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4 Impressive Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous TV Shows

We round up some of the best Easter eggs hidden in your favourite TV shows.

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Photo: © NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Easter has been and gone for this year, and no doubt you’ve spent the last few days stuffing your face full of chocolate Easter eggs. While you’ve been gobbling your body weight in chocolate, we’ve been gorging on Easter eggs of a different kind. We’ve hunted high and low for jokes and messages hidden in your favourite TV shows. Here are our top four.

4. The Secret McBain Movie Hidden Across Multiple Episodes of The Simpsons

Rainier Wolfcastle is The Simpsons universe’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger. An Austrian-born action movie star with an unusually muscular build, Wolfcastle stars in the McBain series of films.

Wolfcastle first appeared in the second season episode “The Way We Was” in 1991. In a segment from a McBain movie, we see the titular character punching his police captain through a window. A total of five seemingly unrelated McBain clips aired on The Simpsons between 1991 and 1993. However, it turns out that those five clips form a three minute movie with a cohesive narrative when rearranged and stitched together.

This McBain mini-movie was never part of any grand scheme by The Simpsons’ production team. According to executive producer, Al Jean, “it was always just conceived as the most melodramatic fragments of a bigger movie where we never really had a big movie in mind”.

3. Marshall’s Bad News Countdown in How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother centres around the lives of Ted Mosby and his friends in Manhattan, New York. Running for nine seasons between 2005 and 2014, the show’s early seasons were well received with later seasons receiving a more mixed response.

Despite its sitcom status, How I Met Your Mother wasn’t afraid to tackle serious storylines every now and again. The sixth season episode, “Bad News“, sees Marshall and Lily undergoing fertility tests after several months of trying to conceive. Lily’s tests reveal that she is not infertile, and Marshall spends the rest of the episode worrying about his own fertility, seeking comfort from his parents.

Eagle-eyed viewers watching the episode would have noticed the ominous countdown occurring in the background, with numbers appearing on otherwise innocuous objects.

As the countdown nears its end and we’re expecting bad news, Marshall instead receives good news. He isn’t infertile. Then comes the gut punch. Marshall’s dad has had a heart attack and died off-screen.

2. The Storyline That Plays Out Entirely in the Background in Community

Community revolves around the members of a study group at Greendale Community College. The show is well-known for its use of meta-humour and its tongue-in-cheek allusions to popular tropes.

This approach to comedy, of course, means that Community is full of inside jokes and Easter eggs. In season two episode, “The Psychology of Letting Go”, super-meta character, Abed, has an entire storyline that plays out solely in the background. Over the course of the episode, we see Abed meet a pregnant woman, get chased away by her boyfriend, and then deliver her baby.

A more subtle Easter egg took three seasons to pay off. The name “Beetlejuice” is said once in each season from the first season to the third. The third time the name is said, a character dressed as Michael Keaton’s character from the 1988 film, Beetlejuice, is seen walking past a window in the background.

1. The Fully Translatable Alien Languages Hidden in Futurama

Photo: © 20th Century Fox via BuzzFeed

On the surface, Futurama seems like a goofy, light-hearted animated comedy about a hapless pizza delivery boy who finds himself stuck one thousand years in the future. And it is. It is also one of the most clever shows on TV.

Futurama’s writing staff include those with PhDs in maths and sciences, and it shows. If you know what to look for, that is. And, let’s be honest. Most of us don’t. The writers’ rule of thumb was that the more obscure jokes could not be central to the plot, so the casual viewer is unlikely to even notice them. The background, however, is full of complicated jokes that only the brainiest viewers will understand.

Jokes about quantum mechanics, mathematics and computer programming are not uncommon. Writer, Ken Keeler, even thought up a brand new mathematical theorem for the show.

Photo: © 20th Century Fox via The Infosphere

However, the longest running and most accessible Easter egg in Futurama is no doubt the fully translatable alien “languages” that can be seen in the background of many scenes. Regularly seen on signage or as graffiti, it is possible to decode every symbol into a letter of the Latin alphabet.

The symbols that the writers refer to as “Alien Language 1” (but known amongst fans as “Alienese”) are the simplest to crack. Every symbol represents a corresponding letter of the Latin alphabet. “Alien Language 2” is more complicated to crack, with each symbol having a numerical value. Taking the time to translate the background text seen in Futurama episodes will give you a chuckle, with signs reading “Tasty Human Burgers” and the like.

