Purple Aliens & Their Machines In ‘Chicken Nugget’ Explained: Why Were They Stuck On Earth?


Chicken Nugget largely revolved around Choi Sun-man and Ko Baek-joong’s pursuit to find a solution for Choi Min-ah’s predicament after she got transformed into a literal chicken nugget because of a mysterious purple machine. And while their ordeal was arduous and hilarious (schadenfreude), it probably paled in comparison to what the purple aliens, who had brought a pair of transformation machines to Earth in the first place, endured. Since the machines got misplaced, they got stuck there for 200 years, trying to mingle with the humans, making chicken nuggets, and trying to find a way to return to their home planet. So, let’s talk about the journey of the aliens, what the purpose of their machines was, how they were misused, and what these aliens and their machines actually signify.

Spoiler Alert

In the year 1801, the first year of King Sunjo’s reign, Queen Jeongsun, who was the regent, put a ban on Catholicism. Jeong In-seon, a trusted confidant of King Jeongjo, was killed because of his religious beliefs, and his family was exiled. Women were used as government slaves, and the men spent their days in remote areas in the forests. Jeong In-seon’s own son, Jeong Hyo-bong, lived in a little hut where he was looked after by the villagers (to be specific, by Twerp and Wimp) because he was a pure soul who educated the kids. But he wasn’t comfortable with all the free service he was getting. So, he decided to go out into the wild and acquire some firewood. Unsurprisingly enough, the privileged dude lost his way. That’s when he saw four purple aliens landing in a secluded area in the forest, along with two purple-looking machines (they were on an intergalactic tour and they decided to land on Earth). While it was clear that one of the machines turned the alien into a human, the function of the second machine wasn’t all that apparent.

Jeong Hyo-bong went back to Twerp and Wimp and talked about how they could become something more with the help of these machines—especially since their current form would cause the authorities to identify them and get them re-exiled—and then travel all over the world. So, they kidnapped a wealthy man. Firstly, Jeong Hyo-bong turned into this wealthy man, and then he turned the man into a rock. Something snapped inside Jeong, and he betrayed Twerp and Wimp too. He ordered his subjects (who thought that Jeong Hyo-bong was the wealthy individual) to kill Twerp and Wimp just because he was jealous of his good looks (which was a recurring theme in the show as Ko Baek-joong and Yoo Tae-man were obsessed with their physical appearance). Then he went on to live a lavish life, fornicating with women, drinking until he couldn’t, and more. One day, the four aliens (in their human forms) cornered Jeong Hyo-bong and forced him to reveal the whereabouts of the purple machines. The aliens were devastated to know that Jeong Hyo-bong had thrown the machines into the Socheon River, thereby stranding them on Earth.

On one hand, the aliens learned about the ancient chicken nugget recipe and went on to build a business around it, and the machines went from one person to another. As far as my calculations go, a total of five humans were able to figure out what those machines actually did. There was Kim Bae-dal, who saw an image of the purple cabinet that he had in his possession in a roughly drawn picture in the Baekjung Chicken Nuggets shop. He tried turning his chicken into a nugget, but that backfired, and it turned into a zombie bird. He delivered the purple cabinet to More than Machines. But when he tried to bring in the zombie bird to demonstrate what the machine actually did, he got into an accident, and then he was accidentally run over by Baek Jung. Then there were Choi Sun-man and Ko Baek-joong, who learned what the purple cabinet did after Min-ah turned into a chicken nugget. And finally, there were Yoo In-won and Yoo Tae-man, who had Jeong Hyo-bong’s original drawing of the aliens and the machines in their possession, which led to them obsessing over the machines.

