Seth MacFarlane has done it again; and this one might be his best work yet. Even though I loved A Million Ways To Die In The West, I’ll admit its brand of humor wasn’t as accessible as Ted due to its period piece nature. Well now with Ted 2 out, MacFarlane brings his A-list comedy – and star – material to the table while also making a surprisingly powerful sentiment about equality.
So whether you’re hear for the deeper metaphors of the film or the TONS of Pop Culture references/ Easter Eggs you might have missed, you’ve come to the right place! So let’s get started!
Continuity & References To Ted:
Considering this is Ted 2, you have to ask yourself: does it tie-in to Ted? With so many returning characters (Guy, Donny, etc) and continuing jokes (wishing someone you don’t like gets a crazy illness), it would make sense; but where’s Lori? Considering Ted left off with John vowing to change his ways and be with Lori, it seems strange that Ted 2 would see no Lori whatsoever. Sure this is because Mila Kunis was pregnant during filming, but that could have been written into the story couldn’t it?
Well as we learn in the film, about 6 months after John and Lori got married John realized he wasn’t himself anymore and wasn’t happy so they got divorced. At first, it does seem like quite the co-out and destroys any character development John had during the first film; but then we meet Samantha. The more we get to see Samantha, the more we’re reminded of Lori and how her and John were complete opposites. I’m not going to say who’s better; but by the end of the film it’s incredibly clear that Samantha is a much better match for John. In fact, Samantha is basically the more well-adjusted version of John. She’s intelligent, funny, has the voice of angel but can still hang out, get high and be one of the guys. This gives Sam and John a common ground in which Sam could bring out the best in John without changing who he is at the core.
Beyond romances though, there were also a ton of stylistic nods to the original Ted. For example, when we see Ted and that duck get into an altercation, it immediately reminds us of Ted and Ming’s duck fighting during the Flash party in Ted. Donny of course returns for this film as well, which makes perfect sense since even though he was arrested at the end of Ted, he was immediately released after they realized how dumb the charges of “stealing someone’s teddy bear” sounded. Additionally, throwing in his affinity for the Tiffany song “I Think We’re Along Now” was another great nod.
All in all, Ted 2 is the focal opposite of Ted in that unlike the original, here Ted really is the main character. Sure Ted introduced us to the loveable bear, but at the end of the day it was still a story about Johnny and how Ted helped/aggravated his problems. Ted 2 on the other hand is Ted’s story. Yes Johnny is along for the ride and has a few stories of his own, but it’s all secondary to Ted’s plight of being considered property or a person. With these two switching roles, it makes sense that John would be the one to have a near death experience and then trick his buddy in the end.
The Metaphor/Lesson/Theme Of Ted 2:
Seth MacFarlane is a brilliant writer – understatement. The reason we love Family Guy and similar projects from him so much is because they all reveal deeper truths to us amidst the humor and Ted 2 is no exception. So what’s the “moral” behind this film? No, it’s not that two people arguing should gang up on a third – although that did happen a lot in this film –, but rather “what defines a person”.
Unless something miraculous happens, I don’t think we’ll be fighting for teddy bears to have equal rights anytime soon; but this whole court case was of course about a much larger issue. We the viewers watch Ted 2 and know full well that Ted is a person. So when people in the film label him as property we understand how upset Johnny and the others get. He might not look like us but he talks like us, understands complex emotions, is capable of love and – as we learned in the first one – is capable of being hurt. So if it’s so easy for us to see Ted as a person, why not other people?
The court case directly relates Ted’s fight for equal rights to African Americans and the LGBT community, but it doesn’t end there. It’s the 21st century and yet there is still racism, sexism, classism, religious persecutions and disdain for other political parties all over the world. If we can look upon a teddy bear as a person and want it to be treated fairly, then why not our fellow men and women as well? Food for thought I suppose.
Easter Eggs, Cameos & Other References:
- Once again, we have the amazing Patrick Stewart to narrate
- “I’m going to go 50 Shades of Bear on you tonight” an obvious reference to 50 Shades Of Grey and its sexual themes of S&M, Domination etc
- As commenter Joel pointed out, the opening musical sequence has Ted on top of a multi-teared wedding cake, which isn’t too different from the opening of Family Guy where Peter starts off on top of a multi-teared stage.
- We learn that during Ted’s bachelor party instead of going to Vegas, hiring strippers or any of the usual ideas, the gang instead watched a Nature documentary with actual bears having sex – classy
- The concept of doing lines with Flash Gordon/Sam Jones was of course in the first film, but seeing a hyperactive person on drugs punching things and jumping out window is classic MacFarlane humor – ie: Family Guy
- As commenter JP pointed out, the opening fight between Ted and Tami was actually an homage to Raging Bull. This also explains the argument with the neighbors and Ted’s wife beater shirt.
