2019 Twilight Zone: 66 Easter Eggs, References, And Hidden Clues From Season 1
Twilight Zone spoilers ahead!
Final Update: The Twilight Zone reboot has now aired all 10 of its episodes, and we've scoured each and every one for Easter eggs, references, and clues to the overall narrative. This list is now complete, up to and including Episode 10, "Blurryman."
The latest incarnation of The Twilight Zone--this time helmed by horror and comedy master Jordan Peele--has finally arrived. All episodes are out now on CBS All Access, and you can watch the first episode for free even without a subscription.
As you'd expect, these episodes have plenty of references and Easter eggs that foreshadow future events, pay homage to the original Twilight Zone, and connect the episodes with one another in one larger, connected Twilight Zone universe.
We've pored over all 10 Twilight Zone episodes to discover all the hidden nuggets we could find, and we plan to keep updating this gallery as more episodes are released.
For now, scroll down to check out everything we found, then read our breakdown of the scariest original Twilight Zone episodes.
Disclosure: CBS is GameSpot's parent company.
1. The Comedian: A Mural Of Masks
The back of the comedy club has a mural of audience members' faces. And if you look closely, some of the noses and mouths appear distorted. They're reminiscent of the distorted faces in the original Twilight Zone episode "The Masks," in which four people's faces become as ugly as their inner selves.
2. The Comedian: Going Down
In the first episode, "The Comedian," the first time we see Kumail Nanjiani's character Samir onstage, he makes a joke about a plane crashing in the Atlantic ocean. It may be a coincidence that the very next episode deals with a plane that disappears mid-flight--or it might not be.
The 10 Scariest Twilight Zone Episode
Keep scrolling for more Easter Eggs, and watch our video on the 10 scariest original Twilight Zone episodes right here!
3. The Comedian: An Apostrophe?
The "no apostrophes" signs that decorate Eddie's have a double meaning, as one literary Redditor pointed out. An "apostrophe," in addition to being a punctuation mark, is also a speech directed to someone who is dead or not present. This is a subliminal warning to Samir that he's going to "kill" people by using them in his routine. Samir, of course, ignores this advice.
4. The Comedian: What Happened To JC Wheeler?
JC Wheeler (Tracy Morgan) seems to be a famous comedian who dropped off the face of the earth. Everyone knows who he is, but when Samir meets him, he can't help but ask what he's been up to since disappearing. Clearly JC went through what Samir experiences through the episode: Giving so much of himself in his comedy that he ceased to exist as a person.
5. The Comedian: Eddies
The comedy club in this episode is called "Eddies." Samir's nephew comments on the joke about apostrophes--you would think the club would be "Eddie's," but it's "Eddies" because they don't allow apostrophes. The name also works on another level, however: A quick google search gives us the definition of an eddy as "a circular movement of water, counter to a main current, causing a small whirlpool." We can interpret that as a description of Samir's journey: He circles the drain of his own life until he finally gets sucked away. And clearly it's cyclical: JC Wheeler went through it before, while the episode's ending implies that Didi Scott (Diarra Kilpatrick) is next.
6. The Comedian: The Dummy
When Samir talks with Didi backstage at Eddies, there's a brief shot in which you can see a ventriloquist dummy sitting against the back wall. It seems a bit out of place, but it's actually a clear callback to an episode from the original series, "The Dummy," in which a ventriloquist deals with a seemingly living dummy.
7. The Comedian: Here's Johnny!
There are multiple references to The Shining. But two of the most notables ones: Samir's face becomes incorporated into the painting at the back of the club after he ceases to exist, just as Jack Torrance's face becomes part of the Overlook Hotel's after he freezes to death.
The hallway scenes, where Samir returns to his apartment, are shot using the "one point perspective" technique, just like the hallway scenes when little Danny is pedaling through the Overlook's hallways. Even the bar conversation that Jack Torrance has with Lloyd serves a similar narrative purpose as the bar conversation that Samir has with J.C Wheeler.
8. Nightmare At 30,000 Feet: Making It Big
Near the beginning of The Twilight Zone's second episode, you can spot Kumail Nanjiani's face on a magazine cover at the airport. The implication is that Samir made it big, despite the cost.
9. Nightmare At 30,000 Feet: Paying Homage
This one should be relatively obvious to fans of the original Twilight Zone: The stuffed gremlin that washes up on the beach where Adam Scott's character Justin wakes up at the end is a tribute to the creature from the episode on which this one is based, 1963's Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.
