Easter eggs in Power Rangers you totally missed

With both underhanded nods to episodes past and sprinklings of direct references to the original heroes that protected the planet from forces of evil, the big-screen Power Rangers reboot is overflowing with Easter eggs that'll have you smiling—so long as you know where to look. Let us be your guide to all the cheeky callbacks, superhero trivia, and clever gems you totally missed in 2017's Power Rangers.

Day of the Dumpster

Power Rangers reaches way, way back to "Day of the Dumpster," the pilot episode of the 1993 live-action series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The Rangers' rejection of Zordon's power gift and their subsequent storming off are drawn from that episode, as well as the uncertainty that would-be Red Ranger Jason feels before teaming up with the squad. If MMPR was a little before your time, you likely didn't pick up on these references, but old-school fans will find it charming… once they realize the connection.

Zordon's golden rules

Wise old galactic sage and mentor to the Rangers, Zordon (Bryan Cranston in the reboot) has a few clear-cut rules to live by—ones repeated almost verbatim from the original television series onto the big screen. Back in the '90s, the Morphing Grid-bound former Ranger told the new gang the three rules to be a successful and sympathetic hero: "First, never use your power for personal gain. Second, never escalate a battle unless Rita forces you. And finally, keep your identity secret. No one may know that you are a Power Ranger." In the Dean Israelite-helmed flick, Cranston as Zordon spews these same rules, only omitting the "unless Rita forces you" portion, likely done to keep things open for other villains to enter the mix in future film installments. A sneaky tie-in, but one that's super satisfying.

The Megazord transformation

Metamorphosis is standard for the Rangers, but there's little more impressive than the OG Megazord sequence shown in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Thankfully for us fans, the new film doesn't just honor that iconic scene, it practically recreates it. Pay close attention when the newly-minted Power Rangers roll out, and your brain may flicker with a sense of familiarity. A side-scrolling panned shot captures the crew running almost exactly the same way the original cast did more than two decades ago.

But that's not the only Easter egg tucked into this transformation. Keep your ears perked and you might hear another callback: the scene's backing music is an adaptation of the theme song to 1995's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, performed by The Power Rangers Orchestra specially for the 2017 film.

Not-so-new helmets

Power Rangers feels a bit like a bride preparing for her wedding day: grab something old, something new, borrowed, and blue, and you're set for smooth sailing. With a premise taken from the era of too-thin eyebrows and hair scrunchies, the flick had its old and borrowed, found its new in its cast and storyline, and was effortlessly gifted the Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler). But where things get trickier, and where a hidden reference rests, is in a "not-quite-old-but-not-new-either" piece of the rookie Rangers' suits. Take a longer look at their helmets and you'll find that they're not just badass, they're also based on the ones from the 2003 Power Rangers series offshoot Power Rangers Ninja Storm. From the opening that exposes the central facial region but squares off the forehead, jaw, and chin to the way the helmets' visors open, the bones of both years' headgear are exactly alike. This aesthetic Easter egg is expertly subtle but oh-so sweet when you finally notice it.

Little trinkets

Keep your eyes open when the gang goes to Trini's house; there, you'll be able to spot (if you maintain a sharp line of vision and don't get distracted) a Putty figure in the background. This, of course, pays homage to the incredibly creepy villains from the 1993 series.

Fortunately for those who still experience intermittent Putty-fueled nightmares (hey, don't judge us), the Easter eggs from the Uncanny Valley stop at Trini's house, but the tiny trinket references continue on into Billy's (Blue Ranger, RJ Cyler) humble abode. While Billy toils away on Jason's (Red Ranger, Dacre Montgomery) anklet, be on the lookout for figures of three of Rita Repulsa's (Elizabeth Banks) nefarious henchman: Squatt, Baboo, and Finster.

The great grid

A staple in the Power Rangers universe—come on, their interstellar, almost-all-knowing protector lives inside it—the Morphing Grid makes more than a handful of appearances in the reboot. The references will likely ripple past you so quickly that you'll miss them if you're not on high alert, but get in the know with a one major example that links to the past. In the original series, Lord Zedd spoke of the Grid's "good and evil" equilibrium that allowed it to function; in the Haim Saban-produced film, the death of a character (gasp!) and the Rangers' response to it unlocks the system's powers and gives them a chance to go-go and morph on. It's heartwarming to know that even a moral can carry over as an Easter egg.

