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Mythology Gag / Live-Action Films

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Films and film franchises with their own pages:

Film Examples:

  • In Addams Family Values the new son is named "Pubert". This would have been Pugsley's name but for the TV censors of the 1960s.
  • One of the few high marks of 2000's The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle is when the villains are seen exiting a hospital's J Ward.
  • Annie:
    • One TV spot shows Guy, Stack's political adviser, call Annie by the original strip's title to the press.
      Guy: There she is, our little orphan Annie!
      Annie: Foster kid.
    • Stacks first meets Annie across the street from a place called Punjab Harlem Cleaning Supply, named for the bodyguard character in the original comics.
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    • Stacks' opponent in the mayoral race is named Harold Gray, after the comic strip's creator.
    • The opening scene at school begins with a red-haired Caucasian girl named Annie giving a presentation. We then immediately meet our protagonist, who is also named Annie. Said Caucasian girl was played by Taylor Richardson, who took on the role of Annie in the 2013 Broadway revival of the stage show.
    • The band playing in the bar where Guy hatches his plan with Hannigan is called the Leapin' Lizards, which was the newspaper comic strip Annie's Catchphrase.
    • Stacks and Grace start yelling until one of the other foster children reminds them that Annie can't hear them. This is a throwback to the original movie where Warbucks and Grace yell for Annie during the car chase.
    • Stacks is randomly discovered by Annie to actually be bald partway through the film, wearing a very realistic wig. It's only ever alluded to once shortly afterwards. Warbucks, who Stacks is based off, was the world's richest bald man.
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    • The music that plays during Harold Gray's TV advertisement is an instrumental of "N.Y.C."
    • Annie's report at school is about the New Deal policies. The musical and the 1982 film had Franklin D. Roosevelt as a supporting character and he alluded to his future policies for the economy.
    • When Annie asks Grace about the millions of servants and the chef, it's a reference to Mister Warbuck's servants (and chef).
  • The A-Team:
    • B.A.'s "pity da fool" line is referenced with his Knuckle Tattoos, a black van belonging to B.A. and similar to the TV series' iconic one gets crushed early on and the original theme tune plays during the 3D film in the psychiatric hospital.
    • The original Opening Theme is laced throughout the soundtrack, as it was in the original show (albeit more prominently back then).
  • The Avengers:
    • When Steed finds the entrance to Sir August's underground base, he calls out "Mrs. Peel, you're needed", a reference to the Catchphrase of the original TV show: "Mrs. Peel, we're needed."
    • Steed's Nice Hat and Sword Cane Umbrella of Pain and the Spy Catsuit Mrs. Peel and her clone wear.
    • The streets of London being entirely empty of cars and pedestrians except for the title characters and anyone following them.
    • The scene at the end where they drink champagne is a reference to the opening sequence in the original show where Mrs. Peel shoots off the cork of a champagne bottle and they pour champagne into glasses — or to a number of episodes that also end with drinking champagne.
  • Batman:
    • In 1989, Prince's "Batdance" video, which aired on MTV, had as one of its opening lyrics the chorus of "BAT-MAAAAN!" in an obvious nod to the 1960s series.
    • Batman Forever:
      • As they assault The Riddler's fortress, Robin references his predecessor's fill-in-the-blank "Holy X, Batman!" Catchphrase from the 60s TV series, even as they emulate the series' classic climb-up-the-wall sequences:
      Robin: Holey rusted metal, Batman!
      Batman: Huh?
      Robin: The ground, it's all metal. It's full of holes. You know, holey.
      Batman: Oh.
      • Also, Robin considers "Nightwing" as his superhero alias, an alias which he eventually took in the comics on graduating from sidekick-dom, and when Edward Nygma is considering aliases he could use as a villain, one he thinks about is "The Puzzler", which is the name of a largely forgotten Superman villain with a similar schtick to the Riddler's. It's debatable whether or not the last one is intentional, though.
      • Two-Face is defeated by Batman throwing a bunch of coins and confusing him, very similar to the ending of the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Two-Face Part Two"
    • The Dark Knight Trilogy
      • In the film Batman Begins, a mobster named Zsasz is shown on trial. In a miscarriage of justice, he receives a verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" due to Dr. Crane's false testimony. In the comic books, Zsasz is a serial killer who really is insane. In particular, he's a serial killer who keeps tally marks of his victims etched in his skin as scars, and, in one scene, the movie Zsasz shows similar scars on the back of his neck.
      • There's this line from Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight regarding Bruce's new armor after he had problems with a dog in the previous suit:
      Lucius: Should do fine against cats.
      Although that could be Foreshadowing instead of a Mythology Gag, as Catwoman does indeed appear in The Dark Knight Rises.
      • Also, the red-headed Wayne Enterprises employee who uncovers Bruce's secret identity is "Mr. Reese" — 'Mysteries'... 'Enigmas'... Riddles....
      • With a sharp eye, you can see that both this and The Dark Knight do a similar combo Mythology Gag Chekhov's Gun. In Batman Begins, Bruce calls all his guests "Two-faced". Two-Face is in The Dark Knight. Catwoman is in The Dark Knight Rises.
      • An early leaked script of Begins featured a gag where Alfred had to remind Bruce to remove his black eye makeup before walking into his birthday party, a Take That! to Micheal Keaton's magically disappearing makeup in Batman Returns.