- Be careful in Boston bars. You never know which mens room is being patrolled by Jay Leno lol
- Liam Neeson returns as an overly concerned customer who isn’t sure if he’s allowed to have Trix cereal or not due to the slogan “Trixs are for kids”. Considering how we find him beat up in the post credits, it looks like Trix are indeed for kids only!
- Ted and Johnny finally give the Law & Order theme song some lyrics, which will now be stuck in my head every time I watch Law & Order
- After finding John’s extensive porn collection, they go about destroying the evidence and burying/hiding the remains as if they just committed murder. I guess they’ve also watch CSI high
- Sam Jones compares his last remaining sperm with Will Smith from I Am Legend, in which he’s one of the last surviving members of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world – which says a lot about Sam Jones health lol
- Sam says he’s going to watch Sister, Sister, a show from the early 90s staring twins Tia and Tamera Mowry
- As we saw in the trailer, Tom Brady is indeed in this film as one of Ted’s initial ‘sperm donor’ options. What we didn’t know was that MacFarlane would add in a Deflate Gate reference – “You’re not a cheater, your balls are perfect” – despite it happening after the film was filmed.
- The yellow raincoat Ted puts one when attempting to… extract a sample from Tom Brady is a Paddington Bear reference – another talking bear
- As insightful commenter Josh pointed out, the ‘glowing junk’ scene is more than a hilarious compliment to Tom Brady, but also a reference to Pulp Fiction when Vincent opens the briefcase. Thanks Josh!
- It seems so many people want Tom Brady’s baby, police code has been invented for it – 317 by the way.
- Speaking of Code 317, Commenter Kallizm pointed out that ‘317’ is actually an Indianapolis Area Code. Why is this important? Well Indianapolis’s team is the Colts, and the Colts vs Patriots rivalry is very strong there!
- Ted singing “Hold me closer Doctor Danzer” is a reference to the Elton John song “Tiny Dancer”, which has had quite a few ‘mishead’ lyrics over the years ie: ‘Hold me closer, Tony Danza’
- The Fertility Doctor is Dennis Haysbert or as you may know him, ‘The Allstate Guy’. Sadly, Allstate doesn’t cover artificial insemination so things aren’t going to be ok
- The Harrison Ford film Ted is referencing is called Regarding Henry, in which Ford plays a lawyer who – as Ted explains – gets shot and becomes a good guy lawyer rather than a bad guy.
- Ted and John’s financial knowledge goes as far as the game of Monopoly, as you could tell by all their references of railroad, owning places and running around the block and coming back with $200.
- Was it just me or was anyone else hoping for a Judge Judy appearance?
- We already knew about the Frozen reference and Samantha being ‘Sam L Jackson’, but was a fun aside was hearing all the random pot names – Help Me Get Home, Here Comes Autism, How Long Has That Van Been There – each of which references the paranoia usually experienced when smoking pot
- Ted wants his last name to be Clubber Lang, named after Mr T’s Rocky III character James “Clubber” Lang
- While Samantha chooses landmark legal cases of Civil Rights, Johnny chooses Kramer vs Kramer (a film about two parents fighting over child custody) but then devolves into Alien vs Predator and Freddy vs Jason (two non legal films). Ted takes the opposite approach and rather than ‘mistakenly select’ non-legal films, he purposes selects all Earnest films – the last of which, The Important of Being Ernest, actually has some common themes of identity to Ted’s current situation.
- As commenter Terry pointed out, the Dance Scene during the Study Montage is from the 80s film, The Breakfast Club.
- Is Ted more human than Steven Tyler? Maybe that’ll be explored by Ted 3 lol
- When Samantha tells Ted to shut up, he grumpily takes out his phone and plays Angry Birds as you could tell from the music
- In the court room sketches, Ted is represented by a drawing of Yogi Bear
- In the list of media round ups after the court hearing we find Jimmy Kimmel, Saturday Night Live (SNL) as well as a bunch of other news channels – even the always diverse Fox News (yes, sarcasm) haha
- As Commenter L@u pointed out, the SNL sketch where they spoof Ted and have him say “I’m not an animal” is actually a reference to the Elephant Man by David Lynch.
- Ted considers calling Beetlejuice (Betelgeuse) for help, which in the film always comes at a steep price and does more harm than good.
- Ted sing Nelly’s 2000 hit “Ride With Me” in the car and – like most of us probably have – messes up the lyrics pretty badly.
