It Chapter 2: 26 References And Easter Eggs Hidden Around Derry
Welcome home, Losers.
Stephen King's It is a pretty massive undertaking, whether you come at it as a novel, a miniseries, or a couple of feature-length films. As a multi-generational horror extravaganza, it's really no surprise that it manages to be packed to the proverbial gills with all sorts of nods, references, and Easter Eggs not just to the world of It itself, but to other horror classics as well.
For those of you who may need to be caught up to speed, It Chapter 2 isn't actually a sequel to 2017's It Chapter 1--they're two movies working in the same story, set 27 years apart. The seven kids of the Losers Club who managed to defeat Pennywise, an eldritch abomination in the form of a truly horrifying clown, back in 1989, are forced to return to their hometown of Derry, Maine as adults to finish it off once and for all.
We combed through It Chapter 2 for every callback we could find--all while avoiding those creepy red balloons and gallons of blood--to come up with 25 Easter Eggs and references in the movie.
Though the franchise and the story may be over 30 years old at this point, each incarnation has a new spin on the events of the novel--so be careful of spoilers for the new version of the film. There are plenty of them from here on out.
1.) Georgie in the basement
The flooded Denbrough basement where Bill hallucinates both himself and his dead brother, Georgie, is a mirror of several scenes from the first movie. The first is Georgie's near miss with Pennywise as he's getting the wax to seal his paper boat, the second being Bill's personalized Pennywise nightmare in which he wades into his flooded basement to confront Georgie's corpse.
2.) Beep beep, Richie
The iconic "beep beep, Richie" idiom is a lot more important in the novel and the '90s miniseries than it is in the new movies, but it still comes up. This time, Bev gets to use it in the house on Neibolt street.
3.) Is there a password?
When Ben first arrives at the Chinese restaurant to reunite with the adult Losers, he runs into Bev first and he asks if "there's a password or something," to enter. This is a reference to Ben and Bev's first meeting on the stairs of the school when Bev was blocked by Ben on his bike. She teased him by asking if there was a password--and then became the first (and only) person to sign his yearbook.
When the Losers learn that Mike's ritual plan was doomed for failure, Pennywise taunts the group about its "placebo" effect--but playfully says "what was it? Gazebos?" In reference to Eddie's childhood indignation at his mother when he learned she'd been giving him fake medicine this whole time. Before he stormed out of his house, he threw down his pills and, with all the fury and righteousness of a slightly confused 13-year-old, yelled: "they're gazebos, they're bulls***!"
5.) The oath
The Losers shared matching palm scars thanks to their childhood blood oath, taken at the end of the first movie in the Barrens, where they vowed to return if Pennywise ever came back. Bill used a piece of broken glass to slash their palms, so it's no wonder the cuts all scarred over pretty badly.
6.) You've Got Mail
Apparently the Derry's one and only theater went out of business around 1998, if the torn poster for You've Got Mail, the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan rom-com, still left on display in the lobby is any indication.
7.) Pennywise the human
Pennywise's history isn't exactly straightforward in any of his incarnations, but we get a glimpse in this movie at one of the many "red herring" style devices the novel includes to keep him mysterious. During Bev's horrifying ordeal with Mrs. Kersh, she has a vision of a very human Pennywise mid-transformation into the clown monster we recognize today. Mrs. Kersh described him as "her father." While it's doubtful that either of these things is true in the context of the new films, Pennywise's human form resembles a guise he uses in the novel called "Bob Gray," a nod to an alias used by real-life serial killer Albert Fish.
8.) The Ritual Of Chüd
The ritual used in the movie is pretty radically different than the ritual as described in the book--for one thing, it's inspired by a vision quest Mike went on as an adult. In the book, it's an idea the kids cook up together after reading about it in the library. Everything about burning "tokens" and sealing It inside a ceremonial jar? Totally made up for the movie, too. But the name--silly as it may be--comes straight from the novel.
9.) Chinese food
The Losers' big reunion at one of Derry's Chinese restaurants is a scene adapted from the book and famously included in the miniseries. This version gets a bit more horrific than it did back in the day--this time around the losers are drug into a full on nightmare where they're attacked by not only fortune cookie monsters but floating decapitated heads that lead them to destroy their poor little dining room in their panic. It's a new take, but the spirit of the moment is still very much intact.
10.) Not Scary At All/Scary/Very Scary
Richie's had enough experience with Pennywise's tricks to recognize Neibolt's "Not Scary/Scary/Very Scary" doors--though this time around, it turns out the order has actually been reversed from the way it was set up back when he and Bill encountered them as teenagers.
