Published: 1st April 2021

The BBFC's all time favourite Easter eggs in films

As a Compliance Officer, watching lots of different films and TV, you have to be very observant. Did you know that even a small message in the background of a film could change the whole age rating?

This Easter, we’ve asked our Compliance Officers for their favourite ‘Easter eggs’ that they’ve noticed in films over the years, from U all the way to 18. If you want to check them out for yourself, you can find out where to stream, rent or buy them on FindAnyFilm.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Contains very mild language and threat

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial a 1982 science fiction fantasy in which a young boy meets an alien who is stranded on Earth and who wants to go home.

Keep your eyes peeled as Elliot shows E.T. around his room, you might just see some familiar Star Wars toys. 

Language

The film contains some very mild bad language, including uses of 'dammit', 'God', 'hell', 'son of a bitch', 'shit', and one use of 'penis breath' (as a comic insult).

Threat

The main character is initially frightened when he first encounters the alien, screaming in surprise. Later on the character's sister also screams in fright when she first sees the alien but by this point the audience knows the alien is not a threat. When the authorities discover the presence of the alien and come to take him away, there is a sense of threat as several men enter the boy's house to get to the alien. There is also some tension when it appears the alien and the central character are ill and might be dying, and as the scientists administer electric shocks in an attempt to revive the alien.

Toy Story 3

Contains mild violence and scary scenes

Toy Story 3 is an animated adventure about a group of toys who are mistakenly donated to a day-care centre.

There are lots of famous characters hidden in the Toy Story films.  In Toy Story 3 look out for other Pixar characters in toy form, including Boo and Mike from Monsters, Inc. and a wooden Lightning McQueen toy. It’s not just Pixar though, Studio Ghibli’s Totoro makes an appearance as one of Bonnie’s plush toys.

Violence

Mild violence includes sight of a character swinging chainsticks on top of a moving train and knocking another character off the train, although the sequence is revealed to be part of a fantasy and is so nobody is harmed. In a comic sequence, a toy monkey hits a character repeatedly with a pair of cymbals attached to its hands.

Threat

Infrequent scary scenes include an extended sequence in which a number of characters are in danger of being incinerated at a landfill site, although they are rescued before any harm is done.

Infrequent mild bad language includes 'butt', 'moron', 'heck', and a play on the syllable 'ass' in 'ascot', in reference to a character's tie.

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope 

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope is a science fiction film, from 1977, about a young man, Luke Skywalker, who sets off on an adventure to rescue the captured Princess Leia from evil forces.

In A New Hope there is a reference to 'prison cell 1138’. This is a homage to George Lucas’ first film THX 1138. You can see these numbers in lots of his films, including the 1973 film American Graffiti, in which a car license plate is 'THX 138'. For a real-life Easter Egg, the cinema sound certification Lucas' company developed is called 'THX'.

Violence

There is some mild violence, but all in a clear fantasy setting. Most of the violence is theatrical and bloodless, lacking in any strong detail. The strongest examples include sight of a man using a light saber in a bar brawl and slicing off an alien's arm; we briefly see the arm on the floor. There is also the sight of some charred bodies after a family is attacked, and some scuffles and fights with fantasy weapons including ray guns and light sabers. The baddie Darth Vader also grabs subordinates and enemies by the neck, killing them.

The film also includes some explosions and space battle scenes, as spaceships are shot from the sky and hit during a battle sequence.

Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse

moderate fantasy violence, mild threat, injury detail, innuendo

Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse is an animated fantasy action film in which Spider-man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with other spider heroes.

A billboard in Times Square shows a poster for From Dusk Till Shaun, a sequel Simon Pegg wrote for the zombie classic Shaun of the Dead about Shaun and Ed fighting vampires.

Violence

There are scenes in which heroes and villains headbutt and punch one another; however these are infrequent, undetailed and within a fantasy context.

Threat

An intimidating masked villain with a metal fist pursues the hero; however, these scenes of mild threat are well balanced with more comic moments.

Injury detail

A man has a black eye, and a villain has a bloody nose which is shown briefly.

Sex

There are references to a teenager hitting puberty, and a scene in which his uncle tries to advise him how to speak to girls.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Contains moderate violence and mild language

Raiders Of The Lost Ark is a fantasy adventure about Indiana Jones, an archaeologist and adventurer, who embarks on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can harness its power.

This film includes references to George Lucas and Harrison Ford’s other work on Star Wars – when Indy first discovers the Ark of the Covenant, R2 D2 and C3PO can be seen as hieroglyphs on the wall. This detail is even included on the LEGO set.

Violence

There are frequent scenes of moderate violence, including fistfights, gunfights, and chases. There is occasional sight of blood, including a sequence in which it is implied that a man is struck by an aeroplane propeller, and a scene in which a man has been impaled on a wall by an archaic booby trap.