Throwback threads

The leading Ranger ladies have long been fashion icons (do you remember Kimberly's enviably voluminous locks and signature socks-and-Keds combo?) and the new girls on the block appear to be continuing the tradition, this time using their sense of style to recognize their powerful predecessors. Singer-turned-actress Becky G portrays the new Yellow Ranger Trini, and in a grab-your-popcorn-and-you'll-miss-it moment, viewers can see that the vintage tee she's rocking says "1973" in bold font. But what exactly is the significance of this seemingly-thrifted top? It's the same year that the late Thuy Trang, who played the original Yellow Ranger, was born. An understated reference, but one that's quite special given the circumstances of Trang's passing in 2001, and the posthumous passing of the torch to another actress.

Similarly, Kimberly 2.0 sports a look you wouldn't expect to be an Easter egg during the film's pivotal morphing scene. English actress Naomi Scott dons the pink suit as the new Kim Hart, and hat-tips the '90s with her choice of attire. She wears a tank top that says, "It was all a dream" across the front. Old-school rap fans will know that this is a lyric from "Juicy," the Notorious B.I.G track that released in 1993—the exact year that (you guessed it) the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series made its debut.

Shot through the heart

Another Putty appearance comes during Zordon's training session, in which he tells the fresh-faced Rangers to target their hits toward the enemies' chests as they engage in battle. This links to the "Z Putties" of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, who were led by the slightly quirky but totally power-hungry Lord Zedd. These updated bad guys had Zs (for Zedd, of course) right over their hearts, symbols that were ultimately their Achilles' heels, as they could only be vanquished if their giant letter was punched, tapped, or even touched. Though the Putties in the new movie put up a much harder fight, Zordon's comment to "aim for the chest" is a clear callback to the alphabetical antagonists of the franchise's past.

Marvel madness

Red Ranger Billy speaks for all of us when he learns about the powers he'll be granted as a crime-fighting hero, as he asks if he'll suddenly have skills "like Iron Man or Spider-Man." A surface-level Easter egg on its own, this nod to Marvel runs deeper when considering the entangled ties between the interactive entertainment giant and the Power Rangers series: Both were, at one time, owned by Disney; Marvel collaborated with Shotaro Ishinomori and Toei Company, the creators of Super Sentai, the Japanese Power Rangers, in the 1970s; and the superhero super-force even published a number of Power Rangers comics in the mid-'90s. Even Marvel icon Stan Lee "lent some of Marvel's most iconic comic book characters to Toei to create shows around" in exchange for bringing the series to the States. Billy's curiosity leads to a multi-layered Easter egg only the dorkiest of Power Rangers and Marvel fans will pick up on.

Double-dose cameo

We can completely understand if you were too swept up in the half-gritty, half-ultra-saturated aesthetics of the reboot to notice a pair of old pals. Power Rangers album Amy Jo Johnson (our forever Pink Ranger, Kimberly) and Jason David Frank, who played Green Ranger Tommy, snag their seconds in the spotlight during a scene following the intense Zord battle. Fans wanting to witness the reunion should glue their eyes to the crowd, where they'll see Johnson and Frank have a lovely moment to themselves. Even the film's director felt the fuzzies when discussing their cameo. Kimberly and Tommy "were really the two that we thought were important to put in there," Israelite said, "and you know obviously we're teasing something at the end that relates to [Tommy] so it sort of all felt organic."

The long-standing legion

When giving the shiny, relatively happy-go-lucky new Rangers the rundown on what it means to be a part of the squad, Zordon tells them they're joining a "legion of warriors," a statement that not only suggests the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-era heroes exist on the same timeline, but also connects to the series' lengthy and diverse band of historic Rangers. From Power Rangers Zeo's Gold Ranger and the Phantom that appears in Turbo to the Alien Rangers of Aquitar and everyone's favorite fighter with the two-toned hair, Andros from Space, the latest installment in the long-running franchise plants a juicy gem by mentioning the many, many heroes that came before it.

Sneaky soundtrack

End credits aren't strictly reserved for Deadpool-style character teases, they can also be the perfect place to nestle one final Easter egg. Stick around just after the film ends to hear a remix of "The Power" by early-'90s Eurodance group Snap!, the same song used in 1995's Power Rangers: The Movie.