Warning: SPOILERS for The LEGO Movie 2
The first LEGO Movie shocked fans with just how many references, superheroes, and nostalgic homage it managed to fit into every single scene. And the same goes for The LEGO Movie: The Second Part, which takes the jokes a step further into self-referential and inside comedy some fans will miss.
So to make sure that nobody misses out on the comic book Easter Eggs, the references to the current DCEU films, or even the movie's leading man, Chris Pratt, we've gathered as many secret details, cameos, and subtle jabs as we could find in the The LEGO Movie 2. There may be too many to spot on the first viewing, but as fans learned from the first film, the hunt to spot and chronicle every single homage and callback is more than worth it.
So with one last SPOILER warning, let's get started in breaking down The LEGO Movie 2: Every Easter Egg & Reference You Missed.
25 Rex Dangervest is a Chris Pratt Mash-Up
The movie makes it perfectly clear that when Emmet encounters the action hero star of the film, 'Rex Dangervest,' he's stunned at the embodiment of everything he would want to be in his own life. After all, he should be... since the character is a fairly explicit mash-up of actor Chris Pratt's most recent high-profile movie roles.
Blasting into the film with a spacesuit, face-obscuring space helmet, and jetpack, the "galaxy defending archaeologist" is a clear nod to Star-Lord, Pratt's leading role in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. The "cowboy" would be a reference to his role in the ensemble Magnificant Seven remake, with his overall expertise as a "raptor trainer" showing some love to his part in the Jurassic World movies. Oh, and the chiseled, handsome feature hiding beneath Rex's baby fat? Well... we don't what what that could be alluding to.
24 Rex's Ship Opens "Airlock 16+"
The overall design of Rex's shape resembling a large, balled-up fist makes sense from the very first scene (but eventually has even more meaning as his true origin story and purpose becomes clear). But one of the best LEGO-themed nods comes when Emmet is brought aboard the ship, and the background set dressing reveals that they have entered through "Airlock 16+."
The overall set will conjure images of Aliens and other sci-fi films, but that designation isn't a nod to a movie. It's actually the official age designation for LEGO's oldest toy sets, signifying that Rex Dangervest is as much of a 'grown-up' as somebody can get (you know, while still playing with LEGO).
23 Ben Schwartz as Banarnar
Of all the characters added to the story for The LEGO Movie 2, none is more enigmatic than 'Banarnar,' the walking banana who seems to be either a) one of Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi's staff members, or b) a figure specifically present to bring laughter for her amusement by constantly failing to keep on his feet. Either way, it's a terrific cameo from actor Ben Schwartz.
The actor perhaps most fondly known for his role as 'Jean-Ralphio' in Parks & Recreation is the voice bringing Banarnar's tragic existence and constant battle with stairs to life. Ironic, considering that his most anticipated role in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie will be starring as the most sure-footed video game mascot there ever was.
22 Director Chris McKay as The Barista
The transformation of Bricksburg to its post-apocalyptic wasteland town is hard to appreciate after just the first viewing, but one of the best cameos comes as a direct result. When director Chris McKay first appeared as 'Larry the Barista' in the first LEGO Movie, fans didn't know that he would helm the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie. But even after that film's success, McKay was sure to return to his previous role.
That's the same Larry seen in the image above, having undergone a Mad Max makeover of his own. It's also worth pointing out that his coffee shop itself - previously branded as "Coffee Chain" - is re-branded as "Coffee Unchained" once civiliation has completely crumbled.
21 Director Chris Miller as Chocolate Bar
It was the writing/directing duo of Chris Miller and Phil Lord who turned The LEGO Movie from a risky idea into an acclaimed box office success story. Miller and Lord remain as producers on the sequel, handing directing duties over to Mike Mitchell (Trolls). But Miller couldn't turn down a handful of cameo appearances.
The best of Miller's cameos may be as the Chocolate Bar in the Queen's entourage, but there is guaranteed to be a strong contingent praising one of his other supporting roles. We're referring, of course, to the annoyed neighing of the horse somewhat insulted that Queen Watevra has chosen the form of a horse when meeting the movie's heroes.
20 Will Forte, as 'Orville Forte'
The former President Abraham Lincoln was one of the more surprising and satisfying cameos offered up in the first LEGO Movie, proving Lincoln to be as eloquent a speaker as he was an escape artist. That was thanks to his spaceship-esque, Lincoln Memorial throne that allowed him to jet away from trouble. In the sequel, his chair, costume, and beard have all been roughed up to fit the Mad Max aesthetic... but that isn't the best joke related to the cameo.