      • Another scene from The Dark Knight features Bruce Wayne asking Lucius Fox for a new batsuit which would let him move his head. This is most probably a reference to the costumes of earlier Batman movies, which had their helmet attached to the neck and the shoulders, keeping the wearer from turning his head. That's actually a direct reference to the earlier scene involving the drug dealer's dogs. Batman is bitten because the Batman Begins suit is a single molded cowl, like the Burton-era suits. Particularly noticeable in the Burton films, where Batman moves his entire torso to look at someone a foot out of his line of sight.
      • In The Dark Knight, the Joker pushes Batman to run him over with his Bat-Pod. This can draw comparisons to the Joker pushing Batman to attack him in his Batwing in Tim Burton's Batman (1989).
      • During the climactic battle between Batman, the GCPD, and the Joker's goons, he has Lucius Fox send him sonar-based imagery of the surrounding area that he'd been using to search for the Joker. This was to make it possible for him to actually save everyone from the Joker's elaborate trap. This causes his eyes to glow white and makes him look exactly like he does in the DCAU. Although the similarity works with the DCAU incarnation, this also functions as a general shout-out to the comics, where it's traditional to depict the eyes in Batman's cowl as white slits.
      • From Rises, "You should use your real name. It's nice. Robin."
      • Also from The Dark Knight Rises: When Gordon is hospitalized after being shot while escaping from Bane's hidden base in the Gotham sewers, the other cops don't believe his tale, and ask him if 'he saw any giant alligators as well'. This is a reference to another villain named Killer Croc, who looks like a giant, humanoid alligator due to his rare genetic disease, and often appears in Gotham's sewers.
      • In another scene from Rises Bruce shows up to a Masquerade Ball without a costume and dances with Selina, like in Batman Returns.
  • Back when Blair Witch was disguising itself as The Woods, the trailer had a creepy cover of The Police's "I'll Be Watching You". At the end of the first actual Blair Witch trailer, a tiny bit of it can be heard again.
  • In The Bourne Ultimatum, one of the "terminated" victims' files from Vosen's safe has a picture of Richard Chamberlain, who played Jason Bourne in the 1988 adaptation of The Bourne Identity.
  • In The Butchers, Ed Gein uses a chainsaw to drive off the Zodiac Killer: a reference to Gein being the inspiration for Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, despite him never using a chainsaw in his Real Life killings.
  • Cinderella:
    • Drisella is still a terrible singer.
    • Ella's asks her father to bring her back a branch as a present. In the Grimm Brothers version, Ella planted it on her mother's grave and it grew into a tree that provided her the dress for the ball.
    • Cinderella says that she’s never been painted. That’s not entirely accurate...
  • In the remake of Clash of the Titans, when Perseus is rooting through equipment, he considers a golden owl but one of his companions tells him he should leave it. The owl was an important part of the original film. Unusually this isn't to reassure the audience that the film would remain true to the original but more a derisive joke at the expense of this aspect of the original film (sometimes counted as The Scrappy among audiences).
  • Copacabana: In the song, Tony "sailed across the bar" in order to challenge Rico. It doesn't happen quite that way in this version, but he does jump over the bar for unrelated reasons earlier in the story.
  • At the end of Cold Pursuit the cast credits are displayed "In order of Disappearance", which was the title of the original film that this one is remaking.
  • Daredevil:
    • The fighters Matt's father's boss names ("Miller. Mack. Bendis.") are homages to Frank Miller, David Mack, and Brian Michael Bendis, three highly acclaimed writers of the comic.
    • The first criminal Daredevil kills is named Jose Quesada, a nod to then-Marvel EIC Joe Quesada. Quite a few fans got catharsis out of this following One More Day.
  • In Deadly Advice, Jack the Ripper mentions that his occupation was hairdresser. Aaron Kosminski, one of the prinicpal suspects in the original Ripper investigations, was a hairdresser.
  • Dracula Untold:
    • The gypsy Shkelgim says "Yes Master" in a way similar to the way characters said it in other Universal monster movies back in the day.
    • Gypsies serving Dracula recalls the original novel by Stoker, where a small army/clan served as his protectors while escorting the Count back to Transylvania.
    • In the Reincarnation Romance epilogue, Mina asks Vlad where he's from. Although Luke Evans' English accent doesn't give it away, this is a gag on Count Dracula's way of speaking in Dracula. Jonathan Harker noted that Dracula didn't have a heavy accent and instead spoke English perfectly, but with an odd tone.
    • When Vlad's people turn on him after learning of his vampirism, they pretty much become the classic Universal angry mob, complete with Torches and Pitchforks and screams of "burn the monster!"
    • After being burned in the sun, Dracula is revived when Shkelgim drips blood onto his remains, much like in Dracula: Prince of Darkness.
  • In the 2005 Fantastic Four film, Johnny shows Ben the prototype of a Thing action figure. The toy looks very much like the comic version of the Thing (large brow, wider shoulders and longer arms), instead of the movie version. The prototype was modeled after the Thing in the unreleased 1994 film. It's actually a 2002 Toybiz Marvel Legends Thing action figure.
  • The Flintstones
    • Fred and Barney are introduced singing along to "The Twitch" from the self-titled episode.
