50 Movie Details That Will Surprise You

Directors usually have a strong eye for visual detail, so it is no surprise that many movies are filled with fun visual details—that can take film fans dozens of rewatches to notice.

These cinematic "Easter eggs" include references to favorite movies (or those made by their friends) and moments that not even the director had noticed before the movie was on screens. Here are 50 fascinating movie moments to catch on your next rewatch.

1. The Three Men and a Baby Ghost

One of the most famous examples in movie history was an accident. In one scene, a spooky figure can be seen standing in a window, with urban legend saying it was a ghost of a child who had killed himself in the house where the movie was shot. In reality, it is a cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson's character left over from a deleted subplot of the movie.

2. Nudity in The Rescuers

Rumors of Disney animators putting rude details into their movies are almost as old as the Mouse House itself. One of these stories that is based on fact is that a photograph of a topless woman can be seen in the cinematic version of The Rescuers in two frames. Disney has long maintained this was inserted in post-production, and led to a recall of 3.4 million VHS copies. Sadly for Easter egg fans, this shot has been excised from the Disney+ version.

3. The Wilhelm Scream

A multi-movie Easter egg that began as laziness and ended up as a loving movie tribute, 'the Wilhelm scream' is a sound effect of a man ostensibly screaming after getting bitten by an alligator. Beginning as a commonly used sound effect in the 1950s, it has since featured in dozens of movies (particularly the Star Wars franchise) as a cinematic in-joke.

4. Pixar Easter eggs

Pixar have become famous for filling their films full of Easter eggs relating to their other films and to those of Disney. Pizza Planet trucks feature in multiple movies, and nearly every Pixar movie includes references to their next film, beginning when A Bug's Life teased Toy Story 2 with a Woody cameo in its credits, and continuing right to their most recent movie Soul, which features a poster reading "Visit Portorosso" – Portorosso being the surname of their next protagonist from the upcoming Luca.

5. 'Sex' in The Lion King stars

Another famous Disney urban legend has it that the word 'sex' can be seen in the stars at one point of The Lion King. Per an animator on the movie speaking to Snopes, however, it was meant to spell 'sfx', and was put in by the special effects (SFX) department. Either way, the word has been taken out of the sky in the Disney+ version.

6. Red Apple Cigarettes

kill bill easter egg
Red Apple Cigarettes, as seen in 'Kill Bill Vol. 1' Miramax

Quentin Tarantino is a director who loves to fill his movies with Easter eggs, with his movies often referring to each other, and character names and places referencing classics. Fictional Red Apple cigarettes brand, meanwhile, has featured in seven of his films so far, as well as From Dusk 'Til Dawn (which he wrote and starred in) and Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (starring Tarantino's then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino.)

7. Fox Force Five = Kill Bill

Genius! pic.twitter.com/3xYX7UQyMI

— Quentin Tarantino News (@QTarantino_news) August 15, 2017

Speaking of Tarantino, viewers have noticed that the Fox Force Five pilot Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) describes in the diner in Pulp Fiction features the exact same character types that would later appear in his Kill Bill Vol 1.

8. The dark inner life of Inside Out

Inside Out has long been cited as a surprisingly complex story about emotions for what is essentially a kid's movie. Dozens of fan theories have emerged about how certain details could carry meaning about family dynamics. Among these, many have noted how during one scene, we learn that Riley's emotions are controlled by Joy, her mother's inner control panel is run by Sadness, and her father's by Anger.

9. 30 minutes of Fargo

A movie-making trick that many director's seem to love is having a character give a specific length of time, and then that exact timespan play out on screen. One of the most meta example comes in Fargo when William H. Macy's character says "30 minutes, Jerry we wrap this thing up" when there are exactly 30 minutes remaining of the film.

10. Alan Rickman falls hard in Die Hard

Some directors have been known to trick their actors to get the performance they want. So it is with Die Hard, where the shock on Alan Rickman's face as his character falls to his death was achieved with director telling the actor he would be dropped on "three," only for him to be dropped on "one."

