Easter Eggs From Our Favorite Christmas Films That We Missed
There's nothing like cuddling up at night during the holidays and watching our favorite Christmas films. A lot of us have watched these movies so many times, that we can practically recite them line for line. But how closely do you actually watch these films, what most don't know is that a lot of our favorite Christmas movies have clever Easter eggs hidden within them. Scroll through this gallery and check out some of the amazing easter eggs directors were able to sneak into our favorite Christmas films without us noticing.
Elf is one of the most memorable Christmas movies of all time, and it remains a fan favorite till today. One of the many factors that made this movie appealing was the performance of Faizon Love who portrayed Wanda, the character that managed Gimbels during Christmas.
It takes an eagle eye to spot the name tag that Love wore and it is even harder to see that it had the name Wanda imprinted on it. Wanda Sykes was cast as the manager of Gimbels but didn’t end up playing the role as Love was cast instead, who knows if this was done intentionally or if they really forgot to change the name.
The Santa Clause
The highlight of Tim Allen’s performance in The Santa Clause 2 was his method acting. This form of acting requires an actor to become completely engrossed in a given role so that role can be accurately portrayed, not many actors are willing to go this far for a role.
This describes what Allen did on The Santa Clause 2, and according to reports, he did not break character, even when he was off the movie set. This created an impression with several young actors in the movie believing that Allen was the real Santa Claus, and it shows in some of the scenes where the children looked pleasantly surprised since no one filled them in.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This movie isn’t the most recent Christmas-themed one around, as it was released several decades ago but has aged gracefully and is still an enjoyable way to pass time while you wait to open your gifts.
In the movie, Jack Skellington’s blackboard features a visible Easter egg with the movie’s release date, 12/25/93 prominently featured in writing on the blackboard along with some other notes and scribblings. It’s incredible that the producers subtly included the movie’s release date in the most unusual and easy-to-miss spot.
A list of the most enjoyable Christmas movies is arguably incomplete without Love Actually as it boasts a star-studded cast as well as different plot elements and connected stories. The story talks about Sarah and Michael, siblings that were close but Michael’s medical condition meant that Sarah had to care for him to the detriment of her personal life.
In a scene that was certainly far from a coincidence, a framed picture of Michael with the word burden inscribed was shown in one of the movie’s scenes. This Easter egg was a subtle hint at the way Michael’s health made him a burden to his sister Sarah.
The Santa Clause 2
The delivery of Easter eggs in movies varies, with some being easier to spot than others. The way these hidden messages are delivered also varies but an increasingly adopted way is to have an actor say a line that he’d said in a previous movie. This is similar to the way an Easter egg in The Santa Clause 2 was delivered.
The movie shares a connection with the 1995 film Toy Story via Tim Allen who voiced the Buzz Light Year toy character. During one of Buzz’s many conversations with Woody, he pronounced "You are a sad, strange little man." About a decade later, this same line was repeated by Tim Allen in The Santa Clause 2 as a parody to Toy Story.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Another way movies tend to be connected apart from featuring a similar cast is by paying mutual respect through the feature of another’s famous character or memorable scene. This is the case with It’s a Wonderful Life and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, as these movies share more details than it appears from a distance.
Clark Griswold is known for his love for Christmas and he would often go to great lengths to make the festivities memorable. The movie paid respect to It’s a Wonderful Life with a scene in which Griswold was watching TV. If you look closely at the content on Griswold’s TV in that scene, you’ll find that he was watching scenes from It’s a Wonderful Life.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s path to becoming a famous director was a rocky one as he worked as an animator for Walt Disney Productions before becoming a renowned director. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of his most famous films and Burton used the opportunity presented to pay homage to Walt Disney productions.
He did this by featuring a shot of the Evil Queen Villain in Disney’s Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs. His impressive take on the shot featured the villain with an apple in her hand. Lucky for him Disney didn't take action against this, as we know Disney isn't too fond of others using their properties in any way.
A Christmas Story
You’d have to have thoroughly enjoyed A Christmas Story to spot the Chinese restaurant known as Bowling that was featured towards the end of the movie. It’s even harder to spot how the W in the word bowling wasn’t lit up like the other letters.
The reason for this is Ken Goch, the movie’s assistant director, whose mother was looking for a place to eat when Goch was a kid but then she mistook a bowling alley whose W was also burned out for a Chinese restaurant. This moment from Goch’s childhood is what the producers paid homage to with the Bowling Chinese restaurant.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine’s reputation as a crafty and shrewd actor precedes him. His work on The Muppet Christmas Carol was equally impressive as he allegedly said he’d work like he was acting in The Royal Shakespeare Company and he made good on that promise.