    • Fred's picture in the The Bedrock News is a drawing of Fred's animated counterpart.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation feature a number of these:
    • A painkiller-addled Ripcord describes Heavy Duty as having "realistic hair" and a "kung-fu grip", which are two of the features advertised with the original G.I. Joe figures back in the 1960s. Close. The hair was the original series figures, the iconic Kung Fu Grip was the 1970-76 Adventure Team re-issues.
    • In one scene, General Hawk remarks "Knowing is half the battle."
    • Another scene has Duke referred to as "a real American hero".
    • During the pivotal chase scene in Paris, Storm Shadow states that Snake Eyes "never gives up", certainly a reference to the classic theme song from the 80s G.I. Joe cartoon series.
    • G.I. Joe as La Résistance? Also done.
    • Cobra soldiers as new U.S. military special forces set against Joes suspected for going renegades is similar to a plotline late in the Devil's Due comics.
    • Duke getting killed off also happened in G.I. Joe: The Movie.
  • In The Godfather Part III, Vincent Mancini's mother is a major character from Mario Puzo's original novel whose plot was almost completely omitted from the first movie for obvious reasons.
  • Godzilla:
    • The films tended to do this, in one form and another, but this was often limited to just referencing a mash of the first and second films, with no mention of the previous films. However, in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, the events of Mothra and War of the Gargantuas are acknowledged, despite the films being released ages ago, and in Godzilla: Final Wars stock footage from Toho's older films appear, indicating that they may indeed have happened. Yes, even Hedorah.
    • Also in Final Wars, Godzilla outright kills off all his opponents, except King Seesar, Anguiras, and Rodan; whom he leaves laying in a comical heap. This may be a nod to the fact that while Godzilla typically fought with all the other monsters, in the 60s and 70s, Godzilla teamed up with those three.
    • Godzilla (2014):
      • The boat on the dock in the final showdown is marked "Go Whale Tours." Godzilla's Japanese name is simply a combination of the word for gorilla, "Go," and "whale."
      • There's a shot of a hole right through a wide skyscraper, as if something dived through it — similar to a hole Zilla made in Godzilla (1998).
      • The backstory involves a nuclear submarine disappearing and the Americans and Soviets blaming each other for it before finding out that a certain nuclear dinosaur was the real culprit. This brings to mind the early scenes of The Return of Godzilla.
      • In this film, Godzilla was first discovered in 1954, the year the original Gojira film was released.
      • The old high-tension wires with electricity pumped through them in an attempt to kill a kaiju is trotted out again.
      • Dr. Serizawa, the man who built the Godzilla-killing oxygen destroyer, is present — but in actuality he fills a role similar to Dr. Yamane/Shigezawa/Hayashida, as scientific adviser to the military on all things prehistoric and deadly.
      • Godzilla being an ancient beast from a time when the conditions on Earth were severely inhospitable and his conflict with other monsters from the same time period references Godzilla Raids Again, more specifically the Gigantis cut. In both, the military attempts to lure fighting kaiju away with a fake-out plan, which falls apart. Also somewhat similar from the original film, which Godzilla is believed to have evolved from a hybrid species of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea reptiles.
      • The kid getting separated from his parents on the train harkens back to when Fumiko and Kazuo were separated in King Kong vs. Godzilla. Even his getup (shirt, shorts and baseball cap) is evocative of the Showa films.
      • Joe's old house contains a moth cocoon marked, uh, "Mothra". More precisely it was in a tank labelled "Dad's Moth", with the label partly covering the marking "Janjira" — spelling out "Dad's Mothra".
      • The media dub Godzilla "King of the Monsters" at the end of the film.
      • There is a large red paper pteranodon in Ford's Japan classroom. Additionally, one can see a theropod dinosaur skeleton and a biology picture of a moth.
      • The echolocation poster in Joe's apartment has a bat and a moth communicating with each other.
      • There is a Stegosaurus toy on the table during the scene where Sam is watching TV footage of Godzilla kicking the crap out of the male MUTO.
      • The way Godzilla's spikes light up is VERY similar to Godzilla: The Series.
      • Godzilla's breath weapon is less a concentrated solid beam that explodes like the 80s-2000s movies but more of a whispier heat wave like his earlier Showa movies.
      • The Navy display on the Saratoga displays Godzilla's name as "Gojira," the Hepburn transliteration of the katakana.
      • Likely unintentional, but in Janjira, we see a giant millipede and a giant cockroach.
      • Just like in 1998 Godzilla, the final act of the film features the human characters setting fire to the villainous monster's nest, but at the cost of invoking the mother's wrath. The only difference is that it's not Godzilla who's angry this time.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has (at least) one amusing gag — when the students first enter the Hog's Head tavern in Hogsmeade, we see the innkeeper shooing a goat from behind the bar. As devoted fans will know, the innkeeper is Dumbledore's brother Aberforth, who once got in trouble for casting "improper charms on a goat".
      • In the corresponding scene in the book, the description notes that the bar "smelled strongly of something that might have been goats."
    • One trailer for Half-Blood Prince emphasizes the Trio's love life. It ends with Dumbledore's deadpan "Ah, to be young and feel love's keen sting." A lot of people will just find it hilarious that Dumbledore had a love life. Most fans of the series will know that Dumbledore is gay, and love stung hard enough to get his sister killed. Presumably, the director was aware of this.
    • In the first film, Nearly Headless Nick mentions that his request to join the Headless Hunt has been denied, a reference to a scene from the second book. Presumably intended as Foreshadowing, but the scene didn't make it into the second film. Also, the ghosts riding through the Great Hall in the third film are presumably the Headless Hunt.
