A Very Deep Dive Into the Easter Eggs and Horror Trivia in the ‘Scream’ Movie Universe

“Who gives a f— about movies?”

Ghostface haunts a New York City subway in

Table of Contents

Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) and the ubiquitous Scream franchise made slasher flicks more than a pop-culture phenomenon; it started a movement in horror cinema that added a new kind of depth, postmodernism, and humor to the genre. Here we will check out some of those hidden Easter eggs throughout the film that helped define it as such an important horror movie in the mid-90s.

Scream (1996) Trivia

The prop master forgot to unplug the phone line, and Drew Barrymore really did call 911 several times screaming and crying while filming her scene. Police called back and demanded to know what was going on.

Drew Barrymore is Janet Leigh.

Wes Craven wanted to prove he was more than a genre director and was trying to get away from horror, but two things convinced him to direct Scream. One was that Drew Barrymore had signed on, and the other was an 11-year-old fan telling him The Hills Have Eyes (1977) was his favorite movie but that he thought Craven had “gone soft.”

At that time, Drew Barrymore was cast as the lead, Sidney Prescott. However, Drew changed her mind and decided it would be a great move for her to play Casey Becker instead. This would free her up for other projects and trick audiences into a big-time scare with the movie’s opening scene. Since Scream is a hugely popular franchise, most of us now know that Drew Barrymore dies in the cold open. But before the movie was released, people assumed that such a big star was going to be the main character, and therefore her quick death was shocking. This was a trick Alfred Hitchcock famously used in Psycho, killing the film’s star Janet Leigh before it was half over.

Wes Craven said, “The fact that we killed America’s sweetheart at the end of 15 minutes, it was like a body punch to the audience.”

Wes Craven goaded Drew Barrymore into “refreshing” her horror by reminding her of a case of animal cruelty that traumatized the plant-based actress. He said, “The night before we started shooting, she told me a horrible story about a newspaper article about a dog being burnt by its owner. It petrified her, and she started crying as she was telling me this. So every time that I needed her to get over that edge and into complete tears, I would just say: ‘Drew, lightning the lighter,’ and she would just burst into tears.”

And what about those “the MacKenzies”?

Top: Laurie Strode’s imperative to her babysitting charges. Bottom: Casey Becker’s parents arriving at their ransacked home.

When things start getting real in Halloween and Laurie Strode and her babysitting charges are under attack from The Boogeyman himself, Michael Myers, Laurie tries to protect the children by telling them to run down the street to a neighbor’s house and have them call the police. In Scream, Casey Becker’s father has this same protective urge, and the same line is used. He tells his wife to drive down the road to “the MacKenzies” to get help while he continues to search the ransacked house for their daughter.

The inspiration for the script is shown.

It all started with an errant open window.

Alone in her bedroom before she ever hears about murdered classmates, Sidney Prescott hears a noise outside her window. Glancing over, she sees the window is open and peers out. Here’s how this scene mirrors the script’s origin story:

Writer Kevin Williamson (who would go on to write Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, The Following, and Tell Me A Story) caught an episode of the news magazine show Turning Point in which the subject was the serial killer Danny Rolling, known as the Gainesville Ripper. The next day, Williamson returned home and noticed an open window he didn’t remember leaving open. Inspired by his own fear of a home invasion and the news story of a serial killer targeting college students, Williamson wrote the script for what was then titled Scary Movie. He was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Writing for his script.

Sidney Prescott looks out the window.

Regan from The Exorcist makes an appearance.

Linda Blair makes an uncredited cameo in Scream as a reporter. She was a personal friend of Wes Craven who asked her if she wanted to stop by the set and have some fun.

Linda Blair, who played the possessed little girl Regan in The Exorcist, makes a fun little cameo in the scene where Sidney and Tatum arrive at school the morning after Sidney is first attacked by Ghostface. Blair had previously worked with director Wes Craven on the television horror film Stranger in Our House. Her appearance is uncredited.

What a romantic line!

In an earlier scene, Billy Loomis references Blair’s scream-queen status when he drops this romantic line telling Sidney that watching The Exorcist made him think about her.

Wait, starting to sound like a “Wes Carpenter” flick?

Sidney and Tatum discuss fictional horror director “Wes Carpenter.”

Did anyone catch the name of the horror director Tatum references when talking to Sidney? “Wes Carpenter” is a mashup of Wes Craven (Scream‘s director) and fellow horror director John Carpenter (who directed Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, among many others).

Henry Winkler’s Fonzie jacket is in his closet.

Wes Craven makes an appearance in Freddy Krueger cosplay.

Wes Craven makes a cameo in Scream, nodding to Freddy Krueger.

In Principal Himbry’s death scene, we see him go out into the school’s hallway, only to find it empty except for the school’s janitor. Wes Craven plays the “role” of the janitor named Fred who shares an occupation (and a love for striped sweaters) with Craven’s creation Freddy Krueger. Craven snuck himself into many of his own films and appears in every Scream movie.

Randy correctly guesses the identity of both killers.

While he had no idea about the affair between Billy Loomis’s dad and Maureen Prescott, he wisely stated, “there’s always some stupid bullshit reason to kill your girlfriend.”

There’s even a Stephen King reference.

Blink and you’ll miss it. When the party guests leave Stu Macher’s house to go get a peek at dead Principal Himbry hanging from the goalposts on the football field, one of them says “Hi-Ho, Silver!” This line is uttered many times by Bill Denbrough, the protagonist of Stephen King’s It, in reference to his silver bicycle. In Scream, it refers to a silver car.

Basically, everything comes back to horror movies.

Scream is a “meta slasher” because it constantly references the horror genre.

Billy Loomis’s name was given to him in honor of Dr. Samuel Loomis, the secondary protagonist (behind Laurie Strode) in Halloween. This character’s name was cribbed from yet another horror movie, Psycho, after the character of Sam Loomis. In Psycho, Sam Loomis is also the secondary protagonist and the female lead’s boyfriend.

