Easter Eggs and Pop Culture References In ‘Deadpool’

Easter Eggs and Pop Culture References In ‘Deadpool’

By Amanda Joyce Feb 16, 2016 08:41 AM
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Buckle up, Easter egg fans. Ryan Reynolds told fans in a twitter chat before the movie premiered that the production team had stuffed more than 100 Easter eggs into Deadpool. We did our best to find them all.

 

**Spoiler Warning**

This is the only warning you get. If you haven’t seen Deadpool yet, see it before you go any further. It’s almost impossible to talk about Easter eggs without spoiling much of the film.

 

The Opening Sequence

The opening sequence of the film is chock full of fun Easter eggs and meta nods to the comic book genre. Instead of naming the actors, writers, or directors involved in the film, they each get a generic genre descriptor. For example, Morena Baccarin gets “a hot chick” as her label for the title sequence and Ed Skrein is “a British villain.” Amongst that tongue-in-cheek way of making fun of the entire action or comic book genre are a lot of other fun nods in the car crash.

As the slow motion sequence unfolds, we get a reference to Mama June of Honey Boo Boo fame, a shot of People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue with Ryan Reynolds on the cover, an Adventure Time watch, a little snippet of the 1960s Batman transitional music on the radio, and some Hello Kitty lip balm amongst others. Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld even gets a shout out as a coffee cup with “Rob L” written on it in sharpie goes by the camera lens in super slow motion to make sure everyone gets a look at it.

 

Hello Kitty

Speaking of that Hello Kitty lip balm, it seems like the lip balm might actually belong to Deadpool himself instead of one of the other inhabitants of the car since the anti-hero seems to have a particular affinity for the Japanese character. Not only does he pack all his weapons into a Hello Kitty logo duffel bag at one point in the film, but it’s also the only twitter account the official movie is following.

 

Green Lantern

We all know that Ryan Reynolds was once another superhero (or actually, a few, in various comic book movie adaptations), and the movie doesn’t shy away from that. While the trailer showed him imploring the researchers about to experiment on him to not make his super suit green or animated was a clear nod that made it into the movie, there’s also a couple more overt ones.

In the slow motion action sequence that opens the movie, a wallet sized photo of Ryan Reynolds in a Green Lantern mock up is shown. It’s not an exact replica of the promotional images used for the Warner Bros film, but that’s likely because FOX didn’t want to risk any copyright lawsuits.

The ring pop that makes an appearance in the fan made poster that mocks the old Green Lantern movie poster also makes an appearance in the movie when Wade proposes to Vanessa. Either the fan that made the poster got lucky, or that was some crafty viral marketing.

Warner Bros. Pictures

 

Street Signs

A little harder to see in the film, but spotted early on by viewers of the trailers for the movie are the street signs that line the highway during the fight scene that provides the bulk of the movie (and kicks it off) provide nods to a few big names in comic books. Both Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, who co-created Deadpool, get signs after their surnames, as does director Tim Miller. But so does someone with the last name of Parker.

Now, Parker is a common enough last name that it could be a coincidence, but it gets prominent placement in the film since it’s the highway exit visible in much of the sequence. It’s likely a nod to Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-man. Why do I say that? Because there are a few Spider-man references in the film.

 

Spider-man

In addition to that Parker sign, Deadpool also refers to himself as “your friendly neighborhood Pool,” which is a nod to the friendly neighborhood Spider-man phrase used in almost all of the media the Marvel character has been involved in. Even TJ Miller’s Weasel tells Deadpool late in the film, when the duo go looking for Vanessa to “go get her, Tiger.” “Tiger” is the nickname Mary Jane Watson has used for Peter Parker for decades in the Spider-man comics.

 

Wolverine

He might not have made the cameo that so many X-Men fans thought, but Wolverine, and the X-Men Origins film that gave Deadpool his first live action appearance, get a lot of nods in the film. Deadpool makes a snarky comment about how he got his film made - providing sexual favors for someone whose name rhymes with “Pulverine” - and he does it all with an attempt at an Australian accent.

The nods to the movie in which the two characters previously interacted though are less cheeky and a bit more pointed. When Ajax threatens to sew Deadpool’s mouth shut to get him to be quiet, Deadpool responds with an “I wouldn’t do that” and a pause to let that sink in. After all, last time his mouth was sewn shut, the character was nitpicked by critics and his solo film was basically dropped by FOX.

That doesn’t stop him from having an action figure defaced in the same way to mirror Deadpool’s appearance in that film in his apartment though.

