15 Movie Props You Might Not Have Noticed Were Used In Multiple Films

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Even Hollywood reduces, reuses, and recycles.

1. P.K.E. Meter

Columbia Pictures / Universal Pictures / New Line Cinema

Appears in: Ghostbusters (1984), They Live (1988), and Suburban Commando (1991)

The P.K.E. Meter was used by Dr. Egon Spengler to track paranormal entities in Ghostbusters. The meter was also used to track alien lifeforms in They Live and to track a freeze laser in Suburban Commando.

2. Hattori Hanzo katanas

Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

Appears in: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Sin City (2005)

Quentin Tarantino kept some of the swords used in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 in the back of his garage. He lent two Crazy 88 swords to his close friend and fellow director Robert Rodriguez, who used them in his film Sin City.

3. 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88

New Line Cinema / Sony Pictures / Universal Pictures

Appears in: The Evil Dead (1982), Crimewave (1985), Evil Dead 2 (1987), Darkman (1990), Army Of Darkness (1993), The Quick And The Dead (1995), A Simple Plan (1998), For Love Of The Game (1999), The Gift (2000), Spider-Man Trilogy (2002, 2004, 2007), and Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Director Sam Raimi owns this 1973 Oldsmobile and makes sure to include it in all of his films. He, and his dedicated fanbase, refer to the car as “The Classic.”

4. Dr. Frankenstein’s lab equipment

20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Appears in: Frankenstein (1931) and Young Frankenstein (1974)

Mel Brooks, the writer and director of Young Frankenstein, used the lab equipment from the original 1931 film after finding out the prop master, Kenneth Strickfaden, had it stored in his garage.

5. Heisler Beer

Sony Pictures / Tribeca Film

Appears in: The Social Network (2010), Palo Alto (2013), and more!

If you’ve watched actors get fake drunk on screen, they may have been drinking Heisler Golden Ale. This brand of fake beer is distributed by the prop house Independent Studio Services and can also be spotted in popular TV shows such as New Girl or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

6. Newspaper

Miramax Films / Franchise Pictures

Appears in: A Murder of Crows (1998), No Country For Old Men (2007), and more!

This particular newspaper was printed by The Earl Hays Press, a California-based company that specializes in producing newspapers, license plates, passports, credit cards, drivers licenses, and other period specific items for TV shows and movies.

7. Morley Cigarettes

Paramount Pictures / Universal Pictures / Netflix

Appears in: Psycho (1960), The World’s End (2013), Heist (2015), Ingrid Goes West (2017), Under the Silver Lake (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019), Honey Boy (2019), and more!

The packaging for this fake cigarette brand is also distributed by The Earl Hays Press. Morley Reds most closely resemble Marlboro cigarettes, both in name and appearance. In addition to appearing in films, this was the brand of choice for the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files and Chandler Bing in Friends.

8. Golden Idol

Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures

Appears in: Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Majestic (2001)

The Golden Idol, which was famously replaced with a bag of sand by Indiana Jones, can also be seen during the in-film Indiana Jones parody “Sand Pirates of the Sahara” in The Majestic.

9. The Spinner

Warner Bros. Pictures / Universal Pictures

Appears in: Blade Runner (1982) and Back To The Future Part II (1989)

The Spinner was designed by Syd Mead and built by Gene Winfield for Blade Runner in 1982. It was repurposed for Back To The Future Part II, which was set in 2015 hence the “futuristic” cars.

10. California license plate “2GAT123”

Universal Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures

Appears in: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Pay it Forward (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001), Training Day (2001), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Role Models (2008), and more!

Similar to the ‘555‘ area code prefix that appears on TV and movie phone calls, the California license plate “2GAT123” is specially reserved for productions in order to avoid confusion from using a real person’s plate identification.

11. Marine AV-8B II Harrier Jet

20th Century Fox / Walt Disney Studios

Appears in: True Lies (1994) and The Avengers (2012)

This Harrier Jet was constructed for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s epic final fight scene in True Lies. After the film, it sat in the desert until it was dusted off and spruced up for the Thor and Hulk fight sequence in The Avengers.

12. Mr. Fusion

Amblin Entertainment Universal Pictures / 20th Century Fox

Appears in: Alien (1979) and Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Mr. Fusion is the energy source for the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future Part II. If you look extremely closely, this fictional power generator can also be spotted on the space ship in Alien.

13. Colleen Camp’s playboy poster

United Artists / Universal Pictures

Appears in: Apocalypse Now (1979) and The Blues Brothers (1980)

This Colleen Camp Playboy centerfold poster created for Apocalypse Now is somehow hanging on Elwood’s bedroom wall in The Blues Brothers.

14. Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head

New Line Cinema / Warner Bros. Pictures

Constructed for: Se7en (1995)

Appears in: Contagion (2011)

This reused prop is unique because it was constructed for Se7en, but never made an actual appearance in the film! The severed head of Gwyneth Paltrow was given to Brad Pitt’s character in the iconic “what’s in the box?!” scene. However, Pitt told Entertainment Weekly that he asked for the head to remain in the box for the film. Thankfully, years later, the same head was used for an autopsy scene in Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. 

15. Teddy Bear

20th Century Fox / Paramount Pictures

Appears in: Die Hard (1988) and The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Die Hard opens with John McClane boarding an airplane carrying a teddy bear wearing a red bow. John McTiernan also directed The Hunt for Red October, which ended with Jack Ryan boarding an airplane with a teddy bear wearing a red bow.

Let us know in the comments if we missed any movie props you’ve spotted in multiple films!

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