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"Foreshadowing... Literally!"


Foreshadowing: Your clue to quality literature!
Berke Breathed, Bloom County

A clue or allusion embedded in the narrative that predicts some later event or revelation. It could be something a character says or does, an event that doesn't make sense until much later, a Meaningful Name, or really anything at all. The foreshadowing may be ominous, or seem perfectly innocent at the time.

A good enough foreshadowing doesn't spoil the surprise, yet seems an obvious clue in retrospect. Genuinely bad foreshadowing either deflates the suspense or is too obfuscated (such as an Ice Cream Koan) to predict anything. It's also equally problematic if used excessively. Foreshadowing may establish something to avoid an Ass Pull. Or it may put a viewer off as introducing a needless supernatural element to the story.

In literature, foreshadowing is commonly done when a possibility is mentioned, but almost immediately dismissed or disproved. To some readers, they will dismiss the suggested possibility just as the unsuspecting characters do. More experienced readers will immediately call the author's bluff and know what to expect.

Dreaming of Things to Come often foreshadows. Chekhov's Gun is often used as a foreshadowing tool. If it makes no sense, it may be Strange Minds Think Alike. If this is done with a work released after the work containing that which it foreshadows (such as the page image), it's a Call Forward.

A specific variant is Futureshadowing, where the shadowing comes after the actual event chronologically but is still seen before it.

When there's only a tiny gap between the foreshadowing and the actual foreshadowed event, that's Five Second Foreshadowing.

Contrast Plot Point. Compare AND contrast Funny Aneurysm Moment, Hilarious in Hindsight. Contrast Fauxshadow. Production Foreshadowing is this trope's meta version. This Index Will Be Important Later covers foreshadowing tropes. This trope is a good Rewatch Bonus.

Not to be confused with The Shadow Knows, which the picture to the right uses to do this trope.

Naturally, the examples are full of spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

 Bob: Gee, do you really think there are spoilers ahead?

Alice: If so, the tropers will have to handle them on their own...

Examples of Foreshadowing include:


Anime & Manga Edit

  • Inuyasha: Naraku gives Sango a choice: steal Inuyasha's Infinity+1 Sword for him or he'll kill her brother. He then tries to kill her with it, something he shouldn't be able do since it's protected by an anti-Youkai barrier. Later, we find out that Naraku isn't a Youkai. He's a hanyou, just like Inuyasha: hanyou aren't repelled by the barrier which is why Inuyasha can use it.
    • As a result of the same scene, Sango warns Inuyasha's group that if Naraku ever gives her the same choice again, she'll make the same decision again (betray friends to try and save the life of a loved one). In the Final Battle Naraku gives her the same choice (kill Rin to save Miroku's life) and, true to her earlier warning, she does indeed make the same choice again (fortunately, Kagome saves Rin's life just in time).
  • The opening narration to Suzumiya Haruhi foreshadows a lot of the upcoming plot, and one fact that is so spoilery that it can't even be mentioned on this page.
    • Additionally, both Yuki and Mikuru give Kyon cryptic warnings that, after the fact, seem incredibly obvious.
    • Another thing for something that has happened in the anime as of the second season episode one: Haruhi asking Kyon "Have I met you before?" -- She has. Two words about that meeting: Loli Haruhi. Loli Haruhi! (she's kinda cute)
    • Yuki is reading Hyperion when Kyon first walks in. A major plot point of the first two books in that series is a computer intelligence that has started creating Artificial Humans one of which is murderously violent and another that is very helpful and honest and in the second half of the Hyperion Cantos God (okay, Jesus) turns out to be a Genki Girl that drags a helpless boy along on her adventures that potentially threaten the entire world.
  • In the fourth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji watches a B-Movie about some sort of Freak Lab Accident, with the characters lamenting how bad science has gone. And, well...
    • He's actually watching a fictionalization of the Second Impact, and the characters are lamenting science's inability to detect the deadly meteor before it struck. The irony being that there was no meteor to detect, Second Impact was a man-made event.
    • Let's not forget Ritsuko's lamenting on the Hedgehogs Dilemna. Some fans connect this with Shinji's choice regarding Instrumentality.
    • In the opening sequence, we see many images of characters and plot important words. After showing a picture of Kaworu and Rei, the word 'Angels' appears.
      • Not to mention a shot of Yui Ikari in profile, followed immediately by a shot of a helmetless EVA-01 in profile. The credits, like the rest of the show, like to mess with your head.
    • A bit of musical foreshadowing occurs during fight scenes. Note one of the Angel themes is titled "The Beast"; compare with whenever EVA-01 goes berserk, the theme is titled "The Beast II", referencing how Evangelions are living beings.
      • Although only noticeable in the english translation the Mechas are all called EVA which can be read as Eve who is infamous among the Abrahamic Religions. This hints to the fact that they're all actually the Pilot's Mother in Giant Robot Form.
  • Happening very early in the anime adaptation of Seirei no Moribito, some kids are singing "The Nahji Song/Song of the Nahji", which represents events that happened in the past, and those to come.
  • Misuzu's fate in AIR gets foreshadowed a lot by Yukito's remarks. The viewer then gets fed false hope when things seem to be alright after the "last dream", but it all ends pretty much as predicted.
  • Madame Christmas of Fullmetal Alchemist seems like a strange name when you remember that Christmas or Christianity are not in the manga version of FMA. Of course it makes perfect sense when it's just a nickname based off her real name of Chris Mustang, who is Roy's foster mother. That explains how he became such an amazing flirt.
    • Fullmetal Alchemist does this quite often, usually with things said in passing by the homonculi. "Human Sacrifices" indeed...
    • In episode 11 of Brotherhood, a wanted poster with Greed on it appears near the end. Guess who appears two episodes later.
    • There's a particularly chilling example in the most recent arc. In Chapter 94, Hawkeye gets a minor scratch on her neck during a fight with Envy. Then in Chapter 100 she is mortally injured in the same place.
    • Remember Lust's curse to Mustang as he killed her? I long for the day your eyes are twisted in agony. Well... Mustang ends up blinded.
    • In his fight with Lan Fan, Ed uses a decoy (in the form of his detached right arm) to defeat her and references getting the idea from animals who are trapped sacrificing a limb. Later on, Lan Fan is hunted by Wrath and forced to chop off her arm.
    • Ling and Greed are the only two characters to go around without shirts. Minor foreshadowing? Maybe.
      • A better example of foreshadowing for Ling's fate occurs soon after his introduction: Ling is seeking immortality and is interested in Al's soul being attached to armor. Guess who else shared these same traits and was killed off in the chapter right before.
      • There's also the part where both of them hate people fucking with their henchmen. Really, they were tailor made for one another.
    • When Ling sees Ed perform alchemy without a circle, it looks to him as though Ed is praying to God. Later, we find out that Amestrian alchemy is powered by a Satan-like Homunculus who actually absorbs God, only to eventually lose control at the apex of his power and receives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown sans alchemy courtesy of, um…
    • Some people, really, such audacious thoughts... Guess what Father is planning to do.
    • The first anime had major foreshadowing for the manga. . Example 1: Mustang's defeat of Pride in the final episode has a lot in common with his defeat of Lust in the manga (both homunculi impale him with their respective weapons during the battle, and both are ultimately killed by Mustang burning them with his bare hands until their regenerative abilities are exhausted. Example 2: At the end of the anime, Mustang loses an eye. Guess what? In the manga he goes completely BLIND. Example 3: Riza Hawkeye emotionally shoots Archer to death after thinking Roy is dead. She does the same in the manga to Lust but it doesn't work in the latter case. Heck, even tiny things as Ed's Conqueror of Shamballa hairstyle looking eerily similar to his hairstyle in the manga's final arc and the stealth crowd appearance by Ling foreshadow the manga's events in various ways.
    • Go watch any ,or all, of the openings to FMA Brotherhood. One would notice that they all have a close up of either Roy's face and eyes. In some he looks directly at us. That coudn't mean anything right?
  • Princess Mononoke: After San is temporarily incapacitated during a fight, Lady Eboshi warns her men that she's still dangerous with the words, "If you cut off a wolf's head, it can still bite." Now try to guess what rips Eboshi's arm clean off late in the movie.
    • Also, while fighting Ashitaka, Eboshi declares, "Why don't I just cut the damn thing off?" in regards to his cursed arm.
  • In episode eight of Digimon Adventure, the group stays at an abandoned mansion. While there, TK notices a picture of an angel, and explains to Patamon that it's a benevolent guardian, comparing it to the digimon themselves. At the end of that story arc, Patamon digivolves into Angemon and gives his life to protect TK.
  • You'd surely never see it coming: at the beginning of Read or Die the OAV, Yomiko wakes up and hums Beethoven's "Ode to Joy"; later on, it's revealed that the true threat is Clone Beethoven and his Suicide Symphony.
    • Also, when Joker first fills Yomiko in on the robbery of the DNA of famous people, a list of the individuals whose DNA was stolen is shown behind him. The name on the bottom of the list? Mata Hari.
  • One Piece is the king of this trope. Author Oda often drops thing that foreshadow events years and/or hundreds of chapters in advance.
    • Luffy stating that even though it is shortening his lifespan, he wants to use 2nd Gear to protect 'what is in front of him now'. It's a noble sentiment, but it wound up foreshadowing the Wham! Episode when he uses it, but still fails to protect his True Companions from getting poofed by Kuma.
    • Usopp's lies often turn out to be foreshadowing as well.
    • During the Alabasta arc, Sanji makes frequent references to and jokes about 'okama' (Japanese equivalent of 'drag queen'). Later, he ends up on an island of gay men. Who all really, really like him.
    • The Amazon Lily arc seems to be a payoff to earlier foreshadowing. Between them, Boa Sandersonia and Boa Marigold use via Ambition (or Haki, if you prefer) abilities remarkably similar to Skypeia's Mantra, CP9's Life Return, Garp's ability to physically harm Luffy despite his rubber body, suggesting all of these are forms of Ambition which the previously seen users may or may not have known about.
    • In the Jaya arc, Buggy the Clown's crew contemplate taking an ideal chance to kill Portgas D. Ace when he falls asleep on their ship. Buggy warns them against it because the one thing Ace's captain Whitebeard will not tolerate is the death of his crew. The Impel Down and Marineford arcs center on the Marines preparing to publicly execute Ace, even though it will certainly mean war with Whitebeard.
    • In 2006, there was an anime special, where the Straw Hats were mythical animals. Luffy was a dragon. Guess who turned out to be his father? The revolutionary Dragon, the world's most wanted man.
    • Related to that revelation, way, way back in Chapter 5, Zoro asks Luffy if he's the offspring of the devil. Four hundred and twenty-seven(!) chapters later, we find out that Luffy is the son of Dragon, who the World Government considers to be the "The Worst Criminal in the World."
    • When Nami first joined the crew in the Buggy Arc, she said that she'd only join for the time being, and that she would eventually leave the crew. I doubt anyone remembered this when she actually did leave the crew at the end of the Baratie Arc.
    • That pirate in Shank's and Buggy's flashback in the first few chapters from when they were cabin boys? It turns out that he's Silvers Rayleigh, the former first mate of Gold Roger.
      • Oda reportedly insisted that he not be named captain when the flashback was animated, only revealing the reason why almost a decade after the fact.
    • In the Impel Down Arc, Blackbeard alludes that he's soon going to "make a show that will shake the world to it's core", he means this both literally and figuratively as he somehow steals (something that is noted to be usually impossible) the Gura Gura no Mi at Marineford.
    • That ocean was "Paradise"...
    • Back in Loguetown when Luffy was about to be executed by Buggy, a lightning bolt strikes the platform, frying Buggy and leaving Luffy miraculously unscathed. In the Skypiea arc, we find out that Luffy, as a rubber man, has immunity towards lightning and specifically towards Enel's powers.
    • At the end of the Enies Lobby arc, Kokoro mentions to get to Fishman Island the Straw Hats will have to pass through a sketch of sea that is haunted where there were reports of haunted ships. Luffy immediately asks if they will get to see skeletons that move. Which does come true when the crew meets future crewmate Brook, a living skeleton.
      • Even before then, Luffy has been adamant for getting a musician as a crewmate and repeats this desire several times. It comes true when Brook joins.
    • Earlier on, Nami is shown to have an exceptional weather sense and when comes her Alabasta fight, the weapon that she asked Usopp to make for her has to do with weather control.
    • Before arriving to Water 7, Luffy draws what he wants his future shipwright to look like. It happens to resemble Franky, from the blue hair to his big arms to his rather tall height.
    • In the first chapter of One Piece, Shanks scares away a sea monster with just a glare and later on, he knocked out several crew members of Whitebeard's crew. In Skypiea, Satori and Aisa were also shown to have an ability to sense other people's presence and even predict their moves. When fighting Duval, Luffy manages to stop Duval's bull, much to his and everyone else's confusion. This ability would be revealed to Haki, which wasn't expanded upon until Luffy arrived on Amazon Lily and later trained with Silvers Rayleigh.
    • When Luffy's reunion with his brother Ace finally ends in Alabasta, and he leaves, he says he'll meet Luffy again "at the summit" (meaning when he's a top-level pirate, he'll see him again). When Luffy next sees Ace, it takes place at the "Paramount War" in Marineford with the Whitebeard Pirates and their allies fighting the Marines and the Seven Warlords of the Sea to save Ace's life.
    • Shanks meets up with Whitebeard to warn him of the potential threat of "Blackbeard" Marshall D. Teach and asks him to call Portgas D. Ace back, saying he isn't ready to face him. Whitebeard's refusal not only leads into the greatest war the world had experienced in recent history but led to his and Ace's deaths, and Teach even taking over his old territories and Four Emperor status.
  • Gundam Seed does this with incredible subtlety. It's pretty much seen in the first ending sequence, which is essentially a wide shot of all the important characters, namely the crew of the Archangel, the 4 ZAFT pilots, and Lacus Clyne. However, there is ONE important character missing. Mwu La Flaga. Lt. Raimus happens to be staring at a soldier's helmet and a dog tag on a cross. The kicker? The ruins of the Strike Gundam in the background. And that's THE FIRST ENDING! This was planned quite well.
    • Rau Le Creuset is missing too.
  • In the manga Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Battlefield of Pacifists, Heero teased that Duo came along with him on a mission, because he got into a fight with Hilde. Fastfoward to the Frozen Teardrop novel, Duo and Hilde are divorced.
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second : You know the tune of the background music in the scene where Takaki and Akari part ways when they're 13 after meeting for the first time in years? Sure is pretty, ain't it? It's actually taken from a pop song, which supposedly pretty much everyone in Japan has heard about. It's about a man who persistently longs for his doomed love. If you know what the song is about beforehand, then you probably had a pretty good idea of where the plot of the movie was going.
  • There's quite a few moments of foreshadowing in the original Chrono Crusade manga that made it into the anime, only to never have the payoff work out thanks to the Gecko Ending. This includes Chrono's Unstoppable Rage tendencies becoming a major plot point, to Rosette's watch causing her to appear as a ghost to people in the Order later being a key to raising her from the dead.
  • Princess Tutu has foreshadowing all over the series, to the point where it'd be pointless to list them all here. They include background characters becoming important later, several details about the fictional fairytale The Prince and the Raven and Fakir's fear of crows/death.
  • Dragonball Z pretty much foreshadows Goku's first transformation to Super Saiyan all throughout Namek.
    • There are many, many examples in Dragon Ball. Including:
      • From Goku's first transformation into an Oozaru and him turning to normal after his tail is removed, Oolong asks if "he's some kind of space alien". Turns out he's a member of the Saiyan race.
      • In the beginning of Z, Raditz when he arrives on Earth makes reference to the Galactic Market which he's a mercenary for. The good guys then have to face off against the head of the organization, Freeza.
      • Piccolo becoming less evil, and allowing them to pass on. While it shows he is changing into a Noble Demon, it also ominously notes that his life may end soon.
      • King Kai noting that if Vegeta was at Krillin's mercy and was killed, it wouldn't "[destroy] the roots [of evil]". He was likely referring to Freeza.
      • Nail noting Piccolo as a one of two beings (Kami), and remarked if they united again, he'd be more powerful than Freeza. He did this later and was strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Imperfect Cell.
      • Ignoring Future Trunks' message, looking back on it, it can even be implied that Bulma and Vegeta may get together, when she offered him a place to stay alongside the Nameks in her home, although at first sight it would be simply her being a decent person as an Earthling would be. She even described a dream she to her then-boyfriend Yamcha about Vegeta being a decent guy to her. Of course this is just a few episodes just before Trunks appears.
        • Except the dream was dub-only so it doesn't really count.
      • Kami being reluctant to fuse with Piccolo to observe if the Artificial Humans are really as evil as Trunks claimed they were, and observing a new evil developing (Cell). Turns out with the former he was correct.
      • Goku noting that Majin Buu is more of a naughty Adult Child than an evil monster, after their fight. He is redeemed after the Enemy Without was destroyed by Goku, and decides to spare his life.
      • Also with regards to Buu there is a possibility in one of Fat Buu's comments to Babidi. While dancing around in mockery of Babidi's injuries, he chants "Never normal, never normal, can't go back, can't go back!" In later episodes, Buu goes back to "normal".
  • RahXephon owing to it's Jigsaw Puzzle Plot has tons of moments like this, Megumi casually mentioning Haruka's old boyfriend is one.
  • In the Sailor Moon manga, Chibi-Usa creates a clay replica of the Holy Grail two chapters before the real thing is introduced. The clay Grail subplot also exists in the anime, but the search for the Holy Grail is made the entire focal plot point of that arc in the anime, so it loses some of its foreshadowing properties. Ironically, Chibi-Usa's decision to give her clay Grail to Hotaru in the manga foreshadows Sailor Moon's decision to give the real grail to Hotaru in the anime.
  • Say, remember how in the early chapters of Mahou Sensei Negima, there was that Negi is a prince rumour that spread in Negi's class? Guess what's been revealed more than two hundred chapters later?
    • Not to mention this statue, which also appears in that chapter, is quite closely related to Negi's royal lineage. The mage just so happens to be Negi's direct ancestor, and the first Queen of Ostia.
    • There's more. When Asakura first witnesses Negi's magic, she briefly wonders if he might be on a (genderflipped) version of a Magical Girl Queenliness Test, or that he may be a hero of justice or an alien. Negi was actually sent to Mahora as some sort of test, and as the above spoiler shows, he's technically a royalty, so the Magical Girl Queenliness Test thing was partially correct. And then there's Negi's quest to become a hero like his father, fitting the hero of justice one. Lastly, his mother was born on Mars, so he's also technically an alien.
    • Even earlier, there was this, which is the first time Negi's father is shown. The foreshadowing part is what appears to be the shadow on the right side of his face, which shows up again here, and eventually revealed to be blood (spoilers). It's subtle, but that hint of blood is the earliest hint of the Genre Shift that the series would eventually undergo.
      • The same page shows Nekane on the ground behind Negi, which becomes more significant in Volume 8 when we find out that she was petrified and her legs were shattered in Wilhelm's attack.
    • Chapter 74, when Mana and Setsuna are tasked to capture a ghost(Note: Sayo), Mana exclaims that "she cannot escape her demon eye!". Guess what is revealed 225 chapters later?.
    • When Yue and Nodoka ask Negi if they could become mages, there's an imagine spot showing what they think it will look like. Some 140 chapters later, it turns out that their imaginations were spot on.
      • And that image spot continues to foreshadow "more than two hundred chapters later" (seems to be a theme for Negima) as it may look a bit different, but we finally get to see Nodoka confident and wielding a magical staff.
    • Back in the "School Festival" Arc, Negi questions Chao about why she has an insane technique that drains the body and soul for unbelievable power. Cue the next major story arc where he learns an insane technique that drains body and soul for unbelievable power.
    • From the cover of Volume 3, look at the logo on Negi's shirt. It's the Ala Alba symbol.
    • Chapters 164 and 165 seem like just a humorous interlude, and perhaps the silliest moment is when Makie goes into the confessional only to complain that she can't think of any worries to get off her chest. 133 chapters later, Makie is one of the only ones unaffected by a Lotus Eater Machine, because she's so satisfied with her current life that the real world is her ideal world. Unexpectedly, Chisame is also unaffected, and suffers a Heroic BSOD at the thought of being just like Makie in that aspect.
    • Ku Fei makes a joke about the number of Fate existed back in the day and shudders to think that there may be more. In Chapter 311, guess how many showed up.
    • At one point, Negi, Nodoka and Yue head into Library Island looking for Nagi. They are stopped in their search by a dragon, who ends up drooling on Nodoka and Yue, prompting Yue to state will will one day get her revenge on the dragon. Different dragon, but many chapters later, Yue proves her worth during her Laser-Guided Amnesia by her role in taking down a dragon.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico, half of the major plot points for the show are foreshadowed by the Show Within a Show Gekiganger 3, such as Gai Daigoji's death and even predicting the end episode being pretty lackluster.
  • Kannazuki no Miko has lots of foreshadowing, such as quick, very short flash-backs of the priestess ritual seen a few times. The whole first part of Episode 8 heavily hints that Chikane's up to something, and watching the show several times will induce cringing during some seemingly perfectly innocent moments, such as Chikane commenting that she likes the color of Himeko's robes better than her own or even just Nekoko saying she doesn't like to get injections... There's also the fact that on the painting-thing of the Orochi, seen in the very first episode, the eighth head is quite obviously separated from the others and won't be seen at first glance.
  • At one point in the Spiral manga, Hiyono starts spouting out Kanone's "data" ; he stops her when she's about to say his father's name. Said name is revealed about three books later, said father is central to the plot. ... And the reason Hiyono knows that name is more than the fact she's got insane info-collecting skills. As all Hiyono manages to say is "Ya" before Kanone angrily interrupts her, though, it seems like some random pained cry the first time you read it. (And that's how it got "translated" in the English publication.)
  • Oburi is hit by a basketball thrown by a little girl near the beginning of Kite, in the process splashing water on the back of his coat. At the end of the series, he walks past the same little girl as she innocently bounces a basketball off of the wall... right before she nonchalantly pulls out a gun and shoots him in almost exactly the same spot.
  • A minor one in Naruto. In chapter 91, Gaara casually mentions Shukaku is more blood thirsty during the full moon. Over 350 chapters later, it is revealed the body of the creature the Shukaku was born from is sealed in the moon.
    • On the title page of chapter 24, Sasuke is standing in a badass pose with snakes surrounding him. Guess who he ends up working for later on?
    • [1] I Take Your Snakes And Raise You A Bird.
    • A really realllyyy long-in-the-coming, when Itachi confronts Sasuke after the Uchiha Massacare he tells him to read the tablet below the naka shrine in the Uchiha household. Sasuke does as told, but his eyes are always blackened out when he does so. Some 300 chapters later we find out that the tablet was created by the Sage of The Six Paths himself and can only be read (partially) by the Sharingan and more fully by the Mangekyou Sharingan and Rinnegan. The foreshadowing? Sasuke actually unlocked his Sharingan for the first time during the aftermentioend confrontation with Itachi, but he also saw Itachi cry shortly after that and could not cope or understand that, and so he repressed the memory along with his knowledge of activating the Sharingan.
    • During Kakashi's bell test early in the series, Kakashi places a kunai on Sasuke's neck and tells Sakura, "Kill Naruto or else Sasuke is going to die". Hundreds of chapters later the same scenario is played out again in the back story of a major villian (except that this time it was for real).
    • Itachi's parting words to Sasuke: "When you have the same eyes as I, come to me." Originally he was talking about Sasuke acquiring the Mangekyou Sharingan, but now Sasuke has literally Itachi's eyes and he runs into him.
  • There's about a million examples in Revolutionary Girl Utena, but one in particular happens during the Freaky Friday Flip episode. Utena makes an off-hand remark about how she feels like she's gotten caught up in a bizarre ritual, and that she hopes she can get out before someone is sacrificed. Since it's on this page, it turns out that's exactly what Akio has been using Anthy for, and he's trying to build Utena up to replace her.
  • When Haruko first hits Naota with her guitar in FLCL, she yells "lunch time!" and in the final episode what does she do to Naota? She yells lunch time and feeds him to the terminal core. Doubles as a Call Back.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Daitoukuji makes mention of Juudai's true power sleeping in season one. Then, Kagemaru insists that he must duel Juudai to gain his power over Duel Spirits and attain eternal youth. It's not just Juudai's power to communicate with them (Manjoume is there as well, after all) but as we find out later, Juudai is the incarnate force that created the universe itself!
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a bit pretty early, and about halfway through: The first major time is when Kamina says "Simon, without you, I'll die." Guess what happens in episode 7 and 8 where they have separate objectives (Kamina and the rest of the Gurren-dan were to distract the enemy, so Simon could use Lagann to take over the Dai-Gunzan). The second time is in episode 15, when Simon has just killed the Spiral King, Lordgenome. Lordgenome then warns Simon about what will happen when the population reaches a million. Guess what happens in episode 17 (albeit 7 years had passed between episode 15 and 17, so people had forgotten the warning).
  • Death Note takes this to the next level. In the first episode, Ryuk tells Light "When you die, I'll be the one writing your name in a Death Note". In the last episode, Light survives several gunshots, only to be killed by Ryuk writing his name in the Death Note.
  • In the Shaman King anime, in the first episodes Manta tells Yoh he's seen a boy like him, meaning he saw someone who's a Shaman like him. Yoh then says that he doesn't have a twin, joking. Turns out he does have a twin brother, as we find out several episodes later. Not sure if this is foreshadowing though, since his words were more like an accidental guess.
  • Absolutely everywhere in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Why are characters (especially Kyouko) often depicted eating something? What does cooking eggs have to do with the worth of a woman? When you rewatch the episodes after you watch episode 10, you're going to cringe at the Foreshadowing.
    • I'll take this apple... AND EAT IT!
    • During the girls' first (shown) conversation at Mami's apartment there's an interesting shot where the reflection of Mami's head on the glass table is shown superimposed over her legs, as if it were lying in her lap. Come episode 3.... Later in that same conversation there's another shot where Mami's entire torso is bisected by the glass, letting us know *exactly* how Charlotte eats her meals...
  • Bleach has Shinji's introduction to Ichigo's classroom where he writes his name backwards and admits he's good at it. His first appearance is walking upside down in the sky drinking water as if he was right side up. More than 200 chapters later, we learn his zanpakuto's ability allows him to flip the perception of its targetsso all directions are reversed.
    • It's not Bleach's ONLY Foreshadowing. Tite Kubo is good at this. Remember, back at the end of the Soul Society Arc, Jushiro Ukitake quietly gave Ichigo a badge meant to represent Substitute Soul Reapers? Remember how The Mook guarding Kurakara Town never recognised it? This is because, in a Chekhov's Gun lasting FOUR YEARS (just for english readers, going by the official translation - In Japan the gun lasted longer) it is revealed why: Ichigo is the only one to receive one besides the new arc's Big Bad, Ginjo Kugo, the only other Substitute Soul Reaper in the history of the 13 Guard Companies.
  • In Tiger and Bunny, there's a curious tendency throughout the series for Barnaby's Troubled Backstory Flashbacks to be a bit inconsistent with each other -- such as the same event taking place in different settings, or a person's clothing/appearance changing ever-so-slightly from one flashback to the next. This is one of the first hints that someone's been messing around with his memory.
  • In The World Only God Knows, Tsukiyo's doll narrates an omake. Hilarity Ensues until you realize that the doll was controlled by Vulcan all along.
    • On a playing card for Tsukiyo, Luna the doll is already standing and holding onto the sofa without any assistance. And on this page, the telescope smacks Keima's head but Tsukiyo and Keima's hands aren't anywhere near it.
  • Two from Digimon Savers. When Touma is formally introduced to Masaru's mother and little sister, he's briefly saddened, but develops a sort of crush on them almost at first sight, and approaches spending a day out with them the way some men might plan a marriage proposal. While the episode includes a brief flashback to his own mother, confirming he has issues with her, it's a good twenty episodes before we find out that he also has an Ill Girl little sister that he dotes on. A subtler one is from episode 8: When he reveals that he planted a listening device on Yoshino, assuming that she'd ignore orders to back down from a target she was too close to, Touma adds that "To deceive your enemies, you first have to deceive your friends." Halfway through the series, Touma pretends to betray the group in order to get close to and betray Kurata, who's holding his sister hostage.
  • In The Grand Punk Railroad, Isaac and Miria have a conversation about the name of Frankenstein's monster, with Isaac insisting that the monster's name was actually Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin Shelly. When Miria points out that Mary is a girl's name and that the monster was male, Isaac counters that men sometimes have feminine names and there's no telling what sort of name a monster would have. As it turns out, the entire conversation is a nod to the true identity of the Rail Tracer (a monster slowly offing people inside the train), who is revealed to be a male assassin named Claire.
  • In Eyeshield 21, Sena's test number for the Deimon test entrance exam was 21.
    • Way back in the earlier chapters, Agon predicts that Ojou would make it to the top 4 at best. Ojou got 3rd in the Kanto tournament, and 4th overall.
    • A random member of the Dinosaurs suggested "they should just aim for 3rd", which is what Hakushuu ended up getting.
    • During the game against Shinryuuji, Monta catches a ball thrown by a fan without even turning around, foreshadowing his later move "the Devilbat Backfire" which wouldn't officially appear until the game against Ojou.
  • In Barefoot Gen, one of the Hiroshima locals comment on the weather, saying that it's going to be a hot day.


