%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=hyvhs0r5kzwnf28ud3v23t7d
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:350:[[Film/{{Titanic}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/titanic_2009.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:They're definitely gonna hit...the iceberg five miles ahead of the one in the foreground.]]

->''My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I'm 42 years old. In less than a year I'll be dead.''
-->-- '''OpeningNarration''', ''Film/AmericanBeauty''

Most dramatic tension in story-telling comes from the audience being ignorant of the work's ending. Audience members invest in characters and plots and want to know how they are treated and resolved, respectively.

Sometimes, however, authors choose to go a different route. They will make known to the audience how their story ends before they even begin telling it. Sometimes they'll do so with an explicit statement (such as in a SpoilerOpening), sometimes by writing a prequel that ends right where the original work begins. Whatever the case may be, the author has given himself quite a task. He must find some way to establish tension and doubt when everyone knows how the story is going to end.

This can be easily confused with several tropes. ItWasHisSled deals with twists or endings that, thanks to their [[PopCulturalOsmosis assimilation into popular culture]], no longer surprise us although the author originally did not intend for everyone to know the ending. HowWeGotHere and InMediasRes are related, but not identical. And movies or shows which, by their [[StatusQuoIsGod predictable nature]], indicate how the work ends don't count either: the audience already knows that the good guys will win, that Franchise/{{Batman}} will survive to fight another day, same-bat-time-same-bat-channel, yes. But the ending isn't canonically established; theoretically, Creator/AdamWest could die at the end of an episode, although realistically [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt we know he won't]].

Authors might cheat with this a bit (or ''a lot''), either by having the "ending" shown be [[ProphecyTwist context-sensitive and open to an entirely different interpretation]] as the audience gets to know the set up, or with an outright TwistEnding by having the "end" shown in a HowWeGotHere like fashion be only the first 10 of 15 minutes, and ending much differently than is likely.

Or the whole thing isn't about ''what'' happens at the end, but ''how'' it happens. The Whodunnit becomes a [[ReverseWhodunnit Howdunnit]], and so on.

Can also be used to crank DramaticIrony UpToEleven.

HistoricalFiction is tied to this trope, since history ain't changing (unless the author pulls a WrittenByTheWinners and claim that the events as portrayed in his work is what "really" happened).

Compare ExternalRetcon, where the audience is expected to be familiar with an entire ''existing'' story.

DoomedByCanon is a subtrope of this, and deals with prequel characters and their attempts to either take out the main cast of the original story or survive to the end, attempts which we know are doomed because of the original story. FramingDevice entails this to a certain extent, as any character alive to tell or hear the tale must have survived, and the setting may also hint.

In almost any story that has a {{narrator}}, you can safely assume the narrator will live. For similar reasons, in any ScrapbookStory, you can safely assume that somebody must have been able to put together the scrapbook. There are some deliberate subversions, of course, [[PosthumousNarration including ones where a ghost is narrating or scrapbooking]].

OhAndXDies and DidYouDie are also subtropes.

This is OlderThanFeudalism. Everyone who heard Creator/{{Homer}} sing already knew that Troy falls and Achilles and Hector both die; nobody walked out of Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s play saying, "Dude, he married his ''mom?''" There's a long, long tradition of retelling the story everyone knows.

HistoricalInJoke is sometimes like this, but sometimes [[NotHisSled subverts it]].

As a warning, '''''this entry contains spoilers both marked and unmarked'''''. Since several tropes can twist into a {{Subverted|Trope}} example, ''tread carefully''.




