S’porean who watched Avengers: Endgame 6 times collates 125 Easter eggs, callbacks & references
Oh, and Joe Russo makes a cameo in Cap's therapy group.
Avengers: Endgame is a love letter to long-time fans.
There are more Easter eggs, callbacks, and hidden references in this movie than anyone could catch in just one sitting.
I would know because I watched it six times.
But if you had to take it from me instead of watching it two, three, or even 10 times, here is a list of Easter eggs, callbacks, and hidden references.
There are spoilers galore in this list. So, be warned. Here goes.
After The Snap
1. Clint is wearing an ankle bracelet just like Scott in Ant-Man and the Wasp, because of what they did in Civil War.
2. Tony is starving in the Benatar (Star-Lord’s ship) because Thor ate all the snacks in Infinity War.
3. The jacket he uses to keep warm is one of Star-Lord’s.
4. Nebula takes games very seriously because Thanos would “upgrade” her every time she lost a fight to Gamora.
5. The one picture of missing heroes makes Tony look away is Spider-Man.
6. The vision Tony mentions is of seeing the dead Avengers in Age of Ultron.
7. Cap no longer cares about swearing like he once did in Age of Ultron.
8. The old bald guy in Cap’s therapy group is Jim Starlin, one-time writer for Marvel and the original creator of Thanos.
9. The lot where Ant-Man’s van is impounded is marked 616, the designation for the main Marvel universe in the comics.
10. The underwater earthquake Okoye reports to Natasha could be a reference to Namor the Sub-Mariner, ruler of Atlantis.
11. Carol’s haircut is a reference to her comics look, and her little nod to Rhodey might be a nod to their relationship there too.
12. Nat’s ballerina shoes are on a chair next to her. A reference to her training in the “Red Room”, and perhaps how she can’t let go of the past.
13. Nat cuts her sandwiches diagonally. Maybe she learned that Nick Fury doesn’t like them cut that way, as we learned in Captain Marvel.
14. Morgan Stark is named after the “eccentric old uncle” Tony was talking about in Infinity War.
15. “Mummy never wears anything I buy her,” Tony tells Morgan. Which is true, Pepper wears things Tony makes for her instead.
16. Nat is wearing the little arrow on a chain necklace she’s worn before, in Winter Soldier.
17. Tony serves them some kind of health drink of his own concoction, from when he learned to make them to deal with his health issues in Iron Man 2.
18. Back in Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk was convinced the people of Earth hate him. But now he’s the most kid-friendly Avenger.
19. Hulk still dabs because he’s an old man five years behind the times.
20. Pepper to Tony: “Will you be able to rest?” Keep this in mind when you’re watching Tony’s death scene.
21. Scott still has a huge man-crush on Steve, as we’ve seen in Civil War.
22. Tony and Steve shaking hands is the first on-screen sign of reconciliation we’ve seen since Civil War.
23. The town of Tønsberg/ New Asgard is where Odin fought on Earth back in the first Thor movie, and where the Tesseract was guarded before the Red Skull invaded in Captain America: The First Avenger.
24. Korg is wearing the same shirt Thor:Ragnarok director Taika Waititi wore to a Comic-con.
25. Maybe Thor, Korg and Miek are still playing Fortnite because no one cares about making new video games after the devastation of the Snap.
26. Clint’s ninja costume is a reference to his Ronin persona in the comics.
27. “One side, Lebowski.” Thor looks like the Dude from the Big Lebowski, who was played by Obadiah Stane’s actor, Jeff Bridges.
28. Tony calls Rocket “Ratchet”, after the Ratchet and Clank video game.
29. Killing Baby Thanos is a reference to the Hitler Time Travel thought exercise. Would you do it?
30. Among the many time-travel plots referenced are Hot Tub Time Machine and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
31. When Thor is explaining the Aether, only Scott looks excited while everyone else looks confused.
32. When the team is planning the Time Heist, Hulk is eating his own brand of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, green-tinted Hulka Hulka Burnin’ Fudge, mentioned by Wong in Infinity War.
