In Arrow episode S01E14 Oliver makes a joke that he was trapped on an island and his only friend was named Wilson. What does this joke mean? People say that it is related to the Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away", but I haven't seen that movie. How is it related?

  • 4
    "I dont wanna watch entire movie to get this joke." Then why not simply read its wiki entry?
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 13:06
  • 1
    Don't understand the down votes on this question? why?
    – Dredd
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 13:06
  • @Dredd Me neither (at least not a whole 3 after 11 views). But I tried to reword it and flesh it out a little and maybe it gives less likely target for downvotes now (especially without the "I don't want to watch it" line).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 13:25
  • now the question looks much better irrespective of that we've seen questions in the past where the OP asks for something referenced without needing to watch the source material.
    – Dredd
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 13:30
  • 4
    Downvote hover: "The question does not show any research effort". Is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_Away or google.de/search?q=wilson+castaway too obvious?
    – his
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


The answer plays into itself in two ways:

  1. In the film Cast Away, Tom Hanks' character finds a Wilson brand volleyball in the wreckage and, after giving it a face in the bloody palm print he leaves on the ball, he proceeds to treat the ball as his friend during his stay on the island. Given Ollie was a castaway on an island himself, he's simply using this aspect of the movie to make light of his situation.

  2. However, it's not meant to be a complete joke. During the previous episode (13 in this case) we learn he meets and works with Deathstroke on the island, whose full name is Slade Joseph Wilson. For a period of time Slade was pretty much his only friend on the island.


Wilson was Tom Hanks' only friend on the island in Cast Away. It was a volley ball made by Wilson Sporting Goods.

During an early phase on the island, Tom Hanks became depressed, and opened most of the packages from the FedEx plane storage. One contained this ball. Hanks had a bleeding hand, and he smacked the ball with his palm, accidentally creating a pseudo face on the ball. This face and the ball became his island confidante.

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