The 40 Most Insane Easter Eggs Ever Found
Easter eggs: the ultimate symbol of man- and bunnykind's insatiable need to hide neat things in plain sight. For the last ... our entire existence, Cracked has cataloged the craziest Easter eggs ever hidden in film, television, ancient art, religion, and even the very websites you use every day. Think of this as our obsessive love letter to the obsessed maniacs responsible for all of this ...
The Great Old Churches Are Full of Porn
Much of the art made during the Italian Renaissance was specifically commissioned by the Catholic Church to adorn the walls of Catholic cathedrals for the everlasting edification of Catholic God lovers. And up until the mid-1500s, the Catholic Church was pretty cool with artists getting a free hand on their walls.
Sometimes "free hand" meant tastefully rendered imaginings of the heroes of the Bible. And sometimes "free hand" meant literally having a free hand to masturbate with after viewing said pictures.
Wait, What the Hell?
Renaissance artists often used their art to get their freak on.
At least until the Counter-Reformation, when the church put the kibosh on the flagrant display of holy genitalia and hired a loincloth painter to cover the most offending penis action, such as the scene above, from Michelangelo's "Last Judgment." Prior to the cover-up, Mr. Red Robe back there was full-on naked and looking down at the badonkadonk of St. Lady Gun, who was also naked. And considering her bent-over posture, it totally looked like he was getting some from the backside.
But the Catholic Church wasn't the only game in town, and plenty of other Renaissance artists used their prodigious talents to prove it. Once these guys were out in the secular world, things started getting explicit. Such as:
Snaky guy on girl.
Girl on girl.
You'd think that was piss until you noticed that curators catalog it under "Ejaculating." If you are one of those people who never really appreciated old-timey artwork before now, we beg you: Look at the expression on that horse's face. Who among us hasn't worn that very expression, in that very situation?
Call of Duty: Black Ops -- Subtle Reactions and Secret Codes Reveal the Main Twist
Call of Duty: Black Ops is a heartfelt and touching look at the physical and psychological cost soldiers pay to defend their country told while you mow down seven or eight thousand foreigners across several decades. But the plot has a clever, Shyamalan-esque twist at the end.
You play a gruff badass called Alex Mason, who early on gets captured and imprisoned in a Russian gulag alongside a man called Viktor Reznov, but (SPOILER!) it turns out Reznov is only a figment of Mason's imagination. The real guy died years earlier. See, you thought you were just shooting a bunch of dudes in the head, but it was your mind that just got blown (sorry).
Sure, astute players might have noticed that, aside from Mason, not one single person in the entire game talks to Reznov. Mason and Reznov are accompanied by several other soldiers, but none of them so much as even look at Reznov, let alone question why a freaking Russian is hanging around guys tasked with exterminating as many of his countrymen as possible, one shotgun shell at a time.
They could've at least asked him where he got that sweet-ass jacket.
But then there are the little touches. For instance, not only do they not talk to him, but on several occasions while you and Reznov are talking, the other soldiers will stare at you like you've lost you fucking mind (which you totally have). They'll interrupt the "conversation" with noises like "Huh?" "Hmm ..." and the incredibly succinct "What the fuck's wrong with you?" This is exactly how most of us would react if we witnessed one of our comrades talking to his imaginary friend during a goddamn shootout.
But the game also drops its own hints in a manner entirely appropriate for a game set in the espionage-filled Cold War era: by using code. At the beginning of each level, a small briefing appears on screen, revealing your location, your mission, the date, and a few items your wife wants you to pick up at the market on your way home.
"And don't forget ears. That necklace is almost finished."
Now, see that circled word next to "Designate"? That word changes every level. If you take the first letter of each designation ("X" in this case) and arrange them in the order they appear in throughout the game, you get XREZNOVXXISDEDX: "Reznov is dead." Or "gzreznovgkzgkzisdedix" if you're an asshole who takes everything literally.
Black Swan -- The Club Scene Tells You the Whole Movie
In the 2010 ballet thriller Black Swan, Natalie Portman is Nina, a dancer who can't stand the pressure of playing the main role in Swan Lake and goes a little funny in the head. Before her breakdown, she has some fun times with fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis) when the two go to a rave party together and later have sex. We'll save you a trip to YouTube and show you the part of the previous sentence you immediately felt like looking up (the rave party, of course):
Did you get all that? OK, because that one-minute scene just told you the entire movie. The shots are too fast to see, but if you keep your finger firmly pressed on your pause button (or watch this handy frame-by-frame version), you can see weird stuff like Nina being stalked by the characters of the ballet, including the one she plays:
Well, hopefully the continuity person got fired over this mishap.
Or Nina dancing with the theater director, who isn't actually in the club at all. Adding to the confusion, he later morphs into Rothbart, Swan Lake's feathery villain. This represents his negative influence on Nina.
And also the fact that he sometimes dresses up like Cher.
Then Nina suddenly appears dancing as the Black Swan, which she doesn't do until the end of the film. We also see another scene from the end of the film -- the closing of the Swan Lake performance (although in a slightly more drug-induced version).
Then come some what-the-fuck disembodied eyes and faces from people in another dimension:
It's not a ballet movie until you've got some abject horror in there.
And then suddenly everyone in the room is Nina, and we get the wallpaper from Nina's bedroom, which tells you where we're all headed next. She's basically surrounded by different versions of herself from other points in the movie.
You also see Doc Brown running around in the back.
What does it all mean? Well, it's pretty much walking you through all of the twists that are coming later in the film. All of the plot and imagery squeezed into a single minute, and all the things Nina does here (getting intimate with people who aren't there, seeing her face on everyone, hallucinating the characters as real people) will happen again as the movie continues. In other words, the movie is telling us that Nina doesn't go off the rails because of the pressure of getting the part -- she was pretty much loony from the beginning.
Community's Accidental Sexy Easter Egg
Creepy Hidden Messages in Your Web Browser
There's a creepy hidden message in the Web browser you're using right now. Assuming it's Mozilla Firefox. If it isn't, then kindly open Firefox and read that sentence again. We'll wait.
Every Mozilla browser includes a special "about" feature that allows you to configure certain sections just by typing "about:whatever" into the address bar. For example, if you type "about:about," you'll see a list of all the menus they offer. Some of the menus are actually cute Easter eggs, like "about:robots," which takes you to a page referencing things like Blade Runner, Futurama, and the eventual annihilation of all mankind.
See? It's cute, and not at all sinister foreshadowing.
However, if you type "about:mozilla," perhaps looking to learn a bit more about the browser, you'll come across a red screen with ominous Bible-like text written on it:
What the complete hell? What you've just read is an excerpt from the Book of Mozilla, an ongoing text of apocalyptic literature secretly inserted by Mozilla into each of its Web browsers dating back to when the company worked on AOL's Netscape in 1995. So if you typed "about:mozilla" 17 years ago, you'd see this:
And in 1998, when the next version came out, it looked like this:
When Mozilla launched its own browser, Firefox, they kept including the secret messages to maintain the tradition, and possibly preserve their pact with Lucifer. Here's the passage from 2003:
Apparently, each verse is a metaphor for one of the updates Mozilla has released. Hidden developer commentary in the code of the 1998 page confirms that the beast "Mammon" is actually Mozilla's main competitor, Microsoft Internet Explorer. The first verse we showed you says that Mammon has become "naught but a follower," a reference to the fact that the latest editions of Internet Explorer straight up ripped off several features from Mozilla. Among them was the "about:mozilla" page -- if you type that in some versions of Explorer, it takes you to a blank blue screen.
Or it might just be IE crashing.
Shaun of the Dead References Every Zombie Movie Ever
Shaun of the Dead is an unapologetic homage to every zombie/horror movie and video game ever made. If you've seen it, you probably already know that there are hidden jokes throughout (for example, if you listen carefully to the news reports that play in the background, they mention things like the Rage virus from 28 Days Later and a crashed probe from Night of the Living Dead). But that's barely scratching the surface, so let's move past the obvious references and go straight for the "so impossibly obscure, they shouldn't have bothered" stuff.
There are 170 Easter eggs in this frame alone.
For instance, when Shaun walks into a local shop to buy an ice cream, you can faintly hear the DJ on an Indian music station announce that the dead are coming back to life ... in Hindi.
And hey, remember the restaurant Shaun tries to book a table at, the one that you can't read the name of unless you pause it like we did? It's called Fulci's, a reference to famed Italian horror director Lucio Fulci.
It's a little known fact that Fulci was a giant sentient fish.
And Mary, the zombie in the garden that gets impaled on a pipe? If you freeze-frame at exactly the right moment, you can see from her name tag that she works at a place called Landis, which is a reference to An American Werewolf in London director John Landis.
Don't feel bad, it took us like five or six times, and you can still barely read it.
Did you ever wonder why Shaun owned so many vinyl records and had such a predilection for techno music? Well wonder no more, because if you look over Shaun's shoulder during this scene, you'll see a poster that says "Shaun Smiley Riley" on it, alluding to the fact that Shaun used to be a DJ, as well as telling you his full name, something that is never mentioned in the film itself (although it is referenced in a deleted scene).
Never referenced was Nick Frost's character's former career as Nick Frost.
Throughout the scenes where the cast is holed up in the Winchester, you can hear zombies clawing steadily at the windows. Although this easily could have been done in the sound mix in postproduction, Edgar Wright had extras stand outside and actually paw at the windows for several days, because realism.