Whether or not fans notice it, the role of Lincoln is played by actor Will Forte. That alone was an incredible joke for fans of Lord and Miller's Clone High, in which Forte also voiced the young Abe Lincoln. But thanks to a mix-up on the credits list for the first film which credited the role to 'Orville Forte' - the actor's birthname - the same mistake is repeated for the sequel. After all, this part is his to lose.
19 The 2001 "Stairgate"
The movie wears its love of genre films of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s on its sleeve, and no Easter Egg sums that up more than the mystery of the basement door. Well, the audience knows that the door up out of the basement is the boundary to the LEGO figures in reality. But to them, it is the mysterious "Stairgate," from whose borne no toy ever returns.
Take your pick of the Easter Eggs used in connection, starting with the name - a clear reference to the Stargate movie and TV universe based around the space gates. To top it off, the doorway itself resembles both the Twilight Zone rectangle of light and the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
18 The LEGO Friends Mini-Dolls
After every member of the first movie's cast was shown to be a LEGO mini figure, some audiences might be thrown to see what looks to be a completely new line of toys and characters. But believe it or not, General Mayhem, and the rest of Queen Watevra's entourage actually are still LEGO brand toys.
Officially, they're LEGO Friends mini-dolls, which were introduced in 2012 with slightly more realistic features targeting young girls. Since that's precisely who those toys belong to, the difference actually makes sense. The ones appearing in the movie are just as accurate as any other cast member, meaning viewers can buy their own versions of the Queen's retinue (or another version of Wonder Woman).
17 The Mad Max: Fury Road Cars
It only takes a matter of seconds to see the similarities to Mad Max: Fury Road once The LEGO Movie 2 shifts to its current, wasteland future. From the hairstyles to the outfits, George Miller's iconic brand of raider style is on full display. The movie doesn't try to hide the influence, going so far as to give Batman a flame-spraying electric guitar during one of his musical numbers.
But it's the incredible fabrication work done to create Mad Max: Fury Road's Frankenstein vehicles and war rigs that gets its very own shout out. When the survivors of Bricksburg launch into battle to fight off the one invader from the Systar System, their handcrafted war chariots are dead ringers for Fury Road (including the camera shots which reveal them). The dialogue makes sure the connection is clear in the form of the LEGO cast's war cry, instructing General Mayhem to "look upon our custom vehicles and despair!"
16 Batman Has 3 Films in Development
When asked to determine the true "leader" of the LEGO figures who made up the cast of the first movie, it might make sense for Batman (Will Arnett) to come forward. Not only for saving all the characters present from the invading 'General Mayhem,' but he's the only cast member from the first film to earn a standalone LEGO Batman Movie. As he points out, he's a big enough deal to have earned "nine movies, with three more in development."
For the film historians, the nine movies are easy enough to list:
- Batman Returns
- Batman Forever
- Batman & Robin
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Batman v Superman
- The LEGO Batman Movie
It's worth noting that if the LEGO version of Bruce Wayne is referring to Matt Reeves' The Batman, another Justice League-era Batman movie, and his own LEGO Batman Movie sequel, maybe he doesn't consider Justice League to have done the Bat justice, either.
15 Bruce Willis Can't Get Over Die Hard
In one of the movie's better repeating gags, the heroes' trips through air ducts has them encountering one of the most iconic residents of the same vents in movie history: John McClane, the unlikely hero of the Die Hard movie series. Well, technically we suppose they're actually meeting actor Bruce Willis, who can't seem to put the role behind him. But he definitely doesn't live in air ducts now. No way.
After earning a bit of a reputation as a less-than-sporting celebrity when it comes to parodying his earlier movie career, it's nice to see Bruce Willis join in on the fun. When he comments on Lucy's resemblance to him upon removing her hair, the joke is a solid cameo. But returning with the air duct gag? There's no way it won't be a Die Hard fan's favorite moment.
14 Rex's Raptors Are All References
As if Rex Dangervest wasn't enough of a science fiction/blockbuster movie pastiche, his team of raptors is far more than a nod to the Jurassic Park legacy. A point made perfectly clear when Rex reveals which fictional movie characters he named his dinosaur crew after. He rattles off the introductions and callouts faster than most audience members will be able to track, so some of the best nerd wish fulfilment can go unappreciated. A fact we can not allow.
Once Rex and Emmet decide which planet to head to, the raptors' names are revealed. There's Cobra, named for Sylvester Stallone's character in the movie of the same name. Rocky, yet again for Stallone's iconic role. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley from the Alien series, and Connor, preseumably as in John Connor of Terminator fame.
13 The LEGO Justice League Unites
The Justice League may have met an uncertain fate thanks to their team-up in live action movies, but the version in the LEGO universe is clearly as famous and beloved as they deserve. Which makes sense, considering how popular the LEGO DC Super Heroes line of video games and animated movies have become.
