Deadpool 2 is bigger, funnier, and better than the original movie in pretty much every way, so it makes sense that its Easter eggs have been beefed up as well. Given how referential the Merc with a Mouth is with everything from Marvel and DC fan debates to the merits of dub step, it should really come as no surprise that Deadpool 2 is jam-packed with all sorts of funny cameos, nods to comic book history, and background gags.
Here are 20 of the best ones that you may have missed upon initial viewing.
27. Logan Impaled
Much of Deadpool 2’s marketing played up the rivalry between the Merc with a Mouth and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, but the former gets the last laugh (so to speak) in the opening moments of his new film. If you’ll recall, the conclusion of Logan saw Wolverine’s final stand, giving his life to save his genetic clone-daughter Laura and her fellow mutants.
The killing blow comes from being impaled on a tree stump, which was a tragic image for fans of Jackman’s character to witness. Deadpool, ever the comedian, plays up this sad moment for laughs by having it immortalized in a music box playing a chiming version of Air Supply’s “All Out of Love.” We’re sure the Logan team got a good chuckle out of this one.
26. Van Wilder Callback?
During the same opening scene, there’s a possible callback to one of Ryan Reynolds’ breakout roles and it comes in the form of that aforementioned Air Supply song. You see, in the 2002 comedy National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Reynolds’ title character grieves over his romantic interest by playing a sad, mopey acoustic version of “All Out of Love.” Sure, it may just be a coincidence but considering how jam-packed Deadpool 2 is with obscure allusions — and quite a few callbacks to Reynolds’ superhero film career up to this point — we wouldn’t put it past the cheeky star to include a little Easter egg for all the Van Wilder fans out there.
When Wade is making excuses to Vanessa for being late on their anniversary, he claims that he was “fighting a caped badass, but then we discovered his mom is named Martha, too.” This is a clear dig at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the now infamous “Martha” scene, in which Batman refrains from killing Superman after learning that their mothers share the same first name.
24. A Cure For Blindness
Early on when Wade visits Al’s apartment to retrieve his cocaine from underneath her floorboards, you can spot a package labeled “the cure for blindness.” This is a callback to a line from the first movie, in which Wade tells his blind roommate that he’s “buried 1,600 kilos of cocaine somewhere in the apartment … right next to the cure for blindness.” Wade then picks up the bag of coke, puts it in his mask and hits it, mimicking Lebron James’s signature move.
23. Alpha Flight Ad
Both Deadpool films make reference to the character’s Canadian heritage, which gets even more meta when you consider that Ryan Reynolds is also a proud Canuck. One clever Canadian-themed Easter egg that will probably be missed by most viewers comes in the form of an advertisement on top of Dopinder’s taxi. The ad makes reference to a commercial airline called “Alpha Flight,” but it’s also the name of a superhero team made up of Canada’s finest. Comic legends Chris Claremont and John Byrne conceived of the team in the 1980s and their original lineup consisted of Guardian, Northstar, Aurora, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird.
22. Karl Marx Portrait
During the X-Mansion scene, you can spot the usual assortment of presidential portraits such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but look closely and you’ll also find one of Karl Marx. Marx, of course, is the nineteenth-century philosopher most associated with popularizing communism, so it’s a bit unexpected to see his portrait up in an American school.
21. Taylor Swift Kitten T-Shirt
Unless you’re a dedicated follower of T-Swift, there’s a good chance that this Easter egg went right over your head. During the scene where Wade is riding around the X-Mansion in Professor X’s wheelchair, he’s wearing a white T-shirt adorned with a photo of two cats. As the lettering in the circle around the cats reveals, their names are Olivia and Meredith, which are the names of Taylor Swift’s pets (they’re named after Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy and Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU, in case you were wondering). It’s safe to say that there’s no bad blood between Ryan Reynolds and Taylor Swift though, as he and his wife Blake Lively are friends with the singer in real life.
20. X-Men Group Cameo
Much like in the original movie, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall when he visits the X-Mansion by mentioning how weird it is that he only runs into Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead when he visits, complaining that the studio couldn’t spring for more X-Men characters. This leads to our favorite visual gag of the whole movie: as Deadpool mentions that if feels like everyone is hiding somewhere, the camera pans to an adjacent room where pretty much the entire cast of X-Men: Dark Phoenix is standing. Nicholas Hoult’s Beast quickly shuts the door so Deadpool doesn’t notice them, but it looks like the group includes James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier, Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp’s Storm, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler.
