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Production Throwback

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"Man, the Walt Donkey studio has been on a roll lately!"
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 & Manga 
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi 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, A.I. 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 Outs 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.
  • Ooyasan wa Shishunki! features the cast of Komori-san Can't Decline! (the anime of which was also produced by Genco, a season before) in its seventh episode, among the crowd of students having soup. This mirrors how the cast of the former appeared in the latter.
  • The Eromanga Sensei anime features multiple cameos from Oreimo, since they both share the same authors. Episode 8 features Kuroneko and her sister as passerbys interviewed on TV, and another episode haves Kyosuke, Kirino, Kuroneko and Saori appear in the background.
  • Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale has the group go a Wagnaria!! branch, alluding to A-1 Pictures' lastest installment of the animated franchise the previous year.
  • When Kaguya's class does a cosplay cafe for the culture festival in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, one of her classmates is dressed up as IA (who was designed by series author Aka Akasaka). There are also several references to the author's previous series ib: Instant Bullet, like a character named Yume who dresses up as a witch and Fujiwara's Love Detective hat looking just like the one that Sera wore.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun often makes references to the author's other concurrent work, Ore-sama Teacher.
    • Sakura's shelf in Episode 1 of the anime has a charm of Usa-chan from Ore-sama Teacher.
    • While Sakura is diligently "studying" shoujo manga (after being jealous by how well Rei and Nozaki got along with their shoujo manga conversations), she can be heard muttering various tropes—"Ore-sama", "age difference", "cat and dog relationship", and "childhood friends"—that perfectly describes Mafuyu and Takaomi of Ore-sama Teacher.
  • Episode 6 of Interviews with Monster Girls has a scene where Takahashi explains to Himari that her sister is not just either a human or a vampire, but the sum of all her life experiences. This is shown with a scene of film reels coming together to form a picture of Hikari: said picture is identical to the cover of the manga's first volume.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — 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 Magic Kingdom version of 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 Owl the deed to Toad Hall, and of Pooh meeting Moley. A statue of Toad was also placed in the pet cemetery outside of the Haunted Mansion.
      • Similarly, Disneyland's version of the attraction made a nod to its previous occupant, the Country Bear Playhouse, by featuring the heads of Max, Huff, and Melvin mounted on a wall.
    • 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).
    • Horizons was a dark ride that ran in Epcot's Future World from 1982 to 1999. It was torn down then, and replaced in 2003 with Mission: SPACE. The center of the gravity wheel in Mission: SPACE's queue has the Horizons logo, and a stylized version also appears on the front of the checkout counter in the Cargo Bay gift shop at the exit to the attraction.
      • The post-show for Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom received several tributes to Horizons following a 2009 refurbishment.
  • 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.
    • According to the artbook, Snake's long hair in the briefing sequence in Metal Gear Solid is supposed to be the same hairstyle as Jonathan from Policenauts. His Important Haircut is a joke signaling to the player that they should forget about Policenauts, because it's time for Metal Gear Solid now.
  • 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.
    • The WayForward-developed River City Girls has a reversed situation by incorporating various Double Dragon characters owned by Arc System Works, most notably the Lee brothers, Marian and Abobo, who are all clearly the Neon incarnations of them since WayForward developed that game. It even includes an appearance by its main villain Skullmageddon, still voiced by that game's director Sean Velasco.
  • 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 projects of his, most notably video games. 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. Undertale, particularly the endings and final bosses of its multiple routes, contains plenty of references to The Halloween Hack, including the Game Over screen during the Flowey boss fight being similar to Dr. Andonuts's, Sans claiming he's simply leaving when you mortally wound him being exactly what Andonuts did, and the final set of minibosses being called Amalgamates.
  • Masahiro Sakurai was the man responsible for both Kirby and Super Smash Bros., and both franchises have referenced each other from the start. Master Hand, the traditional Final Boss of the latter series, was based on Wham Bam Rock from Kirby Super Star, and even appeared alongside Crazy Hand from Melee in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror as the ninth boss. The remake of Super Star, acknowledging the roots of Master Hand, made Wham Bam Rock a Trick Boss in one of the new modes while introducing Wham Bam Jewel, a nod to Crazy Hand.
  • The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, made by Vicarious Visions as a remake of the original Naughty Dog trilogy, contains a musical reference to the VV-made Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced in the fight with Dr. Nefarious Tropy in the remake of the third game. Near the beginning of his battle theme, three repeating notes get emphasized more than in the original - the same notes that were repeated throughout most of Tropy's battle theme in N-Tranced.
  • Kingdom Hearts III:
    • While the game largely cut back on Square-Enix characters beyond the Moogles, one notable exception was made. As the devs for the Gummi sections were from the team that made Einhänder, that game's penultimate boss, Schwartzgeist, makes a return as the Gummi superboss, complete with its Clipped-Wing Angel form Monitor and a remix of Thermosphere. As an Easter Egg, if you find the hidden Endymion blueprint and fight Schwartzgeist with it, the original version of Thermosphere plays instead.
    • The Game Within a Game Verum Rex is a pretty blatant knockoff of Final Fantasy XV, of which Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura was working on when it was still known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The main character is even named "Yozora", whose meaning is identical to "Noctis", "night sky". The endings of both the main game and Re Mind double down on the Versus XIII references, with the Secret Ending track "Secrets of the Night" having a Musical Nod to "Somnus" (both composed by Yoko Shimomura) and the Limitcut Episode ending being an almost-perfect shot-for-shot recreation of the opening of Versus XIII's 2011 trailer.
  • Chapter 7 of Celeste is one big throwback to the original freeware version of the game. Madeline ditches her backpack, making her look more like the player sprite from the freeware version, and her hair changes color as she gains a second air dash as a result of her Enemy Without finally agreeing to merge with her and help her climb back up the mountain after knocking her off, an ability that you get partway through the freeware version. Also like the freeware version, the game starts measuring how high up you are in meters after finishing each part of the chapter.
  • The movie-themed floor in Luigi's Mansion 3 has a gallery of pictures referencing games that its developer Next Level Games has previously worked on, including one of Little Mac and Mario kicking a ball.
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair makes use of a remix of "Jungle Challenge", a music track originally made for the Yooka-Laylee kickstarter pitch but never added to the actual game, as its menu theme.
  • It's common practice to reuse musical themes and legendary weapon names in Fire Emblem in later installments in new contexts.

  • 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.
  • Artist Ursula Vernon created a line of fake merchandise for the non-existent Red Wombat Tea Company ("We dig tea"). In her podcast The Hidden Almanac, Red Wombat Tea Company is said to be the Almanac's major sponsor.

    Western Animation