What you see on-screen might actually be in your own home! No, not Keanu Reeves, silly! I’m talking about movie props. As it turns out, quite a lot of them are repurposed everyday household items. The r/Thatsabooklight subreddit documents the times that people recognized these everyday items in movies and on TV shows, and just couldn’t help but share with everyone else. And, wow, we’ve got to say, once you notice these behind-the-scenes details, you’ll never look at films the same way again.

Have a scroll through some of the coolest, most unusual, and surprising movie props that you’d find around your home. While most of these can be found in sci-fi films and shows, they’re not exclusive to just them. Remember to upvote the pics that you liked the most. Onwards and (let’s scroll) downwards!

Bored Panda reached out to the r/Thatsabooklight community to learn more about the subreddit and on-screen props. Read on for our friendly chat with one of the moderators, QueenAnneBoleynTudor.

#1

This Is Cool

This Is Cool

HamillHimself Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
1 year ago

I didn't know that Tatooine natives were such fashion tycoons.

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#2

In An Episode Of Mutant X, Jesse Uses A Familiar Looking "Device." It Looks Like A High Tech Gadget With Buttons, But I Recognized It As The Eyeshadow Compact I've Had Since High School

In An Episode Of Mutant X, Jesse Uses A Familiar Looking "Device." It Looks Like A High Tech Gadget With Buttons, But I Recognized It As The Eyeshadow Compact I've Had Since High School

phantomjerky Report

Levels of irony
Community Member
1 year ago

Lol imagine the directors and prop makers like yup that loooks like a computer

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#3

One Of The Most Iconic Movie Props Of All Time, Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber From The Star Wars Franchise Is A Flash Handle From A Vintage Camera (Graflex 3 Cell Flash Handle)

One Of The Most Iconic Movie Props Of All Time, Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber From The Star Wars Franchise Is A Flash Handle From A Vintage Camera (Graflex 3 Cell Flash Handle)

cgsimmons1983 Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

Yikes!

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Moderator QueenAnneBoleynTudor explained to Bored Panda why most movies and TV shows don't build props from scratch. Like for a lot of things in life, money and time constraints are still issues.

"Movies have budgets, and those budgets are mainly for the talent, special effects, salaries, and insurance. Like any project, Hollywood has to find a way to make the project successful while either staying on budget or (even better) coming in under budget. Making items from scratch takes up time, talent, and money for something that may be used in only a few frames. Repurposing an item takes less, and can be reused for another film," they detailed.

Reusing and recycling are the name of the game when it comes to Hollywood. "Everything gets reused—props, costumes, locations, et cetera. It just makes sense to take a calculator and make it a circuit board for one film, and a communication device in another. The fact that you haven't recognized them means that the props department did their job! People watch movies to escape reality, and if you don't notice the booklight being used as a transmogrifier means that the magic of Hollywood worked."

#4

One Of Young Anakin's Tool Is A Silver-Painted Dog Toy That I Own

One Of Young Anakin's Tool Is A Silver-Painted Dog Toy That I Own

augmentedseventh Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

"Fetch"

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#5

I Present To You: Willrow Hoods Aka Ice Cream Man From Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back In The Background Of Cloud City. He Carries A Completely Undecorated Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker. This Previously Unnamed Character Has Spawned A Cult Following, Leading To Books, Comics, And Fan Lore

I Present To You: Willrow Hoods Aka Ice Cream Man From Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back In The Background Of Cloud City. He Carries A Completely Undecorated Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker. This Previously Unnamed Character Has Spawned A Cult Following, Leading To Books, Comics, And Fan Lore

PolyklietosOfAthens Report

Lis Daglish
Community Member
1 year ago

Of course, when you’re being overrun by evil forces OF COURSE the first thing you get to safety is the ice cream maker. Basic common sense.

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#6

Prop: In Phantom Menace, Qui Gonn’s Comlink Is A Gillette Women’s Razor

Prop: In Phantom Menace, Qui Gonn’s Comlink Is A Gillette Women’s Razor

ticktockdroptop Report

J. F.
Community Member
1 year ago

Razor sharp audio quality

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The moderator put us at ease by sharing that, in their opinion, recognizing repurposed household items in movies and shows doesn't take the magic away from the stories. "If anything, people feel like sleuths when they see a prop and say, 'What a minute! That's a nose hair trimmer!' It adds to the fun of the experience. And most people don't even realize it. People realize that things get reused, and I think as long as it's not obvious, they don't pay too much attention."

