Every Single Inside No. 9 Episode Was an Easter Egg in the Series Finale

Here’s how all 54 previous episodes were included via a guest star, a poster, a prop, clip or a quoted line of dialogue…

Inside No. 9 S8,Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith
Photo: BBC/James Stack

Warning: contains spoilers for Inside No. 9 “Plodding On”.

Look carefully at the end credits for Inside No. 9 finale “Plodding On” and in among the names of the many, many previous guest stars who came back to send the anthology show on its way is one puzzling entry. Between Denis Lawson from “A Quiet Night In” and Rula Lenska from “The Devil of Christmas” is the name: Europa Lepus. You won’t find them on IMDb because Europa Lepus is not an actor but a form of Latin for the European Hare. That’s right, not content with hiding a statue of a hare inside every one of its 55 episodes, Inside No. 9 also hid a hare in its finale end credits.

That level of commitment to Easter eggs went even further for the finale. Visit the cryptic crossword published by The Guardian newspaper on the day the finale aired and you’ll note its setter is “Sphinx”. Seasoned Inside No. 9 fans will recognise the pseudonym as belonging to co-creator Steve Pemberton, who’s previously set cryptic puzzles for The Guardian to tie in with series three episode “The Riddle of The Sphinx” and as part of his recent stint on Taskmaster.

When it comes to clever nods and references, these people go hard, is the point. And nowhere did they go harder than in the series finale, which contains at least one reference (and in some cases several) to every preceding episode. And here are the ones we spotted. Feel free to add any we missed below!

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Sardines – The very first episode was all over the very last (future specials notwithstanding). The opening scene of Katherine Parkinson walking in, checking her hair in the mirror and smelling the soap is exactly how “Sardines” opens, and Parkinson squeezing into the toilet cubicle with Tim Key and Anne Reid mirrors her squeezing into the wardrobe with them and everybody else in “Sardines”. Also: Ben Willbond and Julian Rhind-Tutt were both guests at the wrap party, and there’s a clip in the wrap montage.

“A Quiet Night In” – Two clips from the acclaimed silent episode featured in the finale clips montage, and actor Denis Lawson was among the guests at the wrap party.

“Tom & Gerri” – Actor Conleth Hill is a guest at the wrap party, and the Body Shop voucher Katherine Parkinson rolls up to snort cocaine in “Plodding On” could also be a reference to Tom being given the same vouchers after a whip-round at work in “Tom & Gerri”.

“Last Gasp” – Tamsin Grieg, Sophie Thompson and Adam Deacon were all guests at the wrap party

“The Understudy” – As well as Rosie Cavaliero and Lyndsey Marshal being guests at the wrap party, Cavaliero revisited her role as a dresser in “The Understudy” when she helped Steve to put on his suit and shoes in the “Plodding On” toilets. A clip of Reece Shearsmith putting the Macbeth crown on also featured in the finale montage.

The Harrowing– There was a clip of Reece Shearsmith with the much-missed Helen McCrory in the montage, and the actor who played teenage Goth Shell, Poppy Rush, was also a guest at the wrap party, where a framed poster for the episode also hung in the bar (as seen behind Reece Shearsmith’s head).

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La Couchette– The fake human turd in the cardboard box is a reference to Pemberton’s character in “La Couchette” being forced to defecate in a shoebox held by Whitehall’s character, as Pemberton explains to Rosie Cavaliero. Guest stars Mark Benton, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Jessica Gunning are also seen at the wrap party.

The 12 Days of Christine – Pemberton’s line: “I feel like my whole life is flashing before my eyes” refers to the premise of this fan-favourite episode, while two clips of Sheridan Smith as Christine are played in the wrap party montage, and actor Michelle Dotrice is a guest at the wrap party.

The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge – As well as a clip of the much-missed David Warner in the montage, actor Jim Howick is a guest at the wrap party.

Cold Comfort – Shearsmith repeats the line “I’ve taken some pills” in the same young, girlish voice his character used on the phone to the call centre in “Cold Comfort.”

