You’ll need to have your Spidey-senses fully tingling in order to take in all of the Spider-Man: Homecoming Easter eggs hidden away for fans.
Marvel president and Homecoming producer Kevin Feige, director Jon Watts and the film’s half-dozen writers have packed the blockbuster with reference after reference to not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also the character’s long and storied history. If you miss some, don’t worry: We compiled a full breakdown of the 19 Spider-Man: Homecoming Easter eggs that you need to know about.
Obviously, there are a ridiculous amount of Spider-Man: Homecoming SPOILERS ahead. So please don’t proceed unless you have actually seen the film.
The newish Spider-Man theme song
Considering how catchy and beloved the Spider-Man theme song is, its immediate return should have been obvious to anyone who has watched the 1967 animated television show or any of the past Spider-Man films. Homecoming composer Michael Giacchino was given free reign to incorporate it into the film, and its usage right at the start will instantly get you pumped.
The aftermath of The Avengers
Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes turns to his life of crime after the government’s Department Of Damage Control usurps his independent salvage company and stops them from cleaning up after The Avengers’ Battle Of New York. However, they keep some of the already scavenged Chitauri technology for themselves, which they then use to embark on a life of crime. Throughout the film there are further references to The Avengers’ past, including a severed Ultron drone head, an early Iron Man mask, Chitauri rifles and arc reactors that are so numerous you’ll miss as many as you catch -- but they definitely don’t each deserve their own section. The plane sequence itself is treasure trove for Easter egg hunters.
Peter Parker’s Blair Witch version of Captain America: Civil War
If for some bizarre reason you were still on the fence about Tom Holland as Spider-Man, the opening four minutes of Homecoming will immediately convince you he is perfect in the role. Peter Parker gives us behind-the-scenes access to his recruitment by Tony Stark for his quarrel with Captain America, and we get to see him annoying Happy Hogan, being impressed by Ant-Man and overall having an outrageously fun time. It is a spirit that’s prevalent all the way through Spider-Man: Homecoming. You can actually enjoyed the first four minutes of Spider-Man: Homecoming here, courtesy of this pre-released footage.
Spider-Man: Homecoming doffs it cap to the legislation that caused Captain America and Iron Man to drift apart in Civil War during a classroom scene shortly after Ned has learned that Peter is Spider-Man. While Ned (Jacob Batalon) asks his pal numerous questions about his alter-ego, a teacher can be heard explaining the Sokovia Accord to his class. Thankfully it’s mostly drowned out.
So many Avengers weapons
Heading into the final act of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) finally completes packing up Tony Stark’s Avengers tower. And while he’s detailing the variety of important items on-board, he reveals that he’s in possession of a new shield of Captain America's, Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor from Age Of Utrlon and Megingjörð, Thor's strength-enhancing belt that will almost certainly come in handy against Thanos.
Stan Lee. Obviously
As Spider-Man is arguably Stan Lee’s most famous comic creation, he wasn’t going to miss a cameo in the character’s first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe outing. Stan Lee’s obligatory appearance comes courtesy of him shouting down at Spidey from an apartment after the webbed wonder causes a commotion trying to stop a man from breaking into a car — though the man was just trying to get into his own car after locking his keys inside. It’s not his best cameo, but it’s far from his worst.
Captain America #1
Chris Evans actually pops up as Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming quite a few times. Thankfully, he doesn’t outstay his welcome, and the appearances are increasingly amusing. The most prominent of his cameos sees Steve Rogers recording educational videos for Peter Parker and his classmates, the first of which is shown before gym, while the other is played when Peter Parker is in detention. Keep on reading to find out about the two other hilarious Captain America cameos.
K.A.R.E.N. has a bizarre link to J.A.R.V.I.S.
Once Peter Parker is able to take Tony Stark’s training wheels off his high-tech Spider-Man outfit, he’s immediately greeted by K.A.R.E.N., who proceeds to advise the young superhero through his adventures. K.A.R.E.N. is voiced by Jennifer Connelly, the wife of Paul Bettany, who was previously the voice of Iron Man’s own operating system J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Jennifer Connelly also previously starred as Betty Ross in Ang Lee’s Hulk — but that doesn’t really count since it was before the MCU.
Peter Parker really loves Star Wars
After making a reference to Empire Strikes Back’s AT-AT in Civil War, Ned and Peter plan their own play date to build a Lego Death Star in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Parker’s shelf is also full of Star Wars toys. What an adorable nerd he is.