We were also interested to know if it's possible to unsee how props are repurposed items! Is there going back to a simpler time? Unfortunately, redditor QueenAnneBoleynTudor thinks not.

#7

The Mask Used For Halloween (1978) Was A William Shatner Mask That Was Painted White

The Mask Used For Halloween (1978) Was A William Shatner Mask That Was Painted White

notsure500 Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

For some reason I thought they had turned the mask inside out! TIL they just painted it

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#8

I Was Told This Might Be This Sub’s Cup Of Tea

I Was Told This Might Be This Sub’s Cup Of Tea

moonpies4everyone Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 year ago

Well it is silver colored and weird shaped so it must be space technology!

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#9

This Transmitter That Cracks Access Codes In Resident Evil (2002) Is A Glucose Meter With An Antenna

This Transmitter That Cracks Access Codes In Resident Evil (2002) Is A Glucose Meter With An Antenna

KiwyGal Report

Levels of irony
Community Member
1 year ago

Lol when you use glucose to crack access codes

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"I don't think it's possible to unsee it, no. Little Easter eggs like booklights or errors, once you see them, it's burned into your brain. Remember the Starbucks cup in GoT? Or the hydro flask and water bottle from Little Women? It works that way with props. As for a 'simpler time,' that's wistful thinking I'm afraid. Hollywood has been reusing and repurposing items as long as it's been committing images to celluloid."

The redditor added that they personally tend to constantly be on the lookout for booklights because they spend time moderating the r/Thatsabooklight subreddit. "It doesn't ruin the film for me, it actually makes me pay more attention!"

The most intriguing thing about repurposed household items is that your creativity is the limit! With some brainstorming and dextrous hands (we always suggest watching some Crafty Panda videos for general DIY inspiration), you can convert a broken piece of tech into a futuristic gadget that wouldn’t look out of place in a multi-million-dollar movie project.

#10

That’s An Escalator

That’s An Escalator

Collinnn7 Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

That's a real place?! It's be so cool to go there

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#11

Jawas In The Mandalorian Have Volkswagen Fuel Injection Rails. I Recognized Them Immediately (Jumping Up From The Couch And Startling My Wife). I Replaced Dozens Of These During A Recall In 2013

Jawas In The Mandalorian Have Volkswagen Fuel Injection Rails. I Recognized Them Immediately (Jumping Up From The Couch And Startling My Wife). I Replaced Dozens Of These During A Recall In 2013

spannerboy69 Report

Vic
Community Member
1 year ago

So are you saying the Jawas can't sell these?

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#12

[tv] In Alias [2005], Her Specialized Locker Cutting Tool Is A Creme Brûlée Torch

[tv] In Alias [2005], Her Specialized Locker Cutting Tool Is A Creme Brûlée Torch

2019starter Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

Hm...irresistible.

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The fact of the matter is, making props from scratch is incredibly costly, requires lots of designing and redesigning, and eats up a lot of time. Repurposing things, however… well, it gives you the flexibility you need in terms of money, time, and energy.

In fact, just having a walk through your local supermarket can give you tons of great ideas if you walk in through the door with the right mentality. Even a bucket and a mop can do great things if you add some doodads on top and paint them a different color.

Sometimes, the simplest solutions really can be the best ones. For instance, The Vintage News points out that Luke Skywalker’s iconic lightsaber from the original ‘Star Wars’ 1977 movie was made from some calculator chips and the battery pack for the flash of an old photo camera. You’d never think that this was the case from your first glance, would you?

