We're here for the Easter eggs cameos when it comes to sequels and reboots of movies. We knew that Ghostbusters: Afterlife would be chock full of Easter eggs, cameos, and 80s throwbacks that would have us in awe and studying every frame. Here are all the easter eggs that we found in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
This post was first published November 18, 2021.
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Ghostbusters: Afterlife Easter Eggs
Lifelong Ghostbusters fans are pumped to have this sequel. Not only do they get to enjoy another well-done Ghostbusters movie, but they also get to introduce it to a whole new generation of fans. As a nerd, nothing warms my nerd heart more than being able to share my nerd love with my kids. Here are all the Ghostbusters: Afterlife Easter Eggs you may have missed.
WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Composer Cynthia Millar Returns
Composer and musician Cynthia Millar, who performed on the Ondes Martenot for the Ghostbusters (1984) musical score, returned to play in the opening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Millar's Ondes Martenot part, which sounds like an eerie wave sound, is heard most prominently in the library basement scenes with the Ghostbusters in the original film, but it's the first thing you hear as Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens.
A somewhat unusual and definitely uncommon to the masses instrument, the French Ondes Martenot (“Martenot waves”) or ondes musicales (“musical waves”) is an early electronic musical instrument played with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a wire, producing “wavering” sounds similar to a theremin. The result is an eerie or spooky kind of wave sound that is perfect for that tense, eerie background music!
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, director of the original Ghostbusters movie.
The Summerville cinema is playing the original Ghostbusters‘ director/producer Ivan Reitman's Cannibal Girls (1973), which is the same film on the marquee playing at the special New Year's Eve midnight showing at the Movieland Theatre theater during Ghostbusters II (1989) that was disrupted by the Theatre Ghost manifestation.
Location, Location, Location
The first Ghostbusters film to take place outside of New York City.
In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Phoebe wears the same glass frames as Dr. Egon Spengler in the original Ghostbusters and she also sports a similar hairstyle as Egon.
The P.K.E. Meter (also known as an Aurascope) was one of the Ghostbusters' primary ghost-busting tools invented by Dr. Egon Spengler. The P.K.E. meter measured psychokinetic energy from paranormal forces, enabling the team to track ghosts and other supernatural entities.
Featured in its original 80s glory, the P.K.E. meter is first seen with Dr. Egon Spengler at the beginning of the movie, discovered by Phoebe at the farmhouse, and used throughout the rest of the film.
Ghost Trap (The Muon Trap)
The sealed container that the Ghostbusters used to transport the spirits to the Containment Unit was known as a Ghost Trap or a Muon Trap. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, we first see Dr. Egon Spengler using it at the beginning of the movie, and then Phoebe discovers it after solving a puzzle on the floor. Phoebe has no idea what she's found, but her summer school teacher Mr. Grooberson sure knows what she's found!
The Proton Pack is the primary ghost capturing device used by the Ghostbusters, designed by Drs. Egon Spengler and Raymond Stantz in 1984. The Proton Pack uses a nuclear-powered Proton Stream to counteract the negative energy ghosts are made of by streaming positively charged ions via a backpack-sized particle accelerator.
The Proton Stream—which is disseminated by a hand-held wand called a “Particle Thrower” (sometimes called a Proton Gun or Neutrona Wand) connected to the Proton Pack—is known to be highly dangerous and difficult to control, but also powerful enough to harness a ghost.
We see Dr. Egon Spengler with his Proton Pack at the start of the movie and Phoebe discovers it later on refurbishes it and uses it to catch Muncher. It seems she knew “don't cross the streams,” clearly inheriting some of her grandfather Spengler's scientific genius.
Annie Potts is back in her role as Janine Melnitz and we're here for it. She arrives at the farmhouse just after Callie and her kids and gives a little context of the history of the Ghostbusters, which is a great tie-in to the original movie and start of the franchise for people unfamiliar with the first movie.
If you don't know Annie Potts, she starred as Mary Jo Jackson Shively on “Designing Women” and voiced Bo Peep in the Disney Pixar Toy Story film series.
The Toastmaster 2-slice toaster from Ghostbusters II (1989) is in the kitchen at Egon's farmhouse.
