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.

     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 


     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 

     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.


  • 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  
  • 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.