There’s at least one obvious inspiration for every single movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Marvel Comics, duh.) But many Marvel movies draw ideas and images from other movies and other cinematic universes that have nothing to do with superheroes. Sometimes they’re obvious; it’s not hard to recognize how Spider-Man: Homecoming repurposes the chase scene from the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (It helps when you put the scene you’re referencing on a television in the background of the scene that references it). Sometimes, they’re a bit harder to spot. A few are upwards of 70 years old (like the one above, for example).

Rewatching the entire MCU for our History of the Marvel Cinematic Universe column over the last couple month, I’ve been keeping a running tally of all the references, homages, and ripoffs of non-Marvel movies that I’ve spotted in the 18 Marvel movies prior to Avengers: Infinity War. 15 of them are listed below, in no particular order. There are more out there, of course, including like six more references to The Empire Strikes Back; you are entirely welcome to share them with me in the comments below, or send them to my Twitter account (except the Spider-Man/Ferris Bueller one). Maybe we’ll update this list after Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on April 27. I hear there’s a scene in there inspired by Manos: The Hands of Fate.

15 Movies You Didn’t Realize Inspired the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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