6 Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous Movies

#3. Rango Bumps into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Paramount Pictures

Rango is the movie where Johnny Depp finally dispelled the idea that he just plays the same darkly quirky yet good-hearted guy over and over and over again ... by playing a darkly quirky yet good-hearted gecko. Eat it, Meryl Streep.

Paramount Pictures
Finally, technology has advanced enough to recreate Johnny Depp's facial expressions.

But despite the fact that Rango is a family-friendly movie, it features a connection to another Depp film you probably shouldn't show to an 8-year-old unless you want him to grow up into Mickey Rourke. In one scene, Rango ends up on the highway and smashes into the front windscreen of a red convertible:

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures
He doesn't seem terribly inconvenienced by this turn of events.

We then see the driver, who mutters the words "There's another one! I knew it!" with a distinct tone of chemically induced paranoia and uses the windshield wiper to dislodge Rango. As the animal flies away, we get one last peek at the car, the driver, and his chubby passenger:

Paramount Pictures
"Is ... is that gecko wearing my shirt?"

To a kid, this would seem like a wacky moment of innocent slapstick, but there's something else going on here. Many of you no doubt already recognized the cigarette-chomping, bucket-hat-wearing maniac driving the car and that passed out mess of a human being resting in the back -- they're Raoul Duke (aka Hunter S. Thompson) and his lawyer, Dr. Gonzo, driving through the desert in their drug-fueled convertible, as seen in Depp's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Had Rango landed in the trunk of the car instead of on the windshield, he would have entered "a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers ..." and probably never left.

Universal Pictures
"We can't stop here! This is quirky geckos wearing Hawaiian shirts country!"

This means the filmmakers of Rango made a children's movie cross over with the story of a search for the American dream through heavy acid use. Does this mean that Rango's adventure was just another hallucination of Raoul Duke's depraved mind in Fear and Loathing? Maybe or maybe not, but either way, we finally know what kicked off Duke's reptile zoo freakout in the Polo Lounge.

#2. Batman's Parents Make a Cameo in Watchmen

Paramount Pictures

Whether you liked Watchmen because it was so close to the comic or hated Watchmen because it was so close to the comic, you have to admit that the opening credits are kinda genius. In this long sequence set to "The Times They Are a-Changin'," we see important real-world events of the 20th century retold with superheroes included: The Comedian assassinates JFK, the Vietnam War ends by way of giant blue naked dude squashing the VC, and so on.

Paramount Pictures
In this reality, the Beatles were John, Paul, George, and Space Ghost.

It's all about merging comic books with real history, but one of the events shown here actually deprived the world of a famous superhero. How? Well, even with all the slo-mo going on, it's easy to miss all the details, so here's the relevant part:

Paramount Pictures
Business casual at an opera house? We know who the real criminal is.

That frame is packed with more Batman Easter eggs than the last three Nolan movies. First of all, we see one of this world's heroes punching a criminal, but not just any criminal -- the man with the gun kind of looks like none other than Joe Chill, the mugger who killed Batman's parents and inspired him to dress up like a bat and chase bad people.

DC Comics
"Or it could be a guy with the same hat. Better kill him just in case."

OK, so that's not conclusive. But then we have the couple by the door, presumably the mugger's intended victims before the man in the owl costume came along. They bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain Thomas and Martha Wayne of Gotham City.

DC Comics, Paramount Pictures
And their butler, Alfred Hitchcock.

Next, check out the billboard behind the action: It says "Gotham Opera House" (where the Waynes were killed in the comics) and "Fledermaus," which is German for "Bat."

Paramount Pictures
And "Rigoletto," which means "little boy in pantyhose."

And finally, just in case anyone had any doubt of what's going on after all that, we get several Batman posters on the wall, because fuck subtlety at this point.

Paramount Pictures
The only thing that's missing is a big "POW!" next to the punch.

In other words, if it wasn't for that masked jerk, the Waynes would have died and Batman would have solved the movie's three-hour plot in 15 minutes. Nice job.

#1. There's a Coffee Cup in Every Scene in Fight Club

20th Century Fox

It's well-known that Fight Club is packed with tiny Easter eggs, like Tyler Durden appearing as subliminal flashes on the screen before the narrator meets him, or the film literally flashing you with a penis right before the end credits.

20th Century Fox
Either way, the message is dicks.

But there's something odd hidden in this movie that kind of undercuts its message about the dehumanizing effect of corporate branding -- namely, more corporate branding. Let's take another look at that photo without Brad Pitt to see if you can spot what they're subtly advertising:

20th Century Fox
Is it soul-crushing routine?

Yeah, somebody in that office must have just made a Starbucks run, because everybody is drinking coffee. And it's not just in that one scene:

20th Century Fox
Can't blackmail your boss without a little pick-me-up.

Or in those two scenes:

20th Century Fox
"Decaf, please. Caffeine messes with my schizophrenia."

Or in those three -- according to director David Fincher, coffee is in all of them. Every scene has a cup of joe hiding somewhere, and it's usually Starbucks. Notice the cup hanging out in the debris of the narrator's destroyed apartment:

20th Century Fox
Because apparently this movie wasn't enough like "Where's Waldo?" yet.

Or the one chilling behind Marla as she attends one of the narrator's support groups:

20th Century Fox
Coffee, cigarettes -- the lady on the right is either injecting meth or drinking Coca-Cola.

And if you can take your eyes off of Robert Paulson's ample bosom for a second, you'll notice one in the background as the narrator hugs Bob:

20th Century Fox
This is like one of those "Man Test" memes.

As far as we know, not all the coffee cups have been found, but Fincher says they're definitely there. In a 1999 interview for Empire magazine, he explained that the reason why Starbucks is everywhere is to make fun of the fact that Starbucks is, well, everywhere (especially in New York). It's still kind of weird that, in a movie about rejecting the empty corporate branding that pervades our lives, an actual brand has more screen time than Meat Loaf's boobs.

Also, the company was totally in on the joke: Fincher had Starbucks' permission to use their name for every scene ... except one. Even though they were cool with a movie about crazy, half-naked terrorists making fun of their corporate omnipresence, they drew the line when Fincher wanted to destroy a Starbucks outlet with a giant ball.

20th Century Fox
"The smallest size is 'tall'?! This is what I think of your nomenclature!"


Please join Aaron Short on Twitter. He's lonely. He also has a film blog where he talks extensively about Nick Cage ... it's not weird!


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Related Reading: Did you know Beauty and the Beast spoiled Gaston's gruesome death? And, for your reference, the mysteries of the Da Vinci Code's cover are more interesting than the ones INSIDE the book. After all those movies, why not wind down with some video game Easter Eggs?

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