The Lego Batman Movie came in first at the box office on its opening weekend, and has delighted fans and critics everywhere. The film accomplished something most DC fans thought was impossible: it took the Batman mythos in a new direction, while also honoring all the iterations that came before it – even the maligned Joel Schumacher incarnations.
The Lego Batman Movie understood Batman as a character, and gave fans a ton of fun references and Easter Eggs to hunt for. If you haven’t seen The Lego Batman Movie yet, you should probably stop reading this article, and come back once you do. We are about to dive head first into The Lego Batman Movie, and uncover every Easter Egg and reference we can get our hands on.
1. Batman's Number 1 Bad Guy
During Joker and Batman’s heart-to-heart in the beginning of the film, #Batman keeps naming Superman as his number 1 villain. This a subtle reference to the first two acts of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – before Martha happens. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is also the first film shown in a quick cut-scene, where Alfred is naming the years all the Batman films and TV properties premiered .
2. Worst Bad Guys Ever
After Batman is released from Arkham Asylum, Barbara Gordon suggest that they need all the help they can get to combat the Joker. Batman replies to this suggestion by saying, “What, are we going to use criminals to fight other criminals? That’s a dumb idea” – which is a not-so-subtle dig at Suicide Squad.
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During the execution of Joker's master plan, Killer Croc places a bomb on the base of the structure that the Joker plans to destroy. Upon completing his task, Kill Croc exclaims “I did something!”, in truly adorable fashion. This is reference to Killer Croc's meager role in Suicide Squad.
3. Burton, Keaton, Nicholson, And Billy Dee
The Lego Batman Movie was laden with references to Batman actors and movies past. For instance, we see the Joker explaining to a guard how his nefarious schemes always work out, and he always beats Batman (which, as we all know, is not exactly true). The guard refers to “that time with the Prince music and the parade", which is a call back to Tim Burton’s classic film.
The film also has the voice talents of a Mr. Billy Dee Williams as Two Face, who played Harvey Dent in the 1989 Batman film, before being replaced by Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever.
Joker also refers to Batman's gadgets as "wonderful toys", which is an homage to Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the Joker in Batman. At one point, Joker also asks: “Wanna get nuts?”, which is a reference to a similar line of dialogue spoken by Michael Keaton's incarnation of Batman.
4. Love For The 1966 Batman Television Series
The Lego batcave comes complete with its own canister of Bat-Shark repellent, which was used in the Batman movie based off the classic 1966 TV series. They use the shark repellent right before a dolphin sacrifices itself to save Batman, which is as bonkers as it sounds.
During the final fight where Batman & Robin team up, every time they strike someone words like “Bam! And Pow!” are projected into the air, in the same way they were on the Batman television series.
5. The Fortress That Donner Built
Batman & Robin travel to Superman's Fortress of Solitude, which is modeled after Richard Donner's version in the 1978 film Superman. The Fortress of Solitude's doorbell plays John William’s classic theme from the Superman films.
While in the Fortress of Solitude, Batman activates a Kryptonian computer and an image of Superman's father Jor-El appears. This version of Jor-El is modeled after Marlon Brando's portrayal of the character in Superman.
6. The Dark Knight Returns Again
Robin’s outfit is modeled after Carrie Kelley’s costume from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. The sequence in the Hall of Mirrors is also an homage Batman and Joker's showdown in Frank Miller's classic graphic novel for #DCComics.
7. Our First Live-Action Nightwing
Towards the end of the film, Dick Grayson dons a costume that was named after his adult superhero persona, Nightwing. The costume is a double Easter egg, because it is also a reference to Superman’s codename during his 1960s adventures with Jimmy Olsen. We also get a reference to Gotham's sister city and home of Nightwing, Bludhaven.
8. The Birth Of The Family
Our heroes constantly refer to themselves as the “Batman Family”, which has been a theme in Batman comics since 1975. It is also well-known from the classic Batman arc Batman: A Death in the Family.
9. Happy Birthday Justice League
During the scenes in the Fortress of Solitude, we see a banner that says “57th Annual Justice League Anniversary Party”. This refers to The Justice League's first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28 in 1960.
10. Fly The Friendly Skies With Ferris Air
Their are several Easter Eggs which refer to the company that employs Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Ferris Air, which is owned by his long time love interest Star Sapphire/Carol Ferris. Ferris Air has also been featured in The CW Arrowverse – but we still haven't seen Green Lantern!
11. Ferris Air Too Expensive? Try McGuffin Airlines!
During the film’s opening sequence, the airline that is being hijacked is named “McGuffin Airlines”, which is a reference to the popular plot device that has no other purpose other than to drive the story forward.
12. Christian Slater-board
While Robin is skateboarding in The Fortress of Solitude, Batman encourages Robin’s skateboarding by saying, “Now you’re gleaming the cube”. This is a reference to the terrible Christian Slater skateboard flick Gleaming the Cube.
13. There's Something On The Wing
The scene where Gremlins are attacking the commuter plane is a subtle reference to the Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, starring William Shatner. Shatner's line "There's something on the wing" is highly quotable, mostly due to the very distinctive cadence of Shatner's voice.
14. Yes, Gymkata Is A Real Thing
Robin boasts of his knowledge of Gymkata – a gymnastics based marital arts technique. This is an overt nod to the classic bad movie Gymkata, where Olympian Kurt Thomas must use his Gymkata skills to go undercover and compete in a Hunger Games-esque competition – shout out to the Village of the Crazies!
15. Everyone Loves A Little Pulp Fiction
There is a reference to Fox Force Five in #TheLegoBatmanMovie, which is a fictional TV show created by Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction. Uma Thurman's character, Mia Wallace, speaks about being on the pilot episode of Fox Force Five, but it never got picked up for a series — before she returns to drinking her 5 dollar milkshake.
Feel free to use the comments section below to tell us if we have missed any of your favorite Easter eggs or references. It's amazing that The Lego Batman Movie could cram so much awesome into one film, but they have certainly set the bar very high for future DC Comics properties. Make sure you check out The Lego Batman Movie in theaters now!
Sound Off! Which was your favorite Easter egg in The Lego Batman Movie? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below!