Cars 3 sped its way to the top of the box office, and has maintained pole position since its release nearly two weeks ago. Like all Pixar films, Cars 3 is filled with laughs, a plethora of emotional stabs to the chest, and, of course, Easter Eggs! The film managed to incorporate a lot of throwbacks to previous Pixar projects, such as the Pixar ball being on the hood of a car, and the Pizza Planet truck being part of the wild race halfway through the film. The film even name-dropped other Pixar characters and entities, such as the "Lightyear" tires.
However, there was one reference that slipped by without a lot of people noticing, which was most likely a callback to the original Cars film released in 2006. While the reference was in plain slight, what it implied was actually a bit harder to catch on to. To make sense of this potential Easter Egg, we must look back to the first movie.
Mia & Tia
The original Cars movie was filled with adult humor, from Mater thinking Lighting said "pissed in cup" rather than "Piston Cup," to Fillmore the hippie van being quite clearly stoned the entire time. To me, however, there was no adult joke in the film funnier (or punnier) than the twins Mia and Tia, who quite literally flash Lightning after the first race of the film. While they do not have breasts to flash, as they are cars and cars do not have breasts, they still managed to "flash" him using their lights.
Mia and Tia reappear throughout the rest of the film, and even come up in a conversation between Lightning McQueen and his rival Chick Hicks, when Hicks reveals that the twins are now with him. This revelation makes Lightning briefly flinch, which could imply that he may have actually hooked up with his groupies. He likely wouldn't have flinched if there wasn't some sort of intimate relationship with them. After all, he was a fairly new driver with an enormous ego and plenty of female cars grovelling at his wheels. It would seriously surprise me if he did not hook up with his most prominent pair of groupies at least once!
Set 11 years after the original, Cars 3 keeps focusing in on one particular audience member during a key scene in the film. This particular audience member is a small, red beetle car who looks an awfully lot like a younger Mia or Tia. We very rarely see young Cars, as we assumed up until now that most of them are manufactured into their adult sizes. However, the fact that kids do exist implies that some cars may be created the "old fashioned way."
This kid was not seen in any of the trailers, but he was heard. This was the kid that screamed "LIGHTNING!!!!" in almost every trailer. Based on the voice of the kid, we can guess that he is around 10 years old. And that's where it all ties together.
If the kid was actually around 10, 11 years after Lightning hooked up with the twins, and looks a lot like a blend of Lightning McQueen and Mia or Tia, then who is to say that this kid is not the actual son of Lightning McQueen? He does seem to be an avid fan of Lightning, which could be a trait he picked up from his mother and aunt, and additionally seems pretty keen on getting Lightning's attention, perhaps to tell him something.
Furthermore, this kid did get a heck of a lot of attention throughout the film. If he was really just a standard audience member with no connection whatsoever to Lightning, why did they keep coming back to him? Sure, he's cute, but it's very likely that there is something more going on here. Pixar animators love sneaking in Easter Eggs and subtle references, and implying that Lightning McQueen had a illegitimate child certainly sounds like something the animators would do.