You know when you're watching a movie and something happens that seems deliberately included for the fans? Sometimes at the expense of the tone or the plot?
Franchise movies and long-running TV shows do this a LOT, to the point where some say a movie or show becomes a little *too* fan service–y. You may have heard this about the new Indiana Jones film. We'll see if that's true when it comes out, but for now, here are 32 film and TV scenes that are pretty blatant examples of fan service.
1.The Mandalorian has recently been accused of this a lot, especially with all the celeb cameos. But one big one is the reference to the classic "It's a trap!" meme from the original Star Wars trilogy.
While it's maybe a bit meta, fans definitely think a recent Season 3 scene was a nod to the classic line — especially since after the line, it zooms in on a creature that looks suspiciously like Admiral Ackbar, who says the original line.
2.Similarly, "Hello there" became a huge meme after Obi-Wan said it in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (though people tend to forget that it was actually also Obi-Wan's first line in A New Hope, too).
When Obi-Wan finally returned many years later in his titular series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, they couldn't resist adding in a little "Hello there" at the very end of the series in a clear nod to the meme.
3.The Star Wars sequels also have a bunch of moments that are clear references to the original trilogy. For example, "I got a bad feeling about this" is uttered a bunch of times in the series, including twice by Han in the original series — so when Han came back for The Force Awakens, of course the script had to have him say, "I got a bad feeling about this."
4.Big franchises are especially guilty of bringing back old lines. Remember how "You know, I'm something of a scientist myself?" became a meme after Norman said the line in Spider-Man?
Well, when Norman showed up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel couldn't resist having him repeat the line, even if it was a little out of place.
5.No Way Home was basically just a big ball of fan service, as it brought back many famous characters from the Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man series, including their versions of Spider-Man.
6.They also specifically made a reference to a popular meme from the 1967 cartoon: the famous "Spider-Man pointing" scene. (Quick note: The scene features only two Spider-Mans, but the meme often shows three.) When Ned tries to get his friend's attention in No Way Home, he addresses him as "Peter" and then "Peter Parker," leading to some confusion where the three Peter Parkers point at one another.
The cast also created the meme for promotional purposes.
7.Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse even more explicitly re-creates this meme, and its sequel, Spider Man: Across the Spider-Verse, is set to do the same.
8.When Gendry sailed off at the end of Season 3 of Game of Thrones and then was essentially forgotten about for multiple seasons, it became a meme in the fandom that he was still on the boat.
When he finally returned in Season 7, GoT gave a funny nod to the memes and jokes with this line.
9.Oftentimes, actors will improvise lines particularly for the fans. One example is in Catching Fire — after Effie's line about mahogany in the first film took off, Elizabeth Banks explicitly threw in another reference to mahogany in the second film.
10.Similarly (though this movie isn't released yet), Rachel Zegler threw in her sarcastic bow in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as a direct reference to Katniss's famous bow in The Hunger Games.
11.Another improvised moment thrown in for the fans? "Yeah, bitch" from El Camino. Fans loved quoting the line from Jesse, so Aaron Paul made sure to throw one final one into the follow-up movie for his character.
12.Similarly, Tom Hiddleston improvised his "Another!" line in Loki as a reference to the hilarious beloved-by-fans moment from the first Thor film.
13.Sometimes, fan service is making a reference to a common fan gripe or joke. One example is when Agatha points out that Wanda Maximoff's accent comes and goes in WandaVision. Wanda is from Sokovia, but Elizabeth Olsen's accent is wobbly at best and often changes.
14.Some shows also like to address fan theories...like Gossip Girl, which referenced a popular fan theory that Eric was Gossip Girl (which was actually even the original plan from the writers).
15.Pretty Little Liars also finally addressed an extremely popular fan theory that Aria was A by having her briefly work with A in Season 7, even donning the classic black hood.
16.Some fan service moments directly reference plotlines from the books that didn't make it into the TV or movie adaptations. For example, also in Pretty Little Liars, they threw in a short storyline about Hanna once having kissed Mike as a reference to the strong Hanna-and-Mike relationship in the books.
17.Gossip Girl also had Chuck adopt a dog named Monkey as a reference to the books, in which Chuck actually owns a monkey.
18.Other times, fan service references things from real life. The Vampire Diaries had a funny nod to the real-life fan casting (and rumors of his actual casting) of star Ian Somerhalder as Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey by having Damon read the book in a Season 8 scene.
19.Supernatural also made a reference to real life when Paris Hilton guest-starred. Given that Paris had starred with Supernatural star Jared Padalecki in House of Wax, they decided to make a funny reference to the film in a scene with Paris and Jared.
20.In fact, Supernatural is FULL of nods to fans, especially when it comes to ships. The episode "Fanfiction" in particular actually portrayed fans and explicitly mentioned wildly popular fan ship Destiel.
21.Supernatural also referenced the "Wincest" fan ship of Dean and Sam in a different episode.
22.In fact, a lottttt of fan service has to do with teasing different fan ships, ESPECIALLY ones that are not ever going to become canon. Sherlock was basically a master class in this. They continued to tease the Sherlock-John relationship throughout the entire show, even having Mrs. Hudson explicitly believe that they're in a relationship.
23.But the even more obvious fan service moments came in the rather fanfiction-y episode "The Empty Hearse," which provided fan explanations for how Sherlock survived jumping off a building. This included him crashing through a window to kiss Molly Hooper, as Molly-Sherlock was a popular ship...
24....and even more egregiously, teasing crack ship Moriarty and Sherlock by having them appear to be about to kiss in a scene that hypothesized what might have actually happened on the roof.
25.Another popular fan ship? Natasha and Steve from the MCU. Their kiss in The Winter Soldier felt like a pretty obvious example of fan service, as it was definitely not necessary for the plot.
26.Sometimes it seems like the writers and/or directors themselves actually support these ships and include scenes specifically for other fans who are on the same page. One example: the Harry-Hermione dance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, which excited many Harry-Hermione fans but felt pretty out of place and random for everyone else.
27.In some rare cases, two characters of a popular ship actually do get together...in a way that feels more focused on appeasing those fans than letting something happen naturally. The most blatant example to me is Arya and Gendry on Game of Thrones. Although Gendry had his own storyline, when he came back, the show pretty quickly eschewed that in favor of having him finally get with Arya in a kinda out-of-place scene.
28.Similarly, I strongly feel that the Kylo-Ren kiss in The Rise of Skywalker was done as fan service for fans of the ship, because it felt SUPER inorganic for me...but I know that's a contentious opinion.
29.Sometimes characters of a popular ship get together in the script even though this actively goes against canon. For example, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, Neville randomly admits he's in love with Luna, which never happens in the books but was popular in the fandom.
30.Movies based on comics use a lot of fan service — this often means adding in catchphrases from the comics or cartoon adaptations of the comics, like Cyborg's "Booyah" in Justice League. This one was forced in, as actor Ray Fisher didn't even want to say it.
31.Similarly, Bruce saying "Hulk smash!" in The Incredible Hulk felt like a pretty strong moment of fan service.
32.Finally, let's end on one more Marvel example that wasn't exactly well received: When all the female Avengers randomly teamed up in Avengers: Endgame, it was considered pandering to a female fanbase in an extremely forced way.
What do you think about these fan service–y moments: fun nods to the fans, or annoying and forced? Let us know in the comments below!
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