In the background of a scene, a sign that reads "Micklewhite" in fancy classic letters is shown. This sign was a homage to Michael Caine himself, as it features the actor’s birth name which is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.
One of the things that makes Love Actually an enjoyable movie is the depth of its character profiles and connected stories. The movie features multiple small references to how fragile lives are throughout its run-time.
Also, in a scene in which the Christmas party was ongoing, Harry told his wife Karen that she was acting like a saint before leaving her to dance with his mistress who coincidentally was dressed as the devil. As difficult to deduce as this scene was, it bore more meaning than it seems from a distance.
Despite having scripts to serve as guides, producers don’t always follow them to the letter. Part of this is because moments of improvisation can produce key moments in movies. The 1988 hit movie Scrooged is a good example of this as it featured a scene born of pure improvisation.
That scene is the one in which the character of Bill Murray bumped into a waiter and fell. It wasn’t scripted and was, therefore, an accident but even though it wasn’t planned, when the accident happened, Murray picked himself up and kept on acting the scene without looking back.
Body-shaming kids on the bigger side in movies is nothing new, yet the directors of the smash-hit movie, Home Alone managed to not go overboard with it. This Easter egg was featured in a scene in which Kevin found a picture of his brother’s girlfriend and exclaimed the remark "Woof."
If you look closely at the picture you’ll see that the supposed girlfriend in the picture has masculine features. This is because the person shown is actually the son of the director wearing a wig who was selected for the scene rather than a girl who would have been brought on board to be body-shamed.
The Santa Clause
A list of classic Christmas-themed movies is hardly complete without the inclusion of The Santa Clause because the classic is one that brings the Christmas spirit alive and also has hidden gems scattered throughout its runtime.
The hidden details in this movie are all about elves that are in the background of the main scenes at different points. In one scene, you can identify an elf boy with his right ear who was clearly shown sitting right behind Charlie at his desk, of course, this scene does its best to divert your attention away from this elf boy, as it is meant to be an Easter egg.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of those rare films that are well put together and are therefore quite enjoyable. Making this movie took a lot of effort and ingenuity but the result is that it is different from other Christmas-themed films.
Being one of Tim Burton’s first movies, it deserves even more praise. In real life, there are slot machines called "One-Armed Bandits" because they had one arm to pull down. These machines inspired similar ones in the movie that also have just one arm each while also looking eerily similar to the real-life machines.
Loved Actually’s Christmas-themed romantic comedy storyline was complemented by a star-studded cast comprised of mostly British actors. One of the movie’s most memorable scenes was the airport scene as the emotions that come with reuniting and departing from loved ones was on display.
Another thing that makes this scene special is the footage of real people meeting people they care about at the airport. It all looks like actors when you first see the movie but it was really footage of real people used in place of that of real actors. If you’re one of the few that make it to the end credits, you’ll find that the regular people featured were credited at the end of the movie.
Just Friends is one of those movies that featured Ryan Reynolds as an upcoming actor injecting his humor into his appearances. The movie played out like a typical romantic comedy at first but turned out differently with a couple of twists and hidden messages.
One such message was there to see at Jaimie Palamino’s house after the Christmas decorations disaster had occurred. The expression of the snowman shown in that scene changed from a happy one to a sad one which was fitting because the snowman’s head had come off. You can’t have a happy expression after dying, so the producers nailed that.
The Polar Express
The first thing you probably didn’t know about The Polar Express is that it shares its props with another classic movie you've probably heard of called Back to the Future, one of which was the Flux Capacitor that was first shown in Back to the Future.
This Flux Capacitor was a subtle hint that the train was capable of time travel, enabling it to pick up hundreds of children at their homes en route to the North Pole for Christmas. Back to the Future and The Polar Express were both directed by Robert Zemeckis so the similarities are far from surprising.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Older movies have their own concealed Easter eggs too because the practice of adding intrigue to movies for audiences to discover is far from a new one. A Charlie Brown Christmas is a prime example of this as it is packed with details concealed in its scenes.
One of these messages is how the movie teaches the importance of body language in the scene in which Linus gave his speech before dropping his blanket and muttering the words "fear not." He was right in the middle of speaking when he dropped the blanket and the act bore meaning because of his statement after and the fact that he was known for refusing to give the blanket up.
