A tough one to crack
Deadpool is a film for the fans. The fans who wanted him just as lewd and crude in celluloid as he is in the comics, who suffered through both his and Reynolds' mistreatment in films past, and who flung desperate tweets 'round the internet when they heard that maybe, just maybe, they might get a loyal depiction if they begged hard enough.
The things they care about were clearly on the creators' mind when Deadpool was finally coming together, and that's not just wishful thinking. How else do you explain all the fan-focused easter eggs it pitches at you with the ferocity of a middle schooler egging the principal's car? And it isn't just a few Avengers-style quips either - these secrets run deep, and are just the sort of thing fans were meant to latch onto from the opening explosion to the final Ferris Bueller joke.
Deadpool knows what a green suit did to Hal Jordan
Technically Wade Wilson doesn't get to break the fourth wall until he adopts his masked, sass-mouthed persona, but he clearly already had the gift buried deep down. When he's strapped to a gurney in Ajax's sadistic, mutant-assembly sideshow, Wade begs his tormentors to have mercy and not make his super suit green or animated.
You know, like the one Ryan Reynolds wore when he played the Green Lantern in DC's flop of a film, an experience Reynolds has been notoriously sassy about since. The strain on Wade's face in that scene could have been caused by terror, but I'm guessing Reynolds was just trying really hard not to crack a smile.
Ajax wishes he was in Wolverine: Origins
For those of you who don't know (you lucky, lucky souls), this movie is actually Deadpool's second big-screen treatment. The first came courtesy of Wolverine: Origins, and can be best described as just awful. Apparently when given a character famous for his snappy comebacks and dumb lines, this movie thought that literally sewing his mouth shut and covering him in sweet Halloween body paint was really the way to go.
Naturally, the Deadpool movie throws some shade on that catastrophe - when Wade first starts his treatment at Ajax's house of fun and flagellation, Ajax himself threatens to sew Wade's pretty mouth shut, a reference that even an Office-style look at the camera couldn't make more obvious. The film also sneaks in Origins' version of Deadpool via a shot of a cheap, McDonald's-style action figure in Wade's apartment, making fans everywhere shudder at what might have been.
That radioactive Shar Pei joke cuts deep
Wade and Weasel come up with quite a few hilarious ways to describe Wade's debilitating skin degeneration (the one about the avocados is my favorite), so the merc's line about 'getting bitten by a radioactive Shar Pei' seems like another silly zinger getting tossed on the pile. However, this line has a history, and it's use is very clever: in his comics, Deadpool has actually described himself as looking like "a cross between Ryan Renolds [sic] and a Shar-Pei" before. Finger-guns!
The exact comic where this comes up is Cable & Deadpool #2, proving that the folks behind this Deadpool treatment were paying very close attention to the source material. The other part of the joke could be an equally thoughtful nod too - while getting bitten by a radioactive something-or-other is par for the course when it comes to superhero jokes, it could also be a nod to Deadpool's good buddy Peter Parker.
The Batman TV show theme song plays while Deadpool gets his face smashed
This one's small and a bit hard to miss, what with a high-speed car battle going on and Deadpool giving a guy giving cigarette-lighter lozenge. But listen close during the car-fight scene when Deadpool is getting his face smashed into the radio - you'll hear a news report, some pop music, and something that sort of sounds like a mariachi band playing. Extract just that last one, though, and it turns out it's actually the transition sound effect from the Batman live action series. You know the one.
That a bit of an interesting jump, given that Deadpool and just about every other superhero he pokes fun at is a Marvel property, so bringing in a tiny Batman reference feels like putting the peanut butter knife in the mayonnaise jar. Wade does bring it back around eventually though with an eyebrow-waggling joke about Batman and Robin, proving that, yes, every superhero has a picture on his dartboard.
Deadpool would like to thank everyone who made this possible
Just a guess, but the folks behind Deadpool probably aren't going to be doling out thank yous in an Academy Award acceptance speech, so they went ahead and wrote their gratitude into the sets. Specifically, shout-outs to Deadpool's original creators are sprinkled through the first half of the film, with particular emphasis on Rob Liefeld - a coffee cup gently sailing through the opening credits has 'Rob L' written on the side, and when Wade greets 'Rob' the first time he walks into St. Margaret's mercenary bar, he's greeting, the Rob. And they didn't even make a single foot joke.
Other creators that made Deadpool what he is today - like co-creator Fabian Nicieza and Marvel President Kevin Feige - have their names written on highway signs and pizza boxes, little love-taps to show they're appreciated. The only sad part here is that Joe Kelly - the man who first had Deadpool break the fourth wall - was left out in the cold. Maybe they're saving that for Deadpool 2.
A wild Marrow appears
In the second Deadpool trailer, we got a two-second look at one of Deadpool's fellow mutants that felt like it lasted hours. Sitting on a bed and turned away from Wade, the mystery woman has a nasty set of spikes protruding from her back that looks entirely too painful (so basically exactly what the researchers were looking for). While the shot is clearly supposed to be stunning and unpleasant, the creators didn't dream her up for the spot. That actually looks to be Marrow, another captive of the Weapon X program that created Deadpool.
