Marvel films are so intense and action-packed that it’s hard to spot all of the Easter eggs unless you know what to look for. A lot of the hidden gems are the Russo brothers paying homage to the original comics, such as certain unnamed weapons and fight scenes.
Then, there are little nods to previous projects that the directors have worked on. Anyone notice the Bluth stair car from Arrested Development during the airport fight scene in Captain America: Civil War? Keep scrolling to learn about some of the Easter eggs hidden throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hawkeye And Ant-Man Recreate A Famous Comic Book Scene
For those comic book fans out there, you are probably some of the few who noticed this Easter egg in Captain America: Civil War. In the film, Hawkeye and Ant-Man recreate the famous Avengers #223 cover. During the fight at the German airport, Clint Barton has Scott Lang shrink down to “ant size” and hop on his arrow.
In comic #223, Ant-Man is helping Hawkeye capture the villain Taskmaster. Unfortunately, during their fight, a bomb is dropped. In their attempt to defuse the situation, Ant-Man hops on Hawkeye’s arrow and is shot up to the bomb. Thankfully, he defuses the bomb before it goes off.
Rhodey’s Ringtone For Tony Is The 1966 Iron Man Theme Song
Only those who watched the “Iron Man” segment of The Marvel Super Heroes cartoon series would have picked up on this Easter egg. In the first Iron Man movie, James Rhodes, aka Rhodey and later War Machine, has a fascinating ringtone for Tony Stark.
The ringtone is actually from the 1966 “Iron Man” segment! And, to be honest, we wish the lyrics were involved and not just the instrumental. We mean, how can you not include the vocals when they go like this, “Tony Stark makes you feel/He’s a cool exec with a heart o’ steel/As Iron Man, all jets ablaze/He’s fightin’ and smitin’ with repulsor rays!”
Clint And His Wife Named Their Kid After Natasha And Pietro
In the film Avengers: Age of Ultron, the audience is introduced to Clint Barton’s family, which consists of a pregnant wife and a young daughter. Interestingly, no one knew about his secret life except Natasha and Fury. Not too surprising, since he’s known Natasha forever, and Fury is the one who helped put them into hiding so he could do his job.
At the end of the film, Clint’s wife is seen holding the newborn in a Facetime call to Natasha. The Easter egg is the baby’s name, Nathaniel Pietro Barton. The name pays homage to Natasha, Clint’s best friend, and Pietro Maximoff, the man who saved his life.
The Infamous Shawarma Restaurant Can Be Spotted!
One of the most infamous post-credit scenes in the first wave of the MCU is the shawarma scene. After the battle of New York, the Avengers are seen at a local shawarma restaurant, but it’s not random. When Stark is fighting on the street, a sign that says “Shawarma” can be seen behind him.
If you recall, earlier in the film, Stark asks Bruce Banner if he’d ever had shawarma and says that he knows a place a few blocks away that he wants to try. The place is the restaurant with the sign! See, everything came full circle and Tony finally got to try the restaurant with his friends.
The Wasp’s Outline Can Be Seen In Ant-Man
During the final battle in Ant-Man, viewers watch Scott Lang shrink down to subatomic size and enter the quantum realm. It just so happens that Lang is widely advised not to shrink down that small because it is impossible to get back to the real world once in the quantum realm.
While Lang is in the quantum realm, though, an outline of the Wasp can be seen. It was a subtle hint that Hope’s mom was still alive. It was then followed up with Ant-Man and the Wasp, where Scott, Hope, and Dr. Pim try to rescue Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp, from the quantum realm.
A Picture Of Bruce Banner In Spider-Man: Homecoming
Unless you looked very closely at the pictures of famous scientists hanging up in Peter Parker’s science class during Spider-Man: Homecoming, then you might have missed the Easter egg hiding there. Alongside some of the most brilliant minds in history is none other than Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk.
Yes, Banner is one of the leading experts in gamma radiation and technology, but that doesn’t mean we’re not surprised that Howard and Tony Stark aren’t included. Honestly, the posters would probably change very fast if Tony got wind of his face being excluded.
