Easter eggs in films have become a favorite of movie fans everywhere. They are like a scavenger hunt… or an Easter egg hunt… OH!!! Erm, yeah, of course, that’s what the term means. Anyways, Easter eggs give fans a reason to go back and scour the film from start to finish, trying to identify where every last egg is, what they all mean and why they’re there in the first place. If nothing else, they give films a rewatchability factor (not a word) that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Many films, especially comic book and animated films, litter their frames with these hidden messages. These days, they’re easy to find because a new article comes out daily highlighting every single possible Easter egg in every new release. It can be exhausting trying to keep track of them all. So, we’ve gone and done you a solid. We’ve gathered the best of the Easter eggs from the best films of 2016, so you don’t have to.
When it comes to these Easter eggs and their placement in movies, things haven’t changed all that much in 2016 from the years gone by. Pixar is still writing A113 on everything in Disney Pixar films (as if people still care), Marvel is making obscure comic book references for the diehard fanboys to snort and chortle over in the theaters and every other filmmaker is throwing in something just to try to gain entrance to the party. Same old same old. Well, they’re not all the same. Even though we’ve been so inundated with references and Easter eggs over years that we’ve become hard to impress, there have still been some truly clever ones in 2016. For every 20 boring Easter eggs or references, there’s been one gem. These are the ones we’re after.
So, here they are, the 15 Most Creative Easter Eggs in 2016 Films.
15. Batman v Superman – Darkseid
Despite the many Easter eggs in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’re going to be honest; no single one was all that great. However, the Darkseid nightmare was pretty epic and worth mentioning, if only because of how important it is for the future of that film franchise. It begins with Batman having a waking nightmare, visions of a potential future it seems. He’s all rugged and he walks out on a barren wasteland. On the ground is a giant omega symbol, which immediately screams Darkseid for comic fans. We also see flaming pits that are very similar to the pits on Darkseid’s home planet, Apokolips. Then there’s the parademons, those winged creatures that attack Batman and the Superman police guys. These might have given away the Darkseid connection because it was obvious what they were, but it was still a neat moment for comic fans and gives them something big to look forward to.
14. Warcraft – The Murloc
It’s small and it was ruined during the marketing of this film, but the Murloc Easter egg in Warcraft was a beautiful moment for anyone who ever played the game. When Khadgar and Lothar’s son are travelling to the inn, they pass over a bridge. It’s nighttime, so it can be hard to see, but keen eyes might have spotted something fishing down below the bridge and clued in right away. For anyone who missed seeing it, they almost certainly heard the iconic murmuring/gurgling sound that these creatures make. It might not have been the most fanboyish of the Easter eggs in the film, but it was one that was clever and iconic enough that almost everyone could enjoy.
13. Captain America: Civil War – Iconic Comic Shots
While recreating images from the comics in a film isn’t necessarily new, the iconic scenes they chose to replicate from the Civil War comic by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven in Captain America: Civil War had something extra special about them. It was more than just that seven-issue comic though. There was also Spider-Man webbing Cap’s shield, Ant-Man and Hawkeye, as well as several other major moments from the tilt between Iron Man and Captain America. It made for a film that connected to its comic book roots in a much more powerful way than what is typical for Marvel films to date.
12. The Nice Guys – The Gosling
If you haven’t treated yourself to the fantastic buddy comedy, The Nice Guys, get on that immediately. In a genre of films that doesn’t typically include Easter eggs, if you can even call it that, fans were given a funny one in this mystery. After Ryan Gosling’s character, Holland March, has his arm broken, he sports a cast for the rest of the film. Not long after he gets it, we see that there’s a drawing of some sort on it. When asked about it, Gosling said, “That was Angourie [Rice],” he says. “We gave her the cast and said, ‘Draw what you want,’ and she drew a duck, a crying duck. And I said, ‘What’s that?’ And she said, ‘It’s you.'” Though she called it a duck, we refuse to accept that. It’s a baby goose. It’s a gosling. That’s sweet.