[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'', as it is based in ancient Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), and ties in well with established history, anyone familiar with the Hittite Empire knows how certain events are going to play out.
* ''Anime/WolfsRain'' begins as Kiba lies dying in the snow. The scene is repeated near the end (Episode 30), but it's not quite the end of the scene, [[spoiler:as Kiba then falls through the ice and drowns]], and it's followed by a DistantFinale.
* The opening of ''Anime/GraveOfTheFireflies'': "September 21st, 1945. That was the day I died.".
* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'': Shoujo drama surrounding the court of Versailles on the eve of the Revolution. While the fates of the fictional characters are uncertain, everyone and his dog knows what happens to MarieAntoinette and Louis XVI.
* ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'':
** Since it's the {{Prequel}} to the adventures of their {{Reincarnation}}s, it's a pretty good guess that Konzen, Kenren, and Tenpou are going to die in ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}} Gaiden'', yes? Readers of both series know that Goku is going to lose all of his memories of these events and be trapped in a lonely mountain cave for several hundred years, that Nataku will choose permanent suspended animation, and it's a pretty educated guess that Goujun will die at some point, too (but not before writing an account of the events), seeing as Jeep/[[WritingAroundTrademarks Hakuryu]] is probably his reincarnation. It's still surprising to learn exactly who the characters were in the heavenly bureaucracy and what their exile has to do with the main story, though.
** Also, the prequel ''Saiyuki Ibun'' which details how Houmei became Koumyou Sanzo. Two of his fellow sanzo-candidates are Toudai (future Goudai Sanzo) and Tenkai (future Maten sutra sanzo). you know Goudai's eventual fate from the Burial plot arc and you know that Koumyou will be Tenkai's successor for the Maten sutra. The story is in how they get there.
* ''Manga/BarefootGen'', both the manga and anime start in Hiroshima, August 1945. [[UsefulNotes/NuclearWeapons Nothing more needs to be said]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** The "Turn Back The Pendulum" flashback arc takes place 110-101 years before Chapter 1 and it's designed to show how the Vaizards and Urahara's group ended up hiding out in the World of the Living. Even though readers know exactly what the titular pendulum is counting down to, the backstories of the characters involved are still unknown so the arc can still insert some impressive [[TheReveal reveals]] along the way.
** The "Everything but the Rain" flashback arc takes place 20 years before Chapter 1. That Isshin winds up hiding out in the World of the Living, stripped of his shinigami power and married to Masaki, is a foregone conclusion, but how that happens is explored for the first time. This also allowed Kubo to hit the fandom with more impressive reveals since it had been expecting a fun, ditzy MeetCute story [[spoiler: and instead got a [[HeroicBSOD dark]], [[GreyRainOfDepression brooding]] tale centred on the Ishida family that climaxes with the utter ruination of Ryuuken's Quincy future, casts Ichigo's entire personal history in a new light, and sets up some dark implications for Uryuu's own personal history.]]
* ''Manga/{{Pluto}}'' is based on an arc of ''Manga/AstroBoy'', so naturally there are quite a few events that are expected to come to pass for anyone familiar with the original. [[spoiler:Gesicht, for example? ''Dead.'']]
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' does this by showing the ''very'' spoileriffic aftermath of the two main plots (i.e. [[spoiler:Firo and Luck becoming immortal, Ladd losing an arm and being thrown off the train, most of the focus characters surviving the Flying Pussyfoot massacre, Chane accepting Claire's proposal]]) in the very first episode. The trick is that it's [[JigsawPuzzlePlot entirely out of context and makes no sense]] until you get through the series at least once, and that the ''real'' wham moments (such as [[spoiler:the Rail Tracer being Claire]]) are left for the rest of the show.
** [[spoiler: Unless you read the first episode credits, of course.]]
* The ''Anime/GaReiZero'' anime does this as part of its three starting {{Wham Episode}}s. In the first episode [[spoiler: that entire squad is revealed to be made entirely of [[DeadStarWalking Dead Stars Walking]], which sets the tone but doesn't actually invoke this trope]]. In the ''second'' [[spoiler: we meet the ''real'' cast, including familiar faces from ''Manga/GaRei''... [[KillEmAll whom Yomi proceeds to kill]]]]. Finally, with the third [[spoiler: we flashback to the first time Yomi and Kagura meet, at the latter's mother's funeral, and the anime continues from there, leading up to Yomi's StartOfDarkness]]. The viewer knows it's going to happen, knows it's going to be ''very'' painful ([[TearJerker and it is]]), and the tension is derived in three ways: firstly, [[spoiler: seeing how Yomi went insane]], secondly, [[spoiler: a desire to see which of the many sympathetic characters we see [[AnyoneCanDie manage to live to the end of it]]]] and thirdly, [[spoiler: whether or not Yomi can overcome the MoreThanMindControl once the series catches up to the second episode]]. It's one hell of a ride.
* Manga/{{Akagi}} having never lost was clearly established in the author's earlier manga ''Anime/{{Ten}}''. So in the Akagi it was obvious that he would have to win every single game making him an InvincibleHero
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'' practically revolves around one of these, given that Hiroyuki Takei practically tells the audience [[spoiler:Hao will become the Shaman King. There is no one in the series capable of standing up to him.]] He still does an amazing job of revealing backstories and setting up the ending on the way there.
