12 'Squid Game' Easter Eggs and Clues You (Probably) Missed

Squid Game is the Netflix's deadly survival competition K-drama that's topped the streamer's global rankings since its premiere on September 17.

The show, which is slated to become Netflix's biggest of all-time, sees 456 contestants compete for a huge sum of money, after falling to financial ruin.

Based on traditional Korean children's games, each round (quite literally) eliminates a batch of players, until they're whittled down to the final two.

While fans were left shocked by the revelations in its final episode, the previous episodes were also full of hints about the show.

Here, we look at some Squid Game Easter eggs and clues hidden in plain sight that you may have missed.

**WARNING: This article features several Squid Game spoilers from this point onwards.**

1. The Writing's on the Wall

In an interview with Netflix Korea, the art director of Squid Game revealed the walls of the players' quarters, which were covered by hundreds of bed railings, featured several pictograms that illustrated the games to come. As more people were removed from the quarters with each round of deadly eliminations, more of the illustrations were on display for those who noticed.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

2. The Old Man Goes Undetected

During the first game (Red Light, Green Light), player No.001 (Oh Il-nam, an old man with a brain tumor who we later find out is the mastermind behind the competition) avoids detection by the eyes of a giant robotic doll that looks for those to be eliminated.

Amid this period of silence when players are required to stay frozen in place, the doll's eyes do a body scan of the contestants near where Il-nam was standing. At one point he even stumbled a bit, yet he wasn't detected by the sensor.

3. ...And Moves Fearlessly Across the Playground

Throughout the Red Light, Green Light game, the old man is the only person moving across the field, while others remain frozen in fear.

He takes his steps almost exactly when the key phrase that allows movement is heard (or even a sliver of a second or two before), indicating he knows when the words will be spoken.

4. He's All Smiles Throughout a Fatal Competition

Il-nam is also the only one smiling while competing in the fatal games. His surprisingly upbeat attitude in the face of the do or die situation may have been one of the biggest giveaways of his identity.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A scene from the "Red Light, Green Light" round in "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

5. There's No Trace of Player No. 001 in the Game Records

The policeman, who infiltrated the game facility disguised as a staff member, discovers an archive room containing records about every competition held to date. A book outlining the players in the latest competition (the 2020 edition) appears to begin with player no. 002, and not player no. 001, indicating there is no profile on the old man since he is the creator of the games.

6. The Old Man Has No Backstory

In the second episode, all players are allowed to cast a vote to either continue competing in the deadly games or have the competition end and be freed to go back to their homes.

As the players return to their normal lives, the episode reveals the backstories of the main characters and their desperate situations, which eventually drive them back to the competition. However, the backstory of the old man isn't revealed.

7. ...And Coaxes Player No. 456 to Rejoin Game

He was instead seen bumping into player no. 456 (Gi-hun) outside a food shop, where he told Gi-hun that "after I came back here, I realized everything they said was true. Life here is more like hell than it is there," inspiring Gi-hun to return to the game.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

8. The Front Man Actor Was Referenced by a Game Player

Player No. 240 (Ji-yeong) references a line from a film starring Lee Byung-hun (who plays the Front Man role in the series and is one of South Korea's most famous actors) while talking to player No. 067 (Sae-byeok) about what they would do if they were to win the top prize.

Suggesting Sae-byeok should go to the Maldives if she wins, Ji-yeong said: "Haven't you seen the movie? The one with Lee Byung-hun," and quotes a line from the film Inside Men, where Lee says: "Let's have a drink of Maldives in mojito."

A scene from "Squid Game" series.
Characters from "Squid Game," the new Netflix K-drama series about a deadly survival game. Netflix

9. Player No. 067 Cracks Out of Character

In an interview with Netflix Korea, the series director Hwang Dong-hyuk as well as actors Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo (who plays contestant No. 218, a finalist in the last round of the competition) pointed out that HoYeon Jung is actually laughing while crouched over in the first episode.

Marking Jung's opening scene in the series, Gi-hun accidentally bumps into Sae-byeok and is seen grabbing the coffee cup he knocked out of her hand, placing the straw back into it before handing it back to Sae-byeok (which wasn't in the script, the director said, so Lee improvised that detail).

The actors and the director said if you look closely Jung can be seen laughing, or at least trying to hold it in, while she is crouched over on the ground.

10. The Old Man 'Loses His Marbles'

Each game of the competition is timed and during the Marbles round, Gi-hun is made to compete against the old man, with one having to win all 10 of the other player's marbles within the given time frame.

However, during the game, Il-nam appears to lose his mind, not remembering they are in a competition. Instead, he wastes time, dragging Gi-hun around the game's fake neighborhood set, saying he found a place that looked exactly like where lived with his son (which in itself is another clue, since the games were designed by the old man).

Oh Il-nam Squid Game
Oh Young-soo as Oh Il-nam and Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun in Netflix's "Squid Game." No.1 was seemingly a frail old man, but the end of the hit K-drama revealed the shocking truth about his character. Netflix

Despite the clock ticking away (probably much past the limit due to the old man losing his marbles), both players are not killed off by the staff member monitoring them until Il-nam finishes the game by forfeiting his marble to Gi-hun.

11. His Death Was Off-Camera

While a gun shot was heard following the confirmation of Gi-hun's win, the old man is not actually seen being shot or shown dead on the floor, as other eliminated players were.

12. The Old Man Gives Player No. 456 His Jacket

Before the Marbles game round, Gi-hun gave his jacket to the old man to cover his trousers after Gi-hun noticed Il-nam had wet himself while sleeping.

Later, the old man hands Gi-hun his own jacket, saying the other players "will look down on him" if he doesn't have a jacket.

This seemingly innocent act was perhaps symbolic of the fact that Gi-hun would indeed become the No. 1 player in the contest. Or, perhaps giving him the jacket signalled staff members to be sure Gi-hun is not eliminated from the contest.

Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix now.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

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