11.) Henry Bowers
Chapter 2 does a good job of recapping exactly who Henry Bowers is this time around, but in case you forgot: He was the sociopathic bully who tormented the Losers back in Chapter 1. Mike defeated him by pushing him down the well before the final Pennywise encounter--but we learned here that he survived the fall and washed out of the sewers with all the corpses. The scene where Bowers is arrested is actually inspired by the novel, where Bowers and his father were blamed for the disappearances of kids in Derry.
12.) The Lost Boys
The Losers' underground clubhouse had a poster for The Lost Boys, the 1987 cult classic about teenagers facing off against the vampires invading their hometown--sounds like a pretty familiar theme, huh?
13.) New Kid On The Block
Ben's love of the New Kids On The Block was a running gag throughout Chapter 1, so it's only natural that it comes back for Chapter 2. When he runs from Pennywise and hides in his locker, we see he has a poster of Danny Wood taped to the back--similar to the way he had a poster of the whole band hanging on the back of his bedroom door.
14.) Stephen King's shopkeeping
It'd be impossible to miss author Stephen King in his cameo role as the antique shop clerk who sells Bill's bike, Silver, back to him. According to screenwriter Gary Dauberman, the part was actually written as a sort of gag, described as "someone who looks a lot like Stephen King" before they were able to get King himself in to shoot.
15.) Bowers' Friend
It may be a little hard to recognize him after 27 years of decay, but the zombie buddy who helps Henry Bowers out of the asylum, and later drives around with him in his cool muscle car, is actually Patrick Hockstetter, the first member of Bowers' gang to be killed by Pennywise back in 1989.
16.) Arcade Games
In case you forgot that Chapter 1 was set during the '80s, the arcade at the Capitol Theater is here to remind you with its selection of retro video games, including Rampage, Richie's favorite Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat.
17.) Paul Bunyan
Richie is terrorized by an ax-wielding Paul Bunyan statue--a folk figure who, apparently, is a big enough deal in Derry to earn a giant statue in a public park. Why not, right? The statue coming to life is a moment taken directly from the novel as well.
18.) Adrian's Return
Adrian Mellon, one half of the queer couple attacked at the end of the Canal Days festival and then killed by Pennywise, makes a brief cameo during Richie's grown-up hallucination, flirtatiously passing out "in Memoriam" flyers for Richie himself. If you hadn't already picked up on the fact that Pennywise had dialed into Richie's fear of being outed as gay, this should have hopefully done the trick.
19.) Eddie's leper
Poor, poor Eddie. His "walking infection" nightmare from childhood makes a triumphant (disgusting) return in the basement of the pharmacy for his adult hallucination.
20.) The bolt gun
Mike's bolt gun doesn't get to make a physical return for Chapter 2, but it does crop back up for Bill's individual nightmare, where he sees his younger self and Georgie in his flooded childhood basement. Bill uses the bolt gun to murder his doppelganger, a mirror of the moment from Chapter 1 where he used it to kill the fake Georgie.
21.) Stan's birds
Stan's brief adult introduction features him piecing together a jigsaw puzzle that looks like a giant collage of birds. This is a very subtle nod to Stan's childhood interest in birdwatching, a trait that originated in the novel and carried over into the '90s mini-series, but never made it into It Chapter 1.
22.) Neibolt House
Who could forget It Chapter 1's creepiest set piece--the abandoned house on Neibolt street, which the Losers figure is where Pennywise lives, based on the maps of Derry's sewer system.
23.) (Most of) The Losers' Jobs
Everyone but Eddie and Richie got a direct adaptation of their grown-up careers from the novel. Bev is a fashion designer, Ben is an architect, Bill is a writer, Mike stayed in Derry and lives in the library. Eddie was updated from the owner of a limousine company to an insurance risk analyst and Richie was upgraded from radio DJ to a stand-up comedian--which is actually the career path given to him in the '90s miniseries as well.
24.) "Fast enough to beat the devil"
Bill's bike, Silver, gets more nods in this movie than it did in Chapter 1 by a long shot--an idea adapted from both the novel and the miniseries where his bike helped him both outrun Pennywise and heal his mentally ill wife (don't ask, it's a very bizarre moment). Despite both of those things not happening in the modern movies, Bill still gets a line where he insists that Silver is "fast enough to beat the devil," which is a line directly taken from the novel.
25.) Stan's head
Horror is a genre that loves a good nod to the classics, and It Chapter 2 is no different. The scene with Stan's decapitated head in Neibolt House transforming into a horrifying spider monster is a wink to John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing, right down to Richie's "you gotta be f***ing kidding" reaction.
26.) "You're a sloppy b**ch!"
This one gets a little meta, but Bill Hader fans will recognize the insult Richie hurls at Pennywise moments before getting caught in the Deadlights. Several years ago, when appearing on Conan, Hader admitted that he as trouble with his competitive streak when playing video games and that his trash talk of choice is calling his opponents "sloppy b**ches." It turns out he and Richie have that in common.