Nick Hall

15 Best Movie Easter Eggs in Film History | Man of Many


Best Movie Easter Eggs List

English film director, producer and screenwriter Alfred Hitchcock is among the most influential filmmakers of all time. It’s no surprise that his long filmography stands up as a beacon of progression in the fields of drama and horror, but what you might not know is how often he was in front of the camera. Out of the 52 films that Hitchcock made over his career, he managed to appear in a total of 39 of them, an act that Marvel legend Stan Lee and director Quentin Tarantino have also employed. Perhaps Hitchcock’s most famous cameo came in his 1963 film The Birds, where he can be seen exiting a pet store with two small dogs. Interestingly enough, those were Hitchcock’s actual dogs in real life.

1. The Birds – Alfred Hitchcock

At its core, Fight Club is a film about consumerism. David Fincher’s take on the Chuck Palahniuk literary classic delves into capitalism and corporate culture as a condition of human existence, one major point being how unaware of our behaviour we often are. To emphasise the point, Fincher made the drastic decision to highlight it in every scene, picking multi-national conglomerate Starbucks as his symbol. Believe it or not, there is a Starbucks coffee cup in every single scene of Fight Club, hidden on desks, in character’s hands or sprawled out on the floor.

2. Fight Club – Starbucks

One of many films to reference Pulp Fiction, director Quentin Tarantino came through on a promise a decade in the making. The characters in Kill Bill mirror the exact personalities outlined by Mia in her Fox Force 5 television pilot. ‘There was a blonde one, she was the leader. The Japanese fox was a kung fu master. The black girl was a demolition expert. The French fox’s speciality was sex. The character I played was the deadliest woman in the world with a knife.”

3. Kill Bill – Fox Force 5

Perhaps the most iconic Easter Egg in film history, The Godfather‘s use of oranges is legendary. Similar to Scorsese’s The Departed, director Francis Ford Coppola used imagery to foreshadow death, this time with a physical object. Through the three-film series, oranges are used to indicate a character who is soon to die. Look closely and you’ll start to notice just how many oranges are visible on-screen.

4. The Godfather – Oranges

It’s no secret that Martin Scorses is a genius filmmaker but in the 2006 classic The Departed, he added a few subtle foreshadowing details. Every single death in the film is preceded by the letter ‘X’ appearing somewhere on-screen, and they aren’t always easy to spot. From the crossing of beams in an X to the X-shaped design on the carpet, every X indicates death is coming. To further emphasise the point, Mark Wahlberg’s character Sgt. Dignam is the only major character to never share the screen with an X, and as such, he is the only one to make it out alive.

5. The Departed – X Marks the Spot

An icon of 1980s sci-fi cinema, Tron jumped on the gaming bandwagon hard. The film tells the story of Kevin, a software programmer that is dragged into a virtual world and pitted against a malevolent software. In the spirit of gaming and adventure, Tron has a sneaky Easter Egg that bears a familiar face. In one scene where the characters are looking at the grid of the game, a tiny Pac-man symbol is visible on screen.

6. Tron – Pac-man

Disney is famous for referencing previous works throughout its animated films, however, one you may have missed comes in the 1995 hit Toy Story. When the toys are captured by antagonist Sid and held captive, his room bears an uncanny resemblance to another inescapable dwelling, the Overlook Hotel. If you look closely, the carpet in Sid’s room is identical to the carpet in the hotel of the horror classic The Shining. Further still, the number 237 appears throughout the film, a reference to Jack’s doomed room in the haunted hotel.

7. Toy Story – The Shining

While the films themselves were released years apart, in the John Wick universe, film one and film two take place just four days apart. For continuity’s sake, all the cars outside the Continental Hotel are exactly the same in a remarkable demonstration of attention to detail.

8. John Wick – Different Movie Same Day

Spoiler alert, but Samuel L. Jackson’s iconic Marvel character Nick Fury dies in this one…sort of. While his passing is one of the more sombre notes in the Marvel cinematic universe, it does open itself up to perhaps the best movie easter egg in film history. At the end of the movie when Fury is standing in front of his grave, the headstone reads “The path of the righteous man… Ezekiel 25:17”. This is a direct reference to Jules Winnfield, the character Jackson played in Pulp Fiction and his trademark speech.

