Doctor Strange 2 is packed with so many Easter eggs and, now that Multiverse of Madness, is on Disney Plus, it's easier than ever to uncover all of its secrets. There are comic book deep cuts, MCU references, and even nods to other Marvel movies outside of its sprawling cinematic universe.
But you might need to know where to look first. To help you discover every last secret upon another watch, we've dissected every last frame and background detail to bring you the definitive guide to the biggest and best Easter eggs in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Look closely, too, because you never know what Marvel Studios could be setting up with these…
Be warned, however, that there are major spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness throughout.
Doctor Strange 2 Easter eggs
A jump through the multiverse
Partway through the movie, Doctor Strange and America Chavez are sent hurtling through different universes. While they fly by at lightning-quick speed, there are a few worlds that appear to be nods to Marvel’s comic book history.
The most prominent of these is a world which contains a dinosaur. It’s likely a nod to the Savage Lands, a prehistoric world that contains a whole host of dinos and other creatures.
There’s also a comic book universe, which feels like an overall tribute to the more ‘poppy’ art style of the 1960s and 1970s. We also see a glimpse of what appears to be the Living Tribunal, a cosmic being who first debuted in 1967 and who essentially acts as the overseer of the multiverse.
Animated X-Men theme
If you’re of a certain vintage, one of your most prominent pop culture earworms is likely to be the theme to X-Men: The Animated Series. The show, which ran from 1992 to 1997, helped kickstart a new popularity boom for the mutants – and the song has stayed with us ever since.
Composer Danny Elfman slips in a version of the X-Men: The Animated Series theme when Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier arrives during the Illuminati meeting. He’s also in his yellow Hoverchair from the series.
During the first interaction between ‘our’ Doctor Strange and Earth-838’s Christine Palmer, the scientist mentions that she chose to volunteer at the Baxter Foundation. That is a group also found in Marvel’s comics – and is designed to nurture the next generation of scientific prodigies.
You might be a bit confused about the Illuminati member with a tuning fork on his head. That’s Black Bolt, the leader of the Inhumans. You can find out more about him in our Illuminati in Doctor Strange 2 explainer. His casting, however, is an Easter egg in and of itself. He’s played by Anson Mount, who reprised his role from the ill-fated Inhumans series from 2017 that was cancelled after only one season.
Bruce Campbell’s cameo
The Pizza Papa is played by none other than Bruce Campbell. He and director Sam Raimi go way back – to high school, in fact – and have shared a long, fruitful creative partnership.
Campbell has appeared in Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Crimewave, Darkman, Army of Darkness, and the Spider-Man trilogy – all directed by Raimi. Campbell’s inclusion in Multiverse of Madness continues that legacy.
Captain America's iconic line
It’s one of the MCU’s most iconic lines. "I can do this all day" was first uttered by Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger to show the war hero’s never-say-die spirit. It’s repeated throughout the movies by Cap, most notably to his past self in Avengers: Endgame.
Captain Carter picks up the baton and runs with it in Multiverse of Madness, fighting off Scarlet Witch’s attacks and, with a bloody mouth, spits "I can do this all day."
Captain Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, is one of the members of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. She made her MCU debut in animated anthology series What…If? There, she was presented as an alternate take on Captain America – and an exploration on what would have happened if Peggy Carter, and not Steve Rogers, took the Super Soldier Serum.
In the MCU’s universe, Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson. In Earth-838, Captain Marvel is Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch. Multiverse of Madness doesn’t delve into how Carol’s Air Force BFF ended up as Captain Marvel, though they showcase the same skillset, including flight and cosmic blasts.
AKA, that woman in purple played by Charlize Theron. She showed up during the Doctor Strange 2 post-credits scenes, asking Stephen to deal with the incursion that he caused. That’s Clea, who was first introduced in Marvel’s comics in 1964’s Strange Tales #126. There, she’s typically depicted as a sorceress hailing from the Dark Dimension as well as being romantically involved with Stephen Strange. For more on the character, you can check out our exploration of who is Charlize Theron in Doctor Strange 2.
Wanda’s sons Billy and Tommy clearly have a thing for classic Disney animation. The first scene involving the pair sees them watching an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short. The relatively obscure character was first introduced to the world by Disney in 1927, though Universal quickly took sole ownership of the character. A replacement, Mickey Mouse, was created – and a legend was born.