10. Nightmare At 30,000 Feet: Mission To Mars
When Justin calls his wife before his flight, he stands in front of a conspicuous sign about a "mission to Mars." In the extended Twilight Zone Season 1 trailer, you can catch glimpses of a future episode that seems to be set in space--including a patch on an astronaut's uniform that appears to have a red planet on it. Another patch in the same shot (around the 1:25 mark in the trailer) features the word "WHIPPLE"--which you can also see on the sign in the screenshot above, in small lettering below the image of Saturn near the bottom.
Whipple, it turns out, is the name of a partially funded NASA project (see its Wikipedia entry if you want to go down a rabbit hole). We don't yet know which one, but this shot in Nightmare At 30,000 Feet is clearly a tie-in to a future episode.
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11. Replay: Busy Busy Bees
The diner that Nina and her son, Dorian, revisit many times is the Busy Bee Diner. This is a reference to the Busy Bee Cafe in the original series episode "Nick of Time." In that episode, a newlywed couple plays with the fortune teller machine in their booth and begin to suspect that it can tell the future.
12. Replay: The Mystic Seer
You can actually glimpse the original fortune telling machine head from "Nick of Time" in the pre-credits opening, when Nina first uses the recorder to rewind time. Both "Nick of Time" and "Replay" wrestle with the idea of an absolute future. How much of what happens to us can we affect or change, if we're given fair warning beforehand? Does fate and fortune catch up with us eventually?
13. Replay: The Front Page Story
The Narrator, played by Jordan Peele, is reading a newspaper in one of the diner booths during his opening monologue. If you pause the episode, you can make out the front-page headline, which reads, "New Experimental Rocket Ship Crashes Outside Of Reno, Nevada."
It could just be another reference; an early Twilight Zone episode, "I Shot an Arrow into the Air," was directly about a rocket crashing outside of Reno. Or, it could foreshadow a remake of that episode later this season.
14. Replay: An Unusual Camera
In Nina's brother's house, there's a lot of wide shots of the interior. On the right hand side of the frame, sitting on a shelf, is the camera from the original series episode "A Most Unusual Camera," about a camera that can predict the future. It's a clear inspiration to "Replay," about a camcorder that can rewind the present.
15. Replay: A Magic Number?
The police car that stalks Nina and Dorian for the entire episode has a license plate that reads "01015." In the prior Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," the plane that crashes is Flight 1015, and its departure time is 10:15 on October 15.
16. Replay: Rod, Is That You?
In one of the final scenes of the episode, when Dorian finally makes it to his first day of college, we see a man outside the campus in a black suit and a cigarette in one hand. It's very reminiscent of how the original host of the show, Rod Serling, used to dress and hold his cigarette as well.
17. A Traveler: A Familiar Access Code
The jail in the police station is accessible via an electric combination lock. The password is 1-0-1-5, which is a running motif in the prior episodes. The license plate of the police car in "Replay" is 01015. And in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," the Flight 1015 departs from the tarmac at 10:15 on October 15.
18. A Traveler: Well-Wrapped Gift
The gift paper on this present in the police station features the head of a ventriloquist dummy: another direct reference to classic Twilight Zone episode "The Ventriloquist"
19. A Traveler: Little Gremlin
The Little Gremlin, which first appeared in the classic Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and was seen again in the new episode "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," was seen again here as an ornament on the station's Christmas tree.
20. A Traveler: Winking Doll
During the Christmas party, the camera zooms in close on this winking doll. It's no random plaything; it's a Talky Tina, a murderous toy from the classic Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll."
21. A Traveler: A Meaningful Home Address
When Officer Yuka checks the traveler's driver's license, you can make out the address if you pause the video. It says that he lives on Hacker Way in Menlo Park, CA, which is the official headquarters of Facebook.
The Traveler spends the entire episode speaking in half-truths, and he tells lies to turn the townspeople against each other. In a similar way, Facebook has been blamed for the proliferation of falsehoods and coordinated political attacks around the globe. If the moral behind "A Traveler" wasn't explicit enough, this Easter Egg makes it plain.
22. Wunderkind: Numerology
When you watch through the episode, take note of the time whenever Raff (John Cho) watches TV. The numbers are always symmetrical in some way; the time will be 11:11, or 8:08, or 7:07. It's not a big deal, but this contributes to the overall eeriness of the episode. Some numerologists believe that when you recognize this sort of pattern in real life, it's a good luck sign, or it's an indication that spirits are trying to establish communication.
23. Wunderkind: Abandoned Policies
The American people love Oliver Foley, but they're not on board with all of his policy proposals. If you watch the news ticker tape at the bottom of the television screens, you can see some of Foley's abandoned ideas, such as "Spaghetti Tuesdays," which apparently didn't resonate as well as free video games for everyone.