Joseph Whipp plays a police officer in Nightmare and was brought in to play Sheriff Burke.

Wes Craven said that he cast Skeet Ulrich in the role of Billy because Skeet reminded him of Johnny Depp, whom Craven famously discovered by giving him a role in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In one of the first scenes, Billy climbs through Sidney’s window just like Glenn did with Nancy in Elm Street.

Even non-horror movies such as Clueless (1995) are referenced by the movie-obsessed characters of Scream:

Randy responds, “Oh, really, Alicia,” referring to Alicia Silverstone, the main character of Clueless, whose iconic line was “As if.”

Basically, Scream was the first horror movie where the characters show that they are intimately aware of the genre.

Everything from Randy’s character working at the video store to Tatum telling Sidney they can rent All the Right Moves (1983) and try to pause it correctly to see Tom Cruise in the nude feels authentic to high-school life in the 90s and the real-life obsession with movies.

Throughout the movie, Randy’s character, who works at the video store, references horror movies. In the infamous “rules of horror movies” scene, he gives these rules for surviving a horror movie:

  1. You can never have sex. Big no-no. Sex = death.
  2. You can never drink or do drugs. It’s a sin and an extension of rule number one.
  3. Never, ever say, “I’ll be right back.”
According to Randy, if you push the laws, you end up dead.

There is only one scene where Billy or Stu was really Ghostface.

Skeet Ulrich asked if he could be behind the Ghostface mask in this scene.

It’s when we see Ghostface behind Randy while he is on the couch yelling at the TV while Halloween is playing. Skeet Ulrich was in the Ghostface costume. He’d asked Wes Craven if he could fill in here, as there was no action required of the character in this scene.

The best line of the movie was ad-libbed.

Skeet Ulrich was covered in so much fake blood, the phone slipped out of his hand while filming a scene near the end of the movie and hit Matthew Lillard. Lillard ad-libbed the line, “You fucking hit me with the phone, dick!,” and Wes Craven kept it in.

This exchange between Stu and Sidney was also ad-libbed by both actors:


Production got permission to film scenes at Santa Rosa High School in Northern California, but shooting became a hot-button political issue in town. A thousand people showed up to a public meeting about it, and school-board members grandstanded about movie violence in the local paper. Eventually they reneged on their decision. Wes Craven thanked them for throwing production into chaos in the movie’s credits.

Classic school-board move.

More trivia from the original Scream:

  • The house used for Stu Macher’s home was available because both of the owners recently died. The scene filmed there was so long and brutal (it took 21 days) that crew made T-shirts that said “I SURVIVED SCENE 118” when they were done.
  • None of the cast met Roger L. Jackson before filming wrapped. Jackson was the voice of Ghostface, and he would be hidden on set during scenes where he talked to the cast so that his voice would be even scarier and their reactions more genuine.
  • Originally, Ghostface was going to be wearing a white robe, but it looked “too KKK” and was changed to black. This also is much more realistic, as it helps the villain blend into the dark when he’s creepy-crawling around the neighborhood.
  • Originally, production did not want to consider Courtney Cox for the role of Gale Weathers. Cox was famous as Monica Gellar on the hit 90s show Friends and wasn’t seen as a good fit for the bitchy tabloid reporter. Courtney fought hard to convince them that she was perfect for the role, and she ultimately won it. She went on to become a main cast member and had such good chemistry with Deputy Dewey that Wes Craven rewrote the script so that his character lived.
  • David Arquette found out at the premiere that his character lived even though in the script, Dewey died. Wes Craven had him perform the scene of being put in an ambulance both “dead” and “alive.”
  • Jamie Kennedy was cast as Randy Meeks because he ad-libbed lines and made Wes Craven laugh during casting. Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, and Jason Lee were also considered for the role.
Matthew Lillard had been in a few films at that point but never planned to audition for Scream. He was just tagging along with his girlfriend, who was a casting assistant working on a different project using the same building. He was “discovered” in the hallway and asked to audition for Billy before being cast as Stu. He beat out Freddie Prinze, Jr., who also auditioned for Stu.
  • Studio execs thought Scream was a flop after it opened to $6.4 million on the first weekend. However, the movie was so good that word of mouth spread, and it ended up taking in $173 million.
  • Molly Ringwald, who was 27 at the time, was offered the role of Sidney Prescott. She turned it down because she didn’t want to play a high schooler. Reese Witherspoon and Claire Danes also turned down the role. Wes Craven asked Neve Campbell to audition because he saw her in Party of Five and thought she would make the perfect “innocent” Sidney. Melissa Joan Hart, Brittany Murphy, Alicia Witt, Melanie Lynskey, and Melinda Clarke all auditioned for Sidney.
  • Bob Weinstein said the Ghostface mask was “idiotic” until he saw the opening scene with Drew Barrymore.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was offered the part of Billy Loomis and declined.
  • The Ghostface costume that you can buy at “any five and dime in the state” is labeled “Father Death,” not “Ghostface.”
The cheerleader in the bathroom scene was a girlfriend of Skeet Ulrich at the time. Also, a gross little goof in the film is that she puts her finger in her mouth after going to the bathroom but hadn’t washed her hands.
  • This was Marco Beltrami’s first time creating a score for a feature film. He decided to treat the movie like a Western and took inspiration from legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone.
The name of the film wasn’t changed from Scary Movie to Scream until post-production. Rose McGowan still has her bottle of Scary Movie wine that the cast and crew were given at the wrap party.
  • Rose McGowan is unable to scream.
  • Rose McGowan really could fit through the pet door. She had to be nailed in for her death scene and got bruises all over her body from hanging in the air in the door. When Neve Campbell was cast as the lead, Rose McGowan dyed her hair blonde to set herself apart and get the role of her best friend Tatum Riley.
  • Bob Weinstein said Craven’s dailies sucked, and the Ghostface mask wasn’t scary…until he was shown the opening scene, then he told the director, “What the fuck do I know about dailies?” and asked him to move faster to get the movie out.
Of their relationship, Courtney said, “I was just flirting with David on the first one, I was sleeping with him in the second, and we shared a trailer in the third.”