11. Sausage Party – Saving Private Ryan
Not really an Easter egg in its purest form, but this film reference was just magnificent and we need to talk about it. In Sausage Party, the amount of references to other characters and films are just too numerous to count, but there was one extended reference that was so funny and so well done that most people were able to catch it. It was The Omaha Beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan that we’re talking about here. The animated recreation of the of the scene worked to perfection because the original scene is so memorable. We have the flour spill making the air smoky and foggy, an Oreo looking for the back of his cookie shell, mirroring the soldier looking for his missing arm, and a can of spaghetti trying to put his noodles back into his body like the soldier in Saving Private Ryan with his intestines. It may sound gross but it’s magical.
10. 10 Cloverfield Lane – Bold Futura
OK, so we learned much of this in the viral campaign before 10 Cloverfield Lane came out in theaters, but that doesn’t mean this little Easter egg didn’t help us connect everything. We won’t get into why the connection to Cloverfield is absolutely essential for 10 Cloverfield Lane here, but we will say it’s much more than just satellites. Now, about those satellites. The envelope in the picture was spotted by Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) when she was sneaking around. It confirmed what we heard in the viral campaign, that Howard worked as a telemetry analyst at Bold Futura, a branch of Tagruato, who was in charge of investigating the satellite that fell and awoke the beast in Cloverfield. It also means that he may have been privy to information about a possible invasion of some sort. Either way, the connection in title alone was enough to make this film a powerhouse, but subtle connections like this are great to satiate the fanboys, too.
9. Zootopia – The Millennium Falcon
Though we expected Zootopia to be good, we never expected it to be as good as it was. It was a treat for movie-goers of all ages, but, with all the film and Disney references in it, it was a movie fan’s delight. Of all the references and Easter eggs throughout, the best has got to be the little Star Wars nod, when Judy has to smack the dead car to bring it back to life, just as Han Solo has to do for the Millennium Falcon. Just in case you missed that, one of the directors of Zootopia, Rich Moore, decided to spoil it for you, saying, “There’s a nod to Star Wars when Judy is trying to get the train car moving,” said Moore. “She turns on the power, and the car dies, and she gives it a whack à la the Millennium Falcon, and it comes back to life, à la The Empire Strikes Back.” Thanks Moore. We got it.
8. Ghostbusters – Harold Ramis Bust
It was small and it was subtle, but we’re going to include it in this list of most creative Easter eggs because it was a sweet notion. With all the stars from the original film coming for a cameo (except for Rick Moranis), it was important to try and get Harold Ramis into a shot, but he had died not long before the making of the film. To make sure he got a fair representation, the filmmakers created a bust of Ramis and put it in one of the Columbia University scenes. It’s not hard to see but it is easy to miss, so it wasn’t too heavy-handed; a nice gesture for one of the original ghostbusters and one of the creators of the films as well.
7. Finding Dory – Finding Darla
As with all Disney Pixar films, Easter eggs in Finding Dory were given. Yes. There were plenty. In fact, you’ll probably find a new Easter egg every few minutes in the film, but we aren’t complaining; they’re a ton of fun. In Finding Dory, of all the good Easter eggs and references, there is one that was a little more special than the rest. It was hard to see and just a nice shout-out to the film that made this one possible, Finding Nemo. When Dory finds herself in quarantine at the Marine Life Institute, behind her tank on the wall in the back is a small photo of a little girl holding up a bag with a fish in it. That’s Darla, the little brace-face psycho from Finding Nemo, the one who kills fish for pleasure.