11. Real skeletons in Poltergeist

A number of films have become the subject of urban myths saying they were cursed; Poltergeist is arguably the most notorious. Four cast members died between the making of the original and its first sequel. Rumors of a curse were fueled when actor JoBeth Williams told how real skeletons were used as props in the movie, because they were cheaper than fake ones.

12. Harry Potter's 'Cheeri-Owls'

On a cheerier note, eagle-eyed Harry Potter fans have noticed that the breakfast cereal being served in Goblet of Fire wizard-fantasy is the appropriately named 'Cheeri-Owls.'

13. Boats at Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk"
Extras help depict the evacuation from Dunkirk on the set of Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" on May 26, 2016 in Dunkerque, France. Sylvain Lefevre/Getty

Christopher Nolan is know for the intricate details he puts into his films, so it is no surprise that in what many consider to be his best film, Nolan was so particular about historical detail that the fleet of boats that comes to save the stranded soldiers were the real boats that performed the feat around 75 years previously.

14. Scream credits shade

scream movie details
The end credits of 'Scream.' Dimension Films

Scream is a movie full of knowing references to horror movies, but Wes Craven saved a final joke for the end credits. There, he adds a line after all the thank-yous that reads, "No thanks whatsoever to the Santa Rosa City School District Governing Board" after it revoked an offer to have the movie shot in Santa Rosa High School shortly before filming commenced.

15. Meet Tommy Bahama in Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar

Another credits joke came thanks to the recent cult comedy Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar, which keeps up its zany humor right until the end credits. One joke in the movie sees a character meet a man named Tommy Bahama, the fictional creator of the clothing brand. Though this in reality is actor Andy Garcia, the role is in the credits as "Tommy Bahama - Himself."

16. Hidden faces in Midsommar

As though Midsommar was not spooky enough as it is, rewatches of the movie reveal that the director has hidden a number of faces in the trees.

17. The demons not excised from The Exorcist

Another horror movie featuring subliminal faces is the classic The Exorcist. 45 minutes into the movie during a dream sequence, there is a terrifying blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of a demon. Long the basis of an urban myth that there were actual demons trapped in the celluloid of the movie, in reality it is a shot from a make-up test that was so scary that director William Friedkin placed it into his movie.

18. Valak is everywhere in The Conjuring 2

Valak is a fallen angel who is revealed to be the main villain of The Conjuring 2 late in the film. However, before then, its name is featured in the background of a number of scenes which horror hounds have discovered.

19. Ticked off with Interstellar

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is a movie obsessed with relativity, and the effects of space travel on time. This is manifested even in the soundtrack. When the team land on the water planet, where time passes slowly relative to those on Earth, each tick (heard 1.25 seconds apart) on the scene's score represents an entire Earth day.

20. A113

Another Pixar detail, 'A113' features in every single one of the studio's movies. This is a reference to the A1-13, a classroom in the California Institute of the Arts where many Pixar staff first learned to animate.

21. 5 minutes with Kill Bill

Another film in which actions take place in real time comes when O-ren (Lucy Liu) tells The Bride (Uma Thurman) that the fight "will not last five minutes" in Kill Bill Vol 1. She is right; it lasts 4 minutes 59 seconds.

22. Zootopia's Sad Keanu

Zootopia features hundreds of animal-human puns, but one of the most hidden can be spotted in a "photo" of a wolf recreating the classic "sad Keanu" meme.

23. Nick Fury's Pulp Fiction epitaph

On Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) fake tombstone in Captain America: The Winter Soldier features a Bible quote from Ezekiel 11:11 – which of course is the Bible verse cited by Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction.

24. Belle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney films are full of references to each other, including two of its '90s movies set in France. During the "Out There" musical number of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Belle from the Beauty and the Beast can be seen on the street below.