** This is thankfully averted in the anime [[spoiler: where Hao is defeated and he is [[BroughtDownToNormal stripped of his godly powers]], [[KilledOffForReal preventing him from becoming a problem again]].]]
* ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}'' is set up in its opening pages as being a retelling of the events after the fact by lead character Kirie. [[spoiler: Subverted, in that the obvious conclusion that this means she makes it through intact ''isn't'' true in the end.]]
* ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet''. [[ItWasHisSled Well,]] ''[[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet duh!]]''
** [[spoiler: But did the original end with an epic showdown against the OneWingedAngel form of a CreepyChild who speaks in verse or a HeroicSacrifice to save the story's world? Didn't think so.]]
** The series does toy a bit with the idea of letting Romeo and Juliet defy their ultimate destiny, before just going "Nah."
* Lampshaded in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': after the dramatic tale of Nagi [[spoiler:and Arika]], it's pointed out that if they hadn't survived [[TheHero Negi]] would have never been born.
* In ''WebComic/AxisPowersHetalia'', for anyone who knows [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII their history]], the Axis will lose.
** Although it has little bearing on the series' continuity itself...despite the name.
** Let's make that "show based on history means you'll see loads of Foregone Conclusion".
* ''Manga/{{Basilisk}}'' has an opening narration indicating that the efforts to make peace between the clans failed and everyone killed each other off ignominiously. The series shows how it happened.
* After viewing the first episode of the anime adaptation of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' which shows Guts as a {{badass}}, {{BFS}}-wielding, {{handicapped|Badass}} {{jerkass}}, who seems to have a beef with a dude named Griffith, and seeing that a big portion of the series is in fact a flashback, we all know how Guts is going to end up by episode 25: the rest shows us {{how|WeGotHere}}.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has the Skypiea arc, where a giant island got blown up into the [[FloatingContinent clouds]], during the arc, you learn about how some four hundred years in the past, an explorer was best friends with a warrior from the aforementioned island, the explorer leaves and promises to return, considering that the Straw Hat's learn about the explorer from a fairytale/propaganda piece where he gets executed and the main characters are on the island in the clouds, it's not exactly a surprise that the story doesn't end well.
* A ''Manga/{{Naruto}} Shippuden'' filler takes a character from the manga who we only knew from sourcebooks and from a manga spread and spread it out. The character is Utakata, a rogue ninja from the hidden mist village and host of the six-tailed beast. Unfortunately, anyone who read the manga knew that he did not show up and was implied to have been captured off-screen. So this obviously was ''not'' [[DoomedByCanon going to end on a happy note...]]
** Likewise, the manga's flashback story showing Minato's life prior to the Nine-Tails' attack. [[spoiler:We've already been told beforehand that he and his wife will die immediately after their son Naruto is born, with Minato's final act being to seal the Nine-Tails into Naruto's body.]]
* Subverted in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Holy Matrimony!", where James tells Jessie, Meowth, and the twerps the sad story of his childhood as an orphan, living alone with only his Growlithe for companionship. James dies at the end of his (obviously fictional) story, and promptly confuses himself when Misty reminds everyone that he's still alive.
* ''Anime/{{Windaria}}''. The story is narrated by Alan after he's gone old and grey and so a number of things are clear from the start: 1. Alan survives the story. 2. Marie does not. 3. The world has recovered from the damage about to unfold. 4. Alan has done something so terrible that not even being lauded as the hero who rebuilt the world can ease his guilt. The ''how'' of the story is not even alluded to and no other character is mentioned so there are still plenty of surprises.
* This trope is rather apparent in both of the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' TV specials:
** In ''Bardock: The Father of Goku'', it's pretty clear that [[spoiler:Freeza destroys Planet Vegeta and [[GenocideBackfire almost]] all its inhabitants]] at the end.
** In ''The History of Trunks'', [[spoiler: Gohan dies, Trunks becomes a Super Saiyan and Bulma builds a time machine so that Trunks can return to the past.]]
* ''Anime/SenkoNoNightRaid'': [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japan]] would eventually plunge into imperialistic militarism and [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar ravage China]], and the rest of the world would also descend to [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war]] eventually, despite whatever efforts the protagonists might attempt to do.
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'', as a prequel to ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', is subject to this. Anyone who is familiar with the latter will know that [[spoiler:the Grail is corrupted, and Kiritsugu will be forced to order Saber to destroy it, resulting in the fire. Kiritsugu saves Shirou by implanting Avalon in him and adopts him, and he will die from the Grail's curse a few years later, without ever seeing his daughter again. Kotomine will give in to his inclinations and [[StartOfDarkness become a villain]]. Kariya will fail to rescue Sakura, and Rider will be unable to convince Saber that her ideals are flawed. Tokiomi, Aoi, and Irisviel are all DoomedByCanon as well.]]
* From the original ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', we already knew how few the survivors from the last Holy War were; anyone who read it knew what kind of fate awaited the sheer majority of the characters in ''Manga/SaintSeiyaTheLostCanvas'', as well as a few pointers about how the Holy War would end.
