Thanks to COVID-19 halting film production there won’t be nearly as many movies released next year as there usually are, so let’s focus on a time when the moviemaking industry was, uh, healthier.
The past decade has seen the release of countless classic films many of which contained details you probably missed. Here are 20 hidden movie details and Easter eggs that likely went over your head or flew under your radar.
1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After half the population of the universe is wiped out and turned to dust by the angry purple dude known as Thanos, monuments are erected to those lost people known as “The Vanished.” What only the sharpest of eyes would have noticed, however, is that the names on those monuments are actually the names of the film crew who worked on Endgame itself. Talk about a sneaky title sequence.
2. It (2017)
In the recent remake of the classic Stephen King horror story, the demonic Pennywise the Clown appears repeatedly in the background of the frame. In one instance he’s shown in a library book, proving that he’s haunted the town for untold decades, while he also appears leering on a graffitied wall for those who like their Easter eggs extra creepy.
3. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Attentive viewers will notice that the garbageman’s skull t-shirt looks vaguely familiar. That’s because he’s actually the grown-up version of Sid, Andy’s toy-abusing next door neighbor. We’re glad he found gainful employment after being traumatized by those talking toys.
4. Spiderman: Far From Home (2019)
In one scene Spiderman, played by actor Tom Holland, is seen wearing a bright orange soccer jersey representing the national team of the Netherlands…also known as Holland. See what they did there?
5. Aladdin (2019)
When the genie, played by Will Smith, summons a prince that prince just so happens to be wearing the colors green and pink…colors famously associated with another, fresher prince played by Smith himself. Coincidence? We think not.
6. Hotel Artemis (2018)
In a wink towards political obsessives with foreign language skills text seen onscreen in the 2018 Jodie Foster film Hotel Artemis contains a hidden reference. The letters labeling a generator actually spell out one of Donald Trump’s most famous typos — “covfefe” — in Cyrillic.
7. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Another from Endgame because Marvel loves itself some Easter eggs. When Tony Stark and Captain America go back in time to the 1970s and Cap is disguised in a military uniform the rank insignia on his hat just so happens to be that of a captain.
8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Lord Of The Rings fans will appreciate this detail from the Hobbit prequels…whether they appreciated the Hobbit prequels or not. When the dwarf Gloin is shown he is seen to be wearing the very same helmet that his son Gimli famously wears in The Lord Of The Rings saga. Finally a useful family heirloom.
9. Monsters University (2013)
In Monsters University a tray of cupcakes spells out “BE MY PAL“….that is it spells that out in the original American version of the film. In versions released globally the letters are replaced with faces, rather defeating the purpose. Welp.
10. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
When our friendly neighborhood Spider-man, Miles Morales, is scrolling through his phone contacts one of the names listed is for a certain “B. Bendis.” This seems insignificant but is actually a reference to Brian Micahel Bendis, the comic book writer who created the “Ultimate Spider-Man” series.
11. Deadpool 2 (2018)
Voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool is a hero that refuses to die and refuses to shut up. So, true to form, in Deadpool 2 after he gets ripped in half by the Juggernaut he comes right back into the fray. He seems no worse for wear until you notice that his suit is being held together by duct tape.
12. Suicide Squad (2016)
As the name implies, 2016’s Suicide Squad featured a bevy of deadly characters, including Will Smith’s expert marksman, Deadshot. A mastery of weaponry both common and exotic, only some will have noticed that one of the weapons he claims proficiency with is the, er, potato cannon.
13. Inside Out (2015)
During a video chat between Riley and her friend we can see her contacts list. One name in the list is “DocPete” a reference to the film’s director: Pete Doctor.
14. John Wick (2014) & John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Only the most dedicated fans of the action and humor-packed John Wick series will have noticed but the cars outside the Continental Hotel are exactly the same in both films. That’s because despite the movies coming out years apart, the events in the films are separated only by a few days.
15. Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
When documents flash briefly onto the screen it’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to slip in Easter eggs and other bits of flavor for those watching closely. In 2017’s Pitch Perfect 3 observant viewers will note that Lilly’s hometown is listed as “AREA 51.” Sounds like a nice place.
16. Wreck-It-Ralph (2012)
Web-savvy individuals will recognize the string of numbers in the credits of 2012’s Wreck-It-Ralph as an IP address. What would require some research to know is this: That’s actually the IP address of Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.
17. Thor (2011)
According to the laws of Marvel physics — with a few super-powered exceptions — no one but Thor can lift the god of thunder’s mighty hammer, Mjölnir. So, unsurprisingly, in 2011’s Thor, Stan Lee’s pickup truck fails miserably at the task. Keep an eye out and you’ll see Lee’s wrecked truck in the background in a later scene.
18. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
When you’re one of the main stars in the all-consuming Star Wars franchise, it’s probably not that difficult to finagle a few cameos for your nearest and dearest. Such was the case in 2017’s The Last Jedi, when a scene featured three Resistance fighters who were, in fact, played by Mark Hamill’s children: Nathan, Griffin, and Chelsea.
19. Zootopia (2016)
The bootleg DVDs being hawked by Duke Weaselton in Zootopia are all playful references to other Disney movies such as Moana and Frozen 2, which wasn’t even out yet at the time. That is some meta marketing.
20. The King Of Staten Island (2020)
Filmmakers and actors sneaking their mothers into their movies has been a trend at least since When Harry Met Sally. So it’s enlightening to know that a hospital scene in Judd Apatow’s King Of Staten Island features both Marisa Tomei, who plays the role of Pete Davidson’s mother, and Davidson’s real mother as a background actor.
Somebody raised that kid right.