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier – The Righteous Path

THX 1138 was Geroge Lucas’ directorial debut way back in 1971. The film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and follows a dystopian world where the human population is controlled by a police force of robots and forced to take drugs that subdue emotions. In almost all Star Wars films, Lucas adds a mention to THX 1138 in some way. Most notably, THX 1138 is the name of the stormtrooper that loses his armour to Luke Skywalker after being knocked out on the Millennium Falcon. Luke claims he is a prisoner transfer from cell block 1138.

10. Star Wars – THX 1138

Wes Craven is the king of 90s horror and for his 1997 flick Scream, he pulled an old favourite back from the dead. Eagle-eyed fans were able to point out a hidden cameo from Linda Blair, the woman best known for her work in the iconic Exorcist film. Blair appears as a reporter that ambushes Sydney outside of school in a clever homage the great scream queens of old.

11. Scream – Linda Blair

The Tarantino universe is a real thing. The director himself confirmed that all his films exist in a parallel universe and are interconnected in some way, meaning there’s a proverbial treasure trove of great movie Easter Eggs to found. One of the best comes by way of the Tarantino-penned, Robert Rodriguez-director film From Duck Til Dawn. In the vampire movie, the characters stop at a popular Hawaiian burger joint called Big Kahuna Burger to fuel up. Pulp Fiction fans might notice this as the fictional fast-food outlet that Brad and Marvin score burgers from right before copping a visit from Jules and Vincent.

12. From Dusk til Dawn – Big Kahuna Burger

We always love to see a character return. In Toy Story 3, there’s a brief shot as the toys encounter the garbage man, a young character that bears a striking resemblance to an old adversary. Wearing the same skull shirt as Sid from the original film, the character is a nod to the ongoing development of the franchise and how much time has passed.

13. Toy Story 3 – Sid

The collaboration between Star Wars‘ George Lucas and Indiana Jones‘ Steven Spielberg has for long been one of Hollywood’s most fruitful, but the crossover actually started way back in the 1980s. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones lifts up the Ark of the Covenant out of its crate to reveal a section covered in hieroglyphs. It’s a quick scene, however, some fans have quick to point out that iconic Star Wars characters C3PO and R2-D2 appear in the imagery on the pillar.

14. Indiana Jones – Star Wars

The movie that allegedly started it all. Rocky Horror Picture Show is responsible for bringing literal Easter Eggs on screen. As mentioned above, the cast and crew reportedly held an Easter Egg hunt before filming started, however, three eggs were left unfound, popping up in the final cut of the film. If you look closely, you can see one under Frank’s throne, one in the main room, and one in the elevator.

15. Rocky Horror Picture Show – Actual Easter Eggs

Put simply, movie Easter Eggs are hidden references, inside jokes or clues to the plot’s development that are subtly incorporated into the on-screen action. We often see these elements crafted in a way so that even the keenest of eyes won’t pick up on them, meaning you have to watch a scene over and over to truly grasp the concept. And these aren’t a new thing.

What are Movie Easter Eggs?

There are two lines of thinking when it comes to why hidden details in movies and games are referred to as Easter Eggs, and they both emerge in the late 1970s. The first involves the iconic stage-to-screen flick Rocky Horror Picture Show, where legend suggests the cast had an egg hunt on set before filming started. Unfortunately, those hiding the eggs were a little too crafty, and not all were found before the cameras started rolling. As a result, there are three known Easter Eggs to have made the final cut, hidden in plain sight.

Why are They Called Easter Eggs?

What is meant by Easter eggs in movies?

An Easter Egg is a term used to describe a hidden detail left in a movie by the filmmaker. This element could be a message, foreshadowing or call-back to another medium, designed to give the audience members sharp enough to catch, a thrill.

What movies have Easter eggs?

When it comes to finding Easter eggs in popular movies, you’re better off focusing on the director rather than the films themselves. Iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was famous for filling his movies with hidden details, same with Quentin Tarantino.

Who came up with the phrase Easter egg?

Easter egg was coined around 1979 by Steve Wright, the then Director of Software Development in the Atari Consumer Division, to describe a hidden message in the Atari video game Adventure, in reference to an Easter egg hunt.

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