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All of the Clever Easter Eggs Hiding in Fargo the TV Series

List RulesVote up the best Fargo Easter Eggs.


The hidden references in Fargo the series are endlessly fascinating. Mostly because showrunner Noah Hawley doesn’t get permission or notes from the Coen brothers, who gave us the 1996 film version, he and the writers for the Fargo TV series can do as they please. And they’ve done just that, packing the series full of Coen brothers Easter eggs and shoutout infinitum. They may executive produce, but the Coen brothers references in Fargo are the insightful and clever handiwork of Hawley and company.

From UFOs to ice scrapers, Hawley has made a detailed study of not just the film, but also other Coen brother projects. Among the Fargo Easter eggs, there are references to No Country for Old Men, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Raising Arizona, and even Reservoir Dogs, which, though not a Coens film, is worthy enough to get a nod. 

At first, Hawley didn’t expect to make that many Coen brothers references in Fargo, but as the TV series got rolling, the deep well of material was hard to resist. Not content just to draw upon the accents, the music, direct quotes, and phrases, there are many sly connections between characters and scenes from Coen brothers films to the TV show.  

Fargo the series draws upon the richness of the Coen’s universe. Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) are equally enjoyable as pushovers pushed too far. Freeman isn’t doing an impression. He’s showing another layer to a similar kind of character. Another obvious Coen character is the film’s Chief Marge Gunderson and TV’s Officer Molly Solverson. We also see two characters executed in the woods, worlds apart. Simone Gerhardt meets a similar fate as Bernie Bernbaum from Miller’s Crossing, complete with “Oh Danny Boy” as her send off music.  

It’s the hidden references in Fargo the series that make a second and even third watch of the TV series fun and even necessary. You'll definitely want to catch the many funny moments that will whiz by in a blank. For instance, As Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) walks away from the post office in a small town, he tells a man mopping the floor, “You missed a spot.” A direct call back from Raising Arizona to H.I. McDunnough’s repeat offender when he walks through the prison corridors and tells a huge inmate the same. There are the similar dreams of Betsy Solverson and H.I. McDunnough; the need for unguent; a nod to Uli, the ferret-wield nihilist from The Big Lebowski. One character even calls out the name of an actor while making a snowman.  

There are many Easter eggs to hunt for. Vote up your favorite Fargo Easter eggs and fully actualize your Coen brothers references. Okay then.

Additional material by Eric Conner.

  • 5
    63 VOTES

    H.I. McDunnough and Betsy Solverson Have Similar Dreams

    In Raising Arizona, H.I. has a dream about the future. He sees himself and Ed with children of their own and the future at large. Maybe it was Utah.  

    In Fargo season two, Betsy Solverson is battling cancer and has a similar dream about the future where she sees her daughter, granddaughter, future son-in-law, and husband doing well. She also envisions the Gameboy and Costco. The narration has the same cadence and even some of the very same dialogue from H.I.’s speech in Raising Arizona.  

    Solverson’s scene is shot very similarly to the film version as well, for a nice homage.
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  • 6
    62 VOTES

    The Many Faces of Mr. Tripoli

    In season one, Lorne Malvo is on the bad side of mob boss Moses Tripoli out of Fargo. In season two, Hanzee Dent, with a malformed face from Peggy’s hot coffee, gets a new identity and is set on a path of revenge for the outfit in Kansas City, saying, "Not apprehend, dead. Don't care heavily-guarded. Don't care into the sea. Kill and be killed. Head in a bag.” These are the same words Tripoli says in season one while he cracks into a freshly made fish dish.  

    Also at the end of season two, we see Dent intervene in a fight on a playground between two smaller kids, one of them deaf, and a bully. As Dent draws his knife and barrels toward the bully, we’re pretty sure the bully’s not getting a stern talking to. Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench work for Mr. Tripoli, formerly Hanzee Dent.  

    Another connection to the Tripoli name is The Huddsucker Proxy. Moses Tripoli was the clock caretaker.
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  • 7
    42 VOTES

    “Go Bears!” the Hometown Team of Hometowns Everywhere

    In the film Fargo, Marge questions two party gals who spent the night with Carl Showalter and Gaear. One of them tells Marge she went to high school in White Bear Lake. “Go Bears!” In season one, hit man Lorne Malvo pretends to be a mild mannered-minister from Baudette. He’s got the Fargo prostitute's accent down pat when he says, “Go Bears.”
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  • 8
    76 VOTES

    Jerry Lundegaard and Lester Nygaard

    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Two put upon pushovers who just want to break out, by golly, and do something with their lives, dontcha know. Jerry overtly seeks to break the law, naively thinking that nothing can go wrong with a kidnapping plot. Lester falls under the power of passing through town killer Lorne Malvo. Both men end up digging themselves deeper and deeper until they run out of options. Jerry gets caught; Lester takes a frozen nap with the fishes.
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