2019 was full of magical movie moments. Throughout the year, we fought an evil clown for the second time, battled our tethered doppelgängers, and traveled back in time to reverse a snap that destroyed half of the universe. These adventures were filled with tears, laughter, love, and most importantly loads of Easter eggs. Take a look back on 2019 as we explore the best movie Easter eggs of the year.
The MCU Takes the X-Men in Dark Phoenix
In the film, the Mutant Containment Unit captures the mutants and forces them onto a train headed towards a mutant detention facility. If you look at their uniforms, you might notice that Mutant Containment Unit also shares an acronym with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Director Simon Kinberg said that the reference wasn’t deliberate at first, but the production designer for Dark Phoenix came up with the idea when he made the “MCU” design patches for the soldiers to wear. Then, Kinberg immediately saw the reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and decided to leave it in the movie as an Easter egg. He said:
“I put it in there as sort of like a wink and smile with respect to the MCU and by the end of the movie that MCU soldiers are fighting alongside the X-Men.”
The reference was particularly hilarious because Disney finally took over Fox this year and this scene in Dark Phoenix literally showed the MCU coming after the X-men. Hopefully, they do fight alongside each other after the merger, just like Kinberg predicts.
Annabelle Lurking in the Pawn Shop in Shazam
At the very beginning of the film, Billy Batson asks two police officers to come inside Pawn Shop Bishop’s for what turns out to be a trap. However, if the police officers had actually been scouring the shop, they might have come across something very sinister.
When the officers enter the store, you’ll find Annabelle on the left side of the door, waiting for her next victim. This is because David Sandberg, the director of Shazam also directed Annabelle: Creation and decided to give a shout out to the evil doll in the film.
Interestingly, Annabelle was also hidden in Aquaman. As Mera and Aquaman jump into Mera’s underwater spaceship and head to Atlantis, you’ll find Annabelle floating in the waters.
The Italian Job Reference in Hobbs and Shaw
During the scene in Deckard Shaw’s luxury car garage, Hobbs and Shaw walk by a Mini Cooper that Hobbs refers to as a “teeny tiny one”. At this moment, Shaw says he kept the Cooper after using it for a “job over in Italy”. This line directly references The Italian Job, where Shaw actor Jason Statham played Handsome Rob, a getaway driver.
So, could Hobbs & Shaw be in the same universe as The Italian Job? Does that mean Handsome Rob was actually Shaw’s undercover alias?
Captain Marvel Reveals the Ending to Avengers: Endgame
During the fight scene in the records room, Nick Fury is hit by the Skrull impersonating his boss and he lands on a giant yellow “30” painted on the floor. The comic, Nick Fury Agent of Shield #30 is entitled “Infinity’s Not Forever”. So, this could have been a reference to the future of the MCU. It foreshadowed the Avengers’ time-traveling adventures as they reversed the events of Infinity War.
All of the Pixar Antiques in Toy Story 4
The antique store that Woody visits to find Bo Peep and eventually save Forky is full of all sorts of knick knacks. However, if you sift through the antiques, you’ll find some interesting gems from Pixar’s past films.
When Bonnie and her mom visit the shop, you can catch a glimpse of the diver’s mask from Finding Nemo and Casey Jr. Circus cookies from A Bug’s Life in the left-hand corner. Take a look to the right, and you’ll also find the walking cane that Carl uses in the movie, Up.
During the many adventures in the antique shop, you can find other Pixar antiques such as a portrait of Charles Muntz, his dogs, and Dug from Up hanging on a wall. If you look closely you can also see a solo framed photo of Alpha from Up, a Dinoco sign from Cars, Merida’s clan insignia from Brave, a statue of Pepita from Coco, a Chinese takeout box from Inside Out and Ratatouille, a figurine of the Pizza Planet rocket, Arlo from The Good Dinosaur, a figurine of Flo from Cars, the Elasticycle from Incredibles 2, and a Tiki Party pinball machine featuring the same tikis that surrounded Mount Wannahockaloogie in Finding Nemo.