But the ultimate act of attention to detail comes in the very first scene: When Ed and Shaun are having a drunken conversation after Shaun gets dumped by his girlfriend, Ed actually reveals the entire plot of the film:
A bloody Mary first thing, a bite at the King's Head , couple at the Little Princess , stagger back here and bang ... back to the bar for shots .
Ironically, Ed was unable to see this coming.
Renaissance Art Is Filled With UFOs
Besides being the quintessential study in rock-hard Baby Jesus abs ...
... Domenico Ghirlandaio's "Madonna With Saint Giovannino" also features an interesting little blob hovering in the sky over Mary's left shoulder. Especially when you notice the figure in the background, kind up gawking up at it.
Wait, What the Hell?
Some Renaissance paintings totally have UFOs in them.
Ghirlandaio's "Madonna" is just one of several medieval paintings with strange, kinda creepy-looking unidentified flying objects soaring around in them. And this particular one has had UFO enthusiasts salivating for years.
Never mind that experts naysay and poo-poo and claim the images are consistent with early Christian iconography intended to represent the so-called Holy Spirit. They weren't there. And anyway, since when would the Holy Spirit take the form of a squat little gold man space traveling in a flying arrow?
Since never. That's when.
Or a flying bowler hat?
Maybe when he's feeling dapper?
And then there are the cases of people actually illustrating stuff they claimed they saw. In one woodcut, Swiss citizens jauntily witness black spheres hovering in the sky. The dots were said to turn red before vanishing.
Or someone just attacked this woodcut with a medieval hole-punch.
Then you have the illustration below, a detail from a woodcut of a mass UFO sighting in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1561. The story was that on the morning of April 14, geometric shapes erupted from the sky to do battle with each other.
Although it's hard to take this illustration seriously when the sun has a face.
Science has been quick to dismiss these events as aurora borealis, but since the people witnessing them had no idea what the fuck NASA was, Hans Glaser's engraving of Nuremberg came to be known as a "star-battle" (which may explain why the lowest of the spaceships looks a lot like the Super Star Destroyer Executor).
The Rolling Stones Hide the Beatles on an Album
Reservoir Dogs -- Mr. Orange's Secret Is Given Away Constantly
Quentin Tarantino's first film is about some professional crooks with color-based pseudonyms (Mr. White, Mr. Blue, Mr. Pink, etc.) who team up to pull off a diamond heist, only to discover that one of them is secretly an informant for the police. None of the crooks had ever met before, and no one can make assumptions based on anyone's reputation because of the pseudonyms. So a complex game of cat-and-mouse begins as the criminals try to discover the traitor in their midst, only to have the movie abruptly reveal that it's Mr. Orange about halfway through in a hail of Michael Madsen-slaying gunfire.
What kind of trustworthy person parts his hair down the middle anyway?
However, if you're paying really close attention, you can figure out Mr. Orange's duplicity way beforehand.
There are a few well-known visual hints that pop up before the big reveal that Mr. Orange is the rat, like when Nice Guy Eddie is talking on the phone about how the heist turned into a cop ambush and an orange balloon floats along behind his car:
Or when Mr. Pink and Mr. White are arguing about who the rat could be in a room full of orange, pink, and white bottles:
The pink bottles are all tip jars.
However, the single greatest (and most consistently overlooked) hint comes in the very first scene of the movie, during one of Tarantino's patented 10-minute conversations that sound cool but do not seem to advance the plot in any way. After breakfast, everyone throws in a dollar to tip the waitress except for Mr. Pink, who refuses because he thinks tipping is stupid. When the boss, Joe, comes back from the bathroom and demands to know who didn't throw in for the tip, Mr. Orange immediately tattles on Mr. Pink before anyone else even has a chance to speak:
Joe: Wait a minute ... who didn't throw in?
Orange: Mr. Pink
Joe: Mr. Pink? Why not?
Orange: He don't tip.
Joe: He don't tip? What do you mean you don't tip?
Orange: He don't believe in it.
Joe: Shut up.
Mr. Pink has no problem admitting it, and he goes on to defend his position to Joe, but the implication is clear -- Mr. Orange simply could not wait to drop the dime on his fellow teammate.
"I don't care about upholding the law, I just really like squealing."
In fact, that opening scene (including the subsequent debate about tipping) winds up defining everyone's personality (Mr. White is a soft-hearted pushover, Mr. Pink is a cold professional). Mr. Brown's tangential lecture about how "Like a Virgin" is about a guy with a huge dick, however, remains impossible to connect to the rest of the film in any meaningful way.
Everybody else left hours ago. He's still just sitting there, talking.
Crysis Warhead Has an Easter Egg Just for Pirates
Crysis Warhead is a first-person shooter where you portray a battle-hardened soldier with a shitload of guns and armor fighting hostile alien forces. No game before or since has boasted such a unique plot. Or at least none that have also featured a gun that shoots a rapid-fire stream of flailing chickens, which is what you wind up with if your copy of Crysis Warhead is stolen.
The eager pirate boots up the game, grabs his dual-wielded machine pistols, pulls the trigger, and ... sprays a barrage of chickens through the air:
Something we've been begging the gaming industry for since day one.
Yep, Warhead's developers sat down and tried to think of ways to fuck up the game for anybody who illegally downloaded their copy and came up with "all guns become Chicken Gun." It doesn't matter which gun -- you're spraying chicken bullets like it's going out of style:
If only they'd included a physics engine that allowed the chickens to kill the enemy with their blunt force trauma.
No matter how many times you upgrade, the results are the same: Chicken Gun. You don't even get bigger chickens or anything like that. It is a thing of beauty:
In case you're wondering, chicken bullets do no damage whatsoever, meaning you can't kill anybody, and the game cannot be won. You can't die, either, because the bad guys use chickens, too. You could seriously "play" this game for all eternity and never get anywhere, you and your enemies endlessly bouncing streams of poultry off of one another in a sad metaphor for the futility of warfare.
However, shooting enough chickens at a building will actually demolish it (without harming the chickens), so if that's your idea of a good time, have at it.
OK, we actually do want to try that.
Sadly, the developers didn't include any clucking noises, which is a damn shame. Watching the most fruitless gunfight of all time while thousands of chickens tumble through the air squabbling their little heads off might have been a feature actually worth paying more for. Still, when it comes to sheer entertainment value, we guess the mindless complaining of hackers who don't understand that they're the reason chicken bullets exist will have to suffice:
"So ... is that a 'no' then?"
The Departed's Characters Are Marked for Death (Literally)
If you've seen Martin Scorsese's The Departed, you know that, at the end of the movie (hint: The phrase "at the end of the movie" means there's gonna be spoilers next, and yes, we're making this sentence extra long to give you a chance to look away), fucking everyone dies. What you probably didn't notice was that, much like Steven Seagal in that 1990 film where he plays a tough guy with a ponytail, each doomed character is marked for death. Like this:
Pictured: a death mark. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio being too polite to tell Matt Damon he's got a booger.
See that X between Damon and DiCaprio? It's not the location of Jack Nicholson's magical buried treasure -- it shows up behind the characters who are going to die before the end of the movie, which is most of them. We see a mark behind Jack Nicholson:
And Martin Sheen:
"Could you, um, go sit elsewhere, Mark?"
All three die eventually from multiple gunshot wounds, a single gunshot to the head, and falling off a fucking building, respectively. However, it looks like the Grim Reaper had a hard-on for Matt Damon in particular (apparently he missed a flight that later exploded), because the mark shows up behind him a bunch of times:
You can often see the X lurking in Damon's shadow, right beside Ben Affleck.
In fact, the only major character who doesn't get marked is Sgt. Dignam (Mark Wahlberg), and guess who makes it through the entire movie alive? It's the only one with a hip-hop album.
But maybe this is just a huge coincidence, or the result of a deranged porn-obsessed set designer? Nope: Scorsese, being a huge film nerd, was intentionally paying tribute to Howard Hawks' 1932 version of Scarface, where an X appeared every time a murder was about to be committed.
They tried to do this in the Al Pacino version, but the screen ended up covered in X's all the time.
The Hidden Murder in Every Deck of Cards
Community's Hidden Jokes Span Across Years, and Networks
There is a reason shows like Arrested Development (yes, it makes the list later) and NBC's Community cultivate fan bases so loyal that they virtually go door to door demanding that strangers watch: These shows are filled with in-jokes and callbacks that reward the most obsessive viewers. In a world where so much entertainment can feel like it was created to be therapy for people with traumatic head injuries, it's a great feeling to be rewarded for using your brain.
But your brain will be damned if it remembers anything for your history finals.
And Community has some of these that are so well-hidden, they apparently don't care if more than a dozen people actually catch them the first time around -- to the point that some of these bits span across seasons, and even shows on other networks.
