For as many epic fight scenes as “The Avengers” has, it has even more pop-culture Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. Thanks in large part to the combined efforts of writer/director Joss Whedon and snark master Robert Downey Jr., “The Avengers” is chock-full of witty pop-culture references worth dissecting and analyzing. So we did our best to catalog each and every nod, wink and jab featured in Marvel’s ultimate crossover movie.
Here is your pop-culture cheat sheet for “Marvel’s The Avengers.”
AC/DC: The Australian rock group known for hits such as “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell” appeared on the soundtracks for both “Iron Man” films and “The Avengers.”
“Ant and boot”: The analogy made by both Loki and Nick Fury could be references to Henry Pym, the Avenger known as Ant-Man.
Black Sabbath: The logo for the rock band lead by singer Ozzy Osbourne appears on the T-shirt Tony Stark wears throughout the film.
Flying monkeys: These creatures from creator L. Frank Baum, author of the “Oz” novels, are one of the few pop-culture references Captain America understands.
“Galaga”: The 1981 space-shooter game is name-checked on the deck of the Helicarrier when Tony Stark mentions that he sees someone playing it.
Harry Dean Stanton: The legendary actor, known for roles in “Alien,” “Red Dawn” and “Paris, Texas,” makes a cameo as the very accepting security guard, who finds a post-Hulk, nude Bruce Banner.
James Bond: The scene featuring Black Widow during an interrogation parodies many of the spy-movie clichés made famous by Ian Fleming’s most beloved character.
Jenny Agutter: The actress who played Alex Price in 1981’s “An American Werewolf in London” and had a recurring role on the BBC series “The Railway Children” appears as a member of the World Security Council.
“Point Break”: The 1991 surfing/bank robber movie stars Patrick Swayze, who sports long blond hair similar to Thor’s in the movie, as Tony Stark is happy to point out.
Powers Boothe: This “Deadwood” actor also makes a cameo appearance as a member of the World Security Council.
“Reindeer Games”: Loki’s horned helmet reminds Tony Stark of the 2000 film starring Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron.
“Rock of Ages”: Tony Stark may have been referencing the rock-based Broadway musical when making fun of Loki’s locks.
Shakespeare in the Park: During Loki and Thor’s argument in the forest, Iron Man references this dramatic-theater tradition.
Stan Lee: Arguably the most famous comic book writer ever, he co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Thor. As is traditional in Marvel movies, Lee makes a cameo in “The Avengers.”
Stephen Hawking: The world-renowned theoretical physicist, whose “A Brief History of Time” sold more than 10 million copies, is mentioned during a conversation among the Avengers.
“The Terminator”: The 1984 James Cameron film features Arnold Schwarzenegger arriving in the present in a similar posture to the one Loki takes upon reaching Earth.
Tesseract: The film version of the Cosmic Cube, this Marvel trope has been around since 1966.