to actually set up a situation like that?". This is possibly foreshadowing how Miles is an idiot billionaire whose only idea of reasonable thought is something is stole from Benoit Blanc, the one man in the room who has any level of intelligence.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Just as with the first movie, Blanc appears to be the traditional detective who will be the main focus. However, once we reach the second act, a flashback to when Miles's box reaches Blanc's apartment, the true protagonist of the movie emerges: Andi's twin sister Helen, who wants to find justice for her murdered sister. At this point, we learn that not only was "Andi" actually Helen the whole time, but we also learn that she and Blanc had been working together before they even arrived at the docks to head to the island.
  • Delayed Reaction: This particularly applies to Birdie, who starts talking about how Andi told Birdie about her twin sister Helen before realizing that she is currently talking to Helen, even though the group was just informed of Andi's death.
  • Denser and Wackier: Knives Out definitely has many moments of levity, but Glass Onion takes it up quite a few notches, using a lot more outright slapstick and comedic dialogue than its predecessor.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The killer's main trait, as Blanc Lampshades in a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech during The Summation, as none of their murderous attempts show any great forethought of the repercussions of killing the target, or how to get away with it. On the flip side, this trait is also why they were able to commit murder in the first place, as none of the victims expected them to resort to it as a first response because of how dumb it would be.
      • Miles killed Andi personally right after they had a drawn-out legal battle, which Blanc notes would have made him the first suspect once her death came to light which is why he initially dismissed him as a suspect. He also showed up to kill her in his custom-made iconic Cool Car, rather than in anything even remotely surreptitious, which allowed Duke to easily recognize his presence at the scene from them passing each other on the road.
      • He kills Duke by slipping him a tainted drink inside his own glass, and passing it off as a murder attempt on him that accidentally got Duke due to Duke accidentally taking Miles' glass, even convincing everybody to misremember events from his convincing telling of his own story. However, he actually killed Duke through an allergic reaction to pineapple juice, something that would have come out in an autopsy, meaning that only Duke would have been negatively affected by the drink. With Miles admitting the glass was his own, and knowing about Duke's allergy beforehand, he as good as admitted that he intentionally killed him. When he stole Duke's phone, he could have easily set it anywhere else during his timed blackout, especially since he was alone. If he did that, Blanc couldn't have casually just taken it out of his back pocket in front of everyone.
      • He appears to avert this with Helen's murder attempt, showing planning and preparation to steal Duke's gun away from him even before he has to kill him, and then adapting his 'panic' during Duke's death into making himself a less convincing suspect when the lights go out on a timed switch, before using the ensuing cover of darkness to shoot Helen in the confusion. However, as Blanc is going through this, he realizes that Miles actually lifted the entire idea wholesale from himself during his offhand comment to Miles when outlining the danger he appeared to be under. If left to his own devices, Helen's attempted murder would have been similarly poorly-thought out.
      • Lionel notes that despite all the effort Miles went through to get Andi's letter containing the proof she was the original mind behind Alpha, and despite the risk it posed to him, he not only kept it, he displayed it openly in his Glass Onion room as well. He's incredulous that it seemingly never occurred to Miles to just burn the napkin in the first place.
    • Duke attempting to blackmail Miles for a position in Alpha News over him murdering Andi. He appears to not realize that untold characters in other murder mysteries have tried to blackmail murderers before him, and the vast majority of them wind up in the ground, and that Miles has already proven to be willing to kill to protect his money. In that moment, he also seems to have forgotten that he's been seeing (who he believes to be) Andi alive and well the entire vacation, which logically should've made her death appear to be a hoax.
    • Even Helen falls prey to this: she asks Blanc to go to the island to find out who killed her sister, but he points out that if a famous detective shows up by himself and starts asking questions about the conspicuously absent Andi, everyone will immediately be on their guard and he won't be able to learn anything from them. To remedy this, he needs Helen to pretend to be Andi and come as well.
  • Diligent Hero, Slothful Villain: Benoit Blanc is a brilliant detective who falls to pieces without a case to solve and is first encountered deeply bored with playing games of Among Us while in lockdown. The Big Bad of the story is Miles Bron, a smug, vacuous, unimaginative Tech Bro who takes great delight in being regarded as a Self-Made Man and a genius even though he owes his success entirely to shameless credit-theft: the company that made him his fortune was effectively stolen from his partner, his innovations were either developed by someone else or half-assed bullshit he conjured up on a whim, his murder mystery and the puzzle boxes used for it were all commissioned, and his greatest work - the miracle fuel Klear - has been rushed through testing despite being volatile to the point of insanity. The murders he commits are so lazily thought-out they're virtually spur-of-the-moment, and Bron even resorts to stealing ideas from Benoit himself in a fantastically slothful attempt to save his own ass. As such, unlike the main villain of the previous film - who was at least Brilliant, but Lazy and could play a good game of Xanatos Speed Chess - this particular bad guy stands out as someone the hard-working Benoit Blanc utterly despises.
  • Dope Slap: A panicking Miles receives one from Blanc when he realizes it's nearly ten-o'clock — the point at which the lights go out.
  • Double Meaning: Miles repeatedly tells the Disruptors that their weekend getaway will be devoted to solving his murder. While this is meant to refer to the fake performed murder of Miles, which is swiftly solved by Blanc, the getaway eventually does reveal itself to revolve around "Miles' murder" — the murder he committed of Andi, and later Duke.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The film's title of Glass Onion refers to the name of the estate most of the film is set in; the "theme" of the murder (Blanc calls a "glass onion" something that seems complex, but after you peel the layers back the center is crystal-clear); and fits the Titled After the Song theme shared by the previous film (it's also a song by The Beatles).
  • Do Wrong, Right: Blanc appears to be almost as outraged at how incredibly stupid and lacking in elegance Miles' methods of murder turn out to be as by the fact that Miles is committing murder at all.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: It turns out Birdie mistook the meaning of "sweatshop" for "place where sweat pants are put together". The fact her designer sweatpants are made in horrible conditions overseas is now coming to light, and Miles is using that misunderstanding against her to have her take the fall for it and soak up the bad PR.
  • Dramatic Irony: We spend the entirety of the second act knowing that Andi, actually Helen, will be murdered on Miles's island, with multiple scenes having her and Blanc discussing the dangers of her going to an island with her sister's murderer a couple of times to play up the drama. However, this is ultimately subverted, as when the flashback comes full circle, we see that her sister's journal managed to stop the bullet, and she and Blanc quickly fake her death by pouring the hot sauce he took earlier all over her chest to look like blood.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • Early in the movie, Miles gives a big speech about how most people will cheer on the disruption of the status quo early on, but when people begin to cause major disruptions and push things to the brink, most will back off, as they aren't comfortable with truly breaking everything. Thus, it takes a very particular person to truly break the status quo, which makes him and his friends special. Despite the fact that he is by and large an idiot who coasts off the success of others, we see that this at least is true at the end. When Helen starts breaking Miles' glass sculptures, seemingly out of petty anger over losing the only evidence capable of putting Miles away for her sister's murder, the others there cheer her on and even start destroying some sculptures themselves as none of them particularly like Miles. But as Helen's rampage continues, they start getting more and more uncomfortable with the chaos, particularly when she starts a bonfire with all the alcohol, and none of them are on board when they realize she plans to use some Klear to blow the building up. Despite calling themselves Disruptors, when push comes to shove, they're not actually willing to change the status quo.
    • This happens again at the end of the movie. Miles burns the original napkin that proves Andi came up with the idea for Alpha, and gloats that there's no way they can bring him down now since they no longer have any hard evidence, and even in court, it'll be his word against Helen's, and all the Disruptors will have his back.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The introductory scene highlights the Disruptors' personalities.
    • Claire answers the door and only haphazardly puts her hand over her face despite the fact that the pandemic is still going on. Cut to the inside of her house and it's filled with unmasked staff working on her re-election campaign, showing how little she cares about real issues and how she's mainly focused on political power.
    • Lionel is introduced all alone in a large lab, teleconferencing with various members of Alpha's staff and trying to cover for Miles despite being told how his ideas don't work. It establishes that he takes science seriously, and is aware of Miles' shortcomings. It also foreshadows that Miles is an idiot, given most of his ideas don't make sense and he relies on others to make it happen, and how despite everything the Disruptors won't say 'no' to him.
    • Birdie is shown having a wild party despite the fact that everyone is supposed to still be in quarantine and social distancing, showing that she's a vapid celebrity more interested in personal pleasure than following even the most basic safety guidelines. She's also the one who has to be talked through the clues in the puzzle box the most.
    • Duke is introduced explaining his reasoning for his Men's Rights misogyny but is quickly cowed into silence by his mother, showing how much of his tough guy persona is an act and that he can be easily controlled by those who hold any sort of power over him.