Principal Morita’s Grandfather Served With Captain America
This Easter egg would require you to have extensive knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it pays homage to a character from Captain America: The First Avenger. In the film Spider-Man: Homecoming, when Peter is sitting in Principal Morita’s office, there are a few images on the filing cabinet and memorabilia hanging on the wall.
The pictures are, in fact, of the principal’s grandfather, Jim Morita. He was a Howling Commando who served alongside Captain America. Another tidbit is that Kenneth Choi plays both the principal as well as his grandfather during The First Avenger.
Nick Fury’s Gravestone Pays Homage To His Pulp Fiction Character
In Captain America: Winter Soldier, an Easter egg is hidden in the most unlikely of places, on a fake gravestone. Now, the phony headstone belongs to Nick Fury, who had to lead the Winter Soldier into believing he was dead, and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D had disbanded. Of course, that was a ruse, and the good guys who didn’t support Hydra were still going strong. Kind of.
Anyhow, the Easter egg on Fury’s “grave” pays homage to his character in Pulp Fiction, Jules Winnfield. The tombstone reads, “The Path of the Righteous Man…” It is the same verse, Ezekiel 25:17, that Winnfield says to people before pulling the trigger.
The World Tree Can Be Seen In Red Skull’s Chambers
In 2011, Thor introduced the MCU to something in Norse mythology called the Yggdrasil, or the great world tree. In the film Thor, we see the title character explaining to scientist Jane Foster how the nine realms all sit in the great world tree, even going as far as drawing a diagram for her to follow along.
This isn’t the last time we see the tree, though. In Captain America: The First Avenger, we see Red Skull standing in front of an ancient picture depicting the world tree, an Easter egg for those who were following the MCU films to date.
Adam Warlock’s Cocoon Appears In Guardians Of The Galaxy
When thinking about what items to put in the Collectors Museum in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, director James Gunn decided to include Adam Warlock’s cocoon. Little did Gunn know, fans took the inclusion very seriously, expecting to see Adam in the movie. This super being was created by scientists who were trying to create the perfect person.
Instead, they wound up giving Adam powers such as superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and the ability to re-purpose cosmic energy, among other things. One of those other things was the ability to create a cocoon. The vessel helps Adam with self-preservation and increased regeneration if he is ever injured.
Dr. Strange Whips Out The Crimson Bands Of Cyttorak
This Easter egg is another instance that fans of the comic books probably noticed. During Avengers: Infinity War, Dr. Strange does something a bit different with his cosmic powers. Instead of manipulating time and space, he throws out the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.
The bands are known to bind their captor and have as strong a will as Cyttorak, a deity that is known to power the mutant known as Juggernaut. The Easter egg was a nod to a power seen in a few of the Dr. Strange comics, even if the move isn’t mentioned by name in the film.
All Of The Letters Are Knocked Off Stark Tower Except “A”
During The Avengers, a high-rise building known as Stark Tower is built. The building runs entirely off an independent arc reactor, the same source that powers Tony’s suit and “heart.” It’s the first structure to use the reactor, something that will sustain the building for a year without any cost to the city.
The Easter egg comes at the end of the movie when the battle is finally over, and all of the Avengers are safe. Viewers can see all of the letters on the tower are down except the “A.” This hints that the tower will be used as the first headquarters for the Avengers.
Captain America’s Shield Can Be Seen In Iron Man
Those with a keen eye probably noticed this little Easter egg in the first Iron Man film. While Tony is working on his suit, something that he has to keep tweaking because the first model was built from scraps in a cave, there is something significant that can be seen behind him.
If you look very closely, Captain America’s infamous shield can be seen in the background. We can only assume that Tony is working on a replica of his father’s former work. Little did Tony know that he was going to be handing it off the Cap later down the line.
A Man Trying To Buy Pim Particles Has A Ten Rings Tattoo
While Hank Pim is selling his Pim Particles in the first Ant-Man movie, there is a man in the crowd who has a very interesting tattoo. His barley-three neck tattoo illustrates The Ten Rings, the terrorist organization that kidnapped Tony Stark in the first Iron Man and who the Mandarin leads.
This tiny Easter egg leads fans to believe that the real Mandarin is going to show up in the MCU at some point, since all we got was the fake actor in Iron Man 3. At least we know that the organization wasn’t able to get their hands on Hank’s technology.