In one scene, ghosts appear and fly among the assembled crowd of people before a mystical power erupts, killing the onlookers and causing some characters' faces to melt. There is CU detail as the flesh, eyes and muscle on their faces liquifies and runs off to reveal their skull underneath.

Language

Mild bad language includes 'goddamn', 'son of a bitch', 'bastard', 'oh my God', 'shit' and the German term 'scheisse'.

Occasional scenes of threat include a hot poker being held close to a woman's face as part of an interrogation.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Contains moderate action violence and mild innuendo

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is an action/adventure film in which Agent 007 and the adventurous Tracy Di Vicenzo join forces to battle the evil SPECTRE organization in the treacherous Swiss Alps.

Did you know that the janitor outside Draco's office is whistling the theme from Goldfinger as he sweeps the floor?

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith

Contains moderate fantasy violence and scary scenes

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith is a science fiction fantasy adventure and the final part of the prequel trilogy to the film series, as Anakin begins his transformation into Darth Vader.

On the DVD there is a hip hop Yoda music video that you can find, containing a dancing Yoda breakdancing in the Jedi Temple along with bopping clone troopers. This easter egg can be activated by putting Disc 1 in a DVD player, selecting "Options," and highlighting the THX logo and punching in the numbers "11," "3," and "8," waiting for the pause after each number.

Violence

The film contains some intense scenes of violence and injury, the strongest of which is the 'burning' of Anakin at his final transformation. There is focus on his body on fire, and on his agonised face, and he later lies injured and in pain. Some battle scenes are intense and action-packed, with sight of characters beheaded or having limbs chopped off, although this is bloodless.

As Anakin changes from heroic to evil and cruel, there are references to him murdering young children who trusted him.

Shazam!

moderate violence, threat, horror, innuendo, bleeped strong language

Shazam! is a fantasy action adventure in which a fourteen-year-old boy gains the power to transform into an adult superhero every time he says 'Shazam'.

When a young Billy Batson gets in trouble with the law after robbing a pawn shop, and the cops enter the building, the Annabelle doll can be seen in the bottom left corner. This is because Director David Sandberg previously directed the second Annabelle movie.

Violence

Stylised fight scenes include kicks and punches, and fights involving fantastical powers. There is also a scene in which two bullies repeatedly kick a disabled teenager, but the detail is masked and their behaviour is not condoned.

Threat and horror

Scenes of horror show statues of creatures with glowing red eyes coming to life to menace humans. It is implied that a creature eats a man's head off, but no detail is shown. There are also scenes of gun threat and a scene in which the hero saves people from a bus dangling off a bridge.

Sex

A teenager enters a Gentleman's club. A boy asks him if he saw any 'boobies or nipples'.

Language

There are bleeped uses of strong language ('f**k'), as well as milder terms including 'shit', 'screw', 'assbag', 'God', 'dip shit', 'dick', 'ass', 'douchebag', 'shit', 'Jesus Christ', 'butt' and 'crap'. There is also use of the rude middle finger gesture.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Contains moderate sex and one use of strong language

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical comedy in which a couple accidentally stumble upon the strange residence of Dr-Frank-N-Furter after their car breaks down in a remote area.

This film has lots of Easter eggs in it… as the cast and crew were having an Easter egg hunt while filming! See if you can spot them.

Sex

A man attempts to seduce an innocent couple who have taken shelter in his house. Musical numbers also feature suggestive comments and innuendo, such as in the song 'Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me'.

Language

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k')

There is brief nudity when a woman's basque accidentally slips down, briefly exposing her breasts. There are also brief drug references and scenes of implied violence, including a scene in which a man is killed off screen using a pickaxe.

The Birds

Contains moderate threat and horror

The Birds is Alfred Hitchcock's famous 1963 horror film about a small Californian community plagued by an attack of aggressive birds.

Known as the king of cameos, Alfred Hitchcock makes a small appearance in The Birds. He can be seen leaving a pet shop with his two dogs.

Threat

The film contains several sequences in which people are attacked by swooping birds, including an attack on a group of terrified school children. While the infliction of injuries is not normally shown, there is some sight of the aftermath of attacks, including a sequence of shots showing a dead man whose eyes have been pecked out. We also see flames engulf a driver after he inadvertently sets fire to a petrol spillage. Other bodies are shown as a result of the attacks.

The film shows a number of characters smoking as was the norm for the era.

The Evil Dead

strong bloody violence, scene of sexual violence

The Evil Dead is a US horror film, from 1982, in which a group of young people inadvertently summon ancient demons.

You might recognise Sam Raimi’s car from The Evil Dead in his other films. For example, it's Uncle Ben's car in his first Spider-Man movie and appears in the horror film Drag Me To Hell. Can you think of any more of his films that the car appears in? 


Violence

There are bloody scenes in which characters are stabbed with pencils and knives. There are scenes of decapitation and eye gouging.

A scene of sexual violence shows a woman being raped by tree.