Comic Books Edit

  • Elf Quest comics have a lot of foreshadowing. One of the best examples is in the original series. In ElfQuest #2 the Wolfriders are resting up during a grueling desert journey, having managed to find a little water. Cutter, however, wants to do some more exploring, and his friend Skywise reluctantly agrees, complaining that "you won't sit still 'til you've found us a blasted waterfall". Several years later (in both real and comic time), in ElfQuest #9, Cutter and Skywise are involved in a literal Cliff Hanger beside - you guessed it - a giant waterfall.
  • The retelling of Sleeping Beauty in Castle Waiting features this. The evil witch proclaims to the Opinicus -- a griffin-like creature that she was riding -- that after today, she'll ride the Devil himself as her steed and he'll thank her for the privilege. It turns out to be exactly correct, but not in the way she meant -- her wickedness was worse than the standards the Devil considers acceptable and he disguised himself as the Opinicus on her return trip to personally carry her off to Hell.
  • Watchmen's Pirate Story.
    • Heck, all of Watchmen. If we made a complete list it'd be longer than the rest of this page. Just from the first three panels (read here): the blood on the smiley recalls the five-minutes-to-midnight Doomsday Clock that'll appear again, and then there's the red-headed guy being Rorschach.
  • In Alpha Flight, Northstar's sexuality was foreshadowed for years - right back to the beginning of the series - before he came out in #106.
  • A clever one foreshadowed a death in Fantastic Four, where the team are visited by the future Invisible Woman, who mentions that future Reed Richards and Ben Grimm died to get her there, but she doesn't mention Johnny Storm. This is a good way to do so as Johnny died about twenty issues later. Foreshadowing far ahead, but making the death more effective.
  • The era of Grant Morrison's Justice League of America started with Midsummer's Nightmare, where a villain gave all of humanity super-powers, leading to chaos and mayhem, in order to prepare them for a nebulous apocalyptic threat. When that threat finally appeared in the form of the "anti-sun" Mageddon, the League was only able to beat it by...giving everyone on Earth superpowers.
    • In the first proper arc of Morrison's run, the White Martians also mentioned that they'd experimented on humanity in the distant past, with the result that a species who should have been superhuman ended up only human. The anti-Mageddon plan pushed human evolution to the super-race it was destined to become.
  • All Fall Down - On his first trip to the moon, Pronto complains about being "boxed in." In issue five, he is in a crate, arriving at the same destination, as AIQ Squared's secret weapon.


Fan Fiction Edit

  • The fact that Aeon Natum Engel is (somehow) darker than the original is probably something to do with the sheer amount of foreshadowing.
  • Kyon mentions his uncle is called Keichii in one early chapter of Kyon: Big Damn Hero. Later on, he ends up in Hinamizawa for Golden Week, staying with said uncle.
  • Happens in every other scene in Hammered Down. When you get to the climax, it's like everything just decided to go boom.
  • Occurs twice in the Portal 2 fanfic Test Of Humanity. First is when Wheatley gets stuck in a garbage chute after trying to find a way to get into the lab and save Chell.. He later gets stuck in an exhaust pipe (he's too fat to fit all the way through) causing it to explode). The second time is when Wheatley is overwhelmed with guilt after watching 2001: A Space Odyssey and begins comparing himself to HAL. During the climax G La DOS tortures Wheatley by playing the film but replaces HAL's dialog with Wheatley's evil speeches from the games.
  • In the The OC fanfic AVDC, Summer hits on Alex early on in the story. Later in the story she ends up in a relationship with her Non Rival Anna
  • The author of the Mega Crossover fancomic Roommates loves to do this, and is actually good in it. If something is in the comic it will be important eventually. Like: Why on earth is the Erlkönig on the monitors of Heaven and Hell together with Jareth and Jadis? They are family. Or This highly literal example.
  • In The Tainted Grimoire, there is a lot of these.
  • Three big examples in Pokémon: Storm Clouds:
    • When exploring the ruins beneath Saffron City, Nightshade comments that Pokemon Tower was thought to have been built by the same civilization. The artifacts in the Tower prove crucial in returning Dan and Missy home.
    • The phrase "pokemon are made of stronger stuff than humans" is thrown about a great deal in the early chapters. This foreshadows Missy's survival of the apparently-lethal wound inflicted on her at the story's end.
    • At one point, Masque responds to Giovanni's directives with a smug "You cannot control a marionette with only one string." This comment, seemingly mere insubordination, actually confirms in a big way that Masque is the real danger and manipulating Giovanni. It even receives a direct Call Back when Masque reveals his true nature.


Animated Film Edit

  • Used twice to great effect in The Incredibles. Dash comments that saying "everyone is special" is just another way to say that no-one is, which ends up echoed in Syndrome's Motive Rant. A bit later, Edna, while discussing why she doesn't work with capes, mentions a superheroine whose cape was sucked into a jet engine. This ends up being exactly how villain Syndrome dies.
  • In Coraline, the Other Father's song when he sang to Coraline.

  She's a peach, she's a doll, she's a pal of mine/ She's as cute as a button in the eyes of everyone who's ever laid their eyes on Coraline/ When she comes around exploring/ Mom and I will never ever make it boring/ Our eyes will be on Coraline!

    • Also, the Other Mother referring to the Other Father as "Pumpkin". Guess what he really is.
  • In Megamind, after creating Titan/Tighten, Megamind holds up a picture of Metroman with the head ripped off, so Titan's/Tighten's head is in place instead. Later on, after Titan/Tighten has revealed that he prefers being evil, he holds up the same Metroman picture, this time with Megamind's head in place. Not only does this hint to who the true hero will be in the film, it also gives a subtle clue as to who it really is when Metroman turns up during the final battle.
    • In the final fight shortly after Metroman (Megamind in disguise) says his death was greatly exaggerated, he strikes a grand pose and the tassels on his boots straighten and flare out as if Metroman is even able to flex his tassels. This frightens Tighten who immediately takes off trying to get away. Metroman can't flex his tassels, the tassels were being blown around by the jets as Megamind powered up his flying suit.
  • Near the end of Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete the Prospector actually threatens Woody and his friends that "one day, they will all rot away in a dump." Guess where the climax of Toy Story 3 takes place!
  • When Lightning McQueen and his pit crew arrive at Tokyo, Japan to meet Miles Axlerod in Cars 2, while they are all talking to Axlerod Sarge is frowning while everyone else is smiling, suggesting that he is thinking that Axlerod is up to no good. Guess who's actually right!
    • Also, the line "But I never leak oil!" Guess who was with Mater when the tow truck saw a puddle of oil on the carpet!
    • In the first film, Big Bad Chick Hicks is assigned with the number 86, which not only references the year Pixar was first established, but also a slang term for being fired. Which is exactly what happened to Chick at the end of the film for deliberately pushing Strip "The King" Weathers off the racetrack.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, during the scene where Maleficent is yelling at her goons, if you listen very closely when she hits her staff on the ground, it makes the same sound effect as her eventual dragon form's biting sound at the end of the film.
  • In Monsters, Inc., this line comes up.

 Waternoose: "James, this company has been in my family for three generations. I would do anything to keep it from going under."

Sulley: "So would I, sir."

  • In Tangled, the song "Mother Knows Best" has many clever hints to Gothel's eventual fate.

 Go ahead and leave me, I deserve it

Let me die alone here, be my guest.

    • One of Gothel's earlier lines was "I'm not getting any younger down here!"
    • And also Flynn's "This is the story of how I died" in the beginning introduction. Who would take it seriously?
    • One of Flynn's first lines is how much he wanted a palace. He's joking, but that's what he gets in the end.
    • At the very beginning of the film, the mobile dangling above Rapunzel's crib is decorated with the cutouts shaped like a chameleon, a duck, a horse, and a cupid.
  • A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. The sun will set on my time here and will rise with you. The guy who says that has his reign end at sundown, and in the end, his son ascends to the rock in the sunrise.
  • In Rango, before reaching the town of Dirt, Rango has a bizarre dream that foreshadows things to happen later in the movie. The dying cactus moving. The rattlesnake tails. The shadow of the hawk flying. The voice of Roadkill asking him "Where are your friends now, amigo?" Rango being submerged in water.
    • When the mayor orders his men to call Rattlesnake Jake, they warn him specifically that Rattlesnake Jake is a "grim reaper" and "never leaves town without taking a soul". He doesn't listen and orders Jake to be contracted anyways. After betraying Rattlesnake Jake, the mayor is dragged out of town by an angry Rattlesnake Jake.
  • Disney's Aladdin first film. During the song "One Jump Ahead", Aladdin and Abu grab a rug, jump out a window and ride the carpet down to the ground. Later on Aladdin rides a magic carpet several times.
  • In The Iron Giant, Hogarth shows the titular giant a few comics, like Superman and Atomo, later in the film, we learn the giant can fly, and Atomo bears an incredibly eerie resemblance to the titular robot's combat mode.
  • Pinocchio: "They never come back... as BOYS."
  • Near the very beginning of Pocahontas, while inside Kekata the Medicine Man's wigwam, Kekata actually tells Chief Powhatan about a dream he had of the settlers from England. As Kekata starts talking about his dream, he waves his staff around over a fire, causing the smoke rising from it to turn into a ghostly pack of wolves, which surround Kocuom. This foreshadows Kocuom being killed by one of the settlers, which is represented by the wolves.
    • The smoke wolves then rush towards Powhatan, but are dissipated before they can surround him as they did Kocuom, foreshadowing how Powhatan is also nearly shot by Radcliffe.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, whenever Oogie Boogie is talking, an insect will occasionally crawl out of the seams holding together his burlap body and all over him before finally disappearing back inside, annoying him as it does so.
  • Near the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as Judge Frollo is destroying Quasimodo's model of Paris, at one point he grabs the wooden figure of Esmeralda and throws, knocking down a wooden figure of himself in the process.
    • Also, pay attention to the scenes where Esmeralda is kicking, jumping, or performing some other action that would make her dress fly up, which reveals the lacy, tattered hem of a white dress underneath. Guess what color dress she wore at the end of the film!
    • During the song "Topsy Turvy", Esmeralda actually performed her infamous pole dance wearing a skimpy red dress, and this led to Frollo's obsession. Red is ironically considered as a sign of bad luck in real life according to Gypsy culture.
  • Despicable Me: The first scenes show a little child who does a perilous thing trying to get the attention from his oblivious father. Later, we will see the real reason why Gru wants to steal the moon.
  • Near the beginnning of Atlantis the Lost Empire, while ____ and Whitmore are talking to each other, Whitmore presents several photographs to ____ showing the explorers he will be travelling with to Atlantis. ______'s photograph shows only half his face.


Live-Action Film Edit

  • The page image is an early teaser poster for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
  • At the beginning of Enchanted when Giselle is building a mannequin of her true love, of whom she dreamed, the mannequin is wearing Robert's blue jacket from the ball, not Prince Edward's poofy-shouldered maroon outfit.
  • A veeeeeeeeeery subtle one in Terminator 2 when the T-1000 shows up looking for John. In the first film, dogs were established as being used to spot infiltrators. John's dog Max, barely visible and audible in the background, is going nuts.
  • In the Back to The Future trilogy, there are many examples, including:
    • During the opening of part 1, the radio mentions the theft of plutonium by terrorists, the same who show up trying to kill Doc.
    • George McFly flexes his hand defensively during a confrontation in the unaltered 1985 in Part I, foreshadowing his final fight with Biff in 1955, the opening montage of the film (in Doc Brown's garage) foreshadows later parts of the film, including Doc's hang off the clocktower.
    • The DeLorean's ignition troubles once Marty arrives in 1955 during Part I.
    • The following exchange at the beginning of part 1:

 Strickland: In the history of Hill Valley no McFly has ever amounted to anything!

Marty: Yeah, well history is about to change.

