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The Devil's gamble was rigged.
Whatever game they were playing, he rigged it so that Cuphead and Mugman would have to submit to him. Satan is known for his love of deception, so it would only make sense for him to cheat at the game, especially considering that it would put Cuphead and Mugman at his mercy.
  • Confirmed!

...But that's not the only way that Cuphead and Mugman are being fleeced.
The Devil isn't sending them to fight these dangerous bosses for a good reason — he just wants to watch them suffer, and he isn't betting on them succeeding. And when they succeed, hopefully his reaction will be a sight to behold!

There will be singing at some point.
Wouldn't it be awesome if the final boss sang a Villain Song, complete with Cab Calloway's dance moves, in an arena where Everything Dances?
  • Maybe not everything described here will happen, but according to an interview with the composer, Calloway was a big influence on the game's soundtrack, so... maybe.
  • Confirmed! Die House is a Villain Song sung by King Dice, and it sounds pretty Calloway-esque. As to whether or not the final boss will sing is still up in the air, but at least we have this!
    • ...Except that the final boss kept his mouth shut, meaning that that part of the theory is Jossed.

May overlap with the above theory. This would be pretty cool, too.
  • Although it isn't associated with the final boss at all, "The Mausoleum" does indeed feature Ominous Pipe Organ, although it's unknown whether or not that's a theater organ playing. In the credits, the organist is simply credited under "Organ".

The Devil will be the Final Boss.
It seems way too obvious, but that's just how we like it. Cuphead and Mugman get fed up with the Devil and, feeling (rightfully) confident in their skills and burning with anger, they decide to go up to the big D himself and blast him to kingdom come.
  • Based on these images, that sounds very likely.
    • Confirmed; the Devil is the final boss, first at his more earthly throne, then in Hell itself.

Going off of the above theory, there will be Multiple Endings.
The Bad Ending will involve Cuphead and Mugman becoming just as bad as the Devil and taking over Hell. As for the Good Ending... maybe Cuphead and Mugman free everyone who's indebted to the Devil? Which ending you get may be determined by the difficulty level you choose.
  • Heavily implied by the revealed achievement list. There are different achievements for beating the game on Normal or Expert difficulty, so it's very possible that there will be multiple endings depending on the difficulty. However, the achievement for Normal is called "Souls Saved". That sounds pretty good, so perhaps there won't be a bad ending, just a good ending and a Golden Ending.
    • Confirmed in general, including the theory's idea of what the good ending will be like. However, the following bits of the theory have been jossed: Rather than flat-out taking over Hell in the bad ending, Cuphead and Mugman become the Devil's servants. Also, there IS a bad ending and the closest thing to a Golden Ending is the default good ending, and the difficulty level doesn't affect the ending you get so much as how it is affected with the duo's choice of handing over the contracts or not (except for the fact that neither of the two endings can be achieved in easy mode).

If the Devil is indeed the final boss, he will use some gambling-themed attacks.
Although it's more likely that his moves will mostly be fire-based, it would be interesting if he used some casino items to attack, as kind of an Ironic Hell considering the gamble Cuphead and Mugman lost to him.
  • Confirmed with respects to his second phase's ability to drop huge flaming poker chips on Cuphead and Mugman. Most of the gambling stuff in the game is unleashed by King Dice, however.

Cuphead and Mugman are acting as reapers for The Devil.
By all appearances, all the bosses aren't good guys; in fact, they're villains. The Devil makes the two reapers to go collect on some sinners. It's sort of a 'X amount of souls in exchange for yours' kind of deal.
  • Confirmed! The brothers need to collect contracts being held by each boss, though the Devil has no intention of holding up his end of the bargain and — in the good ending — Cuphead and Mugman destroy the contracts and save all of their souls.

Peacock will be a DLC boss.
Considering she's basically designed to look like an old cartoon and her fighting style is cartoon violence incarnate, she definitely wouldn't be out-of-place. Her final form may even be her Super Form that was only in the planning stages.
  • Jossed since there's no DLC.
    • ...Until now.

If not Peacock, it will be Bendy.
After all, he's the star of another video game revolving around the Inkblot Cartoon Style. It helps that the two games' fandoms are both, for the most part, on good terms with each other. It could also be interesting because this game has its own cartoon devil.
  • Jossed due to the same reason as the above theory.

