We've all had that moment when we're watching a movie and we recognize something that we've seen before. Something that reminds us of something else. We call them reminders. Sometimes it's blatant robbery. Sometimes it's a tribute. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. But there are moments, like the scenes on this list, where the scene is clearly a tribute, a small little tip of the cap that only fans of both films recognize. Whether it's one director's way of saying "hey there!" to another, or "thanks for being awesome," or just a director looking back at their own films (totally self-promoting themselves), these little tributes are great. They make us smile and feel a little bit better about wasting our entire weekend of sunshine inside the house crushing movie after movie.
Most of the references are subtle. You can't just give throw-around references all willy nilly. You want to make your audiences work to connect the dots, give them a feeling of accomplishment for putting it all together. In many of the examples here, one director is paying back another for giving them a plug in their movie. A little, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Whatever the reasons, these references are just part of what makes the movie world so amazing. We speak and understand coded references based on our movie-watching experience. The more we watch the more we understand. It's like a prize with absolutely no monetary value attached to it. In some cases, the entire scene can signify in a unique way because of these intertextual links.
There are so many examples, but these are the best of the best. After this list you'll know more than most people do, at least in terms of movie tributes. You'll understand the movies better, and you'll be able to help others understand the movie better. Here are the greatest 15 movies with hidden tributes for another movie.
15 Star Trek Sees Someone From Star Wars
14 The Social Network Looks Up Fight Club
13 Kick-Ass Likes Scott Pilgrim vs The World Like Kick-Ass
12 Back to the Future Looks Back At The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
11 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Flashes Back To The Nightmare Before Christmas
10 Swingers Steals From Reservoir Dogs
9 Toy Story Meets The Shining
8 Jurassic Park Watching Jaws
7 Rango Remembers Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
6 Maverick Gets Lethal Weapon Déjà Vu
5 Star Wars in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and E.T. in Star Wars
4 Watchmen Erases Batman
3 Pulp Fiction Runs Into Psycho
2 Evil Dead II Pays Back A Nightmare on Elm Street
1 Piranha 3D Nods Its Cap To Jaws
There are few things as beautiful as an actor reliving a character from their past. Alright, a tad understated. It's the most beautiful thing there is. In Piranha 3D, there's an amazing moment when Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) is fishing—yes, he's playing the same character he did in Jaws 35 years ago. He's also singing "Show Me The Way To Go Home," the song he, Quint and Brody sing when they're plastered. It's all really perfect until a beer bottle falls to the bottom of the lake, cracking open a connection to an ancient lake underneath, which starts a whirlpool that ultimately dumps Hooper into the water where piranhas eat him up. Before that point though, everything was perfect. The original Piranha was a little coy about owning its relationship to Jaws. It tried to ride the wave that Jaws made, but it never really acknowledged it… until Piranha 3D at least.
Sources: IMDB, CheatSheet, HuffingtonPost
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