    • Lorraine says the following to her children at dinner, all of which she ends up doing to "Calvin Klein":

 "I think it's terrible. Girls chasing boys. When I was your age I never chased a boy, called a boy or... sat ...in a parked car with a boy."

    • In Part 1 Doc mentions that if he can travel to the future he can see the winner of the next 25 world series. In Part 2 the same kind of future knowledge (thanks to the almanac) is used by Biff to build his fortune through betting.
    • Part II is filled to brim with foreshadowing for Part III, such as Biff watching A Fistful Of Dollars in Part II foreshadows Marty's boiler plate armor trick, a documentary mentioning "Mad Dog" Tannen being Biff's great-grandfather, and a lot more.
    • A bit of unintentional and subtle foreshadowing: In Part I, the Starliters play a song called "Night Train", which wasn't named in the movie, yet whose title foreshadows the use of trains in Part III. (When that Starliters scene was filmed, the sequels weren't even a glimmer in Robert Zemeckis' eye yet.)
      • What's even more hilarious in hindsight, the lyrics of "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis (the title song) include the following line: "Don't need no credit card to ride this train". It unintentionally spoilered not only the use of trains, but also the fact that the train would be hijacked... used for a science experiment.
  • The Final Destination movies revolve on those to warn the characters of how Death plans on dealing with them. Unfortunately (for them), it serves more to the viewers as foreshadowing on what's going to happen soon enough.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: All throughout the films, Will Turner ends up the sole survivor of shipwrecks. The first wreck foreshadows the second, and it's retconned in the sequels into foreshadowing Will's destiny as captain of the Flying Dutchman in the third film, which doesn't pan-out until the bottom of the last act. The second film has several, including Jack arriving in a coffin and later falling into an open grave, foreshadowing his death in the last act. It also had a few for the third, such as Gibbs explaining the natives of Pelegosto thought Jack was a god in human form and intended to release him, just as Barbossa intended to do for Calypso.
  • Brick: Pay very close attention to Emily's phone call at the beginning of the film.
  • Reservoir Dogs: the very first scene foreshadows Mr Blonde's sociopathic tendencies, as well as the identity of the rat. A later scene drops a clue unintentionally as well, when an orange balloon is shown flying around.
    • The initial dialogue also shows Mr. White as the "protective" guy (defending the waitresses), as well as foreshadowing his clash of authority with Joe, Mr. Blonde's loyalty to Joe ("Shoot this piece of shit for me, will ya?") and Mr. Pink's individualist attitude.
    • The friendship between Orange and White is foreshadowed without either saying a word to each other - most of White's shots (especially when he's expounding an opinion) include Orange looking at him and reacting to him.
    • Mr Orange's Conflicting Loyalty (and Nice Guy Eddie's raging reaction) is foreshadowed when he is easily convinced by Pink's tirade.
    • In a rare case of foreshadowing that isn't in the first scene, Mr Orange asks his boss to 'take care' of Long Beach Mike, the guy who got Orange into the group. His boss very specifically tells him that Long Beach Mike is a piece of shit who he can't trust. Later, Orange tells his friend White that he's the cop. White (maybe) shoots him in response.
  • There's a conversation in the beginning of L.A. Confidential where a police captain asks a younger officer intending to join the detective bureau if he's willing to do certain unethical things to bring a criminal to justice: plant evidence, beat a confession out of a suspect, and shoot a criminal in the back lest he be acquitted. The younger officer claims he won't... but by the end of the film, he's been complicit in all three.
  • The Haunting: Nell asks to borrow her sister's car, to which her sister replies: "How do I know you'll bring back my car in good condition?" Nell is killed when she crashes the car into a tree.
  • In Inception, Fischer says to Saito after the avalanche, "Couldn't someone dreamed up a goddamn beach?".Later, Saito dies and goes to limbo which starts on a beach.)
  • Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are both FULL of foreshadowing (too many examples to fit this wiki). Almost every word and many images appearing in the first 30 minutes are full of foreshadowing and references to the whole plot. The Hot Fuzz DVD even has a function called Fuzz Facts which points out such bits of foreshadowing.
    • The Shaun of the Dead DVD, or at least the special edition, has something similar-- the Zomb-O-Meter.
  • The quote at the top comes from the Riff Trax commentary on Daredevil where we see a young Matt Murdock standing behind his father, who is wearing a red hood with devil's horns on it, that casts a shadow onto Matt.
  • The Andromeda Strain (1971)
    • When Dr. Leavitt first enters Wildfire, she avoids looking at a flashing red light. Later on she looks at a flashing red alarm light and goes into a grand mal seizure, whereupon another character realizes she's epileptic.
  • Several in Mulholland Drive.
    • "... and now I'm in this... dreamplace!"
    • "It's strange, calling yourself."
    • "Come on, it'll be just like in the movies...we'll pretend to be someone else."
    • "This is the girl" (albeit this is more of an Ironic Echo)
    • "We don't stop here"
    • "You will see me one more time if you do good. You will see me two more times if you do bad."
  • In The Brothers Lionheart, during the song at the inn, the paintings on the wall depict things that will happen later in the story.
  • Serenity. River's comment about the Reaver that managed to get aboard the ship after their narrow escape ("He didn't lie down. They never lie down.") mirrors Inara's later comment about the victims of Miranda who didn't become Reavers and how they just laid down and died as an unexpected result of the Pax.
  • The original King Kong begins with a (made-up) proverb about a beast being placated by a beauty, and how "from that day forward, it was as one dead" (said proverb is also quoted in the 2005 film). Later on, Carl Denham tells Jack Driscoll the story of the movie he's making: "The Beast was a tough guy... He could lick the world. But when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft, he forgot his wisdom, and the little fellers licked him." Guess how the movie ends.
  • Midway through Jaws, Hooper warns Brody about fiddling with his scuba tanks, explaining how they could blow up if not handled properly. Quint remarks on this.

 Quint: Yeah, that's real fine expensive gear you brought out here, Mr. Hooper. 'Course I don't know what that bastard shark's gonna do with it, might eat it I suppose.

    • There is also a blink-and-you'll-miss-it bit of foreshadowing along the same lines: watch the illustrations in that picture book on sharks Brody flips through very carefully.
  • In Dead Poets Society, the ghost story Neil tells at the first meeting can be interpreted as a cryptic bit of foreshadowing of his own death.
    • For that matter his surname, Perry, could be symbolic for "Perish".
  • One scene halfway through the fully-CGI Monster House has three kids stuck inside the titular Monster House's mouth, and the Smart Girl points out all the similarities to human anatomy, including an uvula. The token fat kid somehow misunderstands and goes "oh, so it's a girl house". Turns out he was right - the house was possessed by a giantess who fell to her death in its foundations..
  • In The Stepford Wives, a robotic wife starts malfunctioning, and is clearly at a party, where she keeps repeating 'I'll just die if I don't get that recipe!', which is both a hint at what is going to be Joanna's fate and at the horrifying reality of The Stepford Wives system, which has women literally die - and be replaced by placid robot clones for their husbands' desire of a prim and proper hausfrau, who cleans and cooks.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Stryker says to Wade Wilson that he'd be the perfect soldier if he didn't have such a mouth. Stryker later turns Wade into a mutated super-soldier who literally has no mouth.
  • In Gran Torino, Walt reading the paper on his birthday about a sudden life change that will occur that will come to a dramatic, yet seemingly anti-climatic ending. Guess what happens next? Immediately the Hmong girl walks over and invites him to their dinner where he makes new friends and works with a young boy that he comes to mentor. Oh, and the movie ends with him getting anti-climatically shot when everyone was expecting a major shootout.
  • In Alien³, there's a "blink and you might miss it" moment during the scene just after the xenomorph has attacked, some inflammable liquid caught alight and a large fire has been set off through the passage shaft. They activate the sprinklers to put the fire out, there's a view of the carnage and there's one brief shot of a bucket that was holding the inflammable liquid and was dropped and as the water hits it, the metal expands and snaps. This is how the xenomorph is actually killed at the end, they hit it with molten lead, it survives, they hit it with cold water and the rapid contraction causes it to implode.
  • The Wizard of Oz. Bear in mind that this only happens in the movie:

 Hunk (The Scarecrow): Now you ain't usin' your head about Miss Gulch. Didn't think you had any brains at all!

 Zeke (The Cowardly Lion): You lettin' that old Gulch heifer try and buffalo you? She ain't nothin' to be afraid of. Have a little courage, that's all!

 Hickory (The Tin Man): Someday they're gonna erect a statue of me in this town!

 Dorothy to Miss Gulch when the former is forced to put Toto in the basket: No, no, I won't let you take him! You go away, or I'll bite you myself!! (Aunt Em: Dorothy!) You wicked old witch!

    • Of course, we can't forget "Over The Rainbow". She even makes a reference to the song when she lands in Oz ("We must be over the rainbow!").
    • This all feeds into the All Just a Dream ending the movie has, since all of this would have been stuck in Dorothy's subconscious. In the books however, Oz is not a dream.
  • In The Usual Suspects, Verbal Kint is introduced early on as a short-con operator, which is the only job in the string that seems useless for what they're doing.
    • Agent Kujan tells Verbal that the way to spot a murderer is to arrest five guys for the same crime and leave them in a cell overnight. The next morning, whoever is sleeping is your guy. In the scene with all the suspects in jail for the hijacking, the one lying down is the one who actually did it.
  • In the thriller Fatal Attraction, during her second seduction of Michael Douglas's character over the telephone, Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) says, in response to him explaining he needs to work and take the dog for a walk, "Just bring the dog over. I'm great with animals. And I love to cook." By the end of the movie, those two things are not mutually exclusive. Just ask that bunny.
    • Not only that, her overall demeanor starts to give hints as to her obsessive personality--calling him the day after, refusing to take "no" for an answer. Not to mention the way she flips out (even before she slashes her wrists) when he gets ready to leave a second time.
  • The Mask. Early on Stanley orders his dog Milo to "Get the keys" (his car keys which he lost). Later, after Stanley is arrested he tells Milo to "Get the keys" again - the keys to his cell.
  • There is a cut in Se7en after detectives talk about the case directly to Pitt's character's wife's head. At the end, her head is delivered to Pitt's character.
  • There are many foreshadowing moments in The Matrix trilogy, but one prominent one is (which foreshadows at least two significant choices):

  Rhineheart: The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Anderson. Either you choose to be at your desk on time from this day forth, or you choose to find yourself another job.

    • Because of the way it's disguised in plain sight as a throwaway line spoken with annoyance, many viewers and Neo himself miss it when the Merovingian says, with no cryptic language whatsoever, that Neo has had predecessors. This is not only a major reveal in itself but foreshadows other reveals Neo will learn when he meets the Architect forty-five minutes of film-time later.
  • James Bond
    • Diamonds Are Forever.
      • While Bond is in the Whyte House he sees a painting of the owner, Willard Whyte. Later he meets and rescues Willard Whyte and discovers he looks just like his picture.
      • Plenty O'Toole is thrown out a window and ends up landing in a pool. Later she's killed by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who tie her to a weight and throw her into a pool to drown.
      • When Bond first meets Tiffany Case she's wearing a black wig. Later she sees black hair in a pool and thinks it's her wig: it's actually the hair of Plenty O'Toole. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd thought Plenty was Tiffany wearing the wig.
    • Goldfinger. Oddjob breaks off a statue's head by throwing his hat at it, and later on breaks Tilly Masterson's neck the same way.
  • The Avengers 1998:
    • While in Wonderland Weather Steed and Mrs. Peel see globes filled with weather patterns, including snowfall and a tornado. When Sir August attacks London with his Weather Control Machine it causes heavy snowfall and tornadoes.
    • Steed says "I'll stick to swordplay" just before his big sword fight with Sir August.
  • In Equilibrium, the fact that DuPont, the suit-and-tie wearing politician, can keep up with Preston in Gun Kata for far longer than anyone else in the move almost seems like an Ass Pull...except for a scene earlier in the movie where he's shown teaching a class on the technique, which would mean he himself knows it.
  • In The Dark Knight Saga the first we see of Bruce Wayne his him tending a wound he recieved from an attack dog. The last shot of Batman in the film is him fleeing from a pack of police dogs.
    • Harvey Dent: You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
  • Early on in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Norman Bates, taxidermist and mama's boy extraordinaire, defends his mother to Marion by saying, "Why, she's as harmless as one of those stuffed birds!" Guess what we find out at the end of the movie...
  • Total Recall
    • "Would you like us to integrate some alien stuff? Two-headed monsters? (Kuato) We're doing alien artifacts now (the alien device in the mine)."
    • When one of the staff members receives Quaid's memory package, he notes that it contains "blue skies on Mars," which is how the film ends.
    • "One minute you'll be the saviour of the rebel cause, next you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy!"
    • After Cohaagen is forced to give the order to kill his friend Quaid (Hauser), he angrily knocks over his aquarium full of goldfish. The fish lie on the floor gasping, the same way Cohaagen, Quaid and Melina do after they're blown out into the Martian surface late in the movie.
  • In Avatar, it's practically a drinking game. Observe:
    • Grace: "I'd die to get a sample [of the Tree of Souls]." When she's dying later on they take her to the Tree of Souls, she says "I should get a sample."
    • Grace:"What're you gonna do, Ranger Rick? Ya gonna shoot me?" Quaritch:"I can do that." During their escape, one of Quaritch's shots hits her.
    • Trudy:"And I was hoping for some kind of tactical plan that didn't involve martyrdom." During the battle between the humans and the Na'vi, she attacks Quaritch's ship directly and ends up being shot and blown up.
    • Neytiri mentions that there has only been one Toruk Makto and that he brought all the tribes together, which comes back later when Jake becomes the Toruk Makto and brings all the tribes together.
      • Actually there's been 5, all happening in times of great sorrow... her grandfather just happened to be the last one who brought the clans together.
  • When Zartan is introduced in G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra, he makes some remarks about the American political system based the book he's reading.
  • Star Wars has a few of these.

  "Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?"

    • The scene in The Empire Strikes Back on Dagobah where Luke Skywalker cuts off Darth Vader's head, only to find his own face beneath the mask.

  Yoda: Much anger in him, like his father.

    • Star Wars: Clone Wars has this as well for Anakin Skywalker, when he is in the cave and has the vision. This also happens again in The Clone Wars when the Son shows Anakin his future, although it is later erased from his memory by the Father.
      • A few episodes later, Anakin meets and strikes up something of a friendship with Captain Tarkin, who of course will later become Grand Moff Tarkin. When they shake hands at the end of the three-parter, a few notes from the Imperial March play.
      • This exchange in A New Hope:

 Aunt Beru: Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.

Uncle Owen: That's what I'm afraid of.

  • Constantine. Papa Midnite tells Constantine that his soul is the only one Satan himself would come to collect. He's right.
  • The final lines of the movie Mommie Dearest, after Christina Crawford and her brother find out that their mother Joan Crawford had disinherited them, suggest that Christina would truly have "the last word".
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    • When Indiana Jones gets captured by the Nazis after getting betrayed by Dr. Elsa Schneider, she says to him, "Don't look at me like that. We both wanted the Grail. I would have done anything to get it. You would have done the same." To which Indiana replies, "I'm sorry you think so." This minor exchange actually foreshadows the climax of the movie when Elsa tries to leave the temple with the grail. In that scene, Elsa almost falls into a crevice she created when she crossed the seal of the temple, but Indiana catches her. True to her earlier words, Elsa pulls a hand free to reach the grail below her instead of letting Indiana lift her up. Before she can get it, the glove on her other hand pulls off and she ultimately falls to her death. Indiana is then placed in the same situation, only he chooses to "let it go" and let his father save him.
    • Donovan says to Indy that they're only a few steps away from finding the Holy Grail, which prompts Indy to say "That's usually where the ground falls out from underneath your feet." Guess what happens when the Grail is found towards the end.
  • In Halloween: H20, Laurie Strode (who now goes by the name Keri Tate) is teaching an English literature class on Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Molly, one of the students, responds to a question about the book and fate with this: "I think that Victor should have confronted the monster sooner. He's completely responsible for Elizabeth's death. He was so paralyzed by fear that he never did anything. It took death for the guy to get a clue." She goes on to say that Victor finally confronts the monster because he "had reached a point in his life where he had nothing left to lose. I mean, the monster saw to that by killing off everybody that he loved. It was about redemption. It was his fate." This foreshadows the final scenes in the movie where Laurie finally decides to stop running from Michael Myers and confront her monster. After 20 years of living in fear and seeing her loved ones murdered, she had nothing more to lose. It was time to face her fears and end the nightmare.
  • Throughout the fourth Juon movie, Toshio repeatedly shows himself to be placing his hand on Kyoko's stomach. When one takes the ending into account, it becomes chillingly obvious why.
    • Not to mention the entire "Tomoka" vignette in the same movie. When the reason for the mysterious "banging" on her wall every night is revealed, it's downright horrifying.
  • From Thor, Loki's hand after he was touched by a Frost Giant. Also: "Allfather, you look ... weary."
    • In the beginning of the film, Odin tells a young Thor and Loki that both were meant to be king. It's later revealed that Loki was the son of the Jotun king.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, when Red Skull acquires the cube, the old monk warns him that its power will burn him. In the climax, when Red Skull tries to use the cube himself, he is seemingly disintegrated by it.
    • In the beginning, a group of Nazis are scrambling to lift a lid off a tomb without any success. Minutes later, Schmidt walks over and effortlessly shoves the lid off by himself. We find out later that he had also taken the Super Soldier serum.
  • In X-Men: First Class, when we see Magneto as an adult, he uses his powers to slam a coin at a picture of Shaw in the forehead. This is how he kills Shaw in their final confrontation, except much slower.
    • Also part Chekhov's Skill where Erik asks Charles to shoot him point-blank and when met with Charles' refusal, he states he can deflect it. This comes back at the end where Moira shoots at Erik to stop him from sending the missiles back at the American and Russian navies and he easily deflects the bullets ... only to have one bullet hit Charles and paralyze him.
    • And in a scene where Havok is learning to shoot straight in the bomb shelter, Charles and Hank are standing right to either side of the target manekin. Charles says, with light emphasis, "And try not to hit ME, there's a good chap". A little odd, considering Hank is just as likely to get hit, so it should be "us". Later in the movie, of course, Charles is hit by a bullet, due to standing right NEXT TO it's intended target, Erik.
    • Before the attack at the CIA base, Havok beats Darwin at a pinball game. Darwin declares "Jesus man, you're killing me!" Later, Shaw uses the energy absorbed from Havok's blast to kill Darwin.
  • In Deep Rising, there are several allusions to the revelation that the monsters are actually the tentacles of a humongous octopoid monster, most notably Finnegan's anecdote about the octopus and the bottle.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon drops a few hints that something isn't quite right with Sentinel Prime, with the most obvious hint in hindsight being " I've seen this one. This is the one where Spock goes nuts.".
    • Also when Sentinel first wakes up, he accidentally attacks Optimus. The second time it happens, he attacks the Autobots intentionally.
    • A subtle one is how the Decepticons were public service vehicles, police, military and construction vehicles while the Autobots were regular private civilian cars. Sentinel's vehicle mode was a fire truck.
    • Mearing had earlier pointed out that Sentinel's pillars could be used to bring an invasion.
    • Carly's car is said to have a "deep throaty engine". Her car is Soundwave and voiced by Frank Welker.
  • In the film Unfaithful, Connie, the cheating wife in question, is on her way to meet her lover when she runs into some girlfriends. While having coffee with them, her lover shows up at the cafe. Unaware of Connie's relationship with him, one of the women proceeds to gush over how gorgeous she is, then half-jokes about how she wouldn't mind having a fling with him. The other woman denounces her for this, then reveals that she had an affair of her own and that it is the one thing in her life that she truly regrets. "These things always end in disaster. Someone always gets hurt". Despite this ominous and inadvertent (the other woman doesn't know about the fling either) warning, Connie continues the affair until sure enough, disaster strikes. Her husband finds out, kills her lover, and now they must contend with the possibility of him going to jail.
  • The first scene in The Artist shows George Valentin's latest silent adventure film. As his character is being subjected to Electric Torture, he is seen speaking, with the accompanying title card reading "I won't talk! I won't say a word!" Later, his refusal to do talkies leads to his film career falling apart.
    • Later in the film, Peppy Miller, the young starlet whose first screen role was an extra in one of Valentin's movies, is seen starring in a movie called "Guardian Angel". She ends up becoming a guardian angel to Valentin, inviting him to stay in her mansion while he recovers from injuries sustained in a fire, and trying to help him get back into movies.
  • Played with beautifully in Wood Allen's Match Point.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Holmes warned Irene about working for Moriarty. When Irene outlived her usefulness to Moriarty, he kills her.
    • When Holmes officially meets Moriarty, he tells him that if it one-hundred-percent guaranteed Moriarty's destruction, he would gladly accept his own. He follows this when he does a suicide leap off a cliff bringing Moriarty with him.
    • Earlier than that, when showing Watson the web of conspiracy, Holmes told him he'd give his life to see Moriarty's demise.
    • The fate of the Parisian bomb-maker who kills himself to protect his loved ones from Moriarty.
  • Kill List foreshadows several events late in the film in its apparently innocuous early scenes:
    • Jay and Gal's drunken play fight at Jay's dinner party becomes a real fight when their relationship is tested late in the film.
    • Early on, Jay finds the cat has left a rabbit with its entrails hanging out -- this mirrors how he finds the mortally wounded Gal in the tunnels late in the film.
    • Jay's play fight with Shel and Sammy foreshadows how the cult force him to fight and kill them for real at the climax.
  • In Master and Commander, this happens several times.
    • Blakeney makes Calamy promise that if he dies, not to stitch him 'through the nose' when wrapping his body in his hammock. After Calamy is killed in the final battle, Blakeney asks to personally take care of his friend's body to make sure that the last stitch doesn't go through his nose.
    • An albatross appears and the Captain of the Marines tries to shoot it. Moments later, the bird dives low, the shot misses and hits Dr. Maturin.
  • Spider-Man 3: Early on, after Peter and Mary Jane visit Harry Osborn in the hospital, a nurse comments to him how they really seem like good friends. Harry proudly states they're the best, and that he'd die for them. Guess what happens to him during the final battle?
  • In the The Avengers, when Loki arrives on the SHIELD airship, he briefly smirks at Bruce. Guess what or who his plan for escaping is?
    • Steve tells Tony that Tony isn't the kind to sacrifice himself for a greater cause.
    • The Galaga gag becomes a subtle foreshadowing for the final showdown. Much like the unwinnable video game, the heroes fight endless hordes of alien ships.
  • In Ghost Rider, the Caretaker's identity as another Rider, who knows what it's like to be one first-hand, is implied by his having left exactly the right number of cups of water for Johnny to guzzle when he wakes up.