#13

Greef Kargas Buckle Is A Cheap Folding Knife

Greef Kargas Buckle Is A Cheap Folding Knife

Super_Jackk Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
1 year ago

Multi functional at its best

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#14

The Chest Thing The First Order Officer Wears In The Kyle Ren Snl Sketch Is A Pack Of Gum

The Chest Thing The First Order Officer Wears In The Kyle Ren Snl Sketch Is A Pack Of Gum

netflows Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 year ago

To be a costume designer, you need a lot of imagination

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#15

Batman's Boots In Batman Returns Are Just Air Jordan 6s With An Extended Top And Foam Glued On. The Sole Even Still Has The Jordan Logo

Batman's Boots In Batman Returns Are Just Air Jordan 6s With An Extended Top And Foam Glued On. The Sole Even Still Has The Jordan Logo

Chief-Queef Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

Who knew Batman left such distinctive footprints XD

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That very same lightsaber, repurposed from household items, was later sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a collection of Star Wars memorabilia. So never underestimate the impact a well-made DIY prop can have on your wallet if the movie is successful.

“This subreddit is about props being repurposed from everyday household or commercial items, things we interact with on a day-to-day basis being transformed and used as something else on screen,” the r/Thatsabooklight subreddit presents itself to those who happened to wander into its domain.

#16

That’s An Echo Mic

That’s An Echo Mic

blondepianist Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything looks badass once painted silver

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#17

[tv] The Expanse [2018]. The Cryo Chamber Used For Mei Is A Repurposed Thule 624 Cargo Box

[tv] The Expanse [2018]. The Cryo Chamber Used For Mei Is A Repurposed Thule 624 Cargo Box

ostrich_fondlerer Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

I will never see cars with cargo boxes the same way again...

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#18

[film] Back To The Future [1985] A Krups Coffee Machine Became Mr Fusion On The Delorean

[film] Back To The Future [1985] A Krups Coffee Machine Became Mr Fusion On The Delorean

PolyklietosOfAthens Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

Love It, I always wondered what it really was, I had thought maybe a juicer

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“It's fascinating on both the amazing and the absurdly bad ends, so we welcome it all here. Please do abide by the rules, though. They are there for a reason,” the moderators explain.

Having been founded back in January of 2015, the subreddit celebrated its 6th birthday just recently. In this time, they’ve amassed over 93.3k dedicated members who adore getting a behind-the-scenes glance at how movies are made.

Any newcomers really ought to have a read through the rules. There aren’t too many of them, they’re pretty clear, and they help the community stay friendly and keep the content at an ‘Awesome’ setting at all times.

#19

Dark Crystal Used A Die Cast Tie Fighter For This Foe's Eye

Dark Crystal Used A Die Cast Tie Fighter For This Foe's Eye

ecto_27 Report

The Grizzlysnake
Community Member
1 year ago

Ironic, then that that character (SkekTek, the Scientist) was voiced by Mark Hamill in the prequel series of Netflix

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#20

[tv] Mandalorian Season 1, Friend Just Started It And Sent Me Proof That This Mechanic's Tool Is Actually A Thermometer!

[tv] Mandalorian Season 1, Friend Just Started It And Sent Me Proof That This Mechanic's Tool Is Actually A Thermometer!

adamskaocelote Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 year ago

Non-contact thermometers are commonly used in an engineering environment. You'd be surprised how many faults can be detected simply by observing the temperature of various parts.

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#21

In The End Credit Scene Of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Taneleer Tivan (The Collector) Drinks His Martini From An Alessi ‘Big Love’ Ice Cream Bowl

In The End Credit Scene Of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Taneleer Tivan (The Collector) Drinks His Martini From An Alessi ‘Big Love’ Ice Cream Bowl

brightgreyday Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 year ago

He collected it

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“All props must be repurposed in some way. An airplane belt used as a belt for pants is okay. An unmodified lamp used as a lamp is not okay,” the moderators write on the subreddit’s main page. However, they do have one exception to this rule: you can go nuts on ‘Found A Prop’ Fridays.

Like all great Reddit communities, r/Thatsabooklight encourages people to “be excellent to each other” (I’ll let you in on a secret—this exact phrasing is what personally won me over). “This rule ranges from hate speech and bigotry to off-topic slapfights, spam, and derailments. Be excellent to each other. Remember that there's a human there you're interacting with. Remember that breaches of this rule will be handled at mod discretion. And remember… to party on dudes!!”