The Santa Clause 3
It is often difficult to replicate the success of a movie with sequels because original movies tend to be more exciting than sequels. This is what happened with The Santa Clause 3 because although it still performed well at the box office, it wasn’t as well-received as the others.
However, the movie features hidden references and parodies throughout, including the Red Deer energy drink vending machines which were as much a reference to Rudolph’s red nose as they were a parody on Red Bull. This drink is believed to be Santa’s favorite and it is also named after Red Deer in Alberta, Canada as the North Pole had been disguised as Canada in earlier movies.
Four Christmases is a Christmas comedy film that follows Brad and Kate, a couple that was forced to spend the Christmas holidays with their four divorced parents. The movie featured Peter Billingsley, who is the actor that has basically appeared in every famous Christmas-themed movie including Elf and A Christmas Story.
There is also a reference to Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game in the scene where Brad was talking about not being married after the dance lesson. Brad refers to a scenario in which men are being hunted on an island, similar to the story of The Most Dangerous Game in which a wealthy Cossack hunted men on his private island.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Being a Dr. Seuss story is one of the qualities that set How the Grinch Stole Christmas apart as Dr. Seuss was known for his creativity and he managed to incorporate multiple Easter eggs in this story. Most of these Easter eggs came from his very own work.
One of the movie’s hidden details was shown in Whoville where an elephant was placed on the top of the clock tower. This detail was easy to miss in its unusual position but it was actually a reference to the elephant Horton from the movie Horton Hears a Who.
Die Hard doesn’t come across as a Christmas movie through and through but it is one at heart as confirmed by the movie's director. The original Die Hard movie rewards viewers with multiple Easter eggs courtesy of director John McTiernan who wanted quips to make it less violent.
You can find multiple Pearl Harbour references throughout the film. One was in the scene where Takagi told John McClane that the Japanese were flexible. Another is Akagi, which was one of the passwords used to access Nakatomi’s Plaza’s vault. Akagi is the name of one of the aircraft carriers during the war.
For some reason, animation movies often feature more Easter eggs than regular films. It has become a sort of tradition to find references to previous movies in animation films if you look closely enough.
The studio behind Arthur Christmas, Aardman Animations, followed this trend by including an Easter egg from Shaun the Sheep. It is shown towards the end of the film when Steve walked into Gwen’s house and stepped on a toy, that toy was Shaun the Sheep.
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas animated TV special that was first aired in December 1964, making it a classic Christmas film. The character Hermey was peculiar because he didn’t really come across as an elf even though he was portrayed as one.
His hair wasn’t elf-ish, he didn’t have elf ears either, and he didn’t enjoy making toys, so there’s a real chance he was human and his portrayal is a hidden message in the movie. Then towards the end of the movie, all the toys except the ones he made were given umbrellas.
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Being decades old hasn’t affected the charm of The Year Without a Santa Claus as the Christmas spirit of the 1974 animated movie remains thrilling and it manages to be entertaining with its concealed messages like other cartoons. There is a reference to Charlie Chaplin in the movie shown while the "Snow Right Here in Dixie" song was being played.
His most popular character, The Tramp, was shown standing and minding his business as a Southtown resident. Another one in the movie is the painting that was hung in Santa’s bedroom was the same painting that was hung in the town hall in the 1970 movie Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
The Christmas Chronicles
Netflix took a cue from animated Christmas films by featuring Easter eggs in The Christmas Chronicles. This Easter egg was shown in the scene where Santa was having a conversation with the valet while also being occupied with viewing his tablet.
If you focus on this scene and Santa’s tablet long enough, you’ll find that he was actually watching Stranger Things which is one of Netflix’s most successful shows. Several of the kids on Santa’s list also had a connection to the cast as Kurt Russell’s grandkids were featured.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This Frank Capra-directed movie is one of the oldest Christmas movies around as it was released in 1946 but that doesn’t stop it from being loaded with the kind of Easter eggs that more modern movies have. There is a real-life picture of Jimmy Stewart as a baby in the movie.
This was shown in the home of the Bailey’s after the picture was gifted to the producers by Stewart’s parents. There is also a clever foreshadowing of what was to come later in the movie courtesy of the skull on Potter’s desk in the scene where George was offered a lucrative job by Mr. Potter.
Last Holiday is a 2006 romantic-comedy drama that follows Georgia on her luxury trip to Europe after she was informed she had a terminal illness. The movie was shot in the Grand Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic, the same Hotel as the James Bond movie, Casino Royale.
The recipes for all the dishes prepared in the movie were posted on the Food Network website and the Network’s chefs prepared all the meals. In the scene where LL Cool J was supposedly served Duck Hash on Toasted Baguette, the duck had to be substituted in reality. You also probably missed how the end credits show how the future of everybody in the movie turned out.
Gremlins is a comedy horror film that was released in 1984. Despite the weird vibe of the movie, it features several Easter eggs like a toy doll of E.T. which was used courtesy of executive director Steven Spielberg. You can also find several Looney Tunes characters in the frame where the toys were held.
Steven Spielberg had a brief cameo that most people missed as he was the man that drove by on a golf cart while he was on the phone with his wife in the scene where the dad went to the convention.
Klaus is a 2019 animated Christmas film and one of the more recent Christmas movies loaded with Easter eggs. One of them is hard to spot but quite interesting when you spot it, the A113 inscription written on Santa’s sleigh.
That number bears more importance than it appears as it represents the classroom at The California Institute of the Arts where several animators and graphic designers at Pixar learned their craft. This Easter egg is a common feature in Pixar movies.
Arthur Christmas isn’t the most famous Christmas movie around yet it is still a rewarding time investment with lots of hidden details to explore. One that you might have missed is in the scene where Arthur had a mug on his reading desk while writing a note.
That mug had the inscription "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus." And again, if you look closely, there is a poster for the TV show Chop Socky Chooks which is also an Aardman project. Spotting the poster is hard because it is concealed by the darkness in the scene.
The Polar Express
This is one of those movies that features so many Easter eggs that it would be a disservice to mention it only once on a list like this. One of the many hidden references featured in this movie is particularly difficult to spot as it goes by quickly and requires quick eyes to be seen.
In the scene where the kids arrived at the train station while a significant amount of activities was ongoing, a statue of Rudolf with his nose lit up was briefly shown when the kids looked out the window.
Elf is one of the best holiday-themed movies in recent memory but the story is really about an individual on a journey of self-discovery. The soul of the movie was equally depicted in the movie poster as Buddy himself was used as the letter L in the movie poster.
This was a fun marketing gimmick that is also symbolic of the story because the other letters are considerably shorter than Buddy and he stood out in the poster like his character did throughout the run of the movie.
The Santa Clause
Tim Allen’s TV career peaked in the 90s and he appeared to be featured in every movie being shown in that era while also having a TV series, a book, and a popular show.
He appeared in The Santa Clause as well and the writers subtly referred to his former role in Home Improvement. The reference was done in a scene where Allen’s character grabs a tool belt and tries it on to see if it fits, just like his Home Improvement character who puts his tool belt on before each show of Tool Time.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Jingle Jangle is one of the newest movies on this list as it was released in 2020. Its hidden messages start from its beautifully crafted poster which is an accurate depiction of the movie’s magic as it has interesting details like the ball of light that Journey held in her hand.
This little detail is symbolic because it is a reference to how Journey enjoyed writing her equations out in the air and how she had to help her grandma discover her belief again.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
It’s a Wonderful Life and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation share more in common beyond being thrilling Christmas movies. There is a scene in National Lampoon in which Clark was shown fixing the newel post by sawing it off with a chainsaw.
That scene and the act were a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life. There’s also a scene where George had a loose newel post cap and in the scene where Russ’ grandparents arrived, Russ was shown watching the 1964 classic movie.
Christmas with the Kranks
Christmas with the Kranks is an old Christmas holiday-themed movie that still deserves respect and not only because it stars Tim Allen. This one is all about the Kranks and their mission of scandalizing everyone by not celebrating Christmas but they soon changed their minds and began scrambling to organize Christmas after their daughter called saying she is coming home for Christmas.
The movie featured an advertisement with a couple on the beach in the beginning. The couple wore swimsuits in the advertisement poster and the exact same swimsuits they wore were worn by Nora and Luther.
White Christmas isn’t the regular classic Christmas movie as it is a musical, one that is a pioneer Christmas movie and one of the few musicals that managed to impress audiences when performed.
Here is a hidden detail in the movie; in the beginning, one of the characters was told that he should have nine children and that same character was shown posing with nine kids at the end of the movie. This is a message of hope that things can turn out just how we want in the end.
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol has been adapted several times with varying levels of success yet this 2009 animated film remains one of the best adaptations available. This is because the original story was accurately captured and sprinkled with modern entertainment.
You probably missed that Scrooge’s birthday, February 7th, was displayed on his grave in one of the movie’s scenes. That date bears even more relevance because it is also the birthday of author Charles Dickens who wrote A Christmas Carol.