When recounting his early days as a mercenary, taking on work that took him to exotic places where he could kill people, to Weasel, the dialogue is also lifted almost word for word from the Origins film.

Deadpool also happens to have dozens of copies of Hugh Jackman’s Sexiest Man Alive issue of People and even uses a cut out of his face under his mask at one point.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead also gives Deadpool a little boost with her powers during the fight, using her abilities to propel him into the air to get closer to Ajax. Interestingly, it looks a lot like the effect of the Colossus and Wolverine “fastball special” team up they use in the comic books. Given that Colossus was in the fight, I’m surprised the writers didn’t take a chance to mention it.

20th Century Fox

 

The X-Men

So we didn’t get a Wolverine cameo. That’s cool. We still got a couple of X-Men costars, and even a cheeky comment from Deadpool about there not being enough in the studio’s budget for more characters to put in an appearance. And just in case you thought Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead weren’t actually X-Men, the film makes it very clear that they’re in tight with the superhero group, even if we don’t know exactly where this movie is set in X-Men continuity.

Colossus and Negasonic are at the X-Mansion (which, it is also mentioned, blows up every few years, as we’ve seen in the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer) when they see news of Deadpool’s escapades on a local TV station. They then make their way to what looks like the Blackbird to fly out and see him. Colossus is sporting a modified version of the uniform he wore in Days of Future past, even if he is played by a different actor and is completely CGI here. Negasonic also has a familiar uniform for comic book readers. The black and yellow of her uniform is very much an incarnation of the New Mutants uniform, which is either a nod to Deadpool making his first appearance in a New Mutants comic book, or a nod to the upcoming movie that’s in development.

20th Century Fox

The X-Men movies themselves get a shout out as Colossus tells Deadpool he’s going to take him to see the professor and Deadpool quips “McAvoy or Stewart.” James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart have both played Professor Xavier, but with the timeline of the X-movies reset with the time traveling of Days of Future Past and the unclear nature of Deadpool’s timeline, it really could be either.

Even Negasonic Teenage Warhead is something of an Easter egg herself since most casual comic book fans aren’t familiar with the character, who only made a handful of comic book appearances in an Emma Frost centric storyline, and was then killed after training with her.

A couple of characters get a shout out when Wade Wilson (before his Deadpool transformation) is trying to guess Ajax’s real name. He throws out Scott and Bruce as possibilities, which are likely a nod to Cyclops and Hulk (thought Hulk isn’t in the FOX wheelhouse). He also tells Colossus at the end of the film to make sure Beast quits using his lawn as his personal bathroom.

We do see the back of one X-Men character when Wade is brought into the lab though that could also be appearing in a future movie. We see the back of a woman with bones pointing out her skin like spikes. She looks to be the X-Men character Marrow who did spend some time serving on X-Force, but since we never see her face, she could always be recast for a future movie or remain as an Easter egg for comic fans.

Colossus even remarks that they’ll make an X-Man of Deadpool yet, leaving room for him to cross over into another X-movie.

 

The Deadpool Comics

Because this is a Deadpool movie, of course here are nods to the Deadpool comic books. That’s the source material for the script after all.

Basically every main character in the movie is a comic book character - Deadpool, Vanessa, Weasel, Ajax, Angel Dust, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus, and Blind Al all hail from the comics, but there is one more that you might not recognize if you don’t read the books. Bob, the seemingly anonymous mercenary working for Ajax that Deadpool recognizes? That’s a nod to Bob, Agent of Hydra, that Deadpool is friends with. He’s basically the worst Hydra agent in the world.

One of the few scenes we get depicting Wade’s mercenary work before he comes Deadpool involves him going after a pizza delivery man, and it’s lifted almost frame by frame from the comics, except that in the comics, he was already wearing his red and black suit. (Bonus? The pizza joint in the film is called Famous Feige Pizza, a nod to Kevin Feige, who might be the head of Marvel Studios these days, but he’s a former producer for FOX on X-Men films.)

Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children gets a shout out as the location for Weasel’s bar. It made an appearance in the comics as a very scandalous school in an alternate reality that Deadpool visited. It’s called Hellhouse by the girls that attend. (Of course, Sister Margaret or Sister Maggie, is also a character in Marvel comics, so this nod could work two-fold. She’s Margaret Murdock, mother of Daredevil.)

The Dead Pool that’s run at Sister Margaret’s, and where the merc with a mouth gets his name, is a nod to a similar dead pool run in the comics, though it’s not run out of a bar, but out of the facility where Wade Wilson becomes Deadpool.

