For years now, movie, TV, and pop culture fans have been communing on reddit to pore over every moment from the media they love. Oftentimes, the tireless work of those fans even helps to inform sites like ours. One of the most popular new subreddits, r/MovieDetails, is practically made for readers of Screen Rant.
Only a month old, the subreddit has already become massively popular. Throughout the threads contained within, everything from Easter eggs to clever references to eerie predictions are featured. While these moments provide fans with whole new ways to analyze and enjoy a film, sometimes the most satisfying thing in a piece of media can simply be attention to detail. A good Easter egg proves that someone involved in the project is a fan themselves, hiding a joke or reference that only the most devoted will appreciate. Other times, though, directors, writers, editors, and VFX people will simply add a detail so precise and true to the reality of the film that fans can’t help but applaud it.
Thanks to r/MovieDetails, some of the all-time greatest small moments from film have been collected for those who relish and obsess of these types of minor bits of meticulousness. Here are 15 Crazy Movie Details Spotted By Redditors.
16 The Joker’s Mask
Christopher Nolan has made a name for himself as a filmmaker thanks to the exquisite amount of detail he puts into a production. From the cameras he uses to the sound employed in the film, no detail is too small for the auteur. Oftentimes, that also includes little nods to other works. Redditor brunzotf noticed one particularly niche Easter egg from The Dark Knight.
When we first meet the Joker during the opening bank heist, his own clown-like personage is covered up by a Pierrot-style mask. Not only is it an amusing moment, but the mask itself is a callback to another Joker. When Cesar Romero first appeared as the Joker in Batman in 1966, he too wore a nearly identical mask over his signature clown-like face. It’s the type of detail that only the most dedicated Batman fans will notice, which makes it all the sweeter.
15 Hold Onto Your Hat
There’s a reason this moment from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest spawned the entire r/MovieDetails subreddit, and remains one of its most popular posts. The detail was spotted by ShaneH7646 who noticed something interesting in the moment right before Davy Jones submerges his ship. As the boat and crew head underwater, you can see two of Jones’ tentacles creep up on either side of his hat and hold it onto his head.
As movies become more and more reliant on CGI, lazy filmmaking can often be the result. Here, however, the extra work that was put in to animate the tentacles so that Jones could keep his hat as the water hit it is astounding. Without the moment, most audiences would never even question how Jones kept his hat atop his head. But it just proves even blockbuster filmmakers are as nerdy as the rest of us.
14 Not the Car!
Early on in Logan, it’s established that our titular hero is quite fond of his futuristic Cadillac limousine. Sadly, the gang of thieves interested in his wheels don’t share his admiration for the vehicle. During Logan’s ensuing fight with the criminals, the backside of the car gets riddle with holes thanks to a shotgun blast. But as lebr0n99 points out, the continuity of the damage factors into a later part in the film.
Given that Logan’s job the next day is transporting a family to and from a burial, he does his best to make his vehicle presentable. Using black tape to cover up the bullet holes, he does his job seemingly without issue. By the time he has to outrun the Reavers in the limo, however, the tape has fallen off. Not only are the bullet holes kept in the car used for the latter scene, but you can clearly see the adhesive marks where the tape once was. It’s a small detail, but one that shows the minds behind the film favored as much realism as possible in their superhero story.
13 Hot Fuss
Like Nolan, Edgar Wright is an auteur who’s keen on small details and little in-jokes. His entire Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy is based off of that sort of love for cinema and pop culture, so it’s no surprise that the films themselves contain all sorts of small nods to other media. Redditor duckworthsgrapes spotted a particularly clever moment during a scene in Hot Fuzz.
As a shopkeeper asks Danny if he and his partner have found the killers they’re looking for, you can see a poster behind her head. Not only is it for the band The Killers, but a second joke is featured in the album name: Hot Fuss. You can almost see Wright working backwards from the similarly named album to the moment in the movie.
12 Worst Boy
Almost any modern parody film owes homage to the work of Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker. Their films like Airplane! and The Naked Gun series were not only packed full of jokes, but even the credits kept the clever laughs going. As WeinerDogMan points out, the credits to Airplane! feature some fun with the often confusing titles of the crew for a film. the first joke questions what a Gaffer is (they head up the electrical department), while the next adds a ‘Worst Boy’ credit after the Best Boy (in this case, the foreman for the electrical department).
Meanwhile, welshie123 noticed that the credits for The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear not only explain what a Grip is, but ruddiger22 pointed out a joke about Martha Raye, a actor who later became a spokesperson for a brand of denture adhesive.
11 Coming Soon: Batman v Superman
At first blush, MrFlow noticing that a Batman versus Superman movie poster is on display in the 2012-set I am Legend seems prescient considering 2016 brought us Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It becomes an even more interesting movie detail, however, when you consider some outside information.
Awhile back, we broke down a number of comic book movies and TV shows that were ultimately abandoned. One included Wolfgang Petersen and Akiva Goldsman’s Batman vs. Superman. The movie had kicked around for years before Goldsman decided to write it, and it was even planned to arrive in 2004 before it fell apart. Goldsman would go on to co-produce and co-write I am Legend in 2007, throwing in the Batman/Superman poster and its 2010 release date as a nod to his failed project.
10 You Have 90 Seconds
Like Davy Jones grabbing his hat, a filmmaker taking the care to ensure that a time limit one character mentions is adhered to in the film is true dedication. But that’s just what Jon Favreau did in Iron Man.
Redditor FPSXpert demonstrates their dedication to small details by noticing that before Tony Stark ends the movie with his proclamation that he’s the MCU’s newest/first hero, Agent Phil Coulson says he has 90 seconds before he goes on camera. While time naturally flows differently in films thanks to editing, it can be annoying when something that’s supposed to be playing out in real time is stretched for drama. Here, however, it takes exactly 90 seconds between Coulson’s warning and Tony going out to the press conference.
