Steven Spielberg Reveals Jaws Theory About Fate Of One Shark Victim

By Robert Scucci | Published

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Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is a viscerally upsetting movie for so many reasons. Not only has the iconic 1975 thriller made everybody think twice before swimming out into the water at a crowded beach, but the possible off-screen death of a black labrador retriever named Pipit brings tears to the eyes of every dog lover we’ve ever talked to.

But you’ll pleased to know that Spielberg went on record stating that just because Pipit’s stick was seen floating in the shark-infested water, and the dog is nowhere to be seen after this troubling scene, the dog may have actually ran home for lunch instead of being consumed by Jaw’s titular antagonist, according to The Daily Jaws.

The Dog In Jaws May Not Have Died

This new plot variation that Steven Spielberg revealed about Jaws came about when the director interviewed a Junior reporter writing an article for the New York Daily News. The young girl expressed deep sorrow of the fact that such a lovable pooch was eaten by a shark. But since there was no official on-screen death, Spielberg offered an alternate ending that suggests Pipit wasn’t necessarily killed by Jaws.

There Was Never An On-Screen Death


Though we can’t be certain whether Steven Spielberg was simply trying to reassure a young fan of the movie, or if this alternate ending can be accepted as canon, the Jaws director suggested that “he was hungry and ignored the stick in the water, swam home and had a very good dinner.”

In other words, even though it may seem obvious that Pipit was, in fact, consumed by an unforgiving apex predator who only sees man’s best friend as an appetizer before moving on to other beach goers, we don’t see an on-screen death, which does allow us to believe this version of events.

Pipit Earned $500 Filming Jaws

Off-screen, it has been confirmed that the Jaws dog lived to see another day. For making his brief appearance in the Steven Spielberg film, Pipit and his master were paid $500. To make things even more wholesome, Pipit’s half of the earnings were donated to the MSPCA.

Pipit Appears Alive Later In Jaws?

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For those of you who still aren’t convinced that Steven Spielberg’s telling the truth, there may also actually be some evidence on film that suggests Pipit never ran into the shark-infested water in the first place. A later scene in Jaws shows Martin Brody running across a bridge, and in the background, slightly out of focus, you can see a medium-sized black labrador retriever, which could very well be the same dog. We can’t say for certain whether this was simply a continuity error or intentional, but we’d like to think that this dog was Pipit lounging and living his best life.

Pipit Crossed Over To Doggy Heavin 3 Years After Jaws

We’re not even going to touch the fact that audiences seem to be okay with people (including children) getting violently ripped to shreds by a shark on-screen, but decades later still question Steven Spielberg about the Pipit’s fate. In real life, Pipit passed away three years after the production of Jaws at the age of 9-years-old.

So even if his fictionalized self actually died in Jaws, and you’re not willing to accept Spielberg’s revisionist take that probably only came to be so he could reassure a young journalist, you can find comfort in the fact that Pipit starred in one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history, and lived to bark about it.