Literature Edit

  • A rather interesting example shows up in Elantris. Near the start there is a mention of Hrathen as the savior of Arelon which most simply put down to simply stating his thoughts. it isn't until the end that you find out that Hrathen defects when he realizes how evil dilaf is, and then sacrifices his own life to kill him, saving the entire joint population of both Arelon and Teod from being annihilated by the derethi cult.
  • Genesis 3:15 'he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.' If you're Christian, you probably think this is foreshadowing to Jesus punishing Satan (the snake) ... a few thousand years before he was born.
    • As well as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and every other prophetic book. Prophesies, in general, are this in real life.
    • In addition, many Old Testament events are similar to events in the New Testament. They are known as "types."
  • The first volume of The Lord of the Rings has this ironic example: Frodo says, "So far, my only hope has been to get here (Rivendell.) I hope I shan't have to go any further...I have had a month of exile and adventure, and I find that has been as much as I want." Guess what the next two books are about?
    • There is also Gandalf's statement that, "There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world." when they enter Moria and only shortly before they encounter the balrog.
    • Also in FOTR, Elrond says to Boromir, "Slow should you be to wind that horn again until you stand once more on the borders of your land and dire need is upon you." The next time he uses the horn, just before his death, fits these circumstances perfectly.
  • Harry Potter has foreshadowing all the way through the seven book series, but there's also a lovely piece of cinematic foreshadowing in the Chamber of Secrets film: after the scene in which McGonagall describes the Chamber of Secrets, which has been hidden for centuries, it fades to a shot showing exactly what the characters are searching for: the secret entrance to the chamber. It's not until the end of the film that they learn that's what it is.
    • Many of Professor Trelawney's predictions, while mostly inaccurate, sometimes end up echoing events later in the book. The most obvious example is in Half Blood Prince, in which Trelawney goes over Tarot readings. The Tower comes up, and Trelawney uses it to predict Harry's death... again. It's not till later in the book, in a chapter titled The Lighting Struck Tower when Snape kills Dumbledore on top of the astronomy tower.
      • And of course, you have to consider also the fact that Harry did die in Deathly Hallows. Sort of. He was Only Mostly Dead.
    • Ron is king of this. He says about Tom Riddle "maybe he killed Myrtle, that'd have done everyone a favour." Riddle did kill her! In Deathly Hallows, Ron almost predicts the taboo on saying "Voldemort." The exact words were "It feels like a jinx or something."!
      • A bunch of the Horcruxes are even shown in the book, such as Slytherin's locket and Ravenclaw's tiara, although this overlaps with Chekhov's Gun.
    • Harry foreshadows the events of the Tri-Wizard Tournament fairly early in Goblet of Fire.
    • An incredibly early bit of Foreshadowing occurs right in book one, when in an echo of his being Sorted, Harry dreams that a voice comes from Quirrell's turban telling him he should be in Slytherin. Apart from the fact we later find out he has qualities Slytherin (and Voldemort) prized and that he obtained some of these due to his link with Voldemort, there's the fact that of course Voldemort himself was under Quirrell's turban. Sometimes it seems as if Tonks's notion that Harry has Seer blood may not be that far off the mark...
    • This happens even in throw-away lines! In Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets after Harry was sent down the wrong chimney via Floo Powder, Draco is seen examining a cursed opal necklace that claimed the lives of 19 Muggles. Sound familiar? Not to mention that Draco had also shown interest in the Hand of Glory, which should also sound familiar for the very same reason.
    • And he (Harry) is standing in the very cabinet that Draco uses to smuggle the Death Eaters into Hogwarts in Half-Blood Prince. Also note that Harry never closes the door to the cabinet all the way, which would result in him getting transported away.
    • In Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, it was mentioned that "Always the innocent are the first victims,". In Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, the first victims of Voldemort's plan to be completely restored were Bertha Jorkins, Frank Bryce, Bartemius Crouch Senior (he was at fault but did not intend to help Voldemort) and Cedric Diggory.
  • Early in Wyrd Sisters, Granny Weatherwax says "You'd have to be a born fool to be a king." By the end of the book, the court Fool has become the king. And not only that, he is a 'born fool' - his father and grandfather were Fools before him.
    • A similar example crops up in Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb. The character Kettle is part of a group who's looking for the White Prophet, and says with respect to their search "Perhaps it is a fool's errand that I go on." Again, the White Prophet turns out to be the Fool.
  • happens throught all the second part of Foundation and Empire, this part of the book being full of situations that not only hint the powers of The Mule but also wouldn't have been possible without them; the casual reader passes by without noticing anything out of place, is only when you have completed the book and start rereading it that everything makes sense.
  • Another Discworld example: characters in previous City Watch books remark that there's no reason why the older but perfectly healthy Lady Sybil shouldn't be able to have children. It still takes her husband the whole length of The Fifth Elephant to get the happy hint.
    • And another: in Thief of Time there's a weird little section where Lu-Tze cuts off a Yeti's head in order to show Lobsang their ability to manipulate time and avoid death. It seems sort of out of place, especially considering they're supposed to be in a bit of a hurry to get to the city, until Lu-Tze says "I hope I'm never that desperate," at which point you are absolutely, without-a-doubt certain that by the end of the book he will be. Of course, this may also just be an example of The Law of Conservation of Detail and readers being Genre Savvy.
      • More cryptically, Death in the same novel is unable to see Lobsang Ludd. This appears to be hinting that Lobsang is immortal, until Fridge Logic reminds the reader that Death has seen plenty of other immortals before. The real reason turns out to be far stranger than that: Lobsang's life as an individual isn't destined to end with his death at all; instead, he ceases to exist as Lobsang when he merges with his other self, Jeremy Clockson.
  • Two notable examples occur in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. In the very first scene, George complains about how Gentle Giant Lennie always accidentally kills his pet mice. About halfway through the book, Carlson shoots Candy's dog. Both of these nicely build up the drama of the last chapter.
    • The whole book is dripping with foreshadowing if you know where to look.
  • An excellent example of foreshadowing is The Wheel of Time in The Great Hunt Turak mentions that the Emperess of the Seanchan Empire rules from the Court of the Nine Moons, and her favorite daughter is named Tuon. In The Shadow Rising Mat Cauthon is told he will marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Guess who the Daughter of the Nine Moons is? To put this in perspective The Great Hunt is the second book in the series, The Shadow Rising is book 4, and The Winter's Heart where Tuon actually enters the story is book 9.
    • This is in fact pretty much the entire principle behind the Wheel of Time books. That and clothes.
  • About halfway through Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth says to Darcy, "I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry." He is.
    • Long before that, when Jane is ill, Darcy and Elizabeth discuss the eventuality of Mr. Bingley suddenly leaving Netherfield at a friend's request. Darcy thinks it would be a lack of character to yield so easily to a friend, and Elizabeth thinks it's perfectly natural to be influenced by those who are dear to you. Guess who changed their opinion when Bingley does leave Netherfield in a hurry at his friend's request?
  • In the first Redwall book, Cluny had a nightmare where he was being chased by Martin the Warrior, and as the sword "struck" him, he was woken up by a giant bell. His final battle is in the bell-tower, where Matthias uses Martin's sword to chop the rope keeping the bell up, and it lands on Cluny's head.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is so full of this.
    • One example, right from the start: Lord Eddard Stark, on his way back from an execution, finds a direwolf (the symbol of his house) killed after being run through with the horn of a great stag (the symbol of House Baratheon). Sure enough, the coming of his old friend Robert Baratheon leads to the crippling of his son, the outbreak of civil war in Westeros, and his execution. It's also an example of in character foreshadowing: everyone else gets really uncomfortable when they see it, and his wife Catelyn wishes he would put more stock in its meaning.
    • Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow is told a tale about his ancestors that involved two people hiding the crypts of Winterfell so well that no one found them. Guess how Bran, Rickon, and their group survive the Greyjoy-Bolton attack of Winterfell.
  • Animorphs is full of this, usually in the form of remarks the characters make. Read the series. Then read it again. You will be amazed.
    Here are only a select few examples from only the first book:
    • Marco: "We'd be totally famous. We'd get to be on Letterman for sure."
      At the end of the series, they're practically the most famous people on Earth. Marco not only gets on Letterman, he even gets his own show.
    • Visser Three: "[...] And then I'll be Visser One."
      He does get promoted to Visser One near the end of the series.
    • Jake (as narrator): "I think maybe the Andalite meant even more to Tobias than to the rest of us."
      Elfangor, the Andalite in question, is later revealed to be Tobias' father.
    • [-Marco: "Maybe it's your own brother you'll end up destroying."
      Jake: "Yes, maybe that's what will happen."-]
      Jake ends up ordering his cousin to kill his brother.
    • Jake: "Tobias! Get a grip. Don't start eating mice just because you're in a hawk's body. What's next? Roadkill?"
      Tobias ends up eating mice exactly because he gets stuck in a hawk body. He also resorts to roadkill when he has bad hunting luck.
    • Cassie: "What are we going to do with dolphin morphs?"
      They acquire dolphin morphs shortly after, and use them on quite a number of underwater missions.
    • Jake (at Tobias): "Too late for you to morph back now."
      Uttered in reference to the strategic situation, right before Tobias passes the time limit and gets stuck in his hawk body.
    • Also done without words in the first book. Tobias is the one who has the deepest connection with Elfangor, who stays with him the longest. He does not know why, but we find out why in The Andalite Chronicles, with the parental reveal.
  • Done rather badly in Twilight: Bella says something like "nobody's gonna bite me" in the first chapter. If you already know that the book is about vampires, which the back cover explicitly mentions, then this is pretty blatantly obvious.
  • The Horus Heresy books, particularly early on, seem to be a contest between the authors as to who can foreshadow the Foregone Conclusion best. There are a lot of comments about how space marines fighting other space marines would be unthinkable, gods and religions, particularly malignant ones, are a silly idea, etc etc.
  • In Z for Zachariah, a character who later turns out to be a Complete Monster tells the protagonist "Ann Burden, you're going to wish I'd never come here." At the time he doesn't seem serious, but turns out to be very right.
  • Matthew Reilly's Hover Car Racer has several bits of foreshadowing for important races. In professional races, the steering wheel is the only part of the car required to cross the line to finish the race if the car crashes close to the line (except for a particular race, and this becomes important too). Jason has dreams about blacking out on Liberty's Elbow (a tight hairpin turn around the Statue of Liberty). The Bradbury Principle is mentioned a couple of times before it happens.
  • In Dale Brown's Fatal Terrain, Brad Elliott says that he "always thought I'd buy the farm in the cockpit of a B-52 after just saving the world from thermonuclear meltdown". Guess what...
  • The lovely thing about the Suzumiya Haruhi novels is the anachronistic order which it's presented. There are foreshadows almost everywhere. For example, in Snow Mountain Syndrome, Kyon casually mentions a crazy ex-classmate who wanted to confess to Nagato. In the next novel, there's a story about it. The best foreshadow was from the first book, Melancholy, where Kunikuda mentioned that Kyon liked strange girls, and Kyon protests, claiming that she was just a good friend, and nothing more. In the ninth novel, Sasaki is introduced, and she IS strange enough to have her own anti-SOS Brigade.
    • A truly hilarious example in the first novel. When Haruhi decides to recruit (kidnap) Mikuru into the (then unnamed) SOS Brigade, as Haruhi runs off to retrieve her, Kyon jokingly wonders if Haruhi had finally found an alien. Having run into Haruhi as she was leaving the club room, the next paragraph (only a sentence long), describes him entering the room. The very next line after that is, "Yuki Nagato was already in the club room." (From the English translation)
  • In the Attack of the Clones novel after Zam, the assassin who tried to kill Padme, fails to shake Anakin clinging to her flyer off, she thinks desperation that "Whoever rids the galaxy of these meddling stubborn creatures indeed deserves the mantle of an Imperor". Well, what'd you know!
  • Bokonon tells the protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle what he would do if he were "a younger man"...such as the protagonist. It is heavily implied that John does exactly what Bokonon says. We know for a fact that he does part of it by the end of the book.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians: In The Last Olympian, when Percy is trying to determine the most strategic location for his one mortal point, he chooses the small of his back in favor of an armpit, being more dignified. Anyone want to guess where Luke's body's Achilles spot is?
  • The novel To Kill a Mockingbird spends an entire chapter detailing local racist Bob Ewell's attempts at getting revenge on everyone he blames for being outed as a liar (he had beaten his daughter after catching her trying to seduce a black man and forced her to accuse the innocent man of rape. Despite evidence of his innocence, the man was convicted and fatally shot trying to escape.), stalking the man's widow, the trial judge, and explicitly threatening the man's lawyer, Atticus Finch. In the next chapter, as Atticus' children prepare to go to a Halloween party, their aunt mentions an uneasy feeling, "Something just walked over my grave". The children are viciously attacked by Ewell on their way home, and it is all but stated that they would have been killed had someone not heard their screams and come to help.
    • When Atticus, who has made it clear that he is adverse to violence, goes out into the neighborhood to "take care of" the rabid dog it foreshadows both his battle against the legal system and the climax of the book.
  • And Then There Were None. Soon after arriving to a manor with several others, one of the characters goes into his room and takes a bath while pondering what he's going to do next: "Warm steaming water - tired limbs - presently a shave - a cocktaildinner. And after - ?" He dies during the dinner.
  • In Myth-Chief, Aahz and Skeeve are competing over who gets to be the new president of M.Y.T.H., Inc. Early on, Guido accidentally calls Bunny "boss", foreshadowing who eventually gets the job.
  • In Moby Dick, the landlord of the inn at the beginning of the book is named Peter Coffin. At the end, Ishmael survives by clinging to a coffin.
  • The 2003 Bionicle book Tales of the Masks is full of foreshadowing, hinting at a mysterious, forgotten past and an ancient city called Metru Nui. The following two years focused entirely on this. Later, in the '05 book Time Trap, Toa Vakama received a vision that faintly hinted at the '06 storyline.
  • A very coy example appears in Steven Brust's Phoenix, in which Vlad asks Loiosh if Rocza is pregnant in passing. This seems innocuous at the time, except that Loiosh replies that Rocza isn't pregnant, but is "a little closer to Cawti". Turns out that Vlad should have been asking Cawti whether she was pregnant.
  • In the Sword of Truth novels, the best example is in the sixth book, Faith of the Fallen. Right after Nicci forcibly takes Richard prisoner and right before he leaves with her to the Old World, Kahlan tells Richard that he should, "Carve something to make Nicci see that you should be free." Richard dismisses this as unnecessary and silly. At the climax, when Nicci sees the statues on the cover of the book that Richard carved, she has an epiphany, sets Richard and Kahlan free, and pulls a Heel Face Turn.
  • In the first chapter of Dead Souls the author mentions that Chichikov (the protagonist) is able to talk about custom officials "as if he had been one of them". Much later we'll learn that this has indeed been the case - and that he tried a big smuggle operation, which almost would've made him a rich man.
  • Originally, each Magic School Bus book ended with Ms. Fizzle setting up classroom decorations and donning an outfit relating to the subject of the next book. (eg, the book preceding the class' trip inside a hurricane ended with her displaying weather-measuring equipment and wearing a dress boasting stormy imagery.) Series Fauxnales had Ms. Frizzle wear a dress covered in question marks on the last page.
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea:
  • In Conspiracies, Repairman Jack encounters the Twins, agents of the Ally who are the basis for that Verse's "men in black" rumors, and are noted for driving around with their headlights off. After his attempt to get away from the pair causes their deaths, Jack vacates the area, driving away in the dark with his headlights off. Guess whose job he just inherited?
  • In Dostoevsky's The Idiot, Nastassya Filippovna makes a comment about Rogozhin becoming consumed by his passions and ending up being exiled to Siberia. Much later on, Rogozhin murders her...and is sentenced to fifteen years' hard labour in Siberia.
  • Early in S.E. Hinton's That Was Then, This Is Now, Byron muses about how Angela would look beautiful even with all her hair cut off. Later in the book, his friend Mark does exactly that to her while she's passed out drunk.
  • Jack London's short story, "To Build A Fire", is most frequently used to teach this trope in high school English classes. The reader knows the main character's a goner long before he does.
  • In The Kite Runner, Amir reads Hassan a story about Rostam and Sohrab. Rostam kills Sohrab in battle, not knowing that Sohrab is his son. Later in the book, Amir blames himself for Hassan's death, and learns that he was his half-brother.
    • In "Lost In a Good Book", second of Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series, pairs of amusingly named agents appear throughout the novel. Examples include agents 'Kannon' and 'Phodder', and 'Lamm' and 'Slaughter'. These names foreshadow their inevitable horrible deaths.

Live Action TV Edit

  • Danis House has S4 E9 Pen Pal with Jack's pen pal talking in a very fake Japanese accent. He's faking it - he's Cornish.
  • Lost has many examples, but the most prominent is in the pilot: Locke and Walt play backgammon and Locke mentions that it's the oldest game in the world and there's two players: one light, one dark. The final season reveals that the series' events revolved around two people, one "light" and one "dark", each having a goal that's part of what's essentially a game they invented in their childhood, and they've been at it for two thousand years.
    • The first time we see Juliet's face, it's her reflection in a mirror. In season 5 she sacrifices herself believing it will create a Mirror Universe.
  • The Wizards of Waverly Place's episode "Future Harper" is a festival of foreshadowing.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is laced with foreshadowing, because of Joss Whedon's long-term planning:
    • "I'm so evil and skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay." -- Willow Rosenberg about her vampire Doppelganger, a year before she did become gay -- and three before she almost destroyed the world.
      • Results in something of a terrifying echo, especially if you watch the second season again after knowing what happens. When Willow first utters 'Bored now' as a vampire, it actually gives you chills.
      • Forshadowing only counts if it's intentional. Joss has admitted that neither of those plot lines were in the works when that line was written.
        • Wrong. He had been planning either Willow or Xander to be gay for a while. Though, I still think the man needs to learn the word bisexual or just say that Oz was confusion (oh, and verbally bitchslap Kennedy with the word sooner or later for her actions towards Satsu).
    • Similarly, Dawn Summers' arrival was foreshadowed by dream dialogue in two different episodes in season four: In "This Year's Girl," Faith and Buffy are making a bed in Dawn's future room when they have this exchange:

 Faith: Little sis coming. I know.

Buffy: So much to do before she gets here.

