‘The Menu’ Ending Explained: What Happened to Nicholas Hoult’s Character, Tyler? (2024)

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The Menu

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Don’t watch The Menu on HBO Max unless you have access to a greasy burger joing immediately following your viewing. Because this critically-acclaimed 2022 horror movie, which began streaming on HBO Max on Tuesday, will have you craving a cheeseburger as you’ve never craved one before.

Directed by Mark Mylod, with a screenplay by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, The Menu is a brilliant horror satire that pokes fun at a group of people we can all agree suck: Rich foodies. Ralph Fiennes stars as the celebrity chef-owner of a fancy, prestigious restaurant where the portions are minuscule, the ingredients are locally-sourced, and the snobbery is off the charts. But the patrons of the restaurant on this particular night are in for so much more than just a ridiculously expensive meal.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the movie in theaters in the fall, it’s certainly worth a stream on HBO Max. Like most (good) horror movies, The Menu comes with twists and turns. If you got lost along the way, there’s no need to stress, because Decider has you covered. Read on for The Menu ending explained, including an explanation of what happened to Nicholas Hoult’s character, Tyler.

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Menu. Obviously.

Is The Menu about cannibalism?

Nope! Save the human meat for Timotheé Chalamet, because The Menu does not feature any cannibalism. That said, even without the consumption of human flesh, there are plenty of sick, twisted, and disturbing aspects of The Menu plot.

The Menu plot explained:

Margot Mills (Anya Taylor-Joy) agrees to go on an unusual sort of date with Tyler (Nicholas Hoult)—a dinner at a super prestigious, super exclusive, and super expensive restaurant located on a private island. Margot, a down-to-earth type, doesn’t care about the fancy, borderline inedible appetizers served on the boat. But Tyler, an eager wannabe chef-type, is enchanted.

As Margot and Tyler travel on the boat to this island, we get to know the other patrons they will be dining alongside. They include Lillian (Janet McTeer), a famous food critic, and her doting editor, Ted (Paul Adelstein); George (John Leguizamo), a movie star past his prime, and his assistant/girlfriend Felicity (Aimee Carrero); Richard (Reed Birney), a wealthy businessman, and his wife, Anne (Judith Light); and Soren (Arturo Castro), Bryce (Rob Yang), and Dave (Mark St. Cyr), three obnoxious finance bros who work for the tech company that invested in the restaurant.

When the guests arrive on the island, they are greeted by the maître d’, Elsa (Hong Chau), who is perturbed to learn that Margot is not on the guest list. We learn that Tyler recently broke up with his girlfriend and that Margot is a last-minute replacement date. Elsa gives the guests a tour of the island, where all the food is grown, slaughtered, and made. Tyler asks about a nearby cabin and is told that those are Chef’s quarters, and no one is allowed inside.

Once seated in the rest, we finally meet the famed celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), who grandly introduces the first course—a single scallop served atop a rock from the shore. Margot is bemused by the snobbery of it all, but Tyler is deeply moved. He also sneaks a photo on his phone, even though he was explicitly told by the maître d’ not to take photos.

As the night continues, Chef’s introductions to each course get increasingly unsettling. He tells a story about stabbing his abusive alcoholic father in the thigh with scissors, in order to stop him from assaulting his mother. Chef reveals that the old woman dining by herself at the restaurant is his mother, who is now an out-of-it alcoholic herself. He then introduces the course as chicken thighs, with kitchen scissors protruding from them. From there, they are served personalize tortillas with images showing the guests at their worst—Tyler taking the photo of the food, Richard having an affair, the finance bros’ stealing money, Lillian’s scathing review that shut down a local restaurant, and so on.

But it’s the fourth course where things truly go off the rails. Chef introduces sous chef Jeremy. Chef says that despite the extreme pressure Jeremy placed on himself, he will never be good enough to have a kitchen of his own. Then sous chef Jeremy shoots and kills himself in front of everyone. Some guests think it’s still all part of the show, but others are starting to realize they are trapped. Richard and his wife Anne try to leave, and are stopped by beefy-looking guards. As punishment for trying to leave, one of the staff chops off Richard’s finger.