The dice-headed man in the E3 2017 trailer.
At the end of the new trailer, we see a new character, a guy with a die for a head, wearing a gold suit. Some theories on who he is:
  • The Big Good. He's shown standing opposite from the Devil, and he has mostly bright colors. Maybe he's a friendly gambler helping Cuphead and Mugman pay off their debt?
    • Jossed.
  • The Dragon to the Devil. Maybe he's an Anthropomorphic Personification of the evils of gambling?
    • Confirmed. Die House has it outright state that the dice-headed man, King Dice, is the Devil's right-hand man.
  • Maybe he's just the announcer for each battle, although this could overlap with one of the above two.
    • Jossed.

There will be an entire casino-themed world or map.
The level with the two frogs who turn into a slot machine doesn't seem to be on the forest-themed map we've seen thus far, and we've seen quite a few other casino-based characters and bosses in the trailers (The dice-headed man, the dancing roulette wheel girl, etc.), so maybe they'll get a map all to themselves. It would make sense considering that gambling is what landed Cuphead and Mugman in trouble in the first place.
  • If there is such a map, the part about the frogs being there is jossed. Their level is on a boat found at the edge of the forest map.
  • One of the leaked achievements is "Casino Night: Complete the Casino", so this is more or less confirmed. However, it remains to be seen what exactly the casino level will be like, and if it's treated the same as the other maps.
    • Semi-Confirmed: Although the Casino is technically a Boss Rush (with King Dice as the Penultimate Boss), it is definitely a casino-themed world.

The final phase of the final boss battle will be a shoot 'em up.
Whether or not it's the Devil himself, in the final phase, the boss will take to the skies, forcing Cuphead and Mugman to finish the battle in their planes. It would make for a good Final-Exam Boss.
  • Jossed: It's only a regular stage.

At some point, King Dice was indebted to the Devil too.
But rather than follow the Devil's instructions and take the honest way out, King Dice attempted to manipulate and negotiate with the Devil. The Devil realized that King Dice was just his kind of guy, and allowed him to work for him as an honored servant.

Following up from the above theory, the Devil's ultimate goal is to turn Cuphead and Mugman evil.
That's why he's sending them to fight all these monsters and crooks — since they didn't sell out to him like King Dice did according to the above theory, the Devil hopes that the thrill of fighting will turn them rotten too.

If the above two theories are true, then the game's story will be a commentary on the making of the game itself.
King Dice represents soulless corporations who make games solely for money, with little consideration for anything else. Cuphead and Mugman represent Studio MDHR, who started at the bottom, but managed to succeed in realizing their dream by putting in intense amounts of work. Even when they received backing from Microsoft (Pork Rind and other allies), they still did work that most people wouldn't have the patience to do. And for that reason, they will succeed where some other games fail.
  • Jossed.

Alternatively, the game itself won't have much of a plot.
The emphasis will be almost entirely on gameplay, which, to be fair, the devs seem to have gotten down solid. If this is true, maybe these theories will be confirmed or jossed in other sources.
  • Jossed.

    Post release 
If there is a sequel, it wsill be called The Second Reel.
No real proof, I just like this one.

The Bosses got their powers from the Devil.
All the powers they use are ones they got from their deals with the devil, but since they feel powerful and confident, they refuse to pay their side of the deal. The Devil sends Cuphead and Mugman because he feels it is a win-win for him: if they succeed, his debtors have to pay, and if they lose, he gets to keep them instead.
  • They do all have a state where they go "crazy" and become particularly more monstrous or demonic, and seem to have some ability to pass this demonic state to other beings, like the Baroness does to her castle. Some of them seem to even unwillingly undergo a transformation, like they lost control over their own powers (most clearly seem with Hilda Berg).
  • The only one to subvert this idea is Sally Stageplay. She fights with props from her play and cardboard cutouts. Perhaps she sold her soul for insane acting skills?

Related to the above: the other, unstated half of the deal is that it brings out the worst in the debtors.
Either implicitly, by putting them in an awful situation to make them squirm, or explicitly, a la Brainwashed and Crazy. Nearly every single one of the bosses (the only exceptions being Weepy of the Root Pack and Werner Werman) spend some portion of their boss fight wearing gigantic, psychotic-looking smiles. Also implied by the good ending, where the majority of the bosses show up and celebrate Cuphead and Mugman's victory, now that they're free of their debts.

