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|This page is for Easter Eggs only. Easter Eggs include inside jokes, pop culture references, and any similar reference to something outside the Elder Scrolls games. For other points of interest, like unfinished quests, or references to other games in the Elder Scrolls series, please see the appropriate pages.|
Easter Eggs are secrets that the developers put in games to give people a laugh when they find them (provided that they understand the joke or reference). Oblivion has a large number of such jokes. Easter Eggs differ from in-game references in that they have been clearly hidden from the player and are unusual with regards to their surroundings; references are often integrated into the rest of game and no attempt is made to keep them secret.
If you think you have found an Easter Egg, please post your idea on this article's talk page before adding it to this article.
- Certain shops in the Imperial City appear to have been named in honor of restaurants in Maryland, home of Bethesda Softworks. Among such are The Main Ingredient (The Main Ingredient website) and Three Brothers (Three Brothers Italian Restaurant website).
- In the lake slightly west of Fort Nikel lies a corpse identified as that of Nath Dyer. On the corpse, you will find a primrose and an undelivered love letter written by Nath to a woman he was interested in courting. Unfortunately, it seems Nath never delivered his letter. In the construction set, there are two hidden names for this corpse - DeadLoverFortNikel and NathanMcDyer. Therefore it is likely this corpse is named after Nathan McDyer, a Bethesda employee who was on the Quality Assurance team for Oblivion (screenshot of the credits).
- In a similar vein, a dead skeleton named Gran Struthe can be found in Fort Scinia. This seems to be a reference to Grant Struthers, one of the seven members of the "World Art" team for the game (screenshot of the credits).
- NPCs often speak of land dreugh, saying: "Have you seen a land dreugh? We call them 'Billies'. Don't know why. Steer clear of them, though." This seemingly colloquial name for the land dreugh was in fact obtained from the development team. An excerpt from a member explaining such reads: "The Oblivion bestiary is quite large and varied. You'll see the return of old Elder Scrolls favorites, plus the addition of more than a few new critters to smash or sneak by, whatever your preference. One of our new favorite guys we've nicknamed 'Codename: Billy.' He's a really awesome variation on a popular creature from past Elder Scrolls games."
- During An Unexpected Voyage, your character is given the opportunity to unsuccessfully claim to be the ship's cook, mimicking dialogue from the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege.
- Lucien Lachance - the individual who recruits you into the Dark Brotherhood - is a caricature of Lucien Lacroix, a character on the Canadian television series Forever Knight. Chronicling the journeys of Nick Knight the eight-hundred year old vampire, Forever Knight introduced Lacroix as the creature who brought Nick into his dark family, as Lachance does the player character.
- Nothing You Can Possess - Umbacano's second quest - is named in reference to the first Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, wherein Indiana's nemesis Doctor Rene Belloq takes the Idol which Jones has risked his life retrieving, saying "Dr. Jones, again we see that there is nothing you can possess, which I cannot take away." Apart from the name, the content of the quest was also modeled after said scene.
- The Forlorn Watchman leads to the eventual acquisition of a ship's log telling of a mutiny in which the traitor "Gable" leads the crew against "Captain Laughton", all of which references the classic Mutiny on the Bounty, in which actors Charles Laughton and Clark Gable played the ship's captain and chief of the mutineers, respectively.
- The item dubbed Mother's Head from Following a Lead is a reference to the slasher movie Friday the 13th Part 2, in which Jason (the deranged and invulnerable killer) talks to the head of his decapitated mother, who was killed in an earlier movie.
- If you read Amantius Allectus' Diary after stealing it during May the Best Thief Win, you will see it is about a blood-eating plant Amantius found during an eclipse of the sun. He tells of how he eventually killed the plant. This may be a reference to the film Little Shop of Horrors, in which a florist finds a similar plant that eventually eats most of the main characters. Amantius had more luck than poor Seymour at least.
- The in-game item Blue Suede Shoes is named in tribute to the classic "Blue Suede Shoes", a rock-and-roll standard written by Carl Perkins and performed by himself and numerous other artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and many more.
