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The Best Easter Eggs Hidden On DVD Menus

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Every film has a few hidden secrets in it, and as such, anyone who considers themselves a film buff has made a habit out of seeking out the smallest references, most obscure bits of trivia, or tucked-away Easter eggs within their favorite films. Some films are more densely packed than others — Pixar is famous for referencing previous films with each new release, Jordan Peele's Get Out is jam-packed with various references and pieces of foreshadowing, and Alfred Hitchcock was famous for inserting either himself or his ominous silhouette into each one of his films — but even the most basic films likely feature a small tidbit that most viewers might miss on their first viewing.

As DVDs and Blu-ray discs became more popular, filmmakers found another angle to give viewers bonus entertainment while making them work for it, and thus, the DVD menu Easter egg was born. By strategically clicking around, fans could find even more content related to the films they loved, ranging from new short films to practical jokes. Here are some of the coolest bonus features hidden in plain sight on DVD menus.

The Dark Knight's "Jokerized" trailer

Christopher Nolan's 2008 film The Dark Knight was revolutionary for several reasons — it made superhero films into prestige dramas, it breathed new life into the Batman franchise (following up Nolan's debut entry into the Caped Crusader saga, Batman Begins), and it featured a groundbreaking performance from Heath Ledger, who posthumously won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role. Viewed as one of the best films of the entire decade, The Dark Knight set the standard for all superhero movies to come. It's even considered by many to be the reason that the Academy expanded the number of films for the Best Picture category, paving the way for films like Black Panther to find their way into the fray.

In the lead-up to its release, The Dark Knight ran a hugely successful viral marketing campaign, complete with GPS scavenger hunts, an entire storyline based around the Joker's catchphrase ("Why so serious?"), and a mystery involving Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who later becomes Two-Face. Fans who played along were rewarded with a "Jokerized" trailer, which made it look like the Joker himself had doodled humorously threatening graffiti all over the movie's trailer reel. It's preserved on the DVD, but you'll have to enter a special code on the menu (56537) to find it.

Fight Club's rom-com menu

David Fincher's Fight Club, adapted from the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, was full of Easter eggs upon its release — as a statement on consumer culture and capitalism, there's a Starbucks cup visible in nearly every frame of the film, and since the story famously involves an enormous plot twist, the movie has plenty of foreshadowing. A take on toxic masculinity which has since become a cult classic, Fight Club tells the story of an unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) who gets swept up by the dangerous, lawless Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) while also striking up a romance with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), a compulsive liar.

For the tenth anniversary of Fight Club in 2009, Fincher played one last trick on his loyal audience — upon loading the then-new Blu-ray edition, fans were greeted by a very different set of options than they expected. Rather than the menu for Fight Club, viewers were treated to a menu for Never Been Kissed, a fluffy romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore that was also released in 1999 (and actually outperformed Fight Club at the box office). Though the correct menu loaded just a few seconds later, it seemed like the perfect touch from a director known for toying with his faithful fans.

Lord of the Rings' Extended Editions had plenty of extras

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, shot simultaneously over several years in New Zealand under the direction of Peter Jackson, is one of the most epic and successful film franchises in history. Comprised of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, these adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novels shattered box office records, won over critics, and even walked away with several Oscars (Return of the King won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture). This story of men, dwarves, hobbits, and elves delighted longtime Tolkien fans and newcomers alike, and continues to stand the test of time.

The DVD releases of the trilogy's theatrical versions were quickly followed by the extended cuts of each film, all of which came with two extra DVDs full of "appendices" detailing the incredibly complex stories behind the making of the saga. As such, each extended edition DVD came with plenty of Easter eggs, from MTV Movie Awards sketches to fan previews and more.  

Watch Memento in order

Released in 2000, Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Guy Pearce as a man suffering from short-term memory loss who must solve the mystery of his wife's murder and find out who is hunting him down. Unfortunately, the only tools he has to help him are a series of intricate tattoos and Polaroids. As one of the first narrative films of its decade to be added to the National Film Registry, Memento is a critically adored film which received Academy Award nominations for both its screenplay and editing, while establishing Christopher Nolan as a seriously talented director to watch.

