30 Easter Eggs & References You Might Have Missed In The Detective Pikachu Movie
Detective Pikachu movie spoilers ahead!
Detective Pikachu is in theaters now, and the people have spoken: Live-action Pokemon is awesome. Next, read our full Detective Pikachu review. Then check out how Ryan Reynolds originally wanted to play Pikachu--it could have turned out very different--and all the Pokemon Easter eggs, references, and inside jokes we spotted.
The Detective Pikachu movie is now in theaters, and it's one of the most delightful video game adaptations we've ever seen. It boasts a great cast, an intriguing mystery, a healthy blend of mystery and humor, and of course, a smorgasbord of live-action/CG Pokemon to gawk at.
While we're definitely listing every Pokemon that we glimpsed in the movie, that's not the only thing we jotted down in our notes while watching. Detective Pikachu is also full of Easter eggs, references, and inside jokes for Pokemon fans and newcomers alike.
Really, it's not just Pokemon references--did you catch the Home Alone joke, for example? Or the Seinfeld one? Keep reading to find out what we mean.
While it's just arrived in theaters, we already have some early box office numbers for Detective Pikachu. In its Thursday night previews in the US, the movie brought in $5.7 million, according to Variety. That's on par with what Shazam did during its preview night. In any event, it poses a new obstacle for Avengers: Endgame, which is already the second biggest movie ever and looking to topple the No. 1 all-time film, Avatar.
1. Mew, Is That You?
The ancient Pokemon Mew--the Pokemon from which all other Pokemon sprang forth, if some legends are to be believed--is referenced several times throughout the movie. One of these comes early on, when we glimpse a newspaper with an article noting that a dig site has unearthed new signs of the mythical Pokemon Mew. Calling it "Ancient Mew" also seems to be a reference to this promotional Pokemon card, which was handed out with tickets to the original Pokemon movie in theaters.
2. Whismur Insurance
One of the many references to Pokemon featured in Ryme City is an insurance business that's apparently called Whismur Insurance. Whismur is, of course, the first form of the Pokemon Loudred, which we see later in the movie. What Whismur has to do with insurance, or why someone named their business after it, is a mystery.
3. Squirtle Fire Brigade
Many Pokemon fans were hoping to catch a hint of the Squirtle Squad from the original anime in Detective Pikachu. We didn't get a gang of Squirtles wearing sunglasses, but Ryme City's Squirtle firefighters are almost as good.
4. More Ancient Pokemon
The ancient-looking hieroglyphics we see at one point feature multiple Pokemon, including Bulbasaur and Natu. Makes you wonder how ancient Egyptians interacted with Pokemon, since we have to guess that Poke balls hadn't been invented yet.
5. The Very Best
Turns out Tim Goodman was, at one point, as big a Pokemon fan as we are. The posters in the room his dad made up for him in his apartment include references to several Pokemon, including Rayquaza, Dragonite, Hypno, Articuno, Steelix, Charizard, and Blastoise.
6. Like No One Ever Was
Another poster in Tim's room is for the Sinnoh Championship XXIV. Sinnoh is the region from the fourth generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.
7. Home Alone In Ryme City
The movie playing when Tim enters Harry's office is the same movie Kevin McCallister uses in Home Alone. The story of how this reference made its way into Detective Pikachu is told in a charming feature over at Freshfiction.tv.
8. Old Tricks
The Jigglypuff Tim encounters in a bar is up to its old tricks--as it sings karaoke, the patron at the table with it can be seen sleeping. If you watched the original Pokemon anime, you'll remember the Jigglypuff that followed Ash, Misty, and Brock around for what seemed like 100 episodes, putting everyone to sleep wherever it went.
9. Gotta Collect 'Em All
Like many of us, Tim has a disused collection of Pokemon cards gathering dust somewhere. Hilariously, the cards Tim flips through on his desk appear to be actual, real life Pokemon cards from our world, not props designed for the movie. Wonder if he has a first edition Charizard? That thing could have financed their whole investigation.
10. Catchy Tune
An instrumental version of the Pokemon anime theme song plays in the background during the Clifford Enterprises commercial. And this isn't the only time it pops up...
11. Sad Song
Detective Pikachu also sadly sings the theme song later in the movie, while basically weeping. It's an absolutely hilarious moment, especially because it made us think about Ryan Reynolds standing in a VO studio crying and singing the Pokemon theme song.