* The PSP game of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' (created by [[Creator/GenUrobuchi the same guy]] as ''Fate/Zero''). [[spoiler:It takes advantage of the previous multiple timelines witnessed by Homura, but doesn't deviate from the [[TearJerker anime]] [[BittersweetEnding canon]], so no, you can't even EarnYourHappyEnding here. "Dedication has no reward", indeed.]]
* ''Manga/MysteriousGirlfriendX'': It's treated as a given that the main characters, Tsubaki and Urabe, will eventually be each other's first sexual experience (Urabe, who's mildly psychic and can experience others' feelings and transmit her own feelings to them [[BlessedWithSuck through exchange of saliva]], even says in the first chapter that an inner voice told her that Tsubaki would be her first sexual partner). So far, though, the manga's still ongoing (80 chapters thus far) and they haven't even had their FirstKiss yet, but there's no doubt between either of them (or to the reader) that greater levels of intimacy will eventually take place between them; Tsubaki even muses at one point that his "mysterious girlfriend" may eventually become his "mysterious wife."
* ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' applies this retroactively [[spoiler:to just about every ''Gundam'' continuity]]. No matter what happens or how successful the protagonists are, the peace/order/victory they've achieved is at best bittersweet and fleeting. At worst, it's all for nothing [[spoiler:due to the Moonlight Butterfly]].
* Something similar can be said for ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn,'' given that it takes place before ''F91'' and ''Victory.'' This has the effect of making ''Unicorn's'' aesop about the hope for the future and human possibility ring rather hollow, given that the peace attained at the end lasts a mere twenty years.
* TengenToppaGurrenLagann starts off with a 2-minute scene showing how the creators wanted the show to end (Simon and the Dai-Gurren-Dan waging war on all other Spiral-races to protect the universe), but they threw the script away (and didn't consider re-watching the first episode) and ended up subverting it.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'' makes it clear from the moment Kagome returns to the present for the first time and sees it's unchanged that Naraku doesn't survive, as he would be immortal and (as powerful as he becomes near the manga's end) has no reason to hide from humanity. In fact, the only demons we see at all are either forces of nature (the Hell's Piper) or were sealed away in feudal times (the Noh mask), implying the demons have either been wiped out or so overwhelmed by the advancement of human technology they've had to go into hiding.
* ''FushigiYuugiGenbuKaiden'' is a prequel to ''FushigiYuugi'', where the fate of Genbu's priestess was revealed. There's no way Takiko will survive the story to the end.
** Same with ''Manga/FushigiYuugiByakkoIbun'', where we know that Suzuno will not be devoured by Byakko and she and Tatara [[StarCrossedLovers will not have a happy end together]]. [[spoiler: At least, not until they are TogetherInDeath.]]
* In ''InazumaEleven'', most of the time the soccer matches and battles resolve around either one of two things: it's a match in a soccer tournament, or it's a match for justice. Plus it's shown that they ALWAYS manage to win during once of these matches. This makes it a foregone conclusion that the protagonist team will manage to overcome their challenges and hardships. But then subverted in season 3 [[spoiler:where they lose a match, and only manage to draw in another, during the Football Frontier International tournament. Although it was a match during the group stages, so it doesn't automatically disqualify them.]]
* ''Manga/CodenameSailorV'', technically. Minako's appearance in the Dark Kingdom arc of ''Manga/SailorMoon'' clearly shows that she is going to regain her past life memories before joining the rest of the Senshi, and it's a pretty good guess that the Dark Agency will cease to exist as an organization. What makes it qualify for this trope is that, although ''Sailor V'' predates ''Sailor Moon'' and its main character was imported into the ''Sailor Moon'' continuity right away, the resolution of its own story was only published after ''Sailor Moon'' ended, tying the two plots together. It should be noted, however, that ''Sailor V'' was originally born as a standalone story, of which ''Sailor Moon'' could be considered a spinoff, so [[Creator/NaokoTakeuchi the mangaka]] likely wasn't drawing it with this trope in mind.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Willow is trying to bring magic back to her world in Season 9. In the ''Season 8'' {{crossover}} with Fray, ''Time Of Your Life'', it is revealed that in the future there is only one slayer left and that Willow has regained her power and become the BigBad after going dark again. And she gets killed by Buffy.
** That is, unless Whistler actually succeeds in changing the future.
* ''Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' got enough news coverage that CNN should have used spoiler warnings. Thus most people knew, at least from the beginning of the issue where it occurred, that the cover blurb was not just an example of CoversAlwaysLie. Even those living under rocks until the collected edition (or novelization) was published would generally have a good idea of what was going to happen, with titles like ''The Death of Superman,'' ''The Return of Superman,'' and ''The Death and Return of Superman.''
* In ''Fallen Son: The Death of Comicbook/CaptainAmerica'', [[spoiler: Captain America dies]]. The tension comes more from the whodunnit angle and general Avengers infighting.
* In ''Captain America Reborn'', [[spoiler:Captain America comes BackFromTheDead. Though not before some time-travel complications, as well as the Red Skull planning on usurping control of his body.]]