33. The Avengers could have gotten the Aether in 2014 too, where it’s safe with the Collector on Knowhere, but Thor specifically chose to go to Asgard because he wanted to see his mother again.
34. Before they leave, Nat tells Cap “See you in a minute.” It’s the last thing he would hear her say.
35. The whole 2012 set-piece is glorious callback after callback, but notice that Tony can flick Scott with some accuracy because of all the time he practised paper football with Nebula.
36. When the elevator door shuts, Loki (in chains and muzzled up) also waves goodbye to the Hulk.
37. 1970 happens to be the year Tony was born.
38. Tony tells Howard he’s a visitor from MIT. Tony is an MIT graduate.
39. Tony modelled JARVIS’s voice after his father’s butler. The actor is the same guy who played Jarvis in the Peggy Carter TV show.
40. The helmet you see on Hank Pym’s desk looks like the one the first Ant-Man used in the comics.
41. Howard Stark is looking for Dr Arnim Zola (Red Skull’s sidekick). When Hank Pym dashes out of the lab, he pushes Zola aside.
42. Some people have wondered why Peggy looks the same in 1970 as she did in 1945, but assuming she’s in her early-20s in the 1940s she would be in her late-40s in 1970, which isn’t much of a stretch. Good genes.
43. Howard tells Tony that he fears any son of his would prioritise his own self-interest over the greater good. He would turn out to be wrong.
44. When Thanos’s ship takes off, you can see an explosion on the planet below, with half of the city lights disappearing.
45. Gamora wears rings on every finger but her ring finger.
46. Thanos is about to send Nebula and Gamora to the ship of Ronan the Accuser, from the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
47. Thanos watched the events of Infinity War in Endgame (through Nebula’s recordings). Dr Strange watched the events of Endgame in Infinity War (with the Time Stone).
48. When the Asgardian guards chase after Rocket, they call him a “rabbit”, just like Thor did in Infinity War.
49. Thor’s mother Frigga was raised by witches and see with more than just eyes, like how our mothers always know what’s going on.
50. Thor can still summon Mjolnir. Even if you’re fat and depressed and feel like a failure, you can still be worthy.
51. Clint mentions Budapest again to Nat, from the first Avengers.
52. On Vormir, Clint tells Nat that Rocket is technically not an Earth raccoon, and he’s right.
53. Red Skull calls Clint “son of Edith”. In the comics, Clint’s father was an abusive drunk, and he was raised by his mother.
54. This is the second time someone’s died to save Clint, the first being Quicksilver.
55. Nat sacrifices herself, which is crucial for the entire plan to work. As a spy, she would have no hesitation in doing the hard but necessary thing from behind the scenes.
56. When Nat lands on the ground, the blood makes her hair look completely red again. Wiping out the “red in her ledger”, from the first Avengers.
57. Nebula gives Thanos some Pym Particles, which he would replicate in order to jump his ship into the future.
58. Thor couldn’t have made the Snap. It requires mental as well as physical strength, and he was in no condition to visualise everyone returning back safely. Only Professor Hulk had the brains and the brawn to do it, and survive.
59. When Hulk is struggling with the Gauntlet, Cap tells everyone not to worry and push ahead, just like he did when he was going through the Super Soldier procedure.
60. Tony’s barn door protocol to seal off the lab is why they didn’t hear Thanos’s ship crash through.
61. Clint answers a phone call from his wife, and by doing so he moves into a different part of the lab. This is why he later falls down close to the Gauntlet. If he had died for the Soul Stone, no one would have called Nat, and they might have lost the whole battle.
62. Just as Thanos’s missile hits, you can see Scott shrink just in time to save himself.
63. Rhodey’s emergency escape command is “Canopy canopy canopy!” It’s an Air Force term for the roof of the cockpit.
64. Thanos proves that his plan was doomed to failure. Even though he knew that getting rid of half the universe wouldn’t work, he decided instead to kill everyone and start over, which is far removed from his original plan.