19. Mr. Sinister Tease
The X-Men villain Mr. Sinister was initially teased as the main villain of the third Wolverine solo movie before it transformed into what would become Logan, meaning that fans of the character are still waiting for him to make his first proper appearance in the X-Men movie universe. Sinister may still be on the way though, if an Easter egg in Deadpool 2 is any indication.
Initially revealed in the post-credits scene for X-Men: Apocalypse, the Essex company is gathering evidence from the Weapon X program, which could also tie into Deadpool’s origins. The company’s interest in mutants evidently didn’t end there, as the orphanage that tortured Russell and other young mutants is referred to by a news broadcast as the “Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation.” Could this be an indication that Mr. Sinister will play a significant role in X-Men: Dark Phoenix? We’ll have to wait to find out.
18. Les Misérables
In addition to its opening scene, Deadpool 2 gets another crack in at Hugh Jackman, but in a much more subtle way that only eagle-eyed viewers were likely able to spot. When Deadpool is outlining his plan to the X-Force, he draws up an intricately detailed mission blueprint using crayons. Russell, the pyromancer delinquent Wade is determined to save, is designated as “Prisoner 24601” on the blueprint. If you’re a big musical fan, you’ll recognize this as the number of inmate Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Les Misérables, who was played by none other than Hugh Jackman in the 2012 film adaptation (a role, it should be noted, that earned Jackman an Oscar nomination).
17. All Those MCU And DCEU References
Even though Deadpool 2 isn’t officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was with the amount of references Ryan Reynolds and the rest of the film’s writing team were able to cram into the movie (we’re kind of amazing Marvel signed off on it all to be honest). It makes sense too, since Deadpool is a character who is supposed to be aware of everything taking place inside and outside his own comic — or in this case, movie — universe. We saw a bit of this in the original movie and the fact the final battle was set in and around a downed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, but Deadpool 2 somehow has more nods to the MCU than all of the entire Marvel Netflix shows combined (don’t quote us on that).
We hear Wade dismiss Domino as “black Black Widow,” describe Cable as a “grumpy old f***** with a Winter Soldier arm,” and dubs Dopinder as “Brown Panther” after he notches his first kill in the film’s final moments. However, the best of the bunch is easily Deadpool’s attempts to subdue the Juggernaut with the Hulk Lullaby, telling the big brute “the sun’s getting real low…”
There are also a number of shots fired against the DC Extended Universe (including a moment when Deadpool comments on how dark everything’s getting, wondering aloud “Is this the DC movie universe?”) but the best bit is arguably his simple two word response when Cable asks him who he is: “I’m Batman.”
16. Grey X-Force Costume Throwback
As explained in the first film, Deadpool went with a red super suit to help conceal blood stains, but poor Wade Wilson’s body truly goes through the wringer in the sequel, suffering dozens of bullet wounds, getting torn in half by the Juggernaut, and even reassembling himself after being blown up in a fiery explosion of his own making. Of course, his suit can’t withstand everything and we see this most prominently in the film’s final act when Wade is roasted by Russell a.k.a. Firefist.
The attack burns all the suit’s color away and gives it a nice charcoal hue. What you may not have realized is that this is actually a callback to Deadpool’s grey and black X-Force costume from the comics, which is fitting given that it’s Deadpool getting burned to a crisp and (temporarily) dying that truly brings the X-Force together into a family unit.
15. Yellow X-Men Suit
Deadpool 2 also contains a nod to another one of Wade’s various costumes. Much earlier in the film, we see Deadpool try out for the X-Men, though Colossus is hesitant to offer him a full membership and assigns him the role of trainee, complete with a cheap-looking yellow and black jersey that he wears over top of his red suit. It’s a cute joke to see Deadpool walking around wearing an ill-fitting shirt with the word “Trainee” printed on the back, but the outfit also serves as a nod to Wade’s brief stint as a member of the X-Men in the comics.
When he first joined up with Professor X’s team, Deadpool still kept his red and black mask and had a uniform that read “X-Men” in large red letters across his chest. Later on, he changed to an outfit sporting the standard X-insignia, though he still had “Deadpool” splayed across the back like a sports jersey.
14. Famous Rednecks
When Cable first jumps back through time, he ends up in a farmer’s field where he encounters (and quickly subdues) two rednecks discussing the proper way to wipe oneself after a number two. What you may not have realized is that both of these yokels are played by big name talents. The character credited as “Redneck #2,” who only gets one line before being electrocuted by Cable, is played by Alan Tudyk of Firefly and Rogue One fame, while his buddy telling the story is none other than Matt Damon, who conceals himself with a wig, hat, prosthetic makeup, and a big ol’ fake beer belly. Damon’s character is listed as being “Dickie Greenleaf” in the credits, a reference to an identity his character assumes in the film The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Damon’s toliet paper “manifesto” was conceived by Deadpool 2 writer Rhett Reese (who himself has a cameo ), who along with Ryan Reynolds decided that it needed to not only be in the movie, but delivered by a famous actor. Given Damon’s equally silly appearance in Thor: Ragnarok last year, he’s evidently game for any wild cameo superhero movies can throw his way.
