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10 Best Easter Eggs in Inside Out 2

It seems like Inside Out 2 is the sensation that is sweeping the world. The movie scored the biggest opening weekend of 2024 and is the second biggest animated film opening behind only Incredibles 2, and will likely be the number one movie in the world for a second weekend in a row. Despite coming out nine years after the first film, the movie takes place only two years after the original movie as Riley is going through Puberty and new emotions like Anxiety, Envy, Embarassment, and Ennui join Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

As with every Pixar film, Inside Out 2 is filled with fun Easter eggs to not only the past films from the company’s history but also deep references across all of pop culture. While on the surface, there are many to spot, the film is filled with callbacks to Steve Jobs, 2D animation history, and even Super Smash Bros. history. Here are ten Easter eggs from Inside Out 2 that you might have missed and some deeper meanings behind each one.

10 Bing Bong in Joy’s Room

Bing-Bong (Richard Kind) was one of the breakout characters of the first Inside Out. Riley’s imaginary friend was a fan favorite, and his heroic sacrifice towards the end of the second act, in a moment that sees him fade away from Riley’s memory, was one of the many heartbreaking moments of the first movie. While audiences loved him in the first movie, the idea of him returning for the sequel felt like it could ruin the film’s emotional impact. Pixar, however, found a subtle way to honor him.

Joy Remembers

When the five core emotions are sleeping, just before Riley’s puberty alarm goes off, if you look at Joy’s nook inside her sleeping arrangement, you might recognize a familiar shape. There is an origami Bing Bong, in a way that looks very much like his cubed form in the first film when they go through abstract thought. Riley might no longer remember Bing Bong, but Joy does, meaning that part of him still lives in Riley.

9 4*Town Boy Band From Turning Red

When Riley is going to sleep the night before her first day at Soccer Camp and right before the new emotions join in, one will spot a familiar poster in the background. Riley has a poster for the band 4*Town, the boy band prominently featured in Pixar’s Turning Red. With both Inside Out 2 and Turning Red metaphors for young women going through puberty, the 4*Town poster seems very appropriate.

Riley Has Some Retro Taste

The 4*Town poster has some interesting implications for Riley as a character. Turning Red takes place in 2002 and is based on the first Inside Out movie, which took place in 2015. It would have been one year before Riley was even born.

This means that 4*Town is not a hip current band in Inside Out 2 but a retro throwback. Either Riley is into music that was popular before she was born (which is not out of the realm of possibility), or 4*Town is still a thriving popular band, and the entire band has stayed together after all these years. Either one sounds good in our book.


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Inside Out 2 continues Pixar’s trend of layering complex themes into a film easily accessible for families and young kids.

8 Lenny the binoculars from Toy Story

Early on in Inside Out 2, Joy gives a monologue explaining what has changed for Riley and the emotions since the first film. The emotions look out over Riley’s changing islands of personality. Joy hands Sadness a pair of binoculars to see the shrinking family island that has been eclipsed by friendship island. Any avid Pixar fan or even very observant kids will recognize the pair of binoculars as they are Lenny from Toy Story.

An Underrated Toy Story Character

Lenny first appeared in Toy Story as a wind-up pair of binoculars that the toys in Andy’s room used to see great distances, like into Sid’s yard in the first film or when Buzz watches Woody get stolen in Toy Story 2. Lenny was voiced by the late great Pixar animator Joe Ranft, who passed away in 2005.

Lenny only had a speaking role in Toy Story as he did not speak in Toy Story 2 and was only briefly seen during the opening montage of Toy Story 3, but it was one of the toys that had been given away between films. For fans, it certainly was nice to see Lenny again, even if it was for a brief moment.

7 John Ratzenberger Cameo and Return to Pixar

If you followed Pixar movies as a kid, likely one of the first Easter eggs you caught was the presence of actor John Ratzenberger. After voicing Hamm in Toy Story, Ratzenberger became a good luck charm for Pixar, appearing in every one of their films since.