    • Whiskey briefly appears on the stream as well, scantily clad and mocking feminists, before going back behind the camera and checking her phone, clearly bored, which foreshadows her Hidden Depths.
    • After the Disruptors all go through the process of solving the intricate puzzle box, it cuts to Brand, who is just staring at the box. She doesn't even bother to try and solve it. She merely takes a hammer to it and gets the invitation that way. This shows how she doesn't care to play Miles' game and is willing to simply tear something down to win. This also caps off a number of things about Miles - the fact that the boxes are extraordinarily simple, despite their outward complexity.
    • When we are introduced to Benoit Blanc, he is casually playing a game of Among Us with his celebrity friends. While the other Disruptors clearly strive for celebrity, the relationship between Blanc and his friends is more casual and compassionate, reminding us that Blanc is indeed a good person, and while he has a measure of celebrity, it's not important to him.
    • Miles is introduced playing "Blackbird" on the vintage guitar Paul McCartney used to compose the song, all just to impress Birdie. Then he thoughtlessly tosses the instrument aside, likely causing significant damage. This establishes him as being very skilled at impressing others but with a careless streak enabled by his wealth. He also fumbles a chord on "Blackbird", showing he's not as perfect as he may seem. Also worth noting: Paul McCartney is famously left-handed (see any photo of him playing) but the guitar Miles is playing is right-handed, which is the first hint that Miles is nowhere near as knowledgeable as he thinks he is.
    • Miles' "Hourly Dong," which he claims he had composed by Philip Glass, is a fun touch, but it's just an octave, practically the simplest musical idea that can exist (voice-only cameo from Joseph Gordon-Levitt notwithstanding). The Netflix logo noise is empirically more complicated, since it has some drums and a little bit of rhythm. Miles is either Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, paying for a musical idea that barely counts as an idea; Nouveau Riche obsessed with prestige, paying for the right to use Glass' name; or both.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Blanc finally pieces everything together when he's told the envelope isn't in any of the guest rooms. Given there's only one possibility left, he finally realizes Miles is an idiot and thus the culprit.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Blanc does give Miles credit for shooting Helen while the lights were out, stating it was his only crime with any panache, before slowly coming to the realization that in his explanation, he's repeating the exact same words he said to Miles earlier in the day — Miles had stolen the idea from him.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The primary action at the Glass Onion takes place over the course of a single afternoon and evening.
  • Fair Play Whodunit:
    • Deliberately so on Johnson's part, as he notes in the commentary track. As soon as the existence of Andi's twin sister is revealed, the movie follows the rules and it is technically possible to figure out the perpetrator early.
    • Even before the reveal, you can see several events happen the first time that are later brought directly to the audience's attention in flashbacks, such as the recorder landing in Birdie's bag, Duke's phone vanishing between shots from the table after his murder with Miles in the same shots, and said phone in Miles' back pocket.
    • Duke's murder can be spotted right when it happens by noticing Miles handing him the glass and then later claiming Duke picked it up by accident.
    • Andi's murder can be solved by combining Duke's statement that Miles almost pancaked him with his car at "the road outside An-"-"-derson Cooper's birthday?" and his later words that he almost got pancaked driving to Andi's house.
    • Helen's attempted murder can again be seen prepared on screen - when moving away from Duke after the blackmail attempt, a gun silhouette can be made out under Miles's shirt before he stashes it (barely visible on screen) in the bar.
    • While the movie does hide the fact that Andi was already dead before the start of the movie and Blanc was on the island to investigate her murder, it is heavily foreshadowed that he has an ulterior motive for being there. His first scene is him saying that he needs a real case, not a vacation or a simple mystery game, hinting that whatever brought him to the island must be a real case.
  • Faking the Dead: We later learn that Helen's death was faked by her and Blanc quickly pouring hot sauce all over her chest.
  • Fanservice: Madelyn Cline and Kate Hudson both play characters who make use of sex appeal for their careers (an influencer and a model respectively) and spend a significant amount of screen time in bikinis. On the male side, Dave Bautista is shirtless or wearing unbuttoned shirts in many scenes, exposing his impressive professional wrestler's physique.
  • Fiery Cover Up: Miles burns the cocktail napkin with Andi's plan on it, thus destroying the only physical evidence that he stole the idea for Alpha from Andi. While this foils Helen's initial plan of revenge, Blanc helps her realize there's another way she can ruin Miles' reputation.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Claire recoils and blurts out "oh, my God!" when Miles tosses Blanc a sample of Klear. At first, she appears to be panicking because he's treating a valuable fuel so carelessly, but soon after, Lionel reveals that Klear is untested and potentially dangerous, showing that Claire knows about its volatility and Miles' plans for it. Blanc soon surmises, correctly, that Claire has been bought off in exchange for approving the construction of Miles' Klear energy plant.
    • In all the running around after the lights go off, Blanc calls Helen by her real name when they meet up. Helen gets shot right after, and we go into the movie's biggest twist.
  • Flashback-Montage Realization: Blanc's summation is intercut with flashbacks to earlier scenes revealing clues that helped him solve the case.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own sub-page.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Claire's campaign posters state that she is an Independent.
    • Blanc's invitation to Miles' party has a bent corner. It was bent when Helen smashed the puzzle box to retrieve it.
    • Blanc plays Among Us early in the film with some celebrity friends. Pausing the film reveals that Angela Lansbury's username is "MSheSolved" while Stephen Sondheim's username is "FleetSt."
      • During the voting round in the same game, Blanc quickly attempts to vote for CrunchyKill (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) prior to being kicked off the ship. In addition, when the voting screen comes up, it can be seen that nobody has died yet — Blanc is so bad at Social Deduction Games that he managed to incriminate himself without doing anything incriminating.
    • The tunnel icon from Brick can be seen scribbled on Derol's surfboard when Helen bursts into his room.
    • After Duke gets an alert on his phone and gets into it with Miles, a brief flash of his phone screen, which is far enough from the camera not to be noticed, shows a photo of Cassandra Brand. As will later be revealed, in that moment, Duke had been alerted to the breaking news of Andi's death by being notified about an article with her obituary, and the first pass of the events obliquely depicts that for the very attentive viewer.
    • When Miles says "inbreathiate", both Peg and Blanc can be seen clocking the malapropism. Peg even looks at Blanc, as if checking whether or not he heard it too.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Back when the group was in its infancy and they all hung out together at the Glass Onion, no one liked Miles and only tolerated him for Andi's sake and because he helped them advance their careers. It's why they still stick beside him, as he could also easily ruin those careers if he wanted to.
    • All of the Disruptors dislike Duke and find his macho persona to be annoying, with Claire especially having little fondness for him.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • At Birdie's birthday party, someone asks if Peg is still putting out her fires. In the background, Peg can be seen running by with a fire extinguisher to put out an actual fire.
    • During the puzzle box solve scene, a miniature music box plays as one of the riddles, and Birdie eagerly declares that she'll "Shazam it," a reference to a song-identifying app of that name. While a helpful Yo-Yo Ma comes over to identify the piece, Birdie stands in the background repeatedly yelling for her home assistant to name the song ... only to eventually realize that she's been talking to a lamp.
    • After the first use of the spray can, the camera focuses on Blanc talking with others. Meanwhile, we can hear the sounds of the can going off in the background just before the other guests start coughing and gagging.
    • As Miles says that the Glass Onion isn't just a "rich asshole house", a BigDog can be seen walking by in the background, carrying everyone's luggage.
    • Everyone at the party gets a personalized cocktail glass, except for Peg, who instead gets a red Solo cup. She's later seen in the background elaborately doodling her name on the cup while Andi picks a fight with the rest of the group.
    • After reading the news article on Andi's death, Birdie still mistakes Helen for Andi, making Claire glance at her and shake her head.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: There are 10 people on Miles's private island where the bulk of the movie takes place: five men (Miles himself, Blanc, Lionel, Duke, and Derol, not that he plays much of a role) and five women (Claire, Birdie, Peg, Whiskey, and Andi).
  • Genre Shift: The film initially takes the shape of a conventional Closed Circle murder mystery, with Miles seemingly the target. Then Duke and "Andi" are picked off one after the other, hinting at a plot of Ten Little Murder Victims. Then it turns out Duke's killing was the second murder, and Andi's murder happened days ago, with Blanc and Helen Bluffing the Murderer from the beginning by having Helen play her sister.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Miles freaks out that the threat of murder has just become very real, he starts begging Blanc to protect him, so Blanc has to give him one of these.
  • Girly Skirt Twirl: Birdie shows up to dinner in a colorful, eye-catching maxi dress. Miles likes it too: he tells Birdie to spin around while wearing it, which she is all too happy to do. Exploited Trope — while everyone is distracted watching Birdie spinning in the dress, Miles hands Duke a drink he's deathly allergic to.
  • Gratuitous Greek: As befitting his god complex, Miles Bron is head of the company "Alpha", many of his belongings (e.g., pillows on the deck chairs of his yacht) have a prominent Omega motif, and he makes his home on a Greek island.