Yet somehow, this isn’t even the best cameo in Deadpool 2 …
13. Vanisher = Brad Pitt
Deadpool’s X-Force team sequence is filled with all sorts of delightful gags, including the character Vanisher, who only ever appears as a floating backpack on account of being invisible. We only get to see Vanisher’s face briefly when he snags a powerline and dies, with the reveal that he’s played by none other than Brad Pitt. What’s interesting about this is that Pitt initially expressed interest in playing Cable, but the role eventually went to Josh Brolin instead.
Evidently, Pitt wasn’t upset about not getting to play the grizzled time-traveler, as he was willing to turn up in a totally kooky cameo where his only screen time involved dying by electrocution. No wonder we were so upset when Vanisher got fried!
12. The Goonies
Deadpool 2 makes several references to Josh Brolin’s other films, but The Goonies gets the most love. At one point, Deadpool refers to Brolin’s Cable as “One-Eyed Willie” on account of his glowing eyeball, though Brolin played a different character in the movie. Additionally, Wade is wearing a shirt during the scene where his legs are growing back that bears a striking resemblance to the one worn by Chunk (Jeff Cohan) in The Goonies.
11. Reference to Cable’s Mom
Though Cable’s story is presented in a rather straightforward way in Deadpool 2 — he’s come back in time to kill Russell as a child to prevent the deaths of his wife and daughter — his origins are pretty confusing, which is probably why the film doesn’t bother to get into it. You see, Cable a.k.a. Nathan Summers is the son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. He was born with a viral infection that turned his upper body into metal and he was sent into the future to be cured. However, he’s technically not Jean’s son, as Madelyne Pryor — the woman Scott married after Jean Grey was presumed dead — is his mother.
But of course, Madelyne is a genetic clone of Jean so Cable is still kind of Jean’s son and …yeah, it’s all a bit nuts. Why does any of this matter? Well, Deadpool 2 contains an Easter egg that seems to reference Cable’s mother. During the scene where the X-Force parachute into a chaotic wind storm, an ice cream van with the name “Pryor’s Treats” can be spotted. We’re not sure what kind of joke this name may or may not be making about Cable’s mom, but it’s there at any rate.
10. Deadpool Writer Callouts
Much like in the first film, Deadpool 2 makes sure to give credit to some of the comic book writers who have worked on Deadpool over the years, the only difference being that their names are called out verbally this time rather than in text. The first reference comes early on when Deadpool launches a full-scale assault on a Cantonese gang. Before smashing through a high-rise window and laying waste to the goons, Wade Wilson calls up the gang leader and claims that it’s “Gail” calling.
This would be a nod to Gail Simone, who previously had a successful run on Deadpool and is currently writing a Domino solo comic. The second name is one who will be familiar to fans of more recent Deadpool comics. When Weasel (T.J. Miller) is being interrogated by Cable, he says that Deadpool and his team are headed to “Gerry Duggan Parkway.” Duggan recently ended a long, successful stint as a Deadpool writer.
9. Hit It, Laird!
Here’s an Easter egg that will definitely have gone over most viewers heads, since it references something directly behind the camera. When Deadpool turns toward the X-Force chopper pilot and shouts “Laird, hit it!” it’s an inside joke directed toward Laird, a member of the film’s costume department whose duties include helping Ryan Reynolds get in and out of his Deadpool costume. The first mention of Laird actually came in the initial teaser for Deadpool 2, as Reynolds mentions him while struggling to change into his outfit in a phone booth.
8. Death of X-Force
The brutal slaughter of the majority of the X-Force is played for big laughs, but it’s actually based on a similar event from the comics. In X-Force #116, all but two members of the team are killed during a mission. The inclusion of Zeitgeist makes this reference even clearer, as he’s the team’s leader at the time and is killed during the mission, with the only surviving members being the Anarchist, Doop and U-Go Girl.
7. Pennywise Gets A Taste Of His Own Medicine
We’re not sure if this was intentional or not, but there is a bit of visual replication between the opening scene of last year’s hit horror film It and the hilariously brutal deaths of X-Force members Zeitgeist and Peter. As you may or may not know, Zeitgeist is played by Bill Skarsgård, who also played the monster Pennywise in It. In the latter film’s opening scene, Pennywise bites off a child’s arm.
