Top 5 References/Easter Eggs Of A Million Ways To Die In The West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West came out this past weekend; and although it didn’t have as many of the classic MacFarlane pop culture references, it was still hilarious. Personally, his rant about why the West is a terrible place to live is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Despite these hilarious moments, some critics have made the mistake of judging this film purely by its lack of references.

As a 1880s period piece, jokes about Boston girls or 80/90s television references would be very out of place. MacFarlane was able to make a film that didn’t have to go for the easy joke in order to make people laugh. This is similar to what Mel Brooks did with Blazing Saddles, – just don’t condemn this film for not being as good as Brook’s timeless classic.

Though contrary to popular belief, there actually were pop references in this film – if you knew where to look. With jokes about the early years of photography and ‘don’t drink and horse’, everything had to fit with the time period. If you’ve yet to see the film, then go read my Spoiler Free Review and go see it. If you have seen it, then as get ready for the Top 5 References/Easter Eggs of A Million Ways To Die In The West.

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

5. Anachronisms:

As I said, the references in this film couldn’t just happen for the sake of being in the film. The material had to be able to fit in the time period. As a result, most of the references were more like anachronisms. An example of this is when Albert is warned to not “drink and horse”. We also find a lot of this when Foy is insulting Albert and follows up his joke with ‘Oh no I did unt’.

Mean Trick

These references are never directed to another type of media or show, but rather sayings and ‘fads’ of our time. An example of ‘fad’ reference happens during the barn-dance when one of the announcers started making jokes about photographs and how he wishes he could use it to send ‘dick-pics’. On their own, these references aren’t that big and don’t deserve their own categories; but taken together these make up the majority of the film’s jokes.

4. Challenge Accepted:

If you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother, you pretty much felt Neil Patrick Harris’s mustachio’d character Foy was basically and old west version of Barney Stinson. Well if you thought that was a coincidence, then it have two words for you: “Challenge Accepted!”


Much like his mustache-less, HIMYM doppelgänger, Foy can’t resist a challenge. So when Albert challenged him to duel, was all too willing to proclaim “Challenge Accepted”.

3. Tarzan Boy:

When faced with death at the end of Clinch Leatherwood’s barrel, Albert begs for a few last words and to end on singing his religious death chant. This is all obviously a ploy by Albert to buy time for the snake venom to take effect on Clinch; but did you know that that yodeling chant was actually an 80s song. The song in question is Baltimora’s one-hit-wonder “Tarzan Boy”. There’s nothing else to really say about this one besides … listen and enjoy

Warning: It will get stuck in your head for a few days.

2. Django

This day and age moviegoers are just conditioned to stay for the credits in case anything pops up. Sure this isn’t a superhero film; but I stayed and I’m glad I did – and hopefully you did too – because the reward was #2 on our list: Jamie Foxx’s gratuitous return as Django. That’s right, the gunslinger who stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of a hell of a lot of vengeance is back.


When we saw the ‘shoot the runaway slave’ game earlier in the movie, we got that good-ole “wow, I can’t believe they just said that” moment. So seeing Django come back at the end to blow that guy away made it all feel right. Also, if you stayed till the very VERY end of the credits, Django returned asking where all the white women were. Funny and unexpected, this reference was just great; but not as good as the #1 spot which finally gives us the 80s movie gold we were looking for.

1. Doc Brown:

The number one moment for this countdown in not only the most brilliant, but the saddest for me personally – and I’m sure a lot of you too. After Albert and Anna kiss, Albert stumbles upon Doc Brown from Back To The Future Part III. Now like the Django reference, there’s a slight discrepancy with the year – this film takes place in 1882, but Doc Brown was sent back to 1885. Regardless, this cameo was simply amazing, but there was still just one problem – and it’s the reason why this one makes me so sad.

Just before A Million Ways To Die In The West came out, some TV commercials and movie-theater previews spilled the beans on this cameo. When I first saw this, I was so happy and so angry at the same time. I realized that this was the perfect surprise cameo/cut-away ever – possibly even better than Flash Gordon in Ted –; but I was so upset that this had been spoiled for me. Flash was a total surprise for me with Ted, so I wish Christopher Lloyd’s cameo were also a surprise. Either way, this was the #1 reference/Easter Egg of the film.