The Ecto-1 (also known as the Ectomobile) was the vehicle that the Ghostbusters used to travel around New York City catching ghosts and such. Dr. Raymond Stantz found the vehicle shortly after he mortgaged his mother's house to buy the Firehouse and acquired it for $4,800. Because of his mechanical skills, he was able to repair the vehicle himself. He ensured it had ample space for all the gear, including Proton Packs for all of the crew, Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters, and a slew of Traps.
The Ecto-1 is seen at the start of the film and then Trevor reveals its hiding spot under a dusty tarp in the barn on the farm in Oklahoma.
The Ecto-1 we see is one of the original three 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Sentinel limo-style end loader combination cars (with an ambulance conversion) used in the 1984 Ghostbusters films. This particular vehicle is the Ecto-1A, which had some slight modifications made to it and overhauled to be the main vehicle for the film.
No Ghost Sign Logo
The No Ghost Sign logo has been the Ghostbusters franchise logo, in one form or another, since 1984.
The logo design is loosely based on the “no” signs of Europe and was conceived by Dan Aykroyd for his original Ghost Smashers script.
The No Ghost Sign logo is back in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and we first see it on the Ecto-1.
Hardware Store Owner
The hardware store owner in Summerville is played by Director, Actor, and Writer Tracy Letts. Letts is known for his roles in works such as “The Sinner,” Ford v Ferrari, Lady Bird, “Homeland,” among others, he is also husband to Carrie Coon who plays Callie Spengler.
The Ghostbusters uniforms, which were essentially tan CWU-27p Flight Suits, were to convey the look of a janitor or exterminator, paired with Vietnam-era Paratrooper Jump Boots
When Phoebe discovers Egon Spengler's secret basement laboratory in the farmhouse, she finds the Ghostbusters' uniforms hanging in the closet.
Hotel Maid Sign
On the closet where Phoebe discovers the Ghostbusters' uniforms, there is a hanging hotel door card on the front that reads “Maid, please have the room made up as soon as possible.” The same hotel door card is hanging on Dr. Peter Venkman's office door in the Ghostbusters (1984).
Mold Spore Collection
In the 1984 Ghostbusters film, Egon tells Janine that he collects spores, molds, and fungus. Egon's “collection” can be seen in Egon's secret basement laboratory Phoebe discovers in the farmhouse.
Nestle Crunch Bar
At the beginning of the original Ghostbusters movie, right after the Ghostbusters get kicked out of the University, Dr. Peter Venkman walks up to Dr. Egon Spengler and says “You…you've earned this,” and hands him a Nestle Crunch bar. Dr. Raymond Stantz shoots them both a knowing glance with a smile.
When Phoebe discovers the secret basement laboratory in the farmhouse, she finds the Ghostbusters' uniforms. In Spengler's pocket is a partially eaten Nestle Crunch bar.
We see Cheese-Its crackers and a Twinkie snack cake in the film, too, other favorite snacks of Egon's.
80s Ghostbusters Commercial
Pulled from the original Ghostbusters, we see several scenes in Ghostbusters: Afterlife that use this vintage Ghostbusters commercial featuring Egon, Ray, and Peter. If only the Ghostbusters knew that their cheesy 80s TV commercials would live in perpetuity on the internet to haunt them. Did anyone check to see if the number actually works? (I did, and it doesn't).
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
Well, hundreds of Mini Stay Puft Marshmellow Men make a cameo appearance.
Stay Puft is the giant white humanoid figure made of conjoined marshmallows who dons a white sailor cap trimmed with a blue hatband and red ribbon from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie. Also known as Mr. Stay Puft and nicknamed ‘Tubby Soft-Squeeze' by Ray and Peter, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was the final enemy of the Ghostbusters in the first film. He was the chosen Destructor Form of Gozer when Ray let the idea of the company's logo “just pop in there.”
You can also see a mural of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in one of the scenes as Trevor is driving Ecto-1 through town.
There are actually two great Easter eggs that tie to Ant-Man. When Paul Rudd's character Mr. Grooberson walks into Walmart, he heads for the ice cream aisle. You guessed it, he grabs the Baskin-Robbins—a callback to Scott Lang's short stint as a Baskin-Robbins employee, but alas, “Baskin-Robbins always finds out,” and Lang gets fired since he's an ex-con.
Of all of the characters, they could have written to discover the Mini Stay Puft Marshmallow Men, Paul Rudd‘s Mr. Grooberson was the one who first discovered them inside the Walmart store.