24. Wunderkind: Busier Bees
During the debate prep, Oliver is drinking from a cup with a Bee logo on it. It's the same bee as the one that decorated the Busy Bee Diner in the third episode. It's also the same design as the Busy Bee Cafe in the classic episode "Nick of Time."
25. Wunderkind: An Insidious Corporation
In the classic Twilight Zone episode "The Brain Center at Whipple's," the main character, a greedy CEO named Wallace V. Whipple, replaces all his factory workers with machines. It was a wonderfully prescient episode about automation and the ongoing fears that workers face today.
In the new series, the brand name Whipple recurs a couple of times. In "Nightmare at 30,000 feet, the Whipple company manufactures the podcast player that Justin finds on the plane. And in "Wunderkind," everyone watches "Whipple News." It seems that in the years since the original episode, the Whipple Corporation has grown in both scope and influence. Is there some overarching conspiracy that links this corporation to the latest string of unnatural occurrences? It's something to watch out for in future episodes.
26. Wunderkind: An Old Magazine Cover
If you go back to Episode 2, "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," and look at the magazine stand, you'll see that one of the magazines has a cover story about the rise and resonance of Oliver Foley. One has to wonder if there are other "flashback" Easter Eggs that are hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be found once we've watched the upcoming episodes.
27. Six Degrees of Freedom: The Briefing Serial Number
The voiceover that opens the episode has a briefing number: 101506082016. The first four digits are recurring numbers throughout the series; this is the fourth episode that they've appeared in. They were first used in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet"; the doomed Flight 1015 took off at 10:15 on October 15. The rest of the numbers look like a date, but we're not sure why it's significant. Do you have any theories? Let us know in the comments.
28. Six Degrees of Freedom: The Whipple Monopoly
Again, the Whipple corporation continues its overarching influence. Apparently, they have their hands in everything, from podcast players to newscasts to rocket engineering. Their logo is on the spaceship, the launchpad warning lights, and the astronaut's uniforms.
29. Six Degrees of Freedom: Bradbury Heavy
The name of the spaceship is Bradbury Heavy. It's a reference to Ray Bradbury, who is famous for his dystopian science fiction stories. A story about five astronauts who escape the nuclear destruction of Earth would certainly qualify as Bradbury-esque.
Whipple is also the name of a planned NASA observatory, which underlines the space connection. And an old Easter Egg we found weeks now has new meaning: If you look at the 10th slide in this gallery, you can see a Mission to Mars advertisement, which foreshadows this episode. Clearly, these two events both take place in the same world.
30. Six Degrees of Freedom: A Distinctive Artificial Intelligence
The artificial intelligence that helps run the ship has a name: TINA. This is probably a callback to the murderous mechanical doll, Talking Tina, from the original classic run of the series. Both are examples of interactive technology, and both start malfunctioning, to the detriment of their users
31. Six Degrees of Freedom: A Punk Rock Family
The song that plays during takeoff is "Family" by punk band The Interrupters (featuring Tim Armstrong). The chorus is as follows:
"This is my family.
My one crazy family.
The one's who understand me
This is my family.
Whatever the plan be, they stand beside me
This is my family."
The crew's sense of family is what keeps them (with the exception of one crew member) alive, against all odds. The aliens, who have been observing them, are impressed by their bond and fortitude.
32. Six Degrees of Freedom: Matrix Mouse
The character Jerry is a clear homage to the character Mouse from the original Matrix movie. Like this Twilight Zone episode, The Matrix also dealt with the question of "What is real?" and "Is life a simulation?"
At the dinner table, Jerry launches into a monologue about subjectivity in taste, which was a homage to Mouse's monologue in The Matrix, where he opines about whether the Machines could accurately replicate the flavor of chicken. And Jerry is ultimately the only member of the crew who recognizes that they're in a simulation.
Jerry is also the name of a very famous cartoon mouse, which might have been the writers' clever way of calling attention to this tribute.
33. Six Degrees of Freedom: War of the Worlds
At dinner, Jerry also references War of the Worlds, a 1938 radio drama broadcast that, according to legend, tricked people into believing that an alien invasion was actually happening. The comparison is clear.
34. Six Degrees of Freedom: A Familiar Sex Scene
Midway through the episode, two of the crew members have sex in an isolated room, and one of them presses their hand against the steamed glass. This shot resembles a very similar shot in the movie Titanic, which was also about two lovers on a doomed vessel.
35. Six Degrees of Freedom: Morning Sunshine
When Jerry opens the airlock and is confronted by the solar flare, it's reminiscent of the final scenes in science fiction film Sunshine, about a crew of astronauts who try to restart the Sun with a nuclear bomb.