Another nod to Deadpool’s comics, though many peg it as a nod to Spider-man, is Deadpool’s comment about being bitten by a radioactive shar pei. This is actually a nod to the first Deadpool comic book that Ryan Reynolds ever read. Before he played the character, according to interviews he’s done promoting the film, he was given an issue of the 2004 series as a gift where Deadpool was described as a cross between Ryan Reynolds and a shar pei.

Though we don’t see the character snacking on any chimichangas in the film, he does use the word as something of an expletive during a fight. It’s surprising that he only manages to use it once considering what a fan of the word the character is in the comic books.

Wade Wilson is Canadian. It’s something that comic book readers tend to forget, but the Weapon X program that produces Deadpool and Wolverine is based in Canada. It’s something that gets mentioned in the film as Deadpool reminds everyone he’s from Saskatchewan (though that’s never confirmed in the comics) and he even sings a little O Canada!

 

More Deadpool

In addition to comic book nods, there are also Deadpool action figures and toys hidden all over Wade Wilson’s apartment. The Deadpool Rap that is used in the soundtrack also came from another piece of suphero media - a Deadpool video game. The cab driver that Deadpool encourages to go after his dream girl? His cell phone image when Deadpool calls him is the Deadpool logo.

The use of Salt N Peppa’s “Shoop” is a nod to the original script and leaked test footage. The song wasn’t in the original script - there was a Gwen Stefani number instead. “Shoop” was chosen though because it was still uptempo, and made its debut on the charts the same year Deadpool debuted on comic book pages - 1993.

 

The Superhero Moments

In addition to nods to the X-Men, Deadpool comics, and a few other Marvel shout outs in the movie, we also get Deadpool making fun of the superhero movie genre a little bit. When he, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead go up against Ajax and his team to rescue Vanessa, he gets inordinately excited about Angel Dust preparing to leap from the top of the base. He calls it her “superhero landing,” and it is. Nearly every superhero movie or television series has that dramatic moment with a jump and landing that the camera gets just right.

Of course, the spot where they have the final confrontation also looks like a set piece from another superhero franchise. Was it just me or did Ajax’s hideout look like a downed helicarrier from Marvel’s SHIELD in their Avengers franchise?

20th Century Fox

Colossus also takes a second after the conflict to tell Deadpool that he only gets four or five moments to be a real hero. Now, this is interesting because, if you’re keeping count, Ryan Reynolds has already had that many moments in movies based on comic books. He’s done Deadpool, Green Lantern, Blade Trinity, RIPD, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. All of those movies are based on heroic comic book properties.

 

Cameos

We all know by now to expect a cameo from Stan ‘the man’ Lee. He’s become the unofficial face of Marvel, even if he no longer works for the comic book giant. Lee shows up as the MC in the strip club where Vanessa works when Wade disappears from her life. He’s not the only comic book heavy weight to appear in the movie though, so does Rob Liefeld, who got plenty of nods already. He’s one of the patrons at St. Margaret’s.

 

One Cut Line

Interestingly, one line that was very prevalent in the trailers was cut from the movie. Vanessa, when taken by Ajax and Angel Dust, tells them “I’ve played many roles, but damsel in distress isn’t one of them,” as she fights back. Vanessa, when initially announced for the movie, was announced with her codename “Copycat” from the comic books. Copycat is a shapeshifter who can assume the identity of anyone, but Vanessa doesn’t appear to have those abilities in the film - or at the very least, she doesn’t yet. It’s possible the line was cut to avoid confusion on the part of the audience in case people were familiar with her comic book background, so for now, it exists in the trailer cuts as a nod to the comics.

20th Century Fox

 

Deadpool’s T-shirts

Not all the pop culture references come from lines in the script. While Wade and Vanessa talk about his impending death, he’s sporting a t-shirt with the logo from the Broadway musical RENT that is all about a group of friends living in the face of death. He also sports a t-shirt with a screen printing of Bea Arthur’s face on it. Bea Arthur, though she was in various stage and screen shows, is probably best known for her work on the sitcom Golden Girls. Who else starred in Golden Girls? Betty White. White is, in fact, the last surviving member of the main cast, and a good friend of Reynolds. The two costarred in The Proposal together and she even provided her own profanity laden review of Deadpool. (Deadpool also happens to be a big Bea Arthur fan in the comics.)

 

And even more pop culture references…

There is a bevy of other pop culture references on their own in the movie. It’s not just the X-Men and comic books that get big screen nods.

Vanessa calls one of the bar patrons Fat Gandalf in a reference to the wizard from The Lord of the Rings.