In Still Screaming: The Ultimate Scary Movie Retrospective Documentary, David Arquette says he would wait for Courtney Cox’s limo to pull up to the hotel where the cast was staying, and then he would prank-call her in her room as the killer.

Scream 2 (1997) Trivia

This usher was played by a woman who won the walk-on role in an MTV contest.

From the very beginning, writer Kevin Williamson envisioned Scream as a franchise. Along with the script, he submitted an outline of the future of the Scream universe that caused a bidding war between studios who were interested in making the films. Scream 2 went into production while Scream was still in theaters. Kevin Williamson emailed production 42 pages of the Scream 2 script, and that very evening the pages appeared on the internet, sending the film into chaos as they had to work to come up with an even better idea for the story.

There are a few points in Scream 2 where you can tell they were making up the story as they went — for instance, the idea that the killer was going after victims because they shared names with victims from the original Woodsboro murders was brought up and then never mentioned again. Derek, Hallie, Cotton Weary, and Mrs. Loomis all were going to be killers at one point. Other roles were also significantly rewritten — Randy Meeks was going to be Gale’s cameraman, and Joel was a med student. In the end, no one knew who the killer was until the “reveal” scenes were filmed. Here are the most interesting Easter eggs and trivia from Scream 2:

The events of Scream have been immortalized in the film within a film, Stab.

After the events of Scream, Gale Weathers wrote a book on Billy and Stu’s murder spree titled The Woodsboro Murders. By Scream 2, the book is being made into a movie. The Stab movies would be a huge part of the plot of Scream 3 and Scream 4. Footage of the fictional film was directed by Robert Rodriguez.

Sidney predicts the future in Scream when she says, “With my luck they’d cast Tori Spelling” to play her in the movie of her life. When promotion for the fictional movie Stab is shown in Scream 2, Tori Spelling is indeed in the role of Sidney Prescott.

Scream 2 is gorier than it needed to be.

Production had so much trouble getting the MPAA to give Scream an R rating (they ended up getting it because Bob Weinstein told them it was a comedy) that Wes Craven asked for Scream 2 to have more blood and gore than he needed so that he would be able to cut it out. It turns out that the MPAA loved the opening scene where a couple is murdered at the opening of the fictional horror movie Stab and gave Scream 2 an R right off the bat.

Of her death scene, Jada Pinkett Smith told Wes Craven: “I want to die the most horrific death that has ever happened in a horror film.”

The characters recycle the same looks.

For some reason, Sidney and Omar Epps wear the same outfit. This is notable because Sidney repeats this outfit again in Scream 3. Also, peep Sidney wearing Derek’s Greek letters again in Scream 3.

One of the major dramatic tensions in Scream 2 is Sidney wanting to trust her (totally innocent) boyfriend Derek but being haunted by the trauma of falling for psycho Billy in high school. In this scene, Derek wears the same shirt (a light blue polo) that Billy Loomis does the first time he appears in Sid’s bedroom in Scream.

Kevin Williamson has a cameo.

Writer Kevin Williamson has a cameo at the beginning of the movie as a host who is interviewing Cotton Weary on TV. The very type of tabloid news show he is impersonating is one of his inspirations for the original Scream script.

The many layers of non-reality.

Unbeknownst to her, Sidney Prescott followed in her mother’s footsteps and pursued a career in acting.

True to Wes Craven’s history of playing with epistemology, there are many “reality within reality” elements to Scream 2. The idea for Sidney to be in a play within the film was Wes Craven’s, and Kevin Williamson came up with the idea of the Stab film-within-a-film. In the film-class scene, the characters discuss elements of horror movie sequels, which they are all taking part in unwittingly.

Randy makes fun of the low quality of horror sequels, which is an in-joke since he is actually in a horror sequel.

Also, the film-class scene gives us this great goof:

Randy isn’t as good of a film student as he thinks. Here he actually has the line wrong; it is indeed “Get away from her, you bitch!”

To clarify, Joshua Jackson’s character was scripted to say the line incorrectly, and Jamie Kennedy was going to correct him. When Jackson accidentally said the line correctly, Kennedy ad-libbed the (incorrect) correction, making the scene work, but the line is ultimately not true to Aliens (1986).

Most people remember the Omega Beta Zeta house for a different reason.

Most “Windsor College” scenes were filmed at a women’s college in Atlanta, Agnes Scott College.

Known as The Crank House or Fair Oaks Ranch in Pasadena, California, the location used for the Omega Beta Zeta sorority house is the same home that was used as Miss Trunchbull’s house in Matilda (1996). It also appeared as the interior of Alison’s house in Hocus Pocus (1993) and the Strong home in Catch Me If You Can (2002).

Omega Beta Zeta sister Cici Cooper was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was so busy filming Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) that she signed on to the role without even reading the script. Kevin Williamson also wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer. After Scream 2, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joshua Jackson, and Jerry O’Connell’s younger brother would go on to film Cruel Intentions (1999) together. Her Cruel Intentions costar Selma Blair makes an uncredited cameo in Scream 2 as the woman Cici is talking to on the phone at the beginning of her death scene. Blair was also considered for the role of Jennifer Jolie in Scream 3.

Another fun fact about Sarah Michelle Gellar on set is that cast and crew were (again) kept separate from Roger L. Jackson, the voice of Ghostface, so that they would be convincingly afraid of him. It worked on everyone else. Sarah Michelle Gellar was the only actor who cheerfully made small talk with Jackson between takes.

Matthew Lillard makes a cameo.

Some pages of Williamson’s script said only, “Wes Craven will make it scary.”

Matthew Lillard has a cameo in the party scene in Scream 2, but it is barely visible to the naked eye. He’s the blond guy in the back between Portia de Rossi and Jamie Kennedy.

