×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Easter eggs you missed in Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is the biggest, wildest, and most self-assured entry in the DC Extended Universe to date, but you don't need to be a DC junkie to enjoy it. Despite a few offhand references to Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn's latest adventure stands entirely on its own. Just sit back, relax, and let Harley, Black Canary, Huntress, and Black Mask's unique brand of mayhem wash over you.

Of course, if you do know your Deadshots from your Deathstrokes, you're going to find a lot of subtle nods to Birds of Prey's history in Cathy Yan's surreal action-comedy. After all, Harley and her teammates aren't just movie stars. They're also some of the most popular comic book characters around.

Both Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey have a long and storied history in the DC universe, and the Margot Robbie-led flick pays tribute to both — if you're paying attention. If you're not a DC diehard, don't worry. You'll still find plenty to like in Birds of Prey. If you are, though, these Easter eggs can be a lot of fun.

The real love of Harley's life

Birds of Prey is all about Harley Quinn's big breakup with Mr. J, but the Clown Prince of Crime isn't Harley's only ex. As Birds of Prey's animated prologue explains, Harley's heart was broken a number of times before she hooked up with the Joker. Occasionally, the object of her spurned affection was a man. At least once, according to the prologue, it was a woman.

Birds of Prey mostly glosses over the character's non-Joker pairings, and understandably so — the whole point of the movie is that Harley doesn't need to be in a relationship with anyone to thrive — but as many fans, including Margot Robbie herself, realize, Harley's one true love isn't a homicidal clown. It's Poison Ivy, the botanist-turned-eco-terrorist who's proven to be quite a thorn in Batman's side.

In the comics, Harley and Ivy are a very popular pairing, and Birds of Prey knows it, which is probably why Yan included this subtle nod to Harley's canonical bisexuality. In fact, the female face that turns up on the prologue's cartoon slot machine looks a heck of a lot like ol' Pamela Isley. We're not saying that it's definitely Poison Ivy in the movie. We're just saying, look, Harley clearly has a type.

He's Boomerang. Of course he came back

Birds of Prey isn't a direct sequel to Suicide Squad, the movie that introduced Robbie's Harley Quinn to the big screen, but it clearly takes place in the same universe. While grocery shopping with Cassandra Cain, Harley recaps her story, and summarizes the events of her earlier film. A few shots from Suicide Squad reappear in (or were recreated for) Birds of Prey, when Harley flashes back to her origin story.

That connection opens the door to one of Birds of Prey's best Easter eggs. While breaking into the Gotham City Police Department in order to free Cassandra, who's in possession of the Mafia diamond that everyone wants, Harley catches sight of a "Wanted" poster on the wall. "Hey, I know that guy!" she cheerfully exclaims, before getting on with the action.

She should, and if you've seen Suicide Squad, you should too. The man on the poster is none other than Jai Courtney, who played Harley's teammate Captain Boomerang in David Ayer's superhero flick. The DCEU may not be as interconnected as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but little links like these are always nice, especially considering that Courtney and Boomerang are set to return in James Gunn's Suicide Squad sequel. With a name like that, how could you expect anything different?

Daddy's lil' monster

Let's talk a little about Harley Quinn's costume in Birds of Prey. Specifically, let's talk about what changed. When she debuted in Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie's Harley showed a lot of skin. Instead of the black and red long johns that made her famous, Robbie's Harley sported hot pants, a short, sparkling jacket, and a t-shirt with "Daddy's lil monster" scrawled across the front in faux-cursive script.

Some fans loved the new look. Others found it sexist and needlessly objectifying. Even Robbie seemed mixed on it. While she found the outfit appropriate for the character, she didn't particularly like wearing it. "I'm not wearing hot pants next time," Robbie told The New York Times. She was right. In Birds of Prey, Harley dons more casual and comfortable outfits that still reflect her individual style.

Still, that Suicide Squad look is iconic on its own — it was the most-searched Halloween costume in 2016 and 2017 — and Harley can't escape it entirely. In the animated prologue, Harley's wearing her original Suicide Squad getup. Her old outfit pops up again later in the movie, when Renee Montoya is looking for something to wear. However, even when Harley is dressed entirely differently, the Suicide Squad influence remains. If you look carefully, you'll notice that Harley has a tattoo on her chest, which also says "Daddy's lil monster," just like her old shirt. Even the font is similar.

The man who started it all

Without Harley Quinn, we wouldn't have Birds of Prey. Without the Joker, we wouldn't have Harley Quinn. And without Jerry Robinson, we wouldn't have any of them. While Bill Finger and Bob Kane get all the credit for creating Batman, it was Robinson, an artist, who invented the Dark Knight's archnemesis in 1940.

Joker isn't in Birds of Prey, but his influence looms large over the film. As such, it's only fitting that Birds of Prey pays tribute to Robinson's legacy. When she's captured by Black Mask and his goons and pleading for her life, Harley tries to convince Roman that she's good at finding things — like, say, the Bertinelli Family diamond. As an example, she brings up a nude photo of Eleanor Roosevelt that the Joker once had. When the scandalous picture went missing, it was up to Harley to track it down.

