Netflix's Locke And Key: 31 Easter Eggs In Episode 1
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Locke and Key spoilers ahead!
After over a decade of anticipation, we finally have a live-action Locke and Key adaptation, and lo and behold, it's streaming on Netflix right now. That's right, Locke and Key is out now--you can watch all ten episodes this weekend, if you want to.
Granted, if you're here reading this, you probably already have--and you want to know more about all the juicy Easter eggs and references Locke and Key Season 1 contains. The series is an adaptation of the comic books of the same name, created by writer Joe Hill and illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez. The show follows the Locke family as they move into their family's ancestral home, Keyhouse, following a family tragedy, and discover magical keys that unlock powerful abilities. And besides all the references back to the comics, there are tons of Easter eggs for diehard fans of the series, and of horror in general.
The show's first episode has by far the most Easter eggs of the whole series, and this page will focus on those. Be warned, though--this guide may cover only the first episode, but we'll discuss events from throughout the series. Consider this your spoiler warning. If you've watched beyond Episode 1, you can also check out Easter eggs from Episodes 2-5 and even more for Episodes 6-10.
Are you a fan of the comics, the show, or both? Let us know which Easter eggs and references are your favorites in the comments below. Then check out the latest Locke and Key news--from the fact that work on Season 2 has already begun, to Joe Hill's recent announcement of a new Locke and Key one-shot issue.
1. Mark's drawings
The show's introduction to Mark Cho happens very quickly, and it will be several episodes before we find out what's going on here. But if you look closely as the camera pans over his documents, you can see plenty of interesting things, including blueprints for Keyhouse, the omega symbol, and even drawings of the Animal Key, Angel Key, and possibly the Skin Key, which are from the comics but don't actually appear in Season 1 of the show (alternatively, the pictured key may be not the Skin Key, but the Indentity Key, which is in the show--it's hard to make out).
2. Matchstick Key
The Matchstick Key Mark uses to self-immolate in the opening scene is an invention of the show, and not one from the comics.
3. Playing Fortnite
In the scene during which we meet the Lockes, Bode mentions that he plays Fortnite with his friends. It's a bit incongruous in retrospect, since he never mentions Fortnite or any other video game again throughout the season (besides the version of Spyro in his head)--especially considering the fact that Fortnite is an online game and he could definitely still play it with his friends if he wanted to.
4. "No one likes the smell of paint"
Nina remarks that "no one likes the smell of paint." This line is similar to dialogue in the comics, although it has slightly different context in the show; in the books, Rendell was painting a house when Sam shot him, while in the Netflix version, Nina was also painting a canvas.
5. Kinsey's bracelet
In Scot's introductory scene, he remarks that he likes Kinsey's bracelet. As comics readers know at this point, that bracelet will become very important later on: Rendell hid the Anywhere Key in it.
6. "Welcome to Matheson"
Scot's line "Welcome to Matheson" echoes the name of the first volume of the comics: "Welcome to Lovecraft." In the books, author Joe Hill named the town after horror author H.P. Lovecraft, while in the show the name was changed to reference horror author Richard Matheson instead.
7. "A little more Norman Bates"
Tyler is referencing the classic horror film Psycho, in which the mentally ill murderer Norman Bates lived in a large house overlooking his motel. The movie was adapted into a show on A&E that ran five seasons--and that show was produced by none other than Locke and Key co-showrunner and executive producer Carlton Cuse.
8. The Ghost Door
There's a good reason the camera lingers so long on this door as Duncan gives the first tour of Keyhouse: That's the Ghost Door, which comes into play later. Notice the skeletons carved in bas-relief in the wood.
9. The Grandfather Clock
It doesn't come into play this season, but the Grandfather Clock in Keyhouse's foyer is important in the comics--with help from the Timeshift Key, it allows Kinsey and Tyler to become time-traveling voyeurs and view events from Keyhouse's past. This expository tool has been partially replaced in the show by the ability to view memories using the Head Key.
10. The portrait gallery
During the tour of Keyhouse, Duncan mentions that Devin Locke "still holds the high score on the Galaga machine at Stan's Pizza in town." This is definitely a joke, but just in case you're unaware, Galaga is a real arcade game first released in 1981. In addition, the names that Duncan gives the other portrait subjects are all jokes or references: Snooki is from Jersey Shore, Buzz Lightyear is from Toy Story, Lemon Jell-O is, um, a flavor of Jell-O, and Phoebe, Chandler, and Monica are characters from the sitcom Friends. Lastly, the Loch Ness monster is a mythical creature that is said to live in Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. As Bode points out, that one's not even spelled the same.
It doesn't come up until later in the show, but eagle-eyed viewers can catch a glimpse of the Omega symbol on Sam's arm in this flashback.
