50 Times Movies Slipped In Easter Eggs And Hidden Details
When you watch a movie, are you more of a casual viewer who’s just along for the ride or a cinephile who is tracking every detail in your head and comparing them to hundreds of other films you have seen? Either way, I’m sure you can appreciate a good Easter egg in a film, or a hidden detail that not every viewer will catch at first glance. To celebrate some of these brilliant details added in by directors, the Film Easter Eggs & Details Twitter account was born.
We’ve gone through all of their tweets to find some of the most shocking and genius details in popular films that will make you want to rewatch them all and catch these moments yourself. So grab your bucket of buttery popcorn, silence your cell phones, and be sure to upvote all of the Easter eggs that blow your mind. Then let us know in the comments if you know any other fun facts about your favorite films. And if you’re interested in finding out even more movie Easter eggs, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s last article on a similar Twitter account right here.
I love watching films, but I have to admit that my memory is not the greatest. To catch these tiny details, I would probably have to view these films several times and have some caffeine by my side so I can pay close attention. But it is amazing that directors and designers put so much thought and effort into even background images, costumes and sets, so I am glad someone is capable of sleuthing out these details. Their genius creative decisions should not go unrecognized!
There are clearly many people interested in these fun facts about movies as well. The Film Easter Eggs & Details Twitter account was started in November of 2017, and it already has over 375k followers. The page, which credits the Movie Details subreddit for all of their ideas, shares details about Oscar winning films like Interstellar and even less critically acclaimed movies like The Bee Movie. Pretentious film snobs might ignore movies that have a primarily young audience, but every director and designer pours their heart and soul into their work. Why shouldn’t they be recognized for their cheeky little details in a children’s film?
We all know what Easter eggs are in reference to the colorful ones we hide in our gardens in the spring time for excited children to search for, but the way that the term found a place in the film industry is an interesting story. David Crow explains the origins of the phrase in a piece he wrote for Den of Geek, where he first notes that the term came from video game history. In 1980, Steve Wright, the director of software development for the Atari Consumer Division, coined the term in reference to hidden details that were included in the game Adventure.
Adventure was an Atari 2600 game released in 1980 that allowed players to become fantasy heroes who wandered through a world of dungeons and dragons to save a magical chalice and return it to the Golden Castle. Hidden within one of the game’s caverns, however, is the first documented Easter egg. On a wall that players do not necessarily need to pass by to complete the game’s objective reads “Created by Warren Robinett”, a credit to the game’s programmer. Thus the term Easter egg was created, as finding this little credit was to gamers what finding a literal Easter egg during a scavenger hunt is to children.
This event was not quite mainstream knowledge until the release of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One. It is only briefly mentioned in the book, but the novel popularized the term among gamers as the story revolves around hunting for an “all-powerful egg”. Today, the term is used in films, TV shows, and even popular albums. Taylor Swift, in particular, is famous for utilizing Easter eggs on social media posts, in music videos and in song lyrics to tease what is coming next or confirm fan suspicions about rumors.
When it comes to why directors and designers include sneaky Easter eggs in their projects, it can be for a number of reasons. First of all, it can just be fun for them to make nods to previous projects or their own favorite directors. For example, in Captain America: Winter Soldier, Colonel Nick Fury’s tombstone reads “The path of the righteous man…” This is a reference to another character Samuel L. Jackson played in Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction. Jackson’s character in that film, hitman Jules Winnfield, would repeat a monologue beginning with the same phrase before killing characters.
Sometimes directors also like to have cameos in their own films as little Easter eggs. Martin Scorsese did this in Taxi Driver when he made a brief appearance as a husband who realized his wife was being unfaithful to him while seeing her through a window in Travis’ taxi. Quentin Tarantino also gave himself a cameo in Pulp Fiction when he played “Jimmy”, the friend who Vincent and Jules turn to when they need somewhere to hide a body. Alfred Hitchcock famously made cameos in many of his films, including North by Northwest and Psycho. Wes Craven also pops up in his classic 1996 slasher film Scream, where he plays a janitor at the high school who mocks the genre of horror and wears a red and green sweater in classic Freddie Kreuger style. Even in the 2003 Christmas comedy Elf, director Jon Favreau makes an appearance as Dr. Leonardo, the pediatrician Walter takes Buddy to to get a paternity test done.
Making a film can be a grueling process, especially when you are an animator sitting at a computer for countless hours a week, so sometimes Easter eggs are included simply because artists get bored. At least in the case of Pixar films, that’s what Andrew Stanton, the co-director of Finding Dory says. “Most of it, to be frank, comes out of sheer boredom," Stanton told Insider. "We work on these films for four years, and I defy anybody who works on the same thing for four years not to get impish and want to mess with stuff."
There are plenty of Easter eggs fans have caught in Pixar films before from references to The Shining in Toy Story to countless nods to an animation classroom at the California Institute of the Arts, where many famous animators at Disney got their training. So the next time you watch an animated Disney film, be on the lookout for anything labeled “A113”.
But thankfully for the animators, they are allowed to make these references because they can make the process of animating a tiny bit more enjoyable. “We kind of promote anything that keeps people making their job fun," Stanton said. "It’s not like there’s a big war room and then people map it out like that." And he even told Insider that he appreciates it when fans pick up on these tiny details. “It's just a stamp of approval," he says. "It means that people are focusing and really watched your movie." This makes me want to go back and pay really close attention to any animated Disney film I have ever seen before. Perhaps I’ll even find something worth noting on the Film Easter Eggs & Details Twitter account.
Some Easter eggs in famous movies require even more explanation than simply pausing the film at the right time and catching a tiny detail. Sometimes, it is up to an actor or director to reveal the truth later down the line. For example, in the class 1986 John Hughes comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Bueller’s best friend Cameron (played by Alan Ruck) wears a Detroit Red Wings hockey jersey. Yet the film is famously set in Chicago. It was not until 30 years later that Alan Ruck revealed that, “[Hughes] had decided that Cameron had a horrible relationship with his father, but a great relationship with his grandfather, who lived in Detroit and would take Cameron to Red Wings games. That's all it was, and it was never explained in the movie."
Hannibal Lecter also drops a little Easter egg in Silence of the Lambs when he tells Clarice that he murdered a census taker and enjoyed the man’s liver “with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”. Aside from the fact that this line simply works for Lecter’s character, there might have been an even deeper meaning behind it. In 1988, the time the original novel was published, many psychiatric patients were being treated with antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs. In combination with certain foods, these drugs could lead to fatal increases in blood pressure. Three foods in particular that patients taking MAOIs could not enjoy were liver, fava beans and red wine. And Hannibal Lecter, who was a psychiatrist himself, would have definitely been aware of these side effects. So aside from just delivering a cheeky line to make Clarice uneasy, Lecter could have also been making it clear that he had not been taking his medication.
Sometimes Easter eggs in a movie are just tiny details that appear onscreen for a flash or in the background that you might even need to pause the film to catch. One of these times shared on the Film Easter Eggs & Details Twitter account is from the 2022 film Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. If you look closely in the background of one scene, you can find a Gucci billboard featuring Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter universe. This is a genius reference because Dobby needed to receive clothing to be freed in the Harry Potter films, so it is great to see that in this universe he has embarked on a successful career as a clothing model. Much better than what happened to him in the Harry Potter universe…
We hope you are enjoying all of these hidden details and Easter eggs packed into popular films. Keep upvoting all of your favorites, and then let us know if you have ever caught a great Easter egg while watching a movie. If you’re interested in learning even more, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s last article on the same topic right here. And don’t forget to add some of these movies to your rewatch list, so you can look like a film expert when pointing out all of these tiny details to your friends!