Easter eggs you missed in Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 expanded the Despicable Me series to a trilogy—and added new characters in the form of one pseudo-good guy, Gru's secret twin brother Dru, and the film's newest supervillain, '80s-obsessed former child star Balthazar Bratt. The newest installment also brings back that trio of cute kids Gru has been raising, his new bride Lucy, and, of course, those banana-loving Minions who've become stars in their own right. Beneath all the family drama and cartoon action, there were also a ton of Easter eggs to be found in Despicable Me 3, so let's go hunting, shall we?

The Grinch shirt

In the first Despicable Me installment, Margo, the eldest of the three girls adopted by Gru, wore a t-shirt that bore an image of Dr. Seuss' classic character The Lorax—not coincidentally, also the star of a film produced by Despicable studio Illumination Entertainment. In Despicable Me 2, she wore a shirt featuring Wangan-Kun from Bayside Shakedown, as a nod to the company's then-recent deal with that film's production company, Fuji Television. Illumination continued the tradition in Despicable Me 3, placing an image of the Grinch on her shirt as a wink to their upcoming animated adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Finding Nemo

In one of the earliest scenes in the film, Gru, Lucy, and a couple of Minions are chasing down Balthazar Bratt using submarines, and they gleefully displace a couple of clownfish peacefully hanging out in the water. Those sea creatures just so happen to look exactly like Nemo and Marlin, the father-son duo in Pixar's Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. As Pixar fans are well aware, that studio has its own rich Easter egg tradition; here's hoping this isn't the last time we see the animation giants reference one another's work.

I love the '80s

Despicable Me 3's target demographic wasn't even alive in the '80s, but some of their parents were—and that segment of the audience should experience a series of nostalgic flashbacks to the decade thanks to the movie's villain, Balthazar Bratt, a child star on a sci-fi/action TV series during the '80s before puberty hit and destroyed his screen career. Through Balthazar, we're shown to so many relics of the era, it's hard to keep track.

For starters, he literally calls his squad of killer robot dolls the Bratt Pack—an obvious reference to the real-life group of young '80s Hollywood stars referred to as the Brat Pack. Plus, his show looks an awful lot like some hybrid of the movie WarGames and the small screen series Small Wonder

Then there are his many fashion, music, and dance homages to Michael Jackson (including doing the moonwalk and using "Bad" as pump music), his spandex workout to Olivia Newton John's "Physical," his reference to the pre-VCR device Betamax, an old neon MTV sign in his bedroom, a handheld version of the Simon game on his floor…and, of course, his obsession with blowing giant gum bubbles from pink blocks that look an awful lot like Bubble Yum.

Sing

Despicable Me 3 also includes a couple of references to another of Illumination's recent movies, Sing. The most obvious comes when the Minions sneak into a Hollywood studio production lot in Los Angeles and accidentally stumble onto the set of a talent competition show titled—you guessed it—Sing. But that isn't all. Gru's newfound brother Dru also makes his living by raising pigs, several of which look very similar to the swines seen in Sing as well as the character Tattoo from Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets. (It's worth noting that Tattoo also had a Despicable Me-related tattoo of a unicorn, which is Agnes' favorite animal, so there's definitely some corporate synergy going on here.)

Getting political?

Despicable Me 3 is a cartoon, but that doesn't mean real life can't intrude—specifically through the appearances of two characters who strongly resemble current political figures. Gru's new boss Valerie Da Vinci has the same split-down-the-middle hairstyle and facial features as White House spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway—and she says "you're fired," which is familiar to anyone who followed her boss Donald Trump's reality TV career. And in one of Bratt's many disguises, he dresses up as a bloated jewel expert with blonde hair and a red tie who could easily be compared to Trump. It might just be a coincidence … but these things rarely are.

Oh, hi Star Wars

Another Easter egg that many viewers picked up on in the trailers: Dr. Nefario is frozen in carbonite in this sequel, which is also something that happened to Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. That's just the first tribute to Solo actor Harrison Ford: another of the actor's most beloved characters, Indiana Jones, also gets a subtle wink in a montage staged by the Minions to showcase their boss' former glory days, showing him stealing a golden statue that looks a lot like the Golden Idol Indy went after in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Spy vs. Spy

Another series that gets a ton of love in Despicable Me 3 is the Spy Vs. Spy comic strip. After teaming up to pull off a brotherly heist, Gru and Dru don black and white leotard costumes that, along with their matching sharp noses, make them look a lot like the Mad Magazine comic characters. The end credits sequence goes all-in on that association, as Dru has committed himself to a life of crime while Gru goes back to his villain-chasing career at the Anti-Villain League. They spend a lot of time plotting against one another, just like the Black Spy and White Spy.

Jailhouse Rock

The Minions' short stint behind bars also produced a few moments of familiarity. They might be small, but they have the numbers and have faced foes far scarier than any of the muscle-bound perps trying to run the yard in their cellblock. Once they've claimed dominion over the place, they pass the time by bursting into song and dance routines that recall numbers the King, Elvis Presley, pulled off in Jailhouse Rock—as well as the Sharks' snappy side-walking routine in West Side Story.

More movie homages

In the movie's climax, as Balthazar Bratt realizes his dream of creating a giant robotic version of himself to hijack Los Angeles as he'd done onscreen in an episode of his old show, his actions channel a host of iconic monster movie moments. Robo-Bratt's rise from the sea is a direct reference to Godzilla's preferred point of entry during any given scene of devastation. And the moment when the robot scoops Gru's girls into its palm and places them on the side of a building to watch all the destruction unfold is a clear homage to the way King Kong treated Ann Darrow. Last but not least, several of the scenery shots involved in Bratt's attack on L.A. look an awful lot like something seen in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. It's reasonable to assume co-directors Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda, and Pierre Coffin each slipped in a moment or two from their favorite monster movies just for kicks.