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The Die Hard 3 Reference You Never Noticed In Pixar's The Incredibles

Some movies just can't resist referencing other iconic films in their storytelling – whether through snatches of dialogue, fleeting images in the background, or even entire scenes. Pixar is a notorious offender in the referential Easter egg department, with a special affinity for referencing the horror movie The Shining in its G-rated flicks. When the creative execs at the animation studio cast the quintessential Samuel L. Jackson in the beloved superhero flick The Incredibles, they took the chance to callback to one of his previous films: Die Hard with a Vengeance.

Jackson stars alongside Bruce Willis in the third installment of the Die Hard series. He plays Zeus, a bystander who is pulled into an elaborate riddle-fueled chase to keep a mysterious man named Simon from setting off bombs throughout New York City. About a decade later, he's Frozone in The Incredibles, the superhero best friend of Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), who uses his icy powers to help defeat the villain Syndrome (Jason Lee). It's easy to miss, but Frozone actually has a scene referencing Zeus.

Both Zeus and Frozone stare down a nervous cop

In Die Hard 3, Zeus and John McClane (Willis) are charged with answering a payphone to stop an explosion from destroying the New York City subway. Zeus goes for the phone, while McClane looks for the bomb. Unfortunately, there's a man using the payphone, so Zeus intimidates him into leaving it. This attracts a police officer, and leads to a tense standoff during which Zeus tries to slowly answer the now-ringing phone with the officer's gun trained on him. "I have to answer that phone," Jackson says carefully.

Then, in The Incredibles, when Frozone and Mr. Incredible intercept a robbery, they end up looking like the ones committing the crime. The police show up and aim their guns at the pair. Frozone sees a water cooler to the side and slowly grabs a cup of water, sipping it so he can use his ice powers to get them out of the situation. "I'm just getting a drink," Frozone says in a similar slow, careful cadence reminiscent of Zeus in Die Hard 3. The similarity between the two scenes is highlighted by the police officer: The Pixar cop looks just like the one in Die Hard 3, and he has the same nervous energy that makes it seem like he's a second away from pulling the trigger.

Die Hard with a Vengeance actually referenced another film with Jackson and Willis, Pulp Fiction, in a line of McClane's dialogue, so this Easter egg is actually more of an Easter onion, considering all its many layers to discover. Peel them back for yourself during your next screening of The Incredibles.