36. Not All Men: The Title
The title of the episode, "Not All Men," is a reference to the #MeToo and #TimesUp women's movements, which have enabled more women to open up about sexual assault, and has allowed society at large to have a nuanced, difficult conversation about consent. "Not All Men" is a derisive reference to men who get defensive about confronting these issues; by deflecting, they are not contributing to any sort of solution.
This episode, about a town of men who suddenly start losing their temper, fighting in the streets, and attacking women, is an extended commentary on these issues.
37. Not All Men: The Art of War
The episode is a commentary on toxic masculinity, and the copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War underlines the theme. The book, written by an Ancient Chinese military strategist, has been applied to the board room and battlefield, and it is widely considered to be a manly classic, filled with practical, sage advice.
38. Not All Men: Call Dr. Romero
The post-it note says to call Dr. Romero at 10:15. This is possibly a reference to George Romero, a horror director who was also fond of social satire. His landmark zombie films, such as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, certainly inspired this episode, which is a zombie survival film in all but name. Meanwhile, the 10:15 number has recurred in nearly every episode thus far, whether on the side of a doomed airplane, on the license plate of a racist cop's car, or in this case, on a post-it note.
39. Not All Men: Hello
Lionel Richie's "Hello" is a recurrent song in the episode. The song is about a man who loves a woman, but he doesn't know her too well, and doesn't know how to win her heart. Taken in isolation, it's a pretty song about unrequited love. Taken in the context of the episode, it's a commentary on how men can misread women's signals or feel entitled to reciprocal affection.
40. Not All Men: Another Bumblebee
The bumblebee of the Busy Bee Cafe is spotted once again on the cup of the man in the parking lot. It's in the scene where Annie is heading to her car after work, the day after her disastrous date.
41. Not All Men: #MAGA
There are several men during the riot at the end of the episode, including at the bar where the fighting begins, who are wearing red baseball hats. It seems like an explicit reference to Trump supporters and the "Make America Great Again" hats that many of them are fond of. The scenes of groups of men beating other bystanders is reminiscent of photos taken during the Charlottesville "Unite The Right" riots in 2017.
42. Not All Men: Fixable?
The episode ends on a strange note that could be interpreted as cautiously positive. The television shows a news report on road rage and a mass shooting. It's also, however, immediately preceded by Cole saying that he "chose" not to be violent.
The implication is disturbing: The men were acting this way on their own, and the meteorites were just a convenient excuse. It would have been easier and more reassuring to blame their behavior entirely on some outside, alien force. Instead, the problem is worse, and more deeply seatet, than we initially expected.
But the silver lining is that men can make the choice to be better. So the problem is fixable, even though the solution requires a lot of work and reflection.
43. Point of Origin: This Land Is My Land
The song "This Land Is My Land" is played by the ice cream truck in the episode's opening shots, and again by the homeless man in the grocery store parking lot. The song was written and recorded by Woody Guthrie. It's an idealistic jingle about American pride and inclusivity, and it juxtaposes perfectly with the episode's commentary about illegal immigration and the inherent humanity of all "pilgrims."
44. Point of Origin: A Beautiful Individual
The mask/helmet that the government puts on Eve's head to probe her brain makes her face appear deformed and pig-like. This is a reference to the classic Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder," an extended satirical commentary on society's beauty standards.
45. Point of Origin: More Numerology
The 10:15 number makes another appearance in this episode. In the episode "A Traveler," 1015 was the combination to the jail's electronic lock. In "Point of Origin," it's the password to the door that leads out of the holding facility.
46. Point of Origin: A Recurrent Manufacturer
The Whipple Corporation makes yet another appearance after its most recent cameo spot in "Six Degrees of Freedom." It's fairly hard to spot, but if you squint, you can make out "Whipple" etched into the back of the machine that Eve is strapped to.
47. The Blue Scorpion: Gun Serial Number
When Jeff first tries to get rid of the gun his father used to commit suicide, he calls a gun dealer, who asks Jeff to read off the firearm's serial number: 1015-59. It's yet another in a long line of "1015" references, beginning with Flight 1015 in the new series' second episode, "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet." On top of that, 1959 is the year the original Twilight Zone debuted.
48. The Blue Scorpion: The Divorce Lawyer's Address
There's a second 1015 reference when the divorce lawyer pays Jeff a visit at his office. The lawyer gives his business card to Jeff, and we see that his office address is 1015 Oak Street.
