The Fourth Cataclysm?

Rowan refers to the doom he’s trying to unleash in New York City as The Fourth Cataclysm. This could be a subtle reference to the events of the previous Ghostbusters franchise, because even though there are only two Ghostbusters movies, Dan Aykroyd has often said that the Ghostbusters video game the original cast made together was essentially Ghostbusters 3. So this latest world-ending scenario would be the fourth time an event like this has happened.


A Lunchtime Warning

When Erin Gilbert realizes that there’s still an impending threat to the city even after Rowan appears to be stopped, she rushes to find the mayor while he’s dining at a nice restaurant. She pounds on the glass window of the restaurant looking for the mayor, just like Louis Tully does in a scene from Ghostbusters when he’s being chased by Vinz Clortho, one of the terror dogs who ends up possessing him.


Possession and an Unlikely Hero

Just like Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) in the original Ghostbusters, Chris Hemsworth ends up getting possessed by a spirit. He’s used to enact the rest of the plan to unleash a bunch more ghosts on New York City. In addition, Hemsworth’s role also takes a bit of a cue from Rick Moranis’ role in Ghostbusters II as he ends up thinking he was the key to defeating the villain.

Slimer Origin


He’s an ugly little spud, and he became a surprisingly iconic part of Ghostbusters, thanks mostly to his inclusion as a main character and sort of mascot of The Real Ghostbusters animated series. So of course he had to pop up in the new Ghostbusters, eating the hot dogs he loves so much, and he even got a female companion to accompany him.


The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

He’s not quite as threatening as his appearance in the original Ghostbusters, but the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man does give the new Ghostbusters crew some trouble as a ghostly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. I’m not entirely sure why he can be popped with a tangible pocket knife, but whatever.


That’s a Big Twinkie

Before the face of New York City gets a visual makeover to look like the 1970s, you can see a contemporary billboard in Times Square that says “That’s a big…” followed by an image of a Twinkie. This is a reference to the explanation Egon gives to the rest of the Ghostbusters about the size of the psychokinetic energy being unleashed upon New York City.

Ghostbusters Trailer

The Traveler Has Come!

Much like Gozer the Gozerian has the original Ghostbusters choose the form of the destructor of New York City, Rowan tauntingly asks what form the new Ghostbusters would prefer he take. And just like Gozer, he turns something innocent into something deadly, Rowan does the same by turning the Ghostbusters logo into a giant monster, and he’s not all that different from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man when you think about it.


Ghostbusters Theme

There are a few uses of the original Ghostbusters theme created by Ray Parker Jr. It’s used for the opening title, as we already covered, and a variation on it is used for a ghost hunting show on TV called Ghost Jumpers. Finally, as we’ve already heard and almost unanimously hated, Fall Out Boy performs a new version of the theme that can be heard throughout the movie.

However, there’s a more subtle use of the signature tune as a few notes from the melody are played by Rowan on the piano inside the lobby of the Mercado.

ghostbusters ride


We’ve already covered most of the cameos thanks to previous stories about Ghostbusters Easter eggs, but we’ll run through some of the others here, including a couple details about one of the aforementioned cameos.

Dan Aykroyd plays a cab driver who says he “ain’t afraid of no ghosts” and even appears to have an understanding of how they’re classified. Ernie Hudson pops up as Patty’s uncle who owns the funeral home that loaned them the hearse. And Bill Murray has the biggest cameo as a debunker of paranormal activity, almost as a different version of the EPA employee Walter Peck, who harasses Peter Venkman in the original Ghostbusters.

Finally, Sigourney Weaver technically doesn’t have a cameo in the actual movie, but she appears in one of the scenes that play during the credits, as Holtzmann’s quirky mentor in science.


There Is No Dana, Only Zuul

Those who stuck around after the credits were treated to a scene that teases what might come in the sequel which Sony Pictures already seems committed to make. The new Ghostbusters are working in their lab that is now situated in the old Ghostbusters firehouse, and Patty is listening to a tape reel with headphones. She has an increasingly concerned look on her face and when she takes them off she says, “Hey guys, what’s Zuul?”

Zuul is one of the demons in the original Ghostbusters who brings about Gozer the Gozerian to tear apart New York City. It’s the demon who possesses Sigourney Weaver’s character, and it could foreshadow the direction a Ghostbusters sequel may take.


That’s nearly 30 easter eggs and references to the original Ghostbusters. In fact, there’s technically even more than that since we lumped some of them together into one. With all those references, I still can’t believe that this was situated as a hard reboot of Ghostbusters and not a legacy-quel like TRON Legacy, Jurassic World or even Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Having this many Easter eggs without any narrative ties to the original just feels like too much fan service, especially without any narrative inspiration for them. The new Ghostbusters should have tried much more to differentiate itself from the original movie outside of being more of a blockbuster with a different comedic tone.

Thanks to ScreenCrush and Uproxx for providing some extra inspiration to help round out this list.

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