Created By: SonicLover on June 16, 2010 Last Edited By: SonicLover on June 16, 2010


Name Space:
Page Type:
May launch soon! Please discuss! Going once... going twice...

Babe: You've got a lot of nerve coming back here, Roger Wilco! After leaving me the way you did, you male scum! This is the last woman you'll ever dump on! Right girls?!
Other girls: Right!
Babe: You said ya had to be free to roam the galaxy.
Roger: Was that me?
Babe: Said ya couldn't be tied down...
Roger: I said that?
--Exchange from Space Quest 4: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Needs More Examples and all that jazz. Also needs an image.

A specific variant on Foreshadowing where the viewer sees the consequences of actions before seeing the actions themselves, via Time Travel or via future sight, or just via seeing the scenes out of chronological order.


Live Action Television
  • Not surprisingly, The Doctor indulges on this on occasion.

Video Games
  • Just about any game which involves multiple playable characters along separate storylines, such as the below-mentioned Sonic Adventure, can dabble in this, depending on the order in which you play through said storylines. For example, while playing as character A you may encounter character B someplace you never expected them to be, but you won't find out how they got there and what they were doing there until you play as character B and get to the same point.
  • The third season of Sam & Max seems to like this trope so far, in particular The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, which centered around a film in four reels that had to be watched out of order in order to solve some of the puzzles. Most relevant to this trope are the moles in the third reel; the daughter is still sore at Sameth and Maximus for stealing a ventriloquist's dummy from her, and when they tell her father that she has a crush on them, he responds, "Still?!" Both of these refer to events in the second reel. And yes, both of them Make Sense In Context[[hottip:*:(or at least as much so as anything in the Sam & Max games does)]].
    • The previous episode, The Penal Zone, plays with this as well; the first sequence of the game is a vision of the future which does an excellent job of setting the scene for the events that will come to pass (came to pass? Oh, never mind). The fact that Skun'kape takes steps to avert this version of the future when the time actually comes doesn't dull the shadowing much.
  • Sonic Adventure does this nicely with the Tikal-induced visions of the past; we see both the aftermath of and the events leading up to the echidna raid on the Master Emerald shrine, but we don't see the event itself until the very last one.
  • The first case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations is Mia Fey's second case. The fourth case of the same game is Mia's first case. The former contains a few allusions to the latter, including Mia and Dahlia Hawthorne commenting that they know one another and Mia lamenting the loss of her boyfriend Diego Armando.
    • Investigations dabbles in the trope as well; the first case is actually the fourth case chronologically, and bears appropriate foreshadowing.
  • A rather bizarre example is in Space Quest 4, where Roger time-travels to Space Quest X - Latex Babes of Estros and meets the titular Latex Babes, resulting in the page quote. Bizarre in that the series hasn't progressed beyond SQ6 and shows no signs of continuing, so the events being Futureshadowed may never occur.

  • Homestuck. Each of the four main characters is introduced at around the beginning of the day, even as time passes for the other kids, so we hear about certain events before we see them. For example, when Dave gets buried under puppets, we first see the chatlog of him pestering Rose about it, and only later do we see the event itself.
    • Homestuck also has an in-universe example as a major plot point. Jade is semi-precognitive, and sees John upset at something in the future. So she sends him a powerful weapon that will help him to fight against the Big Bad (and, obviously, cheer him up). Said weapon falls into the enemy's hands first, allowing him to become the Big Bad. The subsequent destruction that the Big Bad creates is what causes John's sadness in the first place. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
  • The April Fools 2010 issue of Brawl in the Family consisted of an "official letter" from Nintendo demanding that the comic be shut down. It provided a list of "offensive" comics and the reasons they were so offensive... and the worst offender listed, #249, hadn't even been made at the time. Did it live up to its charges? Sort of.

Real Life
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • June 3, 2010
    How We Got Here comes pretty close to foreshadowing by seeing scenes out of chronological order. It may or may not be too similar for Futureshadowing to be its own trope.
  • June 4, 2010
    @Gamer Am I: It can overlap, but they're relatively independent tropes. You can have Futureshadowing without How We Got Here, and although it's difficult to have How We Got Here without Futureshadowing, you can have varying degrees of Futureshadowing within.
  • June 4, 2010
    Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests is three interlocking plays that all take place over the same time period: Table Manners is set in the dining room, Living Together in the living room, and Round and Round the Garden in the garden. Only after seeing all three do you get the whole story.
  • June 4, 2010
    @Duncan: That in itself is not Futureshadowing unless there's a concrete order in which the plays ought to be seen.
  • June 6, 2010
    Can I suggest Aftshadowing as an alternative title, since that would be the logical opposite of foreshadowing.
  • June 6, 2010
    • The opening scene of Night Watch, with the Watch remensicing about Sergeant Keel and the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May.
    • The Doctor Who audio drama "Flip-Flop" ... sort of.
  • June 6, 2010
    @Black Mage J: I actually considered that title, but I was worried it would be misleading.

