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Avengers: Endgame is now the highest-grossing film of all time, which comes as no surprise considering the frenzied fandom that waited a year to witness the fallout from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. And in the four months since the blockbuster hit theaters, dedicated fans still can’t seem to get enough–watching and rewatching in an attempt to soak up all of the carefully placed Endgame Easter eggs.
The Russo brothers, who directed both Infinity War and Endgame, even teased a few of the cleverly concealed Easter eggs throughout the film. Unfortunately, it seems as though they were teasing their fans–which only served to make internet sleuths even more dedicated to their goal of uncovering each and every hidden detail. Between all the callbacks, comic book references, and winks toward future movies–there are almost too many Endgame Easter eggs floating around the web to keep track of.
So, acknowledging that there are probably at least a few more out there yet to be uncovered, here are all the Avengers: Endgame Easter eggs fans have uncovered so far.
Character-based Endgame Easter eggs
We’ll start this list off with the most important aspect to any Marvel film: the beloved, and ever-growing roster of characters. Even as they balanced dozens of important characters and their intertwining story lines, filmmakers managed to slip in a few special visitors for the keen-eyed viewer to catch.
Howard the Duck
There were a lot of characters in Endgame. A truly absurd number crowded several scenes–most notably in the scene featuring the glorious return of the heroes lost to the snap. The powerful moment is populated with what appears to be hundreds of superheroes—not to mention most of the Wakandan army—but it goes by pretty quickly. That means that many of the faces in the crowd were lost on the average viewer.
Such was not the case for those few fans who noticed a small, feathered addition to the roster. Howard the Duck, who first graced Marvel comics back in 1973, made a brief appearance.
The off-beat character generally served as social satire, with the occasional foray into more traditional superhero fare. If you’ll recall, Howard (voiced by Seth Green) has already been in two MCU releases, with small roles in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians Vol. 2. While it is unlikely that we will see a Howard the Duck movie anytime soon, these nods to a long-standing Marvel character were delightful for dedicated fans.
Community cast members
The Russo brothers may now be best known for their contributions to the MCU, but they made their behind-the-scenes debut years before their first Marvel film hit theaters. Back in 2009, the brothers were busy serving as executive producers and directors for the first several seasons of NBC’s Community.
In a nod to their time working with the cast and crew of Community, the Russo brothers slipped a few familiar faces into select Endgame scenes.
Ken Jeong, who played Ben Chang in Community, briefly showed his face early in Endgame as the security guard present when Scott Lang emerged from the Quantum Realm. As an added bonus, Jeong’s character was spotted reading Terminal Beach,” a collection of short stories by J. G. Ballard which contains a story titled “End-Game.”
Yvette Nicole Brown, who starred in Community as the character of Shirley Bennett, also showed up as the suspicious employee at the military base who has a brief interaction with Cap.
Casual fans don’t know the names of comic book artists–let alone what they look like–so it seems safe to say this Endgame Easter egg probably went over most viewers heads. As such, only the most perceptive comic book fans likely noticed a brief cameo by none other than Jim Starlin–a legendary comic book artist known for creating a number of beloved Marvel and DC characters.
Most notably, Starlin created the Mad Titan Thanos himself, as well as being the genius behind Gamora and Drax the Destroyer.
Starlin got his moment on-screen during the support group therapy scene. He has no lines, but can be seen sitting in the background as Joe Russo’s grieving character tells his story. Although his appearance was brief, it goes without saying that fans of Starlin were delighted with the cameo.
This cameo was likely caught primarily by those dedicated fans who consume Marvel’s many TV spinoffs with the same voracity that they enjoy the cinematic releases. As such, those who enjoyed the tragically short televised run of Agent Carter may have noticed a familiar face during Steve and Tony’s visit to the year 1970.
James D’Arcy, who played Edwin Jarvis in Agent Carter, made a brief cameo to reprise the role of Howard Stark’s beloved butler.
Only viewers with an incredible eye managed to catch this one. After one of the VFX companies that worked on Endgame shared a demo reel of its work on the film, some fans noticed something in the background. When Tony and Steve travel back to the 1970s S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, a recognizable face briefly flashes by on a distant screen.
That face belongs to HYDRA agent Arnim Zola, portrayed by Toby Jones, who hasn’t been seen in the flesh since Captain America: The First Avenger. In the Marvel timeline, Zola died in 1972–but not before uploading his consciousness into S.H.E.I.L.D’s computer network.
Endgame Easter eggs from the comics
The MCU has worked hard to separate itself from the comics so avid readers of Iron Man or Thor still have plenty surprises to enjoy in the films. That said, filmmakers are also keen on paying homage to the beloved source material, which resulted in a number of comic-related Endgame Easter eggs.
Depending how much attention viewers were paying when–early into the film–Ant-Man was launched from the Quantum Realm, some may have noticed the number “616” on the container housing the van.
These three numbers may look familiar to those with more than a passing familiarity with Marvel comics, in which our Earth is one of many. Yet, the majority of the events that take place within the comics universe occur on our planet: Earth-616.
Brie Larson absolutely crushed it with her portrayal of Carol Danvers in 2019’s Captain Marvel. The flowing blonde hair that she rocked in the film didn’t last long however, and by the time the series of events in Endgame unfolded, Danvers had ditched her lengthy locks for a much shorter ‘do.
