27 "What If...?" Episode 3 Details That Are Small, Brilliant, And Make The Episode Even Better

    The subtle Winter Soldier Easter egg is so perfect.

    🚨Warning: There are MASSIVE spoilers ahead for What If...? Episode 3 on Disney+!🚨

    Hi, hello. I hope you recovered from What If...? Episode 2 and are ready to dive into the next episode. So here are all the details I noticed in Episode 3, aka "What If...The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?"

    If you're new to these posts, welcome, and I apologize for all of my nerdy yelling! If you're returning after my weekly WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, AND Loki Easter eggs/details posts, thanks so much for coming back!

    1. First, the style of the episode is a reference to the Marvel comic Fury's Big Week, which was released in 2012, before The Avengers. It revealed that Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk actually took place during the same week and showed Fury recruiting everyone for The Avengers.

    Fury talking to Natasha with "Monday" and "Tuesday" showing on the screen

    2. Fury's first line to Natasha in this episode is exactly what he says while trying to motivate Tony and Steve during The Avengers.

    Fury saying, "There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people"

    3. Also, this is the first time we see what Nick Fury is doing before we see him in Iron Man 2 — of course, we also get an animated version of the iconic donut moment.

    Fury talking to Tony while he sits in a giant donut and saying, "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to exit the donut"

    4. When The Watcher talks about assembling The Avengers, you can hear the iconic "Avengers Theme" that has been used in countless MCU movies, and the shot is a nod to The Avengers fighting together in The Avengers.

    Natasha, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and Hulk standing together

    5. When Coulson finds Thor's hammer in the desert, it matches when he finds Mjölnir in the Iron Man 2 post-credits scene, except this time we hear Fury's side of the conversation.

    Coulson telling Fury he found the hammer and Fury saying, "Kind of in the middle of something here, Coulson"

    6. In case you don't immediately recognize the voice, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who arrests Natasha is Brock Rumlow, who we first met in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

    7. Brock mentions Alexander Pierce from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is brilliant because we know that Brock and Alexander were part of the HYDRA cell within S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Brock saying, "Save your spin for Pierce. He wants you in New York first thing for questioning"

    8. While guarding Mjölnir, Clint says that even Jackson can't lift the hammer, and Jackson was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Thor as well.

    In Thor, Sitwell saying, "DeLancey, Jackson. West side perimeter. Check it out"

    9. The sunglasses and hoodie Natasha wears to visit Betty Ross is a perfect nod to the disguises she wore in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

    10. When Natasha spots the pizza delivery outfit in Betty's lab, it's a callback to a disguise Bruce Banner used in The Incredible Hulk.

    A close-up of a red baseball cap reading, "Stanley's Pizza Parlor"

    11. Bruce's first line to Natasha in this episode is similar to what Bruce tells her after she tracks him down in The Avengers.

    Bruce saying, "Are you here to kill me, Ms. Romanoff? Because that's not gonna work out for everyone"

    12. Coulson mentions Middle-earth from Lord of the Rings, and I just love that throughout the MCU, Coulson continues to be the best at random pop culture references.

    Coulson mentioning Middle-earth vs. Coulson mentioning Obi-Wan Kenobi

    13. Fury tells Loki that they don't kneel before anyone on Earth, which is seemingly a nod to when T'Challa told Bruce the same thing in Avengers: Infinity War.

    Fury and T'Challa both saying, "We don't do that here"

    14. When Loki arrives on Earth, he is wielding the Casket of Ancient Winters, which he found out he could use in Thor, which confirmed that he's a Frost Giant.

    15. When Bruce transforms into The Hulk on campus, it happens in the same spot as it did in The Incredible Hulk.

    16. Also, Natasha does her signature landing pose, which I can't help but notice every single time now thanks to Yelena from Black Widow.

    Yelena saying, "It's a fighting pose. You're a total poser"

    17. Coulson's password being all about Steve Rogers is a perfect callback to his love for Captain America, which we saw in The Avengers.

    Coulson saying, "Hashtag Steve Steve Steve I heart Steve 0 7 0 4"

    18. Also, "04" could also be linked to Avengers Issue #4. The comic features Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, emerging from the ice and joining The Avengers.

    19. While looking at the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, you can see that Maria Hill, Janet van Dyne, and Alexander Pierce's files were all accessed, alongside Coulson and Fury's files.

    A close-up on computer files reading Janet, Maria, and Alexander

    20. When Fury is listening to Natasha's message about "hope," he's sitting inside the diner where Thor notably smashed a coffee cup during Thor.

    Thor saying, "This drink, I like it! Another"

    21. Coulson shows Fury's original Avengers Initiative memo, which we saw him writing at the end of Captain Marvel.

    22. Of course, Fury picks up his Captain Marvel beeper, which we saw him use during the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene.

    Coulson saying, "Is that a beeper...from the '90s?"

    23. While looking for Hank, Fury encounters The Destroyer, which we last saw in Thor.

    The Destroyer in What If vs in Thor

    24. When Fury visits Hope's grave in San Francisco, the cemetery's location is similar to where the Wall of the Vanished is in Avengers: Endgame.

    A cemetery near the Golden Gate Bridge vs. Scott visiting the Wall of the Vanished

    25. Hank Pym's outfit is a nod to Yellowjacket's from the comics and in Ant Man. In The Avengers comics, Hank is the first person to use Yellowjacket as his superhero name.

    Hank as Yellowjacket vs. Yellowjacket in Ant Man

    26. Fury mentions that Hope van Dyne was killed on a mission outside of Odessa, Ukraine. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Natasha mentions Odessa when talking about Bucky/Winter Solider, which means he probably killed Hope in this timeline.

    Fury saying Hope was killed in Odessa vs. Natasha telling Steve the Winter Soldier was in Odessa while she was there

    27. And finally, when Carol shows up at the end, you can hear the Captain Marvel theme song playing.

    Fury telling Captain Marvel, "Welcome back, Captain"

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    Did you catch any other Easter eggs or cool details? Have a better theory for one mentioned above? Tell me everything in the comments below!