The reuse of characters or items from a previous work in Easter Egg cameos
in a newer one (similar to a fictional Production Posse
or metafictional Continuity Cameo
). In some cases, this lays down the basis of a Verse
If it's something the actor did rather than the production team, it's an Actor Allusion
. If the work in question is an unreleased earlier version of the same work, it's a Development Gag
When this is done for works that haven't yet been released, it's Production Foreshadowing
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Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima! is full of Shout Outs to Ken Akamatsu's previous series, Love Hina. Outside the numerous Expys, Tama the turtle has a cameo, the famous "Naru Punch" makes a reappearance, and one of Motoko's sword techniques sees some use in Negima. In addition, several characters from Love Hina make reappearances in Negima. The creator also confirmed that the hotel at which the characters stay in (one of) Negima's Beach Episodes is the same one where Naru and Keitaro stayed.
- Akamatsu also confirmed that Nitta-sensei is the same Nitta-sensei from his first series, AI Love You. Not to mention that Negima's Big Bad Fate Averruncus is a rather obvious expy of Program Number 0.
Film - Animation
- Disney does this quite a few times within their films:
- Sebastian is pulled out of a book Genie is flipping through in Aladdin. A Beast toy is also seen in the Sultan's collection.
- Both Pumbaa and Belle cameo in the background of France during the 'Out There' sequence of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- A tea set that looks remarkably similar to Mrs. Potts appears in a quick shot of Tarzan
- The Princess and the Frog so far takes the crown; it makes countless little references to past Disney films, some less obvious than others. Given that the film itself was made with the intention of being a throwback to many of these films in the first place, its quite fitting.
- Pixar does this in most, if not all, of its feature films, usually with characters from its shorts:
- The lamp from Pixar's (canonically) "first" short, Luxo Jr. crushes the i in "Pixar" in the studio's standard Vanity Plate.
- The ball from the same short likewise appears in pretty much every movie they ever make.
- Similarly, the Pizza Planet delivery van in every film since Toy Story.
- The old man Geri from "Geri's Game" reappears as a toy repair man in Toy Story 2.
- Mike from Monsters, Inc. appears swimming during the credits of Finding Nemo.
- The logo for Buy n Large from WALL•E has made some appearances in later work as well (most notably, Buzz Lightyear's bateries in Toy Story 3).
Film - Live Action
- George Lucas films reuse the number 1138, after his debut feature, THX 1138 (which was itself derived from his phone number when he made the original student film version). Due to Lucas's influence, other filmmakers get in on the act:
- Stanley Kubrick would re-insert "CRM 114" into his later movies, after the name of the plot-critical device in Dr. Strangelove. Other filmmakers get in on the act as well:
- Likewise, Kevin Smith films reuse the number 37, after the number of dicks Dante's girlfriend sucked in Clerks.
- The DHARMA Initiative logo appears at the beginning of J. J. Abrams' Cloverfield.
- The Hanso Foundation, DHARMA's financial backer, is mentioned in the credits of Abrams' Mission: Impossible III.
- A DHARMA logo is also hidden in Abrams' 2009 Star Trek reboot.
- An Oceanic Airlines advertisement appears in Fringe, another show by J. J. Abrams.
- Quentin Tarantino
- Machete, star of his own (no longer fictional) movie, shares the name, actor, and occupational field of a character from Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids and nothing else.
- Composer Mark Knopfler said that he would write the music for The Princess Bride only if Rob Reiner worked the hat he wore as Marty DiBergi in This Is Spinal Tap into it. Although he couldn't get the exact same hat, a similar one appears among Fred Savage's things around the head of his bed. (Knopfler later replied he was joking about the refusal to work on the film.)
- The character Nobody from Dead Man has a cameo in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and says his catchphrase, "Stupid fucking white man!"
- Made, the Spiritual Successor to Swingers, includes a vanity license plate reading "DBLDN21." This is a reference to the scene in Swingers where Vince Vaughn's character insists that you always double down on an 1l.
- In The Postman, Kevin Costner threatens someone with a spoon, certainly a reference to Alan Rickmans famous line "Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon" from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where Costner played Robin Hood.
- In the Community episode "Investigative Journalism" Jack Black played a character named "Buddy Austen", who shares a last name with Jack Austen, the main character in the unsold TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack (created by by Community creator Dan Harmon) also played by Jack Black. Also, Owen Wilson, who voiced Heat Vision, made a cameo appearance in the same episode.
- MS Paint Adventures has jokes from earlier adventures in the same series as well as unrelated old webcomics by the same author. Thus, in Homestuck, you have allusions to pumpkins disappearing and retrieval of arms from the author's first experiments with the format. Much later on, a plot development where one character is thrown in jail is clearly imitating the style of Jailbreak, the first comic on the MSPA website.
- Anders Sandberg, one of the big contributors to Orion's Arm has worked on several rpgs in the past, including Big Ideas Grand Vision. Every human colony from this game has been transplanted into Orion's Arm, after being suitably altered to fit in with the new setting.
- In The Simpsons, characters from Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic strip (usually Bongo) sometimes appear as stuffed toys.
- In the early 1990s Simpsons arcade game, they appeared as enemies in the Dream Land level (as well as every interstitial title screen).
- In Futurama, Bongo appears in a pet shop.
- Sintel features characters from the Blender Foundations two previous shorts. In the market scene, you can clearly see Proog from Elephants Dream, and the butterflies in the bamboo forest are just a Palette Swap of the ones from Big Buck Bunny.
- The Pound Puppies (2010) episode "Olaf in Love" uses the instrumental of the "Cutie Mark Crusaders Song" from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Show Stoppers".
- And considering who created the show, one episode has Olaf suggesting they give out flyers to Third Street School.
- The film grain effect of the title sequence of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy hides this, but the gravestones are inscribed with the names of three fellow series (Evil Con Carne, Time Squad, and Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?), all of which were cancelled during the production the show's first solo season.
- Doug's 1st Movie used background music from another Jumbo Pictures show, 101 Dalmatians: The Series. (Note: Doug came before Dalmatians, but the movie came out after Dalmatians ended)
- ChalkZone would frequently use background music cues from the original Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts of The Fairly OddParents. Note that both shows were produced by the same studio, spun-off from Oh Yeah! Cartoons, and both were/are composed by Guy Moon. Later ChalkZone episodes would sometimes use background music cues from earlier episodes of OddParents.