The world of Transformers has a history that dates back to when Hasbro first launched the toy line in the 1980s. It would spawn what has since become a multi-million dollar film franchise that has seen four movies in the current series with more on the way, including a spin-off for supporting hero Bumblebee.
The films have stood out as not only a return of an iconic series for long-time fans, but it’s also a first introduction for a number of younger fans born in the 1990s or more recently. These younger viewers don’t know the entire history of the Transformers franchise. Like the original vehicles that the Autobots used as a disguise – i.e. Bumblebee was originally a Volkswagen Beetle and not a Chevrolet Camaro.
The films have often given a nod here and there to the past of the franchise. These can include things as little as something sitting off to the side in a scene. Then there are times where you could see previous films mentioned in Michael Bay’s Transformers movies.
Many fans who have been dedicated to the franchise since they were young in the 1980s have caught onto some of these moments. But there are still people who don’t always catch all of the Easter eggs left in the current Transformers films. The following are 15 of the many Easter eggs that people may miss from the first four films.
This list includes scenes from Transformers (2007), Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Dark of the Moon (2011), and Age of Extinction (2014).
15. ‘Armageddon’ Reference In First Movie
During the first Transformers film in 2007, there was a line that caught the ears of movie experts that may have gone unnoticed to most of us. When the autobots were crashing into Earth’s orbit, people were taking notice. What looked to be strange meteors coming towards the planet are obviously going to get people to pull out their phones and cameras. In the chaos of the autobots crashing at various places, one person made a comment that it was better than “Armageddon.”
Anyone who takes a look at Michael Bay’s profile on IMDb will find that one of his earlier movie projects was the 1998 film Armageddon – which starred Bruce Willis leading a team to destroy a giant asteroid coming towards Earth. While some might not discredit the Transformers film, it certainly had better special effects than some of Bay’s earlier movies.
14. The Original Bumblebee Beetle
Like most of the characters in the franchise, they all received a bit of a makeover from how they looked back in the original cartoons and comic books. For example, Bumblebee wasn’t always a Chevrolet Camaro. The earliest models of the mute motor-bot was actually based around a Volkswagen Beetle. But for the film franchise, they wanted to go with something a little more sporty. Also, the film helped launch a new line of Camaros.
In the scene where Sam Witwicky gets to pick his car out of the used car lot, the Camaro that is Bumblebee is sitting right next to an older Volkswagen Beetle. It was certainly a nod to the original form Bumblebee took. It was also the same yellow color many older Transformers fans would recognize. Certainly something that might have been missed by people who were first introduced to Transformers with the 2007 film.
13. Furby Truck In First Film
Product placement is something that is common in all movies for an extremely long time. Sometimes, it’s something as subtle as one of the actors going into the refrigerator to grab a Pepsi or Coca-Cola; depending on which one pays the higher bid. In the event of a toy producer being a big part of the film, it shouldn’t come as a surprise they would advertise some of their other toys. Transformers is certainly their biggest toy franchise, but the Furby dolls also got a lot of attention in the 1990s.
Hasbro decided to have a Furby delivery truck used to help act as a barricade from a missile attack heading towards U.S. troops. It was certainly an interesting way to give a nod to another popular toy. Then again, there might be some fans who didn’t mind see a Furby delivery truck being blown up.
12. My Little Pony Product Placement
It’s already been established that movies are always going to have nods to products as a form of advertisement. For Hasbro, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them try to help promote some of the other popular toy franchises they have in a big budget movie. Unlike the earlier mentioned Furby Easter egg, no one does any damage to any of the My Little Pony characters. But there is a subtle nod to the franchise.
As the Autobots arrive, one little girl gets out of bed with a sign that she was expecting the Tooth Fairy. While holding a large stuffed pony, she tries to ask Ironhide if he was the Tooth Fairy. It seems to be that the plush toy is Pinkie Pie, one of the more fun-loving characters in the cartoon shows. This won’t be the last time as a model of Rainbow Dash makes a brief appearance in Age of Extinction.
11. Jaws’ Theme Used In Bumblebee’s Warning To Sam
The Easter eggs continued during the second film, Revenge of the Fallen. Sam then finds himself at a college party where a blonde girl named Alice is certainly a little forward with our hero. She follows Sam as he quickly gets behind the wheel of Bumblebee as he tries to get Sam’s attention. While sitting in the shotgun seat, she tries to make her intentions a little more obvious.
As Bumblebee plays a number of songs and audio clips from television shows and movies, one iconic movie tune comes through. The “dun-dun, dun-dun” known from Jaws (1975). The classic shark story was actually directed by Steven Spielberg, who has an extensive career that also includes being the executive producer for the first four Transformers films. He’s also expected to be part of the Bumblebee spin-off film next year.
10. Bad Boys II Poster In Revenge Of The Fallen
As Sam tries to live a normal life as a student in the second movie, he finds himself going into tangents where he writes out codes and equations that would baffle most college professions. In one scene, he begins to write out on most of his roommates posters. One of the more notable posters seen is one for Bad Boys II, featuring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith.
Both that film and its predecessor from 1995 were directed by Michael Bay. It’s just another example of Bay giving a nod to his previous work experience. One interesting fact about the Bad Boys franchise is that it does have a planned return in 2018 with Bad Boys For Life; which Bay is not listed to be involved in any way, according to IMDb.
9. The Seekers Are A Nod To ‘Transformers: Evolutions’
One of the interesting facts about the Transformers franchise is that the characters actually have roots that go to the turn of the century between the 1800s and the 1900s. When the group of heroes begin to learn about the Seekers during Revenge of the Fallen, pictures are shown of older vehicles like a Ford Model T. But there are also iconic bombers, jets and biplanes.