This was even acknowledged in Cars when Ratzenberg’s character Mac is watching a bunch of Cars-themed spoofs of Pixar films and notices how they keep using the same voice actor in each movie. In Inside Out 2, he reprises his role as Fritz, a construct who briefly appeared at the end of Inside Out installing the new control counsel.

Ratzenberger’s Return to Pixar

Ratzenberger’s streak as Pixar’s good luck charm ended in 2021 with the release of Luca, the first film in Pixar’s history not to feature the actor in even a small role.

Ratzenberg did not appear in Turning Red, Lightyear, or Elemental either but notably did appear in Luck, the AppleTV+ original animated film overseen by Skydance Animation, which is run by John Lassister, former head of Pixar, who cast Ratzenberg in Toy Story and subsequent films until he stepped down from the company due to workplace harassment claims.

It has never been made clear why Ratzenberger stopped working with Pixar, whether it was his choice out of loyalty to the Lassister or just the studio not having roles for him, but he finally returns to the fold with Inside Out 2. Based on the film’s box office, there might be a small bit of truth to him being a good luck charm for them.

6 Riley’s Jersey Number Is Its Place In Pixar History

In the hockey game at the beginning of the movie, Riley’s hockey number is 28. This is a reference to the fact that Inside Out 2 is Pixar’s 28th movie. The athlete number having a significant meaning is something Pixar previously did with Cars.

Lightning McQueen’s racing number is 95, a reference to the year 1995 when the studio’s first ever feature film, Toy Story, was released. The studio originally was going to give him the number 86, as seen in the initial teaser trailer, which uses early concept footage, but that number was then given to the film’s main villain, Chick Hicks. 86 was a reference to the year Pixar’s first short film, Luxo Jr., was released.

A Last Minute Change

Inside Out 2 is Pixar’s 28th feature film, but that is a very recent development. It was originally going to be the 29th film from the studio, but in October 2023, the studio delayed Elio (the original 28th film) back from its original March 1, 2024 release date by a whole year to June 12, 2025. This means that the Pixar animators needed to make a last-minute change to Inside Out 2 for Riley’s jersey number from 29 to 28 to reflect its new place in the Pixar release schedule.

5 Riley’s Vault is A113 Is a Pixar Staple

The next three Easter Eggs all come from the same sequence. When Anxiety has the five core emotions repressed, they are sealed in her deepest, darkest secrets. The vault number they are held in is A113.

Fans of Pixar films will have seen this pop up in every Pixar film since Toy Story, and it ties them, along with many other films made outside of Pixar, together as it is a reference to the classroom used by graphic design and character animation students at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) where many of the Pixar animators and founders attended.

An Easter Egg Across Studios

A113 as an easter egg was first used by future The Incredibles and Ratatouille director Brad Bird in an episode of Family Dog before bringing it into the episodes of The Simpsons he directed.

Bird would later sneak it into a Disney movie with The Brave Little Toaster, and since then, it has been used in every Pixar film, from Andy’s mom’s license plate in Toy Story, the secret command for the Auto-Pilot in WALL-E and the courtroom at the beginning of Up to name a few. Other films that have included it are Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Klaus, and Doctor Who.

4 Bloofy Is Picking Fun of Nickelodeon Icons and Highlighting One of Disney+’s Biggest Hits

Locked away in Riley’s mind are two characters. The first is Bloofy (Ron Funches), a 2D animated host of a preschool kid-aimed television series. Bloofy is certainly Disney having a little fun at their competition, Nickelodeon, with their popular kids series Blue’s Clues and Dora: The Explorer. The name Bloofy also likely brings to mind the popular kids’ show Bluey, which has become one of the biggest hits for Disney+.

Bloofy Is a Pixar First

Bloofy and his trust sidekick Pouchy (a mixture of Dora the Explorer‘s Backpack and The Map) in Inside Out 2 marks a first for the company as they are the first 2D animated characters to appear in a Pixar movie.