- Shum gro-Yarug at Castle Skingrad makes the comments about Surilie vineyards, "...but I helped him drink his wine. And he always has some mighty fine wine". This is from the Hoyt Axton song 'Joy to the World' made famous by Three Dog Night:
- Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
Was a good friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said,
But I helped him a-drink his wine.
And he always had some mighty fine wine.
- Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
- Jakben, Earl of Imbel - a citizen of the Imperial City - was also given an equally clever name. By removing the appellation of "Earl of" and spaces from his name, you are left with JakbenImbel. Divided properly, it may be read as Jak be nImbel, or "Jack be nimbel". As the famous thief Springheel Jak - a reference to Spring-Heeled Jack, a character from English folklore - his unique boots (granting a +50 Acrobatics boost) are quite useful for jumping over candlesticks.
- The Chorrol quest A Shadow Over Hackdirt involves the mystery of the titular town's population, which pays worship to unseen creatures known simply as "The Deep Ones" through the guidance of a "Bible of the Deep Ones". The scenario was closely modeled after The Shadow Over Innsmouth, a story by H.P. Lovecraft in which a small New England town is populated with half-human creatures who worship beings that live under the sea, known as The Deep Ones.
- Through A Nightmare, Darkly appears to have borrowed its title from the Bible.
- The Dark Brotherhood quest Whodunit? was based on the Agatha Christie book And Then There Were None, revealed by Todd Howard in an interview with Computer and Video Games. The book revolves around a group of strangers, each of whom has committed a crime of some sort, who visit an island and are systematically slain, one by one.
- The Imperial City quest Unfriendly Competition involves the Macabre Manifest, a catalog of those recently perished. One of its entries concerns an "Oford Gabings", an anagram of Frodo Baggins, and lists several items that Frodo carried during The Lord of the Rings trilogy, including a "travel cloak with silver and green leaf fastener", an "enchanted shortsword with inlaid writing" (Sting), a "leather bound travel journal", and a "gold ring with inscription (cursed?)" (the One Ring).
- Yet another reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's books is a Nord called Havilstein Hoar-Blood at Gnoll Mountain, who has a wolf named Redmaw as a companion. "Redmaw" is a direct translation of "Carcharoth", a mighty wolf from The Silmarillion.
- A final reference to Tolkien's works exists in the Dark Brotherhood initiation quest A Knife in the Dark. This quest shares the name of a chapter in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring. Furthermore, the goal of the aforementioned quest is to assassinate a man as he sleeps in an inn. In the book during the above chapter, the main characters are almost murdered in their sleep while spending the night at an inn.
- In the third level of the Ayleid ruin Vilverin is a note written by Jalbert the resident Necromancer to Aluc Cardius, a guard captain in Daggerfall. This is likely a simple anagram (very nearly spelled backwards) of Dracula and no doubt a reference to the infamous vampire, since it is hinted that Cardius himself is a vampire.
- During Nature's Fury, you will encounter a large bear named Forest Guardian. The Forest Guardian is reminiscent of the guardian from the Rigante book Sword in the Storm. It too was a large bear and could not be defeated through violence, to "defeat" it, Connavar (the hero of the book) simply did not attack it despite its growls and roars and walked around it.
- There is a small bridge just past the Mouth of the Panther, east-southeast of Bravil. Underneath you will find the remains of a Dead Troll. Reminiscent of the children's fairy tale "Billy Goats Gruff", you will find A Poorly Scrawled Note on the body, explaining its failure as a bridge troll:
Mee wurst troll evurr
nobuddy pay brijj toletroll droun
me nott sceary enuf
mee gett drunc an kil sellf
- When Boethia comments on the death of the Orc during the Tournament of Ten Bloods, he says, "Alas, poor Orc. This was not your finest hour." This is a pun on Hamlet's famous "Alas, poor Yorick" monologue.
- If you ask Telaendril about Rumors, she will say that when Gogron gro-Bolmog was a child he had a pet rabbit, and petted the thing so hard he crushed its skull. This is a reference to John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, in which Lennie Small kills a mouse and a puppy by stroking them too roughly. Lennie's dream is to be able to take care of rabbits.