Nana’s Party– The pink cake prop from the episode is seen on the food table at the party (and in a clip in the montage), and actors Elsie Kelly and Claire Skinner are guests at the wrap party.

Séance Time – Actors Alison Steadman and Alice Lowe are both guests at the wrap party.

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The Devil of Christmas – Actor Rula Lenska is a guest at the party, and there’s a framed poster for the episode hanging in the bar.

The Bill – Actor Jason Watkins is a guest at the wrap party, and is introduced arguing about the bill at the bar while a clip from the episode plays behind him and Steve Pemberton in the wrap montage. Earlier, Reece quoted the episode by calling Steve a “lying fucking monster.”

The Riddle of the Sphinx– The name of one of the bar’s cocktails is “Riddle of the Aperol Spritz”, and actor Alexandra Roach is a guest at the wrap party.

Empty Orchestra– Actor Emily Howletts has an exchange with Reece Shearsmith and brings back the in-joke mis-spelling “Cungrotaliaions”, and her co-star Tamzin Outhwaite is a guest at the wrap party

Diddle Diddle Dumpling – A cocktail at the bar is named “A Diddle Diddle Daquiri” in this episode’s honour.

Private View – There’s a framed poster for this episode hanging on the wall in the bar at the party.

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Zanzibar – Actors Kevin Eldon and Bill Paterson are guests at the wrap party, and there’s a clip of Kevin Eldon in the episode in the wrap montage. Additionally, “Spaghetti Bolognese” is on the food menu at the bar, and that was the phrase Eldon’s hypnotist character used in “Zanzibar” to make people perform the Hokey Cokey dance.

Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room – There’s a lot of this one. Sian Gibson repeats her role by interrupting Steve and Reece mid-fight, just as she did in the series four episode (and also appears later in the 1970s-style “Hold on Tight” montage). There are also two episode clips included in the montage, and Steve begins to sing the words to the episode’s closing song before Reece stops him.

Once Removed – Reece repeats Steve’s last words from the reverse-chronology episode when he says “My mum’s ordered me a biryani” in the toilet cubicle, and there’s a reference to actor Monica Dolan as well as her appearance as a guest at the wrap party.

To Have and to Hold – A clip of Nicola Walker and Steve Pemberton from the episode is shown on the wrap montage, and “Pot Noodle” (the foodstuff Pemberton’s character stockpiles for the darkest of reasons) is one of the choices on the bar food menu.

And the Winner Is… Actors Kenneth Cranham and and Zoe Wanamaker are both guests at the wrap party, and a clip of Wanamaker is shown in the montage.

Tempting Fate – A clip of Pemberton’s council clearance character with the cursed hare statue is featured in the wrap montage, and there’s a framed poster of the episode hanging in the bar.

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Dead Line– The No. 9 carved pumpkin is reflected in one of the door signs in the toilets.


The Referee’s a W***er– Actors David Morrissey and Ralf Little are guests at the wrap party, and there’s a framed poster of the episode hanging in the bar.

Death Be Not Proud – A clip of Shearsmith and Pemberton as Maureen and David performing the dance (which originated in Psychoville) to “Crank That (Soljaboy)” (with thanks to commenter Jessica) is part of the montage.

Love’s Great Adventure – There’s a clip of Shearsmith and Pemberton’s characters saying “Good Riddance” in the wrap montage, and both Debbie Rush and Gaby French are guests at the wrap party.

Misdirection– A framed poster of magician “Griffin” is hanging in the bar.

Thinking Out Loud – Maxine Peake is a guest at the wrap party, and the stained glass No. 9 door sign is seen on one of the toilet cubicle doors.

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The Stakeout – In the toilets, Reece and Steve play a bit of the “Fortunately/Unfortunately” word game, as played by the police officers in the episode.


Wuthering Heist – Two of the masks worn by the heist crew are on display at the bar, and actors Kevin Bishop, Gemma Whelan and Paterson Joseph are all guests at the wrap party, and there’s a clip in the wrap montage.

