Deadpool 2 is so packed with references and jokes about every single genre and property imaginable (and some unimaginable, too), trying to cover them all comprehensively is basically impossible. So we’re going with quality over quantity instead: These are our favorite surprises—the characters, references, one-liners, and more—in a film chock full of truly wonderful batshit insanity.
On a list of movies that would never get name-dropped in a superhero movie, Mel Gibson’s 2004 religious epic has to be near the top. However, it shares some history with the first Deadpool because they were both big box offices surprises released in February, and that’s why Deadpool mentions it. It’s a crazy, niche, box office joke for about 15 people, and we love it.
Odds are if you paid to see Deadpool 2, you know that Wolverine dies at the end of Logan, but the way this film opens on that point is just hilarious. Deadpool is mad that Wolverine stole his R-rating and then upped the ante by dying—so, in turn, Deadpool kills himself to open the movie. It doesn’t stick, but it’s a hell of a way to start the show.
For no reason whatsoever, several times in the film, Deadpool mentions that “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Disney’s Frozen sounds suspiciously like “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from Yentl. First off, that Deadpool is so familiar with the famous Barbra Streisand musical feels... somehow very appropriate. Either way, it’s a pretty deep cut, even for Deadpool, and when you listen to the two songs, he’s totally right.
Yes, the Juggernaut is in Deadpool 2, which we guess wasn’t exactly a surprise since several rumors before release suggested as much. Still, once he finally does appear (voiced by Ryan Reynolds, though he goes uncredited for it) it was awesome to see him. He’s one of the all-time best X-Men baddies, so for him to show up gives the film some extra nerd cache. Plus, as an added bonus, it almost redeems Vinnie Jones’ undersized version in X-Men: The Last Stand, a turn that ruined the character for years thanks to the infamous line “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch” (seen above).
But the actual best things about Juggernaut being in Deadpool 2 are the songs composer Tyler Bates wrote for him. These are several variations on the same idea; one plays when he’s fighting Colossus and another at the very end of the credits. It’s a big, boisterous superhero theme complete with a choir singing “Oh holy shitballs” over and over. It’s as hysterical as it is weird, and it’s very, very weird. That’s a spoiler-free version of it above, although the film version mentions “Juggernaut” by name.
Okay, I admit, I didn’t even catch this while I watched the movie, which made it even more surprising. When Cable travels to 2018 he first encounters two men by a pickup truck. They’re talking about toilet paper. One is obviously Alan Tudyk of Firefly and Rogue One fame, which is a fun cameo but not that crazy. The other guy is almost completely unrecognizable, though, and it’s not something you pay attention to in the slightest. However, it turns out, that’s actually Matt Damon, with his second Marvel cameo in as many years.
It’s their big moment. The newly formed X-Force jumps out of a plane, on a mission to save the mutant boy named Russell. But a few things go wrong and Vanisher, Zeitgeist, Bedlam, Shatterstar, and Peter, all introduced in the film just moments earlier, all die gruesome horrible deaths. It’s violent, it’s unexpected, and it’s laugh-out-loud funny as each one bites the dust. Only the very lucky, very awesome Domino survives.
And, of course, of all the X-Force deaths, the most surprising is Vanisher. Vanisher’s power is invisibility, so we don’t see him when he’s recruited, when he’s strapped up with a parachute, or when he’s free-falling during the beginning of the mission. But when he hits a power cable, he appears, and it turns out he’s been played by Brad Pitt all along.
One of the biggest curiosities in the Deadpool universe gets addressed and hilarious lampooned in Deadpool 2, mainly that Deadpool keeps visiting Professor X’s mansion but none of the real X-Men are there except Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and they themselves don’t appear in the X-Men movies. When Deadpool finally mentions this anomaly, the camera to cut to show all the X-Men are hiding from Wade in another room. It’s a perfect moment. (Cool side note: X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg shot the quick scene of his full cast.)
Out of all the biggest and best surprises in Deadpool 2, though, the most notable of them all happens during the credits. Deadpool gets Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio to repair Cable’s time travel device so he can use it to “Clean up the timeline.” First he saves Vanessa. Then he saves Peter, the human member of the X-Force (but not the rest of the team, oddly). Then it escalates as he goes back and kills the horrible first movie incarnation of Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as played by Ryan Reynolds. Finally, the merc with a mouth kills Ryan Reynolds himself after he reads the script to Green Lantern. The scene has it all and, while it’s no Baby Hitler, the mix of self-reference, pop culture knowledge, violence and carnage is everything that makes Deadpool... well, Deadpool.