This decision wasn’t a random one. Rather, it served as a lovely tribute to the artist who forged Captain Marvel into the badass we know today. Kelly Sue DeConnick designed the short-haired Danvers, setting the stage for her transformation into a feminist icon and inviting far more female readers into comic book fandom.
Most who have seen Endgame can probably recall the shot of Thanos’ abandoned armor displayed in the Garden, and the stirring image of the Mad Titan’s recognizable attire transformed into a scarecrow stuck with many viewers long after they’d left the theater. But for those acquainted with Marvel’s Infinity War run in comics, the shot likely looked familiar.
In one of the more inspired Endgame Easter eggs, the shot presented a flawless likeness to one of the first pages in Infinity War #1. By carrying this memorable moment to the screen, the filmmakers paid homage to their source material and gave comic fans a great moment in which to geek out about.
When Cap busted into Hank Pym’s office during his trip with Tony into the ’70s, some viewers may have noticed a momentary glimpse of a recognizable helmet.
In the comics, before Hank Pym went on to adopt 30 different superhero identities, he was the original Ant-Man, wearing a helmet that looked remarkably like the one in that scene. The moment may have gone by too fast for many viewers to catch initially, however a repeat viewing may reveal the cleverly placed Endgame Easter egg.
Endgame Easter eggs from previous films
One of the best things about the MCU is the brilliant way it manages to intertwine multiple stories. Although not all of the films in the MCU are directly related, most of them share at least a few things in common. After all, Endgame was the culmination of more than a decade of film making–as well as Phase Three of the Infinity Saga. So it only makes sense that filmmakers squeeze in as many references to earlier MCU releases as possible.
Hunka Hulka Burning Fudge
Viewers may recall that during the Endgame scene in which the team assembles to discuss their options, Professor Hulk serves up some “Hunka Hulka Burning Fudge” for his teammates to enjoy.
As huge fans of the Avengers movie, we were incredibly honored when producer @Kevfeige gave us a shout out via Tony Stark. While the flavors are only a reality in the Marvel universe, we‘re looking forward to the future and The Avengers kicking Thanos’ behind...— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) May 2, 2018
This cute little callback is referencing a conversation from Avengers: Infinity War, when Wong notes that he prefers the Hulk’s “flavor” over others. If only Ben & Jerry’s could make a line of Avengers-themed ice cream pints into a reality.
The colony of New Asgard
After the devastating blow Thanos dealt to the Asgardian survivors, many fans were delighted to know that enough of Thor’s people survived to create a new community. New Asgard, located in Tønsberg, Norway, became the home to all of the Asgardians who survived the destruction of their planet and the subsequent attack by Thanos.
This Endgame Easter egg is actually a throwback to three previous Marvel releases. Not only is New Asgard the place Odin battled the Frost Giants in the prologue for the first Thor movie, but it’s also where Red Skull found the Tesseract in Captain America: First Avenger. It’s likewise where Odin chose to retire in Ragnarok.
The list of missing people
This may very well be one of the coolest Endgame Easter eggs on this list. After returning from the Quantum Realm and realizing something was amiss, Scott Lang discovered a list of people who had gone missing due to the Thanos snap. He was relieved to discover that his daughter was not accounted for on the list, however sadly, plenty of other names were.
It should come as little surprise that the names were not chosen at random, but were instead shout-outs to the many of the behind-the-scenes crew members and various employees who have worked on Marvel films over the years.
Who’s that kid?
Following Tony Stark’s devastating path to victory, nearly all of the surviving MCU characters attended his funeral. One of the Endgame Easter eggs involves a funeral attendee that only a handful of viewers may have recognized.
Eagle-eyed fans may recall the kid from 2013’s Iron Man 3, in which the boy briefly lifted Tony up when he was down. More than six years later, he attended Tony’s funeral to pay respect to his hero.
More of the more subtle Endgame Easter eggs, it’s likely that only viewers familiar with modern Scottish culture caught this nod. When Rocket and Hulk make their way to New Asgard to meet up with Thor, the retired God of Thunder is seen sipping on an orange-hued soft drink called “Irn-Bru.”
Irn-bru is actually a popular soft drink in Scotland (often described as “Scotland’s other national drink,” after whisky), which is where scenes set New Asgard are filmed, in the charming Scottish fishing village of St. Abbs–as a charming wink to Scottish viewers.
This Endgame Easter egg might just bring tears to your eyes. Although it’s well established that Tony is one of the few Avengers without a superpower, one theory suggests that his power is actually his striking ability to adapt.
The evolution of Tony’s Iron Man suits would suggest that he’s learned from every failure, eventually incorporating nanotechnology, melee weapons, shields for hand-to-hand combat, as well as parachute–due to what he had experienced in various battles. This could mean that Tony’s adaptability is just as useful as Thor’s thunder or Spider-Man’s strength. In the end, it was this ability that lead to Thanos’ defeat.
A familiar sound
Post-credit scenes have been a staple of the MCU for more than a decade, and in the years since the first Iron Man came out, many releases now add a mid-credit scene to tease viewers about upcoming films. But when the credits for Endgame finished rolling, those few patient viewers who stuck around were treated with a heartbreaking callback.
The film concluded with a slow, steady clanking sound, alongside the Marvel Studios logo. This was the intentional sound of Tony Stark creating his first ever Iron Man suit, while imprisoned by terrorists.
We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Even with all these Endgame Easter eggs, the Russos themselves have confirmed that at least one has not yet been discovered. But with plenty of hardworking sleuths on the case, it seems likely that eventually someone will catch onto it.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.