All the Easter eggs you probably missed in Boy Swallows Universe.

Australia was instantly enthralled when Trent Dalton brought us his surreal, semi-autobiographical novel Boy Swallows Universe in 2018.

It got even better when, earlier this month, the extraordinary adaptation came to Netflix and threw us right into the world of young Eli Bell, who lives in the 'burbs of Brisbane in the 1980s. 

Set in the working-class town of Darra, the series revolves around Eli as he juggles bullying, family trauma and his relationships with his dysfunctional (but loveable) family.

Watch the trailer for Boy Swallows Universe. Post continues after video. 

Video via Netflix.

The series stars Phoebe Tonkin, Travis Fimmel, Simon Baker and Anthony LaPaglia — as well as young Felix Cameron as Eli, and Lee Tiger Halley as his older brother Gus.

Approximately everyone in the world has binge-watched the series at this point, and has laughed, cried and been left on the edge of their seat. Fair warning: there are some major spoilers ahead, so if you haven't watched the show yet, you've been warned. 

Here are the six Easter eggs you probably didn't notice when you watched Boy Swallows Universe. Time for a re-watch, perhaps?

A nod to Dalton's career history. 

The Courier Mail plays a major role in the Netflix series, but it's not just part of the story for dramatic purposes. It was the real-life newspaper where Dalton himself worked as a journalist for several years before he became a best-selling author (and Walkley Award winner).


Scenes at the "office" were filmed at the Stones Corner Freemason's building (which is now demolished, according to... you guessed it, The Courier Mail).

The Courier Mail in Boy Swallows Universe. Image: Netflix.

The voice at the end of the red telephone. 

You might've spotted one of Dalton's cameos in the series. But did you know the author appears twice in Boy Swallows Universe?


Eli and Gus receive a few calls on the red phone in the secret room underneath their stepdad Lyle's house. They speak to a mystery man, the voice often leaving them with more questions than answers. And the voice on the other end of those mysterious calls?

It was Dalton.

The author's second cameo is in episode seven, when Eli is in hospital after surviving a murder attempt at the hands of bad guy Ivan Kroll (James Baker).

Dalton plays a fellow patient, and is seen standing in the hallway outside Eli's room, holding a drip while wearing a hospital gown.

Talk about making an appearance. 


Frankie's mug shot. 

After Lyle gets snatched away by Ivan Kroll's guys, Eli loses a finger, and his mum Frankie (Tonkin) gets knocked out by aforementioned bad guys, Eli ends up in hospital... and discovers that his mum's winded up behind bars. 

In her mugshot, Frankie is holding an information board that shows her Prisoner ID as '55373WOH'.

When Frankie accidentally holds the board upside-down, the ID appears to spell HOMELESS.

Phoebe Tonkin in Boy Swallows Universe. Image: Netflix.


Gus is a cover star.

Halley, the actor who plays older brother Gus, might seem familiar to a lot of bookworms. And that's because... he is!

Halley is the cover star of the 2020 novel Honeybee, written by Craig Silvey. 

Malley is the cover star of Honeybee by Craig Silvey. Image: Booktopia.

A minor fall.

Mistakes happen all the time and in episode three of Boy Swallows Universe, we witness what looks to *almost* be a hiccup on young actor Felix Cameron's part.


About 36 minutes in, we see Eli riding his bike behind his big brother. The scene cuts away mere moments before Eli looks like he's about to crash his bike!

Felix Cameron as Eli in Boy Swallows Universe. Image: Netflix.

A vehicular hiccup.

In Boy Swallows Universe, we meet Teddy Callis (played by Ben O'Toole), Eli and Gus' stepdad Lyle's former best friend.


Several episodes in, he shows an older Eli and Gus his truck, telling the boys it's a "Kenworth K100 conventional".

Ben O' Toole as Teddy Callis in Boy Swallows Universe. Image: Instagram @mrbenotoole.

As pointed out by super sleuths online, the truck is actually a Kenworth W900SAR, which was designed and built in Australia – not a K100 as Teddy claims. But if you've seen it, you'll know he... is full of s**t. So there's every chance that was by design!

Feature Image: Netflix.