Bridgerton is one of Netflix's biggest hits of all time, marking yet another massive hit for Shondaland and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. But Bridgerton isn't like Scandal or Grey's Anatomy, which came fully from Rhimes' imagination. Instead, it's based on a series of novels by author Julia Quinn, regency romances with their own interconnected universe. The show does a lot to honor the books, including tons of references to both the period and the world built in the novel series. These Bridgerton Season 1 easter eggs are proof the show is full of tiny details that make it worth watching again and again.
Fans of Bridgerton were over the moon when Netflix officially announced Season 2 would begin filming in the spring of 2021. Even so, there's still lots to dig through in the first eight episodes. A lot has already been said about Season 1's most prominent not-so-hidden gem, the music, which includes orchestral covers of Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande hits. But that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to easter eggs tucked away in Bridgerton's cloaks and empire-waisted gowns. Lady Whistledown may be the most obvious mystery to solve, but these other details will reveal just how layered this show really is:
1. 'Bridgerton's Tribute To 'Pride & Prejudice'
Although fans compare Bridgerton with Jane Austen, like, all the time, Austen's books were written contemporaneously with the Regency era and meant as social satire. Bridgerton, on the other hand, is a modern-day romanization. But the series does nod toward Austen's famous Pride & Prejudice with its date, as Season 1 kicks off in 1813. That just so happens to be the same year Pride & Prejudice was published.
2. Simon's Tribute To His Mother
On the surface, Simon's story is the failure of a father-son relationship: an abandoned boy, abused and neglected by his father. But although he never talks about her, Simon's mother is always with him. Eagle-eyed viewers will note Simon wears a green brooch in almost every scene. That brooch is his mother's; viewers can see her wearing it in the flashbacks.
3. Siena In 'Don Giovanni'
When Bridgerton Season 1 begins, Anthony's flame is Siena. But their relationship is already coming apart at the start and it ends for good in the finale. Fans of opera will note the show foreshadows the end of their relationship in the first episode.
Siena's performances are all arias from Don Giovanni, Mozart's famous opera that revolves around a playboy who charts a path to his destruction by bad choices, breaking his own heart in the process.
4. Queen Charlotte's Beyoncé Look
Based on the real-life wife of George III, Queen Charlotte is believed to be England's first royal of mixed-race descent, the direct descendant of Margarita de Castro y Sousa.
Charlotte's showstoppers in Bridgerton are her outfits — specifically, her giant wigs. Bridgerton pulled inspiration from all over, from 17th-century paintings straight through to Beyoncé. Speaking to Essence, hair and makeup designer Marc Pilcher revealed Charlotte's giant afro was directly inspired by Beyoncé's look in Austin Powers Goldmember.
5. Simon's Earliest Fighting Lessons
Bridgerton's boxing subplot is a metaphor for Simon's life; he's had to fight for everything. Moreover, it's Lady Danbury who taught him how.
If you check out the classroom scene in which Danbury takes over Simon's education, the word on the chalkboard is "pugnare," which means "to fight." One could say Danbury is responsible for Simon's boxing hobby.
6. Marina's Lover's Eye
Marina shows up in Bridgerton with a secret that grows larger with every passing day. Not only is she not a virgin (which is, unfortunately, a big problem in this time period), but she's also pregnant. That means she needs to find a husband, and fast.
But those who know the language of jewelry understood early on that this would be easier said than done. In every scene, Marina wears the same pendant necklace, known as a "Lover's Eye." It's a symbol that she already has a lover elsewhere, even if certain Bridgerton sons are unaware of the message.
7. Pall Mall
Pall Mall is a significant game in Quinn's Bridgerton novels. This 17th-century forerunner to croquet is a Bridgerton family favorite and a pivotal turning point in relationships to come. (Author Julia Quinn has already pushed for the game's inclusion in Season 2.)
The good news is that Season 1 is already seeding the game within the Bridgerton family banter. In the season finale, Hyacinth asks if she can "join in the fun" this summer at Aubrey Hall. In response, Anthony says it's okay, "provided you steer clear of my lucky mallet."
8. Gunter's Tea Shop
The famous "spoon-licking" scene in Season 1 happens when Simon takes Daphne to Gunter's Tea Shop, the place to see and been seen. It turns out, Gunter's Tea Shop was an actual location that existed in the fashionable Berkley Square until 1956. Moreover, it was *the* place to socialize during the Regency era.
9. The Blues & The Bees
The Bridgerton family's motifs are bees and blues. The blues, which are pulled from the shade made famous by Wedgewood china in this era, symbolize the Bridgertons' respectable place in society. They are "old money," stable, traditional, and something you can invest in — like good china.
The bees are a deliberate reference to the books. Bees play a massive part in Anthony's story in Quinn's series' second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me (which is believed to be the source material for Bridgerton Season 2). The bees are definitely symbolic for the family, but to say anything more would probably ~bee~ a spoiler for future episodes.
10. The Featherington Butterflies
In contrast to the Bridgertons, the Featheringtons' motifs are yellows and butterflies. According to costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, if the Bridgertons are "the Tiffany Family" and above reproach, the Featheringtons are "the Versace family" — considered bold, garish, and the type of "new money" family who feels the need to flaunt it.
But they're also women who are trapped. All three of Portia's daughters struggle to break free from her influence. Worse, when Lord Featherington's choices go wrong, the women become dependent on the goodwill of a stranger who inherits the title to their home.
11. The Tulip References
Perhaps the most subtle motif in Season 1 is the tulip. Tulips appear in Lady Bridgerton's embroidery, on Anthony's watch, and in the background of Siena's flat.
These are all clues of what's to come in Season 2. Like the bees, tulips are an essential part of Anthony's love story. Lady Violet all but spells it out as she waves her embroidery hoop at her son, saying, "Tulips — they symbolize passion ... Perhaps your bride would like the same."
Perhaps, indeed, Mama does know best after all.
Bridgerton Season 1 is on Netflix now for your rewatching pleasure.