    • Also done in reverse with the books referencing the films. In the Half-Blood Prince book, Slughorn, who keeps getting Ron's name wrong, at one point calls him "Rupert". Rupert Grint, of course, is the actor who plays Ron in the movies.
    • Some casting choices could be considered this too. J. K. Rowling admitted she wrote the character of Snape with Alan Rickman in mind, so who else did they cast as Snape but Alan Rickman himself?
    • Rickman fits hilariously well when "Snape looked as though Christmas had been cancelled" in Chamber of Secrets — referencing his role as Sherrif of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and "calling off Christmas".
  • In Hellboy (2019), Nimue declares that from the ashes of the old world a "new Eden will emerge" similar to Grigori Rasputin's speech before opening the portal from Hellboy (2004).
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie had tons of these, like running into the version of Marvin from the TV series in a queue on Vogosphere, and Zaphod calling Ford "Ix", as well as the original radio series' theme song — "Journey of the Sorcerer" by The Eagles — playing in the scene where the Guide is introduced.
  • In the 2002 Broadway revival of Into the Woods, the Wolf tries to lure in Little Red by pulling a lollipop out of his jacket. In the film, he opens one side of his jacket to reveal a collection of candy.
  • Jack the Giant Slayer:
    • The golden harp from the fairy tale can be seen a handful of times throughout the film.
    • An egg (though jeweled instead of gold like the tale) can also be seen on the table as Jack is speaking to his children in the final moments of the film. Jack picked it up earlier in the film.
  • James Bond:
    • In Casino Royale (2006), a distracted and stressed James Bond orders a martini. When the bartender asks him if he wants it shaken or stirred, Bond snaps, "Do I look like I give a damn?"
    • A completely unplanned one happened when Daniel Craig stumbled on an underwater sand mound while swimming on the Bahamas and decided to stand up. The director kept the blooper in and was surprised when he was applauded by Bond enthusiasts (who had spoken very ill of their decision to cast Daniel Craig in the role during filming) for this "clever homage" to the scene where Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in the first Bond film.
    • And in Octopussy, Bond encounters a snake charmer on the flute playing none other than the James Bond Theme.
    • This may actually be a meta gag — composer Monty Norman says he recycled the tune from an earlier piece of his in a Hindu-themed musical. Hear it here.
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a janitor whistles "Goldfinger".
    • The Milestone Celebration films for 40 (Die Another Day) and 50 years (Skyfall) have plenty of this and Continuity Nod. For starters, the latter has the villain drinking a scotch dated 1962 (the year Dr. No was released - he even quips to Bond "A particular favorite of yours, I understand!"), and Bond going to his childhood home in Scotland.
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, when George Lazenby's Bond fails to seduce a woman, he says "This never happened to the other fellow," referencing the success Bond usually had with women in the films with Sean Connery in the role.
    • In the teaser poster for Spectre, Daniel Craig's Bond is shown wearing an all-black turtleneck uniform, dressed similarly to Roger Moore's Bond during the climax of Live and Let Die.
    • In Dr. No, Dr. No chastises Bond for trying to attack him with a bottle of Dom Perignon '55, to which Bond says "I prefer the '53, myself." This refers to the fact that the third Bond novel, Moonraker, was first published in 1955, while the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953. This gag gets echoed in The Man with the Golden Gun, as Bond arrives at Scaramanga's island, with Nick Nack offering Dom Perignon '64, with Bond saying "I prefer the '62, myself.", which referenced the fact that the third Bond film, Goldfinger, was released in 1964, while the first Bond film, Dr. No was released in 1962.
    • A portion of Bond 25 will take place in Jamaica, well known as the setting of several books, Dr. No, and the second home of author Ian Fleming.
  • Judge Dredd. The smiley face graffiti seen on the Statue of Liberty is a reference to the original comic's story "Un-American Graffiti", in which these were a signature part of Chopper's tags.
  • The remake of The Karate Kid has Mr. Han attempting to catch a buzzing fly with his chopsticks. When he fails to manage, he immediately takes out a fly swatter and picks the fly's corpse off with his chopsticks before resuming his meal. (In the trailer, this is accompanied by "You're the Best Around.")
  • The Lone Ranger:
    • The carnival barker and the banner on Tonto's exhibit hearkens to "The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear", the introductory line used in most versions of the property.
    • There's also a ContinuityNod/TakeThat to the ending of the TV series.
      Ranger: Hi ho, Silver, away!
      Tonto: Never do that again.
  • Lost in Space:
    • The movie contains a reference to an oft-used line in the original series:
      Robot: It sounds like old Morse code.
      Will Robinson: What does it say?
      Robot: Danger, Will Robinson, danger.
    • It also has cameos by most of the original cast, although editing reduced some to mere flickers on the screen.
    • The protective shroud worn by the Jupiter II during its launch is a dead ringer for the original design of the ship on the TV show.
    • At one point, Evil Spider Dr. Smith says "The pain, the paaaaaiiin," which was his catchphrase on the television show. However, in the show, he would use the line to feign an injury, whereas in the movie, he uses it sarcastically when shrugging off a blow from the Robinsons.
  • In Mama, there's a scene where one kid is locked pout of a room by the other, and the ghost is just about to head down a long hallway towards them. A nearly identical shot appeared in the short film the movie is based on, but the ghost isn't actually at the end of the hallway this time.