Similarly, Peter loses an arm to Zeitgeist in Deadpool 2, albeit from an unintentional acid attack. There also might be something to the fact that the wood-chipper that eviscerates Zeitgeist moments later belongs to a company called Gepetto, which of course is the name of the Italian wood carver who created Pinocchio.
6. Director Cameo
Noted as “one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick,” during the opening credits sequence, Deadpool 2 director David Leitch gets in front of the camera for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. Leitch appears as one of Cable’s victims during the big prison convoy chase scene. After Domino commandeers the truck, Cable hops aboard and starts trying to shake Deadpool off his tail by disengaging mutant holding cells and sending them tumbling into the street. Leitch plays the mutant prisoner who begs Cable not to do it, which is about what he deserves for killing John Wick’s puppy!
5. A Writer Who Can’t Draw Feet
Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld got treated to a brief cameo in the first movie (Wade greets him by name at Weasel’s bar), but the sequel opts for a funny dig at the writer instead. Deadpool 2 sees the introduction of Domino (played wonderfully by Zazie Beetz), a mutant with the ability to alter probability in her favor.
While the film has a lot of fun with showing Domino’s insanely good luck put to practical use, it is a bit of a silly power. Deadpool is incredulous when he first learns about Domino’s abilities and says that it’s an idea so dumb, it could only be thought up by a writer who “can’t draw feet.” Seeing as how Liefeld (who also created Domino) has a reputation among comic fans for not being able to draw feet well, he’s the one Deadpool is referring to here.
4. Say Anything
Probably a bit obvious, but when Deadpool arrives at the X-Mansion to try and win back Colossus, he plays a song from a boombox app on his phone and holds it above his head. This is a clear reference to the iconic boombox scene from the 1989 romantic comedy Say Anything… starring John Cusack and Ione Skye.
3. Juggernaut Voice
The reveal of Juggernaut as the main villain in Deadpool 2 is one of the film’s biggest (literally) surprises and the fact that his inclusion was kept under wraps right up until release might be the most impressive feat of all. Fortunately, this new version of the character is much more faithful to the comic book version than Vinnie Jones’ portrayal in the abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand, as he’s much more of a terrifying physical threat. This Juggernaut is a pure CGI creation and this fact is rather cheekily acknowledged in the credits, where he’s listed as being played by himself. However, it has since been confirmed by 20th Century Fox that Juggernaut is in fact voiced by none other than Ryan Reynolds.
Additionally, Deadpool 2 also references Juggernaut, a.k.a. Cain Marko having a brother in a wheel chair who was able to read his mind before he put on his helmet. It’s not hard to connect the dots here and realize that his brother is Charles Xavier, which is comic book canon.
2. T.J. Miller Controversy Addressed (Sort Of)
Deadpool 2 was put into a bit of a tricky spot when it came to the return of actor T.J. Miller as Wade Wilson’s bartender buddy Weasel, as Miller has been dealing with assault accusations, not to mention being arrested by the FBI after calling in a fake bomb threat earlier this year. With Ridley Scott having quickly replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in last year’s All the Money in The World following in the wake of Spacey’s assault scandal, there is now precedent for jettisoning controversial stars on short notice.
Ultimately, Deadpool 2 went ahead with Miller’s involvement — albeit with reduced screen time that may or may not have had something to do with his personal life — though the film did find a way to address the issue. Following the prison fight scene when Cable is repairing his weapon, there’s a news ticker on the bottom of his television that reads: “Christopher Plummer respectfully turned down the Deadpool 2 role extended to him.” While some may still be upset that Fox didn’t remove Miller entirely, Ryan Reynolds has confirmed that the actor will not appear in the previously announced X-Force movie.
1. Fixing The Timelines
These Easter eggs are in plain sight, but they’re too cool not to mention. During the film’s credit sequence, Deadpool gets a hold of Cable’s time travel device and uses it to go back in time and start making some corrections. This leads to Deadpool going back and fixing Ryan Reynolds’ career “mistakes” when it comes to superhero movies, as we see him travel back to events of X-Men: Origins and kill the terrible mute version of Deadpool, while also saying hi to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. He then finds Ryan Reynolds at the exact moment he decided to join the cast of Green Lantern and kills him (the movie fails to mention that this would also prevent Reynolds from starring in the Deadpool and Deadpool 2 but then, time travel works best when you don’t think about it too hard).