12. A key
There are key shapes hidden throughout Locke and Key's production design. Bode's first glance down into the well is a good example.
13. Bode's school?
At breakfast, Kinsey mentions that Bode doesn't need to start school for another week. However, throughout the show's first season, which definitely takes place over more than a single week, Bode simply never goes to school. Weird, right?
14. Keys to the Kingdom
When Duncan hands Nina the keys to Keyhouse, he calls them "the keys to the proverbial kingdom." The fourth volume of the comics is called "Keys to the Kingdom."
15. Miss you Brian
During Nina and Duncan's conversation you can catch a reference to Brian, Duncan's partner. In the books, Brian plays a somewhat important role at one point, but other than mentions like this he hasn't appeared in the show yet.
16. Peace Among Worlds
When Bode catches Duncan flipping Keyhouse off, Duncan tells his nephew that the middle finger can also mean "goodbye." This is similar to a Rick and Morty joke in which Rick has taught an entire miniature civilization that flipping the bird means "peace among worlds."
17. "Your invitation to Hogwarts isn't coming"
Locke and Key's similarities to Harry Potter are noteworthy--talented children with a dead parent discover magical powers and begin attending a new boarding school where they rope their friends into dangerous hijinks--and the show acknowledges that with a little Hogwarts joke in the first episode.
18. Scot Ka-who?
Scot's name has been slightly altered from the comics, from Scot Kavanaugh to Scot Cavendish.
19. "Me and my droogs"
Scot initially refers to the Savini Squad as his "droogs," a reference to A Clockwork Orange, in which Malcolm McDowell's character Alex leads a small gang of thugs who he refers to as his droogs.
20. The Savini Squad
The Savini Squad is named after Tom Savini, a pioneering horror makeup artist, director, stunt performer, and actor well known for his work on horror classics including Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow, Monkey Shines, Friday the 13th, Maniac, The Burning, The Prowler, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
21. The Shining tribute
The shot where the camera follows Bode as he rides his wheeled Heelys through the house is an homage to similar shots following Danny on his tricycle in the horror classic The Shining, which was based on a book by Locke and Key comics author Joe Hill's father, Stephen King.
22. Tarantino Tribute?
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino always includes plenty of Easter eggs and small details in his films. One that recurs in almost all his movies is the use of real cereal brands, sometimes in the background of shots, sometimes featured more prominently. This shot of Bode eating Froot Loops might be a subtle Tarantino tribute--or maybe, just really expensive product placement.
23. The Keys
When Bode returns to the well house to chat with his "echo" again, she tells him about some of the keys that will play a part throughout the season, including the Ghost Key, the Identity Key, and the Anywhere Key.
24. The whispering
As the Locke siblings discover, the keys whisper to them to be found. As those who have read the comics know, that's because they're made of something called "whispering iron," the origin of which is revealed late in the books.
25. The photograph
This photograph features many characters who viewers will get to know through memories and flashbacks over the course of the season, including Lucas, Erin Voss, Ellie Whedon, and Mark Cho. There's a similar picture featured in the comics, but it's from the group's rendition of Shakespeare's The Tempest, a performance that they infamously enhanced using the magic of the keys.
26. Doritos are important
OK, you know what, Bode's assertion that "Doritos are important in [his] world" definitely makes all these food brand references just seem like prominent product placement, and not subtle references to Tarantino movies.
27. Wizard of Oz, Ninja Turtles, and Golden Girls
The Savini Squad members list several teams of four to try and make Kinsey feel better about intruding on their club, including Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael in the Ninja Turtles; and Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia of the Golden Girls.
28. "Final girls don't hide"
Scot's assertion that "final girls don't hide" is a reference to the "final girl" trope found in many horror movies--no matter how many teenagers head to the remote cabin in the woods or conduct the satanic ritual at the beginning, only one girl will be left by the movie's end. When he refers to the "final girl scale of zero to Jamie Lee," he's talking about Jamie Lee Curtis's role in the Halloween franchise. That said, many horror fans likely won't agree with Scot's assertion, since hiding is often exactly how final girls manage to live so long. In fact, it's a pretty weird thing to say, all things considered.
There are multiple other somewhat confusing references in this scene. The squad is discussing Day of the Dead, but the movie they're actually watching is John Russo's 1982 horror movie Midnight, which featured Melanie Verlin in the role of Nancy.
30. Mirror Key
The Mirror Key is another new key created just for the show. It traps users in a mirror world--"the prison of the self," according to Dodge--from which it's difficult to escape.
31. Some old corpse
Keyhouse and its magical keys have been around for a long time. As Dodge points out to Bode, many people have died inside the Mirror Key's "prison of the self." Tyler glimpses one of these victims, with a tricorn hat nearby providing an idea of when they died.