49. The Blue Scorpion: Curious and Curiouser
When the gun first starts exerting its seductive power over Jeff, we hear Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" playing in the background. The song is itself a homage to Lewis Carroll's novel Alice in Wonderland. It's an appropriate tune, especially for a man like Jeff, who is tumbling down a rabbit-hole of obsession and madness.
50. The Blue Scorpion: Playing In The Background
When Jeff visits the gun store, a classic episode of The Twilight Zone is playing in the background. The episode is "A Most Unusual Camera," about a camera that can predict the future with its photos. An earlier episode in the new season, "Replay," was a direct homage to this classic tale.
51. The Blue Scorpion: Oscar Winning Allusion
The scene at the firing range, where Jeff fires the gun for the first time, is reminiscent of a scene in the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty (1999), where Carolyn visits a firing range and also fires a gun for the first time. In both scenes, the characters find firing a gun to be exciting, addictive, and liberating.
52. Blurryman: Representing Rod Serling
Sophie has a sticker of original Twilight Zone host and creator Rod Serling on her laptop, which underlines the meta conflict of the episode: the precarious balance between entertaining an audience and teaching them a deeper lesson. Serling was a master at this balance, and the reboot's finale acknowledges the difficulty of living up to him.
53. Blurryman: Out Of Focus
The entire concept of a "blurryman," an individual who appears to be visually out of focus compared to the people around him, may have been inspired by the Woody Allen film Deconstructing Harry. In that movie, a character played by Robin Williams appears to be "soft" and "out of focus" to everyone who sees him, including his family. It's later explained as a metaphor, for a person who refuses to concede or adjust himself for other people.
In this context, the blurryman could be a metaphor for the original show's out-of-reach quality, and the near impossibility of capturing it in a new context.
54. Blurryman: Final Whipple Reference
When Sophie comes across a pile of broken televisions, they are all tagged as Whipple-made. Whipple is the same company that, among other things, made the podcast player in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet" and the rocket in "Six Degrees of Freedom."
55. Blurryman: Remember This Set?
"Blurryman" is a Twilight Zone episode about the creation of a Twilight Zone episode. And so, we can see props and background sets from the prior episodes, on the current set of the current episode. If the set above looks familiar, it's because it was used for the episode "Not All Men," in which all the men in one town went crazy and began rioting in the streets.
56. Blurryman: "The Comedian"
The finale has a cool reveal; it turns out that this entire time, the Twilight Zone directors have been hiding a running Easter Egg in the prior nine episodes. Look carefully, and in at least one scene, there will be the same suited man, posed similarly to Rod Serling. In the first episode, it's right after the nephew goes missing, and Samir comes running out of the comedy club to find him.
57. Blurryman: "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet"
Right before Justin boards the plane, he visits the magazine rack. You can see Blurryman in the background on the left.
58. Blurryman: "Replay"
Blurryman is front and center with his back turned at the very end of the episode, right after Nina safely drops her son off at school.
59. Blurryman: "The Traveler"
You can see Blurryman in the background of the police station during the Christmnas party, wearing his signature black suit and tie.
60. Blurryman: "Wunderkind"
Blurryman is helping the first child Presidential candidate to win the White House. You can see him working the phones in this campaign headquarters clip.
61. Blurryman: "Six Degrees Of Freedom"
Blurryman in the background of Alexa's graduation photo. Conveniently, he's a bit out of focus, which hides his face from view.
62. Blurryman: "Not All Men"
Look in the background of the city riot, and you can see Blurryman standing against the street light while the chaos unfolds around him.
63. Blurryman: "Point of Origin"
Blurryman pushes past Eve in the supermarket. It's during the scene when her credit card is declined by the cashier.
64. Blurryman: "The Blue Scorpion"
You can see Blurryman walking in the opposite direction when Jeff leaves his college office near the end of the episode.
65. Blurryman: That's Not Fair!
There's a direct shout-out to the classic Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last:" a man named Henry is the sole survivor of a nuclear attack, which gives him enough time to read all the books he wants at the local, ruined library.
Sophie is watching this episode during a flashback scene. And at the episode's conclusion, she enters the episode itself. She even walks up the library's steps, past Henry's broken eyeglasses.
66. Blurryman: The Ultimate Cameo
And lastly, Rod Serling himself, thanks to the magic of CGI, makes an appearance at the end of the episode. It turns out that he was the blurryman the entire time. He was literally haunting a Twilight Zone writer, but figuratively, his iconic reputation probably haunts the reboot's creators, who are trying to live up to the original show's brilliance.
They'll get another crack at it. The Twilight Zone (2019) was recently renewed for Season 2, hopefully this time with more of Jordan Peele's direct input.