If you’re “too old” to skulk around all hunch-backed in your own yard looking for the painted eggs your little cousin hid for you, why are you holding that remote with the Pause Button at the ready? We all love hunting. It’s in our nature. Just like we love discounted Criterion titles, free scotch and foot massages that don’t mean anything sexual.
So here are some Movie Easter Eggs to hunt down. Bonus one? They involve movies, so you have a solid excuse to just watch movies all week. Bonus two? If you can’t find them, they won’t smell rotten after a few days.
And be sure to add your favorite in the comments section for fellow hunter/gatherers:
The Fight Club Blu-ray Menu Has Never Been Kissed
Most Easter eggs are for fans. Who else would spend so much time hunting them down and obsessing over them? Thus, it was a stroke of brilliance to play a practical joke on fans who bought the anniversary edition Blu-ray of Fight Club.
When people desperate to see Tyler Durden’s mayhem in hi-def tossed this into their player, they were met with the Menu Screen for Never Been Kissed. I know this because Tyler knows this (and because it happened to Neil and me at the old Austin Reject HQ).
Of course, Fight Club has its own history of Easter Eggs – from giant throbbing members and Durden flashing by in single frames, to cigarette burns coming right on cue, to the anti-authoritarian Warning Screen that pops up in place of the usual FBI warning not to copy other people’s intellectual property.
After all of those hidden messages, Drew Barrymore’s twee face was a hell of an anniversary present.
Tron Had Pac-Man Fever
Pac-Man came out 2 years before Tron debuted, making this particular hidden reference especially incredibly. Either that, or everyone inside the mainframe has had the game for years and someone is playing a clever joke on Sark.
Or maybe you can play video games inside your blueprints. Trippy.
All of this raises a bizarre question: what if Pac-Man hadn’t been a massive hit? Or what if it had, but then never reached classic status? Would this Easter Egg have been lost to obscurity?
Indiana Jones at Club Obi Wan
Near the beginning of Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones meets up with snazzy-dressing crime lord Lao Che to trade ashes for a diamond, and where better to make an illicit, double-crossing trade than internationally renowned Club Obi Wan?
They have great music, and a sweet balcony you can jump off of.
Steve Martin Loves Pointy Birds No Matter What Movie He’s In
Oh, John Lillison. England’s greatest one-armed poet. He was the first person ever to be hit by a car, you know. He also wrote timeless classics like “In Dillman’s Grove” and “Pointy Birds,” the latter being the poem Steve Martin’s character recites briefly in The Man With Two Brains (which you can see above) in 1983. Of course, in 1991’s L.A. Story, his character Harris K. Telemacher also uses the poem to try to woo Victoria Tennant’s character Sara McDowel.
It’s a nice nugget for Martin fans, and clearly an incredibly romantic ode.
Aliens Have Been Fighting Predators Longer Than We Knew
Okay, so fans of Dark Horse Comics knew way back in 1989, but for those of us who stuck to the movies, 2004 became the year that Alien and Predator finally went at it in Alien vs. Predator (which is apparently almost exactly like Kramer vs. Kramer). That wasn’t the best cinematic outing for either sci-fi monster, but it had been foretold years before in Predator 2 where a xenomorph skull is clearly visible in the trophy room.
It turns out that man isn’t the most dangerous game after all.
See You Next Wednesday, John Landis
So an astronaut’s father in 2001: A Space Odyssey says, “See You Next Wednesday” over a video call and it effects John Landis so deeply that he includes it in a ton of his movies? That’s the story. He even wrote a script with that title, and it’s something that needs to be made immediately.
From his first movie, Schlock, to An American Werewolf in London (where it’s a non-stop orgy of a porno) to The Blues Brothers to The Kentucky Fried Movie (where SYNW is a soap opera in “feel-around”) to Trading Places (where Jamie Lee Curtis gets a little pornographic in front its poster) to the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video…he used it a ton. It should also be noted that Landis therefore also included a ton of movie posters in his movies in general. Dude is a huge movie fan. Time to watch his entire catalog and see if you can spot all the SYNW references.
For more 2001 fun, see if you can spot it in A Clockwork Orange.
The Skinny Kid in Rushmore
Leave it to Wes Anderson to create an Easter Egg within a single movie. The skinny kid is all over the place – most prominently in the dream-like Diving Scene. Spend the movie watching out for him, and see if you can explain the physics that allows for him to be in two places at once during the Cotillion.
E.T.s Phone Home in Star Wars
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg work together all the time, and both are fans of cross-over moments in movies. It’s no surprise when C-3PO and R2-D2 wind up in an Indiana Jones movie or when Elliot plays with Star Wars toys in E.T. Somehow, those worlds collide again in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace when politicians from the E.T. home planet show up in the galactic senate.
What does that mean? That their people have been around a long, long time. Not pictured: the giant pile of Reese’s Pieces. Because they hadn’t been invented yet.
Shopping at Lone Pine Mall
Yes, this list is getting a little Spielberg-heavy. But that can’t be all that surprising. He’s a big fan of including subtle stuff in his movies that take a keen mind to catch. For instance – in the first parking lot sequence in Back to the Future, Marty catches up with Doc Brown at Twin Pines Mall. When he heads back to 1955, he lands at Twin Pines Ranch and runs over one of the Peabody’s pines in the process of trying not to get shot to death. Back in the present/future, the mall changes names.
For an even deeper Easter Egg, Old Man Peabody calls his son Sherman – a reference to the time traveling dog and boy from Rocky and Bullwinkle (which is being developed as a new feature film, by the way).
Your Neighbor In Toy Story 3 or Pixar is the King of All Easter Eggs
There are technically Easter Eggs all over the place in Toy Story movies – just from the toys alone – but it was nice to see Pixar pay homage to the masters of Japanese animation by including the Studio Ghibli character Totoro in the third film. From the Pizza Planet truck to A113 showing up, it would be difficult to list all the Pixar Easter Eggs (which is why it’s nice that /film works hard at it).
Bonus Easter Eggs: Danny Glover being too old for this shit in Maverick and the complete works of J.J. Abrams. Happy Hunting!
What are your favorites? What else should we be trying to find?
Editor’s Note: This list was compiled with help and advice from Nathan Adams, Kate Erbland, Kevin Carr and Adam Charles.