  • Greedy Jew: The stereotype is alluded to when the politically incorrect Birdie says she thought the term "Jewy" as a synonym for "cheap" was somehow not an antisemitic term.
  • Greenwashed Villainy: Claire Debella is the governor of Connecticut and is running for Senator on a progressive, eco-friendly platform. Her campaign is endorsed by Miles Bron, a CEO who is pushing a new fuel source called Klear. Even after learning that Klear is incredibly dangerous and unstable, with the potential to destroy houses and that Miles has killed two people in part to keep this secret, Clair is still reluctant to turn against him until Miles's house and the Mona Lisa are destroyed due to a Klear explosion and it becomes impossible to hide the danger it presents.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The film sets itself up as a murder mystery game hosted by an unlikable billionaire that's all set up to go too real and end with him as a genuine murder victim, including a collateral-damage death from a murder attempt that missed its target. It seems like visiting detective Blanc will prove the wrench in the plan and unpeel the elaborate plot against Miles after being invited anonymously—again. Halfway through the film, after Andi is shot by an unknown assailant, Blanc gathers the crowd to discuss his conclusions. The film then goes back to the scene where Blanc got his box. It's revealed then that the murder investigation Blanc is here for regards something that occurred two weeks before the island trip—Andi died under suspicious circumstances, and her twin sister Helen recruited Blanc, with him asking her to impersonate her sister while keeping the news of her death out of public record for a little while longer. From here, we get a recap of the first half of the film, which is transformed by the frame that Andi is the murder victim being investigated, Helen is the woman we've watched all along, and Blanc was on an entirely different page than the audience had thought. After revealing Helen survived, the film turns to the question of how to achieve justice for Andi after a mystery that proves far less elaborate than the sleuths were prepared for— far from the targeted-billionaire murder-game plot the narrative seemed to be setting up.
  • Hand of Death: When Helen is shot, only her assailant's gloved hand is seen holding the gun.
  • Hand Wave:
    • The film is set in the early stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the need for social distancing and hygiene protocols is brushed aside with the injection of some technology into the characters' mouths, with the employee administering it refusing to give any elaboration besides "you're fine". Later revelations about Miles imply that it doesn't do anything.
    • Miles mentions that his island usually has a lot of people keeping it running, but he sent them all away for the weekend so he could have private time with his friends, which conveniently also limits the number of people whose actions Blanc and the audience have to account for.
  • Hanlon's Razor: At first, a lot of the detective work seems to point to one of the Disruptors being the culprit as part of a conspiracy to protect Miles and Alpha. However, while the Disruptors are largely malicious, they were ignorant of the crime and their hostile attitude was mostly out of self-interest.
  • He Knows Too Much: Miles murdered Cassandra to keep anyone from finding out that she really did come up with Alpha's business model. But this just raised Helen's suspicions, convincing her to go to Blanc so the two of them can investigate the matter further ...
  • He's Dead, Jim: Blanc declares Duke dead without checking for any vital signs.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight:
    • What Blanc believes the titular phrase refers to: "glass onion" being something that looks complex but actually has a crystal-clear center. Indeed, despite all the seeming intricacies surrounding the case, the actual solution is dead simple and becomes incredibly obvious once Blanc realizes that the killer — Miles Bron — is much dumber than he appears to be.
      Blanc: I keep returning, in my mind, to the Glass Onion; something that seems densely layered, mysterious and inscrutable, but in fact the center is in plain sight. And that is why this case has confounded me like no other, why every complex layer peeled back has revealed another layer, and another layer, and come to naught! And that was the problem, right there — you see, I expected complexity. I expected intelligence. I expected a puzzle, a game. But that's not what any of this is. It hides not behind complexity, but behind mind-numbing obvious clarity. Truth is, it doesn't hide at all! I was staring right at it ...
    • On a more practical note, this is how Blanc "infiltrates" the party by having Helen pose as Andi; as Blanc observes, he would attract attention if he turned up to a supposedly private party while one of the invited guests is missing, but by having Helen impersonate her sister Blanc's own presence becomes a minor detail, which is "explained" with the idea that someone reset their puzzle box and sent it to Blanc as a joke.
    • The red envelope containing the real napkin was hidden by slipping it into the frame containing the fake napkin.
    • The film actually outright shows Miles putting Duke's gun in the ice bucket, handing him the tainted drink that will kill him, rather than placing it on the table like he later claims, and Duke's phone in his back pocket as he climbs over the table and couch, and again during the 10 o'clock dong. Since they're seemingly innocuous shots in the midst of an increasingly frenzied montagenote , most viewers probably won't notice it in the moment.
  • Hollywood Board Games: One must be extraordinarily insightful to be able to spot Morse code out of a mere Tic-Tac-Toe puzzle. Well, meet Peg, Birdie's Hyper-Competent Sidekick.
  • How We Got Here: Halfway through the film, after Andi is seemingly killed by an unknown assailant, we cut back to when Blanc received his invitation and learn the details of how Blanc got the invitation as well as the real reason he came to the island.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Benoit Blanc rants about how he hates Clue. Aside from the obvious irony of a detective hating a murder mystery game, the exact things he says make it terrible, "ticking boxes, running around, searching all the rooms", are exactly what he and Helen spend their entire investigation doing. The suspects even wear color-themed outfits.

    I to P 
  • Identifying the Body: In a flashback we see Helen identifying the body of her dead sister at the morgue.
  • Idiot Ball: After being reasonably competent the whole film, Helen reveals the very fragile piece of critical evidence she needs right in front of a group of people who already betrayed her sister, and also the one who murdered her. Granted, her main motive for doing so was to make Miles Bron, her sister's killer, squirm after he'd been leeching off her sister's efforts for his success, but this leads to Miles' immediately destroying it and rightly pointing out that she now has no evidence.
  • I Don't Know Mortal Kombat: In his first scene, the great detective Benoit Blanc is playing Among Us, a game which revolves around discovering which of the players is a murderer, and doing very badly at playing the murderer. He mentions in a later scene that he's also very bad at Clue.
    • Zigzagged trope: The plot turns out to involve Blanc playing a Real Life game of Among Us, with Helen as the Imposter and him running interference as her collaborator. He does a really good job.
  • Imagine Spot: When Benoit Blanc is speculating over how the real Cassandra Brand was killed and her death framed as a suicide, to avoid spoiling the culprit's identity in advance, all four "primary suspects" are shown in the culprit's place in different parts of the murder: Duke comes to Andi's door offering to apologize, Lionel puts sleeping pills in Andi's drink, Claire converses with Andi long enough for the sleeping pills to knock her out, and Birdie puts Andi in the garage and turns the car on so the fumes will kill her. Funnily enough, none of those four turn out to be the murderer.
  • Inherent in the System: It's how all this came to happen in the first place. Any world with a functioning sense of justice would not have allowed Miles to steal Andi's company from her let alone let Miles seemingly get away with murder TWICE despite having no real plan, creativity or intelligence. Which is why in the end, Helen, posing as Andi, has to go outside the system with her extra-judicial arson plan.
  • Insecure Protagonist, Arrogant Antagonist: The lead character of the movie, apart from Blanc, is Andi. Arrogant Miles Bron is revealed to be the villain. Although Andi does not seem to be insecure at all, it's revealed that the real Andi is dead, and her much less self-assured twin Helen is posing as her. Before Blanc convinces her to take on the role of Andi, Helen spends a lot of time talking about how much better (much smarter, fitter, more sophisticated — though we don't really see Helen exhibit a lack of those) than her she perceives Andi to have been, so she can't possibly impersonate Andi. But Helen does pull it off.
  • Ironic Echo: When Miles talks to Andi at the Disruptors' arrival, he nervously and slowly puts his hand on her shoulder because he is shocked to find out she's alive. At the end, "Andi," now revealed to be Helen, slowly puts her hand on his chin.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Duke lost his prestige and prime position on Twitch after a scandal about selling rhino horn 'boner pills' to teenagers. When this is explained to the group, he immediately points out that there was no actual rhino horn in the pills.
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: The culprit destroys the damning evidence against him, to Blanc's utter sorrow. But he does give Helen the idea to destroy Bron's estate, including the Mona Lisa, showing the failure of his much-hyped product Klear. If the culprit doesn't face charges for that destruction, their reputation will be in the pits anyway.
  • Lighter and Softer: Although both movies are rather lighthearted, Glass Onion is a tad bit lighter than its predecessor: it leans a lot more into humor (see Denser and Wackier above), delves significantly less into real-world issues such as anti-immigrant sentiment, and Miles is a far less intimidating villain than Ransom. While the scenes leading up to Duke's death and Helen's fakeout death are very tense, there aren't any outright disturbing scenes like Fran's death in the first movie. This is even reflected in both movies' settings, with Knives Out taking place in a dimly lit mansion filled with Uncanny Valley dolls, while Glass Onion is in a brightly lit, futuristic mansion on an island paradise.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies:
    • Discussed. Famed detective Blanc worries about Miles inviting a bunch of people who all have reason to want him dead to a private island, comparing it to someone putting a loaded gun on the table and turning off the lights.