The full roster can be seen at the start of the movie - Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Superman, Batman and The Flash. And just to be clear, the designs shown (especially Wonder Woman) all reflect the current DCEU products, including the Flying Fox troop carrier. And Green Lantern, we almost forgot about him.
12 The Classic & Jason Momoa's Aquaman
The un-asterisked successes of the current DCEU movies may not be as often as fans would like, but even The LEGO Movie knew that the reinvented Arthur Curry would be a hit. Aquaman makes it clear which version of the Justice League that first team is based on, both voiced by Jason Momoa and making sure to include his now iconic "Chee-hoo!" (Based on the Samoan war cry known as a fa’aamu, sisu, or ususu.)
The classic version of Aquaman also appears later to draw a clear comparison between the aquatic hero of the past and the action star of today. But believe it or not, this cameo from Jason Momoa actually makes him the first DC character to voice their own superhero role in LEGO form. And as someone who has played him on film twice, the honor is twice as special.
11 The Time Travel Rapid-Fire References
When it's finally revealed that the similarities between Emmet - voiced by Chris Pratt - and Rex Dangervest - a parody of Chris Pratt's movie roles - are not coincidence at all, the movie rattles off more references than most fans will catch, let one appreciate. The answer to their similarities is time travel, as Rex reveals he began life as Emmet, before being tossed aside and forgotten. So he traveled back in time to keep it from ever happening.
Is it a leap in even The LEGO Movie's brand of fantasy and science fiction? Absolutely. But it's worth it for the time travel toys that Emmet pilfers to construct his own time traveling spaceship. Starting with the DeLorean from Back to the Future, Rex moves onto the telephone booth from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Doctor Who's TARDIS, the time sphere from Terminator: Genisys, and even the Hot Tub Time Machine itself.
10 "Honey, Where Are My Pants?!"
The movie doubles down on the first by introducing not just Will Ferrell (the father) but Maya Rudolph as the mother of the family, too. It's a surprise treat for fans of Saturday Night Live, but her presence also allows for one funny callback to the first movie's world that fans might miss completely.
When the brother and sister have made peace and returned to playing together in the backyard, Rudolph's character looks on warmly... until Ferrell's voice can be heard clearly calling from inside the house, "Honey! Where are my pants?" Remember that exact line was both the title and catchphrase of the hottest TV show in the LEGO world of the first movie. Now, we know exactly where it comes from, before filtering into the imaginary world.
9 Every Batman Actor Gets Some Love
The LEGO Batman Movie won over fans of virtually every version of the caped crusader, due in large part to its recognition of the hero's many reinventions and adaptations (without mocking or ranking them in any clear way). That attitude is carried over to this sequel, with Batman himself acknowledging the other adaptations of his presumably original identity.
While many have love for Christian Bale's Batman, the LEGO version claims he's more of a Michael Keaton Batman fan. But Ben Affleck's sexiness, Val Kilmer's lips, George Clooney's swagger and the late Adam West are all called out during the movie's musical sequences. So whether you believe that the LEGO Batman is the best Batman or not, you're sure to see your favorite get the spotlight foe a second or two.
8 The Classic Batsuit Cameos
If fans were forced to make a guess, it would appear that the LEGO Batman's signature Batsuit bears the strongest resemblance to Michael Keaton's, ca. Batman Returns. But the change in premise for the sequel means that a new Batsuit (or two) are called for. The first up is a heavily armored version, constructed out of the Mad Max-esque wasteland (including two rubber tires for new shoulder armor). It's hard to draw a direct line from this costume to any exact replica in the comics, but the other suits worn by Batman are easier to classify.
When he makes his turn towards romance with the Queen, Batman's adoption of a white Batsuit mirrors his white variants from the comics (although the rhinestones would be harder to emphasize on the page). But the real winner appears when Batman is trying to select a new suit for his wedding. In the background, a zebra print Batsuit can just be made out - a reference to Detective Comics #275, and the attack of "The Zebra Batman."
7 Twilight's Twinkling Vampires
The years since Breaking Dawn may have helped the Twilight movies fade from movie fan's memory, but The LEGO Movie 2 shows that the franchise's brand of English, twinkling vampires is still alive and well in the consciousness of a pre-teen girl. We don't know if the film is trying to equate the Batman's love of bat imagery with the vampires of Twilight, but when the film's heroes arrive for the much-anticipated wedding, their new design team is unmistakable a nod to the Cullens.
The fact that the vampires are more shimmery and sparkly is a nice callback to Twilight's strangest addition to vampire mythology. And even if Jacob doesn't get any time on screen (we know which team the movie's sister is on), the fact that the lead vampire speaks with Robert Pattinson's own English accent blurs the line fiction and reality perfectly.