  • In Man on the Moon, during Andy Kaufman's stint in pro wrestling in Tennessee, he begins his rivalry with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Who's doing commentary for his matches? None other than good ol' JR, Jim Ross; the two were long-time broadcast colleagues for WWE Raw. This also is a case of Artistic License, since Ross never called wrestling in Memphis in Real Life. He went from "Cowboy" Bill Watts' Mid-South/Universal Wrestling Federation in Louisiana/Oklahoma to the National Wrestling Alliance after promoter Jim Crockett bought out Watts. Crockett sold what remained of the NWA (basically combining his Charlotte, NC-based promotion with what remained of Georgia) to Ted Turner in late 1988, and Ross continued as announcer, even after the Turner-owned promotion broke away in January 1991 and renamed itself WCW. Ross debuted in WWE in 1993.
  • Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee makes a cameo in most modern film adaptations of his work.
    • In the first Fantastic Four (2005) film he's Willy Lumpkin, the mailman who delivers to the Baxter Building. This is actually a gag-within-a-gag, since Willie Lumpkin was originally made the FF's mailman as a reference to the Willie Lumpkin syndicated newspaper comic strip Stan did years earlier with Dan DeCarlo.
    • In the second Fantastic Four (2005) film, he plays himself, trying (unsuccessfully) to crash Reed and Susan's wedding. It is also interesting to note that this exact gag happened in the original comic depiction of the wedding.
    • In Daredevil he's an old man the young Matt Murdock keeps from stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle. (Which is also a Mythology Gag, since in the comics Murdock gets his powers while pushing an old man out of the way of an oncoming truck full of radioactive materials.)
    • In the 2003 Hulk, he's a security guard, along with Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the TV series.
    • In the 2008 Hulk movie, he is the consumer who drinks the bottle of juice tainted by Bruce Banner's blood. Ferrigno also appears, and even talks to Bruce Banner.
    • In X-Men, he plays a stunned hot dog vendor at the beach, staring in silence as a newly-mutated Senator Kelly emerges from the ocean.
    • In X-Men The Last Stand he can be seen as one of the confused neighbors in young Jean Grey's scene. Another is Chris Claremont.
    • In Iron Man, Tony Stark greets a man in a red satin robe surrounded by women as Hugh Hefner. The guy turns around to reveal himself as Stan Lee.
    • In the sequel, this veers into Running Gag as a busy Tony Stark mistakes him for Larry King.
    • He also manages to play at least one character in every animated adaptation as well. See his IMDB entry for the astonishingly large number of roles he's played, dating back to 1966.
    • Heroes gave Lee a cameo as Hiro and Ando's bus driver. There's also a swordsmith named "Claremont" and a climactic series of events in "Kirby Plaza."
    • He appears in Big Hero 6 in a painting. He makes a voiced appearance in the stinger.
  • Several Mel Brooks films have mythology gags: When Achoo is appointed the new Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Achoo says "Hey, it worked in Blazing Saddles!" And Harvey Korman has twice played an Evil Chancellor with an Insistent Terminology regarding his name: Hedy Lamarr (that's HEDLEY!) and Count deMoney (that's deMonET!)
  • Monty Python packed two-and-a-quarter hours of film to the brim with these for their farewell special, Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go.
  • During the final duel in My Name Is Nobody, you can hear a few seconds of the music from the final duel in Once Upon a Time in the West. Which was also written by Ennio Morricone and that scene also featured Henry Fonda getting shot, and director Sergio Leone worked on both movies. But then, the entire movie is an Affectionate Parody on their earlier work.
  • The opening of Napoleon Dynamite is a shot of Napoleon looking through his notebook as he waits for the bus. This is based on a similar opening shot of Peluca, a previous Jared Hess directed short which Napoleon Dynamite was inspired from.
  • In The Marx Brothers movie A Night In Casablanca, Kornblow (Groucho) says "I've hidden in a closet before." Specifically, in Monkey Business.
  • Nightfall (2000):
    • Aton is name-dropped once or twice as another one of the Scholars. Aton's role from the original story ("Nightfall (1941)") was replaced by Gnomen for this movie.
    • Theremon shows up as a bar owner, a reference to where he met Beenay the astronomer in Nightfall (1990).
    • The Apocalyptic Log quotes the last words of Aton from the original, "Nightfall (1941)".
  • The 1998 remake of Disney's The Parent Trap (starring Lindsay Lohan) is rife with them:
    • The song "Let's Get Together" from the original version appears in three places: at the start, as a musical flourish at the end of the end credits, and in the hotel quietly sung by Hallie as she walks to the elevators.
    • Meredith's mother Vicky is played by Joanna Barnes, who played Meredith's counterpart (named "Vicky") in the original.
    • Meredith is heard speaking on the phone to Reverend Mosby, who was a character in the original.
    • The camp counselors have the last name Kulp, as a tribute to Nancy Kulp, who played the younger counselor in the 1961 version.
    • When caught on the phone, Annie claims she is speaking with "Mildred Plotka". This is a double-barrelled reference, to both the 1961 movie and to Carole Lombard's character in the 1934 film Twentieth Century.
    • The hotel where everyone meets up, The Stafford, is named for a boy Susan spoke to during the camp dance in the original.