Simon Says– Nick Mohammed has a prominent role and even does a bit of the Scottish accent he did in the episode, as well as saying: “Hope you’re not going to smash his head in with a Bafta” in reference to a plot point from “Simon Says”. Additionally, that fictional Amazon Divine Comedy TV show is another Dante-inspired fantasy epic like this episode’s fictional “The Ninth Circle”.

Lip Service – Lotus Biscuits, hopefully in-date, feature on the food menu at the bar, just as they featured in the hotel room-based episode.

Hurry Up and Wait – In the “Hold on Tight” 1970s-style montage at the end, Katherine Parkinson has moustache bleach on her upper lip, like Donna Preston’s dressing gown-wearing character did in the trailer-park/true crime episode.

How Do You Plead? – The food menu on the bar offers “Tangerine”, the food item on which a boy had choked to death in the Derek Jacobi-starring episode.

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Last Night of the Proms – Actor Jack Wolfe is a guest at the wrap party and the bar menu offers a cocktail named “Last Night of the Pimms”.


Merrily, Merrily – The episode is quoted (and gets a shout-out) when Shearsmith says “I’m going to miss you, you’re my best friend”, actor Mark Gatiss appears by videocall, and in a clip shown in the montage, and a cocktail at the bar is named “A Bloody Merrily-Merrily”.

Mr King– There’s a framed still photograph of the episode on the wall in the bar, and the creepy straw mask from the episode’s final moments is displayed at the bar next to where Mark Bonnar is sitting.

Nine Lives Kat– There’s a framed episode poster on the wall at the bar.

Kid/Nap – The safe word used in the episode  “Granola Granola” is on the food menu at the bar as “Granola (Granola)”.

A Random Act of Kindness – Actor Noah Valentine is a guest at party, there’s a clip of the two scientist characters in the wrap montage, and when Steve says “plodding on double d” in the toilets, he’s using the verbal tic his character had in that episode and sounding out repeated letters in words.

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Wise Owl– There’s a creepy Wise Owl safety poster behind Amanda Abbington in the “Hold on Tight” montage.


The Bones of St Nicholas – A framed poster from the Christmas episode is hanging at the bar.

Mother’s Ruin – As well as Phil Daniels appearing as a guest at the wrap party, there’s a “Mother’s Ruin Martini” on the bar menu.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia – Amanda Abbington isn’t just a party guest but also has a running joke about not being able to use the toilets. There’s what looks like a Whisky Sourskevidekatriaphobia cocktail on the bar menu.

Love Is a Stranger – Asim Chaudry is a guest at party, and in the 1970s-style “Hold Tight” sequence, Nick Mohammed’s character is reading a newspaper with a headline about the “Lonely Hearts Killer”.

3 by 3 – When Reece asks Steve, “What am I? A science experiment?”, it refers to the plot of this fake-out gameshow episode, which starred party guests Saskia Wakefield and Gemma Page. The number plate of the bus in the “Hold on Tight” sequence is also IN9 3X3, in reference to the bus episode having been the disguise for “3X3”.

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The Last Weekend– Actor Sheila Reid is a guest at the wrap party.


Boo to a Goose – Actors Mark Bonnar and Susan Wokoma are both guests at the wrap party.

The Trolley Problem – When Reece tells Steve at the end of the episode that “There is a third option”, it’s a repeat of his character’s line about the titular problem in this episode. Look on top of the clock behind Sian Gibson’s character in the “Hold on Tight” mock-up, and the Szondi Test photographs are also on display.

Mulberry Close – One of the items on the food menu in the bar? Popcorn (though hopefully just the snack and not canine variety).

CTRL, ALT, ESC –  There are multiple mentions of this Katherine Kelly-starring episode being filmed due to the fictional story of Steve having faked a seizure so he could go and secretly audition for the Amazon drama.

Curse of the Ninth – The bust of Eddie Marsan’s composer character Nathaniel Burnham is seen next to Rosie Cavaliero’s character in the 1970s “Hold on Tight” montage.

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Plodding On – The entire ep is self-referential, but the title itself was apparently previously considered as an early name for series five episode “Love’s Great Adventure”.

Inside No. 9 series one to nine are streaming now on BBC iPlayer.