It shouldn't be lost on you that the actor who portrays Ant-Man in the Marvel Studios movie by the same name is the human who discovers the miniature versions of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, much like when Ant-Man himself is shrunken down.
Giant Storm Clouds
Remember those giant storm clouds looming over NYC in 1984? And the lightning storms? We get a few of those in Ghostbusters: Afterlife when the portals begin to open in Summerville.
Gozer The Gozerian
Gozer (also known as Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Gozer the Traveler, Volguus Zildrohar, and Lord of the Sebouillia) is the main antagonist of Ghostbusters and is back in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Both times Gozer has previously visited our world (1984 and 1991) it took the form of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Gozer is an ancient, ultra-powerful, malignant entity from another dimension who was summoned to New York City to destroy the world. Gozer was originally worshiped as a god by the Hittites, Mesopotamians, and the Sumerians around 6000 BC. Gozer is genderless, though it first appears as a female because it chose to be, and was worshiped by the powerful Cult of Gozer.
Gozer's two trusted minions are a pair of Terror Dogs. These harbingers of destruction—also worshiped as demi-gods—are the primary agents for its arrival: Zuul, The Gatekeeper, and Vinz Clortho, The Keymaster.
Fun Fact: Olivia Wilde portrays Gozer but the character is voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo.
The Terror Dogs
Zuul, The Gatekeeper, and Vinz Clortho, The Keymaster, return as Gozer the Gozerian's minions.
In the original Ghostbusters, The Terror Dogs are a pair of horned, dog-like, demonic monsters with fiery red eyes and muscular, powerful dark bodies. Initially, these loyal minions of Gozer, Zuul & Vinz Clortho, manifested from Terror Dog statues on the roof of Dana Barrett's apartment building.
They're back in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and looking mean as ever. We first get a very good look at one of the Terror Dogs in the Walmart and then again as it is chasing Mr. Grooberson as he is fleeing the Walmart.
The Temple of Gozer
The Temple of Gozer is Gozer's shrine and an interdimensional portal into other dimensions and worlds. We are introduced to this temple in the first Ghostbusters film and we are reunited with it when Gozer returns in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
In 1984, The Temple of Gozer manifested in Dana Barrett's refrigerator—in Gozer's own dimension—and at the top of Dana's apartment. Several weeks later, Zuul and Vinz Clortho completed their ritual and a portal opened, allowing Gozer to cross over from the temple onto the physical plane.
OG Ghostbusters Photo
The very start of the film reveals Harold Ramis' Dr. Egon Spengler. A bit later on in the movie, we see an old photograph of the 1980s Ghostbuster team standing in front of the NYC Firehouse. Based on their outfits, that photo was taken on the day the EPA Inspector Walter Peck, who, as Ghostbusters fans may recall, shut down the containment unit that held all the captured ghosts, resulting in an explosion that freed all the captured ghosts, slimers, and other paranormal entities—the beginning of the NYC ghost apocalypse.
Later in the film, Phoebe dials the number for the Ghostbusters seen on the vintage Ghostbusters ad on YouTube! and speaks to Dr. Raymond Stantz, played by Dan Aykroyd.
Ray's Occult Books
We’re Closed. –Ray Stantz
Turns out, Ray's Occult Books is still around after all these years. Occult Books is a bookstore owned and operated by Ray Stantz after the Ghostbusters were served a judicial restraining order in Ghostbusters II.
As the camera pans to Ray answering the phone in Occult Books, we can see a tattoo on his arm, one that he did not have when we last saw him in Ghostbusters II.
Ray’s tattoo is of a Bible verse that references a conversation he and Winston Zeddemore had in Ghostbusters (1984) where they talked about their ghostbusting and how it may tie to the end of the world (Revelations 6:12).
Maybe the reason we’ve been so busy is because the dead have been rising from the grave. –Zeddemore
How about a little music? –Stantz
This is also a nod to the Biblical passages that Egon has painted on the boards along the driveway at the farmhouse in Summerville.
On this same call, Ray tells Phoebe that the firehouse is now a Starbucks and that “an actor owns Tribeca.” In reality, the firehouse is still a firehouse (“Hook and Ladder Company 8,” see below) in Tribeca. The line “an actor owns Tribeca” refers to Robert De Niro and his film empire in NYC.
“It has a gunner seat?!”