Related to that above, the soul contracts are actually corrupting the debtors.
It explains why several of the debtors act and appear so cartoonishly evil in their boss fights and defeat portraits. Those cheery, happy bosses seen in the Good Ending where the contracts are burnt heavily implies that they’re mostly good people, or at least are very happy for the accomplishments of the brothers. Grim Matchstick may act nice in his death quotes because his soul contract has yet to fully corrupt him (and he is the last boss on the list for Isle 2, maybe he got his contract late?). This also explains why The Devil hasn’t gone after these debtors himself. If these bosses are becoming evil the longer they hold onto their contracts, then eventually they can bring in some chaos to Inkwell Isle, giving him a pleasure to watch. People trying and failing to fight these debtors and/or gain their contracts can serve as entertainment for him too. And if The Devil does get the soul contracts back, he gets to control these bosses, as well as the one(s) who brought them in if the Bad Ending is anything to go by.

An Adult Swim series will be made based on this game.
Self-explanatory, really. Let's just wait and see.
  • If there is one, it will more likely be a family series, since this game has an "E" rating in North America.
    • "Family series" my butt. After all, with all the tobacco and alcohol references, gambling references, garbage like that and the Devil himself, how did this manage to get an E rating??!!
      • Animation Age Ghetto.
      • That and universally none of those things are considered child-inappropriate. Children's animated shows have gotten away with that and much worse, not sure why the surprise.
      • Are we forgetting all the stuff Disney got away with in Pinocchio?
  • Jossed. It's coming to Netflix instead.

Grim Matchstick is lonely.
So he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for "a friend or two." He got what he wanted in the form of two extra heads.
  • Perhaps he was an outcast due to the stutter he has. Or maybe people were afraid of him.

Werner Werman is in a war against the cats.
He sold his soul to swing the battle in his favor. That's why he has his cat mecha; to infiltrate the cat army and destroy them from the inside.

Alternatively, Werner Werman is in a war against other rats, and has allied himself with the cats.
This is supported by the fact that the cat mecha has ghost rats/mice inside it. Werner is actually a Boomerang Bigot who actually wanted to be a cat or believes in their supremacy, which is why he was granted a mecha that would allow him to fit within cat society.
  • A possible alternate explanation: He really does want to beat the cats, but the Devil — being a Jackass Genie — gave him a mecha that was not just Powered by a Forsaken Child but by the souls of comrades killed by the cats.
    • Another alternate explanation: The ghosts are just holograms meant to convince the cats that he's one of them. This is supported by how they seem to glitch and phase out when defeated.

Reasons for bosses selling their souls to the Devil.
Wanting superpowers aside, it might be possible to deduct what each boss wanted from the Devil in exchange for their souls by looking at their quotes, powers and transformations.
  • Root Pack: Once regular-sized vegetables, they became huge in order to avoid being harvested and eaten.
    • It's also likely Psycarrot also asked for psychic abilities as well, which might explain why he seems more unhinged than the other two.
  • Goopy: Probably wanted to become a big and strong boxer, thus he obtained steroid-like pills from the Devil. Supported by his surname "Grande" meaning "big" in Portuguese/Spanish/Italian and both his first and second phases using boxing moves.
    • Alternatively, a second lease on life. Hence why his tombstone is alive and still acts like it's him.
  • Hilda: Probably wanted to fly around, so she became a blimp (either intentionally or because the Devil was being the Jackass Genie he is). Notice that her blimp body is not her original form.
  • Cagney: Take Over the World (supported by second Game Over quote).
    • Or he could have just wanted to be more intimidating, so he wouldn't get trampled/picked/otherwise abused as flowers often are.
  • Ribby and Croaks: Wanted to become strong fighters. They mention being born with fighting soul, but in truth were actually quite wimpy (supported by their Simple Mode knockout animation)
    • They might have phrased that wish as "to be the strongest fighters around," which the Devil chose to interpret as just surrounding them with creatures weaker than them, hence the fly nightclub.
  • Baroness von Bon Bon: Her very own Sugar Bowl, complete with sweets as lackeys. What else?
  • Djimmi: Freedom from genie duty, so he's free to just use his magic as he wants.
  • Wally: Freedom to fly wherever he wanted, so he was made stronger than any bird, like the eagles he mentions.
    • Alternatively, he wanted children, which is why he has a son and eggs, but no mate in sight.
  • Beppi: He wanted to create his own amusement park, which is why he can summon and turn into the attractions themselves.
  • Matchstick: He was lonely. See entry above.
  • Honeybottoms: She really needed that much honey, which is why she's so protective of it.
    • Alternatively, she might have asked for that magic book and wand she carries.
  • Maria: She liked attention (as seen by her introduction), so she was made enormous to the point no one would miss her.
    • Well, she is down to near-human size in the good ending...
    • Or if her gorgon form is her true form, she could have wished to be beautiful.
  • Brineybeard: Most likely money to afford his own ship and/or to give sentience to the ship. Or he traded his soul for the ship itself.
  • Phantom Express: Probably was out of service for whatever reason, so it wished to be repaired and reclaim its job. It's also possible that the blind ghost, the skeleton conductor and the living chairs were all involved in bringing back the train, otherwise they would have nowhere else to work.
  • Sally: Fame and fortune. Obviously.
  • Werner: Power to beat the cats. Thus a cat mecha (see entry above).
  • Dr. Kahl's robot: Probably a failed experiment of Kahl that wished to become an effective destruction machine, so his creator could appreciate it.
    • Maybe it's the gems, instead. Those things seem WAYYYY too powerful to be NORMAL gemstones...
    • Also a possible indication that Dr. Kahl himself is smarter than he lets on, by tricking the Devil into taking the robot's soul instead of his own. Of course, the Devil comes to collect anyway, if only to save face.
    • Or the deal could have been how he gained a soul in the first place (on lease, of course).
  • I assumed that they all simply gambled their souls away, like our protagonists. A boring answer, I know, but some of them still have gambling themes such as Ribby and Croaks, so it would've made sense for them to gamble.

