6 References Hidden In Popular Movies And Shows
We all know that movies are often filled with pop culture Easter eggs. Everyone's basically making Tarantino-style artistic Horcruxes at this point. But sometimes movies and shows include discreet allusions to the last thing you would imagine. Imagine if Saving Private Ryan threw in a shout-out to ALF or something. For some very real examples, look at how ...
Game Of Thrones Recreated A Monty Python Sketch
It's probably not surprising that the dudes filling our television sets with dragons and angry hordes of zombie-cicles are giant nerds. Even so, Game Of Thrones may have slipped a particularly geeky reference past most audiences. Obviously, the show's prime inspiration is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings with a copy of Hustler secretly tucked inside, but the fourth season includes a coded reference to another great fantasy epic: Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
When Daenerys and her army approach the gates of Meereen, the scene plays out not dissimilarly from when King Arthur and his knights come upon the French castle. But since HBO isn't exactly strapped for cash, the Queen of Dragons and her friends aren't forced to bang coconuts together.
The Champion of Meereen emerges and begins shouting insults at our heroes before publicly relieving himself like a common Harry Potter character. What exactly did he say? According to Game Of Thrones' in-house linguist, it was "a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy's insults in Monty Python And The Holy Grail," including lines such as "Your mother is a hamster" and "Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person." Meaning there's still hope that the much-anticipated final season will pit the Stark children against a bloodthirsty rabbit.
The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Is Filled With Beastie Boys References
While George Lucas named many of his alien creatures after incomprehensible gibberish his kids randomly blurted out, after the franchise was wrestled out of his hands, J.J. Abrams came up with a new source of inspiration: the Beastie Boys. It's no secret that Abrams is a fan of the hip-hop group. His Star Trek reboot featured a pint-sized Kirk blasting "Sabotage" in a stolen car, which is weird because A) that would essentially be classical music in the 23rd century, and B) how do the Beastie Boys exist in the Star Trek universe when many of their songs include references to Star Trek?
In any case, Abrams is a big fan. If you don't believe us, meet Resistance pilot Ello Asty -- just an H and an N away from the Beastie Boys album Hello Nasty. It's not only this dude. All members of the Abednedo species are named after Beastie Boys. There's Brasmon Kee ("Brass Monkey"), Slowen Lo ("Slow And Low") and Ilco Munica (Ill Communication).
Some have even suspected that adorable droid BB-8 was named in honor of Abrams' favorite group, with BB standing for "Beastie Boys" and "8" alluding to their total number of studio albums.
And it wasn't just J.J. Abrams who got to cram a Star Wars movie full of his own personal obsessions. The Last Jedi features a shout-out to '80s British sitcom The Young Ones, which flew over most people's heads like a TIE fighter of obscurity. Not only does one of the show's stars, Adrian Edmondson, show up as a First Order officer, but when Finn and Rose are riding their giant rabbit-donkeys through Casino Town, she shouts "CLIFF!" Exactly like the titular punks do in the series' final episode.
The Purge Movies Are A Nod To A Classic Star Trek Episode
Until it's inevitably adopted as official government policy, the Purge films remain satirical escapist entertainment. As we all know, the story concerns the one night a year when every crime is legal -- and instead of simply staying home and torrenting popular movies, everyone goes on a murder-spree dressed like a glow-in-the-dark Juggalo.
It turns out that the idea for The Purge came from the same source that inspired countless scientific advancements and craploads of erotic fanfiction: Star Trek. Specifically, the original series episode "Return Of The Archons." That episode finds Captain Kirk and his peeps discovering a planet that looks like 19th-century Earth -- because aliens love sets and costumes that happen to be kicking around a studio backlot.
It turns out that the planet's inhabitants are smack the middle of a "Festival" in which their mysterious overlord Landru doesn't impose his rules, allowing everybody to rape and murder with impunity. It's pretty similar to The Purge, minus the twist that Landru turns out to be a giant computer which Kirk defeats with logic. Director James DeMonaco admitted the influence, adding that his father "forced me to watch over and over." So maybe we should be happy that no one in The Purge had to battle unconvincing lizard men with papier-mache boulders.
Harry Potter Borrowed A Joke From This Is Spinal Tap
Hogwarts seems like a pretty lousy school, what with the textbooks that try to murder you, the lack of any kind of health or sex ed curriculum, and the sports more dangerous than Russian Roulette. But one of the castle's biggest shortcomings is its inability to hold onto a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. From Professor Quirrell to Gilderoy Lockhart to Dolores Umbridge, that particular position has a higher turnover than "Walking Dead showrunner" or "White House chief of staff."
The running gag didn't come out of nowhere. According to J.K. Rowling, the idea that the Dark Arts gig is literally cursed came from This Is Spinal Tap. In the iconic mockumentary, the faded heavy metal band Spinal Tap can never hang onto a drummer. They keep dying in mishaps that include choking on vomit, spontaneous combustion, and a "bizarre gardening accident." Rowling has yet to comment on whether the awkwardness of the Fantastic Beasts series is really a low-key reference to the cringeworthy play in Waiting For Guffman.
Riverdale Has Built A Whole Season Around The Real-Life D&D Backlash
After solving a Twin Peaks-style murder mystery, battling a serial killer, and somehow still finding time for homework offscreen, the gang from Riverdale then faced their biggest adversary yet: a tabletop role-playing game? The third season of the popular show found Archie and the gang discovering Gryphons & Gargoyles, a Dungeons & Dragons-style game that compels its players to commit real murders and suicides, despite the fact that the only danger that comes from playing D&D is accidentally poking yourself with a 12-sided die.
Younger fans may not realize that this storyline is based on history. The "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s found Evangelical types arguing that everything from Heavy Metal to He-Man and even the freaking Care Bears were the work of the literal Devil. More than one teenager who committed suicide during this time happened to be a fan of D&D. Despite the fact that these kids had histories of mental health problems and social anxiety, activists were quick to blame the role-playing game. One Evangelical claimed, "The game is an occult tool that opens up young people to influence or possession by demons." Which makes a group of sweaty, puberty-ridden nerds pretending to be wizards while downing Yoo-Hoos sound way cooler than it is.
So Riverdale turned the real-life hysteria surrounding the game and imagined a world in which those fears are totally justified. Which is kind of messed up, when you think about it.
It Really Seems Like Frozen Is Paying Homage To Watchmen
Frozen is either a fun Disney adventure, or, if you have kids, a never-ending purgatorial torment in which you're forced to relive the same songs day after day after day. The movie famously tells the story of Queen Elsa, whose icy powers elicit fear in her subjects. While a superpowered young person overcoming prejudice sounds like a straight-up X-Men storyline, the movie's plot more closely resembles that of a different famous comic book: Watchmen.
While no one involved in making Frozen has confirmed this, the similarities between Elsa's self-imposed exile and Dr. Manhattan's are hard to ignore. After being betrayed by their fellow citizens ...
... they each flee to isolation. In Frozen it's a distant mountaintop, while in Watchmen it's Mars. They each use their superpowers to build themselves a kickass castle. Bonus points to Elsa for singing a show-stopping ballad and not being too lazy to put on some clothes.
In the end, both come back to civilization after talking with their loved ones (Silk Spectre and Anna, respectively). The other parts of the story don't line up so well, unless you want to try to venture down the "Olaf the talking snowman is Rorschach" path, beyond which surely lies madness.
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