Tony Actually Says The Avengers Tagline
Comic book fans probably caught this Easter egg in The Avengers. When Tony is talking to Loki in Stark Tower before the wormhole is opened, he says something that might sound familiar to people who grew up reading The Avengers comics.
Stark says, “Earth’s mightiest heroes,” referencing himself and the rest of the team. The tagline is in honor of the 1963 comic. Sorry to fans who didn’t know that it wasn’t just Stark’s extreme ego coming into play, the tagline is actually a piece of Avenger history.
The Bluth Family’s Stair Car From Arrested Development
Before becoming Marvel Studio’s golden boys, the Russo brothers worked on other projects such as Community and Arrested Development. If you’ve ever seen the latter television program, then you know that one of the main characters isn’t a person but rather a stair car.
Well, in Captain America: Civil War, you might notice a familiar stair car situated behind Ant-Man and Captain America as they’re strategizing during the battle at Germany’s Leipzig-Halle airport. The little Easter egg is considered to be one of the Russo brothers’ most subtle yet best homages.
A Pixar Easter Egg Is In The Avengers: A113
Pixar and Disney movies are notorious for leaving the Easter egg A113 somewhere in all of their movies, as a nod to character animation students who used that classroom at the California Institute of the Arts. So, when Disney bought Marvel, it was only a matter of time before the classroom number began popping up in the MCU.
The file number, A113, can be seen in the top corner of a post-Battle of New York interview. It’s kind of cool that producer Joss Whedon thought to include the companies’ communal Easter egg in the Marvel film.
Iron Man Has A War Machine Reference
When Terrance Howard’s James Rhodes says, “Next time baby,” in Tony Stark’s garage, it’s an obvious insinuation that he is going to wear the super-suit in another movie. Little did MCU fans know, but Howard wouldn’t be suiting up as War Machine with the rest of the Avengers.
But that doesn’t mean Don Cheadle wasn’t up for the challenge. Cheadle replaced Howard as Rhody in Iron Man 2, and he stayed on throughout the rest of the MCU films. He even brought the Iron Man Easter egg to life, becoming War Machine for the Avengers.
Captain America Comics Can Be Seen In Iron Man 2
Fans of the MCU know that Howard Stark was a huge fan of Captain America. Steve Rogers was one of his biggest success stories, aside from Tony. Even though Tony kind of resented the fact that all his father would talk about is Steve Rogers, he ended up keeping a few of his father’s “Cap memorabilia.”
If you look very closely, when Tony goes through some of his father’s things in Iron Man 2, some old Captain America comic books can be seen. The keepsakes are a reminder of the huge part Howard Stark played in Steve Rogers becoming the superhero the world knows today.
Project Pegasus Reference In Iron Man 2
In The Avengers, Project Pegasus is the secret facility in the Mojave Desert that houses the Tesseract, a space stone with infinite energy. The project is referenced as far back as Iron Man 2, when Tony asks Jarvis to pull up files for a few different projects, one being Pegasus.
Surprisingly, the facility was constructed years prior to Tony finding out about it. As Captain Marvel is set two decades before the Battle of New York, it could be argued that Iron Man 2’s reference was an Easter egg we’d later see in Carol Danvers’ story as well as Loki’s.
Stark Industries Inventions Were Used In The Incredible Hulk
It’s common to see the company Stark Industries thrown around Marvel films. But it was quite something to see in the movie right after Iron Man since The Incredible Hulk was released just a month after the world was introduced to Robert Downey Jr’s. Iron Man.
In one of the scenes, viewers can see Bruce Banner looking at blueprints for a vehicle designed by none other than Stark Industries. Thank you, Marvel, for giving us this Easter egg crossover. It gave fans something to look forward to in the coming years!
A Marvel Writer Is Seen In Thor Trying To Lift Mjolnir
J. Michael Straczynski is one of the writers behind Thor. But because he’s a writer, unless you look him up, there is no telling what Straczynski looks like. Well, while the townspeople of New Mexico are trying to lift Mjolnir from the desert sand, there is one man who is more than he appears.
That’s right, J. Michael Straczynski is one of the men who try to lift Mjolnir. Of course, he isn’t found worthy, and Thor’s hammer stayed stuck in the ground.