65. Iron Man asks Thor to charge him up with lightning, like what happened in the first Avengers.
66. Nebula killing her past self is a symbol of how she’s overcome the burdens of her past. Also a neat way to demonstrate that the time travel paradox of killing your past self does not matter, or what you do in the past doesn’t affect your prime reality.
67. When the 2014 Nebula dies, you can see a tear drop from her eye.
68. Thanos should have went for the head when trying to kill Thor instead of his chest.
69. Cap is worthy of lifting Mjolnir. Thor suspected as much from the party scene in Age of Ultron.
70. Cap does some great solo combos with his shield and Mjolnir, which he knows how to do from fighting alongside Thor in Age of Ultron.
71. Cap can wield the lightning because Mjolnir’s enchantment states whoever is worthy shall possess the power of Thor.
72. Cap’s shield broke under Thanos’s furious assault. Vibranium is strong, but not the strongest material in the universe.
73. Cap’s shield breaks in the same pattern as Tony’s vision from Age of Ultron.
74. Cap stands as one man against an army. A reference to the comic where Cap says: “As long as one man stands against you, Thanos, you will never be able to claim victory.”
75. “On your left” is callback to when Cap was jogging around Falcon in Winter Soldier.
76. The gang’s all here. Wakandans, Asgardians, Sorcerers from Kamar Taj and even Ravagers from the Guardians in their ships.
77. When the Wasp pops up, looking around, you can see Howard the Duck to her left, on the right of the screen.
78. Pepper has worn Iron Man armour before, in Iron Man 3.
79: When Wong says, “You wanted more?”, it might be a possible reference to the Defenders (Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist) who were introduced in the TV series but not on the big screen.
80. Cap says the immortal line which has never been said before in the MCU. But the Avengers are already assembled at that point.
81. Thor is the first to respond, and when they charge, you can see M’Baku keeping pace with Cap and Black Panther through the sheer power of vegetarianism.
82. When Thor tells Cap to “give me that, you can have the little one” you can see Mantis in the background, putting one Thanos’s big gorilla creatures to sleep.
83. When Wasp says, “We’re on it Cap”, and Scott smiles at her, it’s because she teased him about his man crush on Cap in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
84. Black Panther saves Clint and calls him by name. It’s a change from Civil War, when Clint tells him his name and T’Challa doesn’t care.
85. Black Panther hands off the Nano Gauntlet to Spider-Man, trying to keep it away from Thanos’s forces. They are literally running the gauntlet.
86. Spidey activates Insta-Kill mode, from Spider-Man: Homecoming.
87. Star-Lord getting kicked in the balls is sufficient payback for ruining the plan in Infinity War, on Titan.
88. “It was either him or a tree.” Nebula knows that Drax is in mourning for his wife, Mantis likes guys, and Rocket isn’t interested.
89. Cap calls Spidey, “Hey Queens”, like he did in Civil War.
90. Scarlet Witch is crazy powerful because she obtained her powers from an Infinity Stone (Mind).
91. “Something just entered the upper atmosphere!” Carol knows an invasion is underway, just like how she scouted the garden planet at the start of the movie and ascertained there were no armies and defences.
92. Thanos’s ship firing at Carol only makes her stronger — one of her powers is to absorb energy blasts. When she wrecks the ship, the Captain Marvel theme plays.
93. “Danvers, we need an assist.” Captain to Captain, and both actors appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
94. “She’s not alone” scene echoes Infinity War when Black Widow said it, and sadly, she’s the only female hero not present.
95. Valkyrie’s weapon can take down a leviathan, which is why Thor was geeking out in Ragnarok.
96. When Carol rams through Thanos’s forces, three heroes fire energy beams at Thanos — Shuri, Pepper in her Rescue Armour, and the Wasp’s stinger blasts. This is similar to another scene in Age of Ultron when Tony, Vision and Thor all blast Ultron.
