Costume design in movies is sort of in the same boat as dialogue in porn flicks; we're vaguely aware that it's there, but it's not something anyone really pays attention to. Thankfully, this also means that movie costumes are the perfect place to hide clever little Easter Eggs for film maniacs with too much free time to find and childishly geek out over. And if you'll excuse me, I believe that was my cue to start talking about how ...
#6. The Joker's Mask in The Dark Knight Was Based on the Old Batman TV Show
With The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan wasted no time in establishing that his interpretation of the Joker would be like nothing we'd ever seen before. In just the first five minutes of the movie, Heath Ledger's character not only pulls off a daring daylight robbery of a mob bank, but simultaneously arranges the deaths of all of his accomplices, and he does it all while wearing a mask from Tim Burton's reimagining of Snow White.
This quickly let us know that the character was a scheming, machine-gun-toting mastermind, which completely set him apart from all the other Jokers that we knew, especially Cesar Romero in the silly '60s Batman TV show. That is, other than the fact that Ledger wore Romero-Joker's mask throughout the entire bank robbery.
20th Century Fox Television
All evidence seems to point to the design of Ledger's clown mask being modeled directly on a scene from "The Joker Is Wild," an episode of the Batman TV series that also marked the first appearance of the Joker on the show. In the episode, Adam West's Batman tracks Romero's clown prince of crime to the Gotham opera company, where he's secretly performing an aria from Pagliacci, because back then that was as close as the Joker could get to being an actual killer clown (look it up). As you can see, the similarities between Romero's Pagliacci costume and Ledger's mask are undeniable.
20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros.
Good luck unseeing that anytime soon.
And if anyone out there is wondering why Nolan even bothered referencing an old comedy series that was campier than a Boy Scout jamboree: While it's true that The Dark Knight was basically a superhero version of Michael Mann's Heat, the 1960s series is what has kept Batman alive in the public consciousness for decades, so despite its silliness, it still deserves all the respect it can get. The fact that the man who first brought the Joker to the big screen didn't respect the character enough to even shave off his mustache for the role should really be beside the point.
#5. Jack Sparrow's Attire Points to the Character's Muslim Inspiration
You can fault the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for a lot of things, but to the franchise's credit, it always kept true to the Disneyland ride it was based on by having almost nothing to do with real pirates, with Captain Jack Sparrow as the prime example.
"Everyone always thinks I'm high. I'm really just seasick."
Try to put away your personal feelings for the movie or Johnny Depp and ask yourself: Does this man look anything like a classic pirate? I don't know; between the mascara, the bandanna, and the braided beard, he more resembles a goth hippie or something. And what's up with all the crap woven into his hair? Like this medallion here:
Huh. That looks suspiciously like the Turkish star and crescent, but ... how? Call me crazy, but I faintly recall that Pirates of the Caribbean took place somewhere in the general vicinity of the Caribbean, so what is Jack Sparrow doing with an Islamic symbol in his dreads? Actually, if you subscribe to a Reddit theory, the coin and the rest of Sparrow's attire might actually be referencing the character's real-life Muslim inspiration, the infamous pirate Jack Ward.
Jack Ward, also known as "Birdy," was a 16th century English pirate who terrorized the Mediterranean and eventually converted to Islam, taking on the name Yusuf Reis. For 15 years, Ward/Reis sailed the coast of North Africa, plundering ships and commanding hundreds of men, until he became something of a pirate celebrity. There have been songs and entire theatrical plays written about the man, and by all accounts his larger-than-life, drunken legend eventually inspired one of Disney's largest and sexiest cash cows.
The Islamic coin is just one clue, but there is more to support this theory. Jack Sparrow's headband, for example, does sort of kind of resemble a turban style worn in Islamic countries, plus the type of mascara he wears is known as kohl, which was primarily available in North Africa, where Jack Ward operated. Also, after hours of Googling, I discovered that sparrows are in fact birds, and "Ward" and "bird" both have four letters, and also Jack Ward was nicknamed "Birdy," ergo ipso facto randomus latinus, Disney is secretly converting children to Islam with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
#4. Castiel from Supernatural Is Wearing the Coat of an Asshole Demon Hunter
Warner Bros. Television
Supernatural is a show that started out as a story about two brothers hunting monsters before ultimately focusing on how adorable Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are together.
Warner Bros. Television
As the show slowly changed focus from horror to a kind of magical dark comedy, Supernatural eventually introduced a new leading character: Castiel, a demon-hunting angel from heaven who dresses like Columbo and whose main shtick is that he just doesn't get how the human world works. Here he is watching porn for the first time:
Warner Bros. Television
Yeah, it's kind of a lame joke, but Misha Collins plays Castiel with such a beautiful mix of childlike naivete and deadpan seriousness that you can't help but constantly laugh at his antics. In fact, Collins did such a great job with making the character his own that you can hardly tell anymore that Castiel was sort of meant to be a parody of John Constantine.
DC Comics, Warner Bros. Television
Non-comic book fans may not immediately get that reference, but they might remember the 2005 movie Constantine starring Keanu Reeves, which made film history by showing Shia LaBeouf getting brutally beaten to death. Well, that movie was actually loosely based on the excellent comic book series Hellblazer starring John Constantine: a chain-smoking antihero conman who investigates paranormal phenomena in an old trench coat and loose tie.
And probably watches a lot of porn.
Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, freely admits that Castiel's clothes are the same ones worn by the occult sorcerer with cancer. Thematically it does make sense, because Supernatural is about working-class guys taking out paranormal threats, which also happens to be the summary of pretty much every Hellblazer comic ever. Although, as far as I know, Constantine never once uttered the phrase "Hey, Assbutt!" so that's at least one thing Supernatural has over Hellblazer.