Voltron isn’t just a weird ring Wade wins at the arcade, but also a cartoon series.

During the montage of love scenes, you’ll see Wade take a break to get in some light reading. The book he’s reading is Mario Lopez’s Just Between Us, which is probably a nod to some of the viral marketing that went on before the movie was released, which involved Deadpool killing Lopez during an interview.

The man who recruits Wade Wilson into not-the-Weapon-X program gets called Agent Smith, a nod to not just all the movies that have nondescript government agents in them, but specifically The Matrix.

Wade also makes a joke to Vanessa when he’s upset in the middle of the night that he had a Liam Neeson nightmare, referencing the plot of all of the Taken movies as he does it, and wondering, shouldn’t he just be considered a bad father at this point?

Another reference aimed at Vanessa? Wade tells her he’s going to boombox her with some Wham! songs. While Wham! is an iconic 80s duo, the boombox is a nod to 80s movie Say Anything when John Cusack’s character holds a boombox over his head to get the girl he loves back. It’s been reenacted in so many movies and TV shows, you probably don’t have to have ever seen the original movie to get the reference at this point.

That’s not the only romance Deadpool puts his own spin on though. He also puts his own spin on the Notting Hill line “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy…”

Deadpool calls Negasonic Teenage Warhead “Sinead,” a reference to singer Sinead O’Connor. (Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn joked on twitter after seeing the movie that now he would have to cut a similar line from Vol 2 about Nebula.) He also refers to her as “Ripley” in a nod to the Alien films for her shaved head.

When Deadpool cuts his own hand off to escape the handcuffs Colossus has on him, he calls it a spoiler for 127 Hours, a movie in which James Franco starred. Just before the movie was released, the marketing team also had a 127 Hours inspired poster.

20th Century Fox

During a fight scene, Deadpool also references the Judy Blume novel Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret in a particularly bloody moment. The book has been banned in several schools for its frank discussions of girls experiencing puberty.

When attempting to come up with a superhero name for himself, Scaredevil and Captain Deadpool are thrown out. Scaredevil is, of course, a nod to Marvel’s Daredevil. And while Captain could be a wink at Captain America, it could easily just be referencing the large number of comic book characters who have Captain before their name. (I lean toward Captain America here because there’s also a “Language!” from Colossus during one of Deadpool’s fights that is likely a nod to Cap in Avengers: Age of Ultron.)

Deadpool’s first costume involves his face being wrapped up while he wears sunglasses over the makeshift mask. It’s almost a dead wringer for The Invisible Man, which coincidentally, is getting a remake soon.

Deadpool calls Blind Al “Mrs. Magoo,” a reference to a blind cartoon character who is always bumbling his way through events. (Of course, this nod is hardly accurate since Blind Al was a British Intelligence agent in her younger days in the comics.)

Weasel jokes that Angel Dust and Ajax are late for their midnight screening of Blade 2 when they come into his bar. While it’s a nod to the leather and black aesthetic of the films, it’s interesting that they didn’t get a little more meta with it and remark on Blade: Trinity since Reynolds actually starred in that film.

Then, there is one last big reference.

 

Paramount Pictures

Ferris Bueller

Many movies and TV shows have broken the fourth wall (that is, talk to the audience) before Deadpool. But perhaps the most iconic is Ferris Bueller as he takes audiences on his epic school skipping adventure in the 80s film. At the end of his film, Ferris has a post credits scene where he emerges from his doorway to his house’s hallway in a bathrobe, surprised to see members of the audience still watching him. That’s exactly what Deadpool does for his post credits scene, with an addition of course.

He also provides a nod to Samuel L. Jackson in an eye patch, the first post credits scene that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Iron Man, of which Deadpool is not a part, but he also gives the audience the obligatory teaser for his future on the big screen. The announcement is made here that a Deadpool sequel is on the way and comic book character Cable will appear. Perhaps this is the reason word got out that FOX was already working on a script? This addition to the post credit scene was made after the screeners for the press and fan events that occurred.

 

And there you have it, Easter egg fans. If you made it all the way through this list, we hope you’ll tell us if there are any that we missed! You can currently catch Deadpool in theaters if you want to take a crack at finding even more.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Deadpool (2016), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Green Lantern (2011), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Blade II (2002), Taken (2009), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man (2008), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Bea Arthur, Hugh Jackman, X-Men
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Having graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2008, Amanda opted not to pursue a scientific field, but freelance writing instead. A bit of a pop culture junkie, ...
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