    • After the first death on the island, Miles worriedly tells everyone that he had initially planned for the lights to go off at ten PM ... and then the lights go off. The panicked guests scatter, and by the time the lights go on, another body is found shot to death. Subverted: Blanc fakes Helen's death but uses the shock of this to make everyone go along with the investigation. Also invoked: Miles had taken Blanc's earlier comment literally and shot Helen with a gun when the lights went off.
  • Literal Metaphor: On the group call, Birdie Jay says her assistant Peg is busy putting out a fire for her, and Claire assumes she's doing damage control after another one of Birdie's offensive tweets. It turns out that Birdie has actually managed to start a literal fire at her party, and Peg is fighting it with a fire extinguisher.
  • Made of Explodium: Klear is a room-temperature solid-state hydrogen fuel which Miles is pushing hard as an alternative fuel source. Lionel is concerned that this will cause highly flammable hydrogen leaks, but Miles is determined to move forward and has powered the Glass Onion using only Klear. Helen starts a fire in the Onion and then tosses in the small chunk of Klear which explodes violently, setting off a chain reaction that destroys the complex.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • A deliberate plot point during The Summation. After having spent five minutes utterly trashing Miles' intelligence, Blanc actually starts to give Miles credit for the clever setup of shooting Helen in the dark. However, he realises halfway through his speech that he's repeating his own words said to Miles much earlier in the film — revealing that in the one (attempted) murder that had any style to it, Miles had stolen the idea from Blanc anyway.
      Blanc: [earlier in the film] You have taken seven people, each of whom has a real-life reason to wish you harm, gathered them together on a remote island, and placed the idea of your murder in their heads! It's like putting a loaded gun on the table and turning off the lights!
      Blanc: [during The Summation] You have a house on a remote island, filled with desperate people, all of whom have a real-life reason to wish this woman [Helen] harm. You— (stops as he realizes he's repeating himself)...furthermore, you have a loaded gun conveniently within reach. And the lights had even been turned off.
    • Midway through the film, when Helen is deciding whether or not to pretend to be Andi and go to the island in order to discover who killed her sister, she asks Blanc "Do you really think we can get the son of a bitch?" At the end of the film, after Helen has utterly destroyed Miles, she goes to the dock where Blanc is waiting for her, who asks "Did you get the son of a bitch?"
  • Meaningful Name: Cassandra and Helen Brand share names with women from Greek mythology.
    • Cassandra, like the Trope Namer for Cassandra Truth, has her warnings ignored regarding the dangers of Klear and Miles stealing credit for her work.
    • Helen, meanwhile, plays an active role in bringing down the Miles Bron empire. In Greek mythology, Helen leaving her husband Menelaus for the prince of Troy ends up causing the fall of Troy.
    • On top of that, their surname "Brand" is a German word for fire, specifically ones that result in property damage. Helen starts a fire in Miles' home and uses it to destroy the Mona Lisa.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: The culprit destroys the only physical evidence connecting him to the murder of the real Andi, but Helen uses his fuel to destroy both his island manor and the Mona Lisa, which will ruin him by associating his precious fuel with the destruction of the world's most famous painting. Even if he spins it as arson that Helen did on her own, he's still culpable for not properly securing the painting and exposing it to the air, the fact that a tiny amount of his fuel became a massive accelerant for a small fire, and his clearly premeditated murder of Duke. Furthermore, his Fair Weather Friends have decided that he's not worth protecting anymore, and make it clear that they're willing to perjure themselves (again) to screw him over.
  • Metafictional Title: "Glass Onion" as a concept predates the film (It comes from The White Album and as Blanc says, refers to something that would have layer after layer peeled away, only to realize that it was transparent all along). Besides the titular house in the movie, it also describes the movie itself: The mystery is very simple and the most likely culprit is the one who did it.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: The closing shot of the film is Andi AKA Helen seated while glancing aside at the viewer with the hint of an enigmatic smile on her face, resembling the painting that she just destroyed.
  • More Diverse Sequel: The previous film Knives Out had a Latina protagonist and a Black cop as the only ethnic minorities, and the "suspects" were a family of New England WASPs. This film has a more ethnically diverse group of "suspects" note , the real protagonist, Andi's twin sister, Helen, is of course also Black, and reveals that the series' detective Benoit Blanc is gay.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The killer's response to people threatening them is to default to lethal measures of resolving the problem instantly in the short term. It tends to work for them precisely because none of their victims consider them capable of instantly resorting to murder because of how stupid a move it would be for them to resort to without trying alternative methods first. Blanc even notes that Miles would have been the first suspected in the event of foul play once Andi's death was made public, and the fact that Andi overestimated Miles' long-term planning capability is why she wasn't more cautious around him, leading to her death.
  • Musical Nod: A comedic one. In a later scene depicting Blanc's consideration to accept the invitation to the party, he refutes the title of "world's greatest detective" on the grounds he's not Batman, the character with the famous claim to that epithet. But once his interest in visiting the island is piqued, a snippet of the Batman (1989) theme can be heard in the score.
  • Mysterious Note: Blanc's involvement in the plot involves him receiving the same puzzle-box the Disruptors all had gotten, despite Miles not having sent him a box. Having had experience with people anonymously involving him in a murder case in the last film, this immediately puts him on edge, and he tries getting Miles to take it seriously. Subverted halfway through the film, when it's revealed that he never actually received a box. Helen brought Andi's box with her as part of her request for help, and the two of them are conspiring to find out which one of the Disruptors murdered Andi. Miles, who we've established is not as smart as everyone thinks he is, falls for his lie immediately.
  • Mythology Gag: Miles is seen playing "Blackbird", which like "Glass Onion" is a The Beatles song off The White Album.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The culprit nearly succeeds at getting away with their crimes, and is so confident they sit back and gloat once their victory seems assured. Helen uses Miles' overconfidence to destroy the Glass Onion and ruin his future.
  • Never One Murder: Played straight, but with zig-zagging details as a result of the Halfway Plot Switch context change flipping the audience's understanding of some incidents. At first it seems like the murders are Duke by accident, from a tampered drink going to the wrong person and Andi, from a targeted gunshot, but the murders turn out to be Andi, then Duke. Andi was actually killed prior to the film's events, with the woman shot being her undercover sister Helen, and Helen survives and plays dead at Blanc's advice. Duke, meanwhile was killed deliberately under the ruse of being the wrong recipient of the tampered drink, with a method (exploiting a pineapple allergy) only he was vulnerable to.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Subverted. Blanc at one point says that Bron is probably not the culprit, since he's too intelligent to commit a murder where he would be the most obvious suspect ... but Bron turns out to be guilty after all, because he's not actually that intelligent.
  • Newscaster Cameo: That's CNN's Jake Tapper interviewing Claire in the opening of the film.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Miles Bron is a fairly transparent riff on Elon Musk, reflecting the common criticism of Musk stealing the credit for other people's work and attempting to present his wildly impractical and often stupid ideas as genius. According to Edward Norton, he was also intended to send up Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
    • Duke Cody, a bald, muscular, "men's rights activist" and social media influencer with a tendency to peddle All-Natural Snake Oil evokes Joe Rogan, with a little Andrew Tate hyper-toxic masculinity thrown in for good measure.
    • Birdie sends up celebrities like Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian who threw in-person parties during the height of lockdown. She also shows up to the dock in Greece wearing a mesh face mask, something Lana Del Rey was criticized for doing in October 2020.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Helen blows up the entire Glass Onion complex with Klear. The destruction is absolute, everything is on fire, and Miles' "Baby Blue" car even crashes down through the roof! Yet the Disruptors, Helen, Peg and Whiskey all conveniently survive without being maimed or killed.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: When Blanc announces that Miles killed Duke opportunistically by slipping him pineapple juice, which he is fatally allergic to, he decries it all as dumb. Birdie gasps that it's so dumb, it's brilliant, and Blanc irritatedly insists that, no, it's just dumb.
  • Noodle Incident: The Disruptors recognize Benoit Blanc from a murder case involving a ballet dancer, but no details are given.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In his own words, Blanc plays up his "Southern hokum" when he arrives to disarm Miles and the guests. The intent isn't to make himself seem less intelligent, however, but merely to make it seem as if he's been genuinely dropped into the situation and is excited to be there, drawing attention to himself and giving Helen more leeway to move around as Andi without the others catching onto the ruse.
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: It's never clarified what Alpha does. The napkin the initial idea was written on mentions "crypto scalability", one of Miles' ideas involved NFTs, and it has a news network, delivery service, and planes and space rockets, but that's all we get. All in all, it comes off like a parody of Amazon, Apple, and Tesla all squashed together.