12. Hatching Eggs And Collecting Candy
We didn't catch any explicit references to the mobile game Pokemon Go in Detective Pikachu, except maybe one--when Pikachu says he's trying to get his steps in, it could be a simple fitness tracker joke, or it might be a reference to hatching eggs and collecting buddy candy in Pokemon Go by walking with your phone. We're going to choose to read it as the latter.
13. Pokemon: Unown
Unown is one of the weirder Pokemon in existence. There are 28 different forms of it--26 letters of the alphabet, plus a question mark and an exclamation point. Tim wears shirts featuring the Pokemon, one in O form and another in H form.
14. Serenity Now
Pikachu says "serenity now" repeatedly while trying to calm down Psyduck, who as we all know is a walking, quacking time bomb (great thing to have in the middle of a crowded city, right?). This is, strangely, a Seinfeld reference. Maybe Ryan Reynolds is a fan and he ad-libbed this one?
15. Grow Some Berries
This line is both a semi-raunchy joke about growing a pair of testicles, and a reference to the game mechanic of growing berries that you can feed to your Pokemon, which has been present in several generations of the video games.
16. Practical Pokemon
Pokemon being used as tools is nothing new, but the Loudreds that provide the thumping soundtrack at the underground Pokemon battle are a new application of Pokemon abilities that we haven't seen before.
17. Pikachu, Go!
According to Tim, Pikachu's attacks include quick attack, discharge, electro ball, and volt tackle, all of which are real Pokemon attacks from the games.
18. The Face of God
The statues behind Howard Clifford's (Bill Nighy) desk include the legendary Pokemon Palkia, Dialga, and Arceus, the last of which is said to be literally the ultimate god--legend has it Arceus created reality.
19. Slinky Pig
There's a Spoink bobblehead on the dashboard of Lucy's car. We have nothing else to say about this, besides that it's adorable and we want one.
20. Digging Up The Past
The hologram video that Tim watches in the Clifford Enterprises lab, in which the scientists documented their experiments with Mewtwo, is highly reminiscent of the journals found throughout the Pokemon Lab on Cinnabar Island in the original games.
21. Pokemon: The Second Movie
The Mewtwo featured in Detective Pikachu is said to be the same Mewtwo that escaped from the Kanto region 20 years earlier. This ties in directly with the original anime, and it makes Detective Pikachu a direct sequel to Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back.
22. Giant Pokemon
The giant Torterra section, half kaiju movie and half disaster film, is probably the most out-of-place part of the whole movie, as the Torterra are way too huge (they're the size of cities!) and it's somehow never brought up again. However, there are several instances of giant Pokemon in the original anime, though none are this huge. Notable ones include the giant Dragonite in "Mystery at the Lighthouse" and the huge animatronics in "Island of the Giant Pokémon."
23. Nightmares Of Ditto
The Detective Pikachu movie answers the age-old question, "Can Ditto transform only into other Pokemon, or whatever it wants, including people?" with terrifying results. Ditto's ability to indeed transform into humans--nightmare-inducing, beady-eyed humans--may be a result of the R drug, or it may simply be a canonical new addition to Ditto's repertoire of abilities. Hopefully we never find out, since that would mean having to see it happen again.
24. Volt Tackle
When Pikachu uses its volt tackle attack, it hurts Pikachu too--which is faithful to the games, in which the move causes "recoil" damage to your own Pokemon when they use it.
25. Gimme Back My Hoodie
Tim Goodman's outfit in the Detective Pikachu movie is different from his clothes in the Detective Pikachu game, but his red hoodie is featured in the movie--it's clearly the same hoodie Lucy wears throughout the film. Guess they thought it looked better on her.
26. Catching A Ride
At the end of Detective Pikachu, when Pikachu has to catch up with Mewtwo, the little yellow rat catches a ride on a Pidgeot. This is reminiscent of the opening animation for the original anime, as seen above.
27. Sleepy Fella
There's a long history of Snorlax blocking roads by falling asleep and then refusing to wake up and move, dating back to the original games.
28. Red, Is That You?
When Howard Clifford is introducing the concept of Pokemon in the video that plays as Tim heads to Ryme City, he references Pokemon battles. The trainer that appears on the screen wears a red cap and jacket resembling those worn by the character "Red," the protagonist in the original Red/Blue/Yellow titles.
29. Hi Diplo
The DJ in the underground Pokemon battle scene--the one being assisted by a gaggle of Loudreds--is actual real life famous DJ Diplo, according to EDM.com.
30. Poke Floats
The movie's climax, which takes place in, around, and on top of a parade featuring giant Pokemon balloons, immediately calls to mind the Super Smash Bros. Melee level where you fought on top of giant Pokemon balloons.