Doc and Seth

Bonus. Mila Kunis is “Fine” :

One quick little bonus reference was during Albert’s time with the Native Americas when they were trying to get him to drink the hallucinogen. He finally agrees to their pushing by saying “Mila Kunis”. Now aside from being a reference to the actress who voices Meg in Family Guy as well as the female lead in MacFarlane’s prior film Ted, this is also MacFarlane’s commentary on Mila Kunis being good looking. The Native American translation for “Mila Kunis” is “fine”, which can be a clear reference to Mila’s beauty and the fact that she has been voted “sexiest” woman countless time. And that’s the story of how Mila Kunis came to mean “Fine”. Boom, two references in one!

So that’s it. Beyond the plethora of anachronisms, there were really only four full on ‘media references’ in A Million Ways To Die In The West. Or were there? Perhaps there’s one I missed. So sound off in the comments and let me know what you thought was a reference?

38 thoughts on “Top 5 References/Easter Eggs Of A Million Ways To Die In The West

  1. I have a reference that you missed, and I suspect a lot of people missed due to it being so short, and that I am a nerd, lol. During the horse chase to the train, just before the train is revealed, there is a 10-15 second long musical reference to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. When young Indy, in Utah is on horse, chased by the Model T to get to the train. It’s a clarinet, but you really need to know your Indy nerd factoids. I suggest you go see A Million Ways, and listen for it.

  2. You missed another. My favorite moment was when he was talking to the “Indians” and was telling them, basically, “fine” in their language. He actually said “Mila Kunis” and I nearly fell out of my seat!

      • Also, the Mila Kunis reference ties into the Family Guy Stars Wars Saga when Jabadahutt (which looks like Joe hahaha) says “Mila Kunis” and was translated to “Put him in.” I have always loved that part and to see it in this movies had me dying!!!

      • When i was watching that scene, i immediately thought it was a leaf off of a famous Marlboro cigarette ad sometime in the 80s or 90s. But I couldn’t find anyone sharing that thought on the internet. LOL.

        Probably an Indy ref then

    • Awww, thank you! And yes, I’ve noticed my blog popping up in more results too. I’m so glad words finally getting around! Guess I’ll just have to keep on writing articles that everyone loves 🙂

  3. When Charlize Theron is teaching him to shoot and he’s shooting at the watermelon the music is from City Slickers! I’m surprised that wasn’t mentioned at least in the comments.

      • Old thread I know… Just wanted to add to egg #3. The beginning of the death chant is from Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”, then he transitions to Tarzan Boy. Doesn’t look like anyone on the interwebs has picked up on that… I would have thought that more popular than Tarzan Boy!

  4. Did anyone else catch the Of Mice and Men reference when Clinch took off his glove and pointed out how smooth his hand is then proceeded to touch his wife, I.e. Curly’s glove full of vaseline to keep his hand smooth for touching his wife.

  5. Old thread but you all missed one! At the shooting gallery, NPH’s prize is the plastic explosive squirrel from Caddyshack

  6. I came looking for the Jamie Foxx scene but did not get my answer =/. Can someone tell me what he says to the guy before shooting him??

  7. Before the Mila Kunis he says Mic O Say twice. Is it a reference to the Pony Express Council of scouts in NW Misouri who teach Indian values, I didn’t find any writers from that area but it’s heard a few times and easy to recognize.

  8. In the very beginning with the”gun fight” between “Albert” & “Charlie” & “Edward” is standing with some of the spectators that “Ruth” isn’t standing with him like she does in similar situations throughout the movie but I noticed the “guy” to “Edward’s” left, actually looks like Sarah Silverman dressed as a man with full facial hair. Now is that really her or someone who just happens to look like her in male drag?

  9. Oh & at the carnival, “Anna” won “Albert” the duck character from Family Guy, it looks just like the drawings, lol.

  10. You forgot about “Clinch Leatherwood”, that is without doubts a reference to Clint Eastwood, a star of old-west-movies.

  11. Wayyy late to this party, but I can’t find anything about this anywhere else. During Albert’s hallucination, a sheep speaks: “Pardon me Albert. The lads and I have prepared something special for you.” Maybe not that verbatim – but real close.Then they go into the song and dance routine with the Mustache Song. It sounds to me like Martin Short, but I haven’t even found him listed anywhere as uncredited for it. Anyone? Anyone?

  12. Im really late as well but i saw one everybody missed. When albert’s best friend was drinking,he drank with a straw while standing up and he did the little booty dance that that same actor does in the “Ted” movie

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