On that note — the bosses' personalities when they're not bargaining/fighting for their immortal souls...
  • The Root Pack: basically The Three Stooges as vegetables (in fact, Moe Tato's name might be an unconscious Shout-Out). Per classic Comic Trio conventions, Psycarrot's the leader, Weepy's the complainer, Moe Tato's the dingbat. Heck, their Deal with the Devil might've even begun as a get-rich-quick scheme.
  • Rumor Honeybottoms: a strict, penny-pinching, but mostly Honest Corporate Executive. May disdain males, as most of her staff (excepting her head of security) consists of female workers like in real-life beehives.
    • Seems unlikely that she Does Not Like Men given all of her staff appear to actually be male. Maybe she's a bit of an oddball for the fact that she specifically hires male bees, though their miserable appearance may imply she's still a bit of a stickler for making sure things get done thus really rough work days.
  • Captain Brineybeard: actually terrified of the open sea and has never sailed more than half a mile or so from the isles. Mostly spends his time hanging out at harbor pubs, telling loud, boastful stories to anyone who will listen.
  • Baroness von Bon Bon: a bratty circus performer who juggled her many detachable heads. She has a powerful sweet tooth that is exploited by others to no end.
  • Cala Maria: A shameless flirt (or beyond), who is generally something of an Attention Whore. Possible on-again-off-again relationship with Brineybeard (either platonic, romantic, or alternating between them), due to their shared motifs and close proximity to each other.

Sally Stageplay is Darla Dimple's mother.
Just something I thought of the other day.
  • Both characters are blonde, but that's about the only genetic similarity between the two.

Any sequels will see Cuphead and Mugman endure into other eras of animation history.
A prequel would inversely see them in the 1920's, possibly featuring an obvious crossover, perhaps leading directly into the events of the first game, resulting in the inevitable moral, "Better the devil you know..."
  • Or, more likely, a sequel revolving around King Dice becoming a Dragon Ascendant, considering his evil laugh is heard in the ending.
    • I think it will take place in 1940's or maybe in the mid-1930's, assuming Cuphead takes place in 1930.

The plot of the sequel will be a Take That! against The Hays Code and Bowdlerization
The Big Bad will be a goody-two shoes Moral Guardian who goes around banning "vices" like smoking and drinking, leaving it to Cuphead and Mugman to stop them.
  • This time, Cuphead and Mugman will be in debt to King Dice, who sends them out to stop the problem. When they reach the new villain, they'll have a choice to make, just like last time — but this time, it'll turn out that doing what their boss wants is in everyone's best interests this time, even though he only gives a damn about himself.

The sequel will fast forward to the Renaissance age of animation between the late 80s and early 2000s
It will likely base its art style off of either Don Bluth or the cartoons often seen on Kids WB at around said period, like Tiny Toons, etc.
  • May depend, ultimately, on whether the Moldenhaur brothers have a nostalgic attachment to those cartoons as well.
  • As for what would happen in this sequel, guesses of what an 80s/90s Cuphead would be like:
    • Cuphead and Mugman both have skateboards, and are dressed in skater fashion.
    • The Devil is the manager of a local arcade, and is either a random Jerkass who pokes the poodle, or is someone who revels in getting kids addicted to video games.
    • The soundtrack will either be 3rd Wave Ska or New Wave. Some of the final boss fights will have Industrial Metal, Nu Metal, or straight Heavy Metal music to invoke the Rotten Rock & Roll trope.

