Tonight's episode of Legends of Tomorrow saw the team go back to the 1980s on a mission to save a young Ray Palmer, but the episode wasn't just a typical zany Legends adventure. The whole episode was chock full of references to 1980s movies.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Legends of Tomorrow, "Phone Home", below.
While the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial reference was clear even in the title of the episode, "Phone Home," there were other classic 80s films that got a nod or two during tonight's episode and even one sly nod to a creepy 1990 miniseries as well.
Read on for the retro references in "Phone Home."
The most obvious set of references in tonight's episode come from the 1982 science fiction fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Aside from the episode's title, there are loads of callbacks to the film. From the baby Dominator hiding out as a toy in little Ray's closet to the mention of Reese's Pieces, to the epic escape where Zari and little Ray take off on bikes and she makes them fly, a bright full moon behind them (and they even reference the movie in that scene!) the episode is a big homage to one of the best alien movies of all time.
Nate and Amaya don some pretty bland-looking coveralls as they impersonate animal control during the episode and while they don't have any equipment and they don't make any overt references, those coveralls, despite being not quite the same color, have the same vibe as the outfits sported in 1984's Ghostbusters. Nate may not be afraid of no ghosts but that Dominator queen is another matter.
Does Ray's mom's car look familiar? If you're a National Lampoon's Vacation fan it just might! That wood-paneled station wagon is a dead ringer for the Griswold family car in the 1983 comedy classic.
Another automotive callback to 80s movies? Did you catch the DeLorean casually parked in a driveway early in the episode? Marty McFly didn't appear to be nearby but that sweet ride was a clear nod to the 1985 film Back to the Future.
Not so much a visual nod, when Amaya walks into Ray's childhood home and finds Nate unwittingly making out with the Dominator (who is pretending to be Ray's mom,) Amaya utters a line very familiar to fans of the 1986 film Aliens. Amaya says, "get away from him you bitch," a modified version of the line Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) says to the Alien Queen in that iconic sci-fi flick.
This nod might be a little obscure, but at the opening of the episode with little Ray trying to escape the men in black the facility he's running through has a very similar feel to the facility where the ship in 1986's Flight of the Navigator is held after being confiscated by NASA.
Before the successful It feature film there was the 1990 miniseries version of the supernatural horror book by Stephen King of the same name and tonight's episode of Legends had a small nod to that miniseries. At the very beginning (and more clearly at the very end of last week's episode) young Ray is seen near a storm drain/sewer pipe and all you see are glowing eyes in the darkness of the pipe. Fortunately for Ray, the eyes belong to the baby Dominator and not Pennywise.