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Easter Eggs You Didn't Notice In Squid Game

Netflix's smash hit South Korean survival drama "Squid Game" might be a disappointment for people who were expecting a light-hearted look into the recreational activities of cephalopods, but virtually everyone else is hooked. The show's nine episodes are a perfect mix of grim and heartwarming moments, and while "Squid Game" certainly has moments that make absolutely no sense, it's also capable of making you squirm as you watch your favorite characters struggle through the show's deadly takes on children's games.

A fantastic combination of amazing visuals, shocking plot twists, relatable characters, and sharp social study has made "Squid Game" a smash hit that might just become the most popular Netflix show ever (per Forbes). As luck would have it, the show is also absolutely packed with hidden details, so expect its viewership to further soar as people re-watch to find all sorts of cool secrets. In fact, let's take a look at some of the most interesting Easter eggs in "Squid Game" right now. Spoilers ahead.

Lee Byung-hun is named long before the Front Man reveal

The most visible and visually impressive villain in "Squid Game" is the Front Man — the ominous character who wears a dark mask and oversees the entire game. His identity reveal in Episode 8 is one of the biggest surprises in the show, for more than one reason. 

The character's true identity turns out to be Hwang In-ho, rogue cop Hwang Jun-ho's (Wi Ha-joon) disappeared brother. In-ho is, it seems, the winner of the 2015 game, and has taken the identity of the Front Man for reasons that we may or may not find out in "Squid Game" Season 2. What's more, In-ho's face reveal is a double treat, because he's played by South Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun ("I Saw the Devil," "Joint Security Area," "Terminator Genisys"). For reference, the effect for South Korean fans is not unlike a Western viewer finding out that the vicious, masked villain was Brad Pitt all along.   

If you pay attention to an earlier scene, though, you might not be so surprised to see Byung-hun. As Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) and Ji-yeong (Lee Yoo-mi) kill time before playing marbles during the fourth game, Ji-yeong quotes a mojito-themed line from Byung-hun's movie "Inside Men," and even outright name-drops the actor. It's a fun little Easter egg that casually teases the famed actor's late-game reveal ... and, incidentally, might also mean that since Byung-hun the actor exists in this universe, the Front Man is essentially his doppelgänger.

Squid Game foreshadows its most notable deaths

Even "Game of Thrones" has nothing on "Squid Game" when it comes to notable character deaths. Since the 456 players take part in a game that only a single person can survive, the very premise indicates that the show's body count is measured by the hundred, and almost all of your favorite characters will perish in tragic and shocking ways. Then again, some of the deaths might not be all that shocking, because if you know what you're looking for, the show provides hints about the fates of several major characters. 

Take Sae-byeok, who dies in the penultimate episode when Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo) stabs her in the throat, threatened to do the same exact thing to a smuggler whom he suspects of fleecing her money. In the same episode, Jun-ho is shot and falls in the ocean, which mirrors the way he killed the staff member whose identity he assumed when he infiltrated the island.

There are several such teases hidden in the show's early events. Perhaps most notably, the tattooed gangster Jang Deuk-su (Heo Sung-tae) dies during the Bridge Game, when the scorned Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung) fulfills her promise to kill him, and pulls him down with her. Earlier in the show, Deuk-su falls from another bridge in order to escape the mob, which foreshadows his ultimate fate. Likewise, Mi-nyeo's method for killing Deuk-su is telegraphed earlier, as she pulls the physically much stronger man down with a backwards-arching power move that's similar to the one she learned from Oh Il-nam during the Tug-of-War Game. 

The dormitory hides all the games in plain sight

The dangers of "Squid Game" aren't exclusively limited to the playing areas. The contestants' large dormitory can be just as dangerous, thanks to the tattooed gangster Jang Deuk-su (Heo Sung-tae) and his minions, who are determined to cut down the competition once the lights go out. Even without this "secret game" bloodshed, the dorm hall is full of drama and despair. This is where the contestants make alliances, hatch plans, and try to figure out what the next game is going to be. 

The characters' constant quest to gain an edge with knowledge about the upcoming games is a recurring factor in the plot, but as sharp-eyed viewers might notice, the information is actually available to the contestants right from the beginning. The seemingly random paintings on the room's walls actually depict the games the characters play over the course of the show, and they become more and more visible as contestants perish and the staff removes their beds.

There are many hints that Player 001 is not what he seems

Arguably the biggest of the show's many shocking twists is the final episode's revelation that Player 001 — aka Oh Il-nam — is alive, and far from the nice, harmless old man that he appears to be. Though he's still very much dying from a brain tumor, he's actually an ultra-wealthy man who created the game to keep himself and his fellow jaded rich folks entertained, and participates simply because he thinks it's fun.

When you watch the show with the knowledge that Il-nam is essentially the show's Big Bad, you'll notice that "Squid Game" telegraphs this massive reveal with a number of neat Easter eggs. During the very first game, the other contestants are horrified and shell-shocked — but Il-nam hops along with a spring in his step and a grin on his face, playing the lethal Red Light, Green Light game with utmost confidence of a man who knows exactly what he's doing. In fact, he's a happy camper pretty much throughout the show, with the exception of the dormitory massacre — which just so happens to end the second he says so — and the Marble Game, during which he fakes confusion to mess with Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae).

Other hints about Il-nam's identity is the fact that he's the only main competitor who has no backstory, and the way his file isn't present in the player records Jun-ho uncovers. In hindsight, his "chance meeting" with Gi-hun in Episode 2 is clearly a plot to convince the guy to re-enter the game, too. 

Gi-hun's gift to his daughter foreshadows the game's coffins

One of the most iconic images of "Squid Game" is the distinctive, pink-ribboned coffin that the staff uses to transport the dead — or, on occasion, not quite dead — contestants on their way to the incinerator. Their grim purpose and whimsical look are in direct odds, and in an interview with Netflix Korea (via Sportskeeda), "Squid Game" art director Chae Kyung-sun revealed that the gift aspect of the design is very deliberate. "I think I focused on the mind of the person who came up with the game," she said. "I imagined he'd think he gave the contestants a chance as if he's a god. 'This is my gift to you. Even your bodies being disposed in the incinerator is a show of my mercy.'"

Speaking of gifts, you can actually see the design well before the coffins themselves make a debut. Before he begins the game, Gi-hun struggles to find his daughter Ga-yeong (Cho Ah-in) a birthday present, ultimately settling on a random last minute surprise gift from a claw machine. Said gift comes packed in a gift box that looks an awful lot like the gift-wrapped coffins. What's more, it turns out to be a lighter shaped like a gun, which foreshadows the game's violent nature, the incinerators the coffins are burned in, and the wildly inappropriate things gift-wrapped boxes tend to contain in this show.