So, for instance, in one episode the character Abed has an entire storyline that plays out in the deep background of several scenes. At the beginning you see (through a window, behind the character who is talking) Abed befriending a pregnant woman. Later, while the main characters are having a discussion outside, you see Abed behind them, on the sidewalk, fending off the girl's jealous boyfriend. Finally, near the end of the episode, you see him delivering the baby itself in the parking lot behind the "real" scene that's going on in the foreground:
OK, so any viewer would have caught that on a second viewing, even if they missed it the first time around. But if you noticed this next one the first time around, there's probably some kind of medication you should be on: It's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment that took three seasons to set up:
In one episode of each of the first three seasons, the word "Beetlejuice" was used off-handedly in a joke. If you've seen the movie Beetlejuice, the titular mischievous ghost (played by Michael "holy shit this guy used to be the biggest star in Hollywood?" Keaton) would appear in the world of the living if anyone said his name three times. So, sure enough, on the third mention by a Community character, this guy appears in the background for exactly two seconds:
It could also just be that Michael Keaton was lost.
It's a random person dressed as either Beetlejuice or Gary Busey. That they patiently waited three years to reach that punchline is staggering A) because it looked like the show was going to get canceled several times before that, and B) when you consider that some shows can last eight seasons and the only punchline is "Look! Nerds!"
So how do you top that? How about by requiring the viewer to go chasing after the joke on a completely different show, on a completely different network? In a Season 2 episode, Abed tells a seemingly throwaway anecdote about getting work as an extra on the show Cougar Town (yes, that's a real show, on ABC) where he pooped his pants due to the stress. If fans had decided to switch over and actually watch Cougar Town, they'd sure enough have seen Abed showing up as an extra in the background, only to dash off at the end of the scene. You know, as if he had an urgent gastrointestinal emergency.
We haven't seen the show, but we're assuming everyone at that restaurant was attacked by cougars at the end of the scene.
Pink Floyd's Real Backward Message
Putting backward messages into music (also known as backmasking) was all the rage back in the '80s -- and by "all the rage," we mean "the subject of congressional inquiries." Bands such as Judas Priest and Led Zeppelin were accused of including subliminal satanic mind-control messages in their songs in what was undoubtedly one of the stupidest moral panics in American history.
We're beginning to think these guys may not be the best role models.
The "satanic messages," of course, were complete horseshit, because it's practically impossible to purposefully sing or speak something that is intelligible both forward and backward. This is why most of the alleged messages sound like the singer is having a seizure. But backmasking has been used intentionally by bands like the Beatles ... mostly because it sounds cool. They never meant to hide anything: It was done for purely aesthetic reasons.
Hundreds of pages of blotter acid counts as an aesthetic reason, right?
In 1979, Pink Floyd became the first popular band to include a reversed message that was actually intended to be hidden. On the first half of their classic album The Wall, the song "Empty Spaces" contains what sounds like mumbling when heard forward, but is actually muffled speech that reveals itself when reversed. Any concerned citizen desperate to find something to be outraged about must have gotten pretty excited when he reached that part ... until he heard what it says (turn your speakers way up):
"Hello, hunters. Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont-"
... and then the speaker is interrupted by a female voice saying someone is on the phone. Not exactly "DELIVER YOUR ANUS UNTO SATAN." We're afraid that's about as exciting as real instances of backmasking get. Well, unless you count this Easter egg from The Wall:
Fight Club: A Brief Close-Up on a Telephone Gives Away the Ending
Fight Club is, of course, full of hints about the big twist (that Edward Norton and Brad Pitt were the split personalities of one guy who beats the shit out of himself for no reason), and most of them are obvious after the fact. Like when Norton beats the hell out of himself in his boss' office and says that it reminds him of his first fight with Tyler Durden (Pitt) -- it seems like an offhand comment on your first viewing, but is obvious in retrospect.
We can only imagine what masturbating reminded him of.
However, there's one bit of Brad-Pitt-is-really-a-mind-ghost foreshadowing that we're pretty sure even the most devout Fight Club viewers mining the DVD for senior yearbook quotes didn't pick up on, and that is the freaking pay phone.
Right after Norton's apartment explodes, he calls Tyler on a pay phone to ask if he can crash on the couch at Tyler's rancid hobo tomb. Tyler doesn't answer, so Norton hangs up. Immediately the phone starts ringing -- Tyler is on the other end, having hit *69 to redial the last number that had called him, because for some reason a man in designer clothing living in a giant decaying shack feels the need to screen his calls.
As soon as the phone starts ringing, however, we are treated to a revealing close-up:
"Schizophrenic hallucinations and local calls only."
It's tough to see, but read that line directly underneath the word "TELNEX" -- it says "No Incoming Calls Allowed." Meaning it is not physically possible for this telephone to receive incoming calls. Meaning Tyler cannot possibly have called Edward Norton back. Meaning Edward Norton is standing in a phone booth with the receiver pressed to his ear, having a detailed conversation with nobody. And of course we find out later that's exactly what he was doing.
Granted, none of this explains why a man beating the shit out of himself in a parking lot would attract a group of disenfranchised males asking if they can join him, but that would be the subject of another article.
R2-D2 and C-3PO Are Hiding in Indiana Jones
The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the proud home of some of the most famous frescoes of the Renaissance. The works of Trecento master Giotto are featured prominently throughout the Upper Church. Sadly, some of those works were severely damaged in a recent earthquake. Such sacrilege could only be the work of the devil ...
Or mole men.
The Easter Egg:
... who was probably just trying to escape from his prison inside Giotto's painting. A team of restorers working on the church following the 1997 earthquakes found some light structural damage, a few faded spots and -- oh yeah -- the devil's face hidden in the clouds of this supposedly holy work.
Who was apparently quite pleased with whatever he saw in that angel's crotch.
Dead Nude Women Are Hidden in The Silence of the Lambs Poster
Most of us don't look twice at movie posters, short of muttering under our breath and saying, "Oh fuck, they're doing a sequel/remaking/rebooting that shit?" So it's easy to miss some of the awesome things artists are hiding in the posters, presumably for the hell of it.
Take the poster for The Silence of the Lambs. You remember the death's-head moths that are only in like 10 minutes of the movie but are all over the posters?
Sure, they really do have little skull-looking markings on their back, and that is totally bitchin'. But they're not as detailed as the one in the poster. Why is that? Stylistic choice, maybe? Why don't we take a closer look?
That's not a skull at all. It's seven nude women arranged to look like a skull. It's actually a very, very tiny version of a famous photograph of Salvador Dali taken by Phillippe Halsman.
Dali can make anything creepy.
The poster for the indie horror film The Descent used the same photo as its inspiration. And now you'll never look at Jodie Foster's mouth the same way again.
This is really the only part of the film you need to see.
There's a Hidden Movie in The Simpsons
Remember Rainier Wolfcastle, the Schwartzenegger-esque action star who's been showing up in The Simpsons since Season 2? Early appearances feature clips of Wolfcastle playing his most famous character, a loose cannon detective named McBain. You see him for a few seconds at a time as characters watch his movies in the background:
He wields the most shoddily drawn machine gun in cartoon history.
It turns out that if you put together the various McBain clips aired between 1991 and 1993, they actually form a coherent plot with a beginning, middle, and end. Someone took the trouble to edit them together:
Simpsons producer Al Jean says, "It was always just conceived as the most melodramatic fragments of a bigger movie where we never really had a big movie in mind." However, when you watch the resulting mini-movie, it totally works. First we see McBain arguing with the police chief because he can't go after Senator Mendoza. Then McBain's partner is killed by Mendoza's goons, prompting McBain to let the Chief know he plans to avenge his death. Then we see McBain infiltrating Mendoza's mansion and getting captured. Finally, Mendoza is assured by his goons that McBain is dead, but the hero makes an unexpected return and pushes the bad guy off a building and into an exploding truck.
Like in every '80s action movie worth a damn.
And hey, while we're spilling Simpsons Easter eggs, check this out:
Fight Club's Hidden-Est Foreshadowing
GTA IV -- The Statue of Liberty's Secret
Because the game world is so vast that you can almost never fully explore all of it, the Grand Theft Auto series is full of bizarre urban legends about what you can find hidden there. Like the one that claims you can see Bigfoot wandering around, or Leatherface, or the ghost of CJ's mom, or that CJ is actually a woman under his armor (or something). The truth, however, is even stranger than those rumors.
Rumors that some GTA titles include "plotlines" remain unsubstantiated.
This involves the Statue of Happiness in GTA IV, which is exactly like the Statue of Liberty, except with a disturbing, almost inhuman grin.
We're not sure what it is, but reportedly Bill Clinton started crying when he saw it.
The statue is reachable only by helicopter, boat, or swimming to the island, which seems like way too much effort to look at a monument that's clearly just background scenery for your killing spree. If you still decide to go and you manage to climb to the upper level of the statue's base, you'll see a door with a sign that reads "No Hidden Content This Way."
Nice try, nerds.
We're assuming not many people make it past this point, because if you can't trust a video game about stealing cars and shooting people, then who can you trust? However, if you do walk past the sign you'll find a ladder that takes you inside the statue, where you'll see this:
A giant heart suspended by chains. Check out the eerie sound it makes:
That strange glow suggests that there might be something supernatural about this. Also, the fact that it's a giant beating heart. Why is that there? What does it do? Can you kill it? If you think no GTA player has ever tried that, you've probably never met one. No, you can't kill it (not even with the rocket launcher, which does kill one of the pigeons on the outside of the statue), and nobody knows why it exists.
Speaking of which, there's also no explanation for the stroller you can find on the beach in the same game. "Big deal," you might say. "It's a stroller. Who cares?" Ask yourself this: How many children have you seen in the Grand Theft Auto games? Why would there be a stroller, abandoned by the ocean, no less, in a world without children, if not to freak you the fuck out?