  • Paddington 2:
    • The basic premise at the start of Paddington collecting money to buy somebody else something for their birthday is similar to the feature length episode of the first animated Paddington series Paddington's Birthday Bash, though this time it's for Aunt Lucy rather than Mr Brown.
    • The sequence with Paddington at the barber's shop bares some resemblance to an episode of the aforementioned TV series wherein Paddington ends up working at a barber shop and cuts off the hair of a sleeping patron and attempts to stick it back on, though the results here are far more chaotic than the original episode.
    • The animation in the pop-up book segment is similar to the original series.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • In The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Jack is captured by the Port Royal guards and is undergoing his Heroic BSoD in his jail cell, a group of recently-detained pirates are trying to coax the guard dog into giving them the keys. Jack, in a gloriously snarky allusion to the original ride, tries to convince the pirates to give up. In the following exchange, however, we can see that it has no effect whatsoever:
      Jack: You can keep doing that forever, that dog is never going to move.
      Red Shirt Pirate #1: Well, excuse me if we haven't resigned ourselves to the gallows just yet.
      [Jack leans his head back, smirking from ear to ear]
    • When Jack and Barbossa find Ponce de León in On Stranger Tides, he's a skeleton lying on a bed surrounded by treasure examining a jewel with a magnifying glass, reminiscent of the Captain's Quarters in the introduction segment of the original ride.
    • A few lines and some of the settings are also borrowed from the rides: Cotton's parrot utters "Dead men tell no tales" and Barbossa yells "It be too late to alter course, now!", both lines taken from the talking skull at the very beginning of the ride, the swamp where Tia Dalma lives is essentially the queue area, and the pirate attack, mention of a cursed treasure (and the foolishness of not believing in it), and the pirates eventually turning on each other are all taken from the later parts of the ride. But the one that takes the cake is the Black Pearl itself: the ship on the ride is/was originally called the Wicked Wench, which was the original name of the Pearl in the films, and the pirate originally shown commanding it was none other than Blackbeard, who steals the ship from Barbossa (who stole it from Jack at the end of At World's End) between the third and fourth movies.
  • Predator:
    • In the movie Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem one of the characters tells another to "get to the chopper" while on the hospital rooftop, obviously a reference to the famous line "get to da choppa" from Predator, only in this movie it was, ya know, not as memorable.
    • In Predators, one of the alien animals uses the original, bug-like Predator design, which was abandoned only days into shooting the first film, and never made it to screen outside of "Making of"-features.
  • Rampage (2018): The Wydens' skyscraper is the same building design as the skyscraper used in the bonus rounds of Rampage 2: Universal Tour.
  • Ripper: Letter from Hell: The yacht Molly uses to escape from the island during the prologue is named the Mary Kelly: the same name as one of Jack the Ripper's victims.
  • At the beginning of Runaway Jury, the movie version of the John Grisham novel The Runaway Jury, Nicholas Easter comments to his apartment super that he should stop smoking. This is probably a reference to the fact that the original novel's case dealt with cigarette companies and lung cancer deaths; this was altered for the movie version because of real life verdicts against cigarette manufacturers.
  • The Film of the Book adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events recreates the unsuccessful wedding of Violet and Olaf from The Bad Beginning. She tries to sign with her left hand, but Olaf catches her and makes her sign with her right hand. This echoes back to the book where the same scene happens and she wasn't caught, thus making the marriage void.
  • In Shaun of the Dead there are several references back to the team's previous work on Spaced, including the character Tyres being clearly visible as a zombie outside The Winchester, and a reference to old times which works as an oblique description of the series when Shaun (i.e. Tim) first bumps into Yvonne (i.e. Daisy).
  • In Spaceballs, in the scene where Colonel Sanders takes the movie from the Mr. Movie cabinet, all of the other movies stored in it are films that Mel Brooks (who starred in this movie) produced, directed and/or starred in. note 
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • The classic television theme song ("does whatever a spider can...") is inserted in every movie at least once:
    • Also in the first movie, one of the costume designs Peter rejects is the black-and-white Spider-Man costume from the early-to-mid-1980s (which eventually became the design for Venom), albeit with a red spider insignia instead of a white one. Peter adds the note "NEEDS MORE COLOR!" before tossing it aside.
    • Again in the first movie, the pose Peter uses when trying to use his web is the pose he usually takes in the comics when firing his web (middle and third fingers folded into the palm, the rest extended outward).
    • Though not all of them actually become villains, many of the characters who were villains in the comic show up in the movies, including Dr. Curtis "Curt" Connors (who became The Lizard) and Dr. Mendel Stromm (who became Robot Master and Gaunt).
    • At the wrestling match, Peter is introduced as "the terrifying... the deadly... the amazing Spider-Man!" The Amazing Spider-Man was the name of the first comic book series starring the webhead.
  • Star Trek:
  • Star Wars:
    • In the original trilogy, Luke is a composite of two characters from the original script, Annikin (sic) Skywalker and Luke Starkiller. Anakin Skywalker was later chosen as Darth Vader's original name.
    • In Return of the Jedi, as the Shuttle Tydirium is taking off, C3P0 says "I am going to regret this", echoing his line while entering the escape pod in A New Hope.
    • Attack of the Clones:
      • When Jango Fett is escaping Kamino, he bangs his head on the doorframe of his spaceship. Since the scene was mostly CG, it was obviously done on purpose, a nod to the legendary blooper from A New Hope.
