From Monty Python to Mario Kart, Elon Musk Proves His Nerdiness With These 17 References and Easter Eggs
Elon Musk may be trying to save the world, whether that's through electric cars or exploring outer space, but he's having fun while doing it. He takes whatever chance he gets to provide nods to some of his favorite science-fiction stories, videogames and old comedy movies, whether that's on Twitter or through a crazy Tesla easter egg.
Click through the slideshow to see examples of Musk showing off his nerdiness.
The magic of 3.
Consider this one a self-reference. In the first discovered Easter egg exclusively for Tesla Model 3 owners, people who can go to the “About” dialog box on the car's touch screen will be in for a little surprise. Holding the “3” in the Model 3 label for about 10 seconds will display an image of the vehicle's development team, which includes the man himself, Elon Musk.
See it in action here:
God of Prank?
Did Musk accidentally tweet his phone number? Numerous news organizations seem to think so. In a now deleted tweet, Musk asked Oculus VR chief technology officer John Carmack to call a number. Website Jalopnik says confirmed the number is associated with Musk. But considering that when the number was called, it lead to a hidden message from the video game God of War, we think this may just be a prank.
The answer is always 42.
Musk has been charting sales of hats emblazoned with the logo of his pet project, The Boring Company. When the number of hats sold reached 42,000, Musk couldn't resist to drop a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, a favorite among science-fiction fans. For those who haven't read the book, 42 is given as the answer to life, the universe and everything.
There's also an elaborate Tesla easter egg involving 42.
HG2G— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2017
Where "real" money comes from.
Musk has clearly been enjoying his success selling Boring Company hats, and made a reference to Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, a spoof of Star Wars, to drive his point home.
The *real* money comes from merchandising. I learned it from this documentary https://t.co/E4gpqhl6KF— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 3, 2017
Always look on the bright side of life.
Musk is a huge fan of classic British comedy group Monty Python, so much so that Tesla added a feature to its vehicles that allow you to play any of the groups skits.
In the US, you can ask your Tesla to play any Monty Python (or other comedy) skit. Doesn't work outside US yet.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 8, 2017
Love Monty Python so much— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 8, 2017
Isn't he from that movie?
Musk dipped into a different well when naming the first digging machine for The Boring Company.
Third one will be from Frost. Maybe the second.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2017
The first machine is named after Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot.
First machine is Godot. Still waiting ... Don't know why, when or where.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2017
The throughline between Tesla and SpaceX is that Musk is CEO of both, so Tesla would be remiss not to throw in space-themed easter egg. Drivers can enter the code "Mars" to turn their GPS maps from one of Earth to one of Mars, and the vehicle into a rover.
Tesla's holiday Easter Egg. We are now in the Model S(paceship), exploring Mars. pic.twitter.com/pISb94gwm9— Brenner (@BrennerSpear) December 25, 2016
That's our favorite animal too!
When one of Musk's sons asked his billionaire father what his favorite animal was, he answered with a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- of course.
My son recently asked what my favorite animal was. Well, of course … https://t.co/hpTniMe1mF— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 29, 2016
Turtle shells not included.
Musk revealed a Tesla easter egg in early 2016 that he dubbed "psychedelic cowbell road."
Activate autopilot 4X in quick succession for psychedelic cowbell road. And, yes, we are adding more cowbell soon.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 11, 2016
When activated it puts your on-screen car on a rainbow road highly reminiscent of the infamous level from the Mario Kart series.
And Musk's tweet also had a second reference, to the famous Saturday Night Live skit.
I've been a miner for a …
At what point will Musk start having to pay royalties to Douglas Adams's estate? When it came time to name the first SpaceX vessel bound for Mars, of course Musk dipped into Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
“We’re thinking about names. The names thing is really hard,” Musk said in 2016. “And the name of the first ship that goes to Mars not the name of the whole ship line necessarily but the first ship that goes to Mars … my current favorite is Heart of Gold.”
Heart of Gold is the name of a ship in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy commandeered by a character named Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Owners of Tesla's P85D Model S in 2015 were able to upgrade their vehicles to access a new feature: Ludicrous Mode, which allowed the cars to go from 0 to 60 in just 2.8 seconds. So where did this name come from? Spaceballs, of course.
To top it off, rapper Ludicris was the warm-up music for the call announcing the feature.
Check out the feature in action:
In the same vein, the second version of the Tesla Roadster will have a Plaid Mode, which is faster than Ludicrous in Spaceballs. That mode will allow the cars to go from 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds.
Musk, Elon Musk.
Musk has been a fan of James Bond films since he was young, so much so that he spent $866,000 to buy the Lotus Esprit submarine car from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. His love of this vehicle made its way into Tesla cars as well.
Owners of the Model S can hold down the "T" button and then input "007" into the technician log-in screen, which will transform the vehicle shown on the screen into submarine car.
A tribute to Culture.
SpaceX typically lands its rockets on ships piloted by drones. Musk gave two of these ships interesting names: Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You. These are actually ripped straight from the pages of the late Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. Musk mentioned the connection in 2015.
@elonmusk ... In honor of IMB, RIP.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 23, 2015
Going to 11.
The volume in Tesla vehicles go up to 11, which is a reference to the classic music satire film This Is Spinal Tap.
Not all of Musk's references are to science fiction. The names of Tesla's thee models are S, 3 and X, which spells out SEX if you're paying attention. The only reason why there's no Model E is that Ford threatened to sue Tesla if it pursued a trademark. Oh well. Apparently, there's also a Model Y coming.
Not quite hyperspace ready.
SpaceX's rockets, including the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, are named after the iconic Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. While that vessel was piloted by the suave Han Solo, we bet SpaceX's astronauts are also pretty cool. Meanwhile, the Dragon capsule is named after the song "Puff the Magic Dragon."
Don't game and drive.
Musk is a known gamer, so it makes sense that he announced that with Tesla's next software update, drivers will have access to classic Atari games.
Hoping to include last three in this release, with pole position linked to actual car steering wheel (while stationary tbc haha)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2018
Of course, the car has to be parked to play the games.