9 Aladdin’s Proposal
Kids movies are often full of details and references that only adults will understand. But Aladdin features a small moment that only students of history or anthropology will likely get. During the song ‘A Whole New World,’ moon_man1 notes how Aladdin tosses an apple to Jasmine. While the moment may seem playful on the surface, there’s a hidden meaning to the scene. It takes place as the characters are flying over Greece, which just happened to have the custom of proposing marriage with the gesture of throwing someone an apple.
The custom stems from a myth where the apple was meant as an insult only to be transformed into an act of marriage proposal. And while throwing the apple means proposal, catching it means acceptance.
8 Every Scar Tells a Story
Small details can just as a easily pull someone out of a movie as pull them into it. For example, when a character has healing powers yet the actor bears a noticeable scar that isn’t covered up somehow. A meticulous filmmaker, however, will find a story reason for such a blemish. While no one would question why Indiana Jones has a scar on his chin, Steven Spielberg saw an opportunity.
Given that Harrison Ford has a real-life scar on his chin due to a car crash, Spielberg worked in an early whip accident that the protagonist had in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. RandysCheezburgerGut points it out in the subreddit, and its hard not to appreciate the effort Spielberg put in for such a minor moment.
7 Batman Begins?
The original Watchmen graphic novel itself plays a lot with cultural references and is something of a satire on modern superhero comics. Even its characters are pastiches of heroes from Charlton Comics, which DC had just acquired. For Zack Snyder’s film adaptation, we get a couple more layers.
As 31FilmTalk notes, the opening of the film features a scene where Nite Owl (a seeming Batman analogue, but actually inspired by the original Blue Beetle) takes down a would-be murderer. As you can see in the image, he does this outside of the Gotham Opera House and save a man, his wife, and a butler. As such, Bruce may never become Batman in this reality. Even if the nod to Batman’s origin wasn’t clear, Snyder goes the extra mile by placing a bunch of Batman comics in the background. Leave it to Snyder to beat you over the head with his Easter egg.
6 Jango Loses His Head
This moment spotted by judebot certainly requires some eagle-eyes. But it speaks to the dedication to continuity on display in Attack of the Clones. During the fighting pit battle on Geonosis, Jango Fett is decapitated and leaves only his helmet behind. His son/clone Boba then picks it up, setting up his arc for the future films. Luckily for Boba, however, his father’s head is no longer inside.
Moments before, a shot following the decapitation shows the helmet’s shadow careening through the air. As it spirals, you can also see a second shadow emerge, representing Jango’s lost head. Obviously, the whole scene is meant to obfuscate a beheading for a family-friendly movie, but it’s a small detail that easily could have been left out of the filmmaking process.
5 Sid's Story
Toy Story 3 carries so much emotional weight because audiences have grown alongside Andy and his companions. As the owner of Woody, Buzz, and the other toys prepares for college, he has to reconcile with the younger version of himself. From the toy’s perspective, this is even more heartbreaking. But Toy Story 3 made sure to check-in with more than just Andy and his toys.
As is_that_normal notices, we at one point encounter a very familiar looking sanitation worker. If his general demeanor and look weren’t enough of a giveaway, his shirt clues viewers into that fact that he’s Sid, the maniacal neighbor from the first Toy Story. It’s a small moment, but a fitting Easter egg that’s perfectly inline with the story and provides a nice little joke for those who have stuck with the franchise.
4 I Can’t Remember What I’ve Forgotten
One of the funniest and most low-key movie detail moments may have been spotted by clutchplayer08. Like in the book it was based upon, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone features a scene where the owl post arrives for the students of Hogwarts. For Neville, he’s received a Remembrall from his grandmother. The device lets the user know when they’ve forgotten something, but sadly doesn’t actually tell you what you’ve forgotten.
It’s a funny enough idea on its own, parodying useless tech that purports to do great things while really just being an expensive paperweight. But there’s an added layer of comedy when you realize that we can all see what Neville forgot, even if he can’t. Though the title spoils the reveal, you likely never spotted it yourself if you’re rewatching the scene. When you do see it, however, it’s hard not to feel silly for never noticing it before.
3 Holo Chess
As if J.J. Abrams needed to further prove how much of a Star Wars nerd he was, unkmunk noticed there’s more to the Dejarik scene in The Force Awakens than meets the eye. While viewers of the film will likely remember the hologram chess game from the original trilogy, the scene where Finn turns on the Dejarik game was more than just a simple nod.
Thanks to the video above, you can clearly see that the moment the Dejarik game is activated, the pieces are in the same spot as when we last saw Chewie and R2 playing. You can even see the big yellow guy stand up after having been knocked over decades previously. While this means that no one on the Falcon ever even accidentally turned the game on again, it’s a nerdy and fun enough detail that it doesn’t really matter.
2 Lone Pine Mall
The final movie detail is one of the most popular on /MovieDetails/ and once again shows that some filmmakers really enjoy putting little moments in for fans who are paying attention. For instance, Redditor gametime98 points out the name of the mall in Back to the Future.
Called Twin Pines in the beginning of the film, its name later becomes Lone Pine when Marty returns from the past. That’s because he ran over one of the two young pine trees in the past, thus radically altering the naming possibilities for the future shopping plaza. Like the other auteurs on this list, Robert Zemeckis could have saved a lot of time avoiding these scenes. In doing so, however, he found clever and subtle ways of playing with the time traveling conceit of the film. After all, not everything altered in the past leads to something devastating in the present. Unless you’re a pine tree.
What are some other small moments and tiny details you’ve noticed in your favorite films? Let us know in the comments!