* This is why even the writers for ''Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' came to regret their first FlashForward to the characters' adulthood -- everyone now knew who was going to survive and who wasn't, ruining tension.
* Actual cover of a [[ComicBook/{{Deathstroke}} Deathstroke, The Terminator]] comic: ''"[[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080505050059/marvel_dc/images/f/ff/Deathstroke_the_Terminator_Vol_1_16.jpg Not a gimmick, Not a hoax, it's the Death of Slade Wilson!!]]"'' [[spoiler: It's not permanent…]] This comes after a CrowningMomentOfAwesome where said villain takes on and defeats Franchise/TheFlash, Franchise/GreenLantern, and Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} in simple physical combat ''all at once''. Only to get effortlessly taken down by Franchise/{{Superman}}, whom Slade doesn't even think he has a chance against.
* The writer of ''Comicbook/TheMightyThor'' (renamed ''Journey into Mystery'') made sure to point out that Loki turning evil again IS NOT a foregone conclusion, since Thor destroyed the Ragnarok cycle which contained the Norn's prophecies that decreed the destinies of the Asgardians. Of course, the whole "Loki gets turned into a kid with only his childhood memories" helps. He's in the Antihero area.
* ''ComicBook/{{Noob}}'', due to events happening in both the webseries and the novel being about 90% certain to occur in the comic also (the three media have a BroadStrokes relation to each other). Its storyline is late enough on that of the two other media for a lot of in-comic {{Foreshadowing}} to technically be a CallForward.
* The mini-series ''Hunger'' revolves around Rick Jones and the Comicbook/SilverSurfer desperately trying to stop Comicbook/{{Galactus}} before he can begin his attack on the Comicbook/UltimateMarvel version of Earth. Since Marvel has announced their next CrisisCrossover, ''Comicbook/{{Cataclysm|TheUltimatesLastStand}}'' (in which Galactus arrives on Earth and battles a bevy of Ultimate Marvel heroes), the readers are now keenly aware that Rick and the Surfer are going to fail in their objective.
* In every ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' story we know Diabolik will try a next-to-impossible heist and usually succeed, or he or Eva will get arrested and break out of jail in the nick of time, and that whatever happens a recurring character that survived his second appearance won't get killed off, especially if it's one of the big four of the recurring characters (Gustavo Garian, Altea, Bettina and Saverio Hardy). [[{{Subverted}} Except the authors]] [[spoiler: [[AnyoneCanDie killed off Gustavo]]]]...
* The sad fact is, a lot of big pieces of comic news get spoiled ahead of time to hype up new books. We know Thor is going to become a woman before it actually happens. We knew that Trinity War would end with the Crime Syndicate showing up so Forever Evil could happen. Often the premise of an upcoming big name project spoils the end of a currently running one.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/109581/1/i-did-not-want-to-die/i-did-not-want-to-die I Did Not Want To Die]]
* The Council Era is a ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fanfic centered on the Rachni Wars (in the first half, the 83 CE arc) and the Krogan Rebellion for both that and the 783 CE arc. In the first half, three species that don't exist in the video games are introduced. All three are, naturally, extinct by the end of the story. Other examples include: the krogan will be used to reduce the threat of the Rachni by the end of the first half (as stated in canon); the first half covers the build-up to the Krogan Rebellion, said rebellion will end with the genophage (a fertility plague that is killing off the Krogan in the games) being released (again, as stated in canon). These are bound to happen when you're writing a fic set in the past and intend to stick to canon. It doesn't lessen the drama of the storyline, though.
* Manga/{{Naruto}}'s ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5645686/1/The_Girl_From_Whirlpool The Girl From Whirlpool]]'' is about how Minato and Kushina, [[spoiler: who are Naruto's parents]] meet and eventually fall in love.
* Interestingly for a fanfic, Fanfic/PastSins derives its foregone conclusion not from WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic canon, but from its ''cover art.'' Every last scene depicted happens...
* From Fanfic/FalloutEquestriaPinkEyes, the little filly Puppysmiles just wants to find her mom. The only problem is [[ApocalypseHow the world ended]] and due to her [[UndeadChild ghouli]][[OurZombiesAreDifferent fication]], it's been centuries since her mother could have plausibly been alive.
* We are aware from the get-go that the instance of SBURB played in {{Webcomic/Guidestuck}} is doomed to fail, and that the characters will all die.
* From the ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ValkyrieNights'', which is a prequel fanfic to the ''Macross'' saga, we know that Roy Fokker survives the events of the story and [[spoiler: is cleared of murder charges]].
* In the Wrestling/{{WWE}} fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7450993/1/One-More-Time One More Time]]'', Wrestling/EddieGuerrero and Wrestling/MollyHolly go on a dessert date. They talk about Eddie's recent health and that maybe he should see a doctor. As the story takes place ''the night before Eddie died'', we all know it doesn't end well.
* In ''Who Decides'', the prequel to ''FanFic/{{Horseshoes and Hand Grenades}}'', Ryusei is requesting for help in trying to save Jiro. Anyone who watched Fourze knows that [[spoiler: Ryusei will make a DealWithTheDevil with the Aries Zodiarts and end up killing Gentaro, thus setting the entire story in motion.]]