The film itself is presented as two separate sequences, which come together but never form a fully chronological narrative, making the viewing experience for the audience just as confusing as the main character's journey. The two-disc release of Memento is quite full of various Easter eggs, but perhaps the most notable is a way to watch the film that restructures it chronologically, which might clear up lingering mysteries for even the biggest Memento fans.

The Ring's full cursed video

Gore Verbinski's 2002 horror film The Ring, an American remake of a Japanese movie called Ringu, is one of the highest-grossing horror remakes in cinematic history, guaranteed to keep terrifying entirely new audiences for years to come. Naomi Watts stars in the critically acclaimed film as Rachel, a Seattle journalist tasked with investigating the mysterious deaths of her niece and other teenagers, whose causes of death could not be medically confirmed but whose bodies turned up horribly disfigured. Rachel eventually figures out that the teens watched a mysterious videotape before their deaths and died within a week of viewing it. When Rachel and her ex-boyfriend Noah track down and watch the video, they immediately receive a phone call that tells them they have "seven days," and they soon discover that to avoid dying in a week, they must pass the videotape on to others.

Though most of the film centers on various characters watching the cursed videotape, only flashes of it are shown, with disturbing images like dying horses and a distorted shot of an eerie well, but brave DVD viewers can access the entire video by clicking an empty space next to the words "Don't Watch This" in the extras section. While the video plays, the remote is rendered useless and the viewer can't pause, fast forward, or rewind. When it's over, a phone rings twice, giving you back the remote... if you dared to watch it at all.

Alfred Molina gets some advice about Spider-Man 2

It feels like the Spider-Man franchise has, at this point, been rebooted countless times, so it might be easy to forget the Tobey Maguire era in the early aughts. After this particular iteration started with Spider-Man in 2002, its sequel, Spider-Man 2, arrived in 2004, with Peter Parker (Maguire) struggling to balance his personal life alongside his secret identity, putting his relationships with both his love interest, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and his best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco) at risk. Meanwhile, a scientist named Dr. Octavius (Alfred Molina), who befriends and mentors Peter, loses his wife in a tragic accident and turns to a life of crime, becoming the villainous Doc Ock, whom Peter must fight to save not just Manhattan, but the people he loves.

The villain from the first film, the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), might have been defeated by the time this one starts, but his shadow looms large over the plot, considering that he he was Harry's father, Norman Osborn. With that in mind, it's no surprise that Willem Dafoe would want to pass on advice about being a Spider-Man villain, and in a hidden feature on the DVD, he does just that for Alfred Molina in a short video taken when Sam Raimi snuck the veteran actor onto the set during a break in filming.

Fast & Furious destroyed lots of cameras

The Fast & Furious franchise, which focuses on street racing and and heists, is known primarily for one thing: fast sports cars and death-defying action setpieces. Beginning in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, the series has spawned a whopping eight films (with more on the way). Beyond breaking box office records and receiving, on average, a mostly positive reception from both critics and audiences, the franchise has become a bona-fide pop culture phenomenon, spawning everything from theme park rides to live shows and making its mark as a fun escapist series without much basis in reality.

With so many action scenes and car chases, these films are ripe for on-set accidents, and though many of them were thankfully harmless, a fair amount of film equipment has been sacrificed to the series over the years. If you want to see just how many cameras gave up their lives to film some of the franchise's most fantastic stunts, pick up the 2009 special two-disc edition of The Fast and the Furious and find the broken camera icon on the bonus disc to watch tons of footage of wrecked cameras.

Get all the references in Shaun of the Dead

Directed by Edgar Wright, Shaun of the Dead unofficially serves as the first in the "Cornetto Trilogy" (all of which star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). It's a pitch-perfect and loving satire of classic zombie films, lending an irreverent air to a traditional horror scenario. With quick cuts, a tightly-written script, and witty performances from both Pegg and Frost, the film centers on Shaun (Pegg), an aimless salesman whose girlfriend has dumped him, and his best friend Ed (Frost), his equally lazy housemate. As a zombie outbreak spreads, Shaun and Ed try to get their friends and family to a safe haven at their local pub, with hilarious results. A critical and commercial success, the film made several best-of lists, and was nominated for a BAFTA, even earning the approval of zombie master George A. Romero, who asked Pegg and Frost to appear in one of his films.