Pixar was a pioneer in 3D CGI animated films and has changed the industry forever, so much so that now Disney Animation primarily does CGI animated films. Yet the studio never liked that they were seen as the killers of 2D animation and have been making strides to continue its legacy. They first experimented with the short Night and Day, but this is the first time they’ve featured a 2D animated character in a feature film.


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3 Lance Slashback Is a Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts Reference

Another character in Riley’s repressed vault is the character of Lance Slashblade (Yong Yea), a video game character she used to have a crush on. Lance is a throwback to anime-inspired video game characters like Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. A funny note is that Riley likely developed her crush/affinity for the character playing a Super Smash Bros./Street Fighter combat game.

Cloud joined the Super Smash Bros. franchise in 2015, the same year the first Inside Out was released. Cloud also appeared in the Kingdom Hearts video game series, a crossover game series between the Final Fantasy and Disney characters, which opens up even more Easter eggs for Inside Out 2.

A Bigger Universe

The Kingdom Hearts franchise connects the various Disney franchises together in a model very similar to the multiverse concept that audiences have gotten very accustomed to in superhero media. It allows a great deal of crossover not only between Disney movies but also the Final Fantasy characters. Kingdom Hearts 3 featured worlds based on Toy Story and Monsters Inc., two Pixar properties. The inclusion of Lance Slashblade feels like a nice accomplishment of Disney’s history with Kingdom Hearts, with many fans now hoping Lance Slashblade will appear in Kingdom Hearts 4.

2 Ennui Was Originally Going to Be in the First Inside Out

Inside Out 2 features four new emotions, with a fifth brief one by Nostalgia. One of these new emotions in Ennui, voiced by Adèle Exarchopoulos. Ennui describes herself as “the boredom” and, personality-wise, is a lot like a sullen teenager who is helpful in that she allows Riley to not worry, at least on the outside, which makes her a nice counterpoint to Anxiety. Ennui is a fun new character but she actually was almost in the original Inside Out film.

Ennui Has Changed a Lot

The first Inside Out originally had 27 emotions in various stages of development before they narrowed it down to the core five. One of these emotions would have been Ennui, who was male. Ennui never got back to the storyboard stage, but the deleted scene is available to view on the bonus features of the film’s home video and Disney+ release.

Ennui might not have fit the first film, but when it came time for a sequel, and after some slight reworking, it was a great addition to the franchise.

1 Apple 1984 Ad and Callback to Steve Jobs

One of the funniest but also deepest references in Inside Out 2 is the parody of Apple’s famous “1984” Super Bowl ad. In the film, anxiety is projected over a screen in a big brother-type manner as she looks over an office setting, which has converted Riley’s imagination into a center to anticipate future problems.

While a reference to George Orwell’s iconic book Nineteen Eighty-Four would be a fun reference of its own, it has many layers to Pixar’s history as it feels like a direct homage to one of the company’s founders, the late Steve Jobs.

The Commercial That Led to Pixar

“1984” was the commercial that introduced the Apple personal computer, the Macintosh, to the world, airing appropriately in 1984 during the 3rd Quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. The ad, directed by Ridley Scott, features a nameless runner (Anya Major) in a colorful outfit running through a grey, bleak world towards a large screen with a nameless figure.

She throws a large brass-headed sledgehammer, smashing the screen as the ad symbolizes Macentosih computers breaking away from conformity and promising to change the world. The commercials has since become not only one of the most famous Super Bowl spots but is considered one of the greatest commercials of all time.

One year later,, in 1985, Steve Jobs was removed from Apple, and then the next year, in 1986, he a computer division from George Lucas (who had developed the Pixar Image Computer) and established the group as an independent company, which would become Pixar.

In 2006, he sold Pixar to the Walt Disney Company for over $7 billion to Disney CEO Bob Iger and, at the time, became Disney’s largest individual shareholder with a 7% stake in the company, which has since gone to his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, following his death in 2011. Jobs might no longer be with us, but not only does his legacy live on in Pixar’s continued legacy, but Inside Out 2 got to make a direct reference to one of his most iconic contributions to pop culture outside of Pixar.

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