Between his defeat and the end of the game, Wally was in hell.
Wally is presumed to be killed after his boss fight by being eaten by his hench-birds. Should you reach the good ending, Cuphead and Mugman burning the contracts automatically frees him from being trapped in hell for all eternity.

What happened to the missing bosses.
Theories on what possibly happened to the bosses that do not appear at the epilogue.
  • The Root Pack: They were permanently dead briefly, but once the boys managed to free their souls from the Devil, the Root Pack's souls merely transferred into new, non-toon vegetables. The reason they do not join the party is because their new bodies are still too young and have some growing up to do.
    • If they didn't die upon defeat, perhaps they didn't show up because, being vegetables, they're immobile and unable to leave their garden.
  • Goopy le Grande: Killed Off for Real. His abuse of steroids he most likely obtained from the Devil finally did him in, his fight against the boys being what actually killed him. The destruction of his tombstone made sure that he would not come back to life when his soul contract was destroyed.
  • Wally Warbles: The medic birds, most likely sent by the Devil, that carried his stretcher went through with eating him alive during his last moments, preventing him from being resurrected. Wally's son, meanwhile, is too busy grieving his father's death to join in celebrating the Devil's defeat.
    • If he didn't die, he's probably still badly injured and possibly still resentful of the brothers, which is why he didn't show up.
  • Phantom Express: The ghost in the first phase was the one who made the deal with the Devil in the first place, damning the entire express to send the recently deceased to become patrons to the Devil's casino instead of to the afterlife, which was its original job. The reason the rest of the train attacked after the first phase was basically it and the conductor acting in self-defense against agents coming to collect. After the Express's contract is destroyed, it left the first phase ghost in the realm to the living, forever denied a chance to finally move on......which was exactly what that ghost wanted in the first place.
  • Dr. Kahl: Since it was his creation that sold its soul to the Devil, after the boys defeated him, Kahl immediately went back to the drawing board in order to figure out how his robot, originally made to be a lifeless war machine, gained enough sentience to actually sell his soul in the first place — and, for that matter, gained a soul. Kahl doesn't join in the celebration because he both felt that he was never really involved with the whole soul contract plot in the first place, and he was busy with his research.
  • They were all actually present to the scene. Just offscreen so that the crew can avoid drawing them all in a single page/panel (is my theory).

