Main Article Theories about
Hugo "Hurley" Reyes
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Hurley's Actions in DHARMA (1977)

  • This is an interesting theory but I was under the impression that Danielle's message was recorded over the numbers at the radio tower. And Danielle's recording was recorded sometime after the jamming device, which would have been in the Looking Glass was turned on.
    • I'd like to add about the guitar case that it is the only piece of luggage that is transported to the Island when Hurley, Jack, Kate and Sayid return to the Island. Also in the episode where Desmond embodies himself in past experiences he sees Charlie on the street playing for a crowd that seem to be dumping money into a guitar case that looks a lot like the one Hurley was given by Jacob.
    • At the Looking Glass Station, the girls say the code was written by a musician, and as we know Charlie may be returning for a few episodes and with the time travel element it would be a real twist to have him enter the code himself knowing his future self will be able to crack it. Hurley's voice was the one heard by the French team when they arrived on the beach in the early 80's, the one Danielle later records over, it was clear to recognize him and seeing as he is alive in Dharmaville in the 70's this theory is totally possible. What's more interesting is the fact that we know Danielle recorded over this message, yet when the Ajira flight crashed on the Island in 2007 the numbers transmission can clearly be heard again on their radio, suggesting the past has either been changed or they are living in an alternate time-line at this point.

Hurley's Nickname

  • It could be a mixture of his name and his curly hair. H-urly
  • confirmed
  • Saying something jokingly on Jimmy Kimmel is not confirmation
  • His nickname comes from his being overweight, exhibiting bulimic behaviour, to hurl, i.e. hurly (Hurley).
    • In my part of the world, Hurley & Burley are used to describe a big person, e.g. "Look at the Hurley fellow."
    • In Ireland where I live a Hurley is a stick with a curved end used for hurling which is an Irish sport so Hurley might be Irish
  • Hurley...Swirly? Possible picked on as a child?
  • Season 1 Jack and Hurley are conversing and he said he didn't want to talk about how he got it.
    • Which is a mystery in and of itself. Why does Hugo introduce himself to people as "Hurley" if he's embarrassed by the nickname or its origin?
  • He's named after a mercenary in the game Jagged Alliance named Hurl. E. Cutter, who resembles Hurley and has a similar personality. The game revolves around the battle for control of an island which has unique qualities (in this case trees that only grow there and cannot reproduce which have sap with amazing healing abilities)
  • Frank Hurley was the photographer on Sir Ernest Shackleton's failed Antarctica expidition on the ship Endurance. Hurley grew up in Sydney, Australia. After losing their ship to the ice, the crew survived on Elephant Island before being rescued. The 2000 movie, entitled Endurance, documents the journey. [1]
  • He got the nickname while he was at Santa Rosa. This would explain why he didn't want to tell Jack where the name came from.
  • "Hurley" and "Desmond" are the uncommon names of two characters from *Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me*, the David Lynch movie that tried to tie up the loose ends of another wildly successful bizarre television series--*Twin Peaks*--in the early '90s. James Hurley was Laura Palmer's secret biker boyfriend, and Special Agent Chester Desmond investigated the murder of Teresa Banks.
  • The name "Hurley" could be a way devised by Hurley in which his name "Hugo Reyes" is shortened to just "Hurley" as a sort of time saving exercise when introducing himself to people. Also, perhaps "Hurley" was how people referred to him as opposed to just calling him by his full name.

Hurley only became a candidate upon his second return to the Island?

  • Everybody that came to the Island was either A) there for a purpose B) a candidate.

We can assume that The Lighthouse has the names of people Jacob sought to bring to the Island for his own reasons (candidate or progress to further his situation) From what we have seen Jacob touched various characters & that seemed to create their destiny to reach the Island, these touched characters also became candidates (NOTE apart from Kate from what we saw on the cave walls) (this includes characters such as Boone, Shannon etc just we didn't see their flash-backs to what happened, other characters who died were crossed off the cave list) How come Hurley only got touched upon his second arrival to the Island (Ajira flights with the guitar case) & only after leaving the Island became a Candidate?

Special or Crazy?

