Jordan Peele's 'Twilight Zone' Easter Eggs Will Delight New & Old Fans Of The Series
The moment fans saw that one episode of Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot was entitled "Nightmare At 30,000 Feet" (in reference to the classic episode "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet") it was clear that Peele and his team would also being paying homage to the original series in any way they could. But that's just the beginning of the show's love for the original, as evidenced by all of the Twilight Zone Easter eggs in Peele's reboot. If you blink or happen to not be familiar with the full names of every character who has been introduced into the Twilight Zone extended universe, than there are almost certainly a few references you missed. Don't worry — they'll all be added here week to week as the series rolls out.
The episodes released so far have allusions to both former Twilight Zone episodes, but also recognizable pieces of science-fiction and horror stories that don't take place in The Twilight Zone, but are reminiscent of the elements found in traditional TZ episodes. If the first two episodes have taught Easter egg hunters anything, it's that if you hear a last name mentioned in an episode, it's probably a reference. Someone using a product from some made-up brand? That's likely a reference. An image or prop stick out like a sore thumb? You guessed it, a reference.
With so many Easter eggs hidden, you may find yourself stuck in a Twilight Zone of your own, attempting to hunt down each and every reference — but if you missed any, here are all the classic Twilight Zone references in the TZ reboot.
Episode 1 - "The Comedian"
- The mural in the background of Eddies is a two-for-one of classic horror references. The distorted faces in the mural resemble the monstrous faces seen in classic TZ episodes "The Masks" and "Eye Of The Beholder" and Samir's appearance amongst the mural at the episode's end resembles the ending of The Shining, a reference that Jordan Peele has made in his work before.
- Why would a comedy club have a dummy in its green room? It's unclear why he's there, but that dummy is no other than Willie from the classic TZ episode "The Dummy"
- Dee Dee can be seen sipping on Kanamit-brand beer, named after the alien race that seeks "To Serve Man" in the episode of the same name — it appears that they're still serving man but with alcohol instead of simple meals.
- Reddit user P-terson discovered a treasure trove of references in the form of Samir's list of phone contacts. The names in Samir's contacts are almost all characters from classic episodes such as Peter Corrigan from “Back There” and the titular "Mr. Denton on Doomsday”.
- A running theme in the new Twilight Zone reboot, the first appearance of the name "Donner" appears here as the last name of obnoxious comedian Joe Donner, in reference to original Twilight Zone director Richard Donner.
Episode 2 - "Nightmare At 30,000 Feet"
- After the plane crash in "Nightmare At 30,000 Feet" a doll version of the famous gremlin introduced in "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" can be seen amongst the wreckage.
- This episode marks the second appearance of a Donner, in the form of the plane's Captain, once again referencing Richard Donner.
- "The Enigmatique" podcast listened to in the episode mentions two other flights familiar to Twilight Zone fans, Flight 22 of "Twenty Two" and Global Airlines Flight 107 of "The Arrival"
- Classic Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont is payed tribute to in the form of character Joe Beaumont.
- This episode features a rare Easter egg for an episode that hasn't even aired yet. On the Magazine stand at the airport, Samir from previous episode "The Comedian" appears on a cover, as does presidential candidate Oliver Foley from episode "The Wunderkind"
- The Whipple mp3 player seems to be crafted by the same company features in classic episode "The Brain Center at Whipple's"
- Reddit user TheScimitar noticed that at the end of "Nightmare" Jordan Peele is seen wearing a paratrooper's bracelet, in reference to the fact that Rod Serling, before he hosted The Twilight Zone, was a paratrooper himself.
Episode 3 - "Replay"
- The Busy Bee Diner is a reference to the Busy Bee Cafe, featured in the William Shatner-starring episode "Nick Of Time", although the modern Diner lacks the fortune telling machine that dished out fates at the Cafe.
- The old-school camera, much like the mp3 Player from "Nightmare At 30,000 Feet" is Whipple brand.