A homage to a Real Housewife.

The character of Officer Richards, one of Sidney’s armed guards, was named after Kyle Richards (of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame), who plays Lindsey Wallace in Halloween (1978). RHOBH alum Denise Richards was offered a role in Scream 2 but was busy filming other projects. In Scream 3, a character is named Detective Wallace (played by Josh Paris), another homage to the Halloween character.

More trivia from Scream 2:

This shot was achieved by giving Jerry O’Connell a very realistic fake arm. His real arm is inside his shirt.
  • Scream 2 was released less than a full year after Scream.
  • Tobey Maguire was offered the role of Mickey. It eventually went to Timothy Olyphant, who said the opportunity to play Mickey was “a gift. I had virtually nothing on my resume at that point. I’m sure some of it was made up.”
  • While filming, Jerry O’Connell had David Cassidy’s song “I Think I Love You” in his car and would sing to it whenever he was driving so that he would know it well enough to sing it to Sidney.
Fearing for her life, Sidney’s friends make a schedule to escort her around campus. Mickey sets up Derek for suspicion by swapping shifts with him and then attacking Sidney as Ghostface right before he arrives.
  • Hallie has a very visible “Freddy Krueger” sweater hanging in her closet.
  • David Arquette’s father Lewis played the role of Chief Lewis Hartley. One of David’s favorite memories is that he, his father, and his (then) wife were all parodied in MAD magazine when they did an issue with a parody of Scream 2.
  • Jerry O’Connell says he wasn’t given pages for the final scene until he arrived on set.
  • Randy again correctly identifies the killer in this movie as he tells Dewey the killer may be Micky, “the freaky Tarantino film student.”
Elise Neal, who played Sidney’s best friend Hallie McDaniel, ad-libbed her line “Did you get that on film?” after Sidney (again) hits Gale Weathers. Duane Martin, who played Gale’s cameraman Joel Jones, also ad-libbed his response.
  • Randy and Gale discuss revenge porn that was put on the internet, and Gale clarifies that it was her head Photoshopped onto Jennifer Aniston’s body. This is one of many references to Courtney Cox’s Friends fame. Another is the fictional casting of David Schwimmer as Dewey Riley in the Stab movies, though we never actually see David Schwimmer in the role.
  • David Warner played Sidney’s drama teacher, Gus. Warner auditioned for Wes Craven years ago for the role of Freddy Krueger, which he lost to Robert Englund.
  • Scream 2 was supposed to end with The Verve’s song “Bittersweet Symphony,” but because the song sampled from The Rolling Stones, it was too expensive. Two years later, the drama film Cruel Intentions used the song to end their movie, and that film’s soundtrack ended up charting on the Billboard 200.
  • In the original script, Scream 2 would end with a shot of another Ghostface watching the events unfold from a campus bell tower.

Scream 3 (2000) Trivia

At the beginning of the film, Sidney Prescott is living alone in the woods with her dog, Cherokee, several security systems, and even a gun. Only her father and Dewey Riley know where she is.

Matthew Lillard was hired to come back.

Kevin Williamson was so in demand by the time Scream 3 was made that he wasn’t available, and other writers were brought in to work on his vision. Williamson’s original treatment for the film was set back in Woodsboro, where Ghostface was intent on luring Sidney Prescott out of hiding and back to her hometown. The cold open would have been Sidney and a friend being attacked in her house. Sidney outsmarts the killer and ends up killing him. When he is unmasked, “Ghostface” is a complete stranger, a random “fan” of her life story. Matthew Lillard was under contract to come back as the killer, his character having miraculously survived the events of Scream. After the Columbine High School massacre, the studio wanted to steer the franchise away from a school setting.

The Scream tradition of recycling costumes continues.

Later on, Roman jokes that Jennifer Jolie can always go back to “must-see TV,” alluding to Courtney Cox’s Friends fame.

Parker Posey wears the green suit Courtney Cox wore in the original while filming scenes for the fictional Stab 3, in which she plays the character of Gale Weathers, famed author of The Woodsboro Murders. Sidney also wears the Greek letters Derek gave her in Scream 2 throughout the film.

Another famous mansion was used.

The building is called the Paramour Estate, formerly the Canfield-Moreno Residence in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The location used for John Milton’s house had previously been transformed to a school for Halloween: H20 (1998). In real life, the building has been a residence, a girl’s school, a convent, and a girl’s home. The original owner’s wife, heiress Daisy Canfield Moreno, died on her way home after a party when her car plunged off of the famously scenic Mulholland Drive. The residence also appeared in The Neon Demon (2016). In 2021, the house was on the market for $40 million.

Life imitating art imitating life.

Roman Bridger lightly echoes Wes Craven’s real life when he complains about how the studio said he had to make a horror movie before he could create the art he really wanted, something Wes Craven was intimately familiar with, as the director always felt he wanted to get out of horror.

Scream 3 earned its place in the “meta slasher” category by continuing Scream‘s tradition of being self-referential to both drama from the previous films (for instance, the Stab cast complaining about rewrites) as well as public scrutiny of the movies themselves. To further blur the lines between fiction and reality, celebs Jay and Silent Bob have a cameo as themselves. They are seen wandering the Sunrise Studios backlot. Wes Craven can also be seen in the crowd in this scene.

Carrie Fisher’s rider for her trailer included Froot Loops, Cheerios, and a carton of cigarettes.

Carrie Fisher also has a cameo, though she plays the part of an unknown actress named Bianca Burnette. Jamie Lee Curtis was offered this role but turned it down.

Earlier in the scene she complains about being a 35-year-old actress playing a 21-year-old. She was 27 at the time.

Jenny McCarthy’s character incorrectly references the shower scene in Vertigo. She has the film confused with another Hitchcock movie, Psycho.

The character of producer John Milton delivers a monologue about how he and his buddies would withhold roles from actresses such as Sidney’s mother as a means of coercing them into sex.