* A meta example in ''Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury'': fans of [[Manga/DeathNote the manga series]] that the fanfic is based on know off the bat that [[spoiler:Light and Misa are Kira and the Second Kira]]; the drama and suspense come from when and how [[spoiler:they are found out]].
* Anyone familiar with the canon story of the Sufferer in ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'' already knows how ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/1158738/chapters/2353692 Before I Sleep]]'' [[DownerEnding is going to end]] (not that that makes it [[TearJerker any less heartbreaking]] when it happens).
* Historically-themed fanfic for ''WebComic/AxisPowersHetalia'' also fall to this, for good or for ill.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'' starts with a wet llama shivering in the jungle, and a voiceover telling you that he used to be a human emperor.
-->This is his story. Well, actually my story. I'm that llama.
** And when the film actually comes to that, {{Narrator}} Kuzco and On-screen Kuzco start arguing -- and from that point on, the film has no voiceover.
* Both {{averted|Trope}} and [[PlayingWithATrope played straight]] in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''. The movie opens with the narration "This is the story of how I died." And [[spoiler:he ''does'' die at the end. [[DisneyDeath It just doesn't take.]]]]
* The beginning of ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' opens with the title character currently plummeting to his death, which means you know by the end of the movie he's going to wind up in this position. [[spoiler: Of course, after the movie reaches that point, he manages to save himself at the last second.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'', the two minute opening sequence makes clear plot points that will show up in each character's story: that Red Puckett will meet the Wolf on her way to Granny's and it won't go well (as she says, "You again?!" in the opening), that Granny will somehow end up in her closet, BoundAndGagged. Fortunately, some of the plot twists - like the Wolf being a journalist, Kirk being an actor, Granny being an extreme sports athlete - are not brought up.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', despite initially being antagonistic towards each other, the audience knows that Mike and Sulley will be the best of friends. [[spoiler: Subverted because while most knew that Sulley would become a Scarer and Mike his assistant, it wasn't easy to guess that they would be expelled from the university and have to work their way up Monster Inc. the hard way.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTheTitanic'' [[ArtisticLicenseHistory zig-zags this trope]]. Yes, the ''Titanic'' sinks, but the sinking is the result of a gang of talking sharks, in cahoots with an [[GreenAesop eeeeevil whaler]], tricking an octopus into ''throwing the iceberg into the ship's path'', and ''[[spoiler:[[EverybodyLives EVERYBODY FUCKING LIVES]]]]''!
* ''WesternAnimation/BambiMeetsGodzilla'': you can pretty much imagine by yourself how [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin something titled as such]] could [[CurbStompBattle possibly end]]... [[spoiler:[[MoodWhiplash SPLAT]]]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ThirtySixHours1965'': Just before D-Day the Germans stage an elaborate deception to make the main character, a captured American intelligence officer, believe that it is 1950, the war is over, and he has had amnesia. The idea is to get him to disclose the D-Day plans as "therapy" for his amnesia. History says that surprise was successfully maintained for the D-Day landings, so the tension-inducing question is how the main character will discover the ruse.
* ''Film/FiveHundredDaysOfSummer'': The story is this. As the narrator tells us at the start, "This is a story of Boy Meets Girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story." The AnachronicOrder also helps with this.
* ''Film/{{Amen}}'': Depicts the efforts of [[NaziProtagonist SS Lieutenant Kurt Gerstein]] to stop the Holocaust by exposing it to the German public, via the Allies or the Vatican, and inspiring a campaign of protest against it similar to that which successfully stopped the Aktion [=T4=] programme. The audience of course knows [[DownerEnding it didn't work out that way]].
* ''Film/AmericanBeauty'': The OpeningMonologue includes the line "in less than a year I will be dead." The tension then comes from the question "How?" which isn't answered until the end, at which point several different people have very different reasons to consider murdering him.
* ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}'': Manages to wring surprising amounts of tension and suspense out of the story, even though you should know the ending already. [[spoiler: They don't get to the moon, but they do survive.]]
* ''Film/TheAssassinationOfJesseJamesByTheCowardRobertFord'': Based on the novel of the same name. God only knows how it will end.
* ''Film/BarryLyndon'': Makes excessive use of this trope. Everything that is going to happen is stated outright by the title cards and the narrator well in advance of the outcome. [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19750920/REVIEWS/60510001 In his review]], Creator/RogerEbert even suggested this is the entire point of the film.
* ''Film/ABeautifulMind'': An odd variation came with this film. Although the major plot developments qualify to those familiar with John Nash's life, the script was written with the (correct) assumption that most of the audience wouldn't know him from Adam.
* ''La bonne annee'' (''The Good Year''): Starts with a character getting out of jail in 1973 then cuts to the same character preparing a robbery in 1966.
* ''Film/BoysDontCry'': This film is based on the last days of a famous murder victim, so the climax of the film is [[spoiler:a very carefully choreographed MexicanStandoff]], SubvertedTrope when the inevitable happens.
* ''Film/{{Breach}}'': Begins with a news report on the arrest of Robert Hanssen. Since the movie is based on real events, which did indeed end with his arrest, this is understandable.