Black Widow’s Arrow Necklace In Winter Solider
Considering the necklace is so small, we don’t blame you if you missed Natasha’s accessory in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The necklace has an arrow pendant, a nod to her long-time friend and ally, Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. Even though their friendship throughout the MCU is completely platonic, fans can’t help wonder if the piece of jewelry symbolizes their romantic relationship from the comics.
Of course, the two eventually break up and become good friends instead of non-speaking ex-partners. Still, the arrow necklace is a nice Easter egg to symbolize their ongoing friendship and alliance with one another.
Arnim Zola’s Big Head In The First Avenger
In one of the first scenes in Captain America: The First Avenger, viewers see Arnim Zola’s head very close-up in a microscope. The big head is a nod to Zola’s look in the comics, where readers see his character as literally a giant head projected onto a screen.
This subtle Easter egg then becomes a reality in Captain America: Winter Soldier. We see Black Widow and Captain America find an underground lab hidden beneath Cap’s old base. There, they turn on Zola’s brain, and a huge green head is projected on a monitor.
Killmonger’s Balck Panther Suit Has A Subtle Leopard Print
In Black Panther, when we finally see Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger wear a Blank Panther suit, there is a subtle difference from T’Challa’s. Where the Wakanda King’s suit is clearly all black, Killmonger has a subtle design beneath the surface, a leopard print.
This is not only to make the suit different than T’Challa’s, but it is also a nod to the comic books where Killmonger has a trademark pet leopard, Preyy. Honestly, the leopard works for the villain in this movie; it makes the suit look more ominous.
Icons On Tony’s Blueprints Indicate Specialized Rooms
After the Battle of New York, we see Tony looking at blueprints to rebuild the new Avengers headquarters out of Stark Tower’s rubble. If you look closely at the plans, each sheet has an icon on it, illustrating the specialized rooms for each Avenger.
Captain Rogers’ room has a shield, while Thor’s has a hammer. We then see these individual bedrooms come to life in the next Avenger movie Age of Ultron. Well, technically, we only see a few rooms, but still!
S.H.I.E.L.D Map Telling Where All Of The Avengers Are
If you look very closely at the map behind Nick Fury and Tony Stark at the end of Iron Man 2, you’ll notice that the identified locations are very specific. They are, in fact, the locations of various super beings around the planet.
Even though we hadn’t been introduced to the Black Panther, there is an icon on Africa, right where the protected city of Wakanda is located. Another location is Greenland. This spot is where S.H.I.E.L.D agents believe Steve Rogers is lying frozen in the ice, a setup for the next movie Captain America: The First Avenger.
Okoye, T’Challa, And Nakia Are Dressed In Pan-African Flag Colors
In Black Panther, Okoye, T’Challa, and Nakia leave Wakanda and frequent a casino to try and find Klaue, who was going to sell vibranium to a high buyer, and they’re all wearing something very specific. Okoye is in a deep green dress, T’Challa is wearing a pristine black suit, and Nakia is in a lovely red gown.
Their outfits, along with the order they’re standing in, is a nod to the Pan-African flag, which utilized the same colors and horizontal pattern. It’s a subtle Easter egg, but one that bears a lot of fruit.
The Ten Rings Is A Nod To Iron Man’s Greatest Foe, The Mandarin
The first few minutes of Iron Man tell us a lot about who Tony Stark is as a person, and where the direction of the movie is going. Not to mention, there is one huge Easter egg involved. When we’re first introduced to Stark, he is doing a demonstration in the Afghani desert.
There, his Humvee is bombed, and he is kidnapped by the terrorist organization The Ten Rings. This group is a nod to one of Stark’s greatest foes in the comic books, the leader of the organization, The Mandarin.
The Staff of the Living Tribunal In Dr. Strange
In Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange is pointed in the direction of the Kamar-Taj, a secret compound designated to the art of time and alternate dimensions, in the hopes of fixing his broken hands. While training with Baron Karl Mordo at the compound, Strange is introduced to something that comic book readers might recognize, the Staff of the Living Tribunal.
The relic is a nod to the comics, in which Mordo wields the staff. It’s said that the staff is imbued with magic too powerful for any one sorcerer to sustain, and emits a red burst of energy when used in combat.