A major plot point of Scream 3 is that the “famous Hollywood producer” John Milton turns out to have preyed on and sexually assaulted Maureen Prescott. Again art imitates life imitating art — the movie was executive-produced by Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein. Rose McGowan, who played Tatum Riley in Scream, was one of the first women to inform the public about Weinstein’s sexual abuse, which she experienced firsthand at Sundance in 1997, during Scream‘s successful theatrical run. McGowan says that even at the time, Harvey’s 10am breakfast-meeting-turned-assault felt like a “well-oiled machine.” It still took 20 years and a hundred other women coming forward for people to believe her. And many still don’t:

“Even in the most, like—let’s go to Brock Turner, right? The Stanford case where he was caught red-handed, literally, and still. We were, like, a hundred of us, but it didn’t matter. What more does it take? You feel like, if a hundred women went to the police precinct and said, ‘This man stole our purse.’ I think, likely, he’d be arrested for that.”

Rose McGowan talking about Harvey Weinstein to The New Yorker

More trivia about Scream 3:

  • David Arquette and Courtney Cox got married a month before filming. They met on the set of Scream and rushed back from their honeymoon to film Scream 3.
  • After the mess of the Scream 2 script (including the identity of the killers) being leaked, Wes Craven was not messing around. He filmed three different endings and didn’t tell anyone which one he planned to use.
  • Liev Schreiber had been working out and wanted to film his scene without a jacket so that audiences could see his new physique.
100% Cotton started as a joke behind the scenes of Scream and Scream 2 when the crew was joking about what Cotton Weary would do with his fame if he ever got his wish.
  • Neve Campbell wore a wig as her real hair was dyed for another film she was making.
  • Wes Craven considered playing the role of John Milton himself.
  • Emily Mortimer, who played the role of Angelina Tyler, was originally going to be a killer along with Roman. The backstory would be that she went to high school with Sidney and was having an affair with Roman.
  • Kate Hudson was cast in an unknown role but had to be replaced before filming started due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Randy’s video message was over two hours long, but it was cut down to about three minutes.

Scream 4 (2011) Trivia

Wes Craven mocks his own history as a horror director.

As we saw with the “Wes Carpenter” joke in the original, Wes Craven is comfortable mocking himself as a stand-in for horror culture at large. At the beginning, Jenny Randall explains what has happened to the Stab universe since Scream 3 (which centered around production of Stab 3). The franchise no longer follows the story of Sidney Prescott and “Stab 5 has time travel, which is by far the worst.” This is an allusion to the time travel plot for a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel that Craven pitched to studios but was rejected and never made.

Britt Robertson as Marnie Cooper listens to the Stab universe being explained.

Woodsboro High remembers its fallen principal.

The high school now has a statue of Principal Himbry, played by Henry Winkler in Scream. His character was killed and hung from the football field’s goalposts. After the SNAFU with the Woodsboro High School location in northern California for Scream, Scream 4 used Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Himbry bust is on the far left.

Stab-a-Thon is full of Easter eggs.

Attendees are dressed as Sidney, Dewey and Gale, there’s a dummy made to look like Tatum crawling through the dog door of Stu’s garage, and Charlie and Robbie’s welcome speech is reminiscent of Randy’s original “The Rules” of surviving a horror movie speech from the original.

A dummy of Gale’s would-be sister-in-law, Tatum Riley, is behind her as she enters the Stab-a-Thon barn in a Ghostface mask.

In real life, the town of Texarkana, Arkansas has a screening of The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) around Halloween every year. The film is a fictional take on the real-life Texarkana Moonlight Murders, just like the Stab movies would be to the town of Woodsboro.

Cop Lore:

Anthony Anderson played Officer Anthony Perkins, named for Tony Perkins, who played Norman Bates in Psycho (1960). He has been in several of the Scary Movie films that satirize Scream. Anderson also played a cop in The Departed (2006).

Adam Brody plays Officer Ross Hoss, who makes a comment about how it sucks to be a cop “unless you’re Bruce Willis.” Brody and Willis starred in a cop movie, Cop Out (2010), together the previous year. Hoss’s character was considered to become a killer in one of the script’s early drafts.

Anderson reached out to production of Scream 4 and asked to audition; he said he “always wanted to be the black guy in the horror movie.”

While Anderson’s (ad-libbed) death scene where he stumbles out of his car after being stabbed in the head seems far-fetched, people have actually driven themselves to the hospital after receiving similar injuries. In 2004, a man named Peter Porco was ax-murdered by his son while he slept—only he didn’t die right away. When Peter’s alarm clock went off, he got up and got ready — even shaving and unloading the dishwasher before finally collapsing near the front door and dying.

Kirby doesn’t die.

It’s canon. Wes Craven wrote it in the script. There was supposed to be a scene showing that Kirby lived, but it was cut for time. In the DVD commentary, Craven says, “As you can see, Hayden was still moving…not saying she’s coming back for sure.” Kirby truthers everywhere insist that she should be in Scream 5.

The original Scream 4 script ended with Jill being loaded into an ambulance and driven to the hospital. As she poses for a photo, she hears someone say that there is another woman alive in the house. It was going to be left open as to whether the other survivor was Sidney or Kirby.

