At the beginning of the original 2001 Jeepers Creepers, brother and sister duo Trish and Darry are on a road trip through barren middle America. To pass the time as they drive through stretches of nothingness, they try to guess the meaning behind the various cryptic vanity plates they see on their way. It’s become a bit of a game for the siblings. As they reach the fateful and horrific destination of the film, they’re overtaken by a large and imposing van as it nearly runs them off the road. The vanity plate? BEATNGU. And so we enter a hilarious plot hole of Jeepers Creepers.
The Siblings Guess The Meaning
Still shaken up by the huge van that nearly ran them off the road, Darry and Trish continue on their journey, but Darry’s stuck on that license plate. From the script:
(off her look)
That was the license plate on
the van: B-E-A-T-N-G-U”.
(turns to her)
“Beating you”, that’s five to
five. That ties us up.
You can’t call it now.Jeepers Creepers script
Darry thinks he has it all figured out. The van’s license plate must mean “beating you.” Later, once the siblings realize that the van was piloted by a creepy winged demon who eats the body parts of his victims, Darry has a conversation with a mysterious woman who corrects him on that assumption.
I don’t know how to make you
listen. The van. I saw the van
too. With the license plate.
No, not “Beating You”, thinkJeepers Creepers script
about it again.
See, he’d read it wrong. It wasn’t “beating you,” it was “be eating you.” Because of all the body parts the Creeper eats.
That’s all well and good. It’s a fun twist based on wordplay. But here’s the plot hole: How did that big scaly, winged demon, who’s unable to transform into a human-looking facsimile, get the vanity plates in the first place? Did he stand in line at the DMV?
The Creeper Gets His Vanity Plates
I imagine it went something like this:
The Creeper, ready to begin his eating-spree, heads into the DMV. His leathery wings stick out from the bottom of his dirty brown trench coat. His scaly face pokes out from the brim of his hat, the ribs on his cheeks flashing against the harsh fluorescent lighting.
He stands at the back of the line, but when people start noticing him, they run out of the building. Wow, free pass to the front of the line! He steps forward to speak to a cowering DMV employee. Just as he’s about to ask for the forms for vanity plates, he remembers he hasn’t eaten any vocal cords yet. No voice for him! He motions for a pen and paper, then writes out his intentions: BE EATING YOU license plate.
Of course, the DMV employee doesn’t want to break the news to him that it’s too long. She just wants to get him out of there, so she nods and fills out the form correctly with a truncated version of his desired plates, noting his address as “weird abandoned house with an entire underground cave system to hide all the bodies.” After all, she needs to send the vanity plates somewhere.
The Creeper sees he’s checked this off of his to-do list for the day and is on his way, excited to get his vanity plates in the mail in 7 to 10 business days. Next stop, the hardware store for some new killing equipment.
Yeah, that happened.