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Warning: This is gonna get pretty cute.
Ted Lasso cast member Cristo Fernández revealed in a Reddit Ask Me Anything interview that he made up an elaborate backstory for his character, the exuberant footballer Dani Rojas. In the bio Fernández wrote, Rojas is the youngest of 12 siblings, which is “why he pushes himself to give his best and help his family back home,” and he has 43 cousins.
While everyone in the Rojas family works on the family farm, they also own a “humble taco truck.” Regrettably, “Dani sucks at cooking,” but everyone else makes “amazing food.” And, of course, Dani thinks of himself as a “free spirit” and a “very positive man,” personal qualities that are obvious to anyone who’s seen him run across the pitch yelling “Fútbol is life!”
In the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “The Puzzle Master,” Amy Santiago gets the chance to work with her celebrity crush, the crossword puzzle writer Melvin Stermley, who is, to Jake Peralta’s surprise/consternation, a hunk. Melvin is actually played by David Fumero, the real-life husband of Melissa Fumero, who plays Amy.
By the time Inside Out happens, Colette from Ratatouille has become a successful enough chef to appear on the front cover of a magazine in Riley’s living room.
There she is, in all her haute cuisine-making glory.
In the title card for the 2009 adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox, the library book’s cover proudly notes that it’s “Now a Major Motion Picture.”
Here it is up close.
In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part One, Katniss meets the cameraman Pollux, who is an Avox, or a person who had their tongue cut out by the Capitol. Pollux communicates through sign language, and after he greets Katniss, he signs to his brother Castor that he thinks she is beautiful.
Elden Henson, who played Pollux, told Zimbio, “One of the PAs on our set majored in sign language, so I immediately pulled him aside and was talking a lot with him and with Francis [Lawrence, the director], and we had a conversation about finding little moments in the movie that show how close Wes [Chatham, who played Castor] and I were. There’s that scene where I talk about how beautiful Katniss is, and on that day — and this is a testament to how great Francis is — I said, ‘You know, there might be an opportunity for Wes and I, who were just sort of in the background of that scene, to do something.'” Lawrence and screenwriter Peter Craig came up with the moment, while the on-set PA helped Henson learn how to sign it.
Throughout Season 2 of Derry Girls, the titular group of friends wear rainbow pins in support of Clare, who came out as a lesbian in the Season 1 finale. This is extra sweet, considering how strict their Catholic high school seems to be about its uniform policy.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph bends a piece of meteorite given to her by Sokka into a few different shapes, the last of which is Nickelodeon’s famous “splat” logo.
The van Coraline’s family uses to move into the Pink Palace is marked with graffiti reading “STOP MO RULZ,” an ode to the painstaking stop-motion animation style that makes films like Coraline possible.
During the last scene of the first season of Alex Rider, Alex’s best friend, Tom, wears a shirt that reads, “The book was better.” Either Tom can see through the fourth wall, or the production wanted to send a sweet message to fans of the original books (it’s probably that).
In Tick, Tick…Boom!, Stephen Sondheim is played by Bradley Whitford, but the real composer makes a voice-only cameo when he leaves an encouraging voicemail for Broadway up-and-comer Jonathon Larson.
Director Lin-Manuel Miranda told Entertainment Weekly that Sondheim asked to rewrite the voicemail because he felt it was “a little trite.” Whitford didn’t have time to re-record the new lines, so Sondheim stepped in for him. Said Miranda, “It makes me weep to even think about. Because he was such a mentor to Jon and generations of songwriters. But yes, he rewrote that message and recorded it himself and just sent it to me.”
In Iron Man 3, the virtual assistant JARVIS has his very own Christmas stocking hanging above the fireplace in Tony’s home.
In the background of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you can spot an advertisement for a movie that doesn’t exist, at least not in this universe: From Dusk Till Shaun, a fictional sequel to Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead.
One of the three directors of the film, Rodney Rothman, emailed Wright to ask him if he wanted to contribute to the film’s vision of an “alternate New York City with same-but-different things.” Rothman wrote, “I want to do subway and bus ads for movies that don’t exist in our world but theoretically could. And ideally I want to get the movie titles from the actual filmmakers. … Basically a movie made…by an alternate universe version of you.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the piragüero in the 2021 adaptation of his musical In the Heights, and director John M. Chu told BuzzFeed that Miranda was actually delighted when he caught a bottle of strawberry syrup in “Piragua (Reprise),” because it was the only time he was able to do it.
Chu said, “At the end, when in the ‘Piragua (Reprise),’ he has I think the strawberry syrup, and flips it over his back. And when he catches it, he dropped that so many times, but that’s the one time he caught it. So he’s genuinely so excited when he catches it in that.”
Five Feet Apart is a 2018 film about the star-crossed romance of Stella and Will, two teenagers with cystic fibrosis who, because of the dangers of infection, aren’t allowed to be physically close to each other or anyone else with the disease. The director, Justin Baldoni, was inspired to make the film after meeting and becoming friends with Claire Wineland, a CF patient he featured in My Last Days, a documentary series about people living with terminal illness. Baldoni told the Hollywood Reporter, “Her soul is in this movie and it wouldn’t be made without her.” Wineland died before she could see the film, which is dedicated to her, but she did get a chance to attend the table read.
Wineland was a YouTuber who made videos about living with CF; Five Feet Apart‘s Stella does the same thing. In a handful of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments, the movie nods to Wineland’s career as a YouTuber. For instance, while Will is watching Stella’s videos in his hospital room, you can spot two of Wineland’s videos: “Happy New Year Live From the Hospital” and “Why my parents Melissa and John (and all CF parents) are the shit!”
This one is trickier to see, but in-universe, Claire and Stella even collaborated on a video entitled “My Collab with the Amazing Claire Wineland.”
The director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, came up with a costuming “color palette” for T’Challa/Black Panther, Okoye, and Nakia that reflect the colors present on the Pan-African flag: black, red, and green, respectively.
And finally: In the Orange Is the New Black Season 2 episode “40 Oz. of Furlough,” Vee suggests that Rosa, an inmate with cancer, should read John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars.
Despite the fact that he was called a “sick fuck,” Green was delighted by the reference. He reblogged the scene on Tumblr with the caption, “HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE.”
What TV and movie detail warms your heart every single time you notice it? Tell us about them in the comments!