If you’re a fan of “Yellowjackets,” you're probably no stranger to the theories, speculation, and all-around buzz that has surrounded the series since it premiered in 2021. We’ve got to hand it to the Fellowjackets fandom — a cornucopia of thought-provoking theories has popped up during the show's two seasons. Some of these theories are milder than others, but there’s no shortage of off-the-wall theories, either.
While some ideas have become canon among fans, others are too preposterous to even entertain (We see you, people who think Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman) is still alive! We’re pretty sure falling off “sh*t cliff” was a death sentence, even if Crystal's body has now mysteriously disappeared.) As we wait for Season 3 to premiere, we considered multiple theories from the “Yellowjackets” fandom and ranked them from mildest to wildest.
Don't forget to listen to our full recording of the podcast episode below:
Teen Lottie Is Harmless, Teen Tai Is Possessed
Our first theory is the tamest of the bunch. One Redditor theorized that teen Lottie (Courtney Eaton) is harmless, as is the “cult” she’s creating out in the wilderness. In contrast, this theory posits that Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is being possessed by the spirit of Cabin Daddy (William Vaughn), and the chaos caused by Tai while she is following his “orders” is the true evil in all of this. When Taissa is awake, she believes everyone else is the problem and that she needs to save them. But when she's in one of her fugue states, all bets are off. After all, she pooped in the pee bucket.
We could see this theory having a smidgen of truth to it, and we're eager to see how things continue to play out with Lottie and Tai in the wilderness timeline.
Wilderness Baby Musings
Before Episode 6 of the second season gave us the concrete answers we were looking for, the fate of Shauna’s (Sophie Nélisse) baby was one of the most theorized plot points of Season 2. Name an adult supporting character from the show, and chances are they were speculated at one point to be “wilderness baby” all grown up. We have seen the fandom throw around Adam (Peter Gadiot), Walter (Elijah Wood), and Lisa (Nicole Maines) as possibilities, just to name a few.
With Adam possibly being the grown-up child, some viewers figured adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and her paramour had an Oedipus complex going on since they were romantically involved. Walter seemed too old to be Shauna's now-grown child, but we'll give the fandom points for creativity. Lisa as wilderness baby made more sense than the other possibilities that floated around online, but sadly, as we all came to find out, Shauna’s baby did not end up surviving childbirth — never mind reaching adulthood. Now it’s safe to say all speculation about the baby’s future identity can be laid to rest. RIP wilderness baby.
Lisa Is Travis and Nat’s Child
Though many fans wondered if Lisa was Shauna's wilderness baby, some put forth a different theory: Lisa was actually a second wilderness baby. It’s been tossed around that she could’ve been another child born in the woods, one who was delivered much closer to the survivors' eventual rescue. Who, then, would Lisa's parents be? This theory alleges Travis (Kevin Alves) ended up getting Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) pregnant, and after they were rescued, they decided to give the baby up for adoption.
Further supporting this theory is the speculation that adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) tracked down the child years later and recruited her to join her “wellness community,” which is where viewers first saw Lisa in Season 2. Lisa and adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) crossed paths a lot, with Nat even sacrificing her own life for Lisa's, so we're not surprised fans are theorizing about a deeper connection between them. But mother and daughter? Given that Maines recently told us she doesn't even know yet if she'll be back for Season 3, we find it hard to believe she has this unexplored parental link to Natalie and Travis.
Adam Martin = Adam Martinez?
Both before and after Adam’s untimely demise in Season 1, he served as one of the bigger mysteries of the show. We know the “Yellowjackets” creators toyed with the idea of making Adam secretly be adult Javi (played as a child in the wilderness timeline by Luciano Leroux), but they eventually decided against it. So, who was this strange artist with no digital footprint whatsoever?
One theory suggests Adam Martin served as the professional name for Adam Martinez. Who is Adam Martinez, you ask? This theory speculates Adam is actually Coach Martinez’s secret third son, making him Travis and Javi’s youngest brother. This eyebrow-raising idea only works if the siblings' mom was pregnant at the time of the plane crash and gave birth after her husband and sons' disappearance.
As for supporting evidence, the theory asserts Adam had been searching for answers as to what really happened to his father and brothers out in the wilderness, so he came up with a plan to fake an impromptu meeting with Shauna and, well, we know how things spiraled from there. Adam's back tattoo seemed to have connections to the Yellowjackets, while the massive amount of artwork he created featuring Shauna's likeness had us scratching our heads and asking, Who is this guy? Although the show ultimately established Adam was just “some guy,” we’ve still got our lingering suspicions.
