You don’t need a super-smart ‘Puter to reveal the Easter eggs in The Lego Batman Movie. A spin-off of 2014’s The Lego Movie, Will Arnett reprises his beatboxing crusader in plastic to save Gotham City while accepting help from some new friends along the way.
Functioning as both a celebration and a loving spoof of everything Batman, The Lego Batman Movie from Chris McKay (Robot Chicken) was jam-packed with fun references to Batman’s entire multimedia history that’s been going strong for over 75 years. Here’s a rundown of some of the best Easter eggs to keep an eye out for the next time you venture into brick Gotham City.
- From the start, there are two killer references to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Tim Burton’s Batman. When the Joker tries to hijack a plane carrying bombs, the pilot shrugs it off, knowing Batman will save the day. When Joker says he won’t, the pilot responds: “What about that time with the two boats?” referencing Heath Ledger’s Joker’s scheme in the climax of The Dark Knight. A few seconds later, the pilot brings up the other time the Joker threw a parade with Prince.
- Speaking of that scene, the plane the Joker takes over is named “MacGuffin Airlines.” MacGuffin is a screenwriting term ascribed to objects that move the plot of a story forward. In this case, it was the plane full of bombs.
- In the Wayne Family photo, Bruce’s parents Thomas and Martha Wayne stand in front of a movie theater in Crime Alley. The Lego Batman Movie avoids directly referencing the gruesome fate that fell upon the Waynes, but “Crime Alley” is an oblique reference to Bruce’s origin story.
- Terry McGinnis’s Batman Beyond costume can be seen on Batman’s costume rack while Robin puts on Batman’s “Reggae” outfit to become Robin.
- When Joker says “Wanna get nuts?” it’s a reference to when Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne says it in Tim Burton’s Batman. “Come on! Let’s get nuts.”
- There’s a “Batman Forever” sign from the crowd of admirers after Batman defeats the Joker.
- When Alfred mentions Batman’s “phases,” they’re all previous Batman movies going backward: Beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the gag goes all the way back to Batman’s old black and white film serials from the 1940s.
- Blüdhaven, the neighborhood Barbara Gordon cleans up before moving to Gotham City, is the territory of Nightwing.
- A newspaper ad for “Barris Automotive” references George Barris, the designer of the sleek Batmobile from the 1966 television series.
- Speaking of that wonderful acid trip of a TV show, Dick Grayson’s civilian outfit in The Lego Batman Movie strongly resembles Burt Ward’s, with a red sweater and a white collared button-down shirt.
- Dick Grayson’s thick Coke bottle glasses also makes him resemble Carrie Kelly, the teenaged Robin in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Rises.
- When Batman rings the doorbell to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, it plays a portion of the classic John Williams theme from 1979’s Superman.
- Keep an eye out for who’s at the “57th Annual Justice League Anniversary Party,” which accurately commemorates the release of The Brave and the Bold #28 from 1960. Besides obvious icons like The Flash and Green Lantern, there’s Black Lightning, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, and Green Arrow partying it up.
- Also keep an eye out for several neon signs in the Gotham skyline: There’s the Gotham Gazette (the newspaper where Vicki Vale works) and the Iceberg Lounge (Penguin’s exclusive gangster club).
- One of two Batman outfits Alfred puts on to join the group is THE blue and gray Adam West costume from the 1966 TV show. As if you haven’t noticed by now, the camp classic Batman gets riffed on a lot.
- While the ‘66 Batman gets lovingly homaged, last summer’s Suicide Squad gets dunked on. When one of the Bat-Family suggests using Gotham’s criminals to help fight against Joker’s new army, Batman scoffs: “A team of criminals to fight criminals? What a stupid idea.”
- Though not strictly a Batman reference, the Gremlins on Batman’s airplane is an homage to a classic episode of The Twilight Zone where William Shatner is haunted by gremlins while on a flight.
- Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse gets not one but two references: Robin claims to know “Gymkata” as a martial art (Gymkata was a 1985 martial arts snooze from Clouse that’s become an ironic cult classic), while the fight between Batman and Joker resemble the final fight in Enter the Dragon. It’s also a reference to Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns where Batman fights Joker in a creepy Hall of Mirrors.
- The Bat-Shark Repellant, kept in the Batcave, was famously used in the 1966 Batman movie.
- Two-Face resembles and is voiced by Billy Dee Williams, who played Harvey Dent in Batman but didn’t stick around in the series to become Two-Face. Tommy Lee Jones took over the role in 1995’s Batman Forever.
- It’s hardly an “Easter egg” when Lego Batman cozies up to watch Jerry McGuire. But remember how Heath Ledger’s Joker told Batman “You complete me,” in The Dark Knight?
- Killer Croc says, “Yay, I got to do something!” in yet another jab at Suicide Squad.
- Bane’s comically “old English” accent is an homage to Tom Hardy. Lego Bane is voiced by comedian Doug Benson, who imitates Bane frequently on his podcast.
- “Ferris Air,” another airline mentioned in the film, is the employer of Hal Jordan before he becomes the Green Lantern.
- Batman’s T-rex can be seen in the Batcave, as it should be. The dinosaur first appeared in Batman #35 where Batman and Robin enter an island full of robotic dinosaurs. Batman keeps the T-rex as a trophy from his adventures.
- ‘Puter at one point says, “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed,” which is a direct quote from the TV show.
- The brief “X-ray sequence” at Arkham Asylum alludes to a similar puzzle in the original LEGO Batman video game.
- Soder Cola is advertised on a billboard. That’s the same Soder Cola in the DC Universe, which once had Booster Gold has its spokesperson.
The Lego Batman Movie is in theaters now.
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