      • Also, if you're watching the version with all the bonus scenes in it, parts from the cantina scene in A New Hope are redone. These include' "You wanna buy some death sticks?" and "Jedi business, go back to your drinks."
      • And then there's Obi-Wan's line: "Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?"
    • Obi-Wan gets a couple in Revenge of the Sith: he says, "Hello, there!" to Grievous as a reference to his first line in A New Hope, and his "so uncivilized" remark after killing Grievous with a blaster as a reference to his introduction of the lightsaber in the same movie.
    • The very first line of The Phantom Menace is "I have a bad feeling about this."
    • The name "Starkiller" comes back again in The Force Awakens. It's the name of a weapon that makes the Death Star look mild: it's built out of a planet, it can wreak havoc on virtually any system from a safe distance, but the name comes from the fact that it eats suns for its power source, also referencing the Sun Crusher from the Jedi Academy Trilogy novels.
    • The Rise of Skywalker:
      • The heroes happen across the Aki-Aki Festival of the Ancestors, held once every 42 years. The Rise of Skywalker was released 42 years after the original A New Hope.
      • The plot about Palpatine returning, while attempting to make a Jedi his new apprentice/possess them also heavily echoes Dark Empire, a comic series in Star Wars Legends.
      • Kylo/Ben having visions of a grand Throne, with the universe at peace under the rule of a Solo, calls to mind Jacen Solo - the old Expanded Universe's son of Han and Leia who fell to the Dark Side and betrayed Luke - having visions of his daughter on a grand throne in a time of peace.
      • Palpatine having a son who was against him, plus a grandchild who isn't aware of their heritage, had previously been in a series of Star Wars Legends books from the '90s.
  • In the live-action Street Fighter movie, this is combined with Homage at one point, where Bison forces a captured Chun-Li to wear an outfit that better suits his tastes. It's actually Chun-Li's outfit from the video game on which the movie is (loosely) based on.
  • In the first Superman movie, Clark is casting about for a place to change. He glances briefly at a pay phone - -a phone on a pole, with an enclosure that would cover him only down to mid-thigh, and not at all from the back — shakes his head slightly, and continues looking.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):
    • The authors of the book on ninjutsu Splinter found in a flashback are Eastman and Laird, the original comic's creators.
    • One of the characters is named McNaughton, a reference to Jim McNaughton, a very obscure character from the original Mirage comics who reported the explosion of the T.C.R.I. building in the sixth issue of the original comic book.
    • At one point, Raph said "We strike hard and fade away into the night". A line from the first issue of the original comic.
    • Kid April in a flashback makes a comment about the mutagen being from outer space, in a nod to it being created by aliens in the comic as well as the 2003 series.
    • When the Shredder's new armor is revealed, he says, "Tonight I dine on Turtle Soup," a popular line of his from the 1987 series.
    • Fenwick calls the Turtles when first hearing about them, "Heroes in a Half-Shell."
    • The Turtles' new car plays a part of the 1987 theme song as its horn.
    • Before the final fight with the Shredder, Raphael asks Mikey to repeat something he said when they were kids. "COWABUNGA!"
    • Sacks mentions that Project Renaissance almost used rabbits meaning we were a small decision away from Usagi Yojimbo.
    • A flashback shows Leonardo slicing up a pizza with his katanas, only for a slice to land on Splinter's head, like in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
    • Also from the same movie is Mikey's crush on April.
    • Also like the 1990 movie, Shredder holds a beaten member of the Turtles' family at his mercy and orders them to drop their weapons and surrender if they want them to live. The Turtles do so and he rewards their compliance by following through with his threat.
    • Mikey mentions finishing a hip-hop Christmas album, which may be referencing one of the most infamous moments in Turtle history.
    • Shredder's armor seems to be similar to that of the incarnation depicted in the 2003 series. It even has the same three-toed dragon emblem used by the Foot Clan from that series on the centre chest.
    • At one point Raphael uses a chain as a weapon, referencing his weapon of choice as the Nightwatcher in the 2007 CG film.
    • What little we see of the real Shredder shows he is bald and scarred, very similar to the current animated series.
    • Subverted with Eric Sacks, which sounds like an Anglicization of Oroku Saki, a.k.a. Shredder.
    • Three of the four Turtles take design cues from the proposed fourth live-action movie that never happened, including Donny's glasses/goggles and modified bo staff, Leo's overall ninja/samurai warrior look, and Mikey's street clothes look. TMNT Co-creator Kevin Eastman did have a hand in writing that movie and was a consultant for writing this one so it may not be an accident.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, at one point our heroes pull into a gas station. The pumps have "Benthic Petroleum" logos on them — the company that owned the undersea oil rig in The Abyss, also written and directed by James Cameron.
  • Total Recall (2012) contains a few references to the 1990 version and the original story, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".
    • The receptionist greets Quaid with the comment "We can remember it for you".
    • The cautionary tale about going to Rekall mentions being "King of Mars", which is where the first movie and original story centered.
    • While going through the security checkpoint, the woman ahead of Quaid is the same disguise used by Quaid in the first movie.
    • She also repeats "two weeks" to a completely different question. However, in the remake, she simply misheard the question. In the original, it was a bug in the disguise.