    @Daibhid C: Elaborate, please?
  • June 6, 2010
    Due to Time Travel, the Doctor is summoned by his future girlfriend, whom he hasn't met yet. He knows that they'll be close in the future because she knows his real name. She is surprised that he doesn't recognise her. I think this is episode "Silence In The Library", although I'm sure someone can point out more specific details.
  • June 8, 2010
    @Martine Brooke: That's River Song, in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", who talks about future adventures with the Doctor he hasn't lived yet ("picnic at Asgard", "the Singing Towers", "the crash of the Byzantium"). We don't know what her relationship to the Doctor is, other than he will trust her enough in the future to tell her what might be his true name and give her his sonic screwdriver, but it's been speculated she's a future companion/his girlfriend/his wife/Romana/The Rani/a Time Lady. In "The Time of Angels", Amy asks if she's the Doctor's wife, and they never really disprove that. Also, in "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", she futureshadows another adventure, saying they'll meet again "when the Pandorica opens".
  • June 11, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Desmond's "flashes" in the third season of Lost, especially in episodes "Flashes before your eyes" and "Catch-22".
  • June 11, 2010
    In Flip-Flop, the scenes before the Doctor arrives futureshadow the changes he's going to make to the timeline. The twist is, the Doctor arrives in two timelines, both of which were created by his changing the other one. The story is on two C Ds, and the futureshadowing works whichever way you play them.
  • June 11, 2010
  • June 11, 2010
    The movie "Iron Man" opens with a brief sequence, then flashes back to "36 hours earlier" and recounts how the characters got to that point.
  • June 11, 2010
    ^That's In Medias Res.

    The Doctor also knows that someday he'll piss off Queen Elizabeth, making her a mortal enemy, but doesn't know how that happens. (As of "The Shakespeare Code" anyway; they may have revealed it since then.)
  • June 11, 2010
    ^I would argue that it's a combination of this and in media res. Both tropes are in effect.

    Similar to the Brawl in the Family example, a fake letter once appeared on the Fan mail page of the comic book "The Trouble with Girls". The clue that it was fake was that the fan letter mentioned events in issues which hadn't been published yet. Apparrently, nobody noticed.
  • June 11, 2010
    There's a famous Real Life example in the science fiction community.

    "Late in 1948 fan Richard Hoen wrote a "joke" LOC [Letter of Comment] to Astounding telling his likes and dislikes of an issue that wouldn't be published for more than a year, in which all the "greats" from before the war got back into one issue. Campbell published it in the November 1948 issue, "predicting" the November 1949 issue." - Bill Patterson

    Campbell and the authors got together. Each author wrote a story that fit Hoen's comments. Even the cover art was done by the artist Hoen named. Campbell then published them in the November 1949 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

    More details in Science Fiction Prophecy at
  • June 11, 2010
    Homestuck also has an in-universe example as a major plot point. Jade is semi-precognitive, and sees John upset at something in the future. So she sends him a powerful weapon that will help him to fight against the Big Bad (and, obviously, cheer him up). Said weapon falls into the enemy's hands first, allowing him to become the Big Bad. The subsequent destruction that the Big Bad creates is what causes John's sadness in the first place. Nice Job Breaking It Hero.
  • June 13, 2010
    @randomsurfer: "The End of Time" and "The Beast Below" both tell us why Queen Elizabeth I is so ticked-off at the Doctor - he married her and left her, adding that she can't quite be called "the Virgin Queen" anymore.
  • June 13, 2010
    Jim Shooter was responsible for two famous comic book examples: The Adult Legion story in Legion of Super-Heroes and Rai #0 at Valiant Comics.
  • June 13, 2010
    @voodoochild & Martine Brooke- don't discount the concept that River Song could be the Doctor's Daughter... from the episode of same name. We see this in Heroes, during a Days of Future Past story arc, plus that the show never determined whether fate could be totally cheated or not (some of the story arcs after the aforementioned hinted that events could be re-interpreted to be something else).

  • June 14, 2010
    So is this ready to launch?