By now you’ve probably seen Avengers: Endgame, but you almost definitely haven’t seen all of Avengers: Endgame. It’s hiding secrets upon secrets, and a whole host of other winks, nods, and references to the Marvel comics, TV shows, and so much more besides that. There’s even some ridiculously obscure blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments hiding deep among the Avengers: Endgame Easter eggs you probably don’t know about, and we’re eager to share them with you.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best Avengers: Endgame Easter eggs for you to look out for, whether it’s your first time watching the MCU’s victory lap or your 100th time. I’ll bet you didn’t catch them all! Spoilers for Endgame follow…
Howard the Duck
Pretty much every single Marvel hero and character you could think of turned up in aid of Captain America during his final stand against Thanos outside of a destroyed Avengers HQ. No, seriously. All of them – outside a Defenders-shaped hole which we don’t want to talk about.
That even extends to one of the weirdest things to grace the MCU: Howard the Duck. Yep, as one intrepid Twitter user (and possibly the world’s foremost Howard the Duck superfan) was keen to point out, the quackers character makes a split-second appearance next to Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp during a rapid pan of all of the returning characters.
So, Howard the Duck helped save the universe. That’s canon now.
The original Jarvis
Not only was Tony Stark and Steve Rogers’ whistlestop tour back to a military base in the 1970s a poignant one for both characters, it was also a chance for those who dedicated dozens of hours into Marvel’s TV output to finally catch a glimpse of a telly character in the MCU.
In this instance, it was Agent Carter’s Jarvis, played by James D’Arcy. You can spy him holding the door open for Tony’s dad, Howard Stark, as he leaves. It’s a cool moment that only a few would have appreciated, and it’s likely to be the only time ever that we see a pre-Disney+ Marvel TV character make the leap to the movies.
Thanos’ creator has a small cameo
You’ll be forgiven for not knowing who Jim Starlin is, but you’ve certainly felt his impact on both the world of comic books and pop culture. After all, he’s the man who gave us Thanos, and was integral in solidifying the character’s popularity during the comic book Infinity Trilogy of the ‘90s.
For his efforts, he gets a special contribution message in the (extra-long) credits and also a bit-part in a scene involving Captain America and Joe Russo’s character during the support group scene. He’s the bald guy sitting patiently listening to Joe’s story. How very un-Thanos of him.
I love you 3000’s hidden message
This one takes some working out. By now, you’ve already repeated “I love you 3000” to everyone you’ve ever met, but Tony Stark’s daughter telling him just how much she loves him isn’t just something cute a kid would say – it’s also got a hidden meaning.
According to one user on Twitter, who took the time out to add up all of the MCU movies’ runtimes, including Spider-Man: Far From Home, they amount to (roughly) 3000 minutes. So, when you’re saying “I love you 3000” you’re also saying how much you love all 23 current Marvel movies. Yes, all of them.
“Hail Hydra” isn’t just a clever way for Cap to get his hands on the sceptre during his quantum leap back to 2012’s Battle of New York. As some may well know, it’s also a pointed reference to one of the past decade’s most controversial comic book moments.
While those two words may have gotten Earth’s Mightiest Heroes out of a jam in an elevator filled with Hydra agents, and caused more than a few chuckles in the cinema, some were (probably) silently seething inside.
That’s because this Avengers: Endgame Easter egg is actually a reference to Captain America turning evil in the Secret Empire comic book storyline, with the grand reveal being that Steve Rogers was a Hydra sleeper agent this whole time. Fans hated it and it was almost immediately retconned – but now it’s been immortalised in the MCU forever.
The Russos’ tight-knit Community
Director Joe and Anthony Russo didn’t just cut their teeth on the MCU, y’know. Before they made it big with their quartet of Marvel movies, they also played a huge role shaping and refining TV comedies behind the camera. One such show that tickled the funny bone was Community – and the Russos like to give cast members from Community a tiny role in their films.
For Avengers: Endgame, both Ken Jeong (the security guard at the lock-up where Scott Lang emerged from the Quantum Realm) and Yvette Nicole Brown (the employee at the military base who was suspicious of Captain America) had walk-on parts.
