WARNING: Spoilers for Birds of Prey ahead
Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn was full of kick-butt action and some intense girl power. However, behind all of the action, the movie was also filled to the brim with Easter eggs, references, and hidden secrets. So, let’s get down to it puddin’ and find out everything you missed in Birds of Prey.
Harley Quinn’s Necklace is a Shout Out to the Justice League
What’s that saying – keep your friends close but your enemies closer? Well, it seems like Harley Quinn is doing just that with the necklace she’s wearing throughout the movie.
If you checked out Harley’s very heavy necklace, you most likely noticed the “Bruce” dog tag that acts as a clear reference to the Dark Knight. However, if you take a look at the other charms, you’ll also find a fishhook that represents Aquaman, a female gender sign that represents Wonder Woman, and a bullet that represents Superman – seeing how he is faster than a speeding bullet. The charms on the necklace change throughout the movie, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for each Justice League reference.
Harley Quinn’s Roller Derby Number References Her Beginnings
When Harley Quinn joins the roller derby team to take her mind off the Joker, she picks the number 92 to wear on the back of her uniform. This number represents her beginnings – Harley first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in September 1992.
Janus Corporation is Everywhere
Roman Sionis is on his villainous rampage because he got kicked out of his family business, Janus Corporation. Although this might sound silly, I can see why he’s so angry – there are reminders of his family business all over the city. Throughout the movie you can catch the Janus Corporation logo in an extreme number of scenes.
Janus Corporation is the parent company of Ace Chemicals, therefore you see the logo on the Ace Chemicals building right as Harley blows it up. The company also apparently owns Black Canary’s apartment complex because there are signs for it posted all throughout the building.
You can spot the Janus sign again when Cassandra Cane steals the diamond from Victor Zsasz, when Harley finds Cassandra and asks where the diamond is, and outside the taco shop where the Birds of Prey are eating at the end of the movie.
Hey, I Know That Guy!
Just like a boomerang, Captain Boomerang is back! When Harley breaks into the Gotham City Police Department to find Cassandra, she walks by a wanted poster with a familiar face on it. Harley points to the poster and says “Hey, I know that guy!” and you should too if you’ve seen Suicide Squad. The man on the poster is Harley’s Suicide Squad buddy, Captain Boomerang.
Shoutouts to the Creators of Harley Quinn
When Harley talks about her childhood, she says that her dad traded her in for a can of beer. The beer is called DINI, a clear reference to one of the real fathers of Harley Quinn, creator Paul Dini.
Dini is referenced later on as two cops in the film are named “Dimm” and Tini” – if you swap the first letters of each, you’ll get Dini as a reference to Paul Dini and Timm as a reference to Bruce Timm, Harley’s other co-creator.
Days of Our Lives Reference
Right before Renee Montoya heads to Amusement Mile for the movie’s big battle, we see her getting ready with the television on in the background. The TV is playing an iconic scene from “Days of Our Lives” which actually served as the inspiration for Harley Quinn. In this scene, Arleen Sorkin, the original voice of Harley Quinn is dressed as a Harlequin. According to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, this scene was what led to the duo creating the character we know and love today.
Suicide Squad References in the Gotham PD
During the scene where Harley breaks Cassie out of the Gotham PD, there are many nods to the Suicide Squad. The confetti gun Harley uses has the words “Bang Bang” inscribed on it, right next to a sticker of the Suicide Squad logo. Later on, while Harley’s fighting the goons attempting to collect the bounty on Cassie, you might have also caught a glimpse at Katana’s sword sitting on one of the evidence shelves (pictured above).
One of the goons during the fight scene is also wearing a patch that says “Bat Killer” – a nod to the Dark Knight.
Why is Harley Talking to a Stuffed Beaver?
During the film, you might have asked yourself: “Why is Harley talking to a stuffed beaver?” Well, this oddity actually comes straight from the comics. In the comics, Bernie is a stuffed animal who Harley is convinced can talk. He’s even a popular recurring character throughout Harley’s story lines. According to the comics, Bernie once belonged to Harley’s first crush and she stole it when he went to juvie.
Harley’s hyena was also pulled straight from the comics. Since harlequins serve to make people laugh, it was only fitting that Harley had a pet stereotyped for laughing. However, in the comics, she had two pet hyenas named Bud and Lou. In the films, she settled on naming her hyena Bruce, after that “hunky Wayne guy”.
Harley and Cassie Watch Looney Tunes
While having a bit of girl time at Harley’s apartment, Harley and Cassie paint their nails and watch Sylvester and Tweety. This is because Harley has had a unique history with the Looney Tunes. In the DC animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Harley bites off a woman’s ear when she takes away her Looney Tunes show.
DC Comics has also done a crossover with Looney Tunes where Harley, the Joker, and Catwoman meet the wacky crew.
Harley Changes Her Tattoos
Throughout the film, you might have noticed Harley’s tattoos changing. She’s starting to get over the Joker and is covering the tattoos dedicated to him. Therefore, at the end of the movie, we see a J turned into a mermaid and the word “cups” added after “Puddin”.
The mermaid tattoo is likely a nod to the Gotham City Sirens, an all-female group of vigilantes that included Harley, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman.
The Joker’s Presence is Seen at Amusement Mile
It couldn’t have been easy for Harley to rid herself of the Joker when there were references to him throughout the movie. When Harley and the Birds of Prey are at Amusement Mile preparing for their big battle, you can spot “Ha ha ha’s” scribbled on one of the windows. This scribbled laughter is obviously a reference to the Joker and his tattoos from Suicide Squad.
Cassie is Mute
When Cassie is first taken to the Gotham Police Department, she’s quiet and doesn’t initially talk to Montoya. This is actually a subtle reference to Cassandra from the comics. In the comics, Cassie is mute.
The Reference to Ewan McGregor’s Past
When Harley is captured by Roman, she starts fantasizing in a very random dream sequence. In this scene, Harley is dressed as Marilyn Monroe and sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” – a shoutout to the film, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds.
However, this isn’t the only film that features the iconic song. It was also featured in Moulin Rouge!, where Satine, played by Nicole Kidman enchants Christian, played by Ewan McGregor – the same actor who plays Roman in Birds of Prey.
Shoutout to the Joker’s Artist
While trying to find a way out of being captured, Harley tells Roman that she’s really good at finding things – things like the Bertinelli Family diamond. As she’s giving him examples of her conquests, Harley talks about a nude photo of Eleanor Roosevelt that she found in a bird’s nest at Robinson Park. The park’s name pays homage to Jerry Robinson, the co-creator of the Joker.
When Harley comes to save Cassie from Roman, they end up in a location called Founder’s Pier – an area dedicated to some of Gotham’s founders. One of the statues on the pier has a top hat and an umbrella, which is likely a reference to Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) and the Cobblepots.
Batman Does What with Bats?!
If you stayed until the very end of the credits, you would’ve heard Harley telling the audience a secret. She starts to say, “Batman f–” and is cut off. Fans of the animated Harley Quinn television series on the DC streaming service know that she’s trying to say. It’s “Batman f***s bats”. In the TV series, she makes many references to what she thinks Batman likes to do to bats in his free time.
Did you find any other Easter eggs, hidden reference, or secrets in Birds of Prey? Let me know in the comments!