Every Marvel Cinematic Universe title is full of references to other characters and organizations, but “WandaVision,” which premiered on Disney+ on January 15, also offers plenty of Easter eggs for fans of classic television sitcoms.
The show, which marks the superhero franchise’s first original installment on Disney’s streaming service, stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as their MCU characters Wanda (aka Scarlet Witch) and Vision. Despite Vision’s apparent death in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” the duo appear to be living an idealized life in a suburb — until they realize that things aren’t necessarily as they seem.
Check out all the show’s references to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the show’s first episode below:
Like most reference-heavy shows, some of the Easter eggs in “WandaVision” are more in-your-face than others: . Episode 1 boasts an ad for a Stark Industries toaster, which is an obvious shoutout to Tony Stark/Iron Man, who was portrayed by Robert Downy Jr. in a variety of Marvel films. The toaster has a blinking red light in the ad that serves as the show’s first splash of color, and its increasingly loud beeping becomes rather unsettling, especially when the salesman in the ad says to “forget your past, this is the future,” given the trauma Wanda endured throughout past Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
The woman advertising the Stark toaster has a similar look and hairstyle as Lucille Ball in the iconic series “I Love Lucy.” Ball and husband Desi Arnaz created the “I Love Lucy” series after the former found success through her radio show. The pair would found DesiLu Studios, with Arnaz becoming one of the only Latino television executive/producers.
The opening theme song for the pilot — describing Wanda and Vision as a newlywed couple moving to town from the big city for a quiet life — has a few progenitors. Stylistically it sounds similar to the theme from “The Donna Reed Show,” which ran from 1958 to 1966 and starred Reed as the perfect housewife. But in terms of the lyrics, telling the background of the characters so time isn’t wasted on exposition, that is a common theme of most sitcoms from the 1950s to 1970s. If anything, the premiere theme sounds inspired from the 1963 series “The Patty Duke Show,” wherein that theme song discussed how Duke played the dual role of “identical cousins.”
One thing you might not notice immediately is Wanda asking Vision if he wants the ultimate breakfast of champions, composed of pancakes, eggs, hash browns, coffee, and juice. That’s a common poke at sitcoms which leaned heavily toward housewives like Donna Reed being able to whip up a complex breakfast on a dime. The 1999 feature “Pleasantville” also humorously mocked this trope.
The plot about forgotten anniversaries and bosses showing up for dinner are common to sitcoms over several decades. Examples that have utilized one of both include the likes of “Bewitched,” “Three’s Company,” and “Family Manners.”
“WandaVision” is available for streaming on Disney+.