The primary Marvel Cinematic Universe sequence on Disney+ is a treasure trove of references for superhero followers and sitcom aficionados alike.
Each Marvel Cinematic Universe title is filled with references to different characters and organizations, however “WandaVision,” which premiered on Disney+ on January 15, additionally affords loads of Easter eggs for followers of traditional tv sitcoms.
The present, which marks the superhero franchise’s first authentic installment on Disney’s streaming service, stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as their MCU characters Wanda (aka Scarlet Witch) and Imaginative and prescient. Regardless of Imaginative and prescient’s obvious dying in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity Warfare,” the duo seem like residing an idealized life in a suburb — till they notice that issues aren’t essentially as they appear.
Take a look at all of the present’s references to the remainder of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in addition to its myriad throwbacks to traditional TV sitcoms under.
[Editor’s Note: The following article contains slight spoilers for “WandaVision” Episodes 1 and 2.]
Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter Eggs
Like most reference-heavy exhibits, among the Easter eggs in “WandaVision” are extra in-your-face than others: The present’s first two episodes function faux commercials that tout names that might be immediately acquainted to franchise followers. Episode 1 boasts an advert for a Stark Industries toaster, which is an apparent shoutout to Tony Stark/Iron Man, who was portrayed by Robert Downy Jr. in a wide range of Marvel movies. The toaster has a blinking purple gentle within the advert that serves because the present’s first splash of colour, and its more and more loud beeping turns into reasonably unsettling, particularly when the salesperson within the advert says to “overlook your previous, that is the long run,” given the trauma Wanda endured all through previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
The Episode 2 advert touts a Strucker watch that options the HYDRA brand. Wanda was a take a look at topic of HYDRA (the evil group primarily featured within the “Captain America” movies) chief Wolfgang von Strucker (performed by Thomas Kretschmann), who died in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It’s most likely not a coincidence that each of the present’s faux advertisements have featured names of people that negatively impacted Wanda earlier in her life.
Faux advertisements apart, “WandaVision” additionally boasts a couple of references to outdated Marvel comics. A wine bottle in Episode 1 is labeled Maison du Mépris, which interprets to Home of Distress. Home of M was a Marvel comics storyline the place Wanda suffered a psychological breakdown after dropping her kids and used her magic powers to create a brand new actuality the place her kids have been nonetheless alive. Wanda has but to have kids within the MCU timeline — although the top of Episode 2 suggests that might change — it’s attainable that Wanda created a brand new actuality following the dying of Imaginative and prescient. “WandaVision” additionally makes use of references to assist get viewers up to the mark on every character’s backstory and skills. For instance, Wanda’s house of Sokovia can also be referenced in Episode 1, when Imaginative and prescient makes an excuse for her habits to his boss throughout a dinner scene, and Imaginative and prescient’s (almost) indestructible physique and android origins are additionally humorously talked about all through the episodes.
The key SWORD (Sentient Weapon Statement Response Division) group can also be alluded to all through “WandaVision.” A toy helicopter bearing the SWORD is proven in full colour in Episode 2, and its distinction with the black-and-white setting means that Wanda’s “actuality” is perhaps falling aside. A cellular SWORD command heart is seen on the finish of the present’s first episode, and affords a sign that somebody is monitoring Wanda’s actuality. As for who’s representing SWORD, Jimmy Woo (Randall Park, who portrayed the FBI agent in “Ant-Man and the Wasp”) is heard calling out to Wanda on a radio in Episode 2. There’s no indication on how Jimmy got here to be the one monitoring Wanda, however the reference is likely one of the present’s clearest ties to the remainder of the franchise but.
As for extra refined references, the animated section early in Episode 2 boasts a couple of cheeky references to Wanda’s comedian origins: Posters at a grocery store Wanda is purchasing at promote Bova milk and Auntie A’s cat litter. Bova milk is a reference to a mutated cow that served as Wanda’s nursemaid within the comics, whereas Auntie A’s is probably going a reference to Agatha Harkness, a witch who had shut ties to Wanda within the comics and owned a cat.
References to Traditional Sitcoms
If that kitchen seems acquainted, it’s closely impressed by the kitchen Rob and Laura Petrie utilized in “The Dick Van Dyke Present” which ran from 1961-1966. In truth, there are a number of allusions to the sequence in each the premiere and Episode 2. Imaginative and prescient hopping over the chair to reply the door is akin to Van Dyke’s well-known opening credit score sequence, whereas Wanda’s wardrobe in Episode 2 borrows closely from Mary Tyler Moore, who grew to become legendary for being a housewife who wore pants.
The opening theme track for the pilot — describing Wanda and Imaginative and prescient as a newlywed couple transferring to city from the massive metropolis for a quiet life — has a couple of progenitors. Stylistically it sounds just like the theme from “The Donna Reed Present,” which ran from 1958 to 1966 and starred Reed as the proper housewife. However when it comes to the lyrics, telling the background of the characters so time isn’t wasted on exposition, that may be a frequent theme of most sitcoms from the Nineteen Fifties to Seventies. If something, the premiere theme sounds impressed from the 1963 sequence “The Patty Duke Present,” whereby that theme track mentioned how Duke performed the twin position of “an identical cousins.”
One factor you may not discover instantly is Wanda asking Imaginative and prescient if he needs the last word breakfast of champions, composed of pancakes, eggs, hash browns, espresso, and juice. That’s a standard poke at sitcoms which leaned closely towards housewives like Donna Reed with the ability to whip up a posh breakfast on a dime. The 1999 function “Pleasantville” additionally humorously mocked this trope.
The plot between Episodes 1 and a couple of units up the concept of Wanda with the ability to do frequent housewife parts with magic, solely to have it backfire. Couple that with Episode 2’s theme track and you’ve got the plot of “Bewitched,” whereby witch Samantha Stevens (Elizabeth Montgomery) lives together with her mortal husband. The opening animated titles of “WandaVision” Episode 2 instantly reference the animated opening for “Bewitched.” On prime of that, Kathryn Hahn’s nosy neighbor Agnes seems barely drawn on Samantha’s next-door neighbor, Gladys Kravitz.
The lady promoting the Stark toaster has the same look and coiffure as Lucille Ball within the iconic sequence “I Love Lucy.” Ball and husband Desi Arnaz created the “I Love Lucy” sequence after the previous discovered success via her radio present. The pair would discovered DesiLu Studios, with Arnaz changing into one of many solely Latino tv govt/producers.
The plot about forgotten anniversaries and managers displaying up for dinner are frequent to sitcoms over a number of many years. Examples which have utilized considered one of each embody the likes of “Bewitched,” “Three’s Firm,” and “Household Manners.”
The second episode opens with Wanda and Imaginative and prescient sleeping aside in single beds, solely to have the beds pushed collectively once they hear an odd noise. The trope of “sleeping single” comes from the Nineteen Thirties when the Hays Code pressured motion pictures to conform to ethical guidelines to maintain audiences’ from wanting to have interaction in something untoward. When tv arrived, these guidelines have been maintained, as properly, relying on the sequence. In “I Love Lucy,” Lucy and Ricky Ricardo would frequently sleep in two single beds pushed collectively, solely to have them separated as soon as Ball grew to become pregnant in actuality. Each “The Dick Van Dyke Present” and “The Addams Household” would have the characters in single beds, regardless of their apparent amorous intentions for one another. “Bewitched” can be the primary sequence to interrupt the trope, with Samantha and husband Darrin (Dick York) sleeping in a non-single mattress collectively.