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Ben Yennie: 10 Used and Re-Used Props and Wardrobe in Hollywood

It’s not just indie films that have to make the most out of a props budget.  Eagle-eyed moviegoers will occasionally see a prop repeated across multiple films.  Since we make it easy for you to keep track of all your real-world props and wardrobe using the tools in the forever free company section of the site, we thought we’d show you some of the most used and reused props and wardrobe in Hollywood.  Check out this blog, and if you like it share it with your friends!

1. Dental Tools: Little Shop of Horrors and Batman (1989)

Going to the dentist is always scary, but it’s especially scary when those dental tools are held by a singing, dancing Steve Martin.  To top off the nightmare fuel, they’re also the tools that gave the Joker his evil smile.  There’s not enough nitrous in the world to laugh away that fear.   

Image Credit: Cracked.com

2. Ghostbusters PKE Meter in They Live and Suburban Commando

If you’re like me, there was a time in your life when you wanted to be a ghostbuster.  There may well have also been a time when you idolized Hulk Hogan, despite how much that makes you cringe right now.  To think that these two could have ended up in the same universe is incredibly appealing to the 6 year old still living inside my jaded 30-something year old body. Also, it was used in They Live, which is the image I could find.  

Image credit, Mental Floss

3. Glinda’s Gown from The Wizard of Oz and San Francisco

Despite finding my home in San Francisco, I still have yet to see this film of the same name.  However, apparently in addition to the lovely self identified faeries I sing Karaoke with every week (and the ones who preceded over my wedding) we have good witches taking up residence in the city.  Perhaps that’s why the rent is so damn high.  

Image Credit: Cracked

4. The Infantry Suit from Starship Troopers was used in Firefly

The first R-Rated movie I saw in theaters was Starship Troopers, and after having seen Firefly more times than I should admit on the open internet, the thought that the mobile infantry may have eventually formed the Alliance makes the idea of earth getting used up and establishing a new set of colonies out in a new verse suddenly make even more sense.

Image Credit Mental Floss

5. The news never changes in the world of the movies…

Some people say politics and politicians are always the same (how they can think that with what’s going on right now in Washington is another matter.) But in the land of the movies, the news is quite literally always the same.  Most of the newspapers you’ll see in Hollywood are the exact same one.  see below.

Image Credit: Mental Floss

6. Suit From Dr. Who Used in The Empire Strikes Back

I would have thought that by the time they were making Empire, they would have had the budget for new props and wardrobe.  That being said, who am I to complain about the fact that we might run into a Timelord in Episode 9.  At least, if these bits of wardrobe are considered Canon. 

Photo Credit: Cracked.


7. Morley Cigarettes

Avoiding using real cigarette branding can be a tricky thing.  So really, it makes sense that Hollywood just made up their own Cigarette brand.   

Photo Credit: Google Searches.

8. Both Jerry (Seinfeld) and Niles (Fraiser) had the same puffy shirt

Honestly, who’s really surprised that Niles would find the puffy shirt that was the bane of Jerry’s existence fashionable?  

Photo Credit: Google Searches. (surprisingly highly placed from Reddit Thread.)

9. Knife from Star Trek - Nemesis and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Does this mean that we might get a visit from the watchers in Star Trek?  Are they the ones who sent the brain slugs?   

Photo Credit: Cracked.

10. That Damn Robot

Robotics has always been an expensive hobby, apparently so much so that Hollywood basically decided to only have one robot like for absolutely everything.  

Photo Credit Cracked.

Thanks so much for reading, and we hope you enjoyed it.  Please share it with your friends if you did.  

If you’re a filmmaker reading this, you should use the banner below to sign up for Productionnext!  In addition to the loads of other stuff we do, we also let you keep track of props, wardrobe, set dressing, and equipment, making it easier to re-use your assets to get the most out of your investment.  Sign up with the banner below.  

P.S. I took A LOT of these from a post on Cracked.  View it below.  Some of the images were taken from there as well.  I also took a decent number from a post on Mental Floss.  But yeah, we can still go ahead and say that my work is a derivative of derivative work.  Welcome to the world of art.  Don’t @ Me.




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