Captain America #2 (2011)
The In-Joke: At the exhibition Steve and Bucky attend, the original costume of the Human Torch can clearly be seen in one of the glass display units.
Why It’s Great: Not only does this hint at the existence of other superheroes during WW2, it also makes reference to Chris Evans’ previous on The Fantastic Four .
If It Was Reversed: The Human Torch makes a wisecrack about bullshit patriotism when hearing of the legendary Captain America.
The Mist (2007)
The In-Joke: Thomas Jane’s character is an artist, and the canvas we see him working on at the beginning of the film is a recreation of the cover art for another Stephen King property, The Dark Tower .
Why It’s Great: King’s stories are full of in-references (Shawshank Prison crops up in at least half a dozen) and it’s nice to see that tendency transferred to the big screen.
If It Was Reversed: No Dark Tower movie exists (as yet), but should it finally get made, we’ll be expecting in-jokes galore.
Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)
The In-Joke: Richard the Lionheart returns from the crusades just in time to catch Robin’s marriage to Marion. And look who’s playing him… it’s only Sean Connery!
Why It’s Great: Not only is their something very knowing about casting a proud scot as the King of England, Connery had also played Robin back in 1976 film Robin and Marion . Double in-joke? Yes please.
If It Was Reversed: “Maybe one day I’ll be king,” muses Connery’s Robin wistfully…
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre pt 2 (1986)
The In-Joke: The poster art for the trashy horror flick inexplicably parodies the one-sheet for teen comedy The Breakfast Club .
Why It’s Great: It’s awesome because it’s so utterly random. Molly Ringwald’s counterpart isn’t quite so alluring, is he?
If It Was Reversed: Paul Gleason’s character is revealed to have a lamp made of human skin in his office.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The In-Joke: Lensherr and Xavier look to add a feral recruit to their embryonic super-team, only to be rebuffed in the bluntest possible terms…
Why Iit’s Great: It’s a brilliant way to employ Wolverine’s handy non-ageing capabilities. And who better to deliver the movie’s only swear?
If It Was Reversed: Might we see a cameo from McAvoy or Fassbender in a future Wolverine film? We certainly hope so.
Wayne's World (1992)
The In-Joke: Wayne is pulled over by an angry-looking traffic cop who turns out to be the T-1000. Yikes.
Why It’s Great: It’s extremely daft, but Robert Patrick still plays it with all his trademark menace,
If It Was Reversed: The Terminator would be seen sporting a Crucial Taunt patch on his signature leather jacket.
The In-Joke: A well-heeled couple emerge from the back door of a theatre where Die Fleidermaus (the bat) is playing, only to be confronted by a crook with a gun. Sound familiar?
Why It’s Great: It’s a thinly veiled tribute to Batman, but an excellently well-layered one. Joe Chill wouldn’t have got away had the Watchmen been around in Gotham.
If It Was Reversed: “You aren’t the first man to appoint yourself a watchman,” comments Alfred to Bruce, “and you won’t be the last.”
Hot Fuzz (2006)
The In-Joke: A copy of Shaun Of The Dead can be spotted at the bottom of a DVD bargain bin, going by the name of Zombies Party .
Why It’s Great: Zombies Party was the actual name by which Shaun Of The Dead was released in several countries!
If It Was Reversed: A copy of Big Bad Coppers is spotted on Shaun and Ed’s DVD shelf.
The In-Joke: Mystique hacks into Stryker’s computer where a host of X-Men references await, including nods to Gambit, the Sentinels and Muir Island.
Why It’s Great: Less a “joke” and more a treasure trove of geek-pleasing in-references. Get the pause button ready!
If It Was Reversed: If this sequence happened in the comic books, Stryker’s database would contain a curious reference to one Keyser Soze…
The In-Joke: Natalie Portman’s character lends Thor a shirt that belonged to an ex-boyfriend, a man referred to as Donald Blake.
Why It’s Great: In the early comic-books, Donald Blake is Thor’s human alter-ego. One for the real fans, there…
If It Was Reversed: Maybe a future Thor comic-book could feature a billboard advertising the latest Chris Hemsworth movie…