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16 best Scream movie in-jokes

Party Of Five

The Film: Scream 2 (1997)

The In-Joke: Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) provides a double whammy in her single scene. In-Joke number one: Chatting on the phone to her friend, she explains the plot of Party Of Five, which, of course, stars Neve Campbell.

In-joke number two: Cici ends up watching Nosferatu, a sly nod to Gellar's role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Killer Cameo

The Film: Scream (1996)

The In-Joke: Before Stan Lee became king of contemporary cameos, Wes Craven got in on the action by appearing as a school janitor in the first Scream. He wears a stripy jumper that tips its hat to Craven's most famous horror creation, Freddy Krueger. (Craven went on to cameo in the remaining three Screams, though his cameo in Scream 4 was mercilessly excised.)

Howler

The Film: Scream (1996)

The In-Joke: What's that werewolf movie with ET's mom in it? a video store customer asks Randy. Duly, the film geek points her in the direction of The Howling. Just a little moment, but it's the kind of thing that makes the Scream Trilogy really sing. Or shriek.

Write On

The Film: Scream 2 (1997)

The In-Joke: Former murder suspect Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) is interviewed on TV as Sidney watches. The person interviewing him? None other than Kevin Williamson, aka the creator of Scream and Scream 2's scriptwriter. Wonder if he wrote the role for himself...

Go Fishing

The Film: Scream 3 (2000)

The In-Joke: Gale and Jennifer (Parker Posey) go investigating and come across a disgruntled employee at Sunrise Studios who looks remarkably like Carrie Fisher. I was up for Princess Leia, gripes Bianca Burnette (Fisher, obvs). I was this close. So, who gets it? The one who sleeps with George Lucas.

The cameo was originally offered to the far more horror-y Jamie Lee Curtis, who sadly turned it down still, Fisher brought the house down and then some.

Party Guest

The Film: Scream 2 (1997)

The In-Joke: A blink-and-miss cameo, this one, as Matthew Lillard appears during the sequel's party scene. Lillard played one of the first film's killers, and can be seen embracing Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), who turns out to be one of the second film's killers. Wonder if he gave him any tips on how to act crazy.

That's Entertainment

The Film: Scream 3 (2000)

The In-Joke: Alright, it's not the wittiest play on words ever, but Detective Wallace's (Josh Pais) decision to brand Gale Weathers as 'Terminal Entertainment' is both fitting and funny. Mostly because Gale's hugely entertaining while proving terminal to just about everybody around her.

Contributing Editor at Total Film and writer for SFX. Sometimes writes books about monsters. Lives for cat videos.