Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Now that the dust has settled around the hotly debated Ghostbusters reboot from director Paul Feig, we wanted to take a look back at all the Easter eggs and references the new film made to the original 1984 classic from director Ivan Reitman. One of the biggest complaints was that the reboot aimed for too much fan service with an abundance of references to the original film, right down to cameos from almost every single key cast member.
Once you check out our complete Ghostbusters Easter eggs guide below, you can decide for yourself. Some of them are obvious, others might have gone over your head. But we rounded up all of them, because there might be some viewers out there who aren’t as well-versed with the original Ghostbusters as some of the most hardcore fans. That’s why you’ll see us referencing everything from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to a tribute the late Harold Ramis to a couple of obscure ghosts you forgot about.
The Opening Scene and Title
The conclusion of the opening scene unfolds with the exact same shot as the first one, with a push into the face of a screaming person who is encountering a ghost for the first time. In the original Ghostbusters it’s Alice Drummond (whom you may remember as Ray Finkle’s mother from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) who screams before the title, but in the reboot, it’s Zach Woods of The Office who gets the honor. Both also employ the iconic theme when the title graces the screen.
Just like the original crew of Ghostbusters, Kristen Wiig’s character Dr. Erin Gilbert is working at Columbia University. And just like the characters from the first movie, she ends up getting fired from the school due to her research and eventual belief in the paranormal.
Harold Ramis played Egon Spengler, one of the original Ghostbusters, and he also wrote the script for the 1984 film. Sadly, Ramis passed away back in 2014, meaning he couldn’t make a cameo. However, Paul Feig included the next best thing. A bust of Harold Ramis can be seen in the hallway of Columbia University in a lingering shot after Kristen Wiig leaves the office of the dean of the school.
Do Not Write Stupid Things on the Door
In the Ghostbusters reboot, there’s a note on the door of Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Holtzmann’s (Kate McKinnon) office that says “Do not write stupid things on door!” This appears to be a reference to a similar shot from the original movie where someone wrote “Venkman, Burn in Hell” on the good doctor’s office.
Books Can’t Fly
The first haunting of the original Ghostbusters sees a librarian walking through the basement bookshelves, and we see some of the books float across the aisle due to the ghost hanging around down there. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that in a conversation between Erin and Abby, you hear the line “Books can’t fly!” as a little nod to that scene.
Listen, Do You Smell Something?
There’s a joke in the new Ghostbusters where Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) doesn’t know the difference between his eyes and ears. Not only is it a funny gag, but it’s actually also a reference to a line from the original Ghostbusters when Ray says, “Listen, do you smell something?” in the basement of the New York Public Library in the opening scene.
My Pants Are Toast
In the climactic scene of the first Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman is fed up with Gozer the Gozerian getting the best of them, so he taunts her by saying, “All right, this chick is toast.” The reboot borrows the expression for a conversation that Ed Begley Jr. has with Abby, Erin and Holtzmann, referencing the fact that Zach Woods’ character told him, “My pants are toast.”
Abby’s Special Helmet
When Erin Gilbert goes to see Abby in her lab, the techno-helmet the latter is wearing looks very much like the device Egon had Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) wear in the original Ghostbusters.
There are a few references to the classification of ghosts such as a non-terminal repeating phantasm or a Class-5 full-roaming vapor by the original Ghostbusters. The system is never really explained, and a similar one is referenced in the reboot with a Class 4 apparition being mentioned in the movie. What’s interesting is that Dan Aykroyd references this classification in his cameo in the movie, which may have made fans raise some eyebrows about the possibility of some kind of parallel universe. Or maybe that’s just me.
He Slimed Me
When the original Ghostbusters take their first job capturing a ghost at an upscale hotel, Peter Venkman ends up getting slimed by the ugly little spud who would come to be known as Slimer. The Ghostbusters reboot takes that to the extreme when Kristen Wiig gets a bunch of slime unloaded on her. It actually becomes much more of a running gag in the new movie than the original.
Higgins Institute of Science
This isn’t a reference to the original movie, but it’s a fun cameo with some history. The actor who plays the dean of the crappy university that Abby and Erin work at is Steve Higgins, for whom the fake science institute is named. Audiences today might know him best as the announcer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but he’s also a writer at Saturday Night Live and has been since 1996. That means he saw the careers of Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon grow before his eyes. Plus, SNL was where Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd famously got their start in comedy.