Several strange things have happened to Hurley on and off the Island, but it is hard to know whether they mean that he is crazy (consistent with his stay at the Santa Rosa Mental Institution where he had an imaginary friend) or "special" - like those on the Island who can have useful experiences other people do not. Below, we review the evidence for each.


  • Hurley will end up as the guy who originally spoke the numbers. This is why he won the lottery. He knew he would win the lottery with this numbers. This Final theory about Hurley was first posted in the description of the Sawyer-Ending video by German fan Christoph Hardt 04.26-2009 Source.
  • Other than Ben, Hurley is the only person who had seen Jacob (The Man Behind the Curtain). If hearing Jacob makes Locke "special", then seeing him makes Hurley special, too.
  • He won the lottery.
  • He started the Dharma van with sheer hope.
  • Libby seemed to be watching him in the hospital. She may have been watching him for Widmore. (See the evidence for this here.)
  • Hugo is supposed to be the Island's true leader. Jacob has chosen him that's why the cabin appeared to him twice, but he must choose to enter. He chose to use the numbers for the lottery, which as Leonard stated opened the box. Jacob rewarded him with wealth but set a course of events to bring him to the Island. Locke had to speak with Christian because Jacob will now only communicate with Hurley.
    • This could also be evidence of the curse. Why would Hurley be "rewarded" with a lottery win if his destiny is on the Island, where wealth is meaningless?
  • Hugo has an ability similar to, but less refined than, that of Miles. Because he is unaware of it, he believes he is crazy, which in turn has resulted in several genuine mental instabilities, such as paranoia and hallucinations of "Dave."
    • When they discuss their abilities they seem to be genuinely different.
      • Dave isn't an illusion. In fact, Dave is dead and Hurley, being the only person who can actually see dead people, believes and is believed to be insane.
    • It is accepted that dead people visit Hurley. Who's to say that Dave isn't another one of those, not just a hallucination? Or perhaps Jacob's nemesis is embodying Dave on the Island in order to get rid of Hurley by having him commit suicide.
    • It's confirmed that Dave was not The Man in Black.
  • Hurley was told to go back to the Island by Claire because it was the only way to save Charlie, that's why he always has the guitar with him now. It's what he needs to bring Charlie back.
  • Hurley did not want to win the lottery, however something made him want to play the lottery with those numbers. This reminds me of Locke as a child drawing pictures of the smoke monster. Why else did he play the lottery if not to win? Some instinct told him to play those numbers.
  • The Island heals mental illness, why then would he still hallucinate.
  • Hurley was the one that needed the most convincing to come back to the island, so he is special in the way that he was spoken to by Jacob most. In this being that Jacob said Hurley "isn't crazy", when Hurley says he can speak to dead people. Jacob may have taken the form of these dead people in order to convince Hurley to go back to the Island, and the only way he could do that was to possess the bodies of the people Hurley had lost, or had died on the island.
  • Technically, Hugo was already special before he was born, because he was touched by Jacob in 2007 and later was flashed back to the year 1977, a year before his birth. This caused his ability to (literally) see dead people, and, paradoxically, the first dead person he actually ever saw was the freshly deceased Jacob, right after Hurley flashed back to the present after the Incident. The rest of Hurley's sightings of dead people occurred retroactively through his past from this moment on. This was also the reason why Jacob told Hurley that he isn't crazy when he met him in the cab.


