Easter eggs are messages and jokes hidden inside a work of art. They are ways in which the artist directly communicates with the fans and they’re found inside music videos, books, computer applications, songs and especially video games and movies.
Here is our list of 10 easter eggs in movies.
1. The obesity slayer in Lifeboat (1944)
Even though Alfred Hitchcock didn’t invent easter eggs, he definitely knew how to use them. He made cameos in 39 of the more than 60 movies that he directed. After a little while, people started enjoying looking for him inside his movies.
His brief appearances usually occurred at the beginning of his movies because he wanted his audience to concentrate on their stories. He only spoke in one of his cameos in the 1956 film The Wrong Man and he often made appearances as a pedestrian in crowd scenes.
A unique challenge presented in the 1944 movie Lifeboat which takes place on a small boat without any extras or crowds. Hitchcock thought about making an appearance as a dead body drifting around the boat but eventually he decided to put himself in an ad in a newspaper from the bottom of the lifeboat. The ad is for a pill called Reduco and Hitchcock appears as a user of the pill that lost a lot of weight.
2. A salute to other time travelers in Back to the Future (1985)
Robert Zemeckis, the director of the movie Back to the Future had a very elaborate easter egg inside the film. When Marty traveled to the year 1955 and his time machine crashed into a barn, the owners of said barn mistook him for an alien. The man ran to grab his shotgun and Marty went back into the time machine (the DeLorean) and drove away. The man tried to shoot after Marty but instead he shot his own mailbox. Moments before the mailbox exploded it revealed the name of the owners of the barn: “Peabody”.
In the closing credits, the names of the entire family are revealed: Daughter, Ma and Pa Peabody. The son was also given a first name during the credits: Sherman. Sherman and Mr. Peabody were also time travelers in the popular ’60s TV series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in a cartoon called “Peabody’s Improbable History”. The two characters later returned in 2018 in an animated feature called Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
3. Eating boogers in Frozen (2013)
As Kristoff and Anna make their way up North Mountain to search for Elsa, Anna said that even though she doesn’t really know Hans, that she’s in love with him. Kristoff is baffled by this and said that she doesn’t even know him and asks her “What if you hate the way he eats? What if you hate the way he picks his nose… and eats it? All men do it.
Later, at the end of the credits, there is a disclaimer which states the following:
“The views and opinions expressed by Kristoff in the film that all men eat their own boogers are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Walt Disney Company or the filmmakers.”
However, this isn’t the only easter egg in Frozen. Both Idina Menzel (who played Elsa) and Kristen Bell (who played Anna) auditioned for 2010’s Tangled for the role of Rapunzel and Santino Fontana (who played Hans) also auditioned for Tangled to play the role of Flynn Rider. They didn’t get the parts but as a tribute, both Flynn and Rapunzel make a short appearance in the scene where Anna is singing “For the First Time in Forever”.
4. A literal egg in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Filmmakers have been putting easter eggs inside flicks for a very long time but the term is believed to have originated in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The story says that the cast of the movie decided to go on an Easter egg hunt on the movie set and a couple of those eggs were so well hidden that they weren’t found and thus never removed before the filming resumed.
There were at least three eggs that were captured in the film: one near the elevator of the lab, one on top of a lamp in the main hall and one under the throne of Dr. Frank N. Furter. Some people claim that these aren’t exactly easter eggs because the filmmakers didn’t decide to leave them there deliberately. But considering the film, it’s not very likely that the filmmakers would have reshot the scenes had they found the easter eggs on time.
5. Getting busy in Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
This is another easter egg that can only be found if you watch the entire credits closely. Harry received a nice little thing called “Marauder’s Map” in the third movie in the Harry Potter franchise. That map showed the movements and locations of anyone inside Hogwarts, even if they were walking inside secret passages or wearing an invisibility cloak. The map revealed the locations of those people by showing their footprints.
During the credits, which are displayed on the Marauder’s Map, there are footprints walking around. When the motion control camera crew is credited, the image goes downward and then to the right. On the bottom left side, we can see two sets of footprints that clearly show a couple having sex on the Marauder’s Map.