  • Occam's Razor: Blanc eventually realizes the murders of Andi and Duke weren't nearly as complicated as he had assumed. Miles murdering the two to protect himself is a much cleaner and simpler theory than one of the Disruptors executing a complicated conspiracy on his behalf.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The marketing used the unwieldy title of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery to remind people that it's a sequel to Knives Out. The film itself doesn't bother, and has the simple title Glass Onion, with no extraneous subtitles. Rian Johnson has stated that he disliked having "Knives Out" in the title, and considers Glass Onion more of a follow-up to the former rather than a direct sequel, like "a new novel off the shelf."
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Miles reveals to the group that he's running the entire Glass Onion complex on his new revolutionary fuel Klear as proof that it's a viable energy resource despite testing not being complete, Lionel and Claire become visibly unnerved upon realizing they standing in a building running on a potentially unstable fuel source. As Lionel reveals to Claire in a flashback, in a gaseous form, Klear is explosively volatile, and they realize that Miles turned the whole building into a potential bomb through his short-sightedness.
    • When Helen throws the nugget of Klear into the fire she started, Lionel, realizing what's about to happen, lets out a loud "Oh shiiiiiit!". Similarly, when the heat of the initial blast starts making its way through the house's HVAC system, Claire can only gasp out a defeated "Hindenburg".
    • And finally, Miles' face clearly says it all when he sees Helen looking at the Mona Lisa in the case he made for it as the mansion goes up in flames, and he realizes just what she's thinking. Then he gets one again as the thing burns, likely knowing he'll be in a deep world of shit for this.
  • Once More, with Clarity:
    • An extended execution takes up much of the second half of the film. Halfway through the film, we flash back to the beginning and replay many of the earlier scenes, but now with the understanding that "Andi" is really Helen and that she's already working with Blanc to catch a murderer. Many scenes diverge or are expanded on to account for that perspective, and ultimately lead to Blanc solving the case. To really hammer this home, the first half opens with a shot of a hand knocking on a black door, the second half with a shot of a hand knocking on a white one.
    • During The Summation, several scenes of Miles showing the group around the island retreat are shown when Blanc is pointing out how his Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness makes him sound smart and intelligent, but was actually misused in context, and what he was actually said sounded stupid. Likewise, a few moments of him giving incorrect basic facts that anybody would be able to know with even a simple query (such as the name of the stretch of ocean their island is on being the Aegean Sea) are used a proof when Blanc deduces that he's actually a shortsighted idiot who steals the ideas of others to give the illusion of being an eccentric genius.
    • Also subverted on one occasion. Once Miles plants the lie about Duke accidentally picking up Miles' glass instead of his own, the film cuts back to that scene and shows exactly that happening, but later Blanc explicitly calls attention to everyone remembering it that way only when it was said, not because it happened. Both the original shot (easily missed as inconsequential) and the subsequent flashback when Blanc recalls it show Miles Bron placing the glass in Duke's hand.
    • Occurs In-Universe towards the end of The Summation, when Blanc is willing to lend Miles some credibility for his plan to murder Andi (actually Helen) with Duke's gun during the timed darkening of the lights that was originally meant to occur during his murder party, only to then be flabbergasted when he realizes that Miles lifted the entire idea wholesale from himself, when he was earlier warning him about how risky it was to invite a bunch of people with a grudge against him to an isolated island, using said hypothetical situation to underline the risk Miles appeared to be placing him under. It further proves Blanc's point about how unoriginal and stupid Miles actually is past all of his deceptions.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Unaware that Duke is dead, Helen assumes that Whiskey is upset because they've just broken up and assures Whiskey that Duke was a bad person who deserved what he got. Cue Whiskey assuming Helen is the killer and pulling a spear gun on her.
  • Open Secret: Miles' affair with Whiskey is common knowledge. Certainly, they do very little to hide it; Miles greets her with flirty chit-chat and a very protracted embrace while she's dressed in a bikini, while Duke stands right next to him and tries to pretend that he isn't noticing, which even the other Disruptors find extremely distasteful, and they later get hot and heavy in a ground-floor room with massive glass windows that open directly onto the gardens. In fact, the twist about Duke seeing her and Miles getting hot and heavy isn't that he's finding out about it, it's that he asked her to seduce Miles into giving Duke the Alpha News position he wants, tying once again into his macho-man persona being completely fake as he willingly (albeit clearly reluctantly) pimps out his girlfriend and submits to being cuckolded by a man he could physically snap in half.
  • Pac Man Fever: While playing Among Us, the "body discovered" sound effect plays even though the imposter (Blanc) hasn't killed anybody or is even doing anything.note 
  • Pass the Popcorn: As Helen uses Klear to destroy Miles' home, Blanc is shown kicking back with Derol while smoking.
  • Percussive Therapy: Subverted. In the climax, Helen starts smashing Miles' glass sculptures and the other Disruptors join in. He humors them, assuming they're only destroying his stuff to get the night's events out of their system. But then the destruction causes a fire, and it becomes clear what Helen's actual goal was: destroy the estate via the unstable energy source Klear.
  • Playing Up the Stereotype: Benoit Blanc tells Andi that while investigating the mystery he'll "really lay on some Southern hokum", thereby distracting the suspects into dismissing him as a silly Southerner while his partner secretly investigates.
  • Pocket Protector: Helen Brand survives a gunshot to the chest from an unknown assailant, which looks like it kills her, but it later turns out that her sister's journal in her coat pocket stopped the bullet, saving her life. It helps that said gun appears to be low-calibre and was first fired through a thick pane of glass, and even then, it still came close to piercing her skin, just barely stopping short.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Played with. Miles passes off Duke's murder by poison drink as an attempt on his life by claiming that the drink was meant for him and that Duke accidentally took his glass.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: One twin is a high-flying big-city Disruptor, the other is a humble small-town teacher. The latter Brand twin, Helen, has to impersonate her glamorous executive sister Andi, and is very uncomfortable throughout.
  • Police Are Useless: While it's implied rather than stated, fairly standard police work should be able to place Miles at the scene of Andi's murder, even assuming Andi doesn't have anything akin to a Ring doorbell and that the car has no navigation system. The car itself is iconic and rare. Between toll roads, security cameras, and red light cameras, the police should be able to easily prove Miles was on the scene shortly after being threatened and that he was one of if not the last person to see Andi alive. Then, while the gunshot might have been harder to prove, fingerprints or DNA might have also pinned him for Helen's attempted murder. The idea that without the napkin, he was obviously going to walk free, is nonsensical. While the movie mentions the police crossed it out as suicide, Andi having just lost everything in court and no obvious sign of struggle being enough to not bother with further investigation, that is a completely absurd assumption to make, making them quite useless in the initial investigation as well.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Or "almost kills", in this case: as Helen-as-Andi is searching the rooms, she discovers Whiskey crying because she "left" Duke. The former assumes Whiskey and Duke have broken up, so she calls Duke a "bastard" and tells Whiskey he got what he deserved. Unfortunately, Whiskey is actually crying because Duke has just been murdered and she "left" his body in a panic. Helen inadvertently comes across like she's gloating over having killed him, which causes Whiskey to attempt to shoot her with a spear gun.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Miles has the actual Mona Lisa in his house. It's destroyed by the end of the movie.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The film treats Helen's destruction of the Mona Lisa — an almost unthinkable act of vandalism under any other circumstances — as a heroic and awesome act to bring down Miles and prevent Klear from harming the public. It does at least acknowledge via Blanc that this is not a strictly legal solution to defeating the villain, but Helen is not presented as angsting about it at all. Klear was also established as being incredibly dangerous and could've caused untold death and destruction. While it is good that it is stopped from being released, it's also only sheer luck that no one is injured or killed when Helen blows up the Glass Onion.

    R to Y 
  • Rage Breaking Point: After Miles destroys the real napkin, Helen begins to smash all of his glass sculptures.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: While not delivered directly to the recipient, Blanc delivers a fairly reserved yet scathing one to Miles Bron during The Summation:
    Blanc: His dock doesn't float. His wonder-fuel is a disaster. His grasp of disruption theory is remedial at best. He didn't design the puzzle boxes. He didn't write the mystery. Et voilà! It all adds up, the key to this entire case ... and it was staring me right in the face. Like everyone in the world, I assumed Miles Bron was a complicated genius, but why? Look into the clear center of this Glass Onion ... Miles Bron is an idiot.
  • Recurring Element:
    • Like Knives Out, the film is Titled After the Song.
    • Once again, Blanc uses a food-based metaphor during The Summation— concentric donuts with enigmatic holes in Knives Out, and a glass onion, a metaphor handed to him by the shape and name of Bron's island complex, in this film.
