Easter Eggs

Do you know what Easter eggs are? Not the kind you color, put in a basket with candy, and then forget to eat. I mean the kind where something clever is hidden in a piece of entertainment.

For instance: in one of the first episodes of Chuck, he starts talking, saying all these random pieces of spy information that has been loaded into his brain. Things like the names of foreign leaders, and secret operation code words, things like that. In the middle of this, he says, “Oceanic Flight 815.”

That’s the plane that crashed on the popular show, Lost.

In the HBO series True Blood, Jason frequently wears a baseball cap with a panther on it, an obvious reference to the fact that in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, he’s a were-panther.

In other words, an Easter Egg is usually an inside joke.

I like putting Easter Eggs into my own fiction. Usually it’s stuff that no one will ever notice. In A Wicked Little Rhythm, there’s a line where a woman is sitting in front of a computer, and it casts a “greenish hue” on her face. This is a shout out to my husband, who mocks movies where this happens. A computer never casts a greenish hue on someone’s face — certainly not nowadays, when everything is Windows or Mac based, and the background of the screen is frequently white.

I have a friend who hates Diet Pepsi, but adores Diet Coke. I knew she’d be a beta reader, so in the final chapter of my novel, I had the main character specifically drink a Diet Pepsi. Of course she picked up on it.

In another novel, I have a character named Emily Brenner, a high school French teacher. I have a line where she says she deliberately avoids telling people she’s a high school French teacher, because it seems to encourage guys to think it means she’s easy. (For whatever reason.) I have a friend named Erin Kanner, who is a high school French teacher, who avoids telling people about it for the exact same reason. I specifically put that line in there for that reason.

I know I only have like three regular blog readers, but you’re all writers. Do you put any Easter Eggs in your fiction?

2 thoughts on “Easter Eggs

  1. I’d never heard of Easter Eggs in writing before (or TV shows–though I recognize them), but now that I have, I’m afraid I’ll become obsessed with them. I don’t think I have any in my writing. Yet. Although I have little “shout-outs”… like I have a scene where my character is listening to a Train song, and my beta reader is the one who put me on to their music. 🙂

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