Possible stages/bosses for the sequel.
  • Have at it, guys. Here're some to start you off...
    • A coiling, mustachioed Far East Dragon (hopefully without too many Yellow Peril elements; give it water powers if the creators really want to have Shown Their Work)
    • A snarling bear, possibly wielding sentient hammer and sickle (after all, the 1920s were the time of the original Red Scare.)
    • A sentient jazz orchestra, bonus points for homaging Silly Symphonies' Music Land short.
    • Some classical movie monsters, perhaps an outright Monster Mash, in homage to Universal Horror.
    • An Abandoned Hospital and/or Bedlam House with sentient syringes, scalpels, gurneys, and Mad Doctor (or Depraved Dentist) at the end of it all.
    • A stereotypical hobo, with a battered top hat and a bindle stick. Possibly fought on or in a moving train.
    • A travelling salesman, who attacks with his various shoddy and shady wares.
    • A caveman fought in a cartoony prehistoric realm. Rides either a giant dinosaur or a giant stone wheel for his final phase.
    • Sentient (and ever-shapeshifting) neon signs, in homage to The Great Piggy Bank Robbery.
    • Eight bosses homaging the other eight members of Disney's Nine Old Men. May or may not be Dr. Kahl's colleagues/assistants/experiments. Just throwing out some ideas...
      • Woolie Wolfgang: A literal Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, perhaps with a strong Fairy Tale theme.
      • Warden Grimball: A tough-as-nails Knight Templar of a prison warden, bent on locking people up for the smallest infractions. May be coercing a chain-gang to act as henchmen.
      • Lady Loonsberry: A sentient Tutti-Frutti hat that launches bits and pieces of herself at our heroes.
      • Jolly Jemstone: A cheerful but utterly ruthless miner who uses a monstrous Drill Tank to hunt for gems and other precious metals.
      • Farmer Frank: A farmer who chases you down on a monstrous tractor, hurling the occasional pitchfork and weed-killer grenade.
    • A courtroom level where you fight a defense attorney, a prosecutor, and a judge as bosses. Expect them to be kangaroos, and expect shout outs to Ace Attorney. The battle ends with the jury, who watch the fight from the background, holding up score cards.
    • A Bad Santa, or The Krampus.
    • A Wily Walrus. This would make room for references to Minnie the Moocher, or even Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. May be a Flunky Boss with seals and penguins, or perhaps ghost oysters.
    • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night. Wouldn't it be awesome to see Cuphead and Mugman fight the bogeyman? Maybe the battle would take place in a dark bedroom, where some kids are watching the battle from their beds in the background, cheering you on.
    • A Chess Rook, which summons Knights, Ministers, and the Queen, who attacked based on the respective movement of their pieces.
      • Interestingly enough, the Devil's casino has towers shaped like chessmen. Potential mini-boss(es) that got left on the cutting-room floor?
    • A lion that summons his subjects at first (Assorted jungle animals)
    • How about some of the NPCs from the first game? Maybe they would be Brainwashed and Crazy, and mutated to make them big and scary.
      • The little scientist guy who gives you the plane blueprints would, of course, be fought in a shoot 'em up level.
      • The turtle who gives you the black and white mode would, being a pacifist, not attack you directly, even when brainwashed. Instead, he would probably use psychic powers, or be a Flunky Boss. Or both.
      • The barbershop quartet could be a very fun boss, especially if they sing throughout the battle.
    • A boss that's Immune to Bullets and requires you to parry off of a weak point a certain number of times in order to beat them.
    • A parody of Superman, in homage to the Fleischer shorts. He might be Brainwashed and Crazy, or maybe he's just playing the Black and White Insanity of the original Golden Age Superman to its logical conclusion...
    • A space alien, utilizing retrofuturistic technology like ray guns and a flying saucer.
    • A Cute Ghost Girl fought in a haunted manor. Possibly possessing the entire house for her final phase.
    • Wally Warbles' child, out for revenge over the death of his father in the first game.
    • Kingdice's daughter or granddaughter, Princess Polly Hedron, a Gamer Chick with a d16 for a head who summons various stock fantasy creatures to fight you. Each face of the die represents a different emotion. Sometimes it lands on a positive emotion and drops healing items or some such.
      • Why a d16 rather than the more popular d20? It's a hexadecimal die.
    • Construction Site Equipment like pile drivers, cement mixers, bulldozers, cranes or wrecking balls fought in a construction site.
    • A Crapsaccharine World with killer ponies as bosses.
    • A live-action animator hand, drawing stuff into the scene to attack the player.
    • Something from the 1890s, considering how much Walt liked the decade. For instance, a Gibson Girl.

Some of the bosses will be playable characters in the sequel.
Brought Down to Normal after their Hell-given powers were taken away, of course. My personal votes are on Grim Matchstick, Captain Brineybeard, and Cala Maria, but anything's possible...
  • Sally Stageplay and Werner Werman are also likely, since they don't need to be Brought Down to Normal (Sally used mainly physical attacks and stage props in her fight, and Werner relied on his machines.)

The bosses were conspiring in some way.
  • That's why they all had the same plan to welch on the Devil and beat up anyone who tried to stop them. All the bosses are part of a group of Inkwell Isle residents who had been meeting in secret to try and figure out what to do about the Devil coming for their souls, and that was the solution they agreed on.

Combining the above two...
  • Some time before the events of the game, several (maybe even all) of the bosses assembled into a Caper Crew and stole their contracts out of the Devil's office. This will be the plot of the next game, which will feature many new denizens of Inkwell Hell as bosses. Cuphead and Mugman only ran into so (relatively) few of them because the rest were recovering from the beating the Crew gave them, or got (hell)fired by the Devil for letting the theft happen.

The actor playing Sally's husband wasn't her actual husband, but they did actually fall in love between the boss fight with her and the game's ending.
  • Possibly from him comforting her backstage after she got publicly humiliated and lost her soul.

Rumor Honeybottoms is a defense contractor.
  • That spellbook she flips through isn't a spellbook - it's a company catalog. Only her wand was provided by the Devil.

Wally Warbles' Finger Gun attack? It was originally an, ah, different gesture.
  • Self-explanatory, really. Even if the devs never seriously considered this specific case of Getting Crap Past the Radar, I daresay the attack began as this at the sketch/conceptual level.