    • The person Blanc focuses most on is again a woman of color from the working class who he sympathizes and allies with. She also has a peculiar psychosomatic quirk that comes into play— Marta in Knives Out vomited when she told lies, and here, Helen gets very emboldened and quite effective when under the influence of alcohol. Blanc also knows a lot more about the female lead from the start than the audience is aware of— in Knives Out, he sees a spot of blood on Marta that connects her closely to the scene of the crime right as they meet, and in Glass Onion, he has been working with Helen to pretend she is her murdered sister Andi—the crime he is truly there to investigate.
    • Both films' protagonists are established early on by their refusal to play a game by someone else's rules, and win the story by playing by their own.
    • As in Knives Out, an object travels and changes hands over the course of the film to a late payoff. In Knives Out, a baseball from Harlan's study cycled hands until being returned there by Linda, leading her to find the note revealing her husband's infidelity, and here, it's a chunk of Klear fuel which travels and changes hands until Blanc tosses it to Helen as a catalyst with which to blow the Glass Onion.
    • Subverted with one element of direct repetition which ultimately isn't one in truth: Blanc and Bron discuss the fact that Blanc was invited with a puzzle box thar wasn't meant to go to him, ominously mirroring the way he was anonymously invited to the scene of what seemed to be a crime-free incident in Knives Out. It turns out, though, that this was a lie on Blanc's part. The box he received was openly delivered by Helen, the twin sister of the suspiciously-dead Cassandra Brand, and Helen and Blanc recruited each other in turn to investigate the party at Miles' island.
  • Red Herring:
    • A random man named Derol briefly appears after the boat reaches the island, and Miles explains that Derol is living on the island because he's "going through some things", but the circumstances are never explained, so the viewer may assume he's going to play an important role later. Derol has no relation at all to the murders, either of Duke or of the real Cassandra Brand previously; Helen-as-Andi finds him while searching the rooms, and he appears at the end of the movie with Blanc watching the Glass Onion blow up, but ultimately, he's not related to the mystery at all.
    • Blanc is delivered a box. Of the five known to exist, Andi smashed hers, so one of the four Disruptors must be responsible for involving him. Nope, his invitation is Andi's, which was smashed by and given to him by Helen as part of their gambit.
    • During the pool scene, Peg plays with a butterfly knife while talking to Birdie. It has nothing to do with the plot and never appears again.
    • There is one specific shot shortly before Duke's death (and the reveal that his gun that he always wears on his front waist is missing) where Claire noticeably bumps into Duke that doesn't seem to contribute anything, but after the spoiler may make you think she took the gun before he died. In reality, she really did just bump into him, and Miles was the one who took the gun.
    • After the lights go out, Blanc searches the kitchen and finds that a knife is missing from its holder. This doesn't actually come into play later, as Miles uses Duke's gun to try to kill Helen. Birdie simply grabbed it for protection and drops it when "Andi's" body is discovered, after which it is never seen again.
    • The high-tech security system on the Mona Lisa snaps shut at the slightest disturbance, even a phone getting a push notification. It seems like an easily manipulatable guillotine could find use in a murder mystery, with the added bonus of Monumental Damage in an artful spray of blood across the most famous painting in history. Nothing remotely like this happens.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Miles believes Disruption Theory relies on breaking a rule openly and brazenly and succeeding, then continuing to push and break more and more rules until you reach a point where nobody is able to stop you. It's why he was able to get away with killing Andi and racing off in his extremely noticeable car (well, this and Police Are Useless). Benoit Blanc is both surprised and appalled that Miles, the extremely obvious suspect of said murder, was so damned Stupid Evil that this actually removed him from the list of suspects.
    • The Glass Onion is a metaphor for this trope, as explained by Blanc:
    Blanc: It hides, not behind complexity, but behind mind-numbing obvious clarity.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • When Miles is inviting everyone to the island, he flirts with Whiskey by complimenting her necklace. On the first watch, it just seems like he's making a move on Duke's girl. On a rewatch, you know that this is only the latest of several moves and that the necklace was a gift from Miles.
    • Watching the film a second time confirms that instead of accidentally switching the tainted drink with Duke's as he had claimed, Miles gave Duke the tainted drink on purpose.
    • Likewise, after Miles gives Duke a hug and steals the gun, one can see the gun bulge in the small of Miles' back and Miles throwing Duke's gun into the ice bucket in the cocktail mixing table. And if you listen really carefully, you can even hear the sound of Miles's hand on Duke's gun during said hug.
    • On a second viewing, one can spot both Duke's phone in Miles' back pocket when he hides behind Blanc and a brief shot of Miles holding Duke's gun when walking around the blacked-out hallway.
    • At his home, Miles has the painting "Number 207" by Mark Rothko hanging upside down, another sign of his superficial appreciation for art.
    • One can easily notice Duke actually mentioning that he saw Miles' car driving away from Andi's home before Miles turned it around by mentioning Anderson Cooper.
    • When rewatching the film, eagle-eyed audiences can see Helen tossing the recorder in Birdie's bag and her silhouette through Birdie's hat before she's revealed.
    • Claire ignores a call from her husband after Blanc ruins the murder mystery. A second viewing makes it clear he's calling to tell her about Andi's death.
    • Everyone's surprised at Andi's arrival because of the bad blood that resulted from her split. It's the second time you realize Miles is doubly surprised because she should be dead as far as he's concerned.
    • Blanc can clearly be heard calling Andi "Helen" when she runs into him outside on the patio after the lights went out, and she can be heard to be speaking in a Southern accent when she says "Why would I take Duke's gun?", and "I don't understand," right before the gunshot.
    • As Blanc is disappointedly starting to walk away after Miles burns the napkin, he can be seen in the background reaching into his pocket and stopping just before he walks offscreen: he's discovered the Klear sample and realizes how it can help him and Helen bring Miles to justice.
  • Rich Recluse's Realm: The bulk of the film is set on Miles Bron's private island off the coast of Greece, which includes a fantastical Banksy-designed dock, lush gardens with automated anti-smoke warnings, robotic servants for carrying luggage, and his palatial mansion, the Glass Onion. For good measure, Miles enjoys his privacy on the island so much that there's no phones - only an outdated fax machine.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When justice for her sister appears to be an impossibility, Blanc gives Helen the tools to destroy Miles' home, wealth, career, and reputation. This also proves to be the catalyst for the Disruptors turning on him, guaranteeing he'll be facing lengthy prison sentences for murder in both the US and Greece.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Glass is used physically and metaphorically as a symbol for awe-inspiring creations and utter fragility, paralleling how Miles Bron's tech empire is built on idiotic buzzwords sorted into workable ideas by other people, plus his house and prized objects consist largely of glass that is easy to wreck and how the mystery solution at hand is bleeding obvious and only baffles Blanc and the audience because in these circumstances (a mystery story, a billionaire's party, etc.) an intricate and logical plot would have been expected—they expected a beautifully-wrought sculpture, but found something transparent that shattered instantly with a bit of pushing.
    • Miles' invitation puzzle boxes summarize everything about his character and the film's message. The boxes are showy and full of puzzles, but they're relatively easy to solve and even easier to smash through with brute force, reflecting the hollowness of Miles' tech empire and the film's thesis that one should not be distracted by showmanship or get caught playing someone else's game in the goal of getting to the core of an issue. The boxes also weren't designed by Miles and aren't themed to the recipients' skill sets or histories, making them an impersonal product and not made by Miles at all, showing him to be a weak friend and a figure bereft of creativity who gets by by being ostentatious and parading others' achievements in his name.
    • The Mona Lisa appears in the film as one of Miles' arrogant trophies, and the subject's mysterious qualities are set off against Andi, the most inscrutable person in the cast by that point. Miles describes the painting as being something simple at first glance that surprises you with its depth and shifting character, and the easy-to-grasp resentful Andi is really a whole other character—her sister Helen undercover investigating Andi's death with Blanc, making her mystique well-founded and just as deceptively simple as the painting. Later, in the scene building to Duke's murder, closeups on the Mona Lisa's eyes and smile give her a watchful, knowing presence in the room, paralleling how "Andi" and Blanc are working together and know much more than the audience does. By the end of the film, the painting is destroyed and Helen, impersonating Andi, essentially replaces the Mona Lisa, imitating the figure in the last shot as a woman with many secrets and unusual reasons to smile.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: After Miles gives his rah-rah speech about how all the Disruptors are such awesome innovators, Andi responds with sarcastic clapping. Then she points out how everyone there is actually leeching off of Miles.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: The hour-marking 'dong' on the island is literally a recording of someone saying 'Dong', with slight musical backing.
  • Separated by a Common Language: Two separate Greek locals call Bron's island and dock setup a "piece of shit" since it can only be accessed at low tide. Lionel doesn't recognize that they are speaking English and thinks "Pieceofshite" is the Greek name for the island, or a saying in Greek.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The first film was set entirely in the USA; Glass Onion sees Blanc travel to Greece.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Whiskey emerges from the pool in slow motion to emphasize both her youthful beauty and Birdie's awareness that her own looks are starting to go.