As things get witchy later on in alternate Wanda’s reality so, too, do Billy and Tommy’s viewing habits. In one scene, you can see them watching the 1937 Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
What’s in a number? The MCU finally gets christened as Earth-616 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That’s a reference to the same number used to identity Marvel comics’ main ‘canon’ universe. In Doctor Strange 2, Christine Palmer reveals the information, saying that the MCU’s Stephen Strange comes from 616.
That's not just any old name drop. 'Incursions' - the event where two or more universes collide - could be a reference to the events that led up to 2015's Secret Wars.
In that comic book event, Earth-616 and the Ultimate universe collided. Doctor Doom picked up the pieces and ruled a new universe of his own making as God Emperor Doom. Some fans are already convinced we're hurtling towards Secret Wars in the near future.
John Krasinski’s plays a version of Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. He’s also known as Mister Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four. It’s the first time the Fantastic Four have been explicitly referenced in the MCU since Disney’s acquisition of Fox, who previously owned the movie rights to the superheroes.
It’s not yet known whether Krasinski will reprise the role in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. For more on the character’s MCU appearance, here’s our guide on who is John Krasinski in Doctor Strange 2.
The classic car is a fixture of Sam Raimi's films, appearing in Evil Dead and the first Spider-Man. In Multiverse of Madness, you can see it floating in the air as Strange and Christine Palmer walk around a world that is suffering through an Incursion.
Another noteworthy cameo, Patrick Stewart once again portrays Charles Xavier/Professor X in a Marvel movie, though this is his first appearance in the MCU
Stewart has become synonymous with the role, first playing Xavier in 2000’s X-Men. He most notably capped off his run with the character in Logan, though plays a different version of the leader of the X-Men here – a version of Charles from the X-Men animated series, as established by the theme song (see above) and his yellow chair, which Professor X has in the show.
Reed Richards’ children
Reed Richards mentions his "wife" in the movie. That’s Sue Storm, another member of the Fantastic Four. What’s more interesting, however, is that Reed Richards also has children – something that’s more of a recent phenomenon in Marvel’s comic book history.
They are Valeria and Franklin Richards, two highly-gifted heroes that possess incredible intellect. Could we see them factor in to the upcoming Fantastic Four movie?
The green minotaur creature at Kamar-Taj, the mystical location (also from the comics) that Wanda attacks, sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s Rintrah, a being from the planet R’Vaal who was first introduced in 1986’s Doctor Strange #80. He has a long history with the Sorceror, later becoming his apprentice.
The finger-snapping Marvel villain was Earth’s greatest threat, causing the Avengers to band together for one final battle in Avengers: Endgame. The Thanos on Earth-838, though, was swiftly dispatched by the Illuminati on Titan. You can even see his body during a flashback sequence involving their Doctor Strange.
The Book of Vishanti
The Book of Vishanti is mentioned as the Darkhold’s antithesis – a powerful tome that could grant its user anything they desperately needed. Predictably, its roots are found in Marvel’s comic books, first appearing as The Book of the Vishanti in 1963. There, it was possessed by several sorcerers, including Doctor Strange and the Ancient One.
The robotic guards at Illuminati HQ are modelled on Ultron, the AI-turned-supervillain created by Tony Stark that served as the basis for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Here, though, they're far more benevolent. Did this universe's Tony Stark use them as a force for good?
Wanda’s first multiverse dream in Doctor Strange 2 is accompanied by the familiar opening chimes of the WandaVision title credits from the Disney Plus show’s premiere.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Professor X tells Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness: "Just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn't mean they are lost forever." There’s a reason why that line sounds familiar – Xavier says it to his younger self (played by James McAvoy) in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Want more on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Then check out our guides to:
- Doctor Strange 2 ending explained
- What does 616 in Doctor Strange 2 mean?
- The Marvel movies and shows to watch before Doctor Strange 2
- Our guide to Marvel Phase 4
- How to watch the Marvel movies in order
- Doctor Strange 2 on the Marvel timeline
- The TV history of the Darkhold, explained
- Our full WandaVision recap
- Is Doctor Strange 2 too scary for children?