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Ralph Breaks the Internet Easter eggs you missed

When it comes to secret references, Ralph Breaks the Internet has more than its fair share to go around. It's like an Easter egg hunt on a lawn made out of Easter eggs, with references to pop culture of the past baked into the movie's very DNA. (Even the title itself is one of them.)

The movie, a sequel to Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2012 comedy Wreck-It Ralph, turns its satirical eye from video games and arcade culture to the wide, weird world of the internet. By extension, the movie spends a huge part of its runtime lampooning and commenting on some pretty specific elements of our hyper-connected modern culture. But the movie isn't obvious about everything it does. According to some of its main animators, the movie is so full of hidden references that it will take the average audience member multiple viewings to stand a chance at catching them all. If you've already seen the Wreck-It Ralph follow-up at least once, here are a few Easter eggs you might have missed.

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Actual YouTubers

Ralph Breaks the Internet has got too many dang online brands to show you to spend much time developing its human characters. There's Ed O'Neill returning as the voice of kindly arcade owner Mr. Litwak (whose black-and-white referee-style outfit again appears to be a reference to famed video game historian Walter Day). But beyond him and a few anonymous arcade-going gamers, this movie is solely focused on its digital creations — creatures of the arcade cabinet or the World Wide Web. Any other approach would take precious screen time away from the denizens of Tapper

But there are a few moments when the movie cuts away from the online action to touch base with the people on the other side of the monitor, whether they're simply using the internet for their own purposes or presenting the memes of the moment to the viewers at home. If you picked up on any cutaways to carbon-based lifeforms that seemed to go on a little bit longer than was necessary, you were probably noticing the movie's cast of real YouTubers and internet personalities. Among the internet stars making an appearance in the movie are comedian Colleen Ballinger (known for her character Miranda Sings), actress Dani Fernandez, comedian Flula Borg, and streamer Tiffany Herrera, better known as Cupquake.

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Grade-A content

In addition to bringing on real people who rode YouTube popularity to real-life fame, Ralph Breaks the Internet also includes another quiet nod to the streaming service and its culture. Specifically, there's a YouTube Play Button in the office of Yesss, the personified algorithm who runs the show at Buzztube, the movie's fictional mash-up of Buzzfeed and YouTube. 

If you aren't familiar, YouTube Play Buttons are real-life physical plaques that the company gifts out to content creators as tokens of acknowledgement for surpassing certain milestones with regards to channel subscriber count. There's a silver button for channels that exceed 100,000 subscribers, a gold button for those that pass a million, a diamond button for ones that go past 10 million, and ultra-rare custom ones for the uncommon channel that amasses a subscriber count of more than 50 million. From the look of things in the background of the Ralph sequel, Buzztube has managed to at least snare a gold Play Button, indicating that the company still might have a ways to go to match the 17 million-plus subscribers boasted by the real-life Buzzfeed Video channel

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Star Wars

It should come as no surprise that there's an entire galaxy of references to the Star Wars universe in Ralph Breaks the Internet — particularly once Ralph and Vanellope make their way to the part of the internet that's run by the Walt Disney Corporation. There are super-obvious drop-ins like C-3PO's cameo as the Disney princesses' own protocol droid — an appearance which prompted us to wonder, "Then where's Leia?" —  but there are also other, smaller touches that stand out as being products of a galaxy far, far away. 

A couple of examples of small Star Wars references in the movie include an R2-D2-themed tie around the collar of one of the office workers seen sharing Ralph's viral videos while idly killing time at work, as well as the appearance of some collectible-looking Star Wars-themed plates on display in Mr. Litwak's office — memorabilia that very well could've come from the original release of Star Wars, considering the arcade's throwback nature.

The Star Wars set dressing is just one example of the movie's deployment of extensive cross-promotion across all of Disney's properties, from Muppets to Mandalorians. At this point, Disney is practically in charge of something comfortably over 25 percent the whole American movie industry, and it's kind of wild how much Ralph Breaks the Internet really makes you feel it.

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Sector A113

When Ralph and Vanellope start running around in the "Oh My Disney" section of the movie, they're essentially stomping around a digital Disney World, literally bumping into interesting characters from the Disney canon left and right. 

Just before Vanellope stumbles into the lounge full of Disney princesses on their downtime, the Sugar Rush racer is being pursued by Star Wars' stormtroopers, who are apparently bad guys in all contexts, not just the movies they come from. As she flees the armored agents of the Empire, she rounds a corner in a back hallway with "Sector A113" written prominently on the wall. 

Though it's not immediately obvious, "A113" is a long-running Disney inside joke, referring to a California Institute of the Arts classroom where several prominent filmmakers with the company at one point learned their trade. (The number also made an appearance in the Pixar-produced sequel Incredibles 2 earlier in 2018.) 

As a bonus nod to the viewer, inside this mysterious sector seems to be a gigantic bank-style vault themed around the Avengers, suggesting big secrets locked away in Marvel Studios' corner of the Disney empire. (Even though nothing's been announced yet, you just know the Marvel brain trust is working behind closed doors to cook up a way to make the X-Men meet the Avengers sometime in the next 20 years.)

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Fortnite

You thought you were going to get out of this internet culture/video game movie without a Fortnite reference? In 2018? Don't make us laugh. Indeed, the Wreck-It Ralph sequel features a satisfying, unmistakable, blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to the mega-popular (and mega-free) battle royale game. 

While Ralph, Vanellope, and Yesss are going through the popular memes of the day as part of Ralph's get-rich-quick moneymaking strategy, a number of different options get cycled through onscreen. What sort of content should Ralph make, he wonders? What trends should he be chasing? Well, there are screaming goat videos, which are back in style, as well as bee pun videos that never go out of style. But there's also a video from the blast-'em-up, last-player-standing, reigning video game of the zeitgeist, with a video feed briefly focusing on the floating bus full of players slowly making its way across the sky in the beginning of a Battle Royale.