  • Sherlock Scan: When the time comes for the "murder game", Blanc solves it before it's even started, pointing out a distinctive but out-of-character necklace Bron is wearing, recalling a magazine article seen earlier, and noticing a genuine crossbow positioned in just the right position, to realize that the solution of the game is that Birdie killed Miles for stealing her necklace.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Blanc telling his celebrity friends that he's going out of his mind without a good case to solve mirrors Sherlock Holmes's complaints about the same problem, though Blanc's method of dealing with it (sitting in his tub for days on end while drinking and playing Among Us with his friends) is marginally less self-destructive than Holmes' habit of shooting up with cocaine when he's bored.
      Blanc: My mind is like a fueled-up racing car, and I got nowhere to drive it. I don't need puzzles or games, and the last thing I need is a vacation. I need danger, the hunt, challenge. I need ... a great case.
      Sherlock Holmes: My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.
    • Upon seeing a glass icosahedron in Miles' office, Blanc says "My God, it's full of stars!", correctly attributing the line to 2010: The Year We Make Contact rather than 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • Miles cut Andi entirely out of their billion-dollar tech company, which Lionel refers to as him having "Social Networked her ass."
    • Andi has a mug in her house with the Janus Films logo, famous for their collaborations with The Criterion Collection. Fitting, since she's poisoned by someone she thought was her friend, or a two-faced liar.Also, as she's a twin, there are two people with Andi's own face.
    • Miles notes that his murder-mystery weekend's plot was written by Gillian Flynn. Later in the movie, a blackout screen precedes the reveal that a woman the audience thought was dead was actually pulling an elaborate ruse, à la Flynn's Gone Girl.
    • Miles also boasts that the designers of his puzzle box "trained under Ricky Jay". This isn't Jay's first association with Rian Johnson — he performed the opening narration for The Brothers Bloom, and was set to appear in Knives Out before his untimely death forced the production to recast him with M. Emmet Walsh.
    • Helen compares the situation to Clue and tries to emulate its "ticking boxes" format by noting which of the suspects has both motive and opportunity to commit the murder. Blanc, who has a negative opinion of the game, reminds her that real crime is not so simple, and is proven right when everyone is shown to have had motive and opportunity.
    • There are one or two nods to the movie Clue also:
      • As in that film, the majority of the characters are prominent, morally corrupted people summoned by a person who financially controls them, in order to solve his "murder";
      • Midway through both films, a sudden blackout causes confusion and the characters spread out, providing an opportunity for a new murder;
      • In both films, at least one murder is carried out by a mysterious person identifiable only by a black leather glove;
      • In both films, a prominent glass set piece is shattered to dramatic effect;
      • As in Knives Out, the end credits follow the lead of Clue, displaying an illustrated card of each prominent character that flips over to reveal the actor's name.
    • Like the previous Benoit Blanc story, Knives Out, the setup is reminiscent of a Agatha Christie mystery, this time mirroring And Then There Were None. Both Blanc stories also parallel with Murder on the Orient Express in giving every possible suspect a solid motivation and opportunity for the murder. There's even a bait-and-switch in this movie where Miles Bron is set up to be an unlikeable monster a la Samuel Ratchett, the murder victim of Orient Express, leading certain mystery-savvy audience members to believe one or more of the other "Disruptors" would end up killing him. There are also similarities with A Murder Is Announced, with Helen sharing part of Charlotte Blacklock's character arc: taking on the persona of her deceased sister, a successful businesswoman. The very method of the crime, which includes the murderer deliberately poisoning his own drink, then swapping it with the victim's to make it seem like the culprit was the intended target appears in a couple of Christie's works, notably The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. It also mirrors the setting of the film adaptation of Evil Under the Sun, a luxury vacation spot on an isolated island somewhere in the Mediterranean.
    • In the flashback of how the Disruptors all met each other, Miles is dressed identically (including his haircut) to Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia.
    • One of the glass statues that's broken in the climax resembles the Maltese Falcon.
    • Miles cues up David Bowie's "Star" and "Starman" during the after-dinner party. Later, when fuming over the destruction of the Glass Onion, he alludes to "Moonage Daydream" by mockingly describing Helen with the line "I'm an alligator."
    • Blanc's invitation has a bent corner, indicating it was actually Andi/Helen's invitation that she bent smashing open the puzzle box to retrieve, which she then passed on to him. In the film The Last of Sheila, which this film was inspired by, one of the key elements of the mystery game in that film were secret clue cards that were shared among the partygoers. In the final sequence, one of the clues that James Mason (Philip) uses to reveal Richard Benjamin (Tom) is the killer of two people, is the fact that he started to crumple and bend his clue card to throw it away, then retyped a new clue card that he didn't bend in order to convince one character that the game they were playing was set up to reveal she killed "Sheila", when in actuality, the game was just a game. Both films feature bent cards that later turn out to be a huge reveal to the solution of the mystery, and both are clearly telegraphed to observant audience members, but largely go unnoticed until a Rewatch Bonus.
    • When Helen meets with Blanc, she says that she googled "World's Greatest Detective" to find him. Blanc recognizes the phrase, and specifically notes that he is not Batman.
  • Shower of Angst: Blanc, depressed over not being able to sink his teeth into a good mystery, has been spending nearly his entire lockdown in the bathtub.
  • Shrine to Self: The Glass Onion is essentially one big trophy case for Miles to show off his influence, with one of the largest and most prominent portraits being him shirtless with far more muscles than seen in the film.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite being lighter and more comedic, the film leans more on the cynical side compared to Knives Out which was darker but more optimistic. It doesn't lean too far down though, as Miles is still going to prison and all the other characters do find the courage to report him although it could be argued that since the others have to lie in their reports it is still pretty dark.
  • Slipping a Mickey: As revealed in a flashback, Miles drugged Andi by putting sleeping pills in her drink. He then moved her to the garage where he stages a suicide by carbon monoxide.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: The opening phone call between the Disruptors is framed through a frequently-changing split screen configuration since they're all in different locations and characters join in on the conversation randomly.
  • Standard Snippet: The teaser trailer uses a version of "Habanera" from Carmen that punctuates some of the beats with characters moving puzzle pieces around to set the mood of mystery and intrigue.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Miles Bron's big upcoming product, a revolutionary new clean energy source with serious risks if it goes wrong, is new Klear power.
    • "Jared Leto's Hard Kombucha," as Blanc refers to it, is labeled "Red Planet Kombucha." Leto is the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars.
    • After the lights in the mansion go off, Blanc is seen stumbling through the kitchen where he notices there's a knife missing from a counterop knife rack. In other words, one of the knives is out.
    • Benoît Blanc's surname is French for "white". The character he is playing in Among Us? White of course.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the denouement, the entire estate on the island loudly and flashily explodes as a result of the unstable fuel source Klear being thrown into a fire. Blanc kicks back and watches it happen, extremely satisfied.
  • The Summation: Delivered at the climax after Andi's 'death'. Like the last time, it's given a bit of a twist: Blanc is intentionally drawing out the reveal of the killer and their motives to give Helen, whose death they briefly faked beforehand, time enough to search the Glass Onion to find the incriminating evidence they need to prove Miles' guilt.
  • Symbolic Glass House: The titular location is one, and it is just as opulent and absurd as it sounds. The fact that a glass onion is a contradictory concept is relevant, as it foreshadows the fact that its owner Miles Bron is actually an idiot.
  • Taking You with Me: The success of the Disruptors is inextricably linked to Miles, such that him failing will destroy their careers as well. Miles will be ruined by his Klear destroying the Glass Onion and The Mona Lisa, and the Disruptors will go down with him — Lionel and Claire have staked their reputations on Klear's success and Miles won't have the free funds to bail Birdie out. With no benefit to supporting him, they are only too happy to ensure that he takes the fall for his murders.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Subverted. Duke is killed when someone slips something into his whiskey, which makes Miles panic because he drank from his cup. As it turns out, it wasn't poisoned at all; Duke died because the drink had pineapple juice in it, which he was deathly allergic to, and Miles himself is the murderer who put the pineapple juice in there because he had asked for everyone's dietary restrictions ahead of time and thus was aware of this.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Once the issue of Blanc's unexpected attendance is handwaved away, Miles is absolutely giddy to have a renowned detective for his murder mystery party and boasts that Blanc will be totally stumped by his "next level" mystery plot. Blanc solves the whole thing in seconds before the "murder" can even occur, leaving Miles fuming.
      Miles: Hey, try to solve the murder mystery, if you can.