25. Get Out's hidden warnings

get out movie
Still from 'Get Out'. Universal Pictures

Had the characters of Get Out been able to speak Swahili, they would have had a big warning about what was about to befall them. The main theme of the movie Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga's lyrics translate into English as, "Brother, Listen to the ancestors/Run! /You need to run far! (Listen to the truth)/Brother, Listen to the ancestors/Run! Run!/To save yourself, Listen to the ancestors."

26. The Lion King's big lion

The Lion King also features a grand Swahili song, but the lyrics when translated into English are a little literal. The beginning of "The Circle of Life" translates as, "Here comes a lion, father. Oh yes it's a lion."

27. The Thing's Norwegian spoilers

The Thing, meanwhile, features massive spoilers for Norwegian speakers right at the start. The dialogue at the start of the movie in that language translates, "Get the hell away! It's not a dog! It's imitating a dog! It's not real! Get away, idiots!"

28. Rocky Horror premieres first ever Easter eggs

Easter eggs can be seen throughout Rocky Horror.
The film crew had an Easter egg hunt & not all were found, so they ended up in some scenes! pic.twitter.com/kmWszamOjF

— Cinemania (@RealCinemania) October 3, 2017

The term "Easter egg" is generally believed to have been coined by an Atari game designer who hid credits in a 1980 game. Five years previously, however, Rocky Horror literally featured actual hidden Easter eggs, left over from a hunt on the set where the cast and crew did not find them all.

29. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs dark Lincoln joke

In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), every president on Mount Rushmore except Abraham Lincoln get pied directly in the face. Lincoln takes a pie to the back of the head, which is how he was assassinated pic.twitter.com/3onwNbrFVD

— Movie Easter Eggs & Details (@FilmEasterEggs) May 21, 2018

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for the most part is silly food puns. A scene in which Mount Rushmore gets pied, however, takes a dark turn. Three presidents get hit in the face, while Abraham Lincoln takes a pie to the back of the head—where he was fatally shot.

30. Indiana Jones is James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger, 1964 / Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in The Temple of Doom, 1984 / Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds, 2009 pic.twitter.com/u1HCoUZ5sr

— Bobby Castro (@BobbyCastro1994) September 29, 2020

Stephen Spielberg was rejected as a Bond director twice, once in 1975 and again in around 1977. As a reaction, he created an action hero of his own in Indiana Jones. In the opening scene in Temple of Doom, the director had Harrison wear a white tuxedo and red flower combination taken straight from Sean Connery in Goldfinger.

31. Dead Incredibles

In one of the more macabre of Pixar's Easter eggs, Coco features a poster of The Incredibles 2 in which the family has been skeletonized. It may have just been a fun tease of the upcoming sequel, but it also implies the superhero family have all met a tragic end.

32. Dawn of the (really) Dead

Dawn of the Dead, released in 1978, is known for its amazing prosthetic work, but one element of the movie was all too real. What was thought to be a prop turned out years later to have been a real 100-year-old corpse.

The real skeleton, which was shown propped up in a corner during one scene, was reportedly buried five years after the movies release.

32. X marks The Departed

Similar to how oranges are used as a sign of upcoming death within The Godfather, all characters destined to die in Scorsese's Oscar-winning gangster epic are seen next to an 'x' at some point in the movie.

33. Fear and Loathing in Rango

Rango may be a children's animated film, but its director paid tribute to the very adult Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which also starred Johnny Depp) in a scene where the lizard nearly gets run over by a pair who look very similar to the stars of the drug-laced classic.

34. Harry Potter's X-rated credits

Harry Potter movies are for the most part, but that did not stop the makers of the credits putting what looks like two people having sex within the Marauder's Map-themed end titles of Prisoner of Azkaban.

35. ET's Phantom Menace

phanton menace movie details
A group of ETs (bottom left) in 'Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.' Disney

Filmmaking buddies Steven Spielberg and George Lucas often paid tribute to each other in their work. After Yoda made a cameo in ET, Lucas returned the favor by having a family of aliens from ET's homeworld in the first of the prequels.

