So there's that moment in Get Out where the main character Chris is strapped to a chair and they keep playing a clip of a spoon clinking on a teacup on the TV to knock him out/send him to the Sunken Place.

After this happens a few times, Chris eventually notices that he's been nervously tearing at the armrest's upholstery and that its cotton stuffing is now exposed.

He then literally picks cotton to stuff his ears so that he doesn't hear the next spoon clink, pretends to be knocked out when Jeremy comes along to unstrap him, then gets up while Jeremy's back is turned and knocks him out.

I think the movie is amazing, I understand the irony of him picking cotton as a black person in order to save himself and all that, it's just that this is my Indiana Jones refrigerator moment. I have since tried packing cotton balls into my ears and while there is indeed some sound dampening, I don't feel it would have realistically blocked enough sound for him to not hear the spoon clink.

I found this article that links to a few sources saying cotton blocks about 7 dB, but that wouldn't help with much. http://earplugstore.typepad.com/got_ears_get_informed/2013/06/fact-or-fiction-can-cotton-balls-protect-your-ears.html

A source linked in that article also says "Cotton cannot block out high frequency sound and will provide no protection from high sound levels." http://nasdonline.org/1172/d001014/protect-your-hearing.html

A spoon clink is one of those more piercing noises so I would think it's a higher frequency and would have just passed right through.

Considering the distance he was sitting away from the TV, I imagine they also would have had the volume turned way up, or had loudspeakers piping in the audio to make sure he could hear everything.

This distracted me from otherwise good thematic irony. In the circumstances presented by the movie, is there any conceivable way that it would have worked?

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    Probably not but there is a long tradition among fiction writers and consumers of “the willing suspension of disbelief”. Keep in mind, the process that is central to the plot is entirely fictitious and implausible. Jul 21, 2018 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


Would Get Out's earplugs really have worked?

In an universe where a reluctant subject can be hypnotized merely by the motions and the sound of the spoon clinking against the cup - yes.

If we are to believe, that Missy could hypnotize Chris against his will and that too in a matter of a few minutes, then it's probably not a stretch to believe that cotton or foam pulled out of the couch can act as a reasonable barrier for the sound. At the very least, it probably altered the sound of the clinks enough for it to not be considered as a trigger for Chris' mind to go into a hypnotic or paralytic state.

Since this question broaches the subject of realism in the movie, I must also point out that the Hypnotherapy and the process of Hypnotic Induction depicted are quite fictitious. Hypnosis is a difficult process that is not always successful, and even more so when the subject is unwilling and not relaxed. Chris certainly wasn't willing and quite evidently uncomfortable. Admittedly, there is another way to induce hypnosis and that is through shock. Grandpa running on the cottage grounds in the middle of the night and that too full tilt at Chris could perhaps have been shocking enough. But at the very least, it is a little far fetched and makes it quite plausible for the viewers to accept that hypnosis in this movie universe works a little differently from the real world.

After all, we are talking about a universe where the Coagula Procedure is a reality. On those terms, the hypnosis failing due to the cotton stuffed in Chris' ears is entirely rational and probable.


I believe that even If he heard the clinks, he wouldn't hear it the same way. By that, I mean he wouldn't hear the exact same sound or tone as it would be very damp. Usually triggers must be identical or extremely similar to take effect

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