As a TV series, Black Mirror almost had a depressing ending - much like many of its episodes. The show aired on British Channel 4 for two series before nearly being canceled. Netflix stepped in, and in 2015 purchased 12 episodes. The episodes were then split into two seasons of 6 episodes each, comprising of seasons 3 and 4.
It didn’t take long for showrunner Charlie Brooker to include Easter eggs to connect many of Black Mirror’s episodes. Starting with season 2’s premiere, “The Waldo Moment”, connections and subtle references began making appearances. Whether it was the same technology company mentioned or references to specific people, fans of the show quickly theorized that Black Mirror episodes are part of the same universe.
Brooker has been vague on the subject of Black Mirror being a shared universe, but when you see some of the connections fans have made between many of the episodes, it’s hard to deny that the show is in the same universe, psychological or not.
There are minor spoilers listed in some of the entries, but nothing that gives away the plot of any episode.
Enjoy reading 15 Things You Completely Missed In Black Mirror.
15 The Waldo Moment - Headlines and Abi's cameo
In the series 2 episode “The Waldo Moment”, a failed comedian’s gimmick - he uses a puppet to interview political figures - has run its course. To regain his popularity, Jamie enters the race for Parliament. But as with most Black Mirror episodes, there are bleak consequences.
The fictional news network UKN makes a number of appearances over the seasons, and in “The Waldo Moment”, the network’s news crawl during a press conference reads “Geraint Fitch cleared of wrongdoing following paparazzi scuffle.” This also appeared in the very first episode, “The National Anthem".
A second Easter egg involves Abi from “Fifteen Million Merits”. While Abi is not the winner of the talent show, the hosts predict she will have a lustrous adult film career. In the background of a city scene, a billboard of Abi sits next to a billboard of the puppet Waldo.
14 White Christmas - Don Draper, Hot Hots, and more
In the Black Mirror special Christmas episode, Jon Hamm stars as a prisoner in a remote cabin. With him is another prisoner, and they discuss how they got there. Hamm plays Matt, who tells the other prisoner, Joe, that he had “a different job.” Then asks, “You’ll never guess what that was." It’s subtle, but Joe responds with, “Marketing?” Of course, this references Hamm’s role in Mad Men.
There are two other Easter eggs for quick eyes. At one point, when Joe is flipping through TV channels, he stops on Hot Shots for a moment. This is the talent show featured in “Fifteen Million Merits” in the first season. Later, the UKN news network also reports that Victoria Skillaine’s appeal was rejected by the court. Skillaine was the woman who had her memory wiped in “White Bear.”
13 Nosedive - Prime Minister Callow
The “Nosedive” episode heralded Black Mirror’s triumphant return. Netflix stepped in to save Charlie Brooker’s science fiction show before it disappeared into the TV black hole. “Nosedive” is about how social media popularity drives the lives of citizens of a strange utopia. An average woman, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, attempts to improve her score to afford a high-end apartment. She plans to give an amazing speech at an old friend’s wedding in hopes their near-perfect scores will boost hers.
When Howard’s character is at work, scrolling through her social media account, a post appears on the right. It’s from Michael Callow, the embattled Prime Minister from “The National Anthem” who did some interesting things with a pig. His post reads, “Just got thrown out of the zoo again :(”.
12 Playtest - White Bear mask
Season three’s second episode, “Playtest”, involves a man who is traveling the world. He gets stuck in London after he’s unable to get funds from an ATM. With no way to rectify the issue, he encounters a chance to earn money by accepting a one-time job. By helping playtest a video game, Cooper will be able to earn enough money to return to America.
Before he can participate in the main game, Cooper plays a short test game to see his reaction to the technology. He’s given a case, and when he opens it, a white symbol is stamped on the circular device. This symbol is the same one that’s on the stalker masks in the “White Bear” episode.
"Playtest" also included some significant foreshadowing for future episodes.