- All the jokes about Arizona State University (ASU) were in reference to its history as an infamous party school
- When Ted tells Samantha that instead of “F#ck Me” eyes she has “Give Us The Ring My Precious” eyes, this is the first of many Gollum/ Lord of the Rings jokes because of her large blue eyes
- As commenter Susan pointed out, Ted’s time driving isn’t just a ‘what NOT to do while driving – texting, swerving, high, etc -‘ but also a reference to John Candy driving in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
- When Ted, John and Samantha find the field of rare pot growing, the Jurassic Park theme plays in the background. Add in their wide-eyed expressions plus Ted quoting the famous line about how “They move in herds”, and you have an excellent Jurassic Park reference – especially since Jurassic World is in theaters right now.
- As commenter Kristi pointed out, when ted first discovered the weed, it was while sitting by a stone wall. Finding a hidden gem by a random stone wall? Sounds like a well placed Shawshank Redemption reference!
- As commenter Grizby pointed out, the Campire Scene was a reference to The Three Amigos starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Chevy Chase
- Amanda Seyfried singing and playing the guitar was enough to tame anyone’s heart, even the animals. In classic fairytale/Disney fashion, we have nature surrounding a beautiful girl singing; but this time it gets out of hand as fish, monkeys and animals not even remotely native to the area all line up to hear her sing – even a deepsea lobster
- Samantha again shows off her lack of pop culture knowledge and confuses Star Wars characters with Star Trek characters
- Commenter Vilppu revealed that the building with a “GetALife” sign in New York City is actually a reference to GTA4 – in which the MetLife building has its title replaced with “GetALife”
- Morgan Freeman makes an appearance and much like all of us, Ted would love to sleep on a bed made of that man’s magical voice.
- Ted could have been a role model, but instead he wasted his life and contributed nothing to society … much like Justin Bieber. Ouch!
- At Comic Con, Guy is dressed as The Tick, an early 90s cartoon superhero, who also got a short lived 2001 live action series where he was portrayed by – you guessed it – Patrick Warburton (the guy who plays Guy).
- As commenter Zero pointed out, Guy’s partner “Rick” – played by Michael Dorn – is dressed up as Worf, the character he actually played on Star Trek: The Next Generation
- As commenter M pointed out, during the Comic Con scenes, there were a lot of times Guy and Rick picked on “nerds” until finally they all joined forces and fought back. One could say this was the “Revenge Of The Nerds” lol
- There’s one shot during the Comic-Con Fight scene were we see a female Planet Of The Apes character fighting Bumblebee from Transformers. The Transformers one should be easy to get, but thanks to commenter Mr X we learned that Mark Wahlberg was actually in the 2001 Tim Burton remake of Planet Of The Apes. Ergo, we have two Wahlberg movies fighting it out.
- During the Fight scene we see a woman’s top getting ripped off, revealing 3 breasts. This is a reference to Total Recall (1990s) as pointed out by commenter The Cli3nt.
- Ted laments being confused at Comic Con for an Ewok, a race of teddy-bear like warriors in Star Wars
- Seriously, when has anyone refused to sing along to the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline”
- There’s been a lot of crazy surprise Superhero castings the past year or so, but Jonah Hill as Superman! Please say it ain’t so!
- The Comic Con fight was a treasure trove of different anime, sci-fi, superhero references. From a DragonBall Z cosplayer trying to go Super Saiyan to a girl dressed as Leeloo from The Fifth Element doing her iconic multi-flips.
- When they rescue Ted and ask who the Hasbro Head is he responds Mattel – Hasbro’s Rival – and runs away.
- It’s a usual plot device in films where Person A wants Person B and when Person B finally agrees, Person A realizes that maybe they don’t need Person B anymore. Well this isn’t one of those times! Ted, you need Morgan Freeman (Patrick Meighan) so shut up!
- Commenter entjgorilla pointed out that Morgan Freeman’s character’s final words to the jury to “change the world” is a reference to Bruce/Evan Almighty where he plays God.
- Ted’s son is named Apollo Creed, another Rocky reference
The Funniest/Most Unrealistic Moment:
Despite this being a film about a foul-mouthed teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane, I found the funniest – and most unrealistic – thing to be how Ted, Donny, John and Samantha were all able to just walk into New York Comic Con and buy tickets last second. No lines, no hassle, just success. Well played Seth!
So what was your favorite moment of the film? Were there any Easter Eggs/references I might have missed? I’m only one Panda so I’m sure there must be something. Sound off in the comments below to let me know!