The Devil Wears Prada Ending Explained

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Summary

  • Miranda used her industry connections and “The List” to ensure Jacqueline couldn’t replace her as the Runway editor.
  • Nigel remained loyal to Miranda despite her betrayal, hoping she would eventually repay him.
  • Andy quit her job because she no longer wanted to sacrifice her personal life and didn’t want to become like Miranda, which Miranda respected.


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At the end of The Devil Wears Prada, Andy finally quits working for Miranda, but may have earned her former boss’ respect in the process. The Devil Wears Prada is directed by David Frankel from a script by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the book written by Lauren Weisberger and features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, and includes a number of fashionable cameos. The Devil Wears Prada was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Costume Design for Patricia Field and Best Actress for Meryl Streep.

When she can’t find the job she wants as a journalist, Andrea (Andy) Sachs (Anne Hathaway) takes a position as the co-personal assistant of Runway Editor and fashion industry icon Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) alongside her existing assistant Emily Charlton (Emily Blunt). Initially, Andy struggles to fulfill Miranda’s extreme demands and doesn’t care about the fashion industry, but after art director Nigel Kipling (Stanley Tucci) takes her under his wing, she begins to flourish; however, when the job starts to impact her personal life, and she sees Miranda stab Nigel in the back, Andy decides to leave before she becomes more like Miranda.

Related: The Devil Wears Prada Cast: Where They Are Now


How Miranda Avoided Getting Replaced By Jacqueline as the Editor of Runway

She stabbed Nigel in the back.

After Andy discovered the plan to replace Miranda Priestly with Jacqueline Follet (Stephanie Szostak) as the Runway editor, she tried to warn Miranda, but it turns out Miranda was several steps ahead of her. The Devil Wears Prada doesn’t explicitly reveal how Miranda became aware of the plan to replace her, but the movie does clearly establish how deeply connected Miranda is within the industry, so if the deal was far enough along for there to be a Runway cover mock-up, it makes sense she’d be aware of it. Miranda then used her influence to get Jacqueline an offer she couldn’t refuse from Jame Holt’s new company, making her unavailable for the Runway position.

Once Miranda got Jacqueline to accept the position with James Holt, she simply needed to convince Irv Ravitz to keep her on as the Runway editor, for which she had an even more devious scheme. During her years at the magazine, she’d assembled “The List,” featuring the names of numerous designers, photographers, editors, writers, and models she’d brought to the magazine, all of which said they’d leave Runway to follow her if she went to a different publication. “The List” is clearly thinly veiled extortion, although very characteristic of how Miranda and the rest of the industry operates throughout The Devil Wears Prada.

What Happened to Nigel?

He’s loyal to Miranda to a fault.

The night before Miranda announces Jacqueline as the new president of James Holt International, Nigel revealed to Andy that James Holt had selected him for the position and that Miranda was the one who recommended him for the position. Miranda obviously has sway with Holt, which is why Nigel was initially offered the position, but she didn’t hesitate to throw Nigel under the bus when it came time to save her own skin by pushing Jacqueline for the position instead.

Related: The Devil Wears Prada: Main Characters, Ranked By Likability

Nigel wasn’t aware of Miranda’s schemes, so he didn’t find out about the change of plans until Miranda announced Jacqueline for the position, still fully expecting to hear her say his name instead. Despite his deep disappointment, Nigel tells Andy “when the time is right, she’ll pay me back” even though he doesn’t truly believe that, but he has “hope for the best.” Nigel has always been a faithful supporter of Miranda despite the chaos that swirls around her, and it’s worked out well for him so far, but the back-stabbing movie is a revelation to Andy, who was attempting to help Miranda avoid getting replaced.

Why Andy Finally Quit Runway

She doesn’t want to be like Miranda

The Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly Smiles Meryl Andy Anne Hathaway

Andy is initially overwhelmed by Miranda’s demands, and while the job doesn’t necessarily get easier with time, Andy learns to accommodate Miranda by sacrificing more and more of her personal life. Nigel was the one who told her each new achievement in her career would come at the cost of her personal life continuing to crumble, so seeing him stabbed in the back by Miranda was a wake-up call for her, although even that alone isn’t what pushed her over the edge. Andy had already gone along with Miranda’s demands up to that point, but it was their conversation after Miranda gave Nigel’s job to Jacqueline that finally pushed Andy over the edge.

In the car after the event, Miranda tells Andy she was impressed with her effort to warn her about Jacqueline replacing her as the editor of Runway. Miranda saying “I see a great deal of myself in you” in the wake of her crushing Nigel’s dream job was the moment Andy decided she didn’t want the job anymore and finally gave her the courage to throw the cell phone in a fountain and walk away from Miranda and the job at Runway.

Why Miranda Smiled at The End

She sees a lot of herself in Andy.

The Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly Smiles Meryl Streep

Despite Andy leaving Miranda high and dry in Paris, Miranda still tells the editor at the New York Mirror he’d be an “idiot” if he didn’t hire Andy. While Miranda showed approval towards Andy on a few occasions, most of the time she was critical of her job performance, even when Andy was achieving impossible tasks such as getting the unpublished Harry Potter novel transcript for Miranda’s twin daughters. She even tells the New York Mirror Andy was the “biggest disappointment” she’d ever had as an assistant, yet when she sees her on the street at the end, she still smiles.

Related: The Devil Wears Prada: 20 Miranda Priestly Quotes That Are Almost Too Savage

While Miranda may have been legitimately disappointed in Andy’s decision at the end of The Devil Wears Prada, the smile is likely related to her telling Andy she reminded her of herself. Even though she abandoned the job in the least convenient way possible, the part of Andy that was standing up for herself and throwing everyone else under the bus was the same part that reminded Miranda of herself. Andy might not want to be the next Miranda Priestly, but she’s also not a pushover willing to do whatever Miranda says like the assistants that came before her, and that’s something Miranda has to respect.