  • Hurley hallucinated people before he got to the Island. He hallucinates Dave while he is there, then Charlie and Eko after he leaves. Sayid is in the room with him while Hurley talks to Eko - but the chair Hurley is talking to is empty.
    • This might be implying that he can see dead people, as Sayid was in the shot this shows that only Hurley can see them.
    • It is confirmed that Eko's actor would not renew his contract due to salary conflicts (he wanted more money), many of parts of Season 5 & Season 6 had rewrites due to this issue.
      • Maybe Dave is Libby's late husband, explaining why Dave would be there.
  • A bird seems to say his name as it flies past him in the jungle, and when he asks other people if they heard it, Sawyer makes fun of him.
  • It only seemed like Hurley made Jacob's Cabin disappear - we know from when he, Locke, and Ben go to find it, it is always moving.
    • Hurley making things disappear is an indication that he doesn't want anything from the Island. In fact maybe he doesn't make things disappear, but the Island stops showing it to him as he sees the unwillingness of him.
  • Hurley is special and has a connection with The Island, similar to John Locke. He saw Jacob in the cabin and then saw the cabin somehow relocate, then the door of the cabin opened, as if to welcome him in.
  • Something or someone doesn't want Hurley on The Island, possibly because of his knowledge and fear of the Numbers. First huge obstacles were thrown up to prevent him from getting on the flight, and then Dave tries to get him to commit suicide.
  • The Others specially requested Hurley along with Jack, Kate, and Sawyer because they knew that Hurley would not attempt to cause an uprising amongst the survivors, and is also easily manipulated, and thus the Others trusted him to go back to the beach and inform them of what has happened to Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. See Lists/Theories for more information.
  • Hurley was picked by the Others because of his size. Hurley, being large, would be slow getting back to the beach, therefore buying the Others the most amount of time to take Jack, Kate, and Sawyer to the Hydra station. It prevents an immediate response by the remaining survivors.
  • Hurley may be able to see spirits or ghosts. This explains why he thinks he is insane, why he sees Charlie after his death, and why he is able to see Jacob.
    • Hurley isn't the only one to see Charlie. One of the other patients warns Hurley that someone is looking at him just before he sees Charlie looking at him.
      • The someone that Hurley was warned about could have been Abaddon. When Hurley looked up he saw Charlie and did not look for anyone else.


  • He is crazy with certain things, like Dave, but is actually seeing Charlie and Ana Lucia. After all those basics smarts are a little out of his normal sensibilities and mostly likely came from an outside source. Eko is debatable.
    • He is not crazy. He actually sees Dave, just like Charlie and Eko. Dave is dead, possibly Libby's late husband, or perhaps just some dead guy that likes hanging around Hurley.
      • Yes, I like the idea that the phenomenon is the same before and after he visits the Island. If he sees dead versions of characters we already know as people who are alive at other times, doesn't it follow that (before he went to the island) he could see dead people as well?
  • If Hurley was crazy he'd most likely be haunted by the "ghosts" of the people he thought he killed in the deck collapse incident. Although it's interesting that Dave is the only entity he saw before the Island.


