Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City's Easter eggs and Jill sandwich, explained

The movie adaptation leans heavily on the 25-year-old video game series that inspired it, so let's take a look at some major Easter eggs.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Jill with sandwich

The Resident Evil movie doesn't clarify exactly what goes into a Jill sandwich.

Sony Pictures

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City feels like a love letter to the long-running game series, with a story that adapts the first two entries into a movie. Along with a post-credits cameo from a mysterious classic character, the movie also references elements from the games' 25-year history, as iconic heroes flee a city doomed by the Umbrella Corporation's horrific biological experiments.

Director Johannes Roberts has managed to stuff a massive amount of Easter eggs into this movie, so let's take a look at some of the more involved ones I remember spotting in my first viewing. Welcome to Raccoon City is in US and UK theaters now, with the Australia release scheduled for Dec. 8.

A sandwich's worth of SPOILERS lies below.

spoiler alert

A STARS sandwich

An early scene with STARS police unit Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and Chris Redfield sees the trio hanging out in a diner before all hell breaks out in Raccoon City. Jill snatches Wesker's food and takes a bite.

"You snooze, you lose," she says. "It's Jill's sandwich now.  

This alludes to one of the most beloved lines in video gaming history. Early in the original 1996 game, Jill is almost crushed by a trap in which she's locked in a room and the ceiling starts to descend. She's rescued by her colleague Barry Burton (who's disappointingly absent in the movie), and he utters the iconic words.

"That was too close, you were almost a Jill sandwich," he says.

Words to live by. 

Classic boss monsters

Another one from Jill. She asks her fellow STARS members if they'd prefer to be "swallowed whole by a snake or eaten alive by a great white shark." This is a reference to two of the bosses encountered in the original Resident Evil and its 2002 remake.

You run into the snake multiple times in the mansion, while the shark attacks in the basement of the mansion's dormitory area. In the remake, depending on which character you play as, STARS member Richard Aiken suffers the exact fates described by Jill.

Words of the undead

Shortly after Claire Redfield arrives in Raccoon City, she spots a family succumbing to the effects of Umbrella's gradual infection of the populace. Shortly before attacking Claire, the zombified mother writes "ITCHY TASTY" on the window in blood.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Itchy Tasty

This lady sure knows her classic Resident Evil references.

Sony Pictures

This is a reference to the chilling Keeper's Diary in the original game, in which a worker at the Umbrella-owned mansion recounts his final days after getting infected with the T-Virus. His mental state gradually deteriorates until he kills and eats one of his colleagues.

"4. Itchy. Tasty," the final entry reads.

Creepy twins

During her investigations of the orphanage's secret lab, Claire happens upon a projector that shows blond twin children pulling the wings off a dragonfly and gazing into each other's eyes. It's more than a little unsettling and appears to have little to do with the rest of the movie.

These children are Alexia and Alfred Ashford, and this projected movie is nearly identical to one seen in 2000's Resident Evil: Code Veronica. They're members of one of the families that co-founded Umbrella, and their story is one of the series' most complex. 

Alexia and Alfred were genetically engineered from the DNA of Veronica Ashford, the deceased family founder. Alexia turned out to be a super genius and infected herself with the T-Veronica virus, which would give her superpowers but only after going cryostasis for 15 years (giving her body time to adapt to the virus).

While Alexia was frozen, a grief-stricken Alfred led the family and became mentally unbalanced. He started dressing up as Alexia and speaking in her voice, allowing the twins to reunite in his mind. 

During the events of Code Veronica, Alfred is fatally wounded in a confrontation with Claire Redfield. Alexia wakes up just before his death. 

With her new virus-induced powers, Alexia battles Chris Redfield and ultimately mutates into a yucky dragonfly monster. Chris blows her up with an energy weapon, ending the Ashford line and making that 15-year cryostasis seem like a total waste of time.

Johannes Roberts apparently told SFX Magazine that he's interested in adapting elements from Code Veronica for a sequel.

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Rocket finisher

The G-Virus mutated William Birkin seems unstoppable when he attacks the train as our heroes escape the city. Their problem is solved when Leon happens to find a rocket launcher "in first class" and they blow Birkin away for the last time.

This alludes to the Resident Evil tradition of having you finish off its final bosses with a rocket to the face. It's possible the movie's first-class passengers had an emergency rocket launcher in case of an outbreak. (I accept that's a pretty thin rationalization, but this movie is clearly reveling in its own silliness.)

Wesker's resurrection

We have a separate article looking at STARS traitor Albert Wesker's revival, but the post-credits scene's opening shot of him sitting upright in the body bag. The premise, camera angle and lighting mirror the creepy scene that plays when you load up Resident Evil's 2002 remake.