Captain Marvel’s new ‘do
The five-year time skip wasn’t just a means for most of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to wallow in their own sadness. Some moved on. Some, like Carol Danvers, even got a sweet new haircut.
But the fresh trim wasn’t a random choice – it’s actually a nice little tribute to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s design, who forged the path for the character we know her today, and her iconic run on the Captain Marvel comic book series.
The number 616
This is one for comic book fans only. Did you pay attention during the scenes involving Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man being shot back on to Earth after his (at least from his perspective) short stay in the quantum realm? Sure, we were all focused on the rat – but it was his container’s number that would have caught the eye for some.
Yep. 616. Otherwise known as shorthand for Earth-616, which is commonly known as the main Marvel universe in the comics. There are other spin-offs such as the Ultimate (1610) and Shakespearean superhero (311) but 616 is the Earth where most comic book stories take place.
Now this is an impossibly sweet deep cut for those of you in the UK. During the scenes in which Hulk and Rocket meet up with a Fortnite-playing Thor, there’s a bottle of soft drink Irn-Bru perched beside the window.
That seems… weird. But it makes sense if you have an insanely encyclopedic knowledge of Endgame filming locations. The Soul Stone-coloured drink is hugely popular in Scotland, and, wouldn’t you just know it, the Scottish fishing village of St. Abbs also doubled as New Asgard in the film.
Hulk-a Hulk-a Burning Fudge
This is a continuation of a silly joke about Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in Avengers: Infinity War. Wong mentions that he’s partial to a scoop or two of Hulk-a Hulk-a Burning Fudge. The flavour makes a comeback during a scene in Endgame where the remaining team is plotting how to get the Stones back. Professor Hulk is dishing out an extra-large tub of Hulk-a Hulk-a Burning Fudge for the likes of Ant-Man and War Machine to, ahem, scoop up.
Ant-Man’s original suit
The trip back to the 1970s wasn’t just a time for reflection. It also featured one of the coolest Avengers: Endgame Easter eggs. Hank Pym’s office was broken in to by Cap and, while he was focused on getting the Pym Particles, some fans might have had their attention drawn elsewhere. On Pym’s desk was what looks like the first version of the Ant-Man helmet, one that looks strikingly similar to the original comic design. Don’t forget: Hank left his door unlocked with that just laying there. Oh boy.
A Winter Soldier elevator scene callback
Captain America walks into an elevator. You know how the rest ends. Except… not quite. Avengers: Endgame’s version of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier elevator fight didn’t end the same way, yet it was all set up for us to believe it would. The framing was the same, Hydra agents were all present, and Cap looked ready to kick some ass. Still, it’s a neat little nod to one of the MCU’s best ever scenes.
This could just be nothing but, while working on the device needed to jump back in time, Rocket is called Ratchet by Tony Stark. It could be just a funny way to show how much of a douche Tony can be, but do you know of any other anthropomorphic characters who are handy with a wrench?
That’s right. It might be a little too on the (furry) nose, but we can’t help but think that was a deliberate reference to Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank series.
The kid from Iron Man 3
During Tony Stark’s funeral, the good and the great of the MCU turned up to pay respects. Also, some random kid was there.
No, no, that’s doing him a bit of a disservice. He’s actually the kid from Iron Man 3 who helped picked Tony up when he was down, and his appearance here may hint at him being the new Iron Man – or at least helping whoever steps into Tony’s rocket-powered boots.
Thanos’ armour scarecrow
Even the Mad Titan has to scare away birds somehow. He’s made his home on the Garden and has even shed his armour, opting instead for a quiet life before the Avengers rudely came a-knocking.
That shot of Thanos’ armour becoming a makeshift scarecrow, though, is also a shot-for-shot remake of one of the opening pages from Infinity War #1.
The final sound
In place of an Avengers: Endgame post-credits scene, we instead got the Marvel Studios logo and a mysterious clanking sound. No, it wasn’t a set up for Phase 4 (and beyond). It was actually the sound of Tony Stark making his first ever superhero suit back in 2008’s Iron Man. And thus, everything comes full circle.
Want more Avengers: Endgame gossip? Why not listen to our discussion on all the biggest questions that remain after the Avengers: Endgame ending below: