(Spoiler Alert: Spider-Man: No Way Home Easter Eggs post contains full spoilers for the movie, so read on at your own risk, and go see the movie first…)
Spider-Man: No Way Home is full of action, emotion, returning enemies, and some huge changes for Spider-Man. And with all of that comes plenty of easter eggs, references, call-backs, and cameos to the past and present of Spider-Man.
Rogers the Musical
As Spider-Man and MJ escape the swarming mobs after his identity reveal (immediately following the end of the last movie), they swing past a poster for Rogers the musical. Clint Barton goes to see Rogers the musical, a very dramatic and musical take on Steve Rogers’ life, in the Disney+ Hawkeye series (which also takes place in New York, and has several visible posters and ads for the show).
After deciding to escape through the Subway, Peter and MJ come out of the drains outside of Delmar’s Deli. Delmar’s featured in both Homecoming and Far From Home as Peter Parker’s go-to deli.
The government agency that arrests Peter at the beginning of the movie is Damage Control. The agency was created by the US Government and Tony Stark in 2012, following the Chitauri attack in The Avengers. Damage control previously appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where they essentially (albeit unintentionally) turned Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes into the Vulture.
As Peter is arrested by Damage Control he tries to explain that he didn’t kill Mysterio and that Nick Fury, the man responsible for assembling the Avengers, knows the truth. Damage Control Agent Cleary, played by Arian Moayed, explains to Peter that Nick Fury has been off the planet for a year, much to Peter’s surprise. This was revealed to the audience at the end of Far From Home, where Nick Fury and Maria Hill revealed themselves to be Skrulls, and Fury appeared to be up in space working on some S.W.O.R.D stuff.
When we first met her in Spider-Man Homecoming Zendaya’s character was simply called “Michelle”, with one of the final scenes revealing her to be “MJ”. Obviously, this version of MJ wasn’t Mary Jane Watson, perhaps leaving the door open for another MJ down the line (which would be weird). But in Spider-Man: No Way Home MJ’s full name is revealed to be Michelle Jones Watson.
One of the earliest surprise appearances in the movie is Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. And although he keeps his regular suit on, the real excitement is the return of Charlie Cox. The status of the Netflix shows and whether they “still count” for the MCU now that Disney has its own streaming service and no control over the Netflix shows has been a mystery for years now.
Up until the week before No Way Home’s release, where MCU Mastermind Kevin Fiege confirmed that if Daredevil/Matt Murdock were to return, it would be Charlie Cox in the role – all but confirming rumours he would be in No Way Home.
And although where those shows lie is still in doubt, His appearance here coupled with the very unexpected return of Vincent D’Onofrio at the end of Hawkeye’s fifth episode means that something Daredevil related is definitely brewing.
“Go get em’ Tiger”
MJ’s iconic line “go get ’em Tiger” is this time said by Betty Brant as she reports on Peter’s return to High School.
“Do a flip”
As Peter returns to school and the mobs swarm in, amongst the crowd we can hear someone shout “do a flip”. It sounds like the exact same line from Zach Cherry’s “street vendor” in Spider-Man Homecoming – who also returned during the tram sequence in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Howard Stark and Dr Erskine
As Peter returns to school at the Midtown School of Science and Technology we get another glimpse at the mural we first saw in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The painting is filled with real-world and MCU scientists. Here we can see Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark, and Dr Abraham Erskine, the man who created the super-soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.
In the comics, and the recent PlayStation video games series Aunt May works at the homeless shelter F.E.A.S.T (Food, Emergency Aid, Shelter and Training). We previously saw Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May working at what appeared to be F.E.A.S.T in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but we get a full confirmation in No Way Home. There we see the building and a F.E.A.S.T truck that makes so many appearances it should be classed as a supporting character.
The first villain the MCU’s Peter encounters from another Spider-Man’s universe is Doctor Otto Octavius, specifically the Alfred Molina version from 2004’s Spider-Man 2. This Doc Ock. Looks like he was brought into the MCU during his final confrontation with Spider-Man. He even quotes his famous line from Spider-Man 2 about having “the power of the sun” in the palm of his hand.
The Green Goblin
Willem Dafoe also returns as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. This marks the fourth time he’s returned as he was in all three Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies (although it was very brief in 2 and 3). Like Doc Ock. Norman Osborn manages to get in some winks and nods to previous lines, including his “I’m a bit of a scientist myself”.
Green Goblin No More
The scene where Norman regains some level of consciousness and abandons his Green Goblin suit in an alleyway feels very reminiscent of the Spider-Man no more scene from Spider-Man 2 (which itself is referencing the iconic comic book cover).
The next returning villain is Jamie Foxx as Electro from Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man universe. The difference in energy causes Electro to return to a more human appearance from his bright blue Ultimates inspired look from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With his new appearance and some stolen Stark Tech upgrades Jamie Foxx better resembles a traditional Electro, which is pushed even further with the yellow electricity and the Electro symbol on his head.
Rhys Ifans’ Dr Curt Connors/The Lizard also returns from the Amazing Spider-Man universe. He has less screen time than some of the other villains but makes it clear he believes he can improve the human race with his Lizard serum.
The final returning villain is Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman from Spider-Man 3. Sandman, like The Lizard, doesn’t have too much time on screen (both probably because of the CGI required for them). All Sandman wants is to return to his daughter, as was his motivation in Spider-Man 3.
What If…? Spider-Man
While Peter tries to take the box from Doctor Strange, Strange sends his cape after Peter. For a moment Peter looks like he is wearing it, which brings to mind the Zombie Hunting Peter who wears the cape from the What If…? Disney+ series.
Andrew Garfield Spider-Man
With the return of their villains, it’s only fair that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield return as well. And with Garfield’s Peter Parker comes the return of his Spider-Man suit from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, mentions of his Uncle Ben’s death, Gwen Stacey’s death, and his battle with Rhino.
Tobey Maguire Spider-Man
The other returning Spider-Man is Tobey Maguire, who like Andrew Garfield comes with plenty of references to his past. He also has his classic suit and discusses “making it work” with MJ, his Uncle Ben’s death, fighting an Alien (Venom in Spider-Man 3), and the death of his best friend (Harry Osborn).
Aunt May is Uncle Ben
There’s been little to no mention of Uncle Ben in the MCU. All there has really been is Peter talking about “what she’s been through” (when talking about Aunt May) and Peter’s suitcase with the initials B.F.P. (for Benjamin Franklin Parker).
But in one of No Way Home’s biggest, and darkest, twists Aunt May becomes the equivalent of Uncle Ben for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. She is the one to tell him “with great power comes great responsibility” as she dies. This makes Peter want revenge, and what he does with that feeling forges him into a Spider-Man, just like the other Peter Parker’s had to go through.
The New Statue of Liberty
The final act of the movie takes place on the Statue of Liberty, which is in the middle of an upgrade, as a large Captain America shield is added, presumably to honour Steve Rogers, or to celebrate Sam Wilson.
The Musical Score
The return of both previous Spider-Men and their villains bring with them their musical scores from the original movies, which are perfectly blended with the more modern MCU Spider-Man score.
The Organic Web Conversation
The three Spider-Men have a very necessary conversation when they find out that Tobey Maguire’s webs just come out of his wrist. And as you’d expect with a bunch of immature dorks meeting different versions of themselves, the question of whether the web comes from “anywhere else” is asked.
Andrew Garfield is arguably the worst received of the three Peter Parker’s, with his two movies being the least successful. But he gets some reassurance from Tobey Maguire who says that he is “amazing”. This serves as a nice nod to Garfield being a great Peter and Sider-Man (even if his moves weren’t the best), and the title of his franchise.
The Spider-Man Meme
When Ned shouts for “Peter” in the science lab all three turn around, they then point at each other, and then themselves, in a somewhat realistic recreation of the infamous Spider-Man meme with two versions of Spider-Man pointing at themselves.
As Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s versions of Spider-Man prepare for the final battle Tobey mentions his back troubles. This is a double reference to firstly the same joke in Spider-Man 2, where after repressing his powers Tobey’s Peter goes from saying “I’m back” in celebration, to falling to the ground and shouting “my back” in pain. But the other side to the joke is that Tobey Maguire apparently faked a back injury in the hopes of getting more money for Spider-Man 2.
No Avengers for Tobey and Andrew
When trying to rally the other Spider-Men after an uncoordinated first fight together, Holland’s Peter explains that he is an Avenger. But the other two have no idea what an Avenger is, meaning the team doesn’t exist in their universes.
Andrew Garfield saving MJ
After mentioning Gwen’s death earlier in the movie, and saying he doesn’t have anyone or much time for “Peter Parker stuff” Andrew Garfield gets a chance to save another Spider-Man’s girlfriend as MJ falls. As he catches MJ his eyes are filled with tears, presumably as he remembers Gwen.
As a de-powered Electro and an unmasked Andrew Garfield Spider-Man come face to face, Electro says that with Spider-Man being from Queens and helping the neighbourhood so much, he thought he’d be black – he then says he’s sure there’s a black Spider-Man out there somewhere, as a nod to Miles Morales.
More of the Multiverse
As the multiverse cracks began to overwhelm Doctor Strange glimpses of other Spider-Man characters and villains can be seen in the Multiverse, including a glimpse of a Rhino and a Scorpion looking character.
As the movie closes and the Tom Holland Peter Parker is introduced to his new status quo as a friendless hero, with a handmade suit, and living in a tiny apartment, his new landlord immediately brings up the rent. Just like the Rent obsessed Mr Ditkovitch from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2 and 3 (I wouldn’t exactly argue this is an easter egg to my dying breath, but I hope it is).
The Spider-Man 3 version of venom gets a mention when the Tobey McGuire Peer talks about fighting an alien. But making sure we don’t forget Sony is still making other Spider-Man related movies that aren’t in the MCU, Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock gets in on the action in No Way Home’s first post-credits scene.
Thankfully it doesn’t cram Hardy’s anti-hero into the main story but instead has him right where Venom: Let There Be Carnage left him – on the run, but also enjoying a vacation.
Of course, the best part of the scene is that just as Eddie is taken back into his universe, a small piece of the symbiote is left behind in the MCU, explaining without needing to explain how Venom can appear as one of Spider-Man’s upcoming villains (and it would even make sense for this part of Venom to try and seek out this universe’s Eddie Brock).
If there’s any Spider-Man: No Way Home Easter Eggs we’ve missed, let us know in the comments below and check out our Spoiler Filled Review Here.