      • And in the season finale "Restless", one episode before Dawn's appearance, Tara urged Buffy to "be back before Dawn."
      • There's also a remark somewhere about "trying on big sister's clothes".
    • Faith's mention of counting down from "seven-three-oh" foreshadows the fifth season finale, exactly 730 days later. The end of season 4 also makes reference to the scene with Faith while foreshadowing season 5, and mentions that a clock showing 7.30 is now "way out".
    • Xander dresses as a pirate in the season six episode, and then in the seventh season he loses an eye and has to wear an eye patch.
    • There's a very subtle one during first season where Buffy is hanging out with her friends and she says bite me. Cue Angel looking all weird at Buffy.
    • At the end of "The Harvest" Angel appears to be standing next to a sign saying WATCH YOU -- appropriate enough for his Mysterious Watcher role. But when he walks away we see the sign actually reads WATCH YOUR STEP, foretelling his Face Heel Turn into Angelus. Similarly at the end of "After Life" Buffy's other vampire Love Interest, Spike, is standing next to a discarded door with a BEWARE OF DOG sign, hinting at the Destructive Romance to follow.
  • Angel had its share as well. "Soul Purpose" in season 5 pops to mind rather quickly. When Fred is doing surgery on Angel in his coma-dream, she looks in and tells him "there's nothing left, just a shell". A Lthough mainly referring to Angel, it was likely also a reference to her becoming a literal shell for Illyria several eps later.
    • In the same ep, Gunn growls like a cat during another dream scene. In "A Hole In The World" the white room's cat conduit is gone, replaced with a evil Gunn twin.
    • Earlier in season 3, Wesley has a talk with Gunn about "the pull of conflicting loyalties". This is a kind of foreshadowing of Wes's own conflict with Connor and the team.
  • Highlander the Series foreshadowed Richie's immortality in the first ep, after the defeat of Slan.

 Connor He will need watching.

      • We did find out later that immortals can sense pre-immortality faintly, so it's probably justified.
  • Charmed's Season 3 finale gives Prue Halliwell the line, "This has to end now or our lives are over!" At the end of the episode, she dies. Permanently.
    • From the season 2 episode "Morality Bites" when future Phoebe receives a premonition of how she killed a man, she is seen floating up into the air. In season 3 she gains the power of levitation.
  • Friends: Some may be a bit far-fetched in retrospect but:
    • Chandler and Monica's relationship (which began on the 4th season finale): Several previous episodes hint at the possibility, and often near the end of a season (i.e. when Ben's born, when Mon laughs at the hypothetical scenario).
    • Ross and Rachel: From the very first episode, although that's pretty obvious as the show (especially during its beginning) is basically about them.
    • In a 2nd season episode, Ross mentions he likes that name. Two years later, he meets an English girl called Emily, who then becomes his second wife.
    • Rachel's baby's father: It's a bit suspicious that there's no major interaction between Ross and Rachel during the 7th season's last episodes (i.e. after they slept together and when she realizes she's pregnant) and the 8th season's premiere. Then, on the 8th season's second episode, she mentions the best sex she ever had with him. Guess what's revealed at the end of that same episode?
  • Dawson's Creek, especially in the third season and regarding the Pacey/Joey/Dawson love triangle. It's mainly foreshadowed in dialogue between Pacey and Jen, with lines such as "the sidekick never gets the girl" or "what does (Joey) have that all men seek her?" (or something to that effect).
  • Beverly Hills, 90210, third season as well: Dylan seems oddly concerned about Kelly dating a guy he thinks is not good enough for her. Then, when Brenda leaves to Paris, Dylan is seen walking with Kelly. Then guess what happens...
  • Extensively used in Babylon 5, noted for having a pre-planned five-year arc. For example, characters often say "Watch your back" to security chief Michael Garibaldi during the first season ( said character is then shot in the back in the first season finale). Almost every company mentioned in the series becomes somehow important in the storyline, even if they are used in throwaway lines in the beginning (Interplanetary Expeditions, ISN, Edgars Industries, etc.)
    • When Sinclair and Garibaldi return from Babylon 4 he tells disappointed Susan that next time he'll take her. Of course later when they go back through time to steal Babylon 4 he leaves Garibaldi on the station and takes Susan.
    • When Mr. Morden asks Vir what he wants. The answer is exactly what Londo does to him later in the series.
    • Or the Technomage's warning to Londo. Only a few episodes later Londo starts the Narn-Centauri war.
    • Londo's vision of his death and the one of the Shadow vessels on Centauri Prime.
      • Pretty much all of the numerous visions in the show. Even if some aren't exactly what they appear to be...
    • Londo refers to his three hated wives as "Famine", "Pestilence" and "Death". By exclusion that leaves himself as "War". Guess who ends up escalating the simmering Narn-Centauri conflict.
  • Virtually all of Arrested Development's major plot twists are repeatedly hinted at long before they take place.
    • "This party's gonna be off the hook!" -Buster, one year before he loses his hand and gets it replaced by a hook.
    • That's not nearly as bad as "I never thought I'd miss a hand so much!" in reference to his hand-shaped chair.
    • Light Treason.
    • Michael: I don't even have a girl, much less a stupid one.
  • Rewatch all the Tony elements of NCIS's fourth season in light of the context of the season five premiere. Then kick yourself for not spotting the gradual setup for The Reveal that his relationship with Jeanne Benoit is actually an undercover operation to get at her father, La Grenouille. In particular, the scene early in the season when Tony asks Director Shepard for relationship advice takes on an entirely different and kind of creepy subtext that is not evident the first time around.
    • Also, Gibbs' furious reaction at the end of the second season premiere takes on a whole new meaning given the third season finale.
      • When Kate is held hostage by Ari in the first season finale, Gibbs suddenly imagines her dead via headshot for a moment. Exactly one season later in the second season finale, Ari snipes Kate dead, and she falls to the ground in an identical scene to the one Gibbs imagined. This however, actually wasn't preplanned as Kate was only killed because the actress decided to leave, which wasn't known until the 2nd season was already underway, making this an aftershadow of sorts.
  • The Wire has many cases of foreshadowing, but the two best examples are:
    • A conversation between three drug dealers in the first season about chess, and how the pawns get "capped quick", while the queen is the best because it's stable and "makes all the moves". By the end of the fourth season, all three of the participants in that conversation had died, because they were, like many of the low-level drug traffickers, simply pawns themselves.
    • In the third season, detective Bunk Moreland witnesses a group of children pretending to be stick-up artist Omar Little and his group of robbers, with one small boy constantly asking to play as Omar. Two seasons later, that same child, Kenard, would be the one to shoot Omar dead in a convenience store, the result of a surprise attack that was the calling card of the victim.
  • A questionable one occurs in Law and Order. Just before the season finale where Serena Southerlyn is fired and outs herself as a lesbian, there was an episode where McCoy successfully argues to have gay marriages in the state ruled invalid to remove a claim of spousal privilege. Southerlyn's disgusted reaction to homophobic comments in the episode and refusal to even consider helping McCoy could be seen in a new light.
  • Supernatural often has episodes which help set up future events in the series. For example, Dean's almost suicidal guilt over not dying in "Faith" happens on a much bigger scale over Season Two where his father dies for him. "Crossroad Blues" also sets up his actions in "All Hell Breaks Loose" where he's so guilty over Sam's death that he sells his soul for him.
      • Also from "Faith" is the reverend telling Dean that he chose to heal him because Dean has a very important purpose and it isn't over yet. Cue Season 4, when Castiel tells Dean that it's his job to stop the Apocalypse.
    • Ruby tells Sam that she's a demon and manipulative is in her job description... the finale of the next season has her admit that she's been manipulating Sam all along. See also her quiet rebuttal to Dean that she doesn't believe in the Devil when her game plan was actually to free him because she believes that Lucifer will lead demons to Paradise.
    • Also, "Nightmare" sets up the end of "No Rest for the Wicked". At the end of "Nightmare", Sam's powers are triggered by seeing Dean die in a vision (he telekinetically moves a dresser out of his way). At the end of No Rest For The Wicked, he watches Dean actually die, and then his power apparently reawakens (Lilith can't kill him).
    • The supposed heartwarming moment (which now comes off as half-arsed) in "Nightmare" where Sam says that, all things considered, their Dad wasn't that bad (i.e incredibly abusive like Max's Dad) and Dean repeats the line in a strange tone sets up/is paid off by "Something Wicked"/"Dead Man's Blood" where we find out exactly how crappy John can be.
    • Not to mention Dean's seemingly out-of-character behaviour of hating the food and chucking the wrapper in the backseat in "Simon Said" and the love of the Hollywood/Prison food in "Hollywood Babylon" and "Folsom Prison Blues", which gets paid off in "What Is And What Should Never Be" where he's practically orgasming over his Mom's homemade food.
    • Several of Bela's seemingly-flippant/catty remarks in Season 3 actually make more sense upon a second viewing, including "We're all going to Hell, Dean. Might as well enjoy the ride", her response to Dean's snarks about her father and how damaged she is, and her theft of the Colt, setting up The Reveal in her final episode that she sold her soul to kill her abusive dad and is trying to get out of it by doing whatever the demons tell her to.
    • In the 4th season finale, "Lucifer Rising," when Zachariah reveals to Dean that his role as the angels' Chosen One is not to stop Lilith, but to defeat Lucifer, they are standing in front of a painting of the Archangel Michael with his foot on Lucifer's neck. In the 5th season premiere we learn that Dean is the intended vessel for the Archangel Michael.
  • The new Doctor Who series always foreshadows its season finale as early as the second episode of the season. It uses, however, very (very, oh so very) cryptic foreshadows like "Bad Wolf" or "Doctor-Donna". Whenever psychics are in, expect to hear a lot of complete nonsense that will finally be put together in the final episode.
    • In the Series 3 episode "Utopia", the whole episode is pretty much foreshadowing of the return of the Master
      • Which started a lot sooner than that: when the Face of Boe tells the Doctor You Are Not Alone, many fans thoughts instantly jumped to the Master.
    • A very subtle bit of foreshadowing happens in the Christmas episode of Season 4. When the tourists of the Titanic teleport down to Earth for a brief visit, the temporary companion for the episode, Astrid, exclaims that there are no stars in the sky! The season long story arc of Season 4 centres around the stars disappearing in the sky. Russel T. Davies, I never knew you had it in you.
    • The taxi which tries to pick up Stacey Campbell in "Partners in Crime" has an ATMOS sticker, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it piece of foreshadowing to "The Sontaran Stratagem".
    • "Silence in the Library" foreshadows "The Time of Angels" (and presumably a few more) through a throwaway line from River.
    • Series 5's "The Vampires of Venice" ends with the villain of the week telling the Doctor to dream of her and her race, a subtle foreshadow of what the next episode is about.
    • And in the next episode, watch what Rory replies after the Doctor says "I've crushed your flowers". He replies "Oh, Amy will kill you". Later on Amy and the Doctor commit suicide to get out of the dream, with Amy driving the car into the house at high speed.
    • In "The Hungry Earth", Rory goes to put Amy's engagement ring back in the TARDIS for safekeeping, saying "Go on, I'll catch you both up". At the end of the double episode, Rory is killed. By "The Pandorica Opens", however, he's been resurrected as a Nestene duplicate, thus "catching up" to the Doctor and Amy later in their time-stream, also, in "The Big Bang" he then waits for nearly two thousand years beside Amy's stasis-locked corpse for the Doctor and Amy's younger self to show up and re-animate her. He caught up with them twice!
    • Although the Classic series wasn't done in the same cinematic style as the new Doctor Who, there is subtle foreshadowing to be found (some of it may be unintentional though).
      • The Third Doctor's regeneration may have been foreshadowed by Sarah Jane in The Monster of Peladon. In one scene she says, "The Doctor always says that while there's life, there's..." She trails off, letting the sentence hang in midair, the word 'hope' left unspoken. In the very next episode Planet of the Spiders, the Doctor's final words to her are, "While there's life, there's..." He loses conciousness just then and never finishes the sentence. He regenerates a moment later, making those his last words before his 'death'.
  • Day One of Torchwood: Children of Earth had an incredibly blatant and yet easy to miss piece of foreshadowing in this bit of banter by Jack and Ianto:

 Ianto: You are going to get us all killed.

Jack: No, you get killed, not me. You die like a dog, like an ugly dog.

  • Strangely, the much maligned decision to turn an entire season of Dallas into a dream seems to have had plenty of accidental Foreshadowing. The 'Dream Year' has a strange, slightly surreal air completely at odds with the rest of the show as noted in this article.
  • House: In Season Three, Wilson's reasoning - he was afraid that House might think he was God and take an even bigger fall later on if he made a mistake - for his ill-advised, badly timed attempt at teaching House humility turns out to be well-founded when House pisses Tritter off in "Fools For Love" and utter disaster ensues.
    • In one of the many Season Four examples foreshadowing the finale, when the Hospital Inspector tells House that he's heard his name before, House replies that most people have because his name is also a noun. In the finale, the mystery woman's (who is really Amber) amber necklace helps House solve the mystery of who's dying.
    • Each season finale foreshadowed the Season 5 finale, with increasing obviousness.
  • Firefly has several foreshadowing moments. It is possible that some of them never were fulfilled, because of the cancellation.
    • In the pilot there are two. 1) Jayne tells Mal that Dobson tried to bribe him, but didn't accept because "the pay wasn't good enough". In Ariel, it was. 2) Kaylee asks for a new compression coil for the engine, warning that they'll be adrift in space if it breaks. That happens in Out of Gas.
    • River sometimes repeats "two by two, hands of blue". The two agents who hunt River have blue gloves.
      • And in Ariel, though it looks like River's attack on Jayne is just regular River craziness, he IS wearing a Blue Sun t-shirt at the time...
    • When Simon mentions Early knocking out Book, Early says "that ain't no Shepherd" in Objects in Space. Book also seems to be come kind of Alliance VIP, as shown by their willingness to give him medical aid.
    • When coupled with the subtle hints in 'Serenity' that Book had at some point been an Alliance Operative like the one in the film (explaining their eagerness in the above point), this could have been a foreshadow of plot points Joss Whedon wished to expand on later in the series. The comic 'Serenity: A Shepherd's Tale' provides another possible version, this time as an Independent mole in the Alliance navy.
    • In the first episode "Serenity", when the ship is about to be boarded by by Reavers, the camera cuts to a scene of Inara taking out a syringe of some description. Later in "Out of Gas", Inara utters the line "I never want to die at all". Both foreshadowed the fact that Inara had a terminal illness, and was aboard Serenity as a means to see more of the world before her demise. The payoff was never revealed though, due to premature cancellation. Confirmed by Word of God.
    • A good one in "Trash" when Simon confronts Jayne about his betrayal on Ariel. After Simon leaves, River, in a seemingly funny and Cloudcuckoolander statement, says "Also, I can kill you with my brain". The significance of this statement is revealed in "Objects in Space" where River's intelligence, creativity and strategising comes together to defeat Jubal in a giant Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • In the Freaks and Geeks pilot, Nick declares, "Disco sucks! I hate disco!" The show's final episode sees him wholeheartedly embracing disco culture.
    • In the Halloween episode, the geeks go trick or treating and receive circus peanuts from one house. Bill asks the woman "Do these peanuts actually contain peanuts? Because if they do, I could die." Later in the season, Bill ends up in the hospital and almost dies after a bully tricks him into eating peanuts.
  • The Heroes Season One episode "Five Years Gone" foreshadows much of Volume Four, "Fugitives".
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent. In "The Healer", a voodoo priestess warns Det. Logan: "You think before was bad, Detective? Just you wait." In Logan's next episode, "To the Bone", Logan shoots an undercover cop, which leads to Captain Deakins being accused of recommending a promotion for a cop in exchange for backing Logan's account of the incident. (In fact, Deakins was set up by Frank Adair, a former friend & ex-cop, whom Goren and Eames arrested for murder in "My Good Name".) As a result, Deakins resigns.
  • Smallville has this almost as often as spoken dialogue. The Smallville wiki has a list of how many times they do this. Right here.
  • Numb3rs. In the episode "Dark Matter", Colby gave out an detailed explanation about technology used in school ID tags to track students. Everyone else stared at him and he explained that he read it in a magazine. At the end of the season, it's revealed that's he's a Double agent for China. So, someone like him would know a great deal about tracking technology.
  • In the first episode of the second series of Primeval, Cutter says to Stephen: "You think I would have just stood by and watch you get torn to pieces?" which is exactly what happens at the end of the series, except Stephen was behind a door only he could open.
  • In The X-Files, there are several obvious moments foreshadowing Scully's cancer in season 4. But one quite subtle one is in the episode 'Unruhe' where a crazy guy tries to lobotomise her to remove what he calls 'The Howlers' that are causing her 'unrest'. When he points to where the Howlers are, it's the exact spot where her cancer is.
  • Lampshaded in this segment of The Colbert Report.
  • In Community episode "Football, Feminism and You" Troy tells Jeff that he needs to accept where he is and stop fighting it. He recommends taking a pottery class. Later in the season, Jeff does just that.
  • True Blood has many examples; some apparently innocent and casual statements pronounced by usually secondary characters foreshadow lots of future events. Basically if somebody says something that "could" happen, It will.
    • One night, Hoyt tells Sookie that he approves her relationship with Bill and even asks if he has a friend of his age he could date. Turns out that Bill does; Jessica. Guess what happens between them.
    • In Season 1 last episode the cast is watching the news where it's announced that vampire wedding is now legal in Vermont. Arlene, a secondary character back then, innocently teases Sookie about the fact that she can marry Bill now. Sookie tells her that she wouldn't know what to say if Bill proposed to her. And that's exactly what happens in season 3 when Bill finally ask Sookie to marry him.
  • At the start of an episode of Noah's Arc, Chance is giving Noah advice that there's always a time when a man has to choose between his principles and his paycheck. During the next episode, Chance has to choose between helping a lesbian couple and allowing Eddie to keep his career (one of the lesbians is Eddie's boss's wife).
  • Many assumed that Roseanne had jumped the shark in its final season, as things got sillier and more unbelievable. Then came the Downer Ending that revealed that the entire season, and a lot of the series, was Roseanne's fictionalized (with a heavy dose of Wish Fulfillment) autobiography that she started writing after Dan died of his heart attack. The real foreshadowing, however, is that VERY early on in the series it was shown that Roseanne had wanted to be a writer, but that her plans had been derailed by marrying Dan and having kids.
  • Done both subtly and not-so subtly on The Amazing Race. There are times when you can tell a team is going to be eliminated just by what they say at the beginning of the leg, while there are other lines that take on a lot more meaning once you've seen the end of the season.
    • One example of the subtle variety came from leg 2 of All-Stars, where, upon leaving the Detour at the same time as Eric & Danielle, Rob said that even on Eric's best day, he had no chance of beating them. Rob & Amber were eliminated two legs later, while Eric & Danielle won.
  • In Season 1 of Gossip Girl, Blair breaks off her apparently casual relationship with Chuck because he manipulated everyone and didn't care if he hurt her in the process of those manipulations. She even says the line "This is why you and I can never work." Two and a half seasons later, when they're in a long-term serious relationship, he manipulates her into prostituting herself for his benefit, causing the most heart-breaking break-up of the series.
  • "Ua Hala", the second-season finale of the reimagined Hawaii Five-0, begins with a cop being set up for his murder by being lured to what he thinks is a dead body but is actually revealed to be a mannequin. This seems to be a subtle foreshadowing of the end of the episode, where we learn that McGarrett's mother, whom we had been led to believe died before the series, is actually alive.
  • In a flashback in the third episode of Person of Interest, "Mission Creep," Reese has a chance encounter with his former lover Jessica in an airport. In the course of the conversation, he tells her, "In the end, we're all alone and no one is coming to save you." Later in the season, in "Matsa Nyaya" and "Many Happy Returns," we learn that Jessica ended up in an abusive marriage. She made a desperate call to Reese for help, but he was on a mission and couldn't get there, and her husband beat her to death. She died all alone, because no one came to save her.
    • Also foreshadowed by Reese's opening narration from "Pilot," which he repeats in "Many Happy Returns" as he confronts Jessica's husband Peter.
    • Subtly reinforced in the second episode, "Ghosts," when Jessica's picture appears on one of the screens showing the people on the Machine's "irrelevant" list (people about to be involved in a violent crime, but not relevant to national security).


Music Edit

  • In Journey's Don't Stop Believing, the guitar solo plays the same tune as the chorus before the chorus comes in.


Newspaper Comics Edit

  • A darkly funny one in Gary Larson's The Far Side: Some Natives are bidding farewell to a group of European explorers, when one of them turns to the man just to his right and asks: "Did you detect something ominous in the way they said 'See you later'?"

Theatre Edit

 Olsen: Some day, her hoosban' is killing him.

Mrs. Fiorentino: Dot would be terrible!

Jones: He's li'ble to, at that. You know, he's got a wicked look in his eye, dat baby has.

