30 Zombieland Easter Eggs And References You Probably Missed In The Original
Zombieland 2 is almost here.
The unlikely Zombieland sequel known as Zombieland: Double Tap--named after one of Jesse Eisenberg's character's many rules of zombie survival in the 2009 original--is almost here. The movie releases October 18, just in time for fans to nut up and enjoy some irreverent undead-slaying fun before Halloween.
In preparation for Zombieland 2's release, we've rewatched the original--and we're happy to report that it still holds up. Zombieland is just as funny and heartwarming now as it was in 2009, which you can't always say about movies that you enjoyed a decade ago. Sequels to decade-old comedies don't always turn out great (Anchorman 2, Zoolander 2, etc.), but we have high hopes for Double Tap. Check out the Zombieland: Double Tap red band trailer for an idea of what to expect, including a familiar face you might not have expected.
In rewatching the original, we noticed some references and Easter eggs that you might not have caught the first time around, or may have simply forgotten about. Whether you haven't seen Zombieland in years or you're planning a rewatch soon, here are some things to remember and look out for in the original.
1. Double Tap
The sequel's subtitle, Double Tap, in retrospect is the obvious choice. The phrase appears very early in the original Zombieland, and helps establish Jesse Eisenberg's character Columbus's penchant for establishing rules--rules he's later willing to break in the name of love. Character development, y'all!
This guy in the opening credits montage looks a heck of a lot like Tony Montana in the iconic scene from Scarface. Also, this brief shot is a cameo by Zombieland co-writer Rhett Reese.
3. The Number 3
Tallahassee paints the number 3 on all his cars in an apparent nod to Dale Earnhardt, the Nascar driver who raced the number 3 car.
4. Pocket Watch Theme
During Columbus and Tallahassee's standoff, Ennio Morricone's iconic Pocket Watch Theme from the 1965 spaghetti Western film For A Few Dollars More can be heard.
5. Twinkies and Snoballs
Tallahassee's obsession with Hostess Twinkies isn't completely unfounded. It plays into the running joke that Twinkies, like tasty, cream-filled cockroaches, would stay "fresh" (or at least technically edible) long after most other food goes bad in the event of an apocalypse.
6. The Browns at the Super Bowl
Columbus is from Ohio, so it makes perfect sense that he'd say he needs to "take the Browns to the Super Bowl" as a reference to using the restroom--despite the fact that Cleveland's NFL team are likely all brain-munching zombies at this point.
8. World of Warcraft
In the flashback to Columbus's pre-Zombieland life, he's playing World of Warcraft on a Friday night with some Mountain Dew Code Red and a "leaning tower of pizza boxes." That would have been during WoW's iconic Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which was a very good time to be playing WoW (if you want to get even more exact, Columbus is playing a Night Elf rogue in a round of Capture the Flag in Warsong Gulch). This scene is intensely relatable to some members of GameSpot's staff.
9. Holy Cow it's Amber Heard
Don't be surprised if you recognize Columbus's soon-to-be-undead neighbor--that's Amber Heard, who most recently starred in Aquaman as Mera.
10. Band of Horses
The song that plays during the flashback scene with Amber Heard is Band of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You." It's an extremely 2009 song.
11. Puppy Love
The puppy featured in Tallahassee's flashback scenes is actually star Abigail Breslin's dog, which she adopted while filming the movie.
12. "You've got a purdy mouth"
Tallahassee's line in the supermarket--"You've got a purdy mouth"--is a reference to the 1972 thriller Deliverance. The song he plays on his banjo just before that is Dueling Banjos, another reference to the same movie. Also, the zombie Tallahassee kills in this scene originally appeared during the opening credits montage.
13. Sancho Panza
Columbus's claim that he's "kind of a Sancho Panza character" might go over your head if you're not particularly well-versed in classic Spanish literature. The character he's referring to is Don Quixote's sidekick and squire.
14. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zombie
When Little Rock sneaks up on Columbus in the car, he defends himself by claiming "she was like a crouching tiger." This is a reference to the seminal 2000 Ang Lee movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
15. Mike White
This actor, who you might recognize from various random roles (Ned Schneebly from School of Rock anyone?), actually appears twice in Zombieland: getting grifted by Wichita and Little Rock in this pre-Zombieland flashback, and earlier, in the opening credits, getting killed by a zombie while taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.
16. Pacific Playland
The West Coast oceanfront amusement park Little Rock wants to go to, Pacific Playland, is not a real place. However, it's based on one: Pacific Park amusement park on the Santa Monica pier.
17. Hannah Montana
During the montage where the four main characters are taking turns driving, Little Rock takes a moment to explain the details of Hannah Montana to Tallahassee. The Miley Cyrus show aired between 2006 and 2011, so it would have been at its height in 2009. The scene makes you wonder who was more annoyed--Tallahassee during this conversation, or Little Rock when Tallahassee explained Willie Nelson to her.
When the gang stops in Hollywood, they pass the famous Chinese Theater. The movie on the marquee is 2012, a disaster film that was released in 2009--and which starred Woody Harrelson.
19. Big Poppa's House
Bill Murray's mansion in the movie is actually an Atlanta mansion that was owned at the time by Lee Najjar, known for his role as "Big Poppa" on Real Housewives of Atlanta.
20. Bill who?
Bill Murray's cameo is probably the best scene in the whole movie, but it wasn't originally meant for him. Famously, the writers wrote the scene for Patrick Swayze originally. When Swayze fell ill, they wrote alternate versions for actors including Sylvester Stallone and Jean Claude Van Damme before the role went to Murray.
21. Who you gonna call?
It definitely goes without saying, but the Bill Murray scene is full of references to Bill Murray films, most notably Ghostbusters, which Columbus and Little Rock watch while Wichita and Tallahassee reenact scenes with Murray himself.
22. Eddie Van Halen
Wichita tells Murray that, with his wig, he looks just like Eddie Van Halen, who of course is the famous songwriter and guitarist from the band Van Halen.
As Bill Murray sits dying, Little Rock asks him whether he has any regrets. His only response is "Garfield maybe," a reference to the 2004 CG Garfield movie, which Murray signed up for because he mistakenly thought it was a Coen Brothers movie.
24. Bill is Back
Murray seemed definitely dead after his cameo in Zombieland, but the latest trailer for Zombieland: Double Tap revealed that he'll cameo again--though his interview with Al Roker in the sequel appears to be during a flashback.
25. Facebook Statuses
Columbus's derisive reference to Facebook statuses--"'Rob Curtis is gearing up for Friday,' who cares"--is an anachronism today, owing to the fact that Facebook statuses are no longer a fill-in-the-blank statement that begins with your name ("Mike Rougeau is…watching Zombieland"). Also notable: Eisenberg starred as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network the year after Zombieland released.
27. Los Submarinos
Tallahassee isn't being glib; they really do call Twinkies "Submarinos" in Mexico.
28. That'll do, pig
This line is a reference to the movie Babe, as Columbus points out after Tallahassee uses it to say goodbye to his friend toward the end of the movie.
The only main character who reveals their actual name during Zombieland is Wichita, whose name, Krista, is actually the name of Emma Stone's mother.
30. The Stinger
The after-credits stinger scene trend in movies had only just begun to kick off when Zombieland released in 2009, making this movie ahead of its time. After the entire credits roll, there's one final scene: an outtake of Bill Murray helping Woody Harrelson recite Murray's famous line from Caddyshack, "In the words of the immortal philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher.'"