  • If Hurley is working with the Others against the Island, then this might explain his "curse". The forces of nature have been working for some time to interfere with Hurley's presence on the Island.
    • Hurley felt responsible for the collapse of a deck. (Gravity is a force of nature, of course—but in this instance it may have been quite selective.)
    • An imaginary person (Dave) convinced Hurley not to follow his diet. (This is not unlike some of the "dead" people who have appeared on the Island.)
    • His grandfather had a heart attack during an interview with the news.
    • The priest at his grandfather's funeral service was struck by lightning.
    • Hurley's brother went on to lose his wife to another woman.
    • His mother broke her ankle when Hurley wanted to show her a house he bought for her.
    • The same house caught fire and burned down.
    • Hurley was arrested by mistake when the police believed him to be a drug dealer.
    • His girlfriend Starla ran off with his best friend Johnny.
    • After he bought Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and re-opened it, the news reporter Tricia Tanaka covered the story inside the restaurant, when a meteorite crashed the place, killing her and destroying Hurley's new business.
    • The sneaker factory Hurley bought burned down, killing 8 people who worked there.
    • Tropical storms hit Florida caused Hurley's stock in Orange futures to skyrocket.
    • An unidentified man (not Locke as confirmed by Carlton Cuse on the 03/30/07 podcast) falls from the building as his accountant tells him that he isn't cursed.
    • The "Hurley bird" seems to think Hurley has some kind of significance.
      • If Hurley somehow pissed off the Island and got "cursed", the Island would have cursed him directly and not the people around him. I think it was made pretty obvious that the Island takes what it wants and is not on some kind of revenge-trip.
  • Hurley's "curse" will protect him from harm (physical), because if he was dead he could not suffer from the curse. Therefore he can only die by his own hands or possibly old age.
    • Now that he has resolved his "curse" issues by finding and fixing the DHARMA van, he will be the next to die.
  • Hugo Reyes's name is very similar to "you go save us". Hurley's curse is too much good luck and can't die unless it's by his own hand. That's why they survived the plane crash. They were all supposed to die, Hurley saved them.
  • Mrs. Hawking told Desmond "Fate has a way of course correcting itself. Hurley changed all that. He changed the future by making the flight. Now the survivors fate has changed. Hurley is the protector of the survivors.
  • The Orchid video shows a way to duplicate animals and people (possibly). Hurley is Jacob from a past life, and therefore cannot come into contact with himself. This is why it seemed he was not meant to make the flight.
  • If cursed while trying to get on the plane with all his bad luck, making it to the Island was a good thing that the curse was trying to prevent and perhaps making it to the Island cured him of the curse as it also cures aliments.
  • Hurley's curse was temporarily broken when he fixed the Dharma Van but the curse was restored when he made his cannonball into the ocean.
  • Hugo really isn't cursed. He is "special", but brings the bad luck upon himself because he is not aware of and does not know how to control his ability.
  • Hurley's curse is the universe course-correcting because of the numbers' influence. The Numbers, being part of the Valenzetti Equation, represent the ability to alter the course of history and allow humanity to survive. As we have heard and seen from Ms. Hawking and Desmond's inability to prevent Charlie's death, the aversion of humanity's destruction cannot come to pass, as the universe is on a set course. Thus, the universe course-corrects upon a person gaining knowledge of the numbers, and the universe is forced to kill or render them incapable of using them (ie. Toomey's death and Leonard's insanity). This is what Hurley's curse is: The Universe course-correcting in order to render Hurley unable to use the Numbers to alter mankind's fate, either trying to drive him insane or kill him. In the latter case, the correction is being diverted onto others for reasons not yet shown.
  • In the alternate time-line Hurley is the luckiest guy ever since he didn't use those numbers to win lottery (10 28 44 53 77 80 instead of 4 8 15 16 23 42). If the Island is sunk into water, then noway the numbers could have been heard on the radio, and wouldn't have gotten to Hurley. Hurley just won because he's lucky- why is he lucky? It could be just a belief that came true, much like with the cursed numbers, when he was told many times "you make your own destiny". The numbers are powerful, but they can't really affect your life, only vicariously, through affecting you psychologically- and the same goes to any other kind of number or belief.

Past and Psychology

  • Hurley's flashbacks are unreliable, with some incidents only happening in his own mind, including that the Numbers weren't what he actually used to win the lottery (if he ever actually won the lottery at all).
    • We briefly see Hurley on the news in at least one flashback that is not his own—Jin's. This strongly suggests that his story is true, at least with respect to the lottery.
    • Hurley suffers from some form of delusional schizophrenia. He sees people, but he doesn't imagine events.
  • Libby has been stalking him since his days at Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute.
    • Similarly, it's possible that Libby isn't just a stalker, but also a gold digger who found out about Hurley's lottery win after they were both out of Santa Rosa. Remember, Libby was married three times.
  • Libby's husband David was one of the two people who died when the deck collapsed. Ironically, the ensuing grief led Libby being committed to Santa Rosa during the same period Hurley was there.
  • Hurley has Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. He is thus the same person as Dave.
    • Hurley is also the same "Dave" who is Libby's husband, explaining their past connection. She didn't tell anyone because she knows about his unstable condition.
    • Desmond may have gotten his "see you in another life" phrase from Libby, who got it from Dave/Hurley.
      • Dave used this term at the end of the Episode "Dave".
    • Heck, isn't Hurley's pa named David? Boom, named David after him, and colloquially known as Dave. Who woulda guessed.
  • Hurley became over weight because he thought it was his fault that his father left when he was young. In "Tricia Tanaka is Dead", when his father left, the last thing he did was give Hurley a candy bar. Hurley uses food to punish himself.
    • Hurley was young and still developing his personality. His father leaving was his major episode of grief/depression, so when his father gave him the candy grief/depression became hardwired so to speak with junk food.
  • The "box" that Leonard told Hurley he opened is The Hatch. Leonard somehow knows the numbers are used in the hatch for the timer.