More trivia about Scream 4:

Nancy O’Dell has played a TV reporter in Scream 2-4. She is first shown in Scream 2 interviewing Tori Spelling, who plays Sidney in the first two Stab movies. O’Dell was also a longtime correspondent for both Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.
  • This was the last film directed by horror legend Wes Craven. He passed from a brain tumor at his Los Angeles home in August 2015.
  • Scream is one of very few horror franchises to have the main characters and the director return three times.
  • Dewey is a great friend because in his first scene, Sidney’s book Out of Darkness can be seen on his nightstand. Gale says she hasn’t had time to read it.
  • Trevor wears the same outfit as Sidney’s dad in Scream, and they’re both duct-taped in the closet ready to be framed from the murders.
  • In a deleted scene, Dewey explains that Neil Prescott died between Scream 3 and Scream 4.
A few subtle nods to Courtney Cox’s Friends fame are made throughout the franchise; in Scream 4 one example is when Sidney’s publicist tells Gale “You WERE my ’90s.”
  • The cast was only given 75 pages of the 140-page script to keep leaks to a minimum.
  • Of the possibility of Jamie Kennedy returning as Randy Meeks, Kevin Williamson said, “I would love nothing more than to have Jamie Kennedy in the film. However, to have Randy in the film, it sort of just takes it…I mean, Scream 2 was a lie, you know? It’s a false move. So I just won’t do it. I can’t do that. I just won’t do it.”
  • Scream 4 was filmed after David Arquette and Courtney Cox separated and before they divorced.
  • An early draft for the movie showed Dewey and Gale having kids, but that was nixed because it would be too complicated to film.
This scene was written with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in mind.
  • Even though she’s a Scream Queen who literally starred in a TV show called Scream Queens (along with American Horror Story), Emma Roberts doesn’t like scary movies. She says she hid under the covers while watching the first three movies for research. Roberts is also in the very good winter horror movie The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015).
  • This is Emma Roberts and Rory Culkin’s third movie together; the first two are Lymelife (2008) and Twelve (2010).
  • Ashley Greene, most recognizable as Alice in the Twilight films, was considered for the part of Jill Roberts. Scout Taylor-Compton (Rob Zombie’s Laurie Strode) was also considered. Shane Dawson was considered for the role of Robbie Mercer. Alia Shawkat was considered for Kirby. Aubrey Plaza was considered for Sidney’s publicist, Rebecca. Christina Ricci was considered for Deputy Hicks. Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) was actually cast as Sidney’s aunt Kate Roberts but dropped out a few days into filming.
  • In Scream 3, Sidney wears the Greek letters necklace her deceased boyfriend Derek Feldman gave her; it does not appear in Scream 4.
  • Scream 4 actress Lucy Hale briefly dated Skeet Ulrich in 2021. They were 32 and 51 at the time.
Goof: For a split second in Olivia’s death scene, you can see damage to her closet door done by a previous take.
  • Because she’s the best character in the franchise, there’s a poster for Tremors (1990) in Kirby’s room.
  • Scream 4 is the first time Gale is stabbed.
  • In a deleted scene, Wes Craven had a cameo as a forensic technician working on Jenny and Marnie’s crime scene.

Scream (2022) Trivia

There are plenty of easter eggs to notice in this “requel” that has been described as “a love letter to horror fans”. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have said they purposely tried to infuse the new film with tons of references to the other Scream films and horror history.

Jenna Ortega stars as Tara Carpenter in Scream (2022), her last name an allusion to horror director John Carpenter.
  • Tara Carpenter’s legacy as a final girl is foreshadowed in the cold open when she mirrors a famous scene in which Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis is stalked by Michael Myers.
  • This isn’t an easter egg, but rather a missed opportunity. Tara and Samantha’s mother’s name is “Cristina Carpenter”. We are not told what her maiden name is. For some reason no one is curious about who Billy Loomis cheated on Sidney with in high school. I agree that this is very believable cannon that Billy was sleeping around while projecting his rage onto Sidney’s mother for sleeping around — but with who? There actually is a character in the original Scream that was played by Skeet Ulrich’s real life girlfriend at the time: Leonora Scelfo played “Cheerleader in the bathroom”. It would be fun/cool if Tara and Samantha’s mom had been named “Lenora” or a reference was made to her being this character from the original.
Top: Halloween (1978), bottom: Scream (2022)
  • The opening scene killer says his name is “Charlie”. This is probably a reference to the character of Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), one of the killers in Scream 4.
  • The soundtrack (thankfully) brought back the Nick Cave song “Red Right Hand” which has appeared in every Scream movie except Scream 4. As a treat for fans, the song’s reappearance isn’t subtle, a remastered version of the song scores Vince’s epic kill scene. Scream soundtracks are always high quality and it’s interesting to know that Marco Belltrami approached the score to the original as if it were a Western. When he was hired, he had never even seen a horror film before. Scream became his first but he didn’t understand any of the self-referential horror jokes.

Cave didn’t think much of the song’s repeating groove at first, but was persuaded to reconsider by his band, and eventually wrote lyrics about a shadowy, alluring, and manipulative figure, stalking the land and striking a combination of fear and awe everywhere he goes. He’s seemingly part deity, part demon.