Photo: © 20th Century Fox via Vulture

What do you think? Are there any other great TV Easter eggs that we didn’t mention? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to avoid missing out on new articles!

Chris is a pop culture nerd from London. He has a master's degree in Criminology and a pretty solid Pokémon card collection. His favourite Star Wars character is Jar Jar Binks, because he likes an underdog.

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10 Things You Never Knew About Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! You probably think you know everything there is to know about the Man of Steel. You’re wrong.

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Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Superman has been a pop culture staple for over 80 years, with a media career spanning comic books, radio, television and film.

The character’s mass market appeal is as strong as ever, showing no signs of slowing down. The Man of Steel is such an icon that you probably think you already know everything there is to know about him.

You’re wrong. Here are 10 Things You Never Knew About Superman.

1. Superman Was Created by Two High School Students

Superman was created by high school friends, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The duo met in 1932 while they were both students at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio.

Both young men were fairly shy, but they quickly bonded over their shared interests and similar aspirations. They were both huge pulp fiction fans and both held ambitions of pursuing careers in the creative industry. Siegel dreamed of becoming a writer, while Shuster wanted to be an illustrator.

The pair first collaborated together for their school newspaper, with Shuster providing illustrations for Siegel’s Goober the Mighty stories.

Shuster would later provide illustrations for Siegel’s self-published fanzine, Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization. The third issue, published in January 1933, featured a short story called The Reign of the Superman.

2. Superman Was Originally a Villain

Siegel and Shuster’s first “Superman” was a malicious vagrant with psychic powers.

The Reign of the Superman follows ragged vagrant, Bill Dunn, who is tricked by a mad scientist into consuming an experimental drug. The drug grants Dunn various telepathic abilities, which he uses for selfish and malicious purposes.

The once meek transient becomes a super villain intent on world domination. Unfortunately for Dunn, the effects of the drug are temporary and his powers fade, leaving him to return to a life of destitution.

3. DC Bought Superman for Just $130

Image: DC Comics

Siegel and Shuster received just $130 for the character when they sold to rights to Detective Comics in 1938. That’s the equivalent of around $2,300 when adjusted for inflation.

4. Nicolas Cage Was Paid $20 Million Play Superman

Image: Warner Bros. / Super Skull Ship

Nicolas Cage was paid $20 million to star as the Last Son of Krypton in the late-90s film, Superman Lives. He received the payment even though the Tim Burton-directed film was never made.

5. George Reeves Had a Gun Pulled on Him by a Child

George Reeves, star of the 1950s TV series The Adventures of Superman, had a gun pulled on him by a child. The young fan had wanted to test Superman’s invulnerability. Fortunately, he was persuaded not to shoot.

6. Superman Was Investigated by the FBI

Image: DC Comics

A strip depicting an atom splitter brought scrutiny from the FBI during World War II. It was feared that details about the secret Manhattan Project had been leaked. DC was prevented from publishing several other Superman stories that depicted atomic weapons until the war was over.

7. Kryptonite Debuted on Radio

Kryptonite debuted on radio in 1943, six years before it appeared in comics. It was invented to give voice actor, Bud Collyer, time off. Superman was temporarily incapacitated to explain his absence.

8. That’s Not an “S” on Superman’s Chest

Image: Needpix

The familiar symbol on Superman’s chest might look like a stylised “S” but, according to comic book lore, it’s not one. It’s actually the Kryptonian symbol for “hope” and the insignia of the House of El. Flip it upside down and it becomes the Kryptonian symbol for “resurrection”.

9. Superman Has Had Some Strange Powers Over the Years

Image: DC Comics

Superman has been shown to have an enormous range of abilities over the years. Super strength, speed and flight are all powers that Superman is well known for. He’s less well known for his super-ventriloquism and shape-shifting abilities. Other bizarre powers include telepathic caller ID, fixing broken objects by firing beams from his eyes and the ability to shoot a tiny version of himself from his fingertips.

10. Superman Couldn’t Always Fly

Image: Fleischer Studios

Up in the sky! Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! Flight is probably the most well known ability that Superman possesses, but he hasn’t always been able to fly. Way back in the 1930s, the Big Blue Boy Scout could only jump really high.

Superman was given the ability to fly in The Adventures of Superman radio series and an artistic mistake saw the Man of Steel take flight in a 1941 issue of Superman. However, credit for cementing Kal-El’s ability to fly in the public consciousness is usually given to the Fleischer animated series.

