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33 Details From '00s Movies That Are As Smart As They Are Subtle

Legally Blonde crew members hid in trees and dropped painted fall leaves behind Elle.

1. "In The Princess Diaries (2001), Mia breaks her glass at a dinner party and a waiter reassures her: 'It happens all the time.' In Pretty Woman (1990) a waiter played by the same actor says the exact same line to Vivian after she flings a snail across the room. Both films are directed by Garry Marshall."

The server saying, It happens all the time in The Princess Diaries, and the server saying I happens all the time in Pretty Woman
Walt Disney Pictures / Touchstone Pictures

2. "In Juno (2007), Mark dresses more and more like Juno after each encounter with her."

Mark's clothes getting more unkempt
Fox Searchlight Pictures


In case you forgot, Mark develops feelings for 16-year-old Juno and connects with her as a way to make himself feel better.

Here's the wonderful, hard scene where Mark's Mark-ness comes to a head.

View this video on YouTube

Fox Searchlight Pictures

3. "In Love Actually (2003), the opening montage was real footage of passengers meeting their loved ones at the airport, shot with hidden cameras. Director Richard Curtis said that when something special was caught on camera, they would rush up to people and ask for their permission to use it in the movie."

View this video on YouTube

Universal Pictures / StudioCanal / Working Title Films

4. "In The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Emily’s computer wallpaper is the Arc de Triomphe, showing how important going to Paris for Fashion Week is to her."

The Arc de Triomphe on Emily's desktop wallpaper
Fox 2000 Pictures

5. "Falling leaves" in Legally Blonde (2001) were actually dropped.

6. "In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), when Ricky Bobby is in the hospital, the monitor says his heart rate is 69 for the entire scene."

The heart rate monitor reading 69
Columbia Pictures

7. "In Mean Girls (2004), queen bee Regina wears an 'R' necklace around her neck. Cady begins wearing a 'C' necklace once she has humiliated Regina and taken her place."

Regina wearing an R necklace and Cady wearing a C necklace
Paramount Pictures

8. Plus, a similar thing from Mean Girls (2004): "We learn that Regina, leader of the Plastics, told Gretchen that she couldn’t wear hooped earrings because they were her thing. Later in the movie, when Cady becomes leader of the Plastics, we see her wearing hooped earrings, showing that she became just like Regina."

Regina wearing hoops, Gretchen saying to Cady, You know that I'm not allowed to wear hoop earrings, right, and Cady wearing hoops
Paramount Pictures

9. Finally, "In Mean Girls (2004), Regina forbade Gretchen to wear hoop earrings. Once they broke up, Gretchen is seen wearing hoop earrings."

Gretchen wearing hoops
Paramount Pictures

Here's Gretchen's whole hoops moment.

View this video on YouTube

Paramount Pictures

10. "In The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Paul Rudd wears a shirt with his photo on it. The photo came from the day they shot their work badges. The costumer printed it on a shirt on a whim and left it with the rest of Rudd’s wardrobe. When he saw it, he chose to wear it in this scene."

Paul Rudd wearing a shirt with his face on it
Universal Pictures

11. "In I Am Legend (2007), in Dr. Robert Neville's house you can see multiple famous paintings hanging that he took from the Museum of Modern Art and other famous galleries in New York. In this scene while Ethan watches Shrek, you can see Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night.'"

Starry Night on the wall behind Robert
Warner Bros.

12. "The treasure chest from the end of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) is actually labeled Deus Ex Machina."

The open treasure chest called Deus Ex Machina
Twentieth Century Fox

13. "In 13 Going on 30 (2004), Jenna's apartment is furnished to look identical to the '30, Flirty & Thriving' article she read when she was 13."

The apartment in the magazine and Jenna's very similar apartment
Revolution Studios


Kudos to the production design department for not making this furniture noticeably dated to either 1987 or 2004.

14. "In Hot Fuzz (2007), all the swear box words are censored, except for 'cunt.'"

Nob, Bastard, Shit, and Fuck are all censored, but Cunt is written in full
Working Title Films

15. Iron Man (2008) had a subtle musical homage to the original 1966 Iron Man cartoon.

16. "In A Cinderella Story (2004), the license plate says '2SAM,' which foreshadows Sam's father's will that is later found in the movie, giving her the rights to everything. At the end of the movie, Sam sells that car to help pay for college."

The license plate says 2 S A M 5 6 4
Warner Bros.


This is totally unrelated, but let's take a moment to celebrate this line from A Cinderella Story, one of the best lines in anything ever: "Sweetheart, now that you're old enough, there's something I've always wanted to tell you, and I think you're ready to hear it: You're not very pretty, and you're not very bright. I'm so glad we had that talk."

17. "In (500) Days Of Summer (2009), when asked who is going to sing karaoke next, Summer nominates Tom by saying, 'I nominate young Werther here!' This is a reference to the German poet Goethe's 'The Sorrows of Young Werther,' which is about a doomed romantic relationship."