* ''Film/{{Brick}}'': Starts with Emily lying facedown in a drainage ditch. When she shows up again in the flashback sequence, you already know she's doomed.
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'': Everything in this film led up to him being frozen for decades before waking up in the present time. Its sequel, ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' is similar in that regard as anyone who has any knowledge of the comics knows ''exactly'' who the eponymous Winter Soldier is. [[spoiler: It turns out the identity of the Winter Soldier is incidental to what's really going on.]]
* ''Film/CarlitosWay'': Those who know his story know he gets shot.
* ''Film/{{Casino}}'': This is subverted, where [[spoiler:Joe Pesci's character, Nicky Santoro]], has his narration cut off in mid sentence by the vicious beating that leads to his death.
* ''Film/CitizenKane'': Starts with the main character dying, and the rest is told in flashback. So you know he's going to die.
* ''Film/{{Coalition}}'' Is a dramatisation of the real life events immeadiately following the 2010 General Election. The story centres on the question of who will form a new government, and whether the Liberal Democrats will be in it. It was first broadcast in March 2015, just in time for the ''following'' election, when a Tory/LibDem coalition has been in power for five years. Also doubles as a {{Late Arrival Spoiler}}.
* ''Confidence'': Begins with the main character, Jake Vig, lying dead from a gunshot wound, his opening line of narration "... So I'm dead." [[spoiler:InvertedTrope somewhat in that it turns out Jake's death is faked; his assertion that he is "dead" is only accurate in a sense that he is considered to be dead by the people who wanted him dead.]]
* ''Film/{{Creepshow}}'': The segment of this anthology film starring Creator/StephenKing is entitled "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill".
* ''Film/TheCrossing'': A movie about Washington crossing the Delaware. It's the DarkestHour for the Continental Army, as they have only ever been defeated, their enlistments are up in days, they're broke, and if they fall to the Hessians--which everyone but Washington thinks is a foregone conclusion of its own because ''Hessians''—UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution is kaput. Not only do they win, they do it ''without losing a single man in battle''.[[note]]Two soldiers did die of hypothermia on the march to Trenton and several were wounded in the battle, but not fatally.[[/note]]
* ''Film/{{DOA}}'': "I want to report a murder -- mine!"
* ''Film/{{Downfall}}'': Considering it's a movie advertised as "Hitler's last days", you'd have a hard time finding someone who doesn't know how it ends.
* ''Film/DraculaUntold'': Considering that the film is an origin story of Dracula, the titular character survives the events of the film.
* ''Film/TheEagleHasLanded'': A team of Nazis land in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII wartime]] Britain to assassinate UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill. [[spoiler: And they succeed! [[DoubleSubversion Except he's not really Churchill, but a double]].]]
* ''Music/{{Evita}}'': Starts with Eva Peron's funeral before flashing back to her early teenage years.
* ''Film/{{Fallen}}'': Begins with a voiceover from the main character: "I wanna tell you about the time I ''almost'' died." [[spoiler:SubvertedTrope]] [[TomatoSurprise in that it's]] [[spoiler: the demon Azazel who's ''really'' saying it. Denzel's character ''does'' die.]]
* ''Film/TheFlintstonesInVivaRockVegas'' takes place before Fred and Wilma's marriage, so unless you've never even herd of the cartoon, you'll know that [[GoldDigger Chip Rockfeller]]'s scheme to marry Wilma for her wealth is DoomedByCanon
* ''Film/MichaelCollins'': The film starts with Joe O'Reilly consoling Kitty over the death of Collins. The film then continues after the death of the main character, and then goes back and tells the story of how the British Empire was humiliated. Considering the fact that the film is based of the life of a long dead historical figure, the beginning doesn't really give much away.
* ''Film/{{Gandhi}}'': The film starts with Gandhi’s murder. It then continues on after the death of the main character, and then goes back and tells the story of how the British Empire was humiliated. Considering the fact that the film is based of the life of a long dead historical figure, the beginning doesn't really give much away.
* ''Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah'': Shows that Godzilla is slowly dying of a nuclear overload at the beginning of the film. Which actually starts even before the film, as the trailers for the film actually flat out state "'''''Godzilla Dies!'''''" as part of the advertising campaign to draw in viewers!
* ''Film/TheGunsOfNavarone'': The ExpositoryThemeTune tells that the Good Guys will manage to blow the guns up. The movie tells how.
* ''Film/HeavenlyCreatures'': Begins with Pauline and Juliet running through a park covered in gore, screaming that Mummy's 'terribly hurt'. The rest of the film reveals how they came to this sorry pass. Those familiar with the case won't be surprised.
* ''Film/TheHobbit'':
** Since Bilbo is narrating the story, you know that he will survive this journey. Same with Gandalf and Glóin who both make appearances in the sequel ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** Likewise, anyone who paid close attention to ''The Fellowship of The Ring'' will know that [[spoiler: Balin can't die in ''this'' trilogy, because he's the one entombed in the crypt at Moria, having fallen to the invading orcs.]]
** The filmmakers are really playing with this, going as far as creating a new character as love interest for Kili.
* ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'': Much of this film concerns two independent plots to kill Hitler and the rest of Nazi high command in a movie theater in France, in 1944. Since everyone knows how Hitler really died, there's only one way this can possibly end. [[spoiler: Surprisingly, they succeed: [[AlternateHistory Eli Roth shoots Hitler dead]].]]