Krampus does its Christmas theme a bit differently as its plot doesn’t scream Christmas holiday but it actually has the Christmas holiday infused into its story while also paying respect to classic horror movies. The movie is set in a fictional Ohio town which allowed the producers to digitally recreate homes from famous horror movies.
You’d have to take your time to scan through the neighborhood shots and scenes where Krampus was running through roofs to find recognizable houses. One of these houses is the Michael Myers home in the Halloween movies.
Even if this movie hadn't had Easter eggs in it, Klaus is still a memorable Christmas-themed movie. The inclusion of several Easter eggs makes it even better but then you have to spot these hidden messages and references first.
In Klaus, Jesper’s map is an Easter egg and it features the names of people that worked on the film as locations on the map. This Easter egg served as a means of giving props to those that contributed to the success of the movie.
Last Christmas follows Katarina, a selfish young lady that worked as an elf in a Christmas store while nurturing her ambition to become a singer. Even though it got its fair share of criticism when it was released, the movie has quite a bit to offer including some singing from Emilia Clarke herself.
St. Benedict’s is the homeless shelter that Tom helped out at, and the place is inspired by the St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place where the homeless are actually helped.
Once Upon a Snowman
The Walt Disney Animation Studios produced Once Upon a Snowman is a computer-animated short movie that was premiered on Disney+ in 2020. This movie features a lot of fun concealed details one of which is the island of Motunui from Moana that was featured as an image among the ones being viewed of summer in the View-Master.
Another came when Olaf woke up after he got knocked down the hill by Elsa’s cape. He made some comments about being able to juggle, comments that referred to the 1951 movie Frosty the Snowman.
Santa Claus is Comin to Town
This stop-motion Christmas TV special has become a classic and it tells the story of Kris Kringle while explaining why Santa has whiskers and lives at the North Pole. Like many great Christmas-themed animation pictures, it features hidden references to spice things up.
The name of the penguin was Topper in the shooting script, and this was the same in the movie’s original broadcast but was eventually changed to Waddles for subsequent broadcast versions. The name was again reverted back to Topper for home releases.
A Christmas Prince
A Christmas Prince is a Christmas romantic comedy that was released on Netflix in November 2017. It follows Amber Moore, a magazine journalist, on her trip to Aldovia to cover Prince Richard’s press conference. Beyond its theme of romance and Christmas, this movie has some hidden gems too.
Amber’s father was recast in the movie and this was playfully referenced by the screenwriters with a statement by Princess Emily that he looked different from how he appeared in Amber’s pictures. Also, the jackets of the palace guards were really just modified US Marine Corps dress blue jackets.
One Magic Christmas
Phillip Borsos directed this 1985 Christmas fantasy movie and it was shot in locations in the US and Ontario, Canada. In the movie, the Christmas angel, Gideon, was assigned the task of restoring the Christmas spirit of Ginnie Grainger.
One of the Easter eggs in the movie is Abbie’s doll named Elizabeth which she was shown talking to while writing a letter to Santa in her room. The doll’s name is the same as the name of the actress that portrayed Abbie.
The Night Before
Seth Rogen’s 2014 Christmas comedy movie follows friends Chris Roberts, Isaac Greenberg, and Ethan Miller on their efforts to find the elusive Nutcracker Ball Party. The Night Before contains a lot of comedy, most of which was improvised as the script was used as a guide.
Kevin McAllister’s iconic scream from Home Alone was reenacted by Isaac in this movie. There was also a reference to the show The Office by Sarah when her character was introduced in the karaoke bar.
Jack Frost is a 1998 Christmas fantasy movie that starred Kelly Preston and Michael Keaton. Even though it didn’t do well at the box office after its release, the movie’s storyline is an intriguing one that talks about how a father who couldn’t keep his promises before dying returned as a snowman with a chance to right his wrongs.
Apart from its story, the movie also has hidden references, one of which was the bust with the body of Superman breaking out of chains with the head of Batman. This was shown in Charlie’s bedroom and it is a reference to Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Batman in 1989 and 1992.
Jingle All the Way
Jingle All The Way is a 1996 Christmas family comedy movie that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as fathers who were desperate to buy a Turbo Man action figure for their sons on Christmas Eve. The store was unfortunately sold out so they had to search the town to find it.
Both Sinbad and Schwarzenegger improvised most of their lines and the toy that was referenced by Myron was actually an Easter egg because it is in fact a real toy called the Johnny Seven OMA gun in real life. It was a best-selling toy released by Deluxe Reading in 1964, though it was never shown in the movie only referenced.