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38 Marvel Movie Easter Eggs You Definitely Don't Want to Miss Out On

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

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Easter eggs everywhere

Marvel
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Easter eggs everywhere

The Marvel fandom is a pretty tight-knit crew and, let's be real, we love to geek out over every little hidden tidbit in the movies. 

Here are some of our favorite gems that remind us the Marvel superheroes are all connected, like one quirky little super-family — and just like the fans.

Originally published May 2016. Updated July 2017.

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Howard the Duck

Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
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Howard the Duck

There were plenty of Easter eggs in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the appearance of Howard the Duck was definitely our favorite. 

Even though Howard is a Marvel character, he doesn't get all that much press in the cinematic world — with the exception of his classic 1986 film, of course.

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Stan Lee and The Watchers

Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
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Stan Lee and The Watchers

Since Stan Lee has a cameo in pretty much every Marvel film, it's no big that he showed up in Guardians 2 — except this cameo in particular sheds some light on all of his previous cameos.

Lee is credited as "Watcher Informant," and it seems he has been a spy for them all along. He also mentions when he was a FedEx delivery guy, which is an obvious reference to his cameo in Captain America: Civil War.

Speaking of...

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Punching Hitler

Marvel
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Punching Hitler

In Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America participates in a Goodwill tour in World War II and is seen punching a performer playing Adolph Hitler. This is a nod to the very first Captain America comic book cover, where Captain America is shown punching Hitler. Actor James Playton reprised his role as the evil Nazi leader in 2014's The Monuments Men

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Frozen Bucky?

Marvel
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Frozen Bucky?

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see a figure that looks a lot like Bucky frozen in a cryotank, but Bucky is actually in the scene. Many people think that the man in the tank is a clone of Bucky, since there were more than one Winter Soldier. 

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Comics brought to life

Marvel
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Comics brought to life

Director Joss Whedon said he deliberately shot this crowded scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron to look like it was ripped from the pages of a comic book. Comic book illustrations are known for having a lot more visual information than images from movies since a reader can spend as much time looking at the comic book page as they need to. 

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Incest?

Marvel
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Incest?

It's well-known that The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are brother and sister. In the comics, they have an intimate relationship. This is subtly implied in the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier when the siblings are seen holding hands and being physically close. 

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That famous speech

Marvel
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That famous speech

In the comics, Captain America has a famous speech that goes, "Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — No, you move." 

In the film Civil War however, the speech is actually delivered by Sharon Carter, not Captain America, and we're fine with that.

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D23

Marvel
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D23

We get a delicious Easter egg in Captain America: Civil War when Bucky is seen through the window of this door labeled, "D23" which is the name of the Official Disney Fan Club. The "D" is for Disney and the "23" is the year Walt started his studio. 

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Vision & Scarlet Witch

Marvel
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Vision & Scarlet Witch

Vision and The Scarlet Witch continue to get closer in Captain America: Civil War. Their budding romance is a nod to the comics where they actually got married. 

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Marisa Tomei

FayesVision/WENN
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Marisa Tomei

For some reason, many fans didn't like casting Marisa Tomei as Spider-Man's Aunt May, most likely because Tomei is a much more youthful and beautiful version of the character that's portrayed as much older in the comic books. But in Civil War, Tony Stark goes out of his way to compliment May on her looks, indicating there's a real attraction there. Could we see an Iron Man crossover in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming? We'll just have to wait and see...

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The Manchurian Candidate

United Artists
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The Manchurian Candidate

In Civil War, Tony Stark calls Bucky "Manchurian Candidate," which was a 1962 film starring Frank Sinatra. In the film, many America soldiers are held hostage in the Korean War and are brainwashed to be assassins when they see certain playing cards. This is a reference to Bucky's time being held captive by Soviets and given specific "trigger words."

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Little Donny Blake

Marvel
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Little Donny Blake

Okay, so Thor's not so little, but Chris Hemsworth looks adorable in this ID photo as Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's alter-ego from the comic books.  

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Peek of a comic

Marvel
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Peek of a comic

In Iron Man 2, Tony Start sorts though his deceased father's things. Underneath the newspaper is clearly a Captain America comic book. 

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Mandarin's tattoo

Marvel
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Mandarin's tattoo

In Iron Man 3, what first appears to be a tattoo of Captain America's shield on the back of Mandarin's neck is actually the symbol for anarchy. This implies that our villain is the opposite of Captain America. 

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Handprints

Marvel
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Handprints

In Iron Man 3, there's an explosion at the famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood that's known for having actors' footprints and handprints in the cement outside. In the film, the villain sits down on the cement right next to the handprints of Robert Downey, Jr.

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Is Hulk grey or green?

Marvel
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Is Hulk grey or green?

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, a soldier trying to hunt down the Hulk describes him as, "Green or grey." This is a reference to the original comic books where the Hulk was changed from grey to green due to a problem with the ink. 