And where did she find it? In a bird's nest in "Robinson Park," of course. It's a story that raises more questions than answers, but it does prove that Birds of Prey — and the citizens of Gotham City, apparently — know who to thank for all the misery the Joker has inflicted over the years. Thanks, Jerry.

Leave it to Bernie

In Birds of Prey, Harley has a couple of pets. There's Bruce, a hyena named after "that hunky Wayne guy," and there's Bernie, a beaver wearing a tutu. Bernie doesn't really do much, mostly on account of being dead and stuffed, but he's integral to some of Birds of Prey's best sight gags, as well as a couple of killer lines.

The entire movie is so wacky that it would be easy to dismiss Bernie as just another piece of zany set dressing, but no, the stuffed beaver is actually a popular recurring character in Harley Quinn's own comics. As the story goes, Bernie originally belonged to Harley's first crush. Young Harleen stole the taxidermied animal when her boytoy was sent to juvie. Like in the movie, the Bernie of the comics is dead, but since Harley's certifiably crazy, she treats him like he's alive (and able to speak) anyway. (Which could be another Easter egg itself: just as Harley Quinn was partly inspired by Days of Our Lives star Arleen Sorkin, magically talking stuffed beavers also have a history on the soaps — specifically the one known as Morris, who occupied a spot on the desk of the Angel Square Hotel and "spoke" to proprietor Roxy Balsom on One Life to Live.)

Over the past few years, Bernie has saved Harley's life more than once, and he even had his own ongoing plot line in which he was stranded on a desert island. He's also disfigured after years of abuse and is a notorious horndog with a filthy sense of humor. C'mon, he's a beaver. The jokes practically write themselves.

With liberty and Injustice for all

The Birds of Prey have appeared in more than comics. They've also starred in television shows, cartoons, and video games — and Birds of Prey pays tribute to all of them, especially the latter. Fans of DC and NetherRealm Studios' Injustice franchise, which pits DC comic book characters including Black Canary and Harley Quinn against each other in Mortal Kombat-like fights, have found a few similarities to the games and their spinoff material in the film. Chances are, they're not an accident.

During one scene in Birds of Prey, Harley dresses up in a stylish coat and hat in order to sneak into the GCPD, where Cassandra's been locked up. As Tom Taylor, who wrote DC's Injustice spinoff comics, notes, her outfit looks almost exactly like one that Harley wears in Injustice: Year Two. There's even a near-identical shot in which Harley tears her coat open, revealing heavy armaments underneath.

It isn't just Harley who gets the Injustice love, though. Black Canary does, too. It takes a long time, but at the climax of the movie, Dinah Lance finally unleashes her sonic scream, the Canary Cry, decimating the Black Mask's goons. It's a big moment, and it should look familiar. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who plays Dinah in Birds of Prey, all but admitted on Twitter that she based her pose on Injustice's version of the Canary Cry, something that diehard fans noticed immediately.

Wait, Batman does what with bats?!

Birds of Prey doesn't have a full post-ending sequence, but it does have a nutty little treat for people who stay in the theater until the lights come up.

As the final credits roll, Harley's voice takes over the soundtrack. First, she makes fun of the audience for sticking around even though the movie is over. Feeling some pity for her fans, however, Harley decides to let everyone who's still in the theater in on a little secret: "Batman f—." No, that's not a typo. The audio cuts off before Harley finishes spilling the beans.

As a result, we don't know exactly what Harley was going to say, but we have a pretty good guess — and it isn't very family-friendly. Over on the Harley Quinn cartoon on the DC Universe streaming service, Harley made headlines for suggesting that Batman has a very, um, intimate relationship with the flying mammals he takes his name from. It's not certain, but many viewers seem to agree that Robbie's version of the character was going to let moviegoers in on the slanderous truth, too. Yikes. No wonder Warner Bros. cut the audio.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return

Birds of Prey has a few musical interludes — look, it's just that kind of movie — but there's only one that serves as a double Easter egg. While Harley is in Black Mask's captivity, she briefly loses consciousness. When she does, she dreams that she's singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Cinephiles will instantly recognize the scene as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe's performance in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Look at Harley's dress. Look at her hair. Look at those dapper backup dancers (but ignore their creepy masks). But there's more going on in that scene, too. Roman Sionis is also there, and surprisingly, it's not the first time that Ewan McGregor has been part of a musical number set to that one specific song.

See, years and years before Ewan McGregor broke bad in Birds of Prey, he played the lead in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!, which also featured "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." You might remember the scene: It's when Satine (Nicole Kidman) enters the film for the first time as part of a lavish musical number, stealing McGregor's heart forever. 

Coincidence? Could be, but it'd be a big one. McGregor isn't known for musicals, and while the song is well-known, it's not the biggest hit in the world. Appearing in two separate song-and-dance sequences featuring the tune? The odds certainly seem to be against it.