11 Playtest - Easter Eggs From The Future
In "Playtest", When Cooper is immersed in the terrifying video game, which reads Cooper’s fears and pits him against them. Eventually, a reporter manages to insert herself into the game to warn Cooper that the game is dangerous.
The reporter shows Cooper a magazine that has the video game company’s founder on the cover. The two Easter eggs are hard to notice, but they’re there. First, on the bottom left of the cover, there’s an article mentioned about the company “Granular,” which is the name of the company who made the A.I. bees in “Hated in the Nation,” the Season 3 finale.
Second, at the top of the cover, a blurb reads, “Inside TCKR: Turning Nostalgia into a Game.” TCKR is a virtual consciousness company used throughout later Black Mirror episodes, including in “San Junipero” and “Black Museum.”
10 Shut Up And Dance - Waldo and more
Several Easter eggs subtly make their way into the series 3 episode “Shut up and Dance.” A young man, Kenny, is contacted by hackers to perform various tasks so a compromising video of him won’t be released. However, other blackmail victims are also roped in and everyone’s tasks are related in some way.
When Kenny is texting the hacker, a sticker of Waldo - the puppet from “The Waldo Moment” - is affixed to the desk.
Another victim opens a web page. On the page is a number of Easter eggs. Shamed Prime Minister from “The National Anthem” announces his divorce. Also, a link to a news article with a courtroom sketch of Victoria Skillaine from “White Bear.” You can also see an ad for the kitchen of tomorrow, referencing the hi-tech kitchen from “White Christmas.” Lastly, there’s mention of a talent show that’s launching, which is the same Hot Shots from “Fifteen Million Merits.”
9 Hated In The Nation - Roaches and Cookies
“Hated in the Nation” is an episode about artificially intelligent bees meant to replace bee colonies that have been destroyed. Unfortunately, a bizarre string of murders are tied to the bees. Using hashtags, social media users are able to choose who the next victim is.
During a news report, once again from the news channel UKN, it’s stated that the “US military announces MASS project.” This project is the implants that are used by military personnel to help them eradicate the “roaches” in the episode “Men Against fire.”
Another report during “Hated in the Nation” reads, “ECHR rules ‘cookies’ have human rights." Cookies are the assistants from “White Christmas” that help users live their daily lives. They had been trying to get their own rights for some time.
8 USS Callister - Kirsten Dunst and Aaron Paul
In the series 4 opener “USS Callister”, Robert Daly, a co-owner of a video game company that makes the VR game Infinity is upset with how he’s being treated at work. So he’s created a locked modification in the game based on a Star Trek-like atmosphere where he plays the captain. And everyone he's cloned bends to his will.
Two actors make cameos in this episode, both of which are difficult to notice. Kirsten Dunst makes a background cameo for a split second as Daly’s business partner introduces his significant other. Aaron Paul, from Breaking Bad and The Path, does the voice of the gamer at the end of the episode. Lastly, Robert Daly - played by Jeremy Plemons - drinks Raiman brand milk, but Raiman is not a milk brand. Raiman is a character name from the episode “Men Against Fire.”
7 Arkangel - Men Against Fire video
Black Mirror uses technology as the downfall of people and societies in many episodes. And occasionally it gets too personal, like in “Arkangel.” After nearly losing her daughter, a mother allows special tech to be inserted in her daughter to keep track of her. It not only tracks via GPS, but with a special tablet, the mother can tap into the unique optics to see what the daughter sees.
When the saved videos are scrolled through on the tablet, the archives are similar to the archive user interface in the technology used in “The Entire History of You” episode. And when one of the daughter’s friends shows her a violent video of someone getting beaten, it’s a clip from season 3’s episode, “Men Against Fire.”
6 Crocodile - Wraith Babes and San Junipero
In one of the more disturbing episodes, “Crocodile” tells the story of an architect whose past catches up with her. This causes her to do everything she can to keep her secret from destroying her successful life. But an insurance woman who investigates claims needs the architect as a witness. The tech in this episode is a memory machine that has the ability to help people recall scenes from sensory stimuli.
