‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Needs To Talk About Nate Jacobs’ Mystery Brother

Euphoria is one of those shows that has such distinct vibes, that it consumes the viewer. From the addicting soundtrack to the style and makeup associated with it, Euphoria captured so many fans and it’s still a massive craze on TikTok. Season 2 was postponed due to COVID-19 shutdowns, and one question still lingers after the first: where is the third Jacobs brother?

Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) in Episode 4 of 'Euphoria' Season 1.
Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) in Episode 4 of ‘Euphoria’ Season 1 | Eddy Chen/HBO

There’s a third Jacobs brother but viewers don’t know who he is

Nate Jacobs is, without a doubt, the most morally corrupt character on the show. He’s a manipulator, abuser, and scarily violent. He doesn’t seem to have a conscience. Not to mention his father, Cal, isn’t a very truthful person either. 

Their family is loaded with secrets; from Nate’s endeavors to Cal’s lying about his sexuality and cheating on his wife. But even more, there’s a family portrait on the stairwell to their house, and it shows three young boys. One is Nate when he’s 11, and the other is his older brother Aaron as a kid, too. Fans see Aaron later at the carnival chili booth. But there’s another brother, who looks around 5 — 7 years old in the family photo. But in a more recent family photo — and in their present-day household — only Nate and Aaron exist. 

It’s become a big talking point among fans, and it definitely doesn’t seem like an oversight on the production’s behalf. For one, they put that kid in the photo, so it must have been on purpose. And second, the camera seems to pass by it deliberately. 

“We haven’t seen him. I don’t know where he went,” Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate, told Entertainment Weekly in August of 2019. Even though he has no clue, that doesn’t mean he didn’t try to figure it out for himself. “I had the same questions when I got to work. I was like, “You do realize that there’s different child in this picture?” And everyone just didn’t really say anything.”

A plausible theory is that he passed away

Fans on Reddit have a few distinct theories. Some fans think that the little kid could be Ashtray, who’s now a drug dealer/black market salesperson with Fez. They point out that the kid could be Ashtray’s age now, but that’s unclear, considering it’s hard to tell the brother’s age in the old photo. But it’s hard to think of the uptight Jacobs family just letting their youngest go off to do illicit activities. Unless they kicked him out. 

If it is Ashtray, there’s bound to be a massive story behind why he left. And how Nate can just casually go to their gas station for drugs and such if that’s his brother. Unless, of course, Nate doesn’t know. 

A more “realistic” theory is that the youngest brother died. It could explain a lot of melancholy in the household and could have added to Nate’s instability. User u/maddiemota brought up this theory, but with a sadder twist. 

“I saw a theory on Tik Tok that perhaps the eldest brother accidentally killed him in a car accident or something bad along those lines,” they wrote.

Nate’s older brother doesn’t seem like the trustworthy type, and the characters do talk about his failings. But they didn’t say why he was a failure. It would make sense if it’s because he killed the missing brother.

Another theory suggests that Nate’s little brother was disowned

Another popular theory is that the youngest brother is gay and either the parents disowned him or sent him away. 

“I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING,” another user announced on Reddit. “When Nate first meets Jules he freaks and says ‘I know what you are!’ Maybe… His bro is trans and got disowned?”

Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) and Nate at school, 'Euphoria.'
Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) and Nate at school, ‘Euphoria’ | Eddy Chen/HBO

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They’re referring to when Jules shows up to McKay’s party and Nate loses it over why she’s there. He tries to intimidate her, but she ends up surprising him by standing up for herself. 

“Nate does have a certain…familiarity with trans women since he was exposed to his father’s tapes as a young boy,” another user pointed out. 

Probably the biggest clue to back this theory up is when Cal Jacobs asks one of his hook ups — Minako — “Do you think hiding it creates the same thing in them?” Another user noted that this was a reference to Nate or possibly the youngest brother. 

“Maybe Nate’s brother was openly queer (gay, trans, etc.), which threatened Cal’s facade of a dominant, successful, very straight man with a perfect nuclear family,” they wrote. “Cal is psychologically more fragile than he lets on… When Nate finally snapped, I think he realized the extent of the damage he has done to his family. Maybe the brother left home on his own due to intolerance at home.”

Obviously, the jury’s still out on this theory. Hopefully, Season 2 of Euphoria answers it in some way.