Marvel's What If...? Features Long Forgotten Stan Lee Easter Egg

This week's new episode of Marvel's What If...? dealt with an alternate reality in which the [...]

This week's new episode of Marvel's What If...? dealt with an alternate reality in which the Avengers are taken out before the team is able to come together, and it shows the origins of the MCU team's original members. When Bruce Banner is recruited, Marvel does a bit of a switcheroo, replacing the original Ed Norton version with Mark Ruffalo, who has played Banner for Marvel Studios for nearly a decade. While fans were preoccupied Ruffalo's appearance alongside Betty Ross, Marvel called back to a clever Stan Lee tribute from The Incredible Hulk, keeping the legacy of the iconic creator alive and well in the MCU.

In a deleted scene from The Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner dresses up as a pizza delivery man as a disguise. The name of the pizza place is "Stanley's Pizza Parlor," and it's embroidered on both the hat and jacket Banner is wearing. In this week's What If...?, that uniform makes a return. Take a look!

stanleys pizza marvel what if
(Photo: Marvel Studios)

When you really think about it, the callback to Stanley's Pizza Parlor isn't the only Stan Lee connection to be found in What If...? The entire series is narrated by the Watcher, who is voiced in every episode by Jeffrey Wright. However, there was a live-action appearance from a group of Watchers in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, both in the movie and after the credits. When those characters showed up, they were joined by a very talkative Stan Lee, who was telling them stories of his time in the MCU.

Every episode of What If...? will likely be filled with connections to past MCU lore, no matter what story they aim to tell. The first episode of the series introduced Peggy Carter as the recipient of the super soldier serum, and her story was key to kicking off the entire anthology.

"Peggy was top of mind early on," producer Brad Winderbaum told "In Bryan Andrews's animatic that helped sell the show, there's a scene between Steve and Peggy in the '40s and part of it is that everyone loves Peggy Carter. Certainly behind the scenes. I mean, everyone loves the character and we're always trying to think about ways to use her. But also Hayley. You're excited to work with Hayley. So for many reasons, it became a focal point for us early on. And then, the characters, like everything else, they kind of take on a life of their own. They tell you where they want to go, when you're doing it right anyway. That's what happens. And it turns out Peggy has a lot to say. And a lot to do in What If...? world."

What clever Marvel Easter eggs have you noticed in What If...? so far? Let us know in the comments!