6. BFG – Dreams of Dinosaurs
In director Steven Spielberg’s movie BFG, there’s a small moment that we spotted that we would like to believe is an Easter egg, but it hasn’t been confirmed as one as of yet. Still, it feels right, so we’re saying it is and we’re including it in this list. In one of the dream jars in the film, there is a dinosaur. It’s hard to see it, but it looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. This might not jump off the page as an Easter egg right away but remember who’s at the helm here. Could Spielberg have planted a little T-Rex in one of the jars as a fun little nod to his successful Jurassic Park? It would certainly make a lot of sense.
5. Doctor Strange – The Ghost of Daniel Drumm
If you’ve never heard of Jericho Drumm, better known as Brother Voodoo, this Easter egg from Doctor Strange might not have tickled your fancy, but just wait; it will. So the master at the New York City Sanctum Sanctorum is killed. We learn that his name is Daniel. Later, Doctor Strange is told that he can take over for Master Drumm in New York. If we put two and two together, we can figure out that Master Drumm is Daniel Drumm. So, who’s Daniel Drumm? Well, in the comics, he is the brother and sidekick to Jericho Drumm/Brother Voodoo. In these same comics, Daniel is a ghost. Now that he’s dead in the MCU, it’s a fairly safe bet that we might see ol’ ghosty pants in the future. Or maybe not and this was just a little Easter egg to make us feel smart for piecing it together.
4. The Jungle Book – Cowbell
There were a ton of references in The Jungle Book to the original animated version, other Disney films and blah blah, but there was only one Easter egg that is truly worth talking about and it’s stupendous. When Mowgli first meets King Louie (voiced by Christopher Walken), he walks into a large room with garbage, food and treasure scattered all over the ground. There’s a lot there, so it’s tough to identify any one thing, but, amidst all the randomness, there is a cowbell on the ground. It’s hard to spot at first, but once you see it, it can’t be unseen. Young fans might not understand why a cowbell is there or even care, but lovers of SNL, Christopher Walken and hilarious things in general will immediately put it all together. It seems that Walken’s Louie, like his SNL character, Bruce Dickinson, loves cowbell. In the sketch, Dickinson is a music producer that requests more and more cowbell in the track they’re recording to the point where it dominates the song. Ack. Just go watch it rather than have us describe it.
3. Star Trek Beyond – Russian Whiskey
In Star Trek Beyond, the late Anton Yelchin had a great line about scotch whiskey being invented “by a little old lady in Moscow.” To the uninitiated, this might just be something funny that Pavel Chekov would say, maybe even confusing whiskey with vodka, but it’s part of a much larger joke. In the original Star Trek series, Chekov (Walter Koenig) would often make erroneous claims about things with well-known origins originating in Russia instead. In fact, this same Scotch joke was used in “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode, except it was Leningrad and not Moscow.
2. The Conjuring 2 – The Demon’s Name
In The Conjuring 2, the demon that’s parading around being a nuisance is easily beaten, one just needs to know its name. When Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) remembers that she wrote down the demon’s name, she has the key to beating it, but, it turns out, that the name had been hiding in plain sight all throughout the movie. The filmmakers had a bit of fun placing the demon’s name, Valak, all over the place in the Warren’s house. It’s written in children’s blocks by the kitchen table, on the bookshelf, on the lettered bracelets and it’s even written on the walls. It’s possible that there are even more places that haven’t been found yet, but this little something extra in Conjuring 2 just adds to what is already an excellent film.
1. Deadpool – My Most Prized Possession
Like most comic book movies, Deadpool was chockfull of references and little Easter eggs for fans of the comics and the film adaptations. Some of the jokes and references were subtle, while others were impossible to miss. One of the clear-cut Easter eggs (probably closer to a in-joke) was actually one of the best moments in the film. When Wade’s going through his things, he grabs a Weapon XI action figure from X-Men Origins: Wolverine film and calls it “my most prized possession,” only to reveal that he’s really talking about a WHAM! record. We all knew that a jab or two was coming at the expense of this much-hated film, but the way the team behind Deadpool went about it was perfect. They ridiculed Reynolds’ previous comic book attempts without making too big of a deal about it.