Fallout Show Uncovers the Origins of Vault-Boy

vault boy thumbs up
Credit: Bethesda

vault boy thumbs up
Credit: Bethesda

The screenwriters behind Prime Video’s highly successful Fallout live-action adaptation have officially explained the Vault-Boy pose. It is amazingly simple and even graced Reddit threads 11 years ago.

The reviews are in for Prime Video’s Fallout live-action adaptation, and many critics love it. The show has spun a lore-friendly narrative, a feat made possible by the writing team’s decision to set the story outside of the game’s timeline, choosing instead to place the series nine years after the events of Fallout 4.

Despite that, the series connects to the game franchise in many ways. One of these connections deals with the iconic Vault-Boy, whose signature thumbs-up pose has inspired theories from many players for many years.

Jonathan Nolan and his team finally gave a background story to that iconic pose. It turned out that the pose was coined by the actor Cooper Howard, played by Walton Goggins, who survived the events of the Great War for 219 years.

cooper howard thumbs up pose vault boy
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Credit: Prime Video
Now we know where it comes from.

In the pilot episode, Howard is asked to do his signature thumbs-up pose, but he refuses because of the apparent tensions caused by the impending negotiations over the Battle of Anchorage.

He is later seen explaining to his daughter Janey the significance of the pose—servicemen who fought in the war were told to run for the hills if a bomb’s mushroom cloud was smaller than their thumbs and not bother running if the cloud dwarfed their thumbs.

Minutes later, the nuclear bombs started dropping.

Fast-forward several episodes, and we see in a flashback that Howard shot ads for Vault-Tec promoting the Vaults, in which he makes the thumbs-up pose.

Coincidentally, a Reddit user came up with this explanation 11 years ago. However, Fallout creator Brian Fargo shrugged off their theory, saying that the Vault Boy has a positive attitude.

With the show considered canon by Todd Howard himself, the show’s origin story for the Vault-Boy pose is official. It also makes plenty of sense.

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