Google's Crazy Interactive Results
Google is well-known for its elaborate April Fool's jokes (and terrifying policies), in which the company will announce some ridiculous new feature that anyone without a calendar or common sense will fall for. What you might not know is that this sense of humor also extends to Google's search engine itself, which has a bunch of hidden jokes triggered by specific words or phrases.
For example, odds are you've used Google search for what most human beings use it for: spell check. Yeah, we've all typed a word we weren't sure how to spell into Google and let the "Did you mean ..." part correct us. But if you're wondering if you spelled the word "anagram" right, Google won't help you out there -- instead, it offers you an actual anagram for "anagram."
Perhaps they're just trying to remind you that you haven't harassed your sheep lately.
Or if you type "recursion," which is the process of repeating something, then it suggests ... "recursion." Click on that and it'll show you the same thing over and over, in an infinite loop.
Which is hysterical, unless you're trying to find the actual meaning, in which case this is spectacularly unhelpful.
Google also has a calculator function, which comes in pretty handy when you type "answer to life, the universe, and everything," a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As in that book, the answer is given as ...
So long, and thanks for all the personal data.
For more festive results, you can try searching "Christmas":
Or, yes, even "Festivus" (from Seinfeld), which displays the traditional Festivus Pole all over the side of the page.
To get rid of it, you have to pin Jerry Stiller.
Other searches are a little more interactive. Fans of aviation or (more likely) Star Fox 64 will be delighted to see what happens when you type "do a barrel roll" into Google.
Meanwhile, searching "askew" turns things on its side, effectively simulating the experience of searching on Google while drunk.
It even types the name of your ex in the address bar.
And while we're at it, here are a few more of Google's best Easter eggs:
Inception Has a Hidden Soundtrack
The plot of Inception is all about sneaking an idea into somebody's mind without the person even realizing it. Turns out that while you were watching the movie, Chris Nolan was totally doing the same thing to you.
And that's why you've been dreaming about those piercing eyes for the past year.
More specifically, the "idea" that Nolan secretly inserted into your mind is this:
Some context: In the movie, whenever DiCaprio and his gang are about to wake up, they hear the song "Non, je ne regrette nien" by Edith Piaf. But you knew that part -- they never hide the fact that they're using that particular song as part of the plot. What you might not have realized is that you're hearing it even when you think you aren't.
We're just going to assume there are still two or three more mindfucks hidden inside this thing.
Remember that ultra-dramatic instrumental theme you hear over and over for the last 45 minutes of the movie? It sounds like a typical summer movie soundtrack meant to let you know that shit's getting real ... but it's actually that same Edith Piaf song, slowed down almost beyond recognition.
The really cool part is that it makes perfect sense. The Edith Piaf song is a way for the characters to know they're about to wake up -- but since time passes more slowly inside dreams, what seems like two minutes and 23 seconds in reality can last a lot longer for them. While the song is playing at normal speed in the waking world, the characters should hear it all slowed down.
And possibly in zero-gravity.
Hans Zimmer, the film's composer, said that in order to achieve this, they actually went to France and extracted two notes from the original master of the song. Apparently those two notes went a long way, because he also said that "all the music in the score is subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Edith Piaf track." So basically, old song + math = Oscar nomination.
Patton Oswalt Stands Utterly Still on The King of Queens
Portal 2 Is Filled With Hidden Messages and Rape-y Sounds
Portal 2 brought us everything we loved about the first game (portals) and left out everything we hated (cake-related meme horseshit). What it also brought us is a whole bunch of weird secrets, and some of them are downright creepy.
Who knew a game about ripping holes in reality could get creepy?
For instance, in one of the earlier test chambers of the game, you can find an abandoned room hidden off to the side of the level, much like the abandoned rooms found in the original game. This one's got a creepy surprise, though. If you stand close enough to one of the graffiti-covered walls, you can hear a kind of disturbed chanting. Someone went ahead and pulled out the sound files embedded in the game: the voice is clearer, but still nonsensical.
Above: Either a screen grab from Portal, or literally any alley in Philadelphia.
Fan speculation is that this is a background character (introduced in a comic book set between the two games) named Doug Rattmann -- a schizophrenic who was the only survivor of GLaDOS' neurotoxin attack prior to the events of the first game. And he apparently lives inside a wall. He also just happens to be the dude responsible for all the graffiti and junk laying around the labs in both games.
If video games could smell, we're pretty sure Portal would stink of this guy's poo.
In fact, in another of his rooms, you can bring a radio inside and listen to some kind of strange, blaring noise. It's even an achievement. But that's not the weird part. That blaring sound is an encrypted SSTV image signal, and if you take the time to decode it, it's actually a reference to another scene in the game ... which hasn't happened yet.
But the creepiest thing of all isn't even in the game. Not technically, anyway. Players who decided to hunt through Portal 2's sound files found recorded lines of dialogue that aren't in the game -- more specifically, an increasingly agitated woman saying "I don't want this!" If you've played the whole game you can guess that's actually (spoilers ahead) Caroline protesting her transformation into GLaDOS, but it still sounds kinda rape-y if you don't know the context. In fact, J.K. Simmons, who provides the voice for Caroline's boss, purportedly refused to record his half of the scene because it was so disturbing. The developers actually agreed and dropped it from the final game.
It made him uncomfortable, and he played a Nazi rapist on Oz.
How I Met Your Mother's Hidden Countdown
How I Met Your Mother has had more than enough time to throw in some Easter eggs, considering they've stretched what should have been the premise of one episode across nine years. Have those kids been sitting there listening to this story for, like, 100 straight hours?
Either those kids are super patient or they really, really want to find out when their parents first boned.
In what's probably the most emotional storyline, Marshall's dad, played by the guy who voices Patrick Star in SpongeBob SquarePants, dies in an episode during Season 6. The twist ending was an emotional sucker punch nobody saw coming ... yet, the show was littered with clues, including an actual countdown going on in the background, ticking down to the revelation.
So you can actually go back and watch the episode, focusing on the numbers rather than, you know, Patrick Star's lonely, depressing death. It starts with the number 50, on a brochure on the desk of a doctor's office ...
... which switches to 49 in the next scene, to 48 on a bottle of hot sauce ...
... which continues throughout, on newspapers ...
... magazine covers ...
... all the way down to the fateful moment at the end, a taxi tagged with 0001.
"And that, kids, was the time the universe morbidly counted down to the death of my friend's father."
V for Vendetta -- The Letter "V" Is Hidden Everywhere
We've previously mentioned Edgar Wright's obsession with cramming numbers into the background of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. But he certainly didn't invent the idea; the letter "V" and the number "5" ("V" being the Roman numeral for "5") are hidden in almost every frame of V for Vendetta.
You probably noticed the more blatant ones:
It's in the part that's exploding.
But some of them are subtle. For example, when we first see them, the characters Creedy and Finch are separated by a "V," foreshadowing what happens later in the film (Creedy wants to stop V, while Finch eventually decides to help V):
Also foreshadowing: One of these men is going bald.
When Natalie Portman wakes up in V's bachelor dungeon, she has a tiny cut on her head in the shape of a "V":
The character Gordon has a contraband Quran lying open on a pedestal. When books are open on a dais, they're typically flat, but not in this movie, sir:
You just got V'd in the F.
There's also a "V" prominently displayed in the hands of the clock behind the evil talk show host in every single frame of his program:
Also, he has the world's most punchable tie. Just thought we'd bring that up.
During the final fight, V throws two daggers at a time, which cross over each other in a "V" shape:
And then the daggers form five distinct "V" shapes while spinning through the air:
Because the symbolism here wasn't clear enough.
Then, Creedy fires exactly five shots at V, leaving a "V"-shaped bloodstain on the wall.
But, hey, you're perceptive. You probably caught all of that the first time you saw it. OK, so let's take it down to another level:
There's Evey's (Natalie Portman's) name: "E" is the fifth letter of the alphabet, "V" is the fifth letter if you're counting backward and "Y" is the 25th letter (five squared). Finch, who later helps V, has exactly five letters in his name. When V attacks the villain Creedy (whose name is also replete with "E"s and "Y"s), Beethoven's 5th just happens to be playing in the background.
Also? His hat brim makes a "V." And there are five "V"s on the wall behind them.
But wait, it gets even more obscure. V's favorite phrase is "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe," which translates into Latin as "Vi veri veniversum vivus vici," or "five goddamned words that all begin with 'V'."
Finally, in what is perhaps the most mind-blowing detail of all, one of the film's major characters is actually named V.
Jurassic Park -- A Seat Belt Malfunction Reveals That the Dinosaurs Can Reproduce
Jurassic Park is a movie about dinosaurs killing people, but several things had to go wrong in order for this to happen. Sure, the security system getting shut down by Newman from Seinfeld was a big one, but before that came the news that the dinosaurs were breeding out of control, despite the fact that it should have been impossible.
After all, sending kids to a single-sex school always stops them from fucking, right?
This is one of the big twists of the film, when paleontologist Dr. Sam Neill discovers that the dinosaurs are breeding despite the fact that they were genetically engineered to all be female (specifically to prevent this). It is a development that, indeed, no one saw coming, for how in the name of science could a bunch of prehistoric lizards equipped with nothing but girl parts be expected to make babies?
