Production Throwback

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.
  • 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 


     Live-Action TV  

  • 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.

     Tabletop Games 

     Theme Parks 

  • 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".

     Video Games  

  • 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.

     Web Original  

  • 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.

     Western Animation