Comic Book References in Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home featured a lot of references to the comic books. When Nick Fury and Maria Hill investigate the ruins, they walk past a license plate that says “463”. This foreshadows Peter Parker’s battle with the Sandman, since the character was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man No. 4 back in 1963.
If you take a closer look at the scenes in Venice, you’ll notice two other comic book references. When Betty takes a picture of Ned, there’s a boat in the background with “Asm 212” written on it. This is a reference to Amazing Spider-Man #212, a comic book about one of the other Elementals in the film, Hydro-Man. Also, the hotel that Parker and his classmates stay at is called “Hotel DeMatteis”. This is a reference to J.M. DeMatteis, a writer for the Spider-Man comics in the ’80s and ’90s.
After the fight with Mysterio and the Cyclone monster, there is an overturned car on the bride with a license plate that reads “TASM143”. This once again references a comic – The Amazing Spider-Man No. 143. In this comic, Peter travels to Paris and fights Cyclone for the first time.
Team Rocket in Detective Pikachu
Although we never saw Team Rocket in Detective Pikachu, their influences were certainly felt. The name of the drug in the movie was called “R” which is eerily reminiscent of the R’s that Jessie and James wear on their shirts. You can also find “R” graffiti throughout Ryme City, which could be the mark of Team Rocket.
In fact, the original Japanese voice actors for Jessie and James were cast for the Japanese dubbed version of the film. Megumi Hayashibara, who voiced Jessie played Doctor Laurent while Shinichiro Miki, who voiced James played Roger Clifford.
The Cameos in It: Chapter Two
Of course the biggest cameo in It: Chapter Two was the big man himself – Stephen King. In the film, we see him as the owner of “Secondhand Rose, Secondhand Clothes”, the pawnshop where Bill finds his old bike. Interestingly, if you look behind Stephen King, you’ll also find a yellow license plate that says “CQB 241” which is the same license plate that the red 1985 Plymouth Fury had in the movie Christine.
Stephen King isn’t the only person to make a cameo in the film. When Eddie is at the pharmacy, you can find the film’s director Andy Muschietti shopping in the background. Producer Barbara Muschietti also makes a cameo when Ben returns to Derry High School. You can find her sitting against a tree in this scene.
Screenwriter Jason Fuchs also plays Richie’s manager; Peter Bogdonavich, the director of The Last Picture Show and Papermoon plays the director of Bill’s movie; and Brandon Crane, the actor that played young Ben in the 1990 It appears in the beginning of the movie on Ben’s video conference call.
References to Chris Pratt in The Lego Movie 2
Rex is voiced by Chris Pratt, but the voice isn’t the only thing they have in common. Rex is actually a montage of all of Pratt’s previous acting roles.
Rex’s ship is full of raptors, much like Chris Pratt’s character in Jurassic World. Rex even enters the ship saying “Clever girl” which is a direct reference to an iconic line in Jurassic Park.
During Rex’s montage of his past lives, he also says that he was a cowboy. Chris Pratt has played a cowboy named Josh Faraday in The Magnificent Seven and Grant Cutler in The Kid. At the end of Rex’s action-packed intro, he also says that he has chiseled features underneath his baby fat, a reference to Pratt’s extensive training routine as he prepared for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy. Rex also says that he listens to mixtapes with no regard for the future of his hearing, which is another reference to Pratt’s character Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fridge’s Necklace in Jumanji: The Next Level
In the beginning of the movie when Fridge is still in his own body, he’s wearing a gold necklace with a pendant in the shape of the number “94”. Now, these same scenes were featured in the Jumanji: The Next Level trailer, but in the trailer, Fridge isn’t wearing the necklace. Therefore, we can only assume that his jewelry was added as an Easter egg post-production.
The number 94 has a lot of potential references. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wore jersey number 94 when he played football at the University of Miami, so this Easter egg could be a nod to the actor’s former career.