97. Carol is strong enough to fight Thanos one-on-one, as she got her powers from an Infinity Stone too.
98. Doctor Strange’s hands still shake from the effects of his accident and operation, and you can see it when he holds up the single finger to Tony.
99. When Tony grabs the Nano Gauntlet, you can hear clicking noises, similar to how the Stones were moving around earlier. This is how he takes the Stones from the gauntlet to his own armour.
100. Tony snaps away everyone allied with Thanos, which is why 2014 Gamora (presumably) doesn’t get snapped.
101: Tony’s last words are, “Hey Pep.”
102: Tony doesn’t respond much to Rhodey or Spider-Man, but tries to smile when he sees Pepper.
103: Pepper only lets herself cry when Tony has died.
104: When Peter meets with Ned at their high school, Ned is happy because from his perspective, he probably hasn’t seen Peter since he escaped from the school bus in Infinity War. Ned also looks the same age, which suggests he got Snapped too.
105: Is that Ben Mendelsohn’s Skrull leader Talos giving students direction in Peter’s high school?
106: Morgan looks scared when she sees her dad’s hologram. She may be really smart, but she’s a still a kid and may not quite understand that Tony will not be coming home.
107: The music that plays during Tony’s memorial sounds similar to the track that plays when he nearly dies in space at the start of the movie.
108: The tall teenager in black, standing in front of Maria Hill and Secretary Ross? That’s the kid from Iron Man 3, all grown up.
109: Drax is wearing a shirt out of respect for Tony, despite his well-known sensitive nipples, which he revealed in GOTG2.
110: Nick Fury and Peter Parker are at the same memorial service, but in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, he says “So nice to finally meet you.” So did Nick Fury not talk to anyone, or is this a clue?
111: The thing Tony said after his rescue from Afghanistan is, “I want an American cheeseburger”, which is why Happy Hogan looks so sad when Morgan asks for one.
112: “They both do.” Scarlet Witch is referring to the Vision, as Quicksilver never fought Thanos.
113: Thor might be standing on the same grassy cliff where Odin died in Ragnarok.
114: Valkyrie and Thor’s positions have reversed from where they were in Ragnarok. Back then she was the messed up alcoholic and he was the newly minted king and leader.
115: Star-Lord is searching for Gamora. This version of Gamora never bonded with the rest of the Guardians and likely escaped after the battle.
116: Thor still calls Groot “Tree”.
117: Cap brings back Mjolnir into the past, so that 2013 Thor wouldn’t miss it.
118: “How can I? You’re taking all the stupid with you,” is what Steve first said to Bucky when he was off to war.
119: At some point, Cap must have come face to face with the Red Skull while returning the Soul Stone.
120: Cap decides to stay in an alternate reality to marry Peggy. Likely from 1945 onwards, surprising her at the Stork Club, a week next Saturday from when he went into the ice. Perhaps when Peggy died, he came back to the prime reality.
121: Steve looks old because his body continued to age after he was unfrozen.
122: The shield that Old Cap gives Sam is of a different design. Check out the metal engraving on the star. Where did he get it? Who knows.
123: Sam is the better choice over Bucky to assume the mantle of Captain America. Bucky is just as old as Cap, formerly brainwashed, used as an assassin, tired of war. Captain America is not just a super soldier, it is a public role, the symbol of hope. Sam has the heart, knows how to be compassionate from running therapy groups for veterans, and as a young black man, it means a lot that he’s representing America’s future.
124: The song that Steve and Peggy are dancing to was playing in his apartment during Winter Soldier.
125: The clanging sound you hear at the very end of the credits is a homage to the first Iron Man movie. Tony Stark in a cave with a box of scraps, building his first suit of armour.
Top image by Sulaiman Daud.