Naruto has come a long way since it first began, and you only have to check out the original series to see how. Masashi Kishimoto was not afraid to pull gags when Naruto Uzumaki was a genin, and that is still true today for the most part. But if you look back to an old-school episode, you might find a certain easter egg included amidst Sasuke's fangirls which we approve of.
The meme has been around forever, but the only thing Sasuke attracts more so than trouble is fangirls. The Uchiha heir was considered a major heartthrob during his Academy days, but he did not care for attention. The only thing Sasuke wanted was to get revenge against his older brother... and Shikamaru was enamored by it?!
As you can see below, one of the older episodes of Naruto shows a flashback into the Academy before any of its heroes earned their ninja headbands. Sasuke is shown at his desk in class with a handful of girls fawning over him. Of course, Sakura and Ino are on that list, but one of the girls looks exactly like Shikamaru.
From their hair to their clothes, the fangirl is a dead ringer for Shikamaru Nara. In fact, fans have suggested the character really is Shikamaru, and that their blink-and-miss-it appearance is nothing more than an easter egg. After all, the original Naruto anime liked these sorts of sly references as its OVAs and films were littered with cameos. The Fourth Hokage was one such guest, so there is no doubt the Naruto team was happy to make someone as dour as Shikamaru fangirl over the last-surviving Uchiha.
Has this Naruto easter egg ever been pointed out to you? Or is this a first? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!