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.
- UQ Holder!also has Shout-Out's to Love Hina. There is a character named Shinobu with the same design as Love Hina's Shinobu. There is also a recreation of Keitarou's first visit to Hinata inn featuring Shinobu's first visit to Senkyokan inn.
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.
- In Hercules Hercules wears a lion skin that looks like Scar from The Lion King, likely referencing the scene where Zazu snidely tells Mufasa that Scar "would make a very handsome throw rug."
- 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).
- In The Incredibles, the call-sign of Helen's plane is "India Golf Niner-Niner", or "IG-99", in reference to writer/director Brad Bird's previous film The Iron Giant (I.G.), which was released in 1999 (99).
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:
- Matt Damon can be seen entering the last few digits of these numbers for the elevator access code in Ocean's Eleven.
- It appears on a door in big, obvious numbers in a shot practically set up just to frame it in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
- 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:
- Some sound equipment in the opening scene of Back to the Future.
- 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.
- Quentin Tarantino
- Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple cigarettes
- The shared surname of the Vega brothers, Vic and Vincent.
- Sheriff Earl McGraw from Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill and both Grindhouse movies.
- The Dude, She's Like, in a Coma! rapist from Kill Bill re-appears as the guy with the car for the second half of Tarantino's later film Death Proof.
- Alabama from True Romance gets fleetingly mentioned in Reservoir Dogs as Mr White's former partner in crime. It assumes Tarantino's original ending of True Romance.
- 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.
- Disney has practically made an art form of this in their theme parks. If a ride is remade, expect some reference to the original to be present somewhere in the new version, typically in the queue area. It would actually be easier to list the rides that DON'T follow this trope. Some notable examples:
- In the most recent incarnation of the Imagination ride ("Journey into Imagination with Figment"), one of the offices in the Imagination Institute Sense Lab belongs to one "Dean Finder", a call-back to Dreamfinder from the original version of the ride.
- In "Test Track", the emblem to the pavilion's original ride, "World of Motion", is visible in the queue.
- In "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", various references to the site's former occupant, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. These include pictures in Owl's house of Mr. Toad handing over a deed to Owl and Pooh meeting Moley.
- In the new version of "Star Tours", the previous version's host, REX, can be seen in a crate bound for his home factory (with a "DEFECTIVE" label stamped on it).
- Universal Studios also does this from time to time. Most notably they paid homage to the now-defunct "Back to the Future: The Ride" by including a reference to a (bankrupt) Dr. Brown in the queue for the ride that replaced it, "The Simpsons Ride".
- Telltale's first game, Telltale Texas Hold'Em featured a mustached character named "Boris Krinkle", in which one possible line of dialogue has the character of Grandma telling him that he looks more like a 'Leonard Steakcharmer'." Naturally, when you first meet Leonard, sans mustache, in Telltale's Sam & Max episode The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball, you get the option to say he looks more like a Boris Krinkle.
- Hideo Kojima has a habit of inserting references to his previous works in his newer works, beginning with Snatcher, which included references to Metal Gear (such as Gillian's robotic companion modeled after the Metal Gear mecha), and then with Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (which referenced the Snatcher Project and canonized Dr. Pettrovich's surname as "Madnar"), Policenauts (which included plenty of Metal Gear and Snatcher references), and the Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series (which included several Policenauts and Metal Gear Solid references). The most popular example is the transplant of Meryl Silverburgh, originally a Policenauts character, into Metal Gear Solid.
- Before creating Kingdom of Loathing, Team Asymmetric created a game called Krakrox the Barbarian. At least one item from that game appears in Kol, the Ring of Half-Assed Regeneration.
- And there's also an item that lets you play as Krakrox for a few adventures.
- And now Krakrox's Loincloth, "originally owned by the famous barbarian adventurer Krakrox," is part of the Seal Clubber's Legendary Regalia.
- The arcade version of Double Dragon features the red sports car from Data East's FMV game Road Blaster (a.k.a. Road Avenger) inside Billy and Jimmy's garage, as well as a billboard advertising Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun (the Japanese version of Renegade) just before the first boss battle. Both were games previously directed by Yoshihisa Kishimoto, the director of Double Dragon. In the arcade version of Double Dragon II, the helicopter from Cobra Command (Kishimoto's other FMV game he did for Data East) appears in the garage at the beginning as well.
- As mentioned on the Production Foreshadowing page, Madworld has an ad in the subway for The Gates of Hell, the bar from Bayonetta, which was still in development at that time. Then, in Bayonetta, Madworld receives a Call Back, at The Gates of Hell coincidentally.
Rodin: No matter how much you ask, I'm not strapping a chainsaw to your arm. note
- A solid third of The Binding of Isaac features characters from Ed McMillen's other games. Meatboy of Super Meat Boy fame shows up as an item (he's a familiar that'll follow you around and munch on your enemies) and several other SMB characters show up as either items or bosses. Gish shows up as a boss and related drop, Steve from Time Fcuk likewise, and even the obscure Triachnid has been made into a boss.
- Toby Fox has included remixes of his song "Megalovania" in various video game projects of his. First appearing as the final boss theme for The Halloween Hack, it later appeared in Homestuck (which he contributed music to), and its latest appearance being Undertale, where it plays during the boss fight with Sans, during the Genocide route.
- 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.
- In The Simpsons, characters from Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic strip (usually Bongo) sometimes appear as stuffed toys.
- Sintel features characters from the Blender Foundation's two previous shorts. In the market scene, you can clearly see Proog from Elephant's 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.