However, if you were paying close attention, it's a twist the movie gives away in the first 20 minutes.
It's played as just a throwaway joke -- as the helicopter carrying all the '90s-fashionable scientists swoops down toward Isla Nublar, Neill is told to buckle his seat belt. But then this happens:
Alan Grant, Ph.D., makes three separate attempts to buckle these together.
That's right -- Neill is stuck with two buckles, rather than the tongue and buckle combination required to secure him safely to the helicopter bench. The clasp, incidentally, is also referred to as the "female" end, so Sam is technically stuck with nothing but female parts. He continues fumbling around with the mismatched seat belt while Jeff Goldblum stares him down like a guy who knows a thing or two about female parts:
"Life finds a way ... to my dick."
Finally, having exhausted every possible option, Neill resorts to simply tying the two ends of the belt together to form a makeshift seat belt.
Grant, you old sailor, you.
There you go -- he needed to create something new (a seat belt), but all he had were female ends. So, he improvised. This is exactly what ends up happening with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. They were left with only one half of the necessary gender pairing to breed, but somehow they are able to create baby dinosaurs. They made it work.
Of course, the specific way that the dinosaurs were able to leap this biological hurdle is never adequately explained (beyond some tossed out rationalization about the geneticists using frog DNA), so we've no choice but to imagine two female dinosaurs tying their vaginas together.
The Hidden Feature on Every Coke Can
Jimi Hendrix's Hidden Alien Message
The song "Third Stone From the Sun" from Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced album is a trippy jazz/rock instrumental with some weird noises in the background. It's the only instrumental track in the album and also the one most likely to trigger an acid flashback.
But what's even trippier about it is that if you adjust the speed of your record player to play the song like a 45 rpm vinyl (a format usually reserved for singles), you can suddenly hear two aliens talking by radio as they approach Earth. What's an alien message doing in an album about simple topics like kidnapping ladies and burning stuff? Nobody knows.
Although we have some theories.
Sadly, the only sped-up version we could find has enhanced vocals, meaning they don't sound quite as creepy as they would in the album:
But if you want creepy, you can always trust Nine Inch Nails to take things to the next level: The track "Erased, Over, Out" from their remix album Further Down the Spiral is long and repetitious ... perhaps intentionally, because if you fast-forward through it on a regular CD player, you can clearly hear the words "ERASE ME" being repeated over and over and over. So if you ever heard that song at regular speed and afterward felt an inexplicable urge to format your hard drive, now you know why.
Purging your data is a perfectly natural response to NIN.
GoldenEye 007's Pen and Ink Mode
GoldenEye 007 is no stranger to hidden content, or hordes of gamers obsessively trying to dig it up. We've told you about some of its secrets before, and it was also famous for having unlockable cheats like invisibility and big head mode, because games in the '90s knew how to have more fun.
Every shooter today just has Dick Head Mode (online play).
But as chock-full of hidden content as GoldenEye already was, intrepid fans discovered that the game was originally intended to have a "line mode" where the game appears to be made with pen and paper. Apart from being able to play GoldenEye in a whole new way, this would be the closest you could get to experiencing "Take on Me" as a first-person shooter and express a visceral new form of musical criticism.
If you watch the video, it's not hard to figure out why line mode was cut -- for large chunks of the level, it's impossible to tell what the hell's going on, making it closer to "polar bear in a snowstorm mode" than a fun artistic adventure.
Given Bond's unique combo of alcoholism and syphilis, this might accurately portray how he now sees the world.
Gamers would basically need to have the levels memorized if they had any hope of getting through minimalist versions of them, and as one of the developers points out, you also can't see your ammo and health. Still, it would have made a great challenge mode for obsessive fans, otherwise known as anyone who was 13 when GoldenEye came out.
"OK, now give us a mode where it looks like it was made by one of those elephants that paints."
And holy crap, can you imagine how much the already chaotic multiplayer could have been improved by this madness? It's the ultimate anti-screen watching mode, because there's little point in spying on your friends if it looks like someone just threw a bucket of white paint on the TV.
The developers found line mode useful for debugging, which is why you can still find it in the game if you use a GameShark, the accessory of choice for serious cheaters back when cheat codes were a thing. It was originally going to occupy the game's final cheat slot, whose perpetually taunting emptiness prompted many a crazy schoolyard rumor. And while we can't get mad at the developers of such an iconic game, we are a little sad that instead of perfecting the potentially awesome line mode they devoted their time to creating Oddjob, bullshit multiplayer character and destroyer of countless friendships.
We want to see an outline around him. A goddamn chalk outline.
The Mysteries on The Da Vinci Code's Cover Are Cooler Than the Ones in the Story
Long before it was spawning some of the most mysterious hairdos in Tom Hanks' career, The Da Vinci Code became a literary phenomenon by giving history professors chest pain. Real historians were probably glad for the increased interest in the Bible as a historical document, and might even approve of Dan Brown's general depiction of history as a rich tapestry of mysteries, but they probably weren't quite as thrilled with Brown's promise that those mysteries have clear-cut right and wrong answers, discoverable by anyone resourceful enough to solve a USA Today crossword puzzle. While the mysteries that his protagonist encounters during the course of the book might be a little obvious, the cryptograms and word puzzles didn't stop inside the pages of The Da Vinci Code. In fact, Brown saved his most intriguing mysteries for the dust jacket.
If you stare long enough, it becomes an image of Dan Brown spanking it to a copy of Cryptonomicon.
Years before the publication of The Da Vinci Code, fans of Brown's novel Deception Point might have noticed a seemingly random series of numbers and letters on the last page of that book: "1-V-116-44-11-89-44-46-L-51-130-19-118-L-32-118-116-130-28-116-32-44-133-U-130."
While sane readers probably assumed that a mouse got stuck in the gears of whatever giant printing press spits out Simon & Schuster paperbacks, crazier fans may have checked to see what would happen if you replaced each number in the sequence with the first letter in the corresponding chapter in Deception Point. If you did that, you would have discovered the letter sequence "T V C I R H I O L F E N D L A D C E S C A I W U E" -- which you might recognize as also complete gibberish. But Brown's crazy fans didn't decorate their sheds with newspaper clippings and jars of urine because they're quitters. Those fans would have noticed that there are 25 letters, which is a square-able number, and realized that when you arrange those letters in a five-by-five square, you get:
T V C I R
H I O L F
E N D L A
D C E S C
A I W U E
... which, when read from top to bottom by column (instead of left to right by row like you just did), reveals the message: "THE DA VINCI CODE WILL SURFACE."
Of course, this being two years before the phrase "Da Vinci Code" meant a goddamn thing to anyone, they would have been just as likely to wonder who Dav Incico was and how exactly he was mixed up in the sinister sounding Dew-Ill Surface. Which makes it all the more impressive that Brown got away with crazying up the last page of his book two years before it meant anything.
When The Da Vinci Code finally did surface as promised, the book's dust jacket was riddled with crazy cyphers.
"The Greek letter delta gets its shape from a hand raising the middle finger. I think the meaning here is obvious."
That trail of clues led to two numbers written in light red ink on a dark red background on the back of the book, which, if you were somehow able to find them ...
*snicker* "No, no, I swear the text is there, just keep looking for it!"
... and plugged them into Google Maps, would reveal themselves to be the latitude and longitude of Kryptos, the sculpture outside the CIA headquarters. If you solved Kryptos, then you would find yourself in a dark room being interrogated by the CIA, because none of their code breakers have been able to solve it in the 23 years since it was put there.
Because fuck you, that's why.
Actually, the Krytpos reference would turn out to be a nod to the Washington, D.C.-based mystery that would anchor Brown's next novel, The Lost Symbol. When The Da Vinci Code became a huge hit, the publisher created a promotional game around the clues, and presumably laughed nervously while waiting to meet the lunatic who would be crazy enough to solve the damn thing.
While the sponsorship tie-in might make the whole thing seem like a capitalist hoax set up to sell books, it's at least a little impressive that Brown saved his most difficult and intriguing mysteries for his audience, and that he was doing it before he had any reason to believe that anyone would give a shit about any of it.
Fallout's Dead Indiana Jones
The Matrix Used All the Twins in Sydney, Australia
One of the first lessons we learn about the Matrix is that anybody can be an agent. Morpheus teaches this to Neo via a training program, wherein Keanu becomes distracted by a sexy woman in a red dress, who taps into our most primal wetmares by gender-morphing into Elrond and then shooting him in the face.
Your boner should have taken the blue pill.
But Neo, like every man, was predestined to fail this one: They're wandering through some kind of business district, and every pedestrian is in a boring, drab suit, save for that pretty girl. Of course he's going to focus on her and notice the agent. We, the audience, only passed the test because we were once removed, and could view the scene objectively.
Except we didn't pass, either. Not at all. Because we didn't notice that every person in that scene is a doppelganger:
A frumpy doppelganger.
We could write that off as repeating an extra for a different shot, if it weren't for this ...
Two blonde women on either side of Neo, two sailors in the back.
The truly crazy part is that this wasn't CGI: The Wachowskis spent two whole days in Sydney trying to hunt down and cast real identical twins just for this scene. The idea was to show the viewer that Mouse, who created the code, was a lazy programmer and copy/pasted a bunch of characters instead of designing unique people. But really, since basically nobody in the audience noticed the clone armies either, it just proved that God could've gotten away with a whole lot less work by simply palette-swapping humanity. Turns out we would've been mostly cool with it, so long as there were hot girls in red dresses strutting about.
