Movie Easter Eggs Hidden In The Opening Or Final Scene

In movies, easter eggs are visual or audio cues that are indirectly snuck into a scene, which filmmakers put in place for a variety of reasons. Usually hidden in plain sight, easter eggs can hint at plot elements, give nods to source material, or just make silly jokes. They can be found in any scene of a film, but they're especially effective when they're in the opening or ending sequences, when audiences are either jacked from excitement or reeling from the cinematic ride they just took. Here's a list of easter eggs you may have missed while digging into that popcorn or making a beeline for the bathroom. Also, spoilers. Duh.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The website Cracked brilliantly points out that Mr. Orange—the undercover police informant—reveals his true colors in the classic opening scene of Reservoir Dogs, in which the ill-fated jewelry thieves have an intense debate about tipping. After Joe, the boss, asks who didn't throw in his share of the tip—one lousy dollar—Mr. Orange sings like the secret badge-wearing canary he is and throws Mr. Pink right under the bus. The table full of criminals about to commit some crime together don't notice this obvious character flaw, but we're willing to bet nobody else did either. It's probably because in this same scene, Mr. Brown (played by director Quentin Tarantino), lays out his bizarre and pervy "Like A Virgin" theory, perhaps in an effort to divert away from the blatant violation of thievery code, or perhaps to just creep everyone out the next time Madonna's on the radio. Either way, it worked, and pretty much got everyone killed for not noticing it.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

One of the least well-kept secrets about Disney's The Little Mermaid involves the VHS cover art. One of the spires on Triton's castle resembled a certain part of the male anatomy not usually referenced in family films. While Disney corrected that freudian error on the laserdisc release, there is a far less offensive, and ostensibly intentional easter egg within the opening scene of the movie. As Triton cruises in for his grand entrance, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck can be seen among his adoring audience. Donald Duck is sort of understandable, since he's at least a semi-aquatic creature. But how are Mickey and Goofy breathing underwater? Good luck explaining how they're not drowning to the kids.

Watchmen (2009)

The entire title sequence of Watchmen, set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin,” is actually full of references and character backstory, but arguably the biggest easter egg of them all is in the very first shot. In the background of Night Owl punching out a gun-wielding criminal, there are two wealthy patrons exiting a theater door. According to io9 and one eagle-eyed commenter, they're holding the booklet for an opera called "Die Fledermaus," which translates to "The Bat." So, that would be Night Owl saving Thomas and Martha Wayne from being murdered by Joe Chill—which is a pretty big nod to another huge DC property, Batman, that also arguably changes the entire trajectory of one of their biggest characters.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)

The end credit sequence of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a long, impressive CGI Marauder's Map that's altered to show the names and occupations of the extensive film crew interspersed with locations at Hogwarts. The Marauder's Map's magical ability is to reveal any Hogwarts student at any time on the school grounds by showing a set of footprints that appear on their current location. So, while the end credits are moving along, an alcove is shown on the map with two sets of footprints inside of it that could easily be interpreted as a romantic embrace. Speculation immediately started about a secret tryst between Harry and Cho Chang, though director Alfonso Cuarón insists it was merely an impulsive late-night decision by a visual designer that he decided to keep as a clever inside joke for adult viewers. Sorry, fan fiction writers, but Harry and Cho didn't hook up in the Hogwarts toolshed.

Godzilla (2014)

The 2014 incarnation of Godzilla opens with a montage of news clips cut with shots of official-looking paperwork being heavily redacted as soon as it hits the screen. Fortunately, a movie theater employee with some extra time on his hands went to the painstaking effort to stop each frame and transcribe the messages before they get blanked out. The result is a wickedly funny outline of basically the entire plot of the movie that's also full of in-jokes and ancient monster lore. And while we acknowledge the tedious work that that theater employee put in for the benefit of hardcore fanboys, we have to ask: why didn't he just wait for the Blu-Ray release?

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

If there's one thing you can be sure you're going to see in a Lethal Weapon movie, it's explosions. So, if you stick around through the end credits of Lethal Weapon 3—and keep in mind this was back before every comic book movie had multiple post-credits scenes, so it was kind of a rarity for a filmmaker to include one—you're rewarded for your patience with some pretty amazing destruction. An entire building literally implodes as a car frantically backs away from the wreckage. The best part, aside from the amazing '90s guitar riff bed music, is how the filmmakers haphazardly inserted hilariously corny voice-over that's supposed to make the audience believe that Riggs and Murtaugh are in the car. Plus, there's zero CGI. They either blew up a real building or found footage of one and just plunked it into their movie. Take that, Star Wars prequels.

Frozen (2013)

This one's a quickie, but a goodie. Within the end credits for Disney's Frozen, there's the typical disclaimer that's usually reserved for behind-the-scenes footage and DVD commentary. It generally says something along the lines of "The views expressed by the people talking don't represent Disney, so don't bother suing us, blah blah," only this time they snuck in the following phrase: "The views and opinions expressed by Kristoff in the film that all men eat their own boogers are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Walt Disney Company or the filmmakers." Want to blow your kids' minds and possibly inspire a legal career? Pause the credits right there.

Lost In Translation (2003)

Sofia Coppola's sophomore feature film, Lost in Translation, earned Bill Murray an Oscar nomination and gave a healthy shot in the arm to the then-19-year-old Scarlett Johansson's career. Telling the story of two people both disillusioned with their own marriages who find each other by chance and develop a close connection during a brief stay in Tokyo, the film leaves viewers yearning for a happy resolution. So, do they end up together? Coppola left that question seemingly unanswered with the final scene in which Murray, on his way to the airport to leave the country, whispers something indecipherable in Johansson's ear. They part ways, she smiles, he seems relieved, but the question remains. It wouldn't really be an easter egg if the whisper was gibberish. But thanks to the diligent efforts of a YouTuber using some fancy audio technology, we're no longer left wondering. Upon enhancement, Murray clearly says, "I have to be leaving, but I won't let that come between us, okay?" Johansson replies, "Okay." That's a pretty definitive plan to be together and also a huge easter egg to leave intentionally obscured, so if you've spent years cursing Sofia Coppola's artistically vague ending, maybe you owe her an apology. Or maybe you just need better speakers.