  • Transformers:
    • Quite possibly the most awesome part of Michael Bay's movie, whether you think the rest of it stinks or not, is the part where Optimus Prime and Megatron start off their fight by quoting their respective lines from the original animated movie (and Optimus is even voiced by the same actor). And even though Optimus technically doesn't win the fight himself, he certainly does end up much better off than Megatron this time around which adds an extra delicious irony to the context of the quoted lines.
    • During the Sequel Hook at the end of the first movie, Optimus, while talking about humans, states "Like us, there is more to them than meets the eye."
    • Also, when Sam drops Mikaela off at her house, he tells her "I think there's more than meets the eye with you."
    • During Bumblebee's introductory scene, he uses several tricks to convince Sam to take him instead of another car on the lot. Said car? A yellow VW Beetle.
    • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Optimus fuses with Jetfire like he does in Transformers Armada.
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon is also loaded with references to G1. The guns are now separate from the robots, instead of transforming their arms into it, just like in G1. Some weapon choices are from G1, including, what is probably the most awesome moment in the film, Optimus using the energon axe to fight the villain. The trailer from G1 returns, including its purpose of holding weapons. Shockwave is a large, one-eyed purple robot with a cannon for an arm, just like his G1 counterpart (And while he never does so in the film, apparently transforms into a self-propelled cannon; in other words, a flying giant gun). The Matrix of Leadership is now used as a symbol of command, and is stored inside Optimus' chest. The new girl is named Carly, and Sam uses a Spike shaped explosive to Kill Starscream, a possible nod to his G1 counterpart's name (Spike, which the writers have been trying for ages to work in as a nickname but never got an appropriate scene for it).
  • Troy:
    • There's an actual Mythology Nod: When Paris leads Helen and his brother's wife to the secret tunnel out of the city, he hands the king's sword to a random man passing by with his old father, so at least some part of Troy will remain. The man says his name is Aeneas, which would make him the man who led his family to a certain place later to be known as Rome.
    • Another would be a greeting Achilles gives to Odysseus as their forces arrive on the Trojan shore, taunting him for "always arriving last". Odysseus would, of course, be the last Greek home from the Trojan War, taking seventeen years to do so and experiencing the Odyssey in the process.
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie: In "It's a Good Life", Helen Foley tells Walter Paisley that she is going to Willoughby and that she is from Homewood. Walter tells her that it looks like she missed a turnoff at Cliffordville.
  • In the Veronica Mars movie, Leo D'Amato finds Veronica waiting for him at his desk at the San Diego Police Department, and mistakenly thinks she's asking for assistance on an FBI case. This is a reference to Rob Thomas' proposed retooling of the show after season three, which would've skipped ahead to Veronica as a junior FBI agent (a short pilot was produced, starring Kristen Bell and Walt Goggins, and appears on the third season DVDs). Lampshaded further by Veronica when Leo, genuinely puzzled that she's working a case as a PI, asks whether the rumour he heard about her joining the FBI was true:
    Veronica: In another life, maybe.
  • The Movie of Wanted sticks one in at the end. Wanted, the comic book the movie was (loosely) based on, was written by Mark Millar and drawn by J.G. Jones. The office drone at the end acting as Wesley's decoy has a nametag on his cubicle that gives his name as "J.G. Millar".
  • WarCraft has a ton of those meant as Easter Eggs for the players of the games:
    • The very first scene of the movie, where a human and an orc fight over a narration about the war, is almost pulled straight from Warcraft 3's intro, where a fight between a human soldier and an orc over a narration of the war is interrupted by a demon falling from the sky and killing them both.The film cut the demon part, though.
    • As Lothar and Khadgar travel in Elwynn forest, a murloc (from World of Warcraft) can be seen, and it utters the race's trademark "Aaaaaughibbrgubugbugrguburgle!".
    • Similarly, in a later scene in the orc camp after Lothar is dragged to the brig, the voice of the Orc Peon can be heard.
    • Among the captives of Guldan when he first opens the Dark Portal are some Draenei as they appear in World of Warcraft, the result of a bit of Ret-Canon after the grossly different Draenei in Warcraft III were designated as "broken Draenei" in The Burning Crusade.
    • After transforming a guard into a sheep, Khadgar says it last for about a minute. In vanilla World Of Warcraft, the "Polymorph" spell had indeed a duration of 60 seconds. He also notes that "it only works on the weak-minded", which in itself references the fact that bosses in the game are immune to being polymorphed.
    • Medivh turns his golem into something very much like an Infernal to deal with Lothar and Khadgar.
    • Khadgar is handed Medivh's staff Atiesh several times and always looks at it extremely reverently. In World of Warcraft, he eventually inherits that staff (which was a legendary item in Vanilla WOW).
    • When Khadgar travels to Dalaran to see the Kirin Tor, the city is floating in the sky just like it does in Wrath of the Lich King onward.
    • After killing Medivh, Khadgar is surrounded by golden light in a way that looks very much like a World of Warcraft Player Character levelling up.
    • Go'el's basket is a miniature orc transport ship from Warcraft II, only made of straw.
    • The orc base around the portal contains variations of structures from all ages of Warcraft orcs, the towers especially.
  • The World's End:
  • The film Would You Rather is presented by "The Lambrick Foundation." In-Universe, the Lambrick Foundation is actually who stages the film's titular game. For further giggles, they have their own IMDB page...
  • In Venom (2018), the symbiote eventually develops a taste for chocolate, much like its comics equivalent, which craved a chemical that's mostly found in chocolate and brains.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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