6. R2-D2 debris in Star Trek (2009)
J.J. Abrams admitted that he isn’t such a big fan of Star Trek. He did say, however, that he enjoys Star Wars and this is why he is the director of the upcoming movie in the popular sci-fi franchise. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that he decided to insert an easter egg homage to Star Wars in the 2009 Star Trek that he directed.
Paramount actually challenged the audience when the film was launched to find R2-D2. The little robot can be found in the scene where the starship Enterprise is in the middle of a field of debris. Just after the starship does a barrel roll, we can clearly see the small robot floating amongst the debris.
R2-D2 also makes an appearance in the sequel launched in 2013 called Star Trek: Into Darkness. When a hole is blown on the side of the starship Enterprise, we can see RD-D2 amongst the debris sucked into space.
7. Sign of the crime in Scarface (1932)
Howard Hawks was a pioneer in the gangster genre with his classic in 1932 called Scarface. He added a motif in the movie that was carried throughout it. Tony Camonte had on his left cheek a scar in the shape of an “X”. When someone meets his demise in the movie, we can clearly see an “X” in the background.
An “X” in the form of a shadow appears on the room in the hospital just before a patient is killed by Camonte. A neon sign close to another victim had an “X” on it. There is also a memorable scene, where seven thugs are murdered and above them are seven “X” shaped girders.
In the 2006 movie The Departed, Martin Scorsese paid homage to Howard Hawks. He also placed several X’s in his film, usually when a person was about to die.
8. Flux capacitor in Polar Express (2004)
Robert Zemeckis made a movie after the popular children’s book by Chris Van Allsberg called Polar Express. Zemeckis tried to answer the question of how Santa traveled from and to the North Pole in just one night. So he decided to equip the Polar Express with the same flux capacitor that can be found inside another of his movies called Back to the Future. You can see the flux capacitor in the scene where Steamer and Smokey are balancing the cotter pin. To be fair, you will have to pause the movie or slow it down in order to see the flux capacitor, but it is actually there.
There are actually more scenes in Polar Express that are made to remind people of his Back to the Future franchise. There is a group of Santas inside the movie that carries placards indicating they’re striking the Lone Pine Mall. This is the same mall that was used inside the popular time-traveling movie. On top of this, when Santa’s sleigh disappears with him in the finale of the movie, the parallel trails remind us of those left by the DeLorean in Back to the Future.
9. Gertie comes home in Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Dylan Sanders, one of the angels in Charlie’s Angels is played by Drew Barrymore. Dylan Sanders became involved with one of the clients named Eric Knox. After she spent a night with Eric Knox, Sanders realized that he fooled the Angels to steal software for him. Knox took a shot at Senders but missed and shattered the window right behind her. She fell through the broken window but a shard of glass caught her robe and slowed her fall.
Sanders then landed naked into a yard. This was the same yard where Elliot first met E.T. in the 1982 movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Barrymore played Elliot’s five year old sister named Gertie.
Sanders landed inside the yard and broke into the house. This is the same house where Barrymore once filmed the famous sci-fi flick. Inside the house, there are two kids watching TV and eating a bowl of candy. If you look closely, behind their TV there is an E.T. poster.
10. 1138 in Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)
George Lucas also had a recurring easter egg inside his movies, much like Alfred Hitchcock. At some point you will see in all of the movies made by George Lucas the number “1138”. This is an homage to the first film made by Lucas in 1971 called THX 1138.
It first made an appearance in the 1973 movie called American Graffiti, on the license plate on Milner’s car. In Star Wars IV, Han and Luke take Chewbacca to Cell Block 1138 in an attempt to rescue Leia. In The Empire Strikes Back, during the battle on the planet Hoth, General Rieeken sends out Rogues 10 and 11 to station 3-8. In Return of the Jedi, when Leia is disguised as a bounty hunter, we can see the number 1138 on the side of the helmet she’s wearing. In the Star Wars prequels, droids have this number on their backpacks, the code number of Commander Bacara is 1138 and clones have it written on the back of their helmets.
The number 1138 also appeared in 1981 in Raiders of the Lost Ark and in 2001 in Ocean’s Eleven as well as in the video game called Duke Nukem and in the TV series Smallville.