Wright is known for packing his films full of Easter eggs, pop culture bon mots, and very specific references. To help viewers navigate all of these hidden gems, he tucked a "Zomb-O-Meter" track into the Shaun DVD's subtitle menu, which lets viewers follow along with each reference as it happens in real time. By giving context to all of his jokes, Wright can help eager viewers uncover even more from this densely witty film, making their viewing experience even fuller and funnier.

Inception has a prequel

Christopher Nolan clearly loves a good Easter egg, and Inception is no exception. Nolan's 2010 science fiction film investigates the possibility of conducting huge heists by being able to invade someone's dreams. As Cobb, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a thief with nothing to lose who is offered one last heist where, if he successfully convinces a powerful businessman to dissolve a huge company, he will be cleared of a murder charge. With the help of his team, Cobb must infiltrate the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the heir to the company, and make him believe that dissolving the business was his idea all along.

A complicated and dense thriller, Inception was a massive hit — it scored at the box office and with critics, made plenty of best-of lists for 2010 films, and scored Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (and winning awards for Cinematography and Visual Effects, among others). For those who want to dig even deeper, the Inception Blu-ray has plenty of special features, including a hidden prequel — a 15-minute motion comic called The Cobol Job tells the story of the heist that led to the events in the film. It's tucked away behind an image of Cobb's famous spinning top and a secret code (528491, to be exact).

Ben Stiller stars in Mission: Impossible 2

Known for its impeccably choreographed stunts and incredible action set-pieces, the Mission: Impossible franchise stars Tom Cruise as special agent Ethan Hunt. Hunt is known for escaping any situation with apparent ease and leads the team after a shake-up in the first film. In the second installment, Mission: Impossible 2, Hunt must destroy a dangerous biological weapon that has fallen into the hands of a rogue agent. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, it performed exceptionally well at the box office, becoming the highest grossing film of 2000.

Even though Tom Cruise famously eschews stunt doubles, according to a video that premiered at the MTV Movie Awards, he did have one for Mission: Impossible 2. The double's name? Tom Crooze. Of course, that's not even a little bit true, and the "stunt double" in the video is none other than Cruise's friend Ben Stiller, who even left his honeymoon early to film the video (since Cruise wouldn't do it without him). Fans can find the skit on the "Extreme Edition" version of the DVD by clicking "MOAB" in the "Impossible Shots" section.

A new version of The Incredibles

Among Pixar's beloved collection of films, The Incredibles ranks highly on the list, winning the studio yet another Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and creating another franchise within the company (its successful sequel, The Incredibles 2, was released to widespread acclaim in 2018). Focusing on a family of superheroes who must hide their identities from the general public while saving the world, the film was a success both critically and commercially, and like all of its Pixar predecessors, the film itself was chock-full of Easter eggs and references to both past and future Pixar films.

Of course, the DVD of The Incredibles also has a huge selection of Easter eggs for eagle-eyed viewers — by pressing buttons quickly or in the right order, fans will find deleted scenes, tributes to the people behind the film, and other short videos. One Easter egg, though, stands out from the pack. On the two-disc Special Edition of the film, fans can find a version of The Incredibles made entirely with sock puppets if they manipulate their way through the menu, giving viewers an alternate version of the film they never even knew they needed.

The rhino fight in Gladiator

Ridley Scott's epic 2000 film Gladiator, which won several Academy Awards including Best Picture, has left behind a storied legacy, and has even been credited with reviving interest in ancient Rome. Starring Russell Crowe in a breakout role alongside Joaquin Phoenix as the antagonist, the film performed admirably at the box office and was well-liked by critics, thanks to its stunning visuals, incredible action sequences, and its leading performances. The battle scenes, in particular, have garnered praise in the years since the film's release, with the movie's crucial fight, the Battle of Germania, finding its way onto best-of lists throughout the years.

If fans wanted even more bloody action and battle sequences, the DVD has something just for them: a hidden, alternate version of a fight between Maximus (Crowe) and wild animals. Though the original film does feature Maximus fighting a group of (real) tigers, a scene was storyboarded where he also fights a rhino, and viewers can find it on the Extended Edition DVD by selecting "Rhino Fight" and then clicking the rhino that appears on the menu.