Summer talking to Tom
Fox Searchlight Pictures

18. "In Shaun of the Dead (2004), as Shaun goes to purchase a Diet Coke from Nelson (the convenient store owner who is now a zombie), he is short 15p. Nelson is later seen in the movie begging Shaun for the money."

Shaun saying I owe you about 25 p and then zombie Nelson later with his hand out for the money
Shaun of the Dead

19. "In Jennifer's Body (2009), the school is putting on a production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which was the first example of the movie's 'psycho-biddy' genre."

A display for the school musical What Ever Happened to Baby Jane The Musical
Fox Atomic

20. "In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), the name of the Mexican restaurant the women go to eat at is 'Escupimos en su Alimento,' which translates in English to 'We spit on your food.'"

The restaurant exterior
Dreamworks Pictures

21. Mia's trip on the bleachers in The Princess Diaries (2001) wasn't scripted.

Hathaway later said of the film and its director, Garry Marshall, "If it was good, it was in the movie. He didn't care where it came from; he didn't care what happened."

22. "In The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), one of the fishers despairing at Sean’s early attempts at drifting is the real-life 'Drift King' Keiichi Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya helped popularize the art, as well as Touge driving, which also features heavily in the film."

Tsuchiya in Tokyo Drift and in real life smiling with a thumbs up on a race track
Universal Pictures

23. "In the Superbad (2007) scene where they give Fogell the list to buy the alcohol, they tell him, 'Don’t fuck it up and get sambuca again.' In a brief scene earlier, Fogell can be seen holding a bottle of sambuca."

Evan, Fogell, and Seth watching a laptop, with Fogell holding sambuca
Columbia Pictures

24. "Brilliant visual humor in Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (2007)."

There are thought bubbles on a whiteboard in the background that are framed around a police officer, so the words, like rude and late, look to be about him
Working Title Films


If you can't see it, the board behind him says things like, "Inefficient," "Rude," "Disloyal," and "Late." The protagonist of Hot Fuzz believes he is all of these things.

As one of the Reddit commenters pointed out, "The only thing written in black is 'Lack of leadership skills.' During the shopping center assault at the end of the film, he's shown to be able to take charge."

Here's the moment where Seth demands Fogell do better this time.

Seth says, We're gonna get alcohol for the whole party, okay, we put a lot of time into this list, so don't fuck it up and get sambuca again
Columbia Pictures

25. "In Little Miss Sunshine (2006), the shot of Dwayne realizing that he can’t be a pilot cruelly depicts the vast blue sky that he craves, yet he is grounded in agony."

Dwayne with his head on the ground in sadness with the sky behind in
Fox Searchlight Pictures


Dwayne has just learned he has colorblindness.

26. James Marsden was actually hit by cyclists for Enchanted (2007).

27. "In Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), after Dewey marries Darlene while still married to Edith, he can be seen wearing both of his wedding rings."

Dewey Cox with his hand up wearing two rings
Apatow Productions

28. "In The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Will Smith walked past the real Chris Gardner, the man he played and the movie was based on."

Chris Gardner walking behind Will Smith, with Will Smith looking at him
Columbia Pictures

29. "In Zombieland (2009), Tallahassee spends the entire movie looking for Twinkies. While screaming about Snowballs and a lack of Twinkies during the Hostess Truck scene, there are a stack of Twinkies behind the left door just out of his view."

Twinkies right next to Tallahassee
Columbia Pictures

30. "In 13 Going on 30 (2004), Jenna's party dress and sleep mask in the future are the same material as the blindfold she wears in the closet during her seven minutes in heaven in the past."

The same material on Jenna's dress, Jenna's blindfold, and Jenna's eyemask
Revolution Studios

31. "In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Ricky Bobby initially has a sponsorship from Wonder Bread. Later, when he's lost his sponsor, he reuses the 'W' and 'E' from 'Wonder' to spell 'Me.'"

Bobby with the Wonder on his chest and with the M E on his chest
Columbia Pictures

32. "In Hot Fuzz (2007), the amateur performance of Romeo and Juliet is styled just like Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film (the actors wear the same costumes, they use guns, etc.), showing how terrible the actors really are; they’re copying a film, not actually performing Shakespeare."

When performing the climax of Romeo and Juliet, after Romeo just died, Mister Blower whispers, Now, and Eve Draper as Juliet wakes up very happily and then gasps when she sees Romeo
Working Title Films


My favorite part of this scene is the Blower adjusting himself after dying as Romeo.

33. And, "Rewatched Mean Girls (2004) and noticed foreshadowing of 'Yellow School Bus.' At the start of the film, Cady almost gets hit by a bus as she’s going into the school; then later, when she meets Aaron, she says, 'This one hit me like a big yellow school bus,' foreshadowing the scene toward the end of movie."

Cady almost hit by a bus and Cady saying, This one hit me like a big yellow bus when she saw Aaron
Paramount Pictures

Note: Quotes have been edited for length and/or clarity.