Spoilers ahead for American Horror Stories Episodes 1-3. From its premiere episode, American Horror Story spinoff American Horror Stories is packed with references to the original series. The first two installments, “Rubber (Wo)man: Part One” and “Rubber (Wo)man: Part Two” both take place in the infamous Murder House that served as the setting for American Horror Story Season 1. There are also clear parallels between Scarlett (Sierra McKormick) — the daughter of the new family who moves into the house — and Violet (Taissa Farmiga), who both have color-themed names. And one of her dads (played by Matt Bomer) is named Michael, a likely nod to one of Murder House’s most notorious residents Michael Landon, who was introduced in Season 1 but played a much larger role in American Horror Story’s eighth season, Apocalypse.
Scarlett’s romance with the sadistic ghost Ruby (Kaia Gerber) in Episode 2 also closely mirrors the one Violet and Tate (Evan Peters) shared in Murder House. (“Kill yourself then we can be together forever,” Ruby tries to convince Scarlett in one bathtub scene). You could even draw a connection between Michael’s unfaithful husband Troy (Gavin Creel) and the BDSM-dabbling boyfriend Patrick (Teddy Sears) of Murder House’s original owner Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto).
Not all of the callbacks are so obvious, though. Here are all of the Easter eggs you may have missed.
The Rubber Man
The Rubber Man first appeared in Season 1’s Murder House and later returned in Season 8’s Apocalypse. Following in the footsteps of multiple AHS characters who’ve been under the mask, Scarlett begins donning the suit as Rubber Woman in the premiere episode of American Horror Stories — but not without seeing the original staring back at her in the mirror at multiple points.
After meeting a violent end, Scarlett, Michael, and Troy’s family therapist Dr. Andi Grant (Merrin Dungey) repeatedly mentions “another therapist” in the house. “I'm just fighting for office hours,” she says in one scene, while in another she notes that she’s working on a book with “the other therapist who is here.” Although she never mentions him by name, Dr. Grant is almost certainly referencing the late Dr. Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), who also conducted therapy sessions in front of Murder House’s stained-glass window.
After spending some time in the house, the initially skeptical Michael reveals to his family that he saw a Piggy Man, noting that the figure was part of an urban legend about a Chicago butcher. The Piggy Man was featured primarily in American Horror Story’s sixth season, Roanoke, but longtime fans may remember that one of Dr. Harmon’s Murder House patients (played by Eric Stonestreet) also claimed to have seen a pig man.
“Tonight You Belong To Me”
Beginning with the very first scenes of Murder House, Patience and Prudence’s song, “Tonight You Belong to Me” has appeared in multiple seasons of American Horror Story. In Horror Stories, the song plays as Scarlett murders her four high school bullies: Maya (Paris Jackson), Rowena (Ashley Martin Carter), Erin (Selena Sloan), and Valerie Loo (Nicole).
When Scarlett lures the girls to the basement to enact her revenge, ghost twins Troy and Bryan — who died while vandalizing Murder House at the beginning of AHS Season 1 — are there to greet them with a jump scare. Although they appear only briefly, their red hair and matching striped polos are a dead giveaway (no pun intended).
Also only appearing in brief — albeit terrifying — flashes is Murder House’s Infantata, aka Thadeus Montgomery, the original homeowner’s child who was dismembered and then put back together again and reanimated. The blood-thirsty character is apparently still racking up murders in the house’s basement.
Fans first meet Gerber’s Ruby in Episode 2 as she’s chasing and murdering a nurse in Murder House. Later, she offers Scarlett the opportunity to kill another woman in a nurse costume. This is likely a callback to the nursing students who were massacred in Murder House during AHS Season 1.
The Halloween Carnival
The Halloween carnival that Ruby and Scarlett attend prominently features a Freak Show, the same setting and title as American Horror Story Season 4. One of the performers can also be seen dancing with a snake — an image that seems to hearken back to Angela Bassett’s AHS: Coven character Marie Laveau. (The dead mean girls show up wearing Coven-like robes, too.)
Murder House fans might remember that Constance Langdon’s (Jessica Lange) late daughter Rose was born missing both of her eyes, and there’s a strong resemblance between her and the mask Ruby wears in one scene with Scarlett.
Cementing the clear parallel between her character and Murder House’s Tate (Evan Peters), Ruby can bee see wearing Tate’s “Normal People Scare Me” shirt in the final scenes of American Horror Stories’ second episode.
The Pennywise Figurine
Episode 3 (“Drive In”) stars AHS vet John Carroll Lynch as Larry Bitterman, a villainous movie director who incited a 1986 massacre by including subliminal messages in his forbidden Rabbit Rabbit horror film. After surviving a bloody Rabbit Rabbit screening at a Los Angeles drive-in more than three decades later, teen couple Kelly (Madison Bailey) and Chad (Rhenzy Feliz) track down Larry to destroy the film and prevent a rumored encore presentation. Kelly shoots Larry in the kneecap, and as the burning celluloid engulfs his trailer, the camera briefly focuses on a figurine of Pennywise from It. As fans may remember, Lynch played a similarly terrifying clown named Twisty in 2014’s AHS: Freak Show. Although this episode didn’t directly reference previous seasons, the possible nod to another of Lynch’s characters surely wasn’t coincidental.
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