Mrs. Jones: Well, it's no more than he deserves, the little rabbit--goin' around and breakin' up people's homes.

  • In a Doll's House, Nora has a causal conservation with her children's nurse asking her "if anything ever happens, will you...".
  • The song "The Wizard and I" from the musical Wicked has several examples of foreshadowing. In this song we see starry-eyed teenage Elphaba, who we already know is going to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, fantasizing about being the Wizard's right-hand girl one day. She dreams about "a celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me" after we've just seen the townspeople rejoice at her presumed death. She also says "I'd be so happy I could melt" and "when people see me they will scream." This could also be considered an interesting example of a Funny Aneurysm Moment.
    • Also in Wicked, there is foreshadowing with Fiero in the song "Dancing Through Life" whe he sings Life's more painless, for the brainless, hinting to his becoming the scarecrow with no brain later in the show.
  • There's a nice one in the musical version of The Secret Garden where Martha sings to Mary about what she can do now that she lives out in the middle of nowhere. She talks about all kinds of fantastical things to explore out there, including pirate caves and fairies. Tucked into all this fantasy, she sings If you chance to see a garden guarded by a tree and meet a bird who speaks to thee... which of course turns out to be real.
  • In Vanities: The Musical, Mary warns Kathy in the song "Let Life Happen" that her obsession with organizing will "drive her mad", foreshadowing her later nervous breakdown. Kathy recalls this in "Setting Your Sights (What You Wanted)" and "An Organized Life (1974)".
  • In A Very Potter Musical this moment near the beginning:

 Snape: Can anyone tell me what a portkey is?

Hermione: A portkey is a enchanted object that will transport whoever touches it to a location decided upon by the enchanter.

Snape: Very good. Now can anyone tell me what foreshadowing is?

Hermione: Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an important plot point is brought up early in a story to return later in a more significant way.

    • And shortly after:

 Lavender: Professor, can, like, a person be a portkey?

Snape: No, that's absurd! Because then if a person were to touch themself they would be instantly transported. A person can, however, be a horcrux.

Harry: What's a horcrux?

Snape: I'm not even going to tell you, Potter, you're just going to have to find that out for yourself.

 Roxane: Oh! wise Penelope

Would ne'er have stayed to broider on her hearthstone,

If her Ulysses could have writ such letters!

But would have cast away her silken bobbins,

And fled to join him, mad for love as Helen!

  • Floyd Collins is chock full of this. Such as right before Floyd breaks into his first song:


Video Games Edit

  • Banpresto must be the king of this with its Super Robot Wars multiverse, where things will be foreshadowed that usually don't even happen in the same universe. The big one of which is the Axel Almer and Kyosuke Nanbu rivalry, which was foreshadowed before either of them even appeared. "Throwaway" lines across three games where neither actually met each other (or, in one case, showed up at all) ended up being a game-long theme of Original Generation 2.
    • Another version happens in Original Generation 2. Ryusei mentions substitute names for his Humongous Mecha, and comes up with DaiRaiOh, partially naming it after one of his teammates. Another character mentions that the name may already be taken. Sure enough, in Alpha 3(an Alternate Universe), a Super Robot named RaiOh is introduced, and later gets rebuilt/upgraded to DaiRaiOh.
      • Which then comes back in Original Generation Gaiden, when the guy who ends up piloting DaiRaiOh makes an Early-Bird Cameo.
    • Axel takes this even further in Original Generation Gaiden. He mentions a predecessor of Lamia, W-07, which is said to have some exclusive devices installed in only Lamia and W-07. Surely enough, later on, Banpresto worked on a spin-off game and introduced Aschen Brodel, a somewhat regular Lamia Expy... only to later (recently) reveal that she is W-07.
      • Another far more direct version in the same game, which featured missions that made up the prologue of Super Robot Wars MX. A more humorous version when MX's female protagonist makes a cameo of her own, and remarks that she would never wear an outfit as Stripperiffic as Lamia's... of course, the outfit she wears in MX is even more so.
  • The Shadow Moses Island stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl seems to be the usual collection of Shout Outs that the other stages in the game are, until you reach the fourth chapter of Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots, and realize that Hideo Kojima, who designed the stage himself, was dropping a big hint.
  • In the Metal Gear series itself:
    • EVA's refusal to answer Snake's "Who are The Patriots?" codephrase in MGS3. Also the fact that Eva's gun and shooting style are Chinese.
    • Naked Snake asks the Boss why she defected. Her response? "I didn't."
    • A conversation Snake has with Mei Ling after "killing" Liquid Snake in MGS1 about the inability to store the human personality digitally.
    • "I see age hasn't slowed you down one bit."
    • Naomi Hunter's surname is a huge clue to her relationship with a certain Frank Jaeger: "Jaeger" is German for Hunter and Naomi is Frank's adoptive sister.
      • This plot twist is also used in Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake when Gustava Heffner talks about her old lover "Frank Hunter". However, the manual spoils this twist by mentioning that her lover's name is "Frank Jaeger".
  • Ghost Trick has no end of hints leading to the ending, when you find out the character you've been playing as is actually a cat.
    • The main one being that Sissel can't read!
    • Also, he's decidedly mean to rats and likes cramped dark places.
  • The Ace Attorney games have a lot of this, particularly Trials and Tribulations and the bonus case 'Rise from the Ashes' in the first game, which was created as part of an Updated Rerelease with the writers knowing what was going to happen in later games, leading to lines foreshadowing Trials and Tribulations ("We certainly can't get a dead person to testify")and Apollo Justice (when Phoenix shows Lana his attorney's badge, her response is something along the lines of "The paint's flaking off. Give it three more years, then we'll see the real you." Three years later, between Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice, Phoenix is disbarred. The last one is subtle because many characters make comments on the badge aging.
    • In 1-5, you can inspect a pile of items in the evidence room. Gumshoe will point out an electronics detector, saying it might become useful someday. This gets used in Justice For All when you try and find the spy camera and mic that Matt Engarde used.
    • Also in the second case of Trials and Tribulations, when talking about Mask DeMasque Phoenix says that when you're famous there are always imitators. Pearl then says that if Phoenix works hard, someday he'll have his own imitators. The next case revolves around Furio Tigre impersonating Phoenix to cover a crime.
    • Lana's line is quite subtle, as the paint on his badge is something a quite a few NPCs mention; the time it will finish is not.
    • Investigations has an odd case of reverse-foreshadowing. Specifically case four. It's a flashback to four years before the first game and six months before Edgeworth's first trial, and contains multiple references to future events. If you hadn't played the first few games you wouldn't get the meaning behind von Karma's comments (he killed Edgeworth's father), the fire extinguisher being used in a crime (later used to bash Phoenix on the head and give him temporary amnesia), or Edgeworth mentioning his badge won't stay shiny forever (his reputation will eventually be tarnished).
      • A comment from Manfred von Karma is that case is actually both reverse-foreshadowing and genuine foreshadowing. von Karma mentions that there are some people who are above the law. Initially the reader assumes that he's referring to himself, and his crime of killing Edgeworth's father. However, in the next case, Edgeworth faces off against a criminal that has diplomatic immunity, making him "above the law".
    • In case five, the 'shadow of the Yatagarasu' is formed by more than one statue. This foreshadows the fact that the real Yatagarasu is more than one person.
    • Since we've already mentioned Rise from the Ashes, it's also worth noting a line from Gant, later in that trial, which may allude to Apollo Justice:

  Gant: Defense attorneys can forge evidence too, isn't that right, Wrighto?

  • Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors: On certain routes, the team finds a bracelet with the number zero. Upon experimentation, they discover it actually represents the number six, foreshadowing the fact that Zero is actually June.
    • What looks like a "0" on the bracelet is actually the letter "O", whose digital root is 6. This is also a hint about another letter that looks a lot like a number...
    • There's foreshadowing all over the place; one particularly subtle bit is in a Panty Shot gag of all things.
    • When the group is looking for Snake, Junpei can talk to Ace, and remark that he's surprised that Clover and Snake are siblings. Ace asks why, and when Junpei replies it's because they look so different, Ace says he supposes so. Ace has prosopagnosia; he had no idea they looked different.
    • Not too important at first, but when you look at the lights in the 1st Class Cabin, Snake looks surprised until Junpei clarifies where they are. Light is Snake's real name.
    • In a bit of genius, during the safe ending you end up with the password 14383421, according to an interview with the director, he chose that number because if you multiply it by nine you get 129450789...
    • The detonators not being real,except for the one in the ninth man, and possibly the one in Ace, is hinted at in a couple of places, specifically when Junpei observes that one of the searches for the DEAD felt like a lot longer than 81 seconds.
  • In Phantom Brave, Marona fantasizes Scarlet the Brave as a strong, masculine hero. Ash dismisses it with "Scarlet is a girl's name," and imagines him as effeminate. Scarlet turns out to actually be female.
  • One of the unlockables in Mega Man ZX Advent is a 1-level NES-style remake of the game. Shortly thereafter, Mega Man 9 came out.
    • In the ending of Mega Man X 4, the title character is asking Zero that if he (X) goes Maverick, then Zero must "take care of him". This actually foreshadows two events, although the circumstances have been twisted by the time they occured:
      • 1) In X5, wherein their destined battle finally happens, although here it was X who thinks Zero has gone Maverick (or, in the non-Canon path, Zero actually is).
      • 2) And in the first Mega Man Zero game, it wasn't the real X that was a Maverick and who Zero must destroy, but actually a clone.
      • Another way to look at X's situation in X4 would be The reason why Copy X was created. X used his body to seal the Dark Elf following the Elf Wars. The first game hints at a nervous breakdown from the trauma of the fighting. Though never confirmed, it does explain why X never inhabited a new body since the Zero series confirms that his or Zero's body can be perfectly copied. Whatever the reason, since X abandoned his post without preparing someone to take over, humanity scrambled for a leader and put the unstable Copy X in charge. All the death and destruction that followed is partly X's fault, so he did become a Maverick.
    • Another subtle one from Megaman X5: part of the opening music and start menu theme is actually Zero's death theme from Megaman X. Guess what happens at the end of the game...
    • Mega Man Zero 4 begins with a visit to an ancient Colony Drop impact site. And ends with the protagonist sacrificing himself to prevent another Colony Drop.
    • After you get the star force in Mega Man Star Force 1, there are two separate events that foreshadow the event of Luna Platz finding out that Geo Stelar and Mega Man Geo-Omega are the same person:
      • First when the kids do the class play that Luna came up with, Pat Sprigs Gemini Spark is absent, so she asks Geo to fill in and when he puts on the suit she imagines that she is seeing him in wave form.
      • Later when they get attacked by a jammer, he puts her in a classroom and orders her to stay there, and as he is leaving to take care of it she thinks that he is talking in Mega Man's voice, and of course he is as they are the same person.
  • Chop Chop's cryptic lyrics in the first song on Um Jammer Lammy ("Pick burnin' cry fly, chop choke!") actually foretell events that will happen in later stages.
  • The guy Aeris famously describes as "are sick" very early on in Final Fantasy VII has a mysterious tattoo, the meaning of which (as well as the meaning of his illness) will not be revealed for quite some time. This is the only hint of its kind during the game's first half that something much bigger than the conflict with Shinra is going on.
  • Final Fantasy IX, halfway through the game when the heroes meet the villain Kuja for the second time, he responds to Zidane's inquiries about his plots with the line "Oh, brother... But you're not ready yet!" On the first playthrough this just seems like uncharacterically crude choice of words from him (he speaks like he's in a Shakespearean play most of the time). After you play the game again, knowing that he and Zidane are brothers, the line seems like such an obvious hint.
  • Final Fantasy X has a shot of the penultimate boss, and the stage in which you fight him, within the first twenty minutes of the game.
  • Grim Fandango loves this. A lot of the dialogue, most of it optional, hints at what's going to happen as the game progresses, and the solutions to certain puzzles are foreshadowed early on.

 Manny: I wonder if I'd be happier working on a ship. Then again, I'm so competitive, I wouldn't be able to relax until I was captain.

  • In Disgaea, when Flonne is introduced, she mentions she wants to be like a flower. At the end she's turned into a flower, although she's revived by Lamington or Laharl in the good and not-quite-so-bad endings.
  • In Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories, a mid-game encounter with the Prism Rangers has them identifying Adell as a demon, which is written off as a scouter malfunction. It isn't.
  • In Disgaea Infinite, the player finds out that Flonne is studying to become an Angel Trainee again. And in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, Angel Flonne saves the protagonists.
  • In Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist, an event is foreshadowed and the narrator hangs a lampshade on it by saying "Foreshadowing alert! Foreshadowing alert!"
  • Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People has lots of foreshadowing. For one, there's a Trogdor arcade cabinet sitting in Strong Bad's basement, but it doesn't work. The final episode has the machine being fixed as the first part of the plot. Also, the Videlectrix games in the first four episodes foreshadow the appearance of the characters from those games in the final episode.
  • The much-maligned plot twists of Final Fantasy VIII do get some foreshadowing during the game, although for the most part it's too sparse and hidden too well to be very effective. Most notably, Ultimecia's existence is heavily foreshadowed by the New Era Speech Edea makes when she takes control of Galbadia, but neither the player nor any of the characters have any way of understanding it since she's talking about events which will take place in the future. The orphanage reveal is likewise foreshadowed, albeit not very clearly, by both Cid and Irvine.
  • Psychonauts has two of these in the first level of the game, the mind of Coach Oleander. When you reach the white corridor at the end of his mind, the easiest to notice is the curtain, that hides the blueprint of the psychic tank Oleander wants to use to conquer the world, but there is another: if you look very closely, you'll find that the wall has a rabbit pattern. Oleander's Start of Darkness was the slaughter of his rabbits by his father, a butcher.
    • The Brain Tumbler Experiment has plenty of it. The passing under a bathtub labeled "Oblongata" (the name of the lake) to climb a tower covered in thorns trying to reach Loboto is obvious enough. The unique figments of a basket of milk bottles, a patch of flowers, a Napoleon hat, and a purple bull on the other hand are just figments until you make it to the real Thorney Towers.
  • Silent Hill 2 with some unsettling messages in the beginning parts of the game. "There was a HOLE here, It's gone now." and "The door that wakes in darkness, opening into nightmares." The messages point to psychological plot events later in the game.
  • Super Metroid foreshadows the final battle very subtly. Part of the world is the ruined Tourian from the first Metroid game, complete with Mother Brain's broken glass case. There is a secret room just beneath it with a few power ups to collect. Since there are hundreds of secret rooms in the game, the usual player won't give it a second thought, but after seeing Mother Brain's full body at the end of the game, it becomes clear that the room was there to house her huge body.
    • Metroid Prime does this much more directly with Meta Ridley's fight, not him appearing altogether - many of the scans describe what happened to Ridley, and of course, you SEE HIM right at the beginning of the game, then later on in Phendrana Drifts. Maybe it's obvious, but it worked very well as you knew eventually you would have to face off with him. Very well done indeed.
      • But then, what would a Metroid game be without a chance to kick Ridley's ass?
  • Sort of odd the first time around, but very blatant on your second time through, in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, once you get the translation you need in Episode 11, all the NPCs start talking about...cats. Huh... (For best results, talk to the servant on the landing at the Daidouji Residence.)
  • Bioshock starts with the main character looking at a picture of his family, and he keeps seeing shots of his family in flashbacks throughout the game. It later turns out that his family isn't real.
    • "Would you kindly?"
    • There's some more subtle hints about Atlas earlier. If you take a moment to poke around the booby-trapped submarine that Ryan blew up, you'll notice a conspicuous lack of charred corpses for a vehicle that supposedly contained Atlas' family. There are also theater posters in Fort Frolic that bear the names Moira and Patrick, who coincidentally have the same names as Atlas' wife and child.
    • There's another one that occurs in two parts; when your first enter Rapture, there are signs on the wall that state that all bathysphere travel has been shut down. However, in the fisheries you can find an audio diary that mentions that anyone in the ballpark genetically to Andrew Ryan can utilize the bathyspheres regardless of a lockout. Later it turns out that the protagonist is very much in the ballpark - he's Ryan's son.
  • In Fallout 3, you meet a Megaton citizen who is obsessed with the Enclave, believing that the American government will come and clean up the wasteland and restore it to it's former glory. Guess which government is corrupt and evil, and guess which citizen gets captured by them.
    • Your dad also says "Now I know you don't like it when daddy leaves you alone" to your Toddler self. The foreshadowing doesn't last very long, but it still fits the trope.
    • Leo Stahl has an addiction which he tries to keep secret. If you ask him what he does to entertain himself, he gets very awkward.
    • Galaxy News Radio often has news stories about sidequests that you can get. It's foreshadowing until you realize that he is talking about sidequests. He also makes references to meeting the player's Dad during the quest where you meet Three-Dog for the first time.
    • In the Point Lookout expansion, the tribal religion involves getting sprayed by hallucinatory spores from a plant and having a vision quest. While they're out, someone cuts open their heads and removes a chunk of brain. When the player does this, a chunk of his brain is removed as well. Later, someone else finds out that it wasn't a part of the religious ritual, it was just a madman taking advantage of their drugged state to have some fun. It was Tobar, the ferryman who brought you to Point Lookout. When you enter his shop menu to buy a ferry ticket, you may or may not notice that there's a scalpel, surgical tubing, a bonesaw, and tweezers in there for seemingly no reason.
      • Also, the vision quest itself involves a hallucination where a bonesaw cuts a rift in the ground in front of you, and then a needle and thread comes by to sew the ground back together again.
  • Knights of the Old Republic was very subtle. The Jedi masters say that normally they would not train anyone past a certain age, but you are a special case.
    • And that's only one instance. There are actually quite a few spoken lines that in retrospect aren't just coincidental foreshadowing, but in some cases actually talking about the event itself without actually spelling it out. When The Reveal is made, the cutscene flashes back to each character as they spoke these lines.
      • This is actually one of the brilliant things about Knights of the Old Republic which few people notice. The Jedi do not train past a certain age, but anyone playing this game will know about Luke Skywalker, trained when he was already a young man. The game plays on the players own expectations to make this moment less significant than it should be, meaning they don't have to try and hide the foreshadowing because the player has already hidden it themselves. They do say that they make very rare exceptions for adult recruits, but even then, the player is liable to assume this has more to do with the war thinning their numbers, the same way there would've been no more Jedi if Luke hadn't been trained.
    • A Let's Play of Knights of the Old Republic 2 provides commentary on the narrative. At the end of the game Kreia lampshades your expectations of a reveal.
  • In Ever 17 it hardly seems worth pointing out the foreshadowing. If you play it, you'll look back from the final route and go OH! That's what that meant! Then if you play a second time, it's even more so because the entire story up to that route is foreshadowing. The lemur costume, the password, Tsugumi's Jerkass status being inconsistent, the door she stopped Takeshi from touching, the pendant and even stuff like arguments over how many hot dogs there were. Everything. It's almost some type of one of the different aneurysm moment tropes except it's often minor and subtle.
  • Mass Effect did an excellent job with foreshadowing at the very first mission - when you talk to the insane scientist Manuel, it is very easy to dismiss what he's saying as the rant of a raving lunatic, but later on it becomes very obvious that the things he says are in fact visions of the reapers much like your own beacon-induced ones. Mass Effect 2 later did the same thing with a mad prophet, but in a more roundabout way.
    • In a much, much subtler example, it's mentioned in the Codex that turians wear facepaint to designate their clans. Those who wear no paint ("barefaced") are considered untrustworthy, as they don't make their allegiances clear. The Big Bad of the first game, a turian, is barefaced, but in the second game, the turian warden of the Purgatory has no paint, either, and soon betrays you.
    • In the beginning of the game, listen closely to the conversation you have with Doctor Chakwas and Lt. Jenkins. His comments are absolutely loaded with hints of what happens soon.
    • On your first visit to the Citadel, Ashley makes a comment about how the stairs leading up to the Council Chamber would make an excellent defensive position. During the endgame, you have to fight your way up those very steps to stop Saren from giving Sovereign control of the station.
    • You probably won't notice it when you play the game for the first time, as it's not very visible when you don't know what you are looking at, but in Mass Effect Saren has the same blue glowing eye implants as the Ilusive Man in Mass Effect 2. Combined with the fact that the later is revealed as planning to use Reaper-technology to make humankind stronger, it's a very strong hint that he is already indoctrinated by the Reapers. Though he still seems to be able to fight it, as he still wants to destroy the Reapers in the second game.
      • In the same way, the weird visions Shepard gets from the beacon in the first game make a lot more sense after the big reveal at the end of the second. Reapers harvest sentient humanoids, dissolve them to paste, and use it as a building material to create new reapers. And that's pretty much what you are watching.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, there is a secret room where the Baby Mario Bros. can visit Fawful, and listen to one of his long, maniacal rants. However, this could possibly be a foreshadowing of his role in Bowser's Inside Story.
    • Speaking of Partners in Time, there's one segment where the gate to the Star Shrine is getting on Luigi's case, refusing to let him past, and generally being a jerk. Turns out, he was just testing the brothers, and, before he lets them past, reassures Luigi that he's perfectly worthy to enter. One of the lines he uses is "Your heart is like a gemstone: multi-faceted and beautiful." I may be stretching it, but in Super Paper Mario you were carting around the dimension, collecting crystalline Pure Hearts... and the "ideal host" for the Chaos Heart is our plumber in green
    • On a sillier note, one of the Bowser's Castle stages in Mario Kart Wii contains a billboard with a koopa and the word "Showtime!" on it-- anybody who's played Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story will undoubtedly recognize this line, because the Koopa King shouts it ham-tastically every time you enter a battle using him.
  • Super Mario Galaxy did this with the first two battles with Bowser. The first time you fight him, there's three small suns surrounding Bowser's arena. The second time you fight him, said arena is surrounded by dark matter that's disintegrating his castle. The third and final battle takes place inside a hollow Sun.
    • Shortly after Mario defeats Bowser for the last time by hurling him into that Sun, as he flies down to free Peach, in the background you can actually see Bowser Jr. fall into the Sun. The Sun immediately explodes and (almost) tears apart the entire universe.
  • Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend. On Saturday, Postal Dude gets caught in the middle of a minor zombie invasion, which he jokingly suggests was caused by an outbreak of mad cow disease. Later, on Sunday, he gets a call from Running With Scissors head Vince Desi, saying that marketer Mike J has caught mad cow disease, and Dude has to take over marketing duties. At the end of Sunday, Dude faces the expansion's final boss: a giant zombie-cow-demon Mike J, or in his own words, "Kosher Mad Cow Zombie God of Hellfire!"
  • Tales of Symphonia uses this a lot.
    • For fun times, take a drink whenever anyone says, "It's nothing." It's never nothing, it's something that if revealed would solve a lot of problems and make your life a lot easier. (Raine is so bad at this that her habit carries through to the sequel.)
    • Kratos being Lloyd's father is foreshadowed like crazy: Both of them dislike tomatoes. If you leave him controlled by the AI, he heals Lloyds at the drop of a hat. He is familiar with Lloyd's pet, Noishe. When visiting Lloyd's house, he will always be standing by his wife's grave. And so on.
  • Fate/stay night has this across routes. In one bad ending in the Fate route, for instance, Shirou is thrown out a third floor window and lands hard, only to then discover he is mortally wounded; not because of falling three stories, but because swords have erupted from inside his body. (Rather confused, he then dies.) The actual explanation for this really odd event isn't given until the final route, when it is revealed that Shirou instinctively projects when his body is badly damaged in an attempt to reinforce it; unfortunately, this instinctive projection sometimes results in swords being forged inside his body.
  • Yume Nikki has a very specific bloodstain on the floor at various points of the game. In the ending, the protagonist commits suicide by jumping off her balcony. We then see that bloodstain again, now knowing its cause.
  • In one Vanguard arc in City of Heroes, after Vanguard rogues have attacked your Rikti allies, you tell them that they were Nemesis automatons. Then in the next arc, you discover that the Earth heroes who originally attacked the Rikti homeworld, causing the Rikti war in the first place, were, in fact, Nemesis automatons.
  • Baldur's Gate I manages to do this with a total lack of subtlety by having a "Lord Foreshadowing" show up and mention the fake identity the Big Bad is using in passing.
  • Many people cite the spaceship and aliens plot twists in Okami as "Unexpected" and "Came out of fucking nowhere"... Forgetting that earlier, Kaguya leaves on a Bamboo shaped spaceship, doesn't sound like much, but this foreshadows a few things about the game you don't realize untill the next playthrough.
  • For all the complaining about how General Shepherd's Face Heel Turn in Modern Warfare 2 "comes out of nowhere," the article's entry on Foreshadowing consists of six bullet-points about things that hint about it earlier in the game.
  • Similarly, in Call of Duty Black Ops astute players may wonder why none of your squadmates have any dialogue with Reznov, or how he can somehow beat you to the top of ladders even if you're the first to climb them. Then comes The Reveal that Reznov was your character's hallucination the entire time.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, the first thing you hear, even before the main menu appears, is the deep rumble of a beating heart. The rhythm continues throughout the whole piece, and, as the music plays during regular gameplay, permeates the entire island of Vvardenfell.
  • In Mother 3, on Tanetane Island, the entire party hallucinates after eating mushrooms. They meet several people who spout weird and often disturbing things, but one line stands out:

