For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that made it through the seemingly never ending credits for Infinity War, Carol Danvers was officially introduced to the family. After Thanos snaps his mighty fingers after obtaining all of the Infinity Stones, half of the universe gets wiped out, including some of Marvel's most beloved heroes. However, the post-credit scene has a glimmer of hope as Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury pulls out a pager-like device to send out a distress signal to Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. Could this pager reference be a nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
It's safe to say that not a whole lot of people sitting through Infinity War are old enough to remember pagers, but for people who grew up in the 80s and 90s, a pager was a coveted item. Parents did not understand them and thought that they were only for doctors and drug dealers, but they were also used to summon superheroes. The pager really came into popularity in the mid to the late 90s, right before the cell phones became affordable, which is why it was mentioned in Joss Whedon's 90s show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In one particular episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the main character, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), wants to go on a date and says, "If the apocalypse comes, beep me," which was the equivalent to texting on pagers back in the day. Buffy was always trying to balance being a normal teenager and battling the undead, so a pager came in handy. Since the apocalypse pretty much happens in Infinity War and Nick Fury pulls out what looks to be a pager, many fans of Joss Whedon believe that the scene is a tribute to Whedon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Joss Whedon directed the first Avenger movie along with Age of Ultron, so there might be some truth to the new rumor. The Russo Brothers could have very well snuck the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference as a nod to the creator of the show and fellow MCU alumni. Skeptical fans just see it as a coincidence though. Captain Marvel takes place in the early 1990s, so a pager-like device makes more sense and is true to her time period. The Russo Brothers have yet to confirm nor deny the correlation.
There's still a lot of references in Infinity War that have yet to be picked up on, which means that the Blu-ray will be picked apart when it hits stores on August 14th. Hopefully, the Russo Brothers will include a commentary track that will go over some of the reasoning of decisions and maybe even confirm the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference. The directors will have to be careful and may not even add a commentary track until after Avengers 4 comes out, to make sure nothing is spoiled for the upcoming final installment of phase 3 of the MCU. You can check out discussion of the fan theory at Reddit.