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Theme music

Marvel
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Theme music

If you listen carefully to the music playing during this scene at the casino in Iron Man, it sounds an awful lot like a jazz-inspired version of the theme music from the Iron Man cartoon from 1966. 

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'Angel' Easter egg

Marvel
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'Angel' Easter egg

Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, is also known for TV shows like Buffy and Angel. In Age of Ultron, Whedon gives a shout-out to Angel fans by showing three men in a row, each dressed as a wolf, a ram and a deer, also called a hart in Old English. 

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Wolfram & Hart

The WB
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Wolfram & Hart

This image shows the law firm Wolfram & Hart that's run by ancient demons, the villains on the show Angel from the late '90s.

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Warren Ellis

Marvel
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Warren Ellis

In Iron Man 3, the character of President Ellis is named for comic book writer Warren Ellis, who wrote the Extremus storyline, on which the movie is based. 

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Mozart or Salieri?

Marvel
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Mozart or Salieri?

In Iron Man, Obadiah plays a song on the piano written by 18th century Italian composer, Antonio Salieri. Salieri was Mozart's musical rival and serves as a mirror to the hostile relationship between Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane.

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Pinocchio reference

Marvel/Disney
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Pinocchio reference

When Ultron first appears in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, he speaks about feeling controlled just like a puppet on strings. Ultron then sings a melancholy version of "I've Got No Strings," the song Pinocchio sang in the animated film from Disney in 1940. A short little snippet of the real song can also be heard if you listen closely. 

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Bill Bixby

Universal
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Bill Bixby

How could the 2008 film version of The Incredible Hulk be taken seriously if it didn't have a reference to the old TV show? This film clip shows actor Bill Bixby as David Banner, the calmer version of the famous green lug. The TV show ran from 1977 to 1982.

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Cryosync

Marvel
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Cryosync

This tank of Super Soldier Serum, developed by Dr. Reinstein, is labeled Cryosync, the name of Tony Stark Industries. 

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The shield in progress

Marvel
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The shield in progress

In Iron Man 2, we see an unfinished version of Captain America's famous shield in Tony Stark's workroom. By seeing it half-finished, we get a greater sense of where this particular movie fits into the Marvel movie timeline. 

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Lou Ferrigno

Marvel
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Lou Ferrigno

Playing a security guard in The Incredible Hulk from 2008 is the green dude himself, Lou Ferrigno. It's rumored that Ferrigno will also be voicing the Hulk in Thor: Ragnrok in 2017. 

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Stanley's Restaurant

Marvel
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Stanley's Restaurant

In The Incredible Hulk, Stanley's pizza restaurant is a play on Stan Lee, the Chairman of Marvel Comics' name. Lee makes cameos in all the Marvel films, including as a Fed Ex driver in Captain America: Civil War, who mispronounces Tony Stark's name when he makes a delivery.

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Restaurant owner

Marvel
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Restaurant owner

The owner of Stanley's restaurant is actor Paul Soles, who did the voice of Dr. Bruce Banner in the animated TV show, Hulk in 1966. 

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Purple Pants

Marvel
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Purple Pants

These ridiculous purple pants are a clear nod to the goofy pants worn by the Hulk in the TV show. 

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David B.

Marvel
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David B.

Another reference to the TV show, this package, addressed to "David B." is a reminder that the original name of the Hulk's alter ego was Bruce Banner in the comics, not David.

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Circuits Maximus

Marvel
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Circuits Maximus

In this shot from Iron Man 2, we see product placement for Oracle and a sign for the fake company, Circuits Maximus, a start-up that Stark joins in the comic books. 

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Tesseract

Marvel
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Tesseract

In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark finds his father's drawing of the Tesseract, the containment vessel for the powerful Infinity stone. Tony Stark ends up getting the actual Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger.

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Walt Disney

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Walt Disney

In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark's father, Howard, is based on the real Walt Disney. Both were visionaries and both had a mysterious side.

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The 10 Rings

Marvel
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The 10 Rings

If you know the Iron Man comics inside and out, you'll definitely identify the interlocking circles above Tony Stark's head as the symbol for the terrorist organization, The 10 Rings. The organization is unpredictable and contains members from countries all over the world. 

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Space Dog

Marvel
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Space Dog

In 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, we see this living dog in a space suit, known as Cosmo in the comics. If there were a contest for cutest creature in the universe, Cosmo and Groot would tie for first place. 

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Raza

Marvel
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Raza

Raza gets a big makeover from Iron Man to Iron Man 3. Here, he looks most like his comic-book-self in this scene in the desert where his head is shaved, he's bruised and he's wearing strange glasses. He looks like a man on a mission.

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'Arrested Development' nod

Marvel
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'Arrested Development' nod

Because Civil War directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, also directed some episodes of Arrested Development, they thought it would be a fun idea to include a stair car, the Bluth family's preferred mode of transportation, in this quick shot at the airport. 

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