    • Miles decides to secretly break his contract with the Louvre by having a secret button to lower the protective glass that pops up to protect the Mona Lisa if it detects any disturbances nearby, apparently for no other reason than because he's rich enough to rent the painting out and because he simply can. It ends up coming back to bite him after Helen blows his mansion up with the provably explosive Klear crystal. Initially, the protection failsafe worked as intended to protect the painting from the billowing flames around it, but Helen is able to press the button to lower the protective glass, leading to the Mona Lisa getting incinerated, a final nail in Miles's proverbial coffin.
  • That Liar Lies: In a flashback to the Alpha trial, Claire claims that Alpha was entirely Miles' idea. Andi stands up and dramatically calls her a liar.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Identical twins Cassandra and Helen are named for figures from The Trojan War.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Lionel's "Oh, shit!" reaction to seeing Helen throwing the piece of Klear into the bonfire.
  • This Is Reality:
    • When Blanc is first asked to investigate the Disruptors, he warns against unreasonable expectations and explains that he is not Batman. He has no power to punish anybody, and if he does uncover a crime all he can do is provide any evidence to the police and legal authorities to let them make the best case they can.
    • Blanc repeatedly insults mystery/crime games since their clear simplicity bears no resemblance to real-life crimes. He points out that Clue only has a single perpetrator who could have committed the crime, while Among Us just ends once the impostor is identified. In real-life multiple people have motives and opportunities, and identifying the true culprit doesn't prove anything.
  • Those Two Guys: Claire and Lionel. They're clearly closer to each other than anyone else in the group and are often seen right next to each other while on the island. Claire calls Lionel first when she gets Miles' puzzle box, and they each call out for the other after the island's lights shut off. They also show up to Andi's house together after they get her email.
  • Titled After the Song: While the title of the first movie (and subtitle of this one, as seen in the teaser and poster) derives from a Radiohead song, The Beatles are the source of this one.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Duke gets this twice over. Not only does he blackmail someone he knows to be a murderer, he travels around without an Epipen despite having a deadly food allergy.
  • Too Good to Be True: Miles hypes up his new product Klear, a clean hydrogen energy source generated from seawater. It's cheap and easy to produce, and his luxurious private estate on the island is already fully powered by it. Unfortunately, as Lionel keeps warning him, it has a very obvious weakness: hydrogen gas leaks out of pipes and is highly flammable. Miles gets the message when the mansion explodes due to a sample of Klear getting tossed into a fire, which ignites the huge amounts of hydrogen gas that are powering the entire island.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The scene in the trailer where everyone runs outside after Helen is shot shows a variation where Miles doesn't show up behind Birdie and Peg, probably to set him up as the murder victim.
  • Trash the Set: Helen smashes all the glass statues, with the others joining in. And then she breaks one decorative piece with a wooden onion to start a bonfire and subsequently blow the entire place sky high ...
  • Twin Switch: As it turns out, Andi is dead. Her twin sister Helen appealed to Benoit Blanc for help, and it was Blanc's idea to have her impersonate Andi for the weekend getaway.
  • Undercover When Alone: While everyone else is already out of earshot during the arrival on the beach, Helen and Blanc shake hands and introduce each as though they were strangers.
  • The Un-Twist: In-Universe, much to Blanc's profound disappointment. Miles and Andi were having a drawn-out legal battle over the creator's rights to Alpha at the time of her death. Since Miles the multi-millionaire would be the first suspected of her death in the event of foul play, he's initially ruled out as a suspect, with Blanc and Helen believing one of the Disruptors who were being financed by Miles must have killed her instead to protect their investments. However, as Blanc realizes at the end, Miles merely pretends to be an eccentric genius while leeching off of other peoples' more intelligent ideas, and is actually far stupider than he presents himself to be, meaning he really did kill Andi.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Zig-zagged with Miles Bron. He initially takes being exposed by Blanc as a murderer in stride, knowing he'd be able to get away with his crimes due to a lack of evidence (especially once he burns the napkin that could've incriminated him in Helen's hands). He even seems relatively calm when Helen proceeds to destroy several of his expensive glass sculptures, as he has more than enough money to replace them, and considers the notion childish. But when Helen uses Klear to destroy his entire mansion, and especially once she manages to destroy the Mona Lisa, he completely breaks down into a screaming and crying Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: A variation when the Disruptors and Blanc first convene at the port — the film takes place in the early stages of the COVID pandemic, so masking up is crucial, and how the characters handle mask etiquette suggests their responsibility and competence. Duke and Whiskey don't wear any at all, Birdie has a sheer mesh that looks fashionable and does absolutely nothing, and Claire has a beige one that slips down her nose; Peg, Blanc, and Lionel, on the other hand, all have secure and well-fitting ones (Blanc color-coordinates his, and Lionel even has a scientific and stylish-looking black P95 mask). Helen as Andi doesn't have a mask, either, but is introduced as arriving separately by car and keeping her distance, signifying not only that she's removed from the others, but also that she's inexperienced in her deception, though not unintelligent.
  • Weaponized Allergy: Miles slips Duke a drink containing pineapple juice, knowing he's deathly allergic, to silence him after he figures out about Andi's death.
  • Wham Line:
    • Two throw what we know about a key character into an entirely different light.
      • "My name is Helen Brand." Turns out Andi has a twin sister we didn't know about.
      • This is then topped by, "Two days ago, my twin sister committed suicide," revealing that Andi has been Dead All Along, and Helen's actually been the sister we've been following this whole time!
    • Another one occurs when Blanc reveals the main thing that's been bothering him the entire trip, which leads to his larger summation about the murderer:
      Blanc: "Inbreathiate". It's not a word."
  • Wham Shot:
    • The Reveal of how Blanc got the box. It was brought to him by Andi ... or, as we soon find out, someone who looks just like Andi. Audience, meet Helen Brand!
    • After we see the whole day again from Helen's perspective, we get to the point where she got shot ... and then she sits up, startled but perfectly fine.
    • While Helen rips apart Miles' office searching for the red envelope, Helen suddenly realizes that the Fibonacci spiral decorating one wall has a red square at the center.
  • White Shirt of Death: Zigzagged. Andi is wearing a fabulous all-white suit when she is seemingly shot to death, and the blood spreads all over the pristine suit. But then it's revealed that "Andi" was her sister Helen, who had survived the gunshot but faked being dead via hot sauce to buy time. Helen survives the film in the suit, but the flashback that imagines Andi's death by poison shows her in the same all-white outfit.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole: The fact that all guests have a valid motive to see Andi dead complicates the case for Blanc and Helen. Lampshaded by Blanc in his summation:
    "You have a house on a remote island, filled with desperate people, all of whom have a real-life reason to wish this woman harm."
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Early on in the investigation, Blanc states that Miles would have to be a complete idiot to personally murder Andi right after a very public legal battle with her, and assumes that one of the other Disruptors was more likely to have done it. At the climax of the story, he realizes that Miles is in fact a complete idiot, and from there determines that Miles was the one who murdered Andi.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Blanc and Helen clearly expect a more Byzantine plot when looking into Cassandra's death. The straightforward nature of Miles' murder of her is how he manages to evade suspicion until close to the end of the movie, much to Blanc's disappointment.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The villain trying to murder Helen with Duke's gun when the lights go off is definitely not part of her and Blanc's plan to find Andi's murderer. But when Helen thankfully survives the attempt thanks to a Pocket Protector, the two of them quickly turn it to their favor, with her Faking the Dead by pouring Blanc's hot sauce onto her shirt as fake blood and him using it to induce Crocodile Tears in front of the suspects. He then takes the rest of the cast inside, away from her "corpse", to talk to them, which gives her the additional time she needs to find the envelope.
    • Attempted by the chess game's OTHER player, Miles but ultimately deconstructed. On the surface, their individual improvisations (weaponizing someone's food allergy, sneaking a gun away in plain sight) seem brilliant, but it's quickly made clear that the actions are impulsive and not thought out; when Blanc thinks back to the evening's events, he's able to unravel the case in minutes.
  • You Can Turn Back: In a flashback to the night before the gathering, we see Blanc talking to Helen on a bench and giving her the choice to call their dangerous plan off. She remains determined to go through with it to find out who murdered her sister.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Blanc gives off this reaction when he realizes that Miles has, not a duplicate of the Mona Lisa, but the actual Mona Lisa in his mansion.
    • Peg's horrified reaction when she discovers that Birdie, on being warned that her Bangladesh factory was a notorious sweatshop, misinterpreted what that last word meant and gave the go-ahead with a "dabbing Memoji".
    • Blanc tells Miles how stupid it is to invite people with motives to kill him to a remote island, saying it's like leaving a loaded gun on a table and turning off the lights. He later realizes that Miles used his idea verbatim in his attempt to kill Helen, further proof that he steals ideas from everyone around him.
  • Your Favorite: Miles serves his friends their favorite cocktails after dinner. This plays into Duke's murder, because Birdie's drink of choice has pineapple juice as the main ingredient.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Glass Onion A Knives Out Mystery

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt's brief cameo in the film is as the noise of the island's clock.

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