 Hallucination!Claus: Yes! Okay, then I'll be at the very end!

    • Also, in Chapter 1, after Hinawa dies and Flint goes berserk and has to be put in jail, Claus has this to say:

 Claus: I'm going to get so strong even Dragos won't stand a chance against me!

    • The Hummingbird Egg's purpose is hinted at in Chapter 5, when Duster picks up the egg and his amnesia is suddenly cured.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Human Noble origin has your brother Fergus say some very innocent-sounding words to your nephew which has a chilling, portentous double meaning in retrospect.

  Fergus: Don't worry, son. You'll get to see a sword up close real soon, I promise you. Could also qualify as Black Comedy or a Funny Aneurysm Moment depending on your sensibilities.

  • In Dragon Age 2, offhand comments that Knight-Commander Meredith became significantly more reclusive and started becoming more fanatical right around the time you lost track of the Obviously Evil red glowy Artifact of Doom should have set off every alarm bell in the Genre Savvy player's head.
  • In Blaz Blue, Hakumen's Shipuu (Squall) Distortion Drive is a slower, stronger version of Jin's Touga Hyojin (Arctic Dagger) Distortion Drive.
    • Even Continuum Shift has this too. In the Arcade mode, Taokaka (the player) fought Litchi in an NOL base rather than Orient Town. And Litchi's Arcade, she knew Noel's position of Lieutenant, even if she didn't know it throughout Calamity Trigger. This was later revealed that in the Story Mode, she joined NOL thus could be spotted at the base or knows Noel's position.
  • Deadly Premonition is crammed full of foreshadowing, much of which is easy to miss the first time through. Playing the game a second time, it is astonishing how many seemingly innocuous details are actually foreshadowing: The doll of a fat man in the White Room. FK in the coffee. All the comments about York's scar. The red tree growing in George's backyard. George is a passionate man. The "Love G" tattoo. The potted plant Kaysen carries around. The picture in Harry's mansion of Emily with the goddesses. The fat man among the military members in Harry's story. Leads to a ton of Fridge Brilliance when you complete the game.
  • Singularity is extremely upfront about its foreshadowing, with the player finding messages scrawled on the walls everywhere that say things like "It's still not fixed" and "we've already tried" and even "What if this is supposed to happen?" That this is a time-travel story gives these messages an almost-obvious status as markers of a Stable Time Loop or Groundhog Day Loop, and to make it even more obvious, the messages are so old they've faded away...but they're scrawled in the game's Unobtanium, which means they must be meant for the player, because only the player's time-manipulation device can revert the ink back to its pristine state. It turns out the messages are actually as true as you initially assume, but this lulls you into a false sense of security, because the Stable Time Loop isn't what you think it is.
  • In Episode 304 the Telltale Sam and Max Freelance Police games, Girl Stinky is making out with her secret lover Sal, a six foot tall cockroach, and the titular heroes witness this. When the lovers notice them, Girl Stinky calls Sam and Max Droopy and Stitch respectively. At the end of the episode, guess the resemblance Max has to after his transformation and Sam's resulting reaction...
  • Maximillian Roivas learns some real disturbing things about his mansion at some point in his life - like, for instance, that it's built on top of a city predating humanity. Eventually, he descends into the depths of his mansion, and he gets a glimpse of a prison cell from the inside before he gets too far. After killing one of the abominations in his expedition, he goes right back to the surface to garner military aid in its further exploration. No points for guessing what happens to the poor guy.
  • There is an Easter Egg in Red Faction: Guerrilla in which you can meet and talk to Parker, the protagonist from the first game, who is now an old miner. One of the things he says is "But you don't see monsters around these parts no more... Unless you look real hard." In the upcoming sequel, Armageddon, a group of explorers end up doing exactly this, uncovering an old Marauder base, and releasing a horde of monsters into the underground.
  • The opening cinematic of Starcraft 2 makes it clear that Tychus Findley is a double agent working for Mengsk. What isn't so clear is the specific task Mengsk gave to Tychus. However, everything Tychus says and does throughout the campaign foreshadows his true objective: kill Kerrigan.
  • In the Clannad visual novel, during Yukine's route, she tells Tomoya with one of her spells/fortunes that "Other people's happiness will become your happiness." During the game, you go into each characters route, ending off by improving some aspect of their lives or making them happy, and obtaining their "light orb." These "light orbs" are needed to get the "Good End" of the game where Nagisa and Ushio live.
  • Brilliantly used in the opening cut-scene for Conkers Bad Fur Day. While the music that plays has been associated with A Clockwork Orange, it was originally written and used for a funeral procession for Britain's Queen Mary II. Considering that Berri would have likely been Conker's queen at the end had she lived, the context in which the music was used suddenly takes on an appropriately grim tone for players familiar with the piece.
  • Used frequently in Kingdom Hearts. A piece of scenery in the first game foreshadows the "five betraying apprentices" that form the backbone of Organization XIII, a drawing in Kingdom Hearts II foreshadows Xion's presence in 358/2 days, Chain of Memories foreshadowed II heavily (it was almost more foreshadowing than actual plot), and in II, Xemnas' violent reaction to being called Xehanort foreshadowed a major lategame plot twist of BirthBySleep.
    • In the first game, idling on the title screen will bring up a cinematic composed of scenes from the game with sentences between each. These sentences are Kairi's letter from the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • In Portal, if you turn subtitles on, you may notice that sometimes, G La DOS says something where the subtitles say "[garbled]" and the other way around. However, one notable occasion is when G La DOS says "The Enrichment Center is required to remind you, that in the end, you will be baked, and then there will be cake." The subtitles say "The Enrichment Center is required to remind you, that in the end, you will be baked [garbled] cake."
    • On one of The director's commentry tracks you can play during the game, the makers state that this above qoute was an accident. They planned for the qoute to be "You [Garbled]...baked...then there will be cake" but someone screwed up in post editing and the line was never edited so the game got released without them relising.
    • "The Enrichment Center is committed to the well being of all participants. Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. Thank you for helping us help you help us all." Who will receive the 'grief counseling'?
      • "When the testing is over, you will be... missed." But not just because you're an excellent Test Subject.
    • In the trailer for the sequel, Cave Johnson was not kidding about Aperture Science selling crushers.
  • The Portal 2 final battle has some very immediate foreshadowing: one of the personality spheres is obsessed with going to space. A few minutes later you portal to space.
    • Earlier than that, one of Cave Johnson's audio blurbs mentions that the white paint that allows portal placement is made out of moon dust.
    • Even earlier, a Turret that says "I'm different" can be picked up on a conveyor belt. If you save the Turret from destruction, it will actually foretell the events of the rest of the game, though not much of its hints will make sense until they happen.

 "Get mad!"

"Don't make lemonade!"

"Prometheus was punished by the gods for giving the gift of knowledge to man. He was cast into the bowels of the Earth and pecked by birds."

"It won't be enough."

"The answer is beneath us."

"Her name is Caroline. Remember that."

  • In Trauma Team, one of Gabe's patients wears primarily black clothing with an easily-missed rose motif, foreshadowing her affliction with the Rosalia virus.
  • During the prologue of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, just right before the first scene in the game appears (it's that of the hero, now transformed from a human into a random Pokemon and being washed ashore), for a few split seconds, several diagonal lines can be seen moving extremely fast across the screen as if someone was slashing the camera, followed by someone (probably either Grovyle or the hero) screaming (it's completely blank when this happens). Later, toward the middle of the game, just right before the hero and his/her partner fights Dusknoir and his Sableye, Grovyle actually tells the hero that Dusknoir is a villain and and that he is the hero. He also tells him/her that while he and the hero are travelling to the Mystery Dungeon world, someone must have separated the two during their journey. These two scenes actually give away the existence of the game's (real) Big Bad, Darkrai, who was actually responsible for the hero's transformation into a Pokemon.
  • Sonic Battle: Emerl's quote "Show me your power. Or I sh all not ob ey. I represent all things, and sha ll become Gizoid, the conquerer of all..."
  • The Reconstruction has so much of it that it has its own page.
  • There were several nice Continuity Nods in A Crack in Time, which was to be expected, being the third of a trilogy and all, but looking back on it, there's clear foreshadowing from Tools of Destruction to ACiT. The most obvious is set up on Planet Reepor after Qwark gives Tachyon the Dimensionator. The Dimensionator lets loose a shockwave as it's fired up and knocks Ratchet out. This leads up to a scene where the audience is shown Clank reaching for Ratchet, as the latter falls into an abyss. This is repeated, minus Dimensionator and Cragmites, in the climax of ACiT. In addition to this, the still for the pre-final boss cutscene in ToD's cutscene viewer is suspiciously similar to part of the cutscene The Last Lombax from ACiT.
    • Looking back on Tools of Destruction, there were several clues leading up to Azimuth's introduction in A Crack in Time. The most obvious is the "Court of Azimuth", which many fans caught onto, but more subtle is the optional Q&A session with Aphelion, once she's repaired. If you go through all of the information, she explains that Tachyon was granted access to the Lombaxes' technology and then used it for his own purposes-- getting rid of the lombaxes, that is. It's not terribly surprising to learn that Azimuth was responsible for this, given his motivation in ACiT
  • In Folklore, an apparition of Herve from seventeen years in the past says that what he really wants for a gift is an issue of the occult magazine Unknown Realms, which he says is very hard to find because, according to his father, it doesn't sell and is on the verge of shutting down. This gets a wry reaction out of Keats, who writes for the magazine in the present. This scene is an early clue that Keats isn't what he thinks he is: he's a Halflife, a being created by the strong wish of a human (Herve, in this case). The real Unknown Realms magazine is long gone.
  • Half-Life 2: Alyx stops in front of a dark corridor and says...

 Alyx: That's the entrance to Ravenholm... we don't go to Ravenholm anymore.

 Magolor: This baby can cut through dimensions! And it can fight... if necessary.

  • Guild Wars has a fair number of these if you know where to look.
    • The Flameseeker prophecies are mentioned often in Ascalon and foretell several major events. Meerak the Shouter in specific foretells the death of Rurik; the danger of the Mursaat; the betrayal of Khilbron or Markis; and the return of the Titans.
      • Even earlier, the effigies raised by the Charr are made in the image of the end-game Titans.
    • When Togo wishes he could spend more time talking with Vizu, she promises him there will be more than enough time to do so after Shiro's defeat. Togo is killed fighting Shiro and returns as a spirit in Tahnnakai Temple, where he can speak with Vizu for eternity.
    • Miners in Joaknur Diggings had their eyes destroyed and, on her death, a servant of Abaddon declared "Abaddon will eat your eyes". Not long after, the Hunger captures Kormir and devours her eyes.


Web Comics Edit

  • Every single time Dan of El Goonish Shive writes one into a strip, which he does a lot, there's almost always a "Lampshade Hanging" in close proximity. What is left is usually cryptic or already blatantly obvious.
    • Most of the Sleepy Time storyline was a serious take on it though. All the dreams are this and/or Character Development. Proof? This foreshadows Elliot gaining a superhero spell and This foreshadows Nanase getting into a relationship with Ellen.
    • What's seen here translated with this. "Death. It Is Time For The End Of Man. This Master of Fire Shall Inherit The Earth. My Very Presence Eats Away At Your Flesh" Other than the two bizarre words in the end, it's pretty creepy.
    • Susan's sword (5th December, 2002) and "tattoo" Venus (5th October, 2005) were good hints that she isn't as simple as she looks, but were proven to be plot points and not throwaway gags only in much later flashback (26th May, 2010).
    • This arc cover is full of foreshadowing (and one Red Herring). It foreshadows the appearance of Abraham and Nanase's angel form.
  • In Get Medieval strip #731, Sir Gerard says: "I'd return via the Moon if that could avoid it." Guess what, 70 strips later and he's on the Moon.
  • Order of the Stick had Xykon choose his name in Start of Darkness, with a poster of a skull - strongly resembling his lich self - prominently shown next to him.
    • Order of the Stick also parodies foreshadowing.
    • The party wanders into a cave looking for an item for a Fetch Quest and discover that it's inhabited by a dragon. During the fight, the dragon mentions its mom, who thought it important to study other cultures and thus taught him to speak lizard. Later, the party wizard deduces that the Fetch Quest item they were after must have been brought there by a much older dragon. However, no character (and, surprisingly, not a single fan) thinks anything of it. Until the dragon's mom shows up over 400 strips later bent on bloody revenge.
      • V's, er, thorough and pragmatic approach to problem-solving is hinted at earlier.
      • The IFCC (Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission) first appears as part of a one-panel joke in #380. They then appear as an important part of the plot in #632 (spoilers).
        • The police chief of Cliffport jokes that he'll remain the chief until the mayor puts his head on a pike for allowing such a ruckus in his town. Turns out that Nale did the mayor's work for him.
        • When the different parts of Haley's mind show up in her head, one ("the part that is sick of all this emo crap and wants to get back to comedy") has short hair, and very much resembles her after her Important Haircut some 300 strips later.
        • The MitD's remark in the first panel there comes into a whole new light with the eleventh panel here.
        • The case lost in this strip? It was Zz'dtri's.
  • Girl Genius strip here -- it takes some conscious effort to put a mad science related heart exactly there, and if you're thinking coincidence you might have missed the fact the heart was "hit" twice and the first time Agatha was saying love. Or the piece of heart region clothing Gil loses, as if to expose his heart. Agatha touching a heart with seemingly no fear of being mangled by the combat klank, as some sort of symbol of her touching Gil's exposed heart despite Gil's antics. Gil grabbing Agatha is a distinct foreshadowing of the wedding proposal that comes before she leaves the airship. Plus 15 or so threads of you know what I mean about in the forums if you want more esoteric symbols mad love, or Agatha's love of the mad science involved.
    • Agatha's comment about her "parents" hating the Heterodyne Boys Stories portraying Punch and Judy as stupid foreshadows the reveal that they themselves are none other than Punch and Judy - they feel insulted.
  • It gradually becomes evident to the reader that all of the major events in Narbonic have been planned long in advance. The Little Nemo in Slumberland-inspired Sunday strips, especially, hint in beautiful, complicated, cryptic ways at events to come.
    • In the middle of the series, Dave is lost in time and twenty years later meets a pre-recorded 'future Dave' who tells him a fundamental piece of information: "remember to fill the swimming pool." Years later near the end of the webcomic, this becomes the thing which saves the lives of Artie and Helen, and completely alters the future.
  • When Hilda Ramirez and Feddyg meet face-to-face for the first time, he mockingly compliments her as "almost Death Note smart." He then proceeds to kidnap her, keeping her alive just long enough for a very Death Note-like The Plan.
  • Strip 434 of Eight Bit Theater drew much, much especulation from the moment it was posted. Five years later... (and it's impressive that it wasn't Fauxshadowing, considering how the author loves anticlimactic jokes)
  • Books Don't Work Here. The author loves making the character's words come back to haunt them.
    • Every one of Robin's shirts has been exactly what she's asked for. although usually not how she meant it.
    • When Robin changes her mind about her roommate being her girlfriend (while bringing her into existence) she says that she is not friends with her in any way, and we will never know how much easier her life could have been otherwise.
    • This page has a good bit of foreshadowing in it, but then again it also kind of takes place in the future. It's a quasi jump forward in time referring to and before a redoing of a previous serious of events the readers haven't seen yet. with out time travel.
  • Looking for Group. Look at the last panel of Page 130. Now, look at Page 229. Warning: link contains spoilers.
  • In this comic of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, King Radical is introduced as "the most radical man in the radical land". Later, it is revealed that there is a radical land.
    • The author's latest story arc (Future Trading) has had elements foreshadowed since October 2009. See here. Also these Notice the hairy octopus?
  • Toward the beginning of Sam and Fuzzy's "Noosehead" arc, Malcolm says some things that most would dismiss at first as being the ravings of a paranoid nutcase who's been breathing too many fumes, but in fact they reference key elements of the coming arc. A guest comic after the arc's completion calls attention to this.
  • Darths and Droids has Palpatine using Darth Maul's business card to contradict his claim that "I work alone" in this strip. Later on, Jango Fett reveals that Obi Wan killed his partner.
  • Parodied with extreme prejudice in Ansem Retort:

 Ansem: This is foreshadowing! Pay attention to this, this will be important later on! ...FORESHADOWING!

