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The biggest Spider-Man: No Way Home Easter Egg — and the MCU references you may have missed

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange in the poster for Spider-Man No Way Home
(Image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Entertainment)

First off this is your spoiler warning for Spider-Man: No Way Home! Easter egg discussion is the kind of thing we can't do without breaking down some key plot points about the new movie.

And since there is so much from that movie to break down, we're not just going to talk about the one scene that has us curious about what's next for Tom Holland's Peter Parker (and the one clue to tumult in Thor: Love and Thunder). As cool as that moment was, we've also got some highlights to point out for the folks who haven't been rewatching all the Spider-Man movies lately (which we have, even the Andrew Garfield ones).

So, once you've decoded the Spider-Man: No Way Home post-credits scenes with us, and figured out all of the confusion behind Sony and Disney's sticky web of streaming service contract nonsense (when is Spider-Man: No Way Home coming to Disney Plus?), let's dive into the biggest Easter Eggs from the biggest Spider-Man movie ever.

Spider-Man: No Way Home's biggest Easter Egg was in the sky

We hope you're as eagle-eyed as the rest of the internet, as we only caught one of the Spider-Man villains partially seen in the skies above Doctor Strange and Peter Parker. Yes, during the climax of the movie, when Peter Parker makes the giant sacrifice of actually allowing his family and friends to forget him, there were white silhouettes in the giant rifts in the sky.

The most prominent of them all looked like Rhino. But it didn't look to have the hulk and bulk of the robotic armor that Paul Giamatti wore in Amazing Spider-Man 2. It looked like a more traditional comic-book version of Rhino. This makes a lot of sense, because Giamatti's Rhino doesn't know Peter's Spider-Man, and everyone in the skies was supposed to be someone who knew Parker's secret. 

But Rhino was far from alone. And talking with other folks who saw the movie, I heard that Kraven The Hunter (a long-rumored Spider-Man movie villain) and the Scorpion (whose armor was seen at the end of Amazing Spider-Man 2) were also seen.

All of these villains could be upcoming Spider-Man movie villains, because they know Spider-Man's secret identity. Who knows how they're getting there, but they're coming.

Spider-Man: No Way Home's Easter egg for Thor: Love and Thunder

Reddit user u/KingEuronIIIGreyjoy (opens in new tab) noticed an Easter egg for Thor: Love and Thunder, when Spidey was slinging around NYC at the start of the movie (when his identity was revealed). A news ticker reads "Political turmoil in New Asgard as Z..." under the wall-to-wall Spider-Man coverage.

This makes us think that Valkyrie's run as king/queen of New Asgard may not be going too well. The "Z..." may be tied to Zeus, who is expected to be played by Russell Crowe.

Okay, with that covered, onto the things other sites are calling "easter eggs" that are more of just neat references to the past.

1. A nod to the Spider-Man video games and comics

FEAST, the organization that Aunt May was working at, is a service that helps the homeless population of New York City. We're not sure if the Norman Osborn who showed up at FEAST was a con-artist working for his Green Goblin side, but we need to talk FEAST, because it's a big nod to the Spider-Man (PS4) game and the Spider-Man: Miles Morales game.

FEAST is where we first met Martin Li/Mister Negative, the villain who founded the noble organization. Is this a setup for something down the line? Possibly. But for now it's just a wink and a nod.

2. Why Tobey Maguire's back hurts

Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's cameos as Peter Parkers were great, and long-time fans of those films know why Maguire-Parker's back was hurting. After filming Seabiscuit, Maguire's pre-existing back conditions almost led to him being recast. 

Of all people, the future Mysterio himself, Jake Gyllenhaal was in negotiations to replace Maguire (opens in new tab).

3. Yes, there is a Black Spider-Man

Is Spider-Man: No Way Home teasing another crossover? You know how Max Dillon tells Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man that he thought Spider-Man — as a kid from Queens, NY — was Black? And wondered if there's gotta be a Black Spider-Man out there? 

There is, and his name is Miles Morales. He's returning in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2.

4. Doc Ock and Osborn quoting themselves

In Doctor Strange's magical prison chamber-filled basement, Norman Osborn said the four words nobody expected (but many wanted to hear), that he's "something of a scientist."

This callback to the really awkward line from the start of 2002's Spider-Man was a great way to pop the more rabid parts of the audience, and had me laughing.

5. "A really good lawyer," eh, Mr. Murdock?

For anyone who doesn't know their Marvel comics lore, Peter Parker's attorney from the first act of the film is in fact a superhero. In fact, he's Daredevil, a defender of Hell's Kitchen, NY. If it wasn't obvious by the fact that his name is Matt Murdock, that he is blind or that he has amazing reflexes, it was made crystal clear by the casting.  Charlie Cox is Daredevil again, after being missing in action once Disney killed off all of the Marvel Netflix shows.

Looking for something else to watch? Yellowstone season 4 episode 8 is gonna be one of the biggest hours of TV this weekend.

Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.