#22

Stargate Sg-1: Season 2, Episode 22 -- The Futuristic Device Used By The Doctor Is A Nose And Ear Hair Trimmer

Stargate Sg-1: Season 2, Episode 22 -- The Futuristic Device Used By The Doctor Is A Nose And Ear Hair Trimmer

MicrowavedSoyBacon Report

Dave P
Community Member
1 year ago

Stargates propmasters were the experts in repurposing ordinary items, that is most of the props in the show. It allowed them to save the budget for more important things, as well as focus on the characters. This is why SG1 lasted 10 seasons and is one of the greatest Sci Fi and SGA is up there too

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See Also on Bored Panda
#23

The Guns In Terra Nova (TV 2012) Are Spray-Painted Nerf Guns

The Guns In Terra Nova (TV 2012) Are Spray-Painted Nerf Guns

Go_For_Jesse Report

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
1 year ago

That is just basic Steampunk upcycling.

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#24

Automated Trash Bin In Firefly Runs Windows 2000

Automated Trash Bin In Firefly Runs Windows 2000

drevils Report

Delboy
Community Member
1 year ago

well he did collect old technology in this episode....

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Avoiding reposts is another rule. Whenever you can, you should avoid reposting the same content that was featured on the subreddit recently. Sure, some people might not have seen it, but rehashing old stuff constantly isn’t how you win over hearts and minds. Or, as the moderators put it, “That's not cool, man. That's piggybacking. That's kind of a jerk move. Don't do it.”

Trolls and spammers aren’t welcome on the subreddit, but we don’t believe that there are any Pandas out there who’d do that! Keep it fun, friendly, creative, and light. If it’s not excellent, why post it?

#25

The Child In The Mandalorian Is In A Us Military Mermite Can With A Some Lights Glued On Front

The Child In The Mandalorian Is In A Us Military Mermite Can With A Some Lights Glued On Front

Luniticus Report

Tara Brooks
Community Member
1 year ago

Child? Have some respect. That’s Sir Baby Yoda! 😂

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#26

In The Fifth Element (1997), The Detonator The Mangalore Captain Uses To Destroy The Cruise Liner Is A School Locker Padlock

In The Fifth Element (1997), The Detonator The Mangalore Captain Uses To Destroy The Cruise Liner Is A School Locker Padlock

tipothehat Report

Tenley Samson
Community Member
1 year ago

yes... but it had a LIGHT so you KNOW its dangerous

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#27

Here Have A Parts List For Obi-Wan's Lightsaber

Here Have A Parts List For Obi-Wan's Lightsaber

GrandAdmiralSpock Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

Quite inventive...

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Now, if you’re itching to post about a repurposed household item prop on the subreddit, keep in mind that there’s a certain standard to uphold. “Please specify first whether your prop is from [Film], [TV], or [Other]. Then if you would please give the title and year of the work, followed by a detailed description of the prop and what it is being used as in the screenshot (in either order).”

An example of this would be: “[Film] In The Empire Strikes Back [1980], IG-88's head was repurposed from a Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine.”

#28

In Game Of Thrones S8e4 Dany’s Chalice Is Just A Starbucks Coffee Cup

In Game Of Thrones S8e4 Dany’s Chalice Is Just A Starbucks Coffee Cup

bdd1001 Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

Hah!

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#29

Watchmens (TV) Interrogation Chamber Remote Is A Dyson Fan Controller

Watchmens (TV) Interrogation Chamber Remote Is A Dyson Fan Controller

jimbolimboboy Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 year ago

Dyson appliances do look futuristic

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#30

[tv] In Netflix's Lost In Space [2019] The Military Crew Members Wear A $65 Foam Airsoft Vest

[tv] In Netflix's Lost In Space [2019] The Military Crew Members Wear A $65 Foam Airsoft Vest

Ford117 Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

Well, meeting the budget is important.

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Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

Which of these props that are actually repurposed common items did you enjoy the most, dear Readers? Were there any that shocked you like they did us? Do you have any advice on how to unsee these and stop looking for household objects in movies and TV shows from now on? Go on, drop us a line or two in the comment section below. We always enjoy reading what you have to say.