- Tennyson College shares a name with Jamie Tennyson of classic episode "The Bet"
- A road sign adorned "Old Cadwallader Inn" seems to be named after Mr. Cadwallader from the episode "Escape Clause"
Episode 4 — "The Stranger"
- Not quite a Twilight Zone Easter Egg, but the address on A. Traveler's ID claims that he lives on Hacker Way in Menlo Park Ca, which is the Facebook world headquarters. Considering A's true identity, you may be inspired to check twice before posting on Facebook less A. Traveler ends up sneaking into your house.
- The decorations on the tree in the Iglaak Police Office include a stuffed Gremlin from "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet." It appears to be the same doll previously seen in "Nightmare At 30,000 Feet"
- The tree also features an appearance from a horrifying doll, who is none other than Talky Tina from the classic episode "Living Doll"
- Mayor Matheson is named after Richard Matheson, who wrote several classic Twilight Zone episodes including "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet"
Episode 5 - "The Wunderkind"
- Whipple makes a return, this time in the form of the Whipple News Network that delivers updates on Oliver's presidential campaign.
- A cup with the logo of the Busy Bee Diner from "Replay" is visible during Oliver's debate prep.
- Oliver Foley shares a surname with Helen Foley, the protagonist of classic episode "Nightmare as a Child" which is apt considering that Oliver Foley is quite the nightmare child.
Episode 6 - "Six Degrees Of Freedom"
- The spaceship the episode takes place on is named after Ray Bradbury, the science-fiction author behind Fahrenheit 441 wrote the Twilight Zone episode I Sing The Body Electric which he later adapted into a short story.
- One of the characters is named Catherine Langford, which isn't a Twilight Zone Easter Egg, but it is a reference to either the Stargate character Dr. Catherine Langford or the actress Katherine Langford who plays the role of Hannah Baker on the Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why — probably the former.
- Whipple is back once again, this time as the branding on the team's spacesuits.
- A toy Goldstar plane is seen, referencing the airline company featured in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet".
Episode 7 - "Not All Men"
- "Not All Men" mostly remixes old Easter Eggs that have popped up earlier in the series, the most prominent of which is a shot of the Whipple News Network introduced in "The Wunderkind"
- The Busy Bee also makes another appearance in the form of a fountain drink cup, which marks the fictional brand's third appearance in the series.
Episode 8 - "Point Of Origin"
- Mr Dingle's Ice Cream Truck takes its name after classic episode "Mr. Dingle, The Strong".
- The name Matheson pops up again, this time in the form of Matheson Charter School.
- The design of the masks on the memory machine that is used to test Eve's point of origin are reminiscent of the masks featured in the classic "Eye Of The Beholder" episode
Episode 9 - "The Blue Scorpion"
- In the background of a scene at the gun store, the classic TZ episode "A Most Unusual Camera" is seen playing on a television screen. That episode features a camera that can peek into the future, which shares some similarities with the mystical camera that is featured in the modern TZ episode "Replay".
Episode 10 - "Blurryman"
- The titular "Blurryman" is revealed to have been an extra in a suit in various scenes throughout the entire first season of The Twilight Zone. The examples featured in the episode show blurs those previous shots, but he can still be seen in episodes like "Replay" and "The Comedian".
- While hiding from the Blurryman, Sophie hides in a grocery store set that resembles the grocery store set used to film "Point Of Origin" and later stumbles upon the bar set from "The Comedian" and a tattered road from "Not All Men"
- In a flashback, Sophie is seen watching the classic episode "Time Enough at Last" and later walking through a post-apocalyptic world into a library with broken glasses outside of them like the ones seen in "Time Enough At Last."
- The episode ends with Sophie literally walking into The Twilight Zone with Rod Serling.
There was never a chance that Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone would eclipse the timeless influence of the original, but it's clear that the show's writers never intended to top the original. Instead, the writers put their own spin on the series and paid tribute to the TV classic every step of the way before ending the season with an episode-long love letter to the very idea of The Twilight Zone.