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The Nightmare On Elm Street Detail You Missed In Scream

Iconic and meta, Wes Craven's 1996 film "Scream" is brimming with horror references — including a nod to his earlier film, 1984's "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Known for its clever dissection of the typical horror film, "Scream" follows teenager Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as she tries to evade Ghostface (Roger L. Jackson), a masked killer who is hunting down her friends. Sounds similar to Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), right?

Despite its simple premise, not everything is what it seems. The film turned the genre on its head, simultaneously poking fun at its cliches, leaning into stereotypes, and paying homage to a variety of its predecessors. The witty commentary led to a successful franchise following Prescott and Ghostface. With in-jokes for horror fans and Easter eggs hidden in plain sight, it isn't surprising that Craven referenced his work, too.

So, which detail was a reference to "A Nightmare on Elm Street"?

Don't blink or you'll miss it

In a triple-whammy reference, Wes Craven briefly cameos as a disgruntled janitor named Fred who wears Krueger's iconic red and green striped sweater. Appearing moments before Principal Himbry (Henry Winkler) is killed by Ghostface, he hilariously exchanges words with the principal, who Fred mistakenly thinks insulted him. The no-nonsense Himbry then heads into his office, where he nervously checks for the killer, showing the leather jacket in his closet. Seemingly insignificant, this references his famed role as The Fonz on "Happy Days." (In another nod to The Fonz, he adjusts his hair before his encounter with Fred.) Talk about meta.

The exchange between Fred and Himbry is brief, but it's an Easter egg that horror fans appreciated. On a Reddit thread discussing the sweater, u/hectorial85 said it's "very cool that it's actually the correct sweater [colors]," pointing out that the razor-sharp killer's sweater stripes change slightly in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" sequels.

The hanging leather jacket gag occurs in "Scream 2," only with Krueger's sweater hanging in a dorm closet. Additionally, Craven had cameos in "Scream 2" and "Scream 3." Maybe the sweater will reappear in the upcoming "Scream 5," too.