Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has taken Netflix by storm since its release on December 27 with its choose-your-own-adventure narrative, but that’s not the only thing worth watching out for. It’s easy to miss given how involved the storyline needs you to be, but the Netflix Original is also jam-packed with Bandersnatch Easter eggs and references, as well as cool nods to the Black Mirror shared universe and other things you might have missed.
If you’re curious about the multiple Black Mirror: Bandersnatch endings and can’t be bothered to try and find them all yourself, then check out our endings breakdown in the link above, but for the best Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Easter eggs, stay tuned because we’re about to detail all the ones we’ve spotted.
Some were fairly obvious - like the Metl Hedd poster, which references Black Mirror season 4 episode Metalhead - but there’s loads more which are a lot harder to spot. Do you know who cameoed as Bandersnatch author Jerome F. Davies? Why Stefan’s last name is Butler? Or who else is called R. Haynes in the Black Mirror universe? Read on and find out with the best Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Easter eggs, references, and things you might have missed (including spoilers).
There’s a real life Bandersnatch game… sort of
Unless you’re a massive video game nerd (we have a few here at GR) you probably don’t know that there’s actually already a video game called Bandersnatch. Well, sort of. Much like in the Black Mirror movie, the game never saw the light of day and if you want to know more about it, I really can’t recommend Tired Old Hack’s feature (opens in new tab) on the game enough.
It’ll talk you through the real life game and how it (probably) inspired the Black Mirror film, and, as it points out, the surname of the main character in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch - Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) - comes from one of the founders of the company who tried to make Bandersnatch, Imagine Software, called Mark Butler.
The Metl Hedd poster
This is probably the most obvious Black Mirror Easter egg in Bandersnatch, but unless you’ve seen Black Mirror episode Metalhead, you probably won’t have paid it much attention. When Stefan arrives at Tuckersoft HQ, there’s a poster on the wall between him and Tuckersoft owner Thakur (Asim Chaudhry) for a game called Metl Hedd featuring one of the robot killing machines from the season 4 episode. “That’s Colin’s new one,” Thakur tells Stefan before introducing him to the programmer himself.
*possible Black Mirror Bandersnatch spoilers*If you get the ending with the Spectrum data audio and actually load it on a Spectrum/emulator, you get this QR code which takes you to a hidden Tuckersoft website 😎 https://t.co/fpgQCQZYk2H/T https://t.co/EkFZfAqz41 pic.twitter.com/9IvTAISta1December 28, 2018
A Tuckersoft website has launched since Bandersnatch hit Netflix, which you can only find if you get to the post-credit scene where Stefan listens to a ‘Bandersnatch demo’ cassette, which plays Spectrum data audio, as the above tweet (from our very own Iain Wilson) explains. That, or you can just click on the link in the tweet to go straight there.
The website includes information on Tuckersoft’s new game releases (including Metl Hedd), job listings from 1984, and you can even download a playable version of the game Colin (Will Poulter) is seen working on at the beginning of Bandersnatch, Nohzdyve.
You may or may not have noticed that the lion appears throughout Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. It’s the form of the Pax demon in the Bandersnatch game Stefan is making, but it also appears on the drugs Colin offers Stefan, in the background on Pearl’s sketch board during her interview, and, oh yeah, Thakur asks the intern to go out and get him a Lion bar when Stefan first arrives at Tuckersoft HQ.
The choice symbol
Let’s talk about the symbol or glyph that appears through Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. You won’t have failed to miss it - it’s the symbol Bandersnatch author Jerome F. Davies paints all over his house in his wife’s blood. It’s one of the options you can pick when Stefan knows someone is watching him and asks you to give him a sign. And it’s the symbol Stefan scratches into the wall of his cell when he’s in prison.
But what you might have failed to notice - and I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t realise this until someone else pointed it out to me - is that it’s actually just a visual representation of the two options you’ve been asked to choose throughout Bandersnatch: Left or right.
That’s not the only noticeable thing about the symbol though. It also looks very similar to the symbol which appears throughout Black Mirror season 2 episode White Bear. This is the episode which sees a young woman wake up with no memory of who or where she who is hunted down by people wearing masks why everyone else just films it on their phones, and the symbol is a big part of the entire story.