What the boys pour into their heads for each attack.
  • Expanding on that entry in the Headscratchers page...
    • Peashooter: Pea soup, as suggested on the Headscratchers page.
    • Spread: Red Bull, or whatever the Inkwell Isle equivalent is. Packs the biggest punch, but can't go all that far.
    • Chaser: Fruit juice or some soft drink. Weak but can be downed like water, and great as a chaser for stronger stuff.
    • Roundabout: Absinthe, or any other booze that tastes mild at first but comes back with a vengeance when the drinker foolishly downs more.
    • Charge: Possibly hot sauce, due to the fiery visuals.
    • Lobber: Grape juice, wine or any other drink made from grapes. It's purple in color and oval in shape.

Werner Werman is fighting in Inkwell Isle's equivalent to World War I or World War II.
  • Not only were German soldiers called Jerrys, which would match up with Werman's German theme and share the name of the Mouse from Tom and Jerry, British soldiers were called Tommies which would again line up with Tom and Jerry. If we go on an above theory where Werner is in a war against the cats, it would make sense that the British Cats and German Rats would be fighting against each other because with the time period the 30's, both World Wars happened somewhere around then.
    • The British flag hanging from the roof of Werner's home could be a prize he stole from them as well.

Elder Kettle has Medium Awareness.
  • At the end of the cutscene before entering Inkwell Isle Two, it looks very much like he's looking straight at the player. When he's saying to "do the right thing", perhaps he's not talking to Cuphead and Mugman. He knows that his boys are good, despite their tendency to get in trouble - it's you he's worried about. Maybe he's well aware of Video Game Cruelty Potential, and wants to convince you not to do it.

The next game will go into more detail on Elder Kettle.
We don't necessarily need a prequel game that's all about him, but it would be nice if they would at least explain how he is related to Cuphead and Mugman. For example, if he's actually their foster parent, maybe the game would tell us the story of how he adopted them. Some more info on the Legendary Chalice would be nice too...
  • Well, the DLC will feature Chalice as a playable character, so maybe...

Elder Kettle is a benevolent version of The Chessmaster.
"Benevolent" is a key word here. He is by no means a bad person, and he certainly didn't want the Devil to take Cuphead and Mugman's souls. He would have preferred it if Cuphead and Mugman obeyed him and stayed close to homenote , but if they didn't, he was ready. He had the potion right with him, so that if Cuphead and Mugman got themselves in trouble with the Devil, he could send them on the path to fixing their mistakes. He was aware of the Devil's greed, so he came up with a plan to have Cuphead and Mugman take advantage of this and finally give the Devil what he had coming. However, it was also a test to see if Cuphead and Mugman were responsible enough to save the isle on their own. Kettle likely would have stepped in if they really needed him to, but they beat every enemy on their own, and in the Good Ending, they passed the test with flying colors. No wonder Kettle was brimming with pride.

King Dice is an Evil Counterpart.
King Dice, as he explains in his theme song, never plays nice. His good counterpart is King Nice, who never plays dice.
  • King Nice, of course, is the Lord God's right hand man. And he wants you to get rid of those contracts.
  • Not to mention, he’s the least game in the land.

The sequel will be four-player co-op.
And players three and four will be Cuphead and Mugman's long-lost sisters.

The sequel will be set in World War II, and will feature Adolf Hitler and Those Wacky Nazis (or Denser and Wackier expies of them) as villains.
Going with the above theory of each game being based off of a decade of animation, the second game will feature parodies of Wartime Cartoons to go with being set in the forties.

The sequel will feature Drive-n-Gun levels.
For is it not the duty of art to imitate life? Bonus point if, halfway through a level, the car has a completely scripted and unavoidable crash and you have to finish on foot.

The sequel will have voice acting.

Cuphead is part of a Shared Universe with Enchanted Portals.
Just take a look at the trailer

The sequel will have the bosses from the first game be Assist Characters.
Instead of being fully playable, the player will have the choice to swap the supers for the ability to summon the bosses to aid the brothers in battle. Each boss will perform an attack or ability that relates to their resective boss fight. For example: Cala Maria will petrify all enemies on the screen with her gorgon form, Grim Matchstick will scorch them with his flame breath, Djimmi will have his Cuphead puppet back up the brothers and so forth.

