Top 10 Superman Easter Eggs in Pop Culture

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Top 10 Superman Easter Eggs in Pop Culture

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These Superman shout-outs are out of this world! For this list, we're looking at special nods to the Man of Steel's mythology found in all means of popular culture. Our countdown includes “The Matrix Reloaded”, "Seinfeld", “The Iron Giant”, and more!
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Top 10 Superman Easter Eggs in Pop Culture


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top10 Superman Easter Eggs in Pop-Culture.

For this list, we’re looking at special nods to the Man of Steel’s mythology found in all means of popular culture.

Which of these super homages sent your fandom sky high? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Neo’s Superman Thing

“The Matrix Reloaded” (2003)
When the Wachowski’s unleashed “The Matrix” on the world in 1999, many were quick to spot similarities between Keanu Reeves’ Neo and DC comics’ big blue boy scout. For starters, the pair share a fairly identical skill set, including flight, superhuman strength, super speed, and near-Invulnerability. The first “Matrix” sequel would actually acknowledge these parallels. Near the start of the film, Neo fights off some Agents before taking to the skies. When Morpheus asks Link, "Where is Neo?", he responds with "He's doing his Superman thing again!” It’s just a brief line of course, but it was a more than welcome affirmation of Neo’s super predecessor.

#9: Super Sloth

“The Goonies” (1985)
There is perhaps no Superman image more iconic than of our hero opening his civilian shirt and exposing the “S” symbol underneath. This act has managed to slip its way into pop culture on many occasions. In fact, a particularly incredible occurrence takes place at the end of Pixar’s animated superhero film, “The Incredibles.” But, perhaps the most beloved instance occurs in Richard Donner’s coming-of-age adventure film, “The Goonies.” When the character Sloth rips open his shirt while in a battle with his baddie brothers, a short motif from John Williams' Superman score plays. This, of course, makes for a wonderful tribute to the director’s previous “Superman” films. It’s just a shame we never got a “Super Sloth” standalone flick out of it!

#8: Loony for Superman

“Looney Tunes”
Given Superman’s overwhelming popularity, the character has always been ripe for parody. This is especially evident in the world of Looney Tunes, where Bugs Bunny and Co have often borrowed from the hero’s mythological playbook. Whether in classics like “Super-Rabbit” or “Stupor Duck,” the not-so-subtle similarities are rampant (Cluck Kent anyone?). The references would continue over the years, even leading the “Last Son of Krypton” to be namedropped as the top choice for the Tune Squad “Dream Team” in 2021’s “Space Jam” reboot. LeBron James would even lament that he could have used Supes with him “on the Cavs.” Well, he did have Shaq on his team, and that’s pretty darn close.

#7: Super Sports Celebrations

Various Athletes
Let’s face it, making the shot, scoring a touchdown, or winning the big game will surely make anyone feel, well, super. So, it’s no wonder that many pro athletes have channelled their “inner Superman” in times of celebration. Veteran quarterback Cam Newton, who also has “Superman” for a nickname, is famous for raising both fists to his chest and whipping them apart as if he was tearing open his shirt. Basketball player Hamidou Diallo (hawmma-doo de-AL-oh) took things to another level at the 2019 NBA Dunk Contest. After leaping over the back of Shaquille O'Neal to complete the shot, Diallo revealed a literal Superman shirt underneath his uniform. And the crowd goes wild!

#6: Leonard’s Love of Superman

“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-19)
What happens when a group of Mensa-fied best friends hangout? Plenty of “geek talk,” naturally. The beloved sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory,” featured its fair share of comic book related discussion and debates. These regularly occurred at the gang’s favourite hangout, the comic book store. It’s here where imagery of the Man of Steel is often prominently displayed in the background. Of course, true fans will know that Supe’s biggest fan in the bunch is Leonard. Heck, it’s even revealed that Superman's birth name, Kal-El, is his computer password. And, let’s not forget his dark framed spectacles resemble that of a certain mild-mannered reporter! To that we say - Bazinga!

#5: Parzival’s Clark Kent Transformation

“Ready Player One” (2018)
Was there ever a movie with more Easter Eggs than Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi adventure film, “Ready Player One?” With pop culture references bursting in every scene, there’s one moment in particular that made Superman buffs smile extra wide. When Parzival is mobbed by fans at the Halliday Journals after being “first to the key,” Art3mis recommends a disguise. Not just any disguise - a pair of Clark Kent glasses. With a slicked down hairstyle and 70’s style suit, “Z” becomes the ultimate embodiment of Christopher Reeve’s rendition of CK! And while the film also tips its hat to other Superman-adjacent characters, it’s this moment that made Superman fanatics most proud!

#4: Superman Muppet Moments

“The Muppets”
As with “Looney Tunes,” there has been a string of Superman references, parodies, and cameos on Muppet- related programs over the years. Famed Superman actor, Christopher Reeve, was even a special guest on “The Muppet Show” at the turn of the 1980s. In the episode, Miss Piggy's dressing room is flooded with Superman memorabilia, revealing a slight obsession. But, perhaps nothing is more beloved among Muppet enthusiasts than Super Grover. “Sesame Street’s” long-running Superman spoof sees “Grover Kent” transform into a rather clumsy superhero. "Smarter than a speeding bullet," Super Grover certainly left his mark – sometimes literally.

#3: Superman in Song

Various Artists
From Keith Urban to 3 Doors Down, a wide array of artists have managed to top the charts with Superman themed songs. But, with many of those tracks flat-out focusing on the Man of Steel, they can hardly be called Easter Eggs. Luckily, there are hundreds of other tunes that drop subtle references to our hero in their lyrics. Heck, rapper Eminem has an impressive 8 songs mentioning The Metropolis Marvel! However, it’s Jim Croce’s lyrical warning that really stands out the most. In the folk-rock song, "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," Croce utters the memorable line, “You don't tug on Superman's cape.” Solid advice if we must say so ourselves.

#2: "You Are What You Choose to Be"

“The Iron Giant” (1999)
There’s a reason “The Iron Giant” has been referred to as a true Superman film in spirit. Early in the celebrated movie’s runtime, Hogarth, The Iron Giant's newly found human friend, shows off his comic book collection. The scene sees the boy explain Superman’s comic mythos to “the Giant.” This moment would actually go on to inform the titular character's very own actions. Seemingly designed to be a weapon, a source of human kindness turns The Iron Giant into something else. Like Kal El, he chooses to be a hero and uses his abilities to better the world. We’re not crying over a 50-foot metal eating robot, you are!

#1: References About Nothing

“Seinfeld” (1989-98)
If you watched NBC's Must-See sitcom, “Seinfeld,” then you know that comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a big Superman fan – on screen and off. In fact, the Man of Steel makes an appearance in many episodes thanks to a Superman magnet that showed up on Jerry's fridge in the fourth season, and a Bowen Superman statue that sat on his shelf starting in the fifth. There were also plenty of storyline nods to The Man of Tomorrow, including a memorable sendup of “Bizzarro Superman.” Elaine's ex-boyfriend turned friend, Kevin, is featured as the opposite version of Jerry. There’s also the time Seinfeld competed against an old high school classmate in a footrace while John Williams’ "Superman" theme played. Did we mention he was dating a “Lois” in this episode?
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