Adult Lottie Is Really Adult Mari
This next theory really grabbed our attention because we don't yet know Mari’s (Alexa Barajas) fate. Some viewers insist they saw her in the 1998 post-rescue scene, but her face was partially obscured, so we don’t know with 100% certainty if it was her. Many have also said they think Mari could be the legendary Pit Girl, which wouldn't be too wild. Here, however, is a crazy idea: Adult Lottie is actually adult Mari. This theory alleges Lottie convinced Mari to switch identities after they were rescued — and even we have to admit that Kessell more closely resembles Mari's teen portrayer, Barajas, than Lottie's.
Maybe the real adult Lottie is still locked up in a psych ward somewhere. Mari took Lottie’s name and identity and then started a cult similar to the one she grew attached to out in the wilderness. Theorizers also point out Lottie’s family’s wealth and that Lottie’s parents were never able to come to terms with their daughter's mental health issues. Perhaps Mari actually had their blessing in assuming Lottie’s identity. Since we don't know yet if we’ll see adult Mari at some point, this theory definitely makes us wonder, What if?
Javi Was the Bear
This theory has been floating around the “Yellowjackets” fandom since Javi disappeared after “Doomcoming.” Some fans argued Lottie didn’t kill an actual bear in the Season 1 finale but rather killed Javi. Because the group was still feeling the effects of the magic mushrooms they ate, they all imagined him as a bear, similar to how they envisioned Travis as a deer the night of Doomcoming.
While trippy, such an idea doesn't stand up under scrutiny. We’d like to point out that Jackie was never under the influence of the mushrooms and she was present when Lottie killed the bear, so we have to believe it really, truly was a bear. Also, as we saw in Season 2, Javi returned alive (although clearly not well). He ended up dying in a frozen lake a few episodes later, so this “Javi/bear death” theory is one we can confidently debunk.
It's All a Dream — or a Graphic Novel
While the creators and showrunners have said “Lost” served as inspiration for “Yellowjackets,” we don’t expect to see any Smoke Monsters anytime soon. But like the theories that surrounded that hit show, there are some within the “Yellowjackets” fandom who think it’s possible the group died in the initial crash, and we're watching a version of the afterlife. We've even seen it speculated that the entire ordeal is all someone’s bad dream.
There is also a theory circulating that asserts much of what we've seen is the plot of a graphic novel. In this theory, Misty (Samantha Hanratty as a teen, Christina Ricci as an adult) ends up being the lone survivor of the crash. Using both her personal experience and a deceased Shauna’s journals, she puts together a far-fetched tale to sell to the world.
These are all theories we're having trouble getting behind. Misty may be a good manipulator, but it's hard to believe she could pull off such a charade solo. We also find it hard to believe everyone's really dead or it's all a dream — too many shows have been there, done that. While the “Yellowjackets” producers were inspired by “Lost,” “The Lord of the Flies,” and the infamous 1970s plane crash in the Andes, we'd like to think all the big twists they have in the works are entirely original.
Callie Is Pit Girl
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the identity of the girl who falls into the pit in the “Yellowjackets” pilot episode. Our most logical guesses at this point in the story are that Pit Girl is Mari, Gen (Mya Lowe), or an unnamed extra we haven’t formally met yet. But one theory that’s been discussed pretty in-depth online claims Shauna's teen daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) is the mysterious Pit Girl. How would that work?
While we've all assumed the Pit Girl chase, death, and subsequent feast using her body took place while the teens were stranded in the wilderness in the mid-1990s, this theory posits that there is a second wilderness timeline in the present day that we have yet to see. In this scenario, Callie was kidnapped to force Shauna back to the wilderness and her daughter was used as a pawn in a ritual and, ultimately, a sacrifice.
Such an idea is jaw-dropping, but this theory has been disproven by the showrunners, who have confirmed the Pit Girl events do in fact take place in the 1996 timeline. That was already clear to us since teen Misty reveals herself as a member of the Cannibal Council following Pit Girl's death in the pilot. The creators did, however, say this theory is one of their favorites they’ve seen about the show, and we can see why. Imagine them all ending up in the forest again — joined by the next generation.
Lottie’s Dad Orchestrated the Plane Crash
The wildest theory on our list requires some out-of-the-box thinking — this one is out there. A “Yellowjackets” fan on Reddit theorized that Lottie’s father somehow knew about the mysterious spirit in the woods and had been communicating with it prior to the plane crash. Could Mr. Matthews (Thomas Nicholson) have been one of the original people living in the cabin the group finds? But wait, there's more.
This theory further alleges Lottie’s father planned the plane crash in hopes his daughter would be able to communicate with the wilderness spirit while she was out there. We have seen Lottie seemingly interacting with whatever force is in the woods, so perhaps his mission was accomplished, even if viewers don't fully understand it yet. But frankly, we're not buying this. We know Lottie's dad did pay for the plane the team used, but the idea that he orchestrated the crash and caused all that death is too sensational for us.
Is there a “Yellowjackets” theory you aren't giving up on, no matter how mild or wild it is? Let us know in the comments below.