Chef confirms that every guest has been brought here to die. He has been pushed to the edge by working his entire life to serve people who, he feels, don’t appreciate his art. He says that every person in the room (except for Margot, who wasn’t supposed to be there) represents everything that is wrong with the wealthy upperclass food industry. Richard and his wife barely notice what they eat, Lillian nitpicks uselessly for her review, the finance bros work for the investor who owns Chef Slowik’s life, and Tyler is a wannabe chef who idolizes the craft but has no idea what it actually takes to study it. As for the movie star? He made a really bad movie that Chef hated, and his girlfriend went to Brown without student loans.

The night of horrors begins in earnest. Chef murders his “angel investor” by drowning him in front of everyone. The staff give the guests a chance to escape, but none manage to do so. Because Margot is here by mistake—and because Chef sees her as a fellow “server”—Chef gives her the option of siding either with the staff or the guests. She says she’ll think about it.

What happened to Tyler in The Menu?

It’s revealed that Margot is a sex worker/escort hired by Tyler and that he knew from the start how the evening would end—meaning he brought Margot here to die. Chef asks Tyler to cook the next course. Chef intends to humiliate Tyler by demonstrating in front of everyone that a soft boy like that may know all the names of the kitchen utensils, but he doesn’t know the first thing about actually cooking in a restaurant kitchen. Tyler attempts to make lamb, but it’s an undercooked disaster. Chef regards Tyler with disdain, saying, “You are why the mystery has been drained from our art. You see that now, don’t you?”

Tyler mutters an apology. Chef leans in to whisper in Tyler’s ear. We don’t hear what Chef says, but we can assume it’s some variation of “kill yourself.” Because in response, Tyler steps back, nods, and says, “Yes, chef.” He walks out of the room, taking off his tie as he goes. Later in the movie, we see Tyler’s body dangling by his neck in a backroom. So what happened to Tyler? He hung himself with his own tie. His entire life was spent worshipping an idol, who, it turns out, despises him. It was his only path forward.

‘The Menu’ Ending Explained: What Happened to Nicholas Hoult’s Character, Tyler? (3)

The Menu ending explained:

Chef decides Margot is on his side, and sends her on an errand to retrieve a barrel from the smokehouse. After a fight to the death with the maître d’, Margot breaks into Chef’s private quarters. While there, she sees a photo of Chef as a young man, flipping burgers, with a huge smile on his face. She also finds a radio, and sends out a call for help.

A coast guard officer arrives on a boat, and for a moment, the guests believe they are saved. But it’s revealed the officer is a line cook in disguise. Chef is livid that Margot betrayed him, and declares her an “eater” and a “taker.” Margot pushes back and tells Chef that his menu left her wanting. She says she didn’t like the food, and that she’s still hungry. He asks what she wants to eat, and—remembering the photo she saw in his room—she responds she wants a cheeseburger. She goads him by adding she doesn’t believe he even remembers how to make a traditional cheeseburger, as opposed to his “fancy avant-garde bullsh*t.”

Chef makes the cheeseburger, smiling as he does so. Margot takes a bite and declares it delicious. This clearly makes Chef happy. Then Margot says her eyes were bigger than her stomach, and asks if she can take the burger to-go. As she and Chef stare into each other’s eyes, it becomes clear what Margot is really asking: She is asking Chef to let her escape; to let her live.

Chef is touched that Margot truly “saw” him, and reminded him of why he loves cooking in the first place. And so, he lets her escape. He places her burger in a to-go box, and she is allowed to leave the restaurant. She boards the boat brought by the fake coast guard officer and sails away to safety.

Meanwhile, the rest of the guests are still left to die. The final course, “dessert,” is a human “s’more.” Everyone is wrapped in a marshmallow straight jacket, and the staff lights the entire restaurant on fire. The building burns, and, presumably, everyone inside—including all of the staff—dies.

In the film’s final scene, Margot sits on the docked boat, eating her cheeseburger, as she watches the restaurant burn to the ground. With that, the movie ends. Take that, vegans—today, cheeseburgers saved lives.


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‘The Menu’ Ending Explained: What Happened to Nicholas Hoult’s Character, Tyler? (2024)


‘The Menu’ Ending Explained: What Happened to Nicholas Hoult’s Character, Tyler? ›

Tyler was already prepared to die for the Chef, and after such humiliation, his suicide was most likely a sycophantic attempt to prove his dedication and redeem himself. According to Nicholas Hoult, what Slowik whispers was never in the script.