If that wasn't enough, the movie also spends some time indulging in a meme within a meme, showing Ralph indulging in a bona fide Fortnite dance himself — specifically, the floss. Be sure and thank the bus driver for this experience on your way home from the theater. 

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Deep web, long gone

Ralph Breaks the Internet isn't solely about the hyper-capitalist, social-media-driven internet of the modern era. The movie also gestures toward the internet's simpler, long-gone past. 

During Ralph's low point in the movie, shortly before he unleashes a virus onto the Slaughter Race game in a clingy effort to get his friend Vanellope back, the Fix-It Felix villain descends down to the all-but-forgotten deep web — a sort of ground level of society below the soaring heights of the rest of the internet. There, viewers can spot signs and buildings devoted to the topic of "Y2K Survival," a late-90s topic of discussion that stopped being relevant sometime around the afternoon of January 1, 2000. There is also a decrepit, seedy-looking building with a "No Vacancies"-style neon sign advertising "Public Chatrooms," a nod to a forgotten, more anonymous way of making your voice heard on the internet. 

Among the crumbling rubble, one can also spy a sign referring to "Dial-Up" — a background reference to the old screechy, creaky, oh-my-goodness-you-have-no-idea-how-slow-it-was method of connecting to the internet — a mostly-dead way of doing things that used to be the only way to fly.

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Zootopia

Wreck-It Ralph presented a Toy Story-esque look at what happens at the arcade when the lights go off and no one's looking, with every game cabinet serving as its own discrete little world. Ralph Breaks the Internet blows the isolation up, instead taking its heroes to the sprawling megalopolis that we know as the internet. In that sense, the sequel has less in common with Toy Story and more in common with Zootopia, the well-received 2016 Disney animated feature about a vibrant animal kingdom cityscape that has, so far, yet to see its own sequel. But there are a couple of little moments in Ralph that should put a smile on the face of any fans of that talking-animal movie.

The most obvious Easter egg is the appearance of rakish Zootopia protagonist Nick Wilde, spotted kicking it in a quiet corner near Disney's section of the internet, no doubt up to some sort of con as usual. But a smaller reference to the Zootopia world is actually contained within the online game Slaughter Race, as evidenced by a sign for that movie's Mr. Big Limo Service. The fact that the reference is in Slaughter Race raises some head-scratching questions, though. Are we meant to believe that the delightful Zootopia of 2016 has turned into an apocalyptic urban battlefield, just like that? Or does Slaughter Race just have a no-holds-barred gritty Zootopia level? Either way, it's no version of the city we'd want to see Judy Hopps have to deal with.

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The genie's lamp

Ralph Breaks the Internet is probably going to have viewers going through it frame-by-frame well into 2019. There are just that many moments when the movie takes the opportunity to fill the screen with smaller screens, throwing up meme references and YouTube comments at a pace too fast to keep up with. Not everything busying up the background is interesting, which makes the occasional appearance of some familiar stuff just a little more thrilling.

During Ralph and Vanellope's first, ill-fated visit to eBay, the two are presented with what may well be an infinite number of different kiosks, each auctioning off some different, highly peculiar item. Most of the stuff on offer is trash, more or less — there's a sorrowful kitten painting here, an artificial hip for sale there — but at least one item in the online auction house is literally treasure. 

In the background of our heroes' search for the sought-after Sugar Rush wheel, you can see the magic, genie-summoning lamp from Aladdin up for auction. (We're not actually sure if the genie himself would be included.) Interestingly, Aladdin's Jasmine can be seen wielding her own magic lamp as a billy club in the Oh My Disney princess lounge when Vanellope intrudes. Maybe those trinkets are more common than we thought?

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Stan Lee

At one point during the movie's middle act, after Ralph and Vanellope arrive at the "Oh My Disney" corner of the internet, our protagonists literally bump into a dearly departed icon of comic books and pop culture.

While the final version of the cameo is just a quick reveal of Stan "the Man" Lee turning around to look toward the camera after Vanellope knocks into him, the surprising appearance wasn't initially meant to be so fleeting. Originally, Lee's cameo was going to be featured as a small part of a more involved sequence, according to movie co-director Phil Johnston. 

"For a moment, we had this thing called 'Marvelize Yourself,' where the human avatar is able to go through what looks like a metal detector and turn into a Marvel character," Johnston said, speaking to TheWrap. "And as part of that scene, we had Stan Lee go through the Marvelizer. But when we decided to lose that joke and not use the scene, we still wanted to have Stan Lee in the movie, because we love Stan Lee."

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Frozen 2

In the grand, bladder-testing tradition of Disney's own Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ralph Breaks the Internet also features two post-credits sequences. One, an extended riff on the Disney princesses scene, makes its appearance halfway through the credits. But another, more involved sequence doesn't kick in until the very end of the movie — and it's an emotional roller coaster, to say the least.

Disguised as a sneak peek for Disney's hotly anticipated Frozen sequel, the final moments of Ralph Breaks the Internet seem to just be putting the finishing touches on the movie's brand synergy. Of course it'd end with a trailer, right? Well, we hope the kids weren't disappointed. Just as the sneak peek seems to be getting off the ground, the first look is abruptly cut off by Ralph in the vein of a classic Rick Roll — a vintage gag from the internet that the movie has been cleverly using in its marketing. It shows some real moxie, teasing younger Frozen fans with an ice-cold joke that only their parents are probably going to get. But hey, them's the breaks, right? It's the kind of joke that goes to show that the internet can still be a cruel place.