The Ecto-1 gunner seat (jumpseat) was used in The Real Ghostbusters (1986), but never used in the original Ghostbusters (1984).
The ghost that Phoebe is trying to catch that was let out of the ghost trap is named Muncher, aka Metal Muncher, because that is what he eats. Muncher is apparently the same class of ghosts as the Ghostbusters franchise’s popular ghost Slimer.
If Muncher sounds at all familiar, it's because he's voiced by none other than Josh Gad, who you probably know as the voice of Olaf from Disney's FROZEN franchise.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 13, 2021
Zombie Taxi Driver
As the world is imploding around them during one of the “earthquakes,” we see a waitress serving coffee to a skeleton dressed as a miner in the cafe. The skeleton's face looks for all the world like the zombie taxi driver in Ghostbusters.
“Hey, have you missed us?”
As you should expect, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson show up later reprising their roles as Dr. Peter Venkmen and Dr. Winston Zeddmore, respectively.
Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8
Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8, the New York City Fire Department fire station, located at 14 North Moore Street in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan is seen in the background of a framed photo of the OG Ghostbusters team. Its exterior is known as the base for the Ghostbusters team, even though the interior shots were filmed in Los Angeles.
So no, unlike what Ray tells Phoebe in the phone call from the jail as mentioned above, it isn't a Starbucks. The building features a Ghostbusters II (1989) sign hanging inside and a full-scale replica of the Ghostbusters sign hanging on the exterior of the building, outside the house which was donated through a fan-run GoFundMe campaign in June 2021.
The firehouse makes another appearance in one of the post-credit scenes.
Shandor Mining Company
This is possibly the biggest Easter egg of all. The mining company at the edge of Summerville is called Shandor Mining Company and its sign states it was established in 1927.
While the name Shandor may be unfamiliar to some Ghostbusters fans, super nerds will recall a conversation where Egon explained about Ivo Shandor and a cult of followers from the 1920s in Ghostbusters. Shandor was the architect of the 550 Central Park West building where Dana Barrett’s refrigerator became a portal for Gozer.
It’s not the girl, Peter, it’s the building. Something terrible is about to enter our world, and this building is obviously the door. The architect’s name was Ivo Shandor. I found it in “Tobin’s Spirit Guide.” He was also a doctor. Performed a lot of unnecessary surgery. And then in 1920, he started a secret society. –Egon
Let me guess: Gozer worshippers? –Peter
In Greek, the name Shandor means defender or protector. Clearly, Ivo was protecting something when he built his town around a portal.
Uber Ghostbusters fans will also recognize Shandor from the 2009 Ghostbusters video game and again a decade later when it was remastered and released on all the major gaming platforms and was touted as being the “official” version of Ghostbusters 3.
Closing Scene Back in NYC
Moments before the credits roll, we see Ecto-1 headed back across the bridge into NYC.
Does Ghostbusters: Afterlife Have an End-Credit Scene?
Yes! Ghostbusters: Afterlife has 2 post-credit scenes! There is a mid-credit scene and 2 post-credit scenes, plus a fun Ghostbusters variant logo nod as the last frame of the film.
During the sequence in the mid-credit scene with Dr. Peter Venkman and Dana Barrett Venkman (right after we see the credit for Sigourney Weaver), they’re playing with the ESP machine that Dr. Venkman uses in the first Ghostbusters film, complete with the same cards, but this time it's obvious he's marked them for his entertainment.
Haunted Music in Credits
Post-Credit Scene with Deleted Footage, part a
The post-credit scenes uses deleted footage from the original Ghostbusters movie fi=or the scene with Egon and Janine.
Post-Credit Scene Ghostbusters Legacy, part b
Janine meets Winston at the Firehouse in NYC. They talk about the legacy of the Ghostbusters. As the scene comes to a close and the camera pans out, it pauses on the lights on the wall, where one red light is flashing—one that in the first Ghostbusters movie always meant the Ghostbusters had a call to answer.
End Credit Logo
At the end of the post-credits scenes, there is a Ghostbusters variant logo with a mini StayPuft marshmallow man replacing the original Ghostbusters ghost.
Check out this Easter Egg Video Sony Just Shared with the Digital Release of the film!
Did you find any Easter eggs we missed? What's your favorite? Leave us a comment below!
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE is on digital and VOD and will be available on Blu-ray/DVD February 1.