The Konami Code Works on Websites
The Konami Code is arguably the most famous video game cheat code ever created. It gained popularity when it was included in the game Contra by Konami, where it granted the player 30 lives, and is as follows:
If that's too hard to remember, you can use a simple mnemonic device: UUDDLRLRBA.
It's easy to see why the code became popular: 1980s games were fucking hard. Soon, however, it spread to games from other companies and other systems ... and from there to present-day websites.
GameSpot.com is a video gaming news website that brings you trailers, reviews, and downloads for the latest games out today. But once you enter the Konami Code and hit Enter, the main page switches to what one might have seen if the Internet had been around in the 1980s.
Games are now rated from hellacious to tubular.
And just to show you that this isn't a U.S.-only thing, on a certain section of the BBC's website, entering the code brings up a photo of Doctor Who's robot dog, K-9.
That sounds like something we just made up, but it isn't.
Unfortunately, Konami Code Easter eggs are usually pretty short-lived, presumably because they are surreptitiously sneaked in by nerdy programmers without consulting with their bosses and then removed as soon as they're found out. We've mentioned before that, for a while, entering the code on Marvel Comics' website brought up an image of a squirrel dressed as Deadpool, while doing it on ESPN.com caused the entire page to be invaded by unicorns.
At first we thought it was just our screensaver.
Facebook did something similar in 2009 when a temporary Easter egg caused the Konami Code to trigger a lens flare effect all over the website.
J.J. Abrams never turned it back off.
But the best use of the Konami Code so far goes to the old site for the now defunct Newsweek magazine: Pressing the familiar keys caused all the headlines on the front page to be replaced with fake news stories about zombies.
Who will prepare us for the zombie invasion now? Cheezburger.com?
Daredevil and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Were Created in the Same Traffic Accident
Superhero crossovers are nothing new, but what makes this one special is the blatant illegality and in-story significance of it. Daredevil had existed for 20 years before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed up in the '80s -- and yet their origins establish that they are both the product of the same traffic accident and the same mysterious goo.
Daredevil's origin, as shown in Daredevil #1, is that when he was young he saved a blind man from getting hit by a truck, only to have a radioactive canister fall off the same truck and hit him in the face. This was before, of course, the "Put Some Time into Securing Your Radioactive Shit" shipping laws that we take for granted now.
"Call an ambulance? No, I'd rather stand here and commentate."
Between the radioactivity of the substance, the impact of the hit and the cylinderness of the container, Daredevil was left blind. But he was extra good at his other senses, so he ended up a superhero, obviously. The real question wasn't "How is getting blinded by a can after saving a blind guy an origin story?" It was "What happened to the mysterious canister after it bounced off proto-Daredevil's kisser?"
It doesn't look like it did Ben Affleck any harm.
Fast forward 20 years: The creators of the Ninja Turtles were big fans of Daredevil, especially the issues by Frank Miller. Not content with simply borrowing Daredevil's origin, they went ahead and wrote their characters into it. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, we see the exact same scene as before, only from a different perspective. The radioactive canister hits the boy in the head ...
... then falls into a sewer and mutates some baby turtles into cowabunging ninjas.
As opposed to, say, sewer alligators.
Of course, the boy is never explicitly identified as the future Daredevil, but that's because the character belongs to Marvel Comics and the Ninja Turtles do not. Still, it's pretty obvious that it's the same kid, and the fact that the canister turned out to be full of mutating goo does explain how getting hit in the head by something could possibly give someone superpowers. (Life tip: It usually doesn't.)
You're usually advised to open the lid first, duh.
So if young Daredevil hadn't been there, the canister probably wouldn't have fallen into the sewer and those four regular turtles probably wouldn't be fighting crime today. All the TMNT cartoons and movies show variations of the same origin, and the radioactive ooze in particular has become an iconic part of the Turtle brand -- even though it was completely stolen from another comic.
"Warning: May cause irrevocable blindness."
Your Hidden Toothpick Stand
Memento -- A Glimpse of Leonard's Split Personality
Memento is the simple story of a man who wants revenge on the people who murdered his wife, only told backward and with a semi-amnesiac protagonist named Leonard Shelby, because nothing can ever be simple with Christopher Nolan (he must be great at telling jokes at parties). On top of that, there's a non-backward black-and-white subplot about a guy named Sammy Jankis who, like Leonard, also had retrograde amnesia and accidentally killed his own wife with his absent-mindedness.
As Leonard explains in that clip, Sammy's wife was diabetic and refused to believe her hubby couldn't create new memories, so, in order to find out if Sammy was just faking it, she decided to repeatedly ask him for an insulin shot, hoping he'd refuse. He didn't, and she died from too much insulin, we guess.
"Fine, you win this one, but you still have to take out the trash."
At first this seems like a pretty pointless anecdote to insert in the middle of a movie about revenge and wicked body tats, but what's that at the end of the clip, specifically at 8:28? We see the oblivious Sammy sitting in a home after his wife's death, but when someone walks in front of him, his image changes:
That's right, his shirt is slightly darker.
For a brief second, we see Leonard sitting in the chair instead of Sammy ... and that's because, at this part of the tale anyway, they are the same person. As we find out much later, Leonard's wife wasn't murdered; it was she who was diabetic, and it was she who tricked her husband into pricking her to death. As a result, Leonard put these memories on the Sammy personality, like a somewhat less sexy version of Tyler Durden, and in his delusion went out to look for his wife's "killer." We don't find out about this until the end of the movie, and even then it comes from a less than reputable source, but this Easter egg would seem to confirm it's true.
If you can't trust rambling, disjointed revenge tattoos, what can you trust?
So, with this split-second shot, Christopher Nolan was cheekily revealing the final plot twist of his movie a good half hour before it was over. Here's a slowed-down version. Does this mean that for a while our badass tattooed killer lived in a home, surrounded by old people playing checkers all day? If that's the case, we can't really blame him for getting so bored that he just went out one day and started shooting drug dealers.
Toy Story Is Full of References to The Shining
As you've probably noticed, the children's animation studios of today just love filling their movies with references to things that a large percentage of their audience couldn't possibly get. For DreamWorks, that means blatant dick jokes ... and in the case of Pixar, it means slipping in connections to a movie about an alcoholic who's driven insane by ghosts and tries to murder his entire family. For example, remember the scene in Toy Story where Buzz and Woody are trying to escape Sid's house?
"Where's the exit? Let's ask those twin girls standing over there."
Did you feel an inexplicable sense of dread while watching that scene? Well, that's probably because the carpet in Sid's house has the exact same pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, the same one where junior psychic Danny Torrance used to play with his toys:
Looks like Buzz just saw that dude in the bear costume.
Buzz and Woody eventually escape that place without killing each other, but the horror continues in Toy Story 3. At one point, we see a monkey toy watching the feed from some surveillance cameras in a nursery. On the same desk, there's a small box with the Overlook carpet pattern on it again, plus a 1970s intercom modeled after the one seen in the hotel manager's office in The Shining.
After all those murders, the company just gave up and started hiring inanimate objects as caretakers.
But the most recurrent element in the movie is the number 237. We see a security camera with the model number "OVERLOOK R237":
That's almost as creepy as the surveillance tape where all the toys stand up and move around.
A garbage truck with the plate number "RM237":
And Woody chatting with someone with the username "Velocistar237":
"For the last time, stop calling me Danny."
Well, those are all references to the Overlook Hotel's Room 237 -- you know, the one where Jack Nicholson made out with that naked lady who then turned into a cackling corpse. Apparently she has pretty good Wi-Fi in there and likes chatting with toys to pass the time.
And none of this is a coincidence, by the way: Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is a massive fan of The Shining and personally put in all of these Easter eggs ... except the one in Toy Story 1. Presumably that's just straight up haunting.
Batman: Arkham City -- A Painting Gives Away the Fate of the Joker
Arkham City has three things going for it: Batman once again displaying his ability to violently punch criminals in the face all the live-long day, the awesomely nightmarish scenario of every criminal locked away in Arkham Asylum escaping en masse and turning an entire island into their own personal playground, and the shocking ending involving the death of the Joker.
Unless you count Tim Burton's bullshit (and it's so non-canonical that there's really no reason to), Bruce Wayne's legendary archrival finally kicking it was unprecedented, and completely out of the blue. Of course, if you're an art aficionado, then the twist was right in front of you the whole time.
Don't worry, you can stay in your living room for this one.
Halfway through the game, you switch to playing as Catwoman, sneaking around Arkham City while making off with as much swag as possible. One of your missions requires you to steal something from a safe, which is hidden behind this painting:
"But there's only one set of footprints."
The title of the painting, "Cain and Abel: The Duality of Man," obviously refers to the biblical story of Cain murdering his brother Abel because God liked him better. Whatever -- it's a pretty picture and all, but it's just window dressing, right?
Well, here's Batman, carrying the Joker's lifeless body in the exact same manner.
Nice touch with the marquee.
Then you remember the name of the painting and say "Ooooooh, right." Almost from the beginning, the Joker and Batman have had the most twisted brotherly relationship imaginable, each symbolizing an extreme of human nature. The Joker represents anarchy, chaos, and lawless animalism, while Bats stands for justice, law, and orderliness. The only way that painting could have been more blatant would be if the Joker had killed Batman, since he and Cain are both evil and all. The nerdrage on the Internet might have made such a tragedy well worth it.