When the architect is staying at a hotel, she pays for a pornographic movie to use as an alibi as she disposes of a body. The one of the film available is Best of Wraith Babes, which is a reference to the drugged "wraith babes" in the episode “Fifteen Million Merits.” Also a postcard from “San Junipero” makes an appearance.
5 "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)"
Songs are a great way to enhance the mood of a movie or television show. Black Mirror has used one song consistently throughout the four seasons. Irma Thomas’s “Anyone Who Knows What Love is (Will Understand)” appears in four episodes of the show, either in the background or directly sung by someone. All four times the song was appropriate to the plot of the episode.
The first time, the song was sung by Abi for her Hot Shots audition in “Fifteen Million Merits.” Then the song was used again as a karaoke track in “White Christmas”. The third time, Raiman sung the song in “Men Against Fire”. The fourth time was in “Crocodile”, when it was played in a car driving by the accident caused by an automated pizza delivery van.
4 Hang the DJ - Dating App
The “Hang the DJ” episode contains subtle Easter eggs referencing previous episodes. The episode is about a special society (the System) that uses a device that sets up citizens with romantic relationships to gather enough data to locate their "Ultimate Compatible Other." The app on the device also knows when the couple will “end,” which might be within hours, days, months, or years. Couples have the option to look at the end date together, but can also view it alone, which has dire consequences.
This episode is light on Easter eggs, like fellow series 4 episode “Metalhead”, but an interesting one does exist. The app used on the device in “Hang the DJ” is the same dating app used by the receptionist at the company in “USS Callister.”
3 Black Museum - White Bear character, hunting outfit, and mask (and more)
The series 4 finale, “Black Museum,” contains numerous references to almost all the other episodes. This episode is like an anthology within an anthology as the curator of a crime museum regales a patron with three tales of the macabre. But within the museum, as the patron walks around, various artifacts from other episodes are on display. Let’s start with those referencing season 2.
You can see a police photo of Victoria Skillaine, the woman whose memory was wiped in “White Bear.” Also in the museum from “White Bear” is the hunting outfit and mask with the white symbol on it worn by one of the hunters.
Nearby is a mini-exhibit about the case from the “White Bear” episode, including Victoria’s court case and ultimate demise. Rolo mentions lab rats Kenny and Hector, named after the main characters in "Shut Up and Dance."
2 Black Museum - Hated in the Nation Bees (and more)
“Black Museum” also has references to episodes from series 3. Netflix released a photo prior to the December 29, 2017 release showing a close-up of the robotic bees used in “Hated by the Nation.” Some viewers have used this reference (as well as those from “San Junipero”) to help place episodes on a timeline to prove Black Mirror is a shared-universe anthology.
“San Junipero” gets called out a number of times. Cloning technology is mentioned between the curator and patron, as well as companies dealing with virtual consciousness. Also, when the patron is walking by the Skillaine picture, you can also see an exhibit talking about a double suicide, which happened in “San Junipero.” If that is the case, then what they did was a crime, which has strange implications about the rules governing the technology before it was shut down.
1 Black Museum - 15 Million Merits, Arkangel, Crocodile, and USS Callister
Not to be outdone by the previous series, series 4 had many displays in “Black Museum” for viewing. First, the cracked tablet from “Arkangel” sat in a display case, insinuating the technology never gained traction.
Robert Daly’s DNA cloning machine from “USS Callister” rests benevolently behind glass, complete with the lollipop supposedly stolen from Daly’s apartment. Invoking one of the more gruesome references - due to the disturbing nature of the episode - is the bloody bathtub where the architect murders an innocent husband in “Crocodile.”
During one of the flashbacks the curator Rolo Haynes retells, one of the characters is reading a graphic novel. The novel is called “Fifteen Million Merits,” and from the two pages seen, appears to be a comic version of the episode.
Are there any other Easter eggs we missed in Black Mirror? Let us know in the comments!