  • Homestuck and the rest of the MS Paint Adventures, being written on the fly, regularly turns gags or details into Call Backs; this is known in-fandom as "retroactive foreshadowing".
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, when Renard first sees Annie, he reasons that she must be Surma's daughter, and immediately concludes that Surma is dead. Fridge Logic? Then we see a flashback with Anja crying over Annie's transfer form, which was a weird coincidence, though in itself understandable -- a reminder of her dead friend. It's explained only 28 chapters and 762 strips later, when we find out that both knew Surma will die soon after having a daughter.
  • In Wapsi Square, Tina's nickname for Monica foreshadowed the role she played in the fixing of the calendar machine. Monica's response to Phix's riddle did the same.
    • The very second strip shows Monica receiving an ancient Peruvian doll which Amanda says looks like a voodoo doll of Shelly. In the next strip Amanda grabs the doll's foot, and elsewhere the real Shelly feels it. In isolation this looks like a one-off gag, but actually it's a foreshadowing of all the supernatural shenanigans that would later become the strip's main focus.
      • In the strip after that Monica tells Shelly she makes decisions using a committee in her head but it doesn't have a chairperson - a possible foreshadowing of Tina, who is a literal committee of inner demons sharing one body after its "chairperson" (the original Tina) died.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, way back in October of 1999, we saw Oasis get furious at someone, and shortly afterwards the building she was in went up in a fiery explosion. It wasn't until June of 2009, over nine years and 3000 strips later, that we found out that, when Oasis gets mad, she can start fires with her mind. There was loads of other foreshadowing between those two strips, but, if the strip's official forum is anything to go by, that revelation was still entirely unanticipated by the readership.
  • Fite: Look at this strip, then this one.


Web Original Edit

 Caboose: Oh, we need your help! Can you come right away? Can you come help us?

Washington: I don´t think that is going to happen.

Washington eventually makes his way out of jail to Valhalla, just in time to save the Reds from the Meta. Instead, he shoots two of them to show Simmons that its Serious Business now. And it turns out he is working with the Meta.

  • In the Youtube video The Devil And Daniel Webster, the main character, Javez, along with 2 others mention 'not selling [Javez's] soul to the devil. After doing so, a character will look puzzled, and whoever said it will reply, "Foreshadowing."
  • In this Left 4 Dead custom campaign video, at about 3:40, the person playing as Zoey tells another person, when asked to predict the future, that he will die and everyone else will live. This actually turns out to be true. Lampshaded by an annotation at the end.
  • In Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog, all of Bad Horse's communications are sung by a trio of cowboys. Guess what the ring tone sounds like when he calls?
    • Also, several (maybe) throwaway lines during the songs:

 "'Cause the dark is everywhere and Penny doesn't seem to care that soon the dark in me is all that will remain..."

Horrible/Penny: There's no happy ending/So they say

Horrible: Not for me anyway...

"It's not a death ray..."

  • Commonly in The Slender Man Mythos, whenever someone mentions childhood fears or something along the line of that, expect Slendy to be intersected with those fears at some point. For a more specific variant, see Just Another Fool, in which Josh mentions breaking an arm after some man in a suit refused to get off the road, so he swerved out of the way and fell off his motorbike. It's heavily implied that the next time this happens, it's not just his arm that gets broken.
  • In Stone's first appearance as a Global Guardian, a fight with several villains from TAROT, Strength jokes at him, "Say hello to your Mom for me." Stone, being an orphan, just took it as a taunt. Nine years later, Stone finds out that he isn't an orphan at all, that his mother is a supervillain and that Stone was hidden from her by his own father, and that she had worked with Strength on several occasions.

 Stone: "At least now I know what that muscleheaded bastard meant..."

  • The Nostalgia Chick's Xanadu review mentioned her love for robots and had her finally getting pissed off with just doing girly shit. The next episode was a four part arc, starting with Transformers and the Critic yelling at her for going into his territory.
  • Discussed in We Are Our Avatars

 Priere: ...Wonder what'd I'd be like as a superhero...no, that's a stupid subject, never mind...

Izzy: Probably do well.

Jack: With your power, you'd do fine.

Matilda: I wonder if I'd make a good superhero... What made you think about that, anyways, Prier?

Priere: ...Dunno. Some sorta premonition, I guess...of what I dunno.

User:Hilarity Ensues: I hope it's not one of those premonitions where everyone dies, then you tell people about it, thereby saving a select few survivors from certain death, only for those very same people to die in bizarre accidents a short time later, and then someone makes a shitty horror series based off of it.

Matilda: ...What.

Priere: ...I really hope not...I don't think I could stand to watch such a movie...


Western Animation Edit

  • The Venture Bros uses this a lot. A throwaway line about The Monarch's Henchmen stealing equipment from Sgt Hatred becomes the reason the later decides to become Dr. Venture's Arch Enemy. The boys being clones is hinted through several times during the first season, most notably when Dr. Venture mentions it could have saved Dean from Testicular Torsion by eliminating it during the "prototype phase".
    • A rule of thumb for viewers: Any line uttered at any given point can become useful to the plot. Any. Or at least the subject of a Brick Joke.
    • Similarly, the name of Brock's assignment "Operation Rusty's Blanket" comes into play at the end of the third season.
    • Possibly an accident, but the first season finale has the main cast dressed at the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including Dean as Riff-Raff. The in the third episode of season four it turns out Rusty threw out a malformed Dean clone, who survived and looks quite a bit like Riff-Raff.
    • In the season one finale The Monarch tells his minions to send Wonder Boy's charred remains to Captain Sunshine, three seasons later and entire episode revolves around this event.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a lot of examples of this as well.
    • Schematics for the drill from the middle of the second season appear during "The Northern Air Temple" in the first.
    • And the captured balloon from that episode was seen in the middle of the third season, with improvements.
    • Katara's overall waterbending potential is alluded to early in the first episode when she rips an iceberg apart (and frees Aang) without even realizing it as she blew her stack over her brother's sexism.
    • Another is when we see attacking/blaming Appa is Aang's Berserk Button in "The Chase", and when Appa is gone, he goes for the full Heroic BSOD.
    • Another bit is Azula's brief appearance during Zuko's Agni-Kai vs. Ozai. We had no idea who she was at that point.
    • White lotus tiles sure do come up often. Especially around old men.
    • In "The Boiling Rock, Part 1", the Warden says he'd rather fall into the boiling lake surrounding the titular prison rather than let its record be blemished. In Part 2, he proves he's not just blowing steam.
    • A portrait of the lion turtle appears in Won Shi Tong's library. And the music (complete with Buddhist chanting) which plays when Aang meets the turtle also plays when he is briefly possessed by Roku at the Fire Temple, setting up the connection between the turtle, the Avatar, and the Spirit World.
    • In "The Blue Spirit," Aang says to Zuko, "If we knew each other back then, do you think we could have been friends too?" Guess what happens by the end of the series.
      • Not only do they become friends, but in a sense they did know one another back then as Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin were friends for a long time.
    • "The Southern Raiders" has two instances of foreshadowing, both for the near final. The first is towards the beginning of the episode when Katara is about to be crushed by falling rocks and Zuko dives to save her, to which she reacts with anger and he basically responds 'your welcome' in a sarcastic tone. In the final, he saves her once more from Azula's lightening attack, only to be nearly killed himself. The difference here is the warm thank yous exchanged between them afterwards. The second is Katara's refrain from killing Yan Rah, who everyone expected her to kill. This forshadows how Aang refuses to kill Ozai, who, again, everyone expects him to.
    • When searching Hama's house in "The Puppetmaster" the Gaang stumbles upon a closet full of marionettes. This foreshadows Hama's bloodbending ability, with which she controls peoples limbs, jerking them around like puppets. The episode title also foreshadows this.
    • In "Siege of the North Pt 1" before the fire nation attack, the northern Chief gives a speech calling his family knowing that "some faces will disappear from their tribe" we have a quick focus of Yue, Master Pakku and Hahn. In Siege of the North Pt2 Yue, sacrifices herself to revive the moon, Hahn is thrown off a platform after his failed attempt of attacking Zhao and Master Pakku leaves to the Southern water tribe at the end.
    • At the end of "The Beach," Azula gets the Mood Whiplash/Crowning Moment of Funny line of "My own mother... thought I was a monster. She was right, of course, but it still hurt." During the finale, the thing that finally sends her over the edge of madness is a hallucination of her mother.
  • Gargoyles having been planned out to a degree would foreshadow many upcoming stories.
    • The "City of Stone" 4 parter and the following episode "High Noon" set up the 3 part episode "Avalon" as The Weird Sisters take control of Demona & Macbeth, as well as securing the three talismans (The Grimorum Arcanorum, The Phoenix Gate and The Eye of Odin).
    • A noticable example is "Future Tense". While largely being a dream that wouldn't come to pass, several events have occured in later stories and were planned.
      • According to the Word of God, Elisa's boss Chavez does have a daughter.
      • Brooklyn claims that Thailog died in Clone Wars. "The Reckoning" would have Thailog apparently meeting his death during a fight between his clan and Goliath's clan. Though he would resurface in the comic as of Gargoyles #3.
      • An adult Alex Xanatos is introduced in the dream, with the next episode showing the birth of Alex, who like his dream counterpart has the middle name Fox.
      • The clocktower was destroyed by either Xanatos or Lexington using The Xanatos Program. "Hunter's Moon, Part 3" would see the Canmores (specifically Robyn) destroying the clocktower.
      • Lexington's Halloween costume in Gargoyles #4-5 is identical to Cyber Lex.
        • Furthermore, when Brentwood choses to join Thailog, Lexington's only objection is "You're making me look bad".
        • Additionally, Lexington will eventually go into business with Xanatos.
      • Much like Future Tense Brooklyn and Demona, their clones Malibu and Delilah look to have an interest in each other in Gargoyles #5.
      • Upon returning from his 40 year (the same amount of time that it took Goliath to return home to Manhattan in the dream), Brooklyn resembles his Future Tense counterpart with some differences (including an eyepatch on his left eye) as seen in Gargoyles Clan Building Volume 2.
      • Much like in "Future Tense", an Ultra-Pack will eventually appear.
      • Much like in they did in "Future Tense", Brooklyn and Demona would become allies in Gargoyles 2198.
      • In parallel to Cyber Lex, Gargoyles 2198 would introduce robots modeled after Lexington called LXM (Lexington Xanatos Matrix).
  • Justice League has had multiple foreshadows that ironically were largely unintended by the producers. The second season episode A Better World ended up being the start of the primary Arc story of Cadmus. And Brainiac's appearance at the climax of that story arc was a very old (7+ years) discarded story plot in Superman: The Animated Series that was never added to.
    • On the other hand, the foreshadowing leading up to the Season 2 finale, "Starcrossed", was deliberate--and deliberately misleading. For example, in "The Terror Beyond", Hawkgirl realizes that Dr. Fate is using Thanagarian runes, and demands that he tell what he knows about Thanagar. This is because Hawkgirl is afraid that Dr. Fate may have blown her cover and discovered the Thanagarians' invasion plan. But, given Hawkgirl's cover story, the audience is led to interpret her reaction as her being antsy to return to her homeworld, and thinking that Fate might have information that could help.
      • In another episode, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl are flying through Brainiac's data banks, J'onn suggest that they could find information about Hawkgirl's homeworld, only to have Hawkgirl insist that they don't have time for that (cause they have to help Superman). In another episode, J'onn also discovers he cannot enter her mind, something that becomes a plot point in Starcrossed.
  • Also in the DCAU, the episode "Zeta" of Batman Beyond opens with a lecture debating free will vs. genetic predisposition at Terry's school. Considering "Epilogue" was written years later, the foreshadowing may have been unintentional, but it was certainly there nevertheless.
    • While the above mentioned episode was debatable, the end of "The Call part 2" which features a team up with Superman has Terry note that not joining the JLU is one of the things he and Bruce have in common. Superman's response and the final line of dialog for the episode is "More than you know." A more subtle one takes place in the "The Call part 1" where, when Bruce mentions DNA, Superman mentions Bruce will out live him because he's two stubborn to die. Terry's intial misgivings in "Epilogue" was that Bruce had a hand in the revelation out of a fear of dying. Finally, "Epilog" was very much foreshadowed in "Out of the Past", when a scene switch featuring a deaged Bruce's face to Terry's highlights some similarities between the two.
  • WITCH is famous for its constant foreshadowing of many of its main plot points and plot twists.
    • Elyon being the princess is eluded to many episodes before it is revealed.
    • The mystery surrounding the Mage's identity is also hinted and prodded at many episodes before the big reveal. Also, there are various scenes where we see Julian and the Mage exchange glances of longing for each other, especially after Caleb or Julian mentions their family, foreshadowing that the Mage is Caleb's mother.
    • Will states "Victory at any cost is no victory at all; not if you lose yourself in the process." In the final episode, in order to defeat the Big Bad (former Dragon Cedric), the Guardians connect with their true elements, becoming living manifestations of their powers. This also strips away their humanity, leaving them mindless, and vulnerable to control by Nerissa. Fortunately, that doesn't happen, and their friends and family manage to bring them back to themselves.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law:

 Phil Ken Sebben: I was wrong. Dead wrong. Ha! Ha! Foreshadowing. About being dead, not the being wrong part.

  • In the first episode of Season 1 of Transformers Animated, when Decepticons are bearing down on his ship, Optimus Prime orders Teletraan 1: "Emergency Defense Program, Codename: Omega". Nothing happens, and the show goes on, where in the last episode of Season 2, the ship transforms into Omega Supreme.
    • Also the revelation that Sari is part-robot is foreshadowed so many times in the first two seasons that it might as well be a drinking game!
    • "You must never sacrifice a piece of the future to restore the past. When your time comes, you will understand." Prowl sure did and the fandom wept.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Lucky of the Fryrish," Fry's father tells Yancy, Fry's brother, that his name was passed on from his father's grandfather, to his grandfather, to him, then down to Yancy. He leaves out his father, or Yancy and Fry's grandfather. This is because in the next season episode "Roswell that Ends Well," it's revealed that Fry becomes his own grandfather.
    • From the very first episode: Nibbler's shadow is clearly visible at several points when Fry is goofing off in the cryogenics room, a seasons-long foreshadowing that Nibbler was present at, and in fact was directly responsible for, Fry being frozen for a thousand years. Here's a picture. [2]
    • Also from the first season: Leela's cycloptic parents can be seen among the sewer mutants when Fry and pals end up in their city. It's not until the final season that Leela learns about this.
  • In the Duckman episode "Room With a Bellevue", Cornfed has to break Duckman out of an insane asylum, and so flips through his large collection of previously-prepared contingency plans to find the appropriate one. One of the other plans is labeled 'Duckman becomes dictator of a South American country.' Two episodes later..
  • In The Simpsons, this sequence from the first of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episodes foreshadows Burns's later attempt at stealing a lollipop from Maggie.

 Burns: [Stealing oil from Springfield Elementary] will be like taking candy from a baby.

(Burns looks through the binoculars and sees a baby with some candy.)

Burns: Say, that sounds like a larf. Let's try it right now.

Smithers: Er, um, there's some candy right here, sir. Why don't we eat this instead of stealing?

Burns: Oh, very well.

  • Happens a lot in Rollbots, most notably with Vertex collecting parts of the Dymex Key and with references to a lost tribe.
    • Crontab trouble starts with Spin sleep-talking "Zuuuuuuuuuushiiiiiiiiiiin".
      • The same episode, and later R.O.S.E. hint at a relationship between Pounder and Vertex.
    • Spin's comm messages also count.
    • In Teacher's Pet, Ms. Appie accidentally says that Pikea is the Last of His Kind.
    • Every appearance of Daso or the En has involved foreshadowing somehow.
  • The series Transformers Prime confirmed Dark Energon to be the blood of Unicron. A behind the scenes video shows Frank Welker as Megatron stating that "Unicron...grows even stronger" meaning he will soon appear in some form.
    • In another Transformers show, Beast Wars, the episode where Rhinox is brainwashed into a Predacon actually forshadows his eventual transformation into Tankor in Beast Machines.
  • One episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, "The Masters of Evil," begins with a taxi driver reading a newspaper with a headline promoting a Baxter tenant's recollections of the time he got replaced by an alien. At first, this seems like just another of several Mythology Gags featured in the paper (which also contained references to The Punisher and the X-Men), but it later turns out that the second season of the show contains a Secret Invasion adaptation.
    • "The Private War of Dr. Doom" gives a hint of one person who will become revealed as a Skrull in the end: When Tony Stark calls out Reed Richards on ignoring Sue, Reed tells him that Sue's also been ignoring him lately; she seems distracted with something he can't figure out.
    • Hank Pym has a private fit of rage in "To Steal an Ant-Man." The camera cuts to a yellowjacket wasp afterward, in reference to the fact Hank will soon assume another superhero identity, Yellowjacket.
  • In the first episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Twilight Sparkle says "All of the ponies in this town are crazy!" Every single one of the main characters has some sort of breakdown in the first season.
    • In the exact same episode, when the camera captures a bust "passing" behind a piece of glass, the pilot's main antagonist appears in its place. When the two objects don't overlap any longer, the image is gone. This was parodied in the Abridged Series My Little Pony Camaraderie Is Supernatural, which featured a zoom-in, a dramatic musical sting, and a caption reading "FORESHADOWING" during this scene.
  • In Young Justice episode "Failsafe", the first clue that the team wasn't in the real world was that there was no time and date stamp in the beginning of the episode. Also, the team's reaction to the deaths of the Justice League.
  • Adventure Time: In The Eyes, where a horse spies Finn and Jake all night, at the beginning Finn remembers all the adventures they have in that week, one of them is rescuing yet another princess from the Ice King, and he screaming: I only want to be happy. The end of the episode shows The Ice King disguised as the horse spying Finn and Jake to learn how to be happy.


Real Life Edit

  • Josef Stalin said in 1931 "We are 50-100 years behind the advanced world powers. We must cover this gap in ten years, or else they will crush us" . They made it. Barely.
  • When the passage denouncing slavery was removed from the Declaration of Independence, John Adams said that it must be kept in, because if they didn't resolve the slavery issue there would be "trouble a hundred years hence." He was only fifteen years off.
  • Ferdinand Foch, French general in World War I said after the Treaty of Versailles (1919): "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years." And twenty years later...
    • It was not exactly an unpopular train of thought at the time, however. Many people voiced their opinions that the Treaty did too little, and political cartoons got in on the debate. One particularly black example had two dejected German soldiers trudging home on their horses, one saying "Vell, I guess war didn't pay." The other responds "Yes. Not this time."
  • Chamillionaire's song "The Evening News" contained the lyrics "The White House is gonna stay white, even though we know that Obama's black." The album came out in September of 2007.
  • Otto Von Bismarck is credited for having predicted: The next great European conflict will be started by "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans". And of course, in 1914...
  • Comics National Comics #18 was telling a story about a Nazi attack at Pearl Harbor. One month before it happened.
    • Just to be pedantic, but the Nazis didn't attack Pearl Harbor. Is it really foreshadowing if it didn't happen?
  • Sports example: In Super Bowl XXV in January 1991, the Buffalo Bills, trailing 20-19 late in the game, had driven to the New York Giants' 30-yard line to set up what would be a game-winning field goal by Scott Norwood. As he prepared to kick, ABC ran a graphic stating that Norwood was pretty much at the outer limits of his kicking range, and later added that he had never kicked well on a grass field. Sure enough, he missed.
  • Once upon a time, there was a man named W.T. Stead. In the late 1800s, Stead penned two stories - the first one about a mail boat that collided with another boat, resulting in massive loss of life due to a lack of lifeboats. The second one was called From the Old World To The New, and dealt with a White Star Liner named the Majestic that was called unsinkable, sunk by an iceberg. He published this story in 1892. He died on April 15, 1912, at the age of 62, when the HMS Titanic sank.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. "We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!" That speech was given on April 3rd. King was assassinated the next day.
  • A few days before he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln actually had a nightmare where he was awakened by muffled crying coming from downstairs in the White House, in which he then found out that the crying was actually coming from the mourners at his own funeral held in the White House's East Room.
  • Osama Bin Laden once said in an interview, "If I am to die, I would like to be killed by the bullet." On May 1, 2011, SEAL Team Six had no problem in granting that request.
  • The Titanic had so many foreshadowings, it is hard to tell how many of them were true or myth.
    • On the day the ship set out, a wave detached a ship that missed crashing into the Titanic by inches. The name of the ship? The SS New York.

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