The Cain and Abel stuff doesn't end there, though. Abel's murder was (according to the Bible anyhow) the first death in history; likewise, Joker's final laugh represents the first death in which Batman has had anything resembling a direct hand. More or less.
Jar Jar Binks in Carbonite
"The Last Supper" Has a Hidden Soundtrack
All right, this is just weird as hell.
So, you know Leonardo da Vinci, he of "The Last Supper"/helicopter designing fame. No, he didn't pass on the secret history of the offspring of Christ through cryptograms or backward crossword puzzle word searches or whatever. He just embedded a secret soundtrack into "The Last Supper."
Wait, What the Hell?
Those tasty dinner rolls scattered in "The Last Supper" may be the notes of a musical arrangement.
Actually, not just the bread, but the hands of Christ and the Apostles as well. One musician found that by drawing a five-line musical staff across the painting, the hands and buns seem to line up as the notes of a pretty little composition. This is assuming, of course, that the notes are read from right to left, which was how da Vinci wrote. Don't believe us? Give this a listen.
Suck it, Dan Brown.
Even skeptics have acknowledged that the composition's harmony is too perfect to be a coincidence. Da Vinci was, after all, the full-on Renaissance Man embodied, and one of his many, many, many gifts was that of music.
But the madness doesn't just stop with the notes. The same guy who discovered the music also claimed the painting held clues to the rhythm of the song and the duration of each note. So, technically, the first album containing a secret message when played backward was "The Last Supper." How does that egg on your face feel, TIPPER GORE?
And you thought The White Album was clever.
The Next Pixar Movie Is Always Hidden in the Previous One
It's not surprising that directors want to give a nod to the past. Whether it's David Fincher setting up a Facebook account for Tyler Durden in The Social Network or Peter Jackson having his Sumatran rat monkey from Braindead pop up in King Kong, directors love to give little nods to prior films.
Jackson's special effects budgets have gone up a bit since Braindead.
But leave it to Pixar to take this idea and turn it on its head. Besides the fact that Pixar movies in general are just one big incestuous turducken of in-jokes, they also like to feature characters from movies that haven't even been made yet. Sure, you may have already noticed that Flik says, "Toinfinity and beyond!" in the blooper reel for Bug's Life, or that the Pizza Planet truck appears in pretty much every Pixar movie ...
Above: The world's most dedicated delivery boy?
... but did you also spot Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles (2004) in Finding Nemo (2003), or Dug the dog from Up (2009) in Ratatouille (2007)? From what we can gather, these future references started showing up from Monsters, Inc. onward, but if you keep your eyes peeled and you're a very special kind of nerd, you'll find them. Here's Nemo from Finding Nemo (2003) making a few early cameos in Monsters, Inc. (2001)...
... and it seems the Mr. Incredible comic book came out before The Incredibles did ...
... and before he had eyes, Doc Hudson from Cars (2006) enjoyed chilling while superheroes fought robots ...
... and as Remy the rat is running around in Ratatouille, it's Dug the dog from Up who scares him off.
Not to mention the fact that Lotso from Toy Story 3 (2010) had his own cameo in Up ...
... or the new character of Finn McMissile from Cars 2 was featured on Andy's wall in Toy Story 3 ...
Radiohead's Decade-Spanning Secret Album
Radiohead's In Rainbows came out on 10/10/07, 10 years after OK Computer, and there are 10 letters in the names of both albums. Additionally, OK Computer's original working title was Zeroes and Ones, or "01," (the mirror image of "10" ... obviously). That last part alone is enough to make Radiohead fans start looking for a crazy conspiracy, as you're probably aware if you've ever had to spend a long car ride sitting beside one. The scary part? This time they'd be totally right.
This is what doing a whippet on the highway looks like.
There's a way to combine the tracks from OK Computer (hereinafter referred to as 01) and In Rainbows (hereinafter referred to as 10), to form one huge mega-album. As Puddlegum explains:
To create the 01 and 10 playlist, begin with OK Computer's track one, "Airbag," and follow this with In Rainbow's track one, "15 Step." Alternate the albums, track by track, until you reach "Karma Police" on OK Computer, making "All I Need" the tenth track on the 01 and 10 playlist.
It's not that they sound nice together; it's that these songs were definitely meant to make us shit our pants when played like this. In the way that "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End" all flow into each other on the Beatles' Abbey Road, these songs all flow into one another as well, as if they were all recorded in one big session.
Don't believe us? Just listen to it. To get the full effect, you need to set your player with a 10-second crossfade between tracks (more 10s!), but you can notice most stuff without doing that. Then shit your pants.
Is Thom York moody, or is he acting like he just crapped his pants as a really subtle clue?
This blogger points out that the song "Nude" (10 album), starts with the reverb from "Subterranean Homesick Alien" (01 album) still lingering, and the beats at the end of "Airbag" (01) set the tempo for "15 Step" (10). There's nothing unusual about that ... except when you consider that those songs were written and recorded 10 years apart. The pants-shitting synchronicity also applies to the lyrics. Puddlegum gives some examples and says: "There appears to be a concept flowing through the 01 and 10 playlist. Ideas in one song picked up by the next." In fact, one of the songs from In Rainbows was originally written for OK Computer and not used for 10 years, and the title of another seems to sum up the whole thing: "Jigsaw Falling into Place."
Remember all that "10" stuff we mentioned up top, about the date, the time between albums, the number of letters in the titles and whatnot? Want more? Radiohead themselves announced In Rainbows only 10 days before it came out (which is rather unusual), and the announcement was followed by a series of 10 cryptic messages posted by the band on their website. That's nothing new: Cryptic messages might be the only way alternative rock musicians know how to communicate. But then Radiohead fans, being Radiohead fans, noticed that the messages emphasized the letter X (one image was titled "Xendless Xurbia"). And, say, isn't "X" the Roman numeral for 10? Plus, let's take a look at this cover art real quick.
Oh, look, two 10s. Huh.
And as our comments section have informed us, the first numeral for the albums (O)K Computer and (I)n Rainbows are a zero and a one. And Radiohead also held a music video contest among their fans once: the prize was $10,000. They wound up giving an extra $1,000 to 10 people. And followed this all up with a 10-month tour.
The band has never officially confirmed any of this, although Puddlegum claims that Thom Yorke was annoyed by how long it's taken people to figure it out. Come on, dude -- not all of us are insane alien geniuses.
Your Car's Hidden Indicator
Playboy Magazine Has a Bunny on Every Cover
By definition, Easter eggs require the artist to put more attention into tiny details than the people consuming it can be reasonably expected to notice. If that is in fact the definition of an Easter egg, Playboy magazine might be responsible for the greatest Easter egg of all. After all, movie directors and video game makers can be pretty certain that anything they hide in their work will be hunted down by attentive fans and posted on a website for everyone to see. The only thing Playboy can assume about its audience is that they're going to be doing or at least thinking about doing things that could get them arrested if done in public. Their fan base is less devoted and frenzied, more horny and then looking to get rid of the evidence.
This makes it all the more baffling that Playboy has been hiding cleverly crafted Easter eggs on the covers of its magazines all this time. Specifically, Hugh Hefner and company have been hiding the bunny logo on every single cover, starting with the second-ever Playboy magazine that hit shelves in 1953. We're not sure we can call Playboy covers art, but we are pretty sure that might be the most unnecessary attention to detail ever included in the history of anything ever.
The cover below has the bunny incognito on the ribbon on the young woman's chest.
It took a team of young men nearly eight hours to position it on her breasts.
On this cover, the bunny ears are visible on the shoe at the bottom.
This one has the bunny ears on the film in front of her.
Zoom it in enough, and it displays an old issue of Hustler.
On this cover, the bunny ears take the shape of the flower the woman is holding.
The flower, lacking a mouth, silently begs for death.
This one has the bunny ears hidden on the fork.
Here it is as a white splotch on the white sheets underneath the left boob of 1994 Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy.
Of course, this was before she found out that silk sheets cause autism.
There's almost a sad fatalism to that last one. Hefner took the time to hide the bunny head right next to something that would ensure that nobody noticed it, and made the bunny head look like the sort of stain that serves as an exclamation point marking the end of his audience's interest in the product he makes. That might sound pretty sad on the inside for someone who has that many wives, but we're pretty sure "hasn't changed out of his pajamas for over a decade" is a sign of serious depression.
The Sistine Chapel Hides an Atheist Message
Michelangelo's ode to the Book of Genesis, The Creation of Adam, has endured not only as the most famous of the Sistine Chapel panels, but also one of the single most iconic images of humanity.
Note how Adam's pose mimics God's, how mankind is framed off from the Heavens by earth and mountains, and how God and his entourage are rolling around in a gigantic, floating brain.
Wait, What the Hell?
Look closely. It turns out that the figures of God, His angels and even the soon-to-be-created Eve under His arm form a nearly perfect cross-section of the human brain.
While some might dismiss this as a coincidence, experts suggest that it would be harder to explain that this was not Michelangelo's intention. Even complex components within the brain, such as the cerebellum, optic chiasm and pituitary gland can all be found in the picture. As for that sassy green sash running down the pons/spinal column/dude-holding-God-up, it follows the path of the vertebral artery perfectly.
