Here Are All The ‘Umbrella Academy’ Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
This show is FULL of important little details.
The Umbrella Academy is Netflix’s latest offering in the superhero genre, but this one is slightly different to the usual Marvel fare. Based on the comic series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, the show tells the story of a dysfunctional family of super-powered misfits who need to band together in order to prevent the apocalypse — if they can only get over their sibling dramas in time.
It’s a weird but wonderful and totally addictive ride, and is full of little nods to the comics, plus moments of foreshadowing and other Easter eggs. Here are some to keep an eye on (warning: spoilers for the whole series below)…
Episode 1: “We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals”
When Vanya pulls her book from Hargreeves’ bookshelf and turns it over, you can see the endorsement was written by Gerard Way. It calls Vanya’s book “An incredible read…a revealing portal into the life of Vanya Hargreeves and the life she has lived. I couldn’t put it down!”
Pogo reveals that after Five disappeared, Vanya would leave peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches out at night in case he came home. When Five returns, the very first thing he does is make himself a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.
We see Hargreeves monitoring all of the children in their sleep in a flashback sequence. The fact that he was watching and testing Vanya as part of this is a clue that he didn’t believe she was ordinary after all.
When Allison enters Hargreeves’ study, you can see a framed newspaper clipping about the Eiffel Tower — a reference to the first issue of the comics, “The Day The Eiffel Tower Went Beserk”, in which the young Umbrella Academy stop an attack in Paris and discover the Eiffel Tower is a spaceship.
Episode 2: “Run Boy Run”
In the flashback scene, not only do we see Luther and Allison eye-flirting, Diego playing with a knife and Klaus rolling a joint, Ben is reading a book by Anton Chekhov – an early indication that he himself is a Chekhov’s gun.
When Five discovers the bodies of the Umbrella Academy in the future, Vanya is a conspicuous absence, foreshadowing the fact that she is the one who causes the apocalypse. You can also see columns amongst the rubble that look like those seen on stage during Vanya’s performance in Episode 10, indicating Five does indeed find his dead siblings in the wreckage of the Icarus Theatre.
Episode 3: “Extra Ordinary”
When Diego finds Mom cross-stitching, the design she’s working on looks like the moon with a big chunk breaking off, a big hint for the end of the series.
Episode 4: “Man on the Moon”
In the scene when Vanya approaches Allison at the newsstand, there’s a poster for roller derby above a magazine called Whippet Snippets, which seems to be a nod to Ellen Page’s hit movie Whip It.
Diego and Luther find Five drunk and depressed, with Delores, in the library, having started to write his calculations on the walls. In the next episode, “Number Five”, it’s revealed that in the future, Five made his home with Delores in the ruins of the library, and you can see what’s left of the walls covered in his calculations.
Episode 5: “Number Five”
The shot of Hargreeves’ notes about Vanya at the end of the episode is kind of hard to read, but if you look closely you can see reference to #00.03 – perhaps a note about Number Three, a.k.a. Allison, and the way she used her powers to make Vanya believe she was ordinary.
Episode 6: “The Day That Wasn’t”
The fairy lights in the fantasy dance sequence featuring Luther and Allison recall the fairy lights in their secret blanket fort hideaway.
Just before Five escapes the Commission, you can see red gas masks on the wall in the briefcase room, which the agents who attack the Academy later wear in Episode 10.
Episode 7: “The Day That Was”
The flashback to Harold’s childhood shows him referencing “the evil Dr Terminal”, who is a major villain in the comics, and the one who indirectly causes Vanya to become the White Violin.
Episode 8: “I Heard a Rumour”
In the flashback featuring Allison putting her daughter, Claire, to bed, Claire requests the story about the Eiffel Tower – another reference to the incident in the first issue of the comics.
Episode 9: “Changes”
Although Vanya’s character design differs from that in the comics when she transforms into the White Violin (Ellen Page reportedly wanted the character to be less sexualised), in the scene when Harold is washing the blood off Vanya’s body, the blood stains on her neck echo the violin string design of her comic counterpart.
Episode 10: “The White Violin”
The redheaded woman who approaches the Academy at the bowling alley is the same woman who witnessed Klaus time travel from the bus in Episode 4.
The cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” you hear over the closing credits is, of course, performed by Gerard Way himself.