Avengers: Endgame not just a sequel to Infinity War. It is the 22nd film in the franchise, which, in broadcast TV metrics, makes it the season finale episode. And boy, what a finale. It brings the season to a close with a hail of callbacks and references to the earlier films stretching all the way back to 2008's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. One might even say this is less a film than a series of fan-service easter eggs strung together in a remarkable narrative order. The Marvel easter eggs in Avengers: Endgame come so thick and fast, it's impossible to get them all in one sitting. Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.
If one were to sit down and try and count all the references made in Endgame, the answer would most likely be in the hundreds. There are moments when there are so many callbacks on top of callbacks, it's like the film has created a virtual easter egg nesting doll. The best way to list them is to take the highlights from each of the standalone film franchises, so that's what I've done.
Here now are the 12 most significant franchise easter eggs, and how the film called back to them.
1. The Iron Man Films
- The "Proof Tony Stark Has a Heart" at the funeral is from the first movie.
- Building Pepper her own suit is from Iron Man 3, as is Harley being at the funeral.
- Morgan Stark is named after the uncle Tony mentions in Infinity War
- Howard Stark says Tony was nearly named Alphonso
- "I am Iron Man" is Tony's last line in both 2008's Iron Man and Endgame.
2. The Thor Films
- The entire Thor: The Dark World sequence is trying to redeem the nadir of the series
- Natalie Portman's footage is unused clips from The Dark World
- Valkyrie's winged horse is mentioned during Ragnarok
3. The Captain America Films
- "I can do this all day" is Steve's mantra in The First Avenger
- The song Cap dances to with Peggy is from Winter Soldier
- The elevator scene in Winter Soldier is all but recreated in the 2012 timeline
- Falcon taking up the mantle is from the comics
4. The Incredible Hulk
- Banner's mention he once saw Hulk as a disease is taken from The Incredible Hulk
5. 2012's The Avengers
- The famous 360-degree spin moment is recreated
- Loki's arrest scene is recreated
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Cap wielding Thor's hammer is hinted as possible in Age of Ultron
7. Guardians Of The Galaxy
- The opening scene from Guardians is recreated
- Nebula's torture scene is right out of Guardians Vol. II
- The 1970s scene shows Pym before he quit S.H.I.E.L.D. in Ant-Man
- The Howard Stark actor is pulled from Ant-Man
9. Doctor Strange
- The Ancient One is still the one guarding the temple when Hulk comes calling.
- The hug scene from Homecoming is real this time
- Peter goes back to school and sees Ned again
11. Black Panther
- Angela Bassett is seen standing next to T'Challa and Shuri, and M'Baku is also seen, confirming the whole cast is ready for Black Panther 2.
12. Captain Marvel
- Captain Marvel reveals where she's been, planet-hopping
- Carol Danvers gets her modern-day haircut from the comics