Long story short, I guess, Yoo In-won got hold of the cabinet that turned one into its original form. Since he was already in his original form, it did nothing. So he tracked down its twin and accidentally got turned into a caterpillar because he was looking at one, thereby confirming that the machine transformed an individual into the thing they look at after turning on the device. He spent two years in that form until Yoo Tae-man reunited the two machines, and he went back to his original form. Due to the magical prowess of the machines, Yoo In-won started treating the alleged masters of these machines as his gods. However, he couldn’t get them fixed. The four aliens, through a very long-winded process, learned about the location of the cabinets (Yoo In-won, Yoo Tae-man, Choi Sun-man, and Ko Baek-joong were also there) and got there. Unfortunately, the machines didn’t have a lot of juice in them. It could allow only one transformation. Hence, everyone had a difficult choice to make. If they used the machine to transform Min-ah into a human, then the aliens would be stranded on Earth forever. If they used the machine to transform at least one of the aliens into their original form, they could take Min-ah (the chicken nugget version) to its home planet and probably turn her into a human again. The catch here was that one day on the alien planet meant 50 years on Earth. Therefore, even if they managed to turn Min-ah into a human again and tried to reunite her with Choi Sun-man and Ko Baek-joong, there was a good chance that they wouldn’t be around to see her.

Choi Sun-man and Ko Baek-joong rolled the dice and allowed one of the aliens to transform into his original form and take Min-ah to its planet. For the next 50 years, the other three aliens continued to work at their chicken nugget shop. Ko Baek-joong became a successful musician called Yellow Pants. Choi Sun-man handed over More than Machines to Kim Hwan-dong, and the latter, with the help of Yoo In-won and Yoo Tae-man, turned it into a multi-billion-dollar company that produced sleeping pods that looked just like the aliens’ purple cabinets. One fine day, one of the aliens returned with Min-ah, still in her chicken nugget form. He said that since his people had witnessed how machines could be turned into weapons of mass destruction, his species discarded all kinds of technology, thereby preventing him from fixing the transformation machines and reverse-transforming Min-ah into a human. That said, he did get his hands on a device that turned back the clocks to the precise point that its user desired. Doing so would erase 50 years of existence and the memories of everything the aforementioned characters had achieved. Ko Baek-joong knew what he had to do, but he wanted Choi Sun-man’s blessings. Sadly, the ardent father passed away and left Ko Baek-joong to make the hard call on his own.

Ko Baek-joong seemingly had an imaginary conversation with Min-ah where she told him how impressed she was with everything he and her father had done. She talked about the alien planet and its utopian environment. She said that she wouldn’t mind losing the memories of being on that planet because it was nothing compared to what Ko Baek-joong and Choi Sun-man had done for her. At that moment, Ko Baek-joong convinced himself that he was reversing time to the day Min-ah met him and her father with a box of chicken nuggets because that’d give her a second chance at spending time with her father, and that he was right for doing so. Chicken Nugget didn’t explicitly state if this cycle would repeat, with Min-ah curiously stepping into the purple machine and turning into a nugget, but that’s how life is, isn’t it? Humans are famous for repeating the same mistakes over and over again and learning nothing from them. The vastness of space and time should make us realize how we should strive to explore them, yet we fight amongst ourselves. We can treat each other as humans because we belong to the same species, yet we find new ways to discriminate against each other. Is there still time to make amends? I don’t know.

I believe that the purple aliens in Chicken Nugget represent everything that humans can be. We can be peace-loving. We can strive to develop our technology for the betterment of the world and our lives instead of using it for destructive purposes. They show that it’s possible to discard weapons and live peacefully, even if it means that technological advancement will come to a standstill and the flow of money will stop. They show that we can learn from what different cultures and worlds have to offer instead of seeking to conquer and destroy them. They show that, despite being at the top of the food chain, we can be humble about it and not treat the planet like it’s a disposable product. And, most importantly, they show that the biggest characteristic that one can acquire over the course of their lifetime is empathy. Is any of this achievable in the times we are living in? I am not sure, but it’s great to see a show like Chicken Nugget, whose makers are hoping that we can still move towards a peace-loving society and co-exist. If aliens look at us from afar, they’ll probably take a U-turn and head back home instead of trying to educate us. Hence, we are on our own if we want future generations to live freely and comfortably.

- Advertisement -
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This