What happened to Tyler at the end of the menu? ›

There's no ambiguity about it: Tyler is dead. Whatever Slowik said in his ear pushed him to hang himself, which may seem extreme, but we are talking about somebody who went to the island in the knowledge of what Slowik planned to do to all the diners.

What happened to Nicholas Hoult's character in the menu? ›

Following his utter humiliation in the kitchen, Tyler takes his own life, hanging himself with his own tie.

What did Tyler represent in the menu? ›

How Tyler Represents Gluttony In The Menu. Considering how Tyler mindlessly chows down everything placed on his table at the Hawthrone, his place as the glutton is quite obvious.

What did chef whisper to Tyler in the menu? ›

Slowik presumably whispered that Tyler would not only never earn his praise, but also was no longer considered worthy of being "part" of his menu. That was, perhaps, a fate even worse than death for Tyler, leading to his suicide before The Menu's ending.

What does The Menu ending mean? ›

The ending of The Menu reveals that Chef Slowik burns down Hawthorn with the guests inside as a punishment for their excessive wealth and pretentiousness. Chef Slowik's plan is to make his shallow and disconnected guests feel powerless and embarrassed before they die, highlighting the industry's elitism.

Who is the fallen angel in The Menu? ›

When Richard tries to leave, the staff cuts off his left ring finger as a warning to stay. Slowik arranges for Hawthorn's angel investor Doug Verrick, to whom Slowik relinquished ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be drowned in front of the guests.

Why did Margot survive The Menu? ›

What the film essentially boils down to, then, is that Margot is the only guest who is able to see past the pretension to something a little more meaningful – and this is why she is spared. The Menu is now streaming on Disney Plus.

Why was the chef's mom there in The Menu? ›

The twelfth guest on Slowski's menu is no one else but his mother (Rebecca Koon), an abusive alcoholic that could never be satisfied. Slowski is so absorbed by his work and the making of his art because he's still trying to please people who don't care about him, making his mother an ingredient to his ultimate menu.

What is the point of the movie The Menu? ›

The film is not only a satire of food snobbery, critiquing patrons with heavy wallets and no discerning palettes, but also an examination of the inherent power imbalance between waitstaff and diners in any service industry and a more personal exploration of what it means to trade the pure joy of artistry for the ...

Did Tyler in The Menu hang himself? ›

Later in the movie, we see Tyler's body dangling by his neck in a backroom. So what happened to Tyler? He hung himself with his own tie. His entire life was spent worshipping an idol, who, it turns out, despises him.

What does cheeseburger mean in The Menu? ›

The cheeseburger itself is a symbol of the thing that reminded Slowik why he began cooking, and how he fell in love with it. The simple act of preparing something for someone who greatly appreciates it – no bells and whistles, no frills or fuss.

Why was Felicity killed in The Menu? ›

For example, personal assistant Felicity is killed for the fact she went to the Ivy League Brown University and has no student loan from it. Her murder is thus made part of the plan without clarifying whether this is because she got a scholarship, or because she comes from wealth.

Why does Tyler not care in The Menu? ›

Tyler's Obsession With Chef Slowik Meant He Didn't Care About Everyone Dying. Throughout The Menu, Nicholas Hoult's Tyler is so blinded by his self-gratifying obsession with Slowik that he cannot see anything beyond it.

Why was Tyler obsessed with the chef? ›

Tyler is a fan of Chef Slowik and of his restaurant, Hawthorne. He is such a fan of this man, and of cooking in general, that it has driven him to extreme obsession.

What was the point of the barrel in The Menu? ›

The barrel seems like a two-pronged seemingly spur of the moment plan by chef. The first was to give Margot a chance to call for help because none of the other diners did it when they had the chance to run. The second is a test for Elsa (arguably one of his most devoted employees) in a way.

Does the narrator become Tyler at the end? ›

At the end of the story, the Narrator attempts to kill Tyler by shooting himself through the face. This apparently works because it means the Narrator has finally hit bottom, momentarily becoming fully free and in control. This allows his choice to be rid of Tyler (rather than becoming him) to take full effect.

Why did Slowik humiliate Tyler? ›

His ego and over-confidence surrounding Slowik's food probably made him believe that he could somehow impress the chef and make him overturn the decision of killing him with everyone else. Unfortunately for him, that was the exact reason why Chef Slowik despised him.

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