Starting in 1941, the cartoon provided the first intentional visual depiction of Superman taking flight. The decision was made because it was felt that flying looked better than leaping when animated. The comics followed suit, giving Superman the ability to fly shortly after.

Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to avoid missing out on new articles!

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Why 3D Movies Keep Failing

3D movies seem to be on their deathbed. But this isn’t the first time that the 3D craze has come and gone.

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Cheddar looks at the rise and fall of 3D movies, and Hollywood’s insistence on trying again and again to make them stick. Believe it or not, the 3D craze has come and gone multiple times since the advent of film.

The earliest 3D film that we know of was 1922’s The Power of Love, which appears to have been screened only twice in 3D due to a lack of interest from exhibitors.

In addition to being the first film screened in 3D, The Power of Love provided the additional novelty of allowing audience members to choose how the film ended. By closing one eye, the viewer could choose to see a happy ending or a tragic ending.

Despite receiving rave reviews, the film was not picked up by exhibitors in its original format. However, it was widely distributed in 2D under the title Forbidden Lover.

Sadly, the cultural significance of the original movie was not recognised in its time and the film does not appear to have been preserved. As of 2020, there are no known prints of either The Power of Love or Forbidden Lover, with both now being lost to time.

What do you think? Is it time to let the 3D craze die? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to avoid missing out on new articles!

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Who Won the Battle of the Bonds?

When Roger Moore and Sean Connery went head to head at the box office, who came out on top?

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James Bond is one of the most recognisable names on the planet, with the fictional spy serving as the figurehead of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Obsessed over for more than 50 years, the Bond film series ages like a fine wine and is still just as appealing to audiences today as it was over half a century ago.

There have been 26 James Bond films made (the first one being Dr No, released in 1962).  But did you know that one of these movies – Never Say Never Again – was an unofficial one? Never Say Never Again was made in a different studio by a different production company. It had different writers and different distributors. But they did get Sean Connery to play Bond. It was his first appearance as James Bond in 12 years, and his last ever one.

Image: MGM via Cinema.de

Casino Royale (1967) was another unofficial Bond movie but, unlike Never Say Never Again, it was a spoof

The film was the second film adaptation of Thunderball and was released in 1983, the same year as the official Bond movie, Octopussy, in which Roger Moore played Bond.

So who won in the Octopussy v Never Say Never Again, Roger Moore v Sean Connery battle of the Bonds?

Well Octopussy and Roger Moore won hands down at the box office. But Never Say Never Again did well, opening to acclaimed reviews from the critics and grossing over $160 million at the box office on a budget of $36 million (Octopussy grossed $183.7 million). Many argue that it is the better of the two Bond films, with Rotten Tomatoes’ approved critics scoring Never Say Never Again at a respectable 64% compared to a score of just 42% for Octopussy.

Image: MGM via IMDb

Roger Moore’s Bond disguised as a clown in Octopussy

But perhaps more importantly, Never Say Never Again won in the courts. As you can imagine, the trustees of the official Bond franchise were not too pleased at this rival production and attempted, unsuccessfully, to block the film in the High Court.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing into the sunset with a martini in hand for the Never Say Never Again clan. Production was troubled. It was plagued with legal issues and Sean Connery himself had to take on many of the production duties. There were public disagreements between director Irvin Kershner and producer Jack Schwartzman and the costs went spiralling over budget, with Schwartzman having to complete production out of his own pocket. Many of the film’s sequences had to be cut for legal reasons. There was no opening gun barrel sequence and there was no James Bond theme tune.

Image: MGM via IMDb

The iconic gun barrel sequence could not be included in Never Say Never Again for legal reasons

We guess the real winner though was the James Bond movie fan. Two blockbuster Bond films in one year? Thank you very much!

It is probably fair to say that the Bond vs Bond battle of 1983 was more like a relegation battle than a League title winning decider. Looking back now, neither Octopussy nor Never Say Never Again have passed the tests of time, and few would rank either as one of their favourite James Bond movies.

Never Say Never Again, like an exiled pretender to the throne, continues to exist outside of the official Bond film lineage, even though MGM purchased the rights to the motion picture from Schwartzman in 1997.

Perhaps one day they will make a film of the 1983 Battle of the Bonds. If so, we can only hope that the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

Image: MGM

Sean Connery winking at the audience in his final ever appearance as James Bond

What do you think? Who won the Battle of the Bonds? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to avoid missing out on new articles!

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