Hardeep Phull, The unlikely story behind ‘Peaky Blinders’ theme song
  • ICYMI the character of Vince Schneider (Kyle Gallner) was Stu Macher’s nephew.
Top: Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett Smith) comments on the infamous inclusion of sexualized female nudity in Scream 2. Bottom: Wes Hick’s shower scene is Scream‘s first attempt at showing the male body through an objectified gaze.
  • After four movies, the franchise known for upending horror tropes finally gave us objectified male nudity with Wes Hick’s character, a gender bent play on the infamous amount of sexualized female nudity in the horror genre. The shower scene calls back to both Hitchcock’s Psycho and the first Stab movie (as shown to and discussed by Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett Smith) in Scream 2. Even though he plays a high school student, Dylan Minnette was 24 at the time of filming.
Sheriff Judy Hick’s (Marley Shelton) bonkers broad daylight murder on her front steps felt like a callback to the ballsy murder of Principal Himbry (Henry Winkler) in his office in the original.
  • It was revealed that fan favorite Kirby Reed survived the events of Scream 4. Even though she doesn’t appear in the movie at all, when Ritchie is watching YouTube an interview with her as a “survivor” is briefly visible.
  • In a deleted scene there were missing posters for Kirby visible around Woodsboro.
  • Richie Kirsch is stabbed in the same place (forearm) as both Jill Roberts in Scream 4 and Derek Feldman in Scream 2.
  • Drew Barrymore returned to film an audio cameo. When the new main cast is at the picnic table at the beginning of the film, Drew Barrymore is actually the principal making announcements over the PA.
  • Sidney Prescott’s husband and children are never shown, but the team has confirmed the “Mark” she refers to is (former?) homicide detective Mark Kincaid of the LAPD. The couple did seem to have an organic spark in Scream 3.
Sidney and Mark share a moment in Scream 3.
  • One of the most mind-melting easter eggs in Scream is that Tara is watching Dawson’s Creek in the hospital. This means that Dawson’s Creek exists in the world of Scream which means when Joshua Jackson appeared as a film student in Scream 2 (1997) he was also filming the first season of Dawson’s Creek and was a celebrity. Is Joshua Jackson famous within the world of Scream? Is The Mighty Ducks franchise a thing in the world of Scream? Did people know who Sarah Michelle Gellar was? Why didn’t anyone say anything? Why were there so many famous people in an early morning film class at a sleepy liberal arts college? Jackson was credited as “Film Class Guy #1” and not “Joshua Jackson” but this is super fun to think about.
The fact that Dawson’s Creek (created by Scream writer Kevin Williamson) exists in the world of Scream opens a fun Pandora’s box. “Cliff” is played by Scott Foley, known in the Scream world as Roman Bridger.
  • Also, Scott Foley played the killer, Roman Bridger, and director of Stab 3 in Scream 3 (2000). Foley also had 5-episode arc on Dawson’s Creek in 1998. The episode shown is one of Foley’s episodes and his character, Cliff, is mentioned by name. Was Roman Bridger an actor named Scott Foley before he became a director? Was Maureen Prescott’s son an actor on Dawson’s Creek? Is Tara watching this specific episode of Dawson’s Creek because in the world of Scream it’s a well known fact that one of the actors turned out to be a serial killer?
Did Roman Bridger have a 5-episode arc on Dawson’s Creek??? I feel like Jennifer Jolie would have mentioned this.

Tara was originally supposed to be watching I Know What You Did Last Summer while laying in the hospital bed but we thought using a show that included cast from the Scream sequels and was based in large part on the first Scream was a super fun meta hand grenade to drop on people in the middle of the movie.

Radio Silence, on Scott Foley’s Dawson’s Creek episode playing during Scream
  • The funeral/party for the character Wes Hicks is an allegory for the movie. The film ends with “For Wes” as a touching tribute to Scream 1-4 director Wes Craven. The movie is literally a funeral/party for Wes.
Past Scream cast and Wes Craven’s widow were some of the voices you’ll hear in the “To Wes” toast.
  • To honor Wes Craven’s memory, when you hear the “To Wes” toast at the party, the line is being said by former Scream actors Henry Winkler, Adam Brody, and Hayden Panettiere along with longtime Wes Craven editor Patrick Lussier, Marco Beltrami who did the soundtrack for all of the Scream films, and Wes Craven’s widow Iya Labunka.

No movie is made by one person only. It is all a community of artists wanting to bring a story to life.

Radio Silence
  • Tara hits Ritchie with a phone, an allusion to Matthew Lillard’s iconic ad-libbed line from the original.
Mindy yells at Randy to look behind her while Randy yells at Jamie Lee Curtis to look behind her. Ghostface was actually behind both Randy and Mindy.
  • Mindy Meeks-Martin is Randy Meeks’ niece. She wears a similar outfit (brown pants, green shirt) as Randy in the original and occupies the same role (horror movie nerd). She sits on the couch during the party watching Stab which portrays her uncle doing the same thing during the first series of Woodsboro murders. Both Meeks yell “behind you!” at the screen, not realizing Ghostface is actually behind them.
The Radio Silence team discusses how surreal making Scream was in a Reddit AMA.
  • In the clip of Gale Weathers on her new morning show she is seen discussing the incredibly awful bangs she sported in Scream 3.
  • Stu Macher fans weren’t left out in the cold, we see a YouTube clip hinting that Stu’s death isn’t firmly established canon:
Matthew Lillard’s cameo in Scream (2022) was in the Stab 8 trailer. We can also see confirmation that Kirby Reed survived the events of Scream 4 as well as speculation that Stu Macher lives.
  • In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett revealed that Mathew Lillard indeed had a cameo in Scream and played the golden-faced ghostface weilding a flamethrower in the Stab 8 trailer visible in the vilm on a clip on YouTube. He can be heard saying, “This shit is lit.”
  • Another fun easter egg is that during the third act party scene Lillard can be heard telling Amber, “Cool house Freeman” as she walks into the kitchen. The joke is that it’s actually Stu’s house.
The Meeks-Martin’s dead uncle made a cameo during the party.
  • Also during the party scene, Jamie Kennedy can be heard saying “Someone’s goofy ass dad is kicking us out of the party.”
  • Matt and Tyler have a cameo in some of the Stab 8 YouTube footage.
  • On the last day of filming they shot additional footage of Stab and some crime scene photos of Billy and Stu from the original Scream as well.
It’s the act three bloodbath baby!
Leonardo DiCaprio kills Mikey Madison’s character with a flamethrower he had in his tool shed.
  • To prepare for his role as a violent, obsessive horror fan, Jack Quaid started posting on Reddit under the username u/StabHead.
Scream is a commentary on the relationship between violence, horror movies and the audience.

Honestly, all the nods to all the involvement of the original cast, I think is something that we wanted to take into consideration when we were making this. Let’s get everybody back. Let’s bring back as many people as we can. Once we knew Skeet [Ulrich] and Billy were coming back, really, we can layer in the voices of these other actors in a way. I mean, honestly, we’re dedicating this move for Wes. We should include everybody from the entire Scream family.

Scream producer Chad Villella
The film ends with a tribute to Wes Craven. When this title card is shown, you can hear birds singing in the background. Craven was an avid birder who was on the board of Audubon California.

