Netflix's Wednesday Has A Memorable Beetlejuice Reference And Other Easter Eggs

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Since Netflix gave us our first look at Tim Burton’s Addams family spinoff, it was apparent that when Wednesday would hit the 2022 TV schedule, fans were in for a show that honored the director’s early work. Well, the series is finally here, and the episodes are loaded with easter eggs and teases to Burton’s early filmography. One of the most memorable callbacks references one of the Burton’s most beloved and highest-ranked films, Beetlejuice

A shrunken head in Principal Larissa Weems’ office is an apparent reference to Tim Burton’s 1988 cult classic comedy. Principal Weems -- played brilliantly by Game of Thrones alum Gwendoline Christie -- keeps the small skull on her desk under a glass dome. The show’s production designer, Mark Scruton, told Variety that it was an intentional nod to the Michael Keaton-led movie’s ending. 

Beetlejuice famously closes with Michael Keaton's foul-mouthed ghost seated between a man with a shrunken head (known as Harry the Hunter) and a Witch Doctor. After the titular ghoul makes the mistake of distracting the Witch Doctor to swap their line tickets, the shaman sprinkles shrinking powder on the trickster, which causes his head to shrink to the same size as the hunter’s. 

Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The shrunken head is only one of the many nods to past Burton projects riddled throughout Wednesday. According to Scruton, Weathervanes coffee shop, a frequent stomping ground for the students of Nevermore, has classic Tim Burton teasers in the form of metal weathervanes screwed to the wall. A Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow and Willy Wonka’s hat were just a few designs placed into the production by Scruton and his team in order to reference the celebrated filmmaker's past films.

And references do not end with Tim Burton’s work, either. The series makes callbacks to other adaptations of the classic Charles Addams cartoon characters. Jena Ortega’s take on Wednesday Addams is depicted as despising all things related to pilgrims and colonialism. When she is transferred to Nevermore, she’s faced with the reality that the closest amusement park is named Pilgrim World. The bizarre location is a subtle nod to the '90s theatrical sequel, Addams Family Values, in which the oldest Addams child -- played by Christina Ricci (who also stars on the Netflix show) -- along with her brother Pugsley are reluctantly sent to Camp Chippewa. Ricci’s Wednesday famously burns the camp’s Thanksgiving Day celebration to the ground in one of the more memorable scenes. Surely plenty of folks remember the dark, and incredibly humorous, sequence.

Christina Ricci in The Addams Family Values

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

These are but a few of the fun easter eggs and memorable references audiences can expect to stumble upon when watching Tim Burton’s Wednesday using their Netflix subscriptions. If you liked the spinoff, you might also be interested in other Addams Family TV shows and movies and how to watch them.

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.