The movie does fudge a few details - it never actually mentions the Weapon X program by name, and in the comics Deadpool and Marrow don't enter the program at the same time. Still, another woman with bone spikes growing out of her body, interned in a secret Canadian government facility meant to create super soldiers? I think that's close enough to call.
The final battle definitely happens on a helicarrier
The stage for Deadpool's final battle with Ajax isn't really the centerpiece of the scene where it appears - we get a quick glance at the battleground, a broken down something-or-other that looks like an aircraft carrier, before swords start flying and teenagers start blowing up. It's only later on, when Deadpool is bringing the house down, that we get a bird's-eye view of the thing and see what it really looks like: a helicarrier from The Avengers.
Obviously the thing has seen better days, and it's so broken down that it's hard to truly tell if it's same sort of aircraft that the Avengers used as a staging ground for their hilarious bickering. But the giant engines in the back and its general shape seriously imply that's what we're looking at. Now the real question is, what the hell happened to it? (And how did it get to Canada?)
Weasel throws shade on Blade
Deadpool could probably be subtitled 'The Superhero Movie Ryan Reynolds Deserves', and it takes every opportunity to mock all the others he suffered through. Green Lantern and Wolverine: Origins are obvious targets, but the Blade trilogy - which roped Reynolds into a role in its final part - doesn't escape either.
When Ajax and Angel decide to pay a visit to St. Margaret's and leave with a bar's worth of guns pointed at their backs, Weasel hits them where it hurts and goes after their fashion choices, essentially calling them Blade 2 cosplayers. Given that Reynolds was paid to be a slightly more upscale Blade cosplayer, that checks off the last Reynolds comic film in need of shaming. Why they didn't call out Blade: Trinity is a mystery though - maybe they thought reminding everyone of that terrible beard would be too cruel.
Wade Wilson really, really loves Bea Arthur
For a character whose entire personality is as fluid as a running faucet, there are a few constants you can rely on: an insatiable craving for chimichangas, and an undying love for Bea Arthur. It's no secret that Deadpool has been harboring a crush on the late Golden Girls star for years now in the comics, and of course, a bit of that made its way into the film.
Near the beginning of the movie, Wade Wilson is playing skeeball with his new friend Vanessa, and if you notice his clothing, you'll clearly see Bea Arthur's face on the tank top Wilson is wearing. It's not quite 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it', but no one asks why Wilson is wearing a shirt with Dorothy Zbornak's face on it, or even directly references its existence at any point in the film, so it's likely that only eagle-eyed fans (or very confused movie-goers) will spot it. And considering it's Wilson wearing the shirt, and not Deadpool, it seems that the fixation goes much, much deeper than just being a side-effect of his Weapon X treatment.
There's a really bizarre reference to American Beauty
Deadpool is overflowing with pop culture and film references, but there's one in particular that will go over the heads of all but the most observant and astute film buffs. There's a scene early on where a creepy-looking recruiter (played by Jed Rees) approaches Wade and offers him an opportunity to sign up for the secret procedure that eventually transforms him into the Deadpool we know and love. Wade makes several jokes about how the recruiter looks like a child molester, specifically calling him 'Jared' - in reference to Jared Fogle of Subway and his recent scandal.
But the jokes don't stop there. The recruiter's business card is blank, save for a single phone number: 555-0199. That just so happens to be the same phone number used by Kevin Spacey's character, Lester Burnham, in American Beauty. You know, the guy who has an unhealthy obsession with his daughter's underage friend? The movie with the scene with all the rose petals coming out of her, well... you know? Yeah. That's a deep cut.
Of course there's a Stan Lee cameo
It wouldn't be a Marvel movie without some kind of Stan Lee cameo, as the famed comics creator and cologne salesman has effectively Hitchcock'd his way into nearly every major Marvel movie and TV production over the last few decades. The comics legend has flexed his versatile acting chops, playing a mental patient in Thor: The Dark World, a forgetful security guard in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and a postal worker in Fantastic Four.
Now he can add 'strip club DJ' to his resume, as Stan Lee hits the decks and announces exotic dancers during his brief cameo in Deadpool. It's uncertain as to whether this is a subtle nod to his work on the largely forgotten Spike TV animated series and Pamela Anderson vehicle Striperella, but knowing Deadpool… yeah, probably.
The post-credits scene reminds you that life moves pretty fast
I wasn't joking about the Ferris Bueller thing. Viewers who never saw Matthew Broderick's turn as the world's most enviable slacker might think that Deadpool's post-credits scene is just a joke at the audience's expense, poking fun at you for sitting through ten minutes of scrolling text (and totally missing your chance to beat the traffic) for the promise of a thirty-second clip you could look up on YouTube. And it is that, but it's also an exact recreation of the post-credits scene from Bueller, which was sneaking in last-minute clips before Marvel even laid eyes on Samuel L. Jackson.
It isn't just the same hallway or bathrobe either - Deadpool's lines are almost word-for-word what Broderick says to shoo away his batch of moviegoers, and Wade is careful to make Bueller's famous chika-chikaaah sound effect so we're all in on the joke. The only part that isn't a straight lift is Deadpool's comments about Cable showing up for the sequel. It would have been a little weird for Ferris to mention that.