Next door's dog
This is more a clever bit of foreshadowing than an Easter egg, but if you haven’t watched this specific ending, then you might have missed it. When Stefan first wakes up and goes downstairs for breakfast, his Dad runs to the window to yell at next door’s dog who is digging up a flowerbed in the garden, saying it’ll “be the death of us”.
Well, if you get the ending where Kitty shows up after Stefan kills his Dad and buries him in the garden, the body is discovered by the same dog, digging up the same spot in the garden, which now contains Stefan’s Dad’s corpse. Grim.
How many password for the safe did you find?
You may only be offered two password choices for the safe when Stefan first finds, but did you know there’s actually four passwords in total you can use? You can unlock the other passwords by making different choices throughout Bandersnatch, but if you’d rather, we’ve listed them all below:
- TOY - You get to revisit the flashback scene with Stefan’s Mum and find his stuffed rabbit, so that he can either make sure she doesn’t miss her train, or go with her and die as a child.
- PAX - The Pax demon appears and scares Stefan before he wakes up from a nightmare.
- JFD - Jerome F. Davies jumps out and stabs Stefan before he wakes up from a nightmare.
- PAC - Stefan discovers that he’s part of a government programme run by his Dad where he’s a test subject which is being pumped with drugs on a regular basis and watched constantly.
You know the game Colin is working on when Stefan first visits Tuckersoft? Recognise the name, at all? It’s called Nohzdyve, as in nosedive, and involves you jumping off a balcony (another bit of foreshadowing) and trying to avoid hitting things on the way down. It’s also the name of the first episode of Black Mirror season 3, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, which is set in a future world where everyone rates their interactions with each other.
St Juniper’s Medical Practice
Another reference to a past Black Mirror episode is the name of the hospital where Stefan sees his therapist. It’s called St Juniper’s Medical Practice, which sounds very similar to Black Mirror season 3 episode San Junipero, which sees people (dead and alive) live in VR.
And speaking of Stefan’s therapist. Her full name - or at least, as much as we know of her full name - is Dr R. Haynes (it appears on her door in one of the scenes), and who else in the Black Mirror universe has the surname Haynes? Rolo Haynes, the owner of the Black Museum in the season 4 episode. Could they be related?
During the news report we see after Stefan’s crime is discovered, there’s a shot of a newspaper from the time detailing Stefan’s arrest, but if you look closer at the stories down the sidebar, they actual reference three other Black Mirror episodes. “The Love Machine” references season 4’s Hang the DJ where a piece of advanced dating technology matches people by creating simulations of them living together.
“Space Fleet” is obviously the favourite show of Robert Daly from season 4’s USS Callister who uses it as inspiration for creating his own interactive - and nightmarish - sci-fi series. And finally, “15 Million Talent Team” is a nod to episode Fifteen Million Merits from season 1, which is about a reality TV talent show in which people are drugged and bullied into making questionable decisions to become rich and famous.
The National Anthem
During another scene at Tuckersoft we briefly see a poster for a game called Pig in a Poke, which is a reference to the very first Black Mirror episode, The National Anthem, in which Prime Minister, Michael Callow (Rory Kinnear), has to have sex with a pig in order to save the much-loved Princess Susannah (Lydia Wilson).
Black Mirror News
Callow is also referenced later on in Bandersnatch during the modern-day news report about rebooting the game. If you take a look at the news stories, which appear in the ticker along the bottom of the screen during the report, one says: “Former PM Michael Callow wins celebrity Bake Off”.
The others include a reference to a “prototype ‘pollinator drone’”, which is used in Black Mirror season 3’s Hated in the Nation, Liam Monroe (Tobias Menzies), the Conservative MP who runs against cartoon character Waldo in season 2’s The Waldo Moment, and a “memory recall device” used in season 4’s Crocodile.
Did you noticed how, depending on which cereal you make Stefan pick at the beginning of Bandersnatch, you end up seeing an ad for that cereal later on when he plays the documentary on Jerome F. Davies? Sugar Puffs or Frosties - the choice is yours.
Jeff Minter’s cameo
It’s not immediately obvious, but Bandersnatch author Jerome F. Davies Stefan is actually played, in a superb cameo performance, by video game creator Jeff Minter, who made games such as Tempest 2000 and Attack of the Mutant Camels.