The number 94 could also relate to the year 1994. This is the year that the original Jumanji started filming. In 1994, a small New Hampshire town also presented Robin Williams with a key to the city while he was there filming Jumanji. Therefore, Fridge’s necklace could be a tribute to Robin Williams and the start of Jumanjii.
Cinderella’s Castle in Aladdin
While the Genie and Aladdin are chatting away, the magic carpet is off in the background building an extremely nice sandcastle. The castle keeps growing and changing, until it finally resembles Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
Genie references the Magic Kingdom again later on in the film. When Aladdin is pretending to be Prince Ali, he tries to impress Jasmine by showing her Ababwa on the map. Genie works with the map to add a fake Ababwa and also adds Adventureland and Fantasyland from Magic Kingdom.
The Number 11 in Us
The number 11 clearly had a big impact on the film, Us. It was primarily used as a reference to Jeremiah 11:11 and you see a man on the street referencing the bible verse twice in the film. When Adelaide is a child, you see him holding a sign that says “Jeremiah 11:11” and when she’s an adult, he has the number 11:11 painted on his head.
However, this isn’t the only time we see the number 11 in the movie. Here are the many ways the number 11 popped up in Us:
- “I want #11”: At the beginning of the movie, Adelaide’s father wins her a prize at the fair. When he asks what she wants, she says, “I want number 11” – the Thriller shirt.
- 11 Rabbit Cages: During the beginning credits, we see a bunch of rabbits locked in golden cages. If you look closely, you’ll see that the cages are arranged in 11 columns.
- The Giants Game: When the Wilsons get back to their beach house after a day on the beach, Gabe starts to watch the Giants game and you can hear the sportscaster say that the score is 11-11.
- Make a Wish: When Adelaide tucks Jason into bed, he points out the time. They better make a wish because it’s 11:11.
- The Ambulance: At the end of the movie when the Wilson family drives away, “11 11” is painted on the hood of the ambulance.
- The Black Flag: The man working the Whack-A-Mole game and one of the Tyler twins wears a Black Flag shirt that has four vertical lines on it. These lines look like the numbers 11 11.
Chewie Finally Gets a Medal in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
After being rescued from the first Death Star, Leia holds a ceremony to honor her saviors. She presents Han Solo and Luke Skywalker with a medal as Chewbacca stands awkwardly to the side, completely forgotten. Despite the fact that he was just as critical to the mission as anyone else, the Wookie doesn’t get any recognition.
42 years later in The Rise of Skywalker, Chewbacca finally gets recognized. Maz Kanata presents Chewie with a medal of bravery when he returns from the Final Order fight. As she gives him the long-awaited medal, she tells him that Leia wanted him to have it.
The Joker’s Mirror is Shaped Like Batman’s Cowl
We first see Arthur Fleck at his job applying makeup for an upcoming gig. However, the makeup might not be the only thing covering Fleck’s face.
Fans have noticed that the mirror he’s looking at looks eerily like the Dark Knight’s cowl. The shadows in the background provide the dark color of the cowl while the lights work together to create Batman’s eyes.
Stan Lee’s Last Cameo in Avengers: Endgame
Stan Lee’s cameo in Avengers: Endgame was definitely an emotional one. Not only did it bring the entire Marvel franchise full circle, but it also brought us back into Stan’s life.
Stan Lee’s cameo comes when Captain America and Iron Man travel back to 1970 to steal the Tesseract and obtain more Pym particles. As the camera zooms in towards the military base, we suddenly hear the sounds of classic rock and a car driving through. From the passenger seat of the car, a very ’70s-looking Stan Lee calls out “Hey man, make love not war!”
If you take a look at the back of the car, you’ll notice the “420” license plate and a bumper sticker that reads “Nuff said”. This phrase was an iconic line that Stan Lee used to sign off his “Stan’s Soapbox” columns in his Marvel comics.
Which Easter egg was your favorite? Leave your thoughts in the comments!