The sequel will involve the brothers getting a Price On Their Heads.
The sequel will start off with Cuphead and Mugman accidentally offending someone very powerful who will post a reward for their deaths. The rest of the game will be about the brothers (possibly with Ms. Chalice and Elder Kettle) trying to escape the isles while fighting off the bosses who will all be looking to cash in on the reward.

    DLC Pre-release 

Chef Saltbaker will turn out to be evil, maybe even the Final Boss of the DLC.
He must be a very important character to the DLC's story, considering the prominent role he has in the announcement trailer. What if he's actually an Evil Chef?
  • Adding on to this, he's either one of The Devil's minions, or even The Devil in disguise, seeking to take the souls of every inhabitant of Inkwell Isles.
  • Seemingly jossed by the July 2 trailer, which shows him getting along with Cuphead, Mugman, and Ms. Chalice quite nicely. Unless, of course, he's just a very convincing Hidden Villain.
  • Going with the Hidden Villain idea, Saltbaker will initially be friendly with the trio, but it'll be revealed that he was tricking them into helping with some evil scheme and once that's accomplished, he'll try to dispose of them.
  • Or, he really IS that friendly, and the main antagonist will be his rival, a living pepper shaker to contrast Chef Saltbaker being a living salt shaker.

This update will add animation to the cutscenes.
While the animations we see in the trailer mostly seem like they won't actually be in-game cutscenes, they do have a certain style that would work great for cutscenes.
  • Jossed in the best way possible. Animated cutscenes were added in an update before the DLC.

This time, the protagonists are collecting ingredients from the bosses instead of soul contracts.
The goal is to gather ingredients to put together some sort of recipe (for a Delicious Last Course), but the bosses are holding onto them for some reason. Perhaps these bosses will be more clearly villainous than the Devil's debtors.

The playable characters will be made more diversified in a Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick sort of way.
We've already seen that Ms. Chalice can Double Jump, which is presumably going to be something exclusive to her alone. Maybe Cuphead and Mugman will have different "stats" in this update to balance things out.
  • Cuphead might be Balance, which is typical of main characters, or maybe Power, because he's the Red Oni of the Red Oni, Blue Oni duo.
  • Mugman might be Strength if Balance goes to Cuphead, but he could be Balance, because he's the Blue Oni.
  • Ms. Chalice will most certainly be Skill, based on that double jump.
  • There may not be a Gimmick-based character, unless there's a secret 4th playable character we don't know about yet.

There will be at least one boss rematch
Perhaps one of the bosses in the update will be a rematch against one of the original debtors, complete with new attacks and possibly phases. My personal idea is that one of the King's Court bosses will be refought, this time being much more fleshed out and having multiple phases.

The new DLC Inkwell Isle will be accessed through Rugged Ridge
If you pay attention to the latter part of this level, you can find statues and decorations of some sort of chalice royal family. Since the DLC is about Legendary Chalice, this level might have some sort of connection to her past.

Some of the bosses that were originally cut from the game will be used here.
The Giant Spider would be a nice addition, for example.
  • The song used in the DLC reveal trailer is "The Airship" one of the cut songs from the game. This might be hinting at the return of some of the cut levels/Bosses

The acronym "DLC" will have a hidden double - or rather, triple meaning.
As some have pointed out, the DLC's tagline, "Delicious Last Course", uses the same acronym. What if there's another way that acronym will be used in this update? The base game has the Devil's Casino... maybe an L word will be added to that?

Legendary Chalice is Ms. Chalice's superpowered form.
Ms. Chalice is her true identity, and the mausoleum levels were tests for the brothers. With the new DLC, she has returned to her normal identity to join them in fighting whatever the new threat is.

The story - or the closest thing to it this DLC has - will be much heavier on No Fourth Wall jokes.
Possibly to the point of confirming that all of Cuphead runs on an Animated Actors system, with no "real" stakes (except when convenient to the plot and/or humor, of course).

Ms. Chalice cannot parry.
That's why she was given the Double Jump to balance things out. That also explains why, as the Legendary Chalice, she keeps getting captured by the ghosts - she can't perform the only move that can defeat them.

The Double Jump is a charm-based skill.

One of the bosses will be a Black Knight.
They will be actively pursuing Grim, simply for being a dragon, and the Cup Bros and Ms. Chalice will show up just in time to save him.

There will be a boss based on the infamous cylinder from the tutorial.
Alternatively for Ms. Chalice...
At some point, either Cuphead or Mugman parry-slapped her back into existence, reverting her to the age she was when she originally died.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


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