The perfect kiss. Nearly.
While K.A.R.E.N. is mainly there to guide Peter Parker through his Spidey suit, she also dishes out romantic tips. Most notably, she tells an upside down Spider-Man, who is in the process of saving Liz, that this is the perfect chance to kiss her. This is a clear reference to Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst’s kiss from the first Spidey film. Instead of nailing the recreation, however, Tom Holland loses his grip and falls down the elevator time and time again — which is decidedly less romantic.
Captain America #2
This is pure Hannibal Buress, who plays the disinterested school teacher Coach Wilson in Spider-Man: Homecoming. After showing a video of Captain America to his students, Coach Wilson tells the class they should listen to Captain America before adding, “I’m pretty sure he’s a war criminal now.” Right you are, Coach Wilson. Right you are.
One tiny Uncle Ben reference
By the time we meet Peter Parker, he has already been through the murder of Uncle Ben, which weighed so heavily on Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s origin stories for the character. Freed from making Peter Parker go through this emotional journey at the start of the film, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a much lighter and enjoyable fare. In fact, the only reference to Uncle Ben’s death is when Ned says that he should be careful for the sake of Aunt May after “everything that has happened.” It’s still enough to make you a little bit emotional, though.
A much younger Betty Brant
Yet another reminder that this is a much younger version of Spider-Man comes in the form of Betty Brant, who was previously played by Elizabeth Banks in the first Spider-Man trilogy. Rather than being J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary, she’s at school with Peter and is repeatedly seen co-hosting the student news channel in Homecoming. She’s also played by Angourie Rice, who previously excelled in The Nice Guys, so expect her to play a larger part in the future.
Bruce Banner and Howard Stark tributes
Blink and you’ll miss the references to Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and John Slattery’s Howard Stark at Peter Parker’s school. There’s a picture of Bruce Banner in the chemistry lab amongst other famous scientists from history, and Howard Stark is on a mural in one of the school’s hallways. Nothing about Stellan Skarsgard’s Dr. Erik Selvig, though.
Aaron Davis’ very important nephew
Donald Glover’s Aaron Davis might only pop up in two scenes, but there’s one important reference he makes that opens up the possibilities of the Spider-Man universe. In it he says he has a young nephew in the Queens neighbourhood, who happens to be none other than Miles Morales. Back in 2011, Miles Morales became Spider-Man in the comics after the death of Peter Parker, and his drawing was inspired by Donald Glover. It really is such a small world.
Peter Parker and Ferris Bueller leaping over fences in tandem
Jon Watts has repeatedly declared that Spider-Man: Homecoming was inspired by John Hughes movies, especially Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Just to hammer that point home he features footage of Ferris Bueller’s final scene — which sees him jumping over fences in an attempt to get home before his parents — just after we’ve seen Peter Parker barrelling through them in his attempts to catch Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green’s villains. Heavy-handed and clumsy? Yes. But still fun.
Is Zendaya actually Mary Jane Watson?
Zendaya’s Michelle Jones admits right at the end of the film that her friends call her MJ. This is obviously a reference to Spider-Man’s most famous love interest, Mary Jane Watson. But does it mean Peter Parker and Michelle Jones will soon strike up a romance? Probably — unless the real Mary Jane Watson turns up. Then things will just get really confusing.
The Sinister Six are coming
After finally being stopped by Spider-Man right at the end of Homecoming, Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toombes/Vulture is rightfully incarcerated. Once there, he’s immediately greeted by Michael Mando’s Mac Cargen — otherwise known as the Scorpion — who we saw purchase Chitauri weaponry earlier in the film. He asks Toombes whether he knows who Spider-Man is, adding that his “friends on the outside” are keen to find out so they can get revenge. This is almost certainly a tease to the Sinister Six, as the Scorpion was a fringe member of this posse, which primarily consisted of Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven The Hunger, Mysterio, Sandman and, you guessed it, Vulture.
Captain America #3
If you’re a glutton for punishment, you probably sat all the way through Spider-Man: Homecoming expecting a major Marvel reveal. Was it another peek at Thanos’ powers? A tease for Thor: Ragnarok? Maybe even Uncle Ben’s debut from beyond the grave? No. It was Captain America. Again. Teaching us about patience.
In one fell swoop I was amused, frustrated and impressed at the sheer gall Marvel had to put its die-hard viewers through such pain, especially because I know I’ll still end up waiting all the way through to the end of Thor: Ragnarok to see what special brand of torture they put us through next.