36. Hercules slaughters Scar

After The Lion King saw Zazu tell Scar he "would make a very handsome throw rug," Herculesfollowed through by featuring the villainous lion as exactly that, after he is cast off by Hercules during the "Zero to Hero" song.

37. R2D2's Star Trek

Geeks are stereotypically either Team Star Wars or Team Star Trek, but the makers of the rebooted Trek movies bridged the gap with blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances by R2-D2 in the first two movies.

38. Sid's Toy Story return

In Toy Story 3, a trash collector is seen with dark hair and a skull t-shirt. After fans pointed out that this t-shirt looked very like the one worn by Sid in the iconic first movie. This led the director to confirm that this in fact was what the first movie's antagonist was up to 15 years later.

39. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

In one of the cruellest but also funniest goofs that made it into the movie, the Candyman (Aubrey Woods) at the start of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory comes close to catching a young girl in the face when he opens his counter entrance.

40. Fight Club's Paper Street

Director David Fincher is known for his eye for detail. As well as Fight Club reportedly featuring Starbucks cups in every scene, he also puts Tyler Durden's (Brad Pitt) address on Paper St – a "paper street" being one that appears on maps but does not actually exist.

41. Adolf Hitler's Airplane! 'cameo'

The Airplane! movies fire out jokes like a machine gun throughout the movie. This continues right into the credits, where the credit for the "best boy" (a Hollywood term for certain types of technical assistants) is followed by a "worst boy" credit for Adolf Hitler.

42. Frankie Carbone's frosty Goodfellas entrance

In a chilling joke that predates his 'x' foreshadowing in The Departed by 15 years, Martin Scorsese has "Frosty the Snowman" play when he first introduces Frankie Carbone (Frank Sivero). Later in the film, the character is frozen to death in a chiller.

43. Heat's hot air detail

Another cold piece of attention to detail comes after Robert De Niro's character in Heat is shot on a cold day, with breath vapor coming both out of his mouth and out of the whole shot through his lung.

44. Blair Witch's bloody teeth

One of the many spooky pieces of The Blair Witch Project is a bag of teeth that the characters find outside their tent after one of the party goes missing. The production was so low budget, however, that these are real teeth a producer got from a local dentist.

45. Misery's movie review

A key plot point of Misery sees Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) burning the manuscript of Paul Sheldon (James Caan). Freeze frames of this manuscript, however, reveal that what is actually burned in the movie is a review for the film Say Anything.

46. Deliverance's banjo fake-out

One of the most famous scenes in 1970s American cinema is that of the duelling banjos, featuring a strange local child banjo prodigy. The real actor, however, could not play banjo, so what we see in the scene is the actor plucking with the right hand while a hidden banjo player pokes his hand through the actor's sleeve to play the left hand.

47. Whiplash's mind games

One of many tense scenes in Whiplash sees J.K. Simmons' teacher get Miles Teller's character to count off 215 bpm. Simmons' character tells him he has got it wrong, but in reality Teller is exactly on beat, and his teacher is waging psychological warfare with him.

48. History of the World's broken commandments

A rare visual gag for Hebrew speakers in Hollywood cinema, Mel Brooks' History of the World Part 1 features a scene in which Moses is actually given 15 commandments, but accidentally breaks the tablet at 10. The 15th commandment reads "thou shall not break" in Hebrew.

49. Coco's Shining connection

Pixar directors seem to be a little obsessed with The Shining. Sid's house in Toy Story features a version of the Overlook Hotel carpet, while one scene in Coco features an axe and a red drum (a pun on REDRUM) together, in a moment director Lee Unkrich has confirmed is a reference to the Kubrick classic.

50. Good Time's director shot

Directors appearing in their own movies are fairly commonplace, with Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino and M. Night Shyamalan among the repeated offenders. Good Time co-director Benny Safdie, however, takes it one step further by having his character at one point sit next to a paper sign reading "director."