Movie making has got to be an absolute blast. There's no other explanation for how pretty much every movie you've ever seen has some kind of weird joke hidden inside it just as an Easter egg for fans, or in some cases, even the film-makers themselves. Below are all examples of actors, stunt-people, writers, and directors all making references to their previous work.
In the first Iron Man movie, as Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is trying to steal some information from Obadiah Stane’s (Jeff Bridges) mainframe, there’s a brief reference to an earlier film starring Bridges — it’s only one frame long, but it clearly says “Lebowski” and lists the origin port as “Long Beach,” making it a clear reference to Bridges’s much-loved role as Southern California burnout Jeffrey Lebowski in the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski. It’s an especially funny comparison since Obadiah Stane and Jeff Lebowski are pretty much polar opposites. The former is a multi-billionaire evil industrialist, and the latter is clearly not that.
Apparently Nicolas Cage really likes beige cars. He says he drives one in The Rock. Later, he drops Dave Chapelle’s body into one in Con-Air. And he steals one during Face/Off, proving that Nicholas Cage loves beige Volvos.
No one plays “Creepy old guy” like Jeremy Irons. In The Lion King, when Simba says “you’re so weird,” Scar’s haunting response (“You have no idea”) would have been strange and foreboding even if it hadn’t been a repeat of the same line from an older film, Reversal of Fortune, where Irons played an arrogant and aloof British socialite accused of slaying his wife. Which is actually not all that different from the plot of The Lion King.
Does anyone remember Evolution? It was that movie that came out in the early 2000s that sci-fi enthusiasts really wanted to like because it had David Duchovny in it and was about wacky alien monsters. It actually wasn’t any good because it also had Seann William Scott and the jokes were all terrible. There’s a bit (which you can see in the trailer) where David Duchovny makes a joke about knowing “those people” who work in the government, which most people took as an X-Files joke.