Scream VI (2023) Trivia

Scream VI follows the four survivors from Scream (2022) as they attempt to start over in New York City: Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega). They are joined by Ghostface survivors Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) as well as a handful of new cast members. There are so many Scream and horror movie references in Scream VI that this list is likely missing many of the hidden details. If you’ve noticed more, let us know on our Facebook page or on our Discord. Here’s what we’ve found so far (spoilers ahead):

Weaving plays an associate professor of film studies who teaches a class on 20th century slashers.
  • Samara Weaving plays a film professor on a blind date in Scream VI‘s opening sequence. While waiting at a restaurant for a date, she talks to her supposedly lost suitor on the phone while he lures her from the busy restaurant to an empty alley.
  • Weaving’s character is named Laura Crane, a reference both to Sidney Prescott’s pseudonym in Scream 3 and the character Marion Crane from Psycho (1960).
  • Weaving and Jenna Ortega starred together in The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020).
  • Scream VI directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett also directed Weaving in Ready or Not (2019). Another reference to this film is in the subway scene when a character is dressed as Weaving’s Ready or Not character Grace.
  • Many other people in the subway scene are dressed as characters from Wes Craven films.
  • When Tara (Jenna Ortega) goes to the Halloween party, one guest is dressed as Wednesday Addams, who Ortega portrays in the Netflix series Wednesday.
Jason (Tony Revolori) and his roommate were planning their own string of Ghostface killings with the motivation to “finish Ritchie’s film” by killing Sam and Tara. His roommate continues the long tradition of killers in the Scream franchise wearing flannel shirts, as he is wearing one when his body is discovered.
  • Tony Revolori’s character, Jason, wears a shirt that reads “4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio.” This is the name of a giallo written and directed by Dario Argento, known to English speaking audiences as Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971). His character mentions that his professor (Samara Weaving’s character) gave him a C- on his giallo paper. There are other horror references in Jason’s apartment like how he watches Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and has posters for Deep Red (1975), Last Podcast on the Left, and Vertigo (1958).
  • Later, when Mindy Meeks-Martin watches a news story about Jason’s murder, she comments, “That’s that chode from our film studies class, the one who’s obsessed with Argento.”
While giving her speech, Mindy wears a “strong femme lead” shirt which is pretty on the nose given that she is literally a strong femme character in Scream VI.
  • In her speech, Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) says someone is making a “sequel to a requel” and compares the events of Scream VI to the plot of Stab 2 (the in-universe movie based on the events of Scream 2): the setting has moved from Woodsboro to a college and new characters are brought in to round out the legacy characters. She also lays out the “rules for a continuing franchise” which are: 1) everything is bigger 2) expect the opposite of what happened last time and 3) no one is safe (even legacy characters).
  • Throughout the film there are callbacks to remind viewers that chronologically, we are in a sequel to a requel which means that Scream VI will feel a bit like Scream 2 (1997). One of these callbacks is in the party scene when Tara says she may rush “Omega Beta Zeta“. This is the sorority that Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from Scream 2 belonged to.
Cox joked she loves playing Gale Weathers so much, she’d do it for free.
  • Although Courtney Cox (Gale Weathers) and Roger Jackson (the voice of Ghostface) have been working together on all six films, this is the first time Gale has received a phone call from Ghostface.
  • Cox has now played the role of Gale Weathers across four decades, a record she shares with Milla Jovovich, who was in all six Resident Evil (2002) films.
At the end of the (incredibly suspenseful) bodega scene, we see that the bodega is named Abe’s Snake bodega. “Abe Snake” is thought to be Wes Craven’s pen name when he directed porn in the 70s.
  • Scream VI breaks the franchise’ unwritten rule of only showing Ghostface killers using a gun after they are unmasked.
  • Sam’s therapist (Henry Czerny) is watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) when he is attacked by Ghostface. In one version of the script Sam was going to notice that her therapist had a Ghostface memorabilia doll as she left his home.
  • Czerny also played family patriarch Tony Le Domas in Ready or Not (2019).
Everything in the Ghostface shrine was recreated as no props (even digital files) were saved from previous Scream films.
  • The song “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds plays in Scream VI directly following Czerny’s death scene. The song is basically the Scream theme song and appears in every movie except Scream 4.
  • Just like in Scream (2022) the real killer is called out early in the film near Mindy’s horror movie speech. This time Mindy correctly guesses that Ethan Landry (Jack Champion) and Quinn Bailey (Liana Liberato) are killers.
Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) reveals his motive midway through the film. Sam thinks he is talking about his daughter Quinn, who has supposedly just been killed by Ghostface. He is actually talking about his son Ritchie, the ghostface killer who Sam killed in Scream (2022).

I was worried that I couldn’t act anymore. I mean, I took four years off. I had to remind myself of what I could do and to make sure that I could still do it. But I knew I made the right decision. This was the best, the best first movie back that I could have dreamt of. It was like coming home. I was 21 when I did Scream 4, and Wes Craven, the whole cast, the whole crew, it was such a family. I was hoping to find the same thing here, and I very definitely did. Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] and Tyler [Gillett] and the whole cast. I mean, just incredible, just incredible people.

Hayden Panettiere, on Kirby Reed returning in Scream VI
  • The guy from across the hall (Josh Segarra) that Sam is seeing is named Danny Brackett, likely a reference to the Halloween (1978) characters Annie Brackett (Nancy Loomis) and her father Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers).
  • It was Jasmine Savoy Brown’s idea for Mindy and her girlfriend Anika Kayoko (Devyn Nekoda) to share a kiss right before Anika dies.
  • Anika Kayoko is named after Kayako, the ghost from Ju-on: The Grudge (2002).
  • The characters take the subway through station “96” which is probably a reference to the year the original Scream came out.
An ironic, self-referential post-credit scene is a very Scream way to do a post-credit scene.

Meet The Author

Chrissy is the co-founder of Creepy Catalog. She has over 10 years of experience writing about horror, a degree in philosophy and Reiki level II certification.

Chrissy Stockton