- Uriel Septim VII recites slightly modified lines from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar during the tutorial. He first quotes Act II, sc. i when discussing birthsigns: "The skies are marked with numberless sparks, each a fire, and every one a sign." He then quotes Act II, sc. ii when asked if he is afraid to die: "Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come." Patrick Stewart, Uriel Septim's voice actor, has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1966.
- Caught in the Hunt is a reference to the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, in which a man traveling to South America to hunt big cats instead finds himself the target of a hunt on an isolated island.
- M'aiq the Liar's introduction line "M'aiq knows much, tells some." is a reference to a line from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, in which the main character Mannie says of his best friend, "Mike knows much, doesn't tell all."
- Two crumpled pieces of paper can be found in Arkved's room during Vaermina's quest. They read, "The Horror, The Horror" and "I shall lie here in the dark waiting for death." These are the lines spoken by Mr. Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, which describe the speaker's descent into madness after glimpsing the darkest parts of the human mind.
- The statue in Chorrol in front of the south gate is a rendition of the Pietà, one of Michelangelo's finest works.
- The statue in Anvil in the water near the dock gate seems to be an enlarged reference to The Little Mermaid, perhaps the most famous statue in Copenhagen.
- Upon taking charge of Battlehorn Castle, you will be able to start an unmarked quest. During the quest you discover that the previous Lord of the castle - Lord Kain - was resurrected by a scheming Necromancer after being slain in a battle. This story is very similar the Silicon Knights/Crystal Dynamics Legacy of Kain series in which a nobleman named Kain is resurrected by the Necromancer Mortanius.
- Sometimes you will hear a beggar end a conversation with "Blessings of Mystara upon ye". This is a reference to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting called Mystara.
- When asked about Rumors or engaged in conversation with other NPCs, Imperial male members of the Fighters Guild may sometimes say, "I have a warm place to sleep and three squares a day. It ain't 'The Bard's Tale', but it's good enough for me." This is likely a reference to The Bard's Tale video game franchise, which stemmed from the 1985 roleplaying game The Bard's Tale.
- Sometimes, in combat, you will hear NPCs say, "Jump on my sword while you can!" This is a reference to a line of dialogue spoken by the character Minsc in the Baldur's Gate roleplaying video game franchise. In the 2000 installment of the franchise, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Minsc would say, "Jump on my sword while you can, evil. I won't be as gentle!"
- Fafnir, the Nord guard of Summitmist Manor (and the alleged chest of gold within) is named for the greedy gold-guarding dragon of Nordic mythology in the Volsunga Saga (Fafnir).
- The name of the quest Whom Gods Annoy is derived from an ancient proverb, "Whom the gods (wish to) destroy, they first make mad". The proverb is from an anonymous ancient Greek poet (some modern sources falsely attribute it to Euripides, but for no particular reason).
- An NPC by the name of Antoinetta Marie can be found in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in Cheydinhal. This is an obvious reference to the 18th century Austrian-born Queen of France Marie Antoinette, who was executed during the French Revolution. If you speak with her about Rumors, she may talk about her being the next leader of the sanctuary.
- Novaroma in Bruma is likely a reference to the Roman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul), which was founded by Emperor Constantine as Nova Roma in 330 CE. Nova Roma is Latin for New Rome, as Constantinople was often considered a second Rome due to its wealth. Nova Roma could also refer to a Roman revivalist group created in 1998 called Nova Roma.
- The Black Hand was the informal name of the Serbian military organization that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, starting World War I. Just like the Elder Scrolls' Black Hand, the Serbian Black Hand was essentially a select order of assassins.
- The Skingrad castle exterior is visually a copy of Bran Castle in Romania, commonly known as 'Dracula Castle'.
- Fort Caractacus is named after the 1st century British chieftain Caratacus (sometimes spelled Caractacus).
- M'aiq the Liar, the recurring character whose comments are references to events and features of the game (both new and removed), jokes, and Easter Eggs.
- Oblivion Subforum — A place on the UESP forums where you can discuss Easter Eggs related to Oblivion