6 No Love From Marvel (Anymore)
There may have been a time when Marvel and DC were willing to merge their comic book universes, but that ship has sailed. They've always been viewed as cutthroat rivals by their respective fan bases, but these days, the corporations aren't doing much to combat that reputation. And with the wealth of DC Comics heroes and villains in The LEGO Movie 2, the total absence of any and all Marvel characters stands out.
Especially since the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes brand has proven just as successful as DC in video game format, despite the toy brand now owned by Warner Bros.' parent company. The producers of the first LEGO Movie voiced their hopes that Marvel would be willing to get in on the fun for the sequel, but the movie itself claiming that Marvel "isn't returning their phone calls" seems to give a clear answer as to why there are no Avengers assisting Emmet or Lucy.
5 Velma from Scooby Doo Cameo
When the townspeople are all forced to admit just how not-awesome things have become - and as a result, don't have much faith in Emmet to lead them out of it - the flurry of cameos is hard to keep track of. But at least one character is easy to spot, thanks to her appearance (and name): Velma, the bespectacled member of the famous Scooby Doo gang.
Beyond the throwback to the animated TV series, this inclusion is actually two Easter Eggs rolled into one. For starters, Warners' shared ownership with DC Comics has led to second lives for plenty of Hanna-Barbera properties... in this case, Scooby Doo: Apocalypse, meaning Velma has some experience in end of the world scenarios. And finally, her brief appearance is voiced by Trisha Gum, animation director for The LEGO Movie 2.
4 Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn Cameo
The more classic, and clownish version of Harley Quinn may have gotten to claim the spotlight in the throwback-rich LEGO Batman Movie (voiced by Jenny Slate). But with Jason Momoa's Aquaman called on for The LEGO Movie 2, it's only fair that the Suicide Squad take on Harley should get to cameo, as well.
Harley pops up once the whole population of the now-apocalyptic Bricksburg is gathered inside of Batman's mountain fortress. She's unmistakable once you know who you're looking. Unfortunately, her brief dialogue is not spoken by actress Margot Robbie.
3 Lex Luthor (and General Zod)
The LEGO Movie 2 sees the return of Channing Tatum's Superman, but the injection of presumed happiness 'brainwashing' actually makes him reciprocate the friendship offered by Jonah Hill's Green Lantern. But the true power of a "Catchy Song" and a glitter bath only becomes clear with the arrival of Lex Luthor - also Superman's new best friend. Who else would make smoothies for their former adversary?
The role is small, but it's a terrific chance to slip in another cameo from Ike Barinholtz (a DCEU veteran already, thanks to Suicide Squad). While fans don't actually get to see the additional twist of General Zod becoming a happy, guacamole-making neighbor in the Systar System suburbs, it's nice to know that Lex Luthor's turn towards friendship wasn't an isolated incident.
2 Richard Ayoade as Ice Cream Cone
Even in a world as filled with happiness and high spirits as the Systar System, there will always be those needed to bring the party down. For Queen Watevra Wan-abi, that responsibility falls to her dutiful butler, 'Ice Cream Cone.' We wish there was more to his character description than that, but... he's an ice cream cone. And his voice actor may just be the most incredible cameo of the film for fans of British comedy.
It's BAFTA winner Richard Ayoade giving his voice to the Cone, even if the energy level of the character is too low to catch it. That being said, it's not hard to imagine the Ice Cream Cone fitting in with Ayoade and the rest of The IT Crowd, so maybe we can guess why he was chosen for the part.
1 The Statue of Liberty Homage
It just wouldn't be a post-apocalyptic movie if there wasn't a version of New York's famous Statue of Liberty partially deconstructed, and knocked down from its once proud perch on Liberty Island. The second LEGO Movie delivers as fans know it would, by actually having what remains of Bricksburg built clustered around the statue. All that remains is the statue's upper torso, head and arm, so fans are free to choose which movie is actually being honored with its inclusion.
Whether it's The Planet of the Apes, Escape From New York, or Independence Day, the cinematic homage carries a unique meaning in the LEGO Movie universe. After all, the Statue of Liberty was actually a background character in the first film, meaning the construction of the monument was incredibly awkward for at least one of Bricksburg's residents. We'll just chalk this up to Finn, the creator of Bricksburg, deciding to inject some of his love of apocalyptic films into the mix.
Those are the best Easter Eggs, references, and pop culture movie jokes we could spot in The LEGO Movie 2, but if you found some that we missed, be sure to let us known so they can be added as well! Oh, and be sure to stay through the movie's credits, too.