  • Hurley is based on Piggy in William Golden's Book, The Lord of the Flies.
    • Pros: Like Piggy, Hurley is of large girth, relatively cherub-like and is full of good ideas.
    • Cons: Piggy is uncharismatic and his ideas are thoroughly pragmatic, which gets him killed by the other children. Hurley's ideas tend to be morale-boosting. Piggy seems slightly disconnected from reality, whereas Hurley seems to relatively grounded in spite of his delusions. Piggy's actions in the book seem more similar to Locke's than they do to Hurley's.
  • Hurley represents Gluttony, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.(Religion)
  • In the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner', the eponymous character shoots an albatross and is then cursed. His ship is trailed by a ghost ship that has two occupants and they flip to see which of them punishes which group. One of the supernatural spirits gets to punish the crew and kills them all, the other punishes the mariner but the Mariner is never hurt by the spirits. The curse gradually slackens but never goes when the mariner becomes more repentant. This is similar to Hurley's relationship with the numbers. The curse never hurts Hurley but affects all those around him just like in the ancient mariner.

Hurley's Off-Island Visions

  • Hurley's visions of dead people after leaving the Island -- which includes Charlie, Eko, and Ana Lucia -- are actually the Monster manifesting itself. Some theories hold that the Monster can consume corpses and then manifest itself in their form -- it appeared as Yemi to Eko (confirmed by the producers) and probably as Christian to Jack. Both Yemi and Christian's corpses disappeared: consumed by the monster. The corpses of Charlie and Eko were left behind on the Island and could have been consumed by the Smoke Monster.
    • Also important to note is that Charlie's appearance in The Beginning of the End was pointed out to Hurley by another mental patient, suggesting it's not just Hurley being insane, unless he somehow has the exact same insane hallucinations other people do. On the other hand, Sayid could not see Eko.
      • As well, Hurley's vision of Charlie breaking the glass are very similar to when Charlie drowns in the Looking Glass, with exact details that Hurley wouldn't have known if he had made it up.
          • The Smoke Monster cannot appear off the Island, this is a well documented fact in S6 (rough transcript with Sawyer in the caves i want the opposite of Locke to get off this Island & go home), there is a theory suggesting MIB influences events off the Island through objects such as Locke's Compass (view this theory on Locke-Theories) & at MOST the best evidence we have is a smoke alarm going off when Jack was in his office late at night with Christian sitting there. But the writers purposely blur the lines between Christian Shephard appearing as a ghost/hallucination/MIB shape-shifting.

Yemi was unburied on the Island hence why MIB became him, however Ana Lucia & Eko as far as I remember are buried & some suggest that MIB is stuck in his Flocke form because Locke is now buried.

  • Hurley possesses the ability to see and speak with dead people, much like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.
  • Dave was actually a real (dead) person Hurley was speaking to, he was just convinced by the hospital that he was seeing things.
  • The people Hurley sees are not actually dead, but in fact alive in another possible dimension or time line. In the season 5 episode "Some Like it Hoth", Miles makes a strong point that his power and Hurley's are completely different, as seeing dead people for miles is not the same as for Hurley.
    • Miles states that he can only hear the last thoughts of dead people, whilst Hurley can see their ghosts. there is a difference it doesn't mean though that Hurley is seeing people from the Flash Sideways/different dimensions.
  • Now with the knowledge of Season Six, it could be that Hurley talking to/seeing people like Charlie, Ana-Lucia, etc., could come from those people who are crossing over between realities. Perhaps we even see Charlie in the sideflash making a visit to Hurley in the institution.
    • Even thought alternate Charlie was arrested, in the state of California the mandatory jail sentence for heroin possession is 2-4 years, so he could very easily have been out by 2007. If this is true, then it helps confirm my theory that the reset caused a doorway between the two universes and while matter can't pass through, the memories could. So Charlie could have figured this out and learned of a way to cross over. I don't remember if anybody else was around when he was speaking to Charlie or not at the institution. However, this doesn't explain Hurley seeing Charlie in the interrogation booth.

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