All of these are referencing Transformers who woke up during the turn of the century about 100 years ago in the series “Transformers: Evolutions.” Those autobots and decepticons weren’t just limited to flying aircrafts and four-wheel vehicles. The Seekers were also portrayed Transformers under the disguise of locomotives, steamboats and zeppelins. It was a nice little nod to Transformers lore by the writers of the film.
8. R2-D2’s Very Brief, Barely Visible Cameo
If you blinked at just the right moment in the early parts of Revenge of the Fallen, you may have missed the small moment where a Star Wars character made a very brief appearance. In the important scene late in the film where Jetfire’s parts are beginning to merge with Optimus Prime, there is one part that looks very familiar. It is hard to see completely, but it looks to have the same shape and feet of the little robot from a galaxy far, far away.
When watching the movie in real time, this would likely go completely unnoticed unless you were looking for it specifically. It took place at a point where Optimus Prime was trying to get stronger for his final battle and fans were more likely focused on who was avoiding death and who would be killed off before the end of the film.
7. Sam’s New Girlfriend In Dark Of The Moon
There were some fans who were happy to see Megan Fox not return for the third movie in the franchise. But Sam Witwicky needs some arm candy as he attempts to help the Autobots protect the world from being destroyed. This leads to them bringing in Carly, who becomes Sam’s new girlfriend after they met when Sam received honors for the heroics in the first two films. But Carly is based on another character from the classic Transformers cartoon series.
Carly is the name of Spike Witwicky’s wife from the original series in the 1980s. Spike was actually the inspiration to Sam’s overall character by more than just sharing the same last name. Both were the first to be introduced to the Autobots in their respective series. Both Sam and Spike would become heroes themselves while also representing the humans as Autobot allies.
6. Michael Bay Recycles Car Chase Footage
This falls under the category of likely missed unless you religiously watched every Michael Bay movie. If you are a part of that group, then parts of the car chase scene in Dark of the Moon look very familiar. The original shooting of that scene saw one of the extras get injured. Instead of doing the shoot again, Bay decided to find some footage from one of his older films called The Island (2005).
When watching both scenes, it’s essentially replacing a piece of road debris with a Deception. Or car parts hitting others being replaced with artillery. This might have been one of the few times Bay was caught using footage from another film. He has certainly given nods to his earlier work with other Easter eggs. But there were no scenes from films like Bad Boys and Armageddon that had exploding Decepticons added.
5. Megatron Sitting In Abraham Lincoln’s Seat
Throughout the entire film franchise, the Transformers have given nods to their past in a number of different ways. However, the Dark of the Moon movie actually had a number of moments that were inspired by moments from the 1980s animated cartoon series. One such scene from Dark of the Moon saw Megatron decided to remove the Abraham Lincoln statue from his seat at his memorial in Washington, D.C.
This actually happened in animated form in the 1980s during the second season of the series in an episode titled “City of Steel.” This wasn’t the first Easter egg regarding this specific episode. Just like in the same episode, Optimus Prime actually loses his arm during the battle. However, the 2011 film made this moment a little more graphic with wires sticking out from where Prime lost his arm.
4. Cobra Commander Logo Found In Age Of Extinction
Not all Hasbro product placements necessarily involve the not-as-cool characters like Furby and My Little Pony. In fact, the third movie in 2011 also gives a nod to another one of Hasbro’s major toy lines – G.I. Joe. During the scene where Lockdown uses his ship’s magnet to try and capture the good guys, er, I mean good bots. When the magnet stops and they start to fall back, there is a very brief moment where some posters are shown.
Among them is one that looks to have the Cobra Commander logo shown. In case you didn’t know, Cobra Commander is considered to be the main rival group that fought against the G.I. Joe Army. While it is certainly a little bit modified from the original, it’s still something that can be seen by someone who now watches the film and looks for it.
3. Shooting Star For Steven Spielberg
When looking through Steven Spielberg’s career in producing and directing films, he often leaves a bit of a signature in a number of his films. One of them is a single shooting star that can be found in a number of his classic films that include Jaws, Indiana Jones, Saving Private Ryan and The Adventures of Tintin. Considering that Spielberg has been the executive producer for the four released films in the franchise, it shouldn’t be too shocking to see a nod to Spielberg in the films.
Michael Bay had a single shooting star go over Mark Wahlberg’s character in an early scene in the movie. It was out of place and didn’t really belong with the rest of the movie. The only reason it was there was to provide the subtle nod to Bay’s coworker, who has been one of the most influential minds of the film industry.
2. Line From The Big Lebowski
This might be considered a nod to one of the legendary actors involved in the Transformers series. Or maybe you want to look at it as a nod to one of the cult-classic films from the 1990s. During one of the scenes involving Bumblebee, he would use an audio clip that said “I’m perfectly calm, dude.” That voice might sound familiar to anyone who listens closely to Autobot Hound. The same man is the voice for both, but technically from different movies.
In 1998, John Goodman portrayed Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski who had more than just a few screws loose. He also voiced the Autobot Hound, who seemed to be more of a run-and-gun military veteran; similar to the mindset of Sobchak from The Big Lebowski. It was a fun little Easter egg noticed by fans of the 1998 classic that also featured Jeff Bridges.
1. War On Terror And Playing Cards
One of the interesting facts about the members of the U.S. military forces fighting in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s government: Playing cards were handed out to the troops that portrayed many of the most wanted men on the U.S. government’s list in terms of their war against terrorism. Interesting enough, this was seemingly incorporated into the Age of Extinction film where Harold Attinger has playing cards with the faces of Transformers shown.
The red “x” is shown over a face of someone who was killed in previous action, i.e. Ironhide in Dark of the Moon. While most of the Easter eggs and nods are towards Transformers’ history in comics and cartoons, this was one of the rare moments something from real life history was brought into the current film series.