Along with drawing, painting, sculpting, St. Peter's Basilica building and generally being among the universe's top bananas, Michelangelo counted cadaver dissecting as a favorite way to pass the time. He was so mad about corpse-cutting, in fact, that a friend once presented him with a perfectly formed dead Moor as a gift.
So why would this immensely talented genius stick the actual shape of the human brain in the middle of what he had to know was a pretty major work? Was he cleverly suggesting that God was bestowing Adam with divine knowledge? Or was Michelangelo literally saying God was created inside the human brain? It would have been a pretty ballsy message to send while painting the Pope's house for him. Although, since body dismemberment wasn't a hugely popular hobby at the time, he probably knew this one would stay quiet for a while. Basically, it comes down to how big a dick Michelangelo was. Speaking of which ...
Hidden Mickeys and Other ... Things
We all know that the entire Disney empire was built on the backs of undocumented laborers and a falsetto-voiced mouse. What you probably didn't know was that when Walt and the team dreamed up Epcot, they initially planned that the whole place would be Mickeyless. Not because they had grown to loathe Walt's most horrible creation, though no one would have blamed them if they had, but because Epcot was supposed to be some kind of future utopia, not another fantasy land for children. In other words, how would adults take Epcot's science-based speculations of a world run by animatronics seriously if a talking rodent was standing alongside them? They wouldn't. So there were only three places at Epcot where you could find Mickey's familiar silhouette: name tags, merchandise price tags and manhole covers (the implication we guess was that Mickey had been banished to the sewers).
There was only one problem. For some Imaginengineerers, a Disney park without Mickey Mouse would be like a face without eyebrows: grotesque. So they sneaked hidden Mickey Mouse ears all over the damn place out of spite. So, for example, while riding the Spaceship Earth attraction that presents the history of human communication, you probably wouldn't have noticed these scrolls forming the shape of Mickey's head:
In those scrolls lie the secret to permanently banishing him from our realm.
And you probably wouldn't have seen the paint rings left by the artists in the Renaissance section:
But there they are, plain as day. Here's one at the Canada pavilion:
Each one also symbolizes a person who was killed for defying Walt.
See it? It's painted blue, under the arm.
Eventually, even the designers in the Mickey-sanctioned parks wanted to get in on the fun, so hidden Mickeys started popping up everywhere. At least a thousand hidden Mickeys have been reported throughout the parks, and the people who are actually looking for them are nuts. They've written books and devoted websites to the world's least rewarding scavenger hunt.
By the way, Mickey isn't the only creature lurking in the shadows of the park. Every now and then a new ride will replace an old favorite, but Imagineers don't want to pretend that the old one never existed. So they'll leave a remnant as a quiet nod to times gone by. It sounds sweet until you're on the New Winnie the Pooh ride and turn around to see three mounted animal heads staring lifelessly into the dark abyss.
"Liberate tutemet ... ex inferis ..."
It turns out that the new Winnie the Pooh ride replaced the old Country Bear Jamboree, and Max, Buff and Melvin were too beloved for the dump. So they were placed in a spot that you'd have to literally turn around in your seat to view. Look at their faces. They're going to eat you.
Assassin's Creed Is Crazy Accurate
Arrested Development Is One Giant Easter Egg
Where a show like Community throws in the occasional inside joke to amuse loyal fans, the low-rated Arrested Development became legend because it was almost entirely inside jokes. For example, we recently pointed out that they spent more than a year foreshadowing a single joke/plot twist, most of which you (again) would probably miss even on repeat viewings. But in Season 2, Arrested Development executed what has to be the single most absurd sequence of foreshadowing and plot twist in the history of television.
Besides the one where we discover Maeby's boyfriend had sex with George Michael's alter ego.
In the 11th episode that season, Buster Bluth has his hand bitten off by a loose seal, while trying to escape his mother Lucille. Buster's replacement hook-hand would be an ongoing running joke from that point on. But if you then went back and rewatched the entire season, you'd see a series of clues that only a diseased mind would have put together:
First, we repeatedly see Michael Bluth starring in a stage play called "The Trial of Captain Hook" (in flashback):
Then Buster refers to a party as "off the hook":
In Episode 3, Buster sees his old hand-shaped chair in his maid's house and says, "Wow, I never thought I'd miss a hand so much!"
In Episode 11, George Sr. finds out about Buster's joining the army and says, "What If I never get a chance to reach out and touch that hand of his again?"
Wait, there's more. Later, we see Gob release the same seal into the ocean that eventually bites off Buster's hand, at which point he tells the seal it's "not going to be hand fed anymore":
Then Buster is seen sitting on a bench with an ad for the Army on it -- notice how he's obscured all the words except for "ARM OFF."
And then Buster's later seen playing on a claw machine from which he wins a stuffed seal:
You don't have to be insane to write a show like that, but ... actually, never mind. We're pretty sure you do.
Tarantino Movies Are a Vast Interlocking Parallel Reality
Every self-respecting Tarantino fan knows about the link between Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs ... but it turns out that the connections between his movies go much, much deeper than that.
Tarantino's foot fetish is actually a deconstruction of the human condition of having feet.
In Pulp Fiction, John Travolta plays a guy called Vincent Vega. In Reservoir Dogs, most of the characters are known only by their code names -- except Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), who happens to be called Vic Vega. Coincidence? Nope, Tarantino has confirmed that they are brothers, and at one point he even considered doing a prequel about the two before they died in their respective movies (though he says it's unlikely now because of the actors' ages).
The amount of CGI needed would bankrupt many studios.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. As you might recall, Tarantino's movie Inglourious Basterds ends with the slightly unrealistic scene where Hitler is gunned to shit by a group of Nazi-hunting American Jews in 1944, rather than killing himself in his bunker the following year. If you ever wondered what the world would be like if World War II had really ended that way -- well, it turns out Tarantino has been showing us that reality for the past 20 years.
You see, in Inglourious Basterds, Eli Roth plays a character called Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz.
And in True Romance (written by Tarantino), there's a film producer called Lee Donowitz, who has been confirmed to be Donny's son. One of the main characters in True Romance is a woman called Alabama -- the same Alabama Mr. White mentions as a former partner in Reservoir Dogs. Since we've already linked Reservoir Dogs to Pulp Fiction, this means that almost every movie Tarantino has done is set in the Inglourious Basterds timeline. We could go even further and link all the rest through Tarantino's fake brands, like those Red Apple cigarettes that appear in a lot of his movies (including Kill Bill).
One kills hundreds of people over the course of the films; the other is Uma Thurman.
It makes a sort of sense when you think about it -- the world would be a very different place if Inglourious Basterds was historically accurate and everyone knew that the Nazis were defeated not through strategy and air power, but by sending a handful of pissed-off guys to do this:
"That'll teach him to Hitler."
If that's what you're taught in school, it's only natural that people should become desensitized to violence -- for some, shooting someone in the face would be something you could do as you're, say, making small talk about what type of hamburgers they have in Amsterdam.
"It's 'Le shooting someone in the face' over there. See, little differences."
Also, the fact that the Nazi high command was gunned down and/or burned alive during a hijacked film premiere would perhaps cause society to lend more importance to pop culture: It's no coincidence that the son of the man who killed Hitler in a movie theater went on to become an important film industry figure. If people constantly stop to talk about comic book characters or '70s rock music trivia during incongruous moments, that's because in this reality that's some important, history-changing shit.
In this universe, talking about "Like a Virgin" is the equivalent of saying grace.
David's Tiny Penis Was Historically Accurate
Like Mr. T, Michelangelo's "David" is as much a triumph of human endeavor as it is an anatomical phenomenon. The precision of the human body captured by Michelangelo has been described as nothing short of spectacular.
Note the exaggerated head and pulsing veins on the dorsum of the hands, engorged with tension. Admire the curve of the taut torso, the flexing of the thigh muscles in the right leg and the prominence of the subject's heroic pen ...
Wait, What the Hell?
That's one disproportionately teeny wiener.
David's junk, which Italians affectionately refer to as his pisello, has become a bit of a running gag for the past 500 years. The statue towers over its audience at 13-feet of perfection, yet his 5-inch wang (rounding up) puts him on the shorter end of the stick ... stick.
But a group of doctors have recently come in defense of the statue's tiny member. When viewed from a high angle -- the view Michelangelo would have had as he chiseled away in his workshop -- David has a stressed look on his face that's invisible from the ground level.
"Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap."
He isn't just simply striking a pose; David is facing his opponent, Goliath, the Jew-baiting GIANT. Researchers made a computerized scan of the sculpture as part of their study, and found that every minute, anatomical detail shows a guy scared out of his mind, but ready to pounce like a naked-assed Tyler Durden.
Their diagnosis: The dude's weasel isn't just hilariously tiny, it's running for cover. Which physiologically speaking, is normal penis behavior when the owner of said penis is on the verge of fighting a giant.
After victory is another story.
But since nobody from the ground level could see David's knitted, worrywart brow, everyone just assumed Michelangelo was being a wiseguy. Which would make sense, because dick jokes were as common in Renaissance Florence as they are at Cracked. What doesn't make sense is why Michelangelo left David's Hebrew wang uncircumcised. Maybe one day we'll do an article on, "The X Most Intriguing Questions Raised by These Close-Up Pictures of Dongs."