* ''Film/IpMan'': Everyone watching it already knows that he would survive the Japanese invasion of China and become Bruce Lee's martial arts master.
* ''Film/{{Jack 2013}}'': Most of this Creator/{{CBC}} movie is predictable to those who've followed CanadianPolitics more closely.
* ''Film/KickAss'': Referenced in this film; since Dave has been narrating all the way through, when seen tied to a chair and being tortured by {{Mooks}}, it seems reasonable to think he will survive. He promptly calls the audience on it; "if you're reassuring yourself that I'm going to make it through this since I'm talking to you now, quit being such a smart-ass! Hell dude, you never seen ''ComicBook/SinCity''? ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''? ''Film/AmericanBeauty''?" [[spoiler:He survives despite pointing out that he might not.]]
* ''Film/KillBill'': The scenes in the first film are not shown in chronological order. Although Vernita is actually the second name on the Bride's list, the scene where she confronts her is shown before the far-more climatic confrontation with her first victim, O-Ren Ishii. [[spoiler:After killing Vernita, the Bride crosses her name off the list, and the viewer's can see that the name "O-Ren Ishii" has already been crossed out, making it obvious that O-Ren didn't survive in the yet-to-be-seen confrontation.]]
* ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'': You know the title character is going to die. Better yet if you know the true story.
* ''Film/LettersFromIwoJima'': Even the Japanese are GenreSavvy enough to realize that their situation is basically {{Unwinnable}}. Really, the only question is whether Saigo will survive the battle or not. [[spoiler:He does, and is actually better off, as he is sent to a internment camp, internment camps were actually just boring holding camps, and he gets a free life in the US, and may still be friends with his American friend.]]
* ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'': The end of the story is well known historic fact. You know how the vote will go but the tension is generated by what it takes to succeed.
* ''Film/LoveStory'':
-->'''Oliver:''' What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?
* ''Film/{{Melancholia}}'': Starts with an ApocalypticMontage. [[WordOfGod The director has stated]] he intentionally gave away the ending like this, because he didn't want the audience to speculate on whether or not Earth would survive.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}'': Starts with Leonard shooting a man dead. The rest of the movie is spent finding out why [[spoiler:he thinks]] he did it. An interesting variation on the trope, as the chronology of the movie mostly runs ''backwards'' and so it's natural to have the conclusion at the start. The chronology alternates between going forward and backwards, and [[spoiler:meets in the middle in the climax]].
* ''Film/MichaelClayton'': The beginning of this film shows him survive an assassination attempt. Who wanted him dead? Watch the rest of the film to find out.
* ''Film/{{Milk}}'': Actually comes right out and says that Harvey Milk is killed within the first few minutes of the movie. Interestingly, though, [[spoiler: the movie even continues after he dies]].
* ''Film/{{Miracle}}'': Everyone knows that the American hockey team will beat the Soviet Union, but how did they manage to do it?
* ''Film/MoulinRouge'':
** Begins with Creator/EwanMcGregor's character typing "The woman I loved is dead." So there you go.
** Director Baz Luhrmann has admitted that his whole Red Curtain Trilogy (''Film/StrictlyBallroom'', ''Film/RomeoAndJuliet'' and ''Film/MoulinRouge'') were more about telling the story of getting to the foregone conclusion.
** And the 1955 version is based on the actual life of Toulouse-Lautrec (and the novel).
* ''The Opposite Of Sex'': Narrator Dede and her ex-boyfriend struggle over a pistol, which goes off. The both lie there for a moment until Dede pushes his body off her. Her narration says "What, you thought I'd be the one who died? I'm the ''narrator'' here, guys! Keep up!"
* ''Film/OzTheGreatAndPowerful'': [[spoiler: Theodora]] is "[[TheDarkSide turned evil]]" in a situation sympathetic enough that in a different movie, you would probably be hoping that the effects of eating the apple will be undone and she'll return to her good self; just as Oz, not having seen [[Film/TheWizardOfOz the movies]], offers her a LastSecondChance when sending her into exile. But of course, in 'later' works she is [[spoiler: the Wicked Witch of the West]] and therefore nothing like that will happen.
* ''Film/PansLabyrinth'': Starts with Ofelia, lying on the ground, bleeding from her nose. From the fact that the blood is moving backwards, viewers can tell right away that the plot is about to rewind, which it does.
* ''Film/PennAndTellerGetKilled'': At the end of this movie, they do. There's a closing narration along the lines of, "Well, what did you expect to happen?"
* ''Film/PublicEnemies'': This film is based on the life of the infamous bank robber John Dillinger, famously shot by three FBI agents.
* ''Film/{{Revolution 1985}}'': Since this film is set in the American Revolutionary War, you know that the Americans will win out against the British in the end.
* ''Romeo is Bleeding'': Starts with a bartender telling a story about one of his regulars (Creator/GaryOldman), and why that man is such a mess. There's a bit of a twist, though, when it's revealed at the end that [[spoiler: both of them are the same man.]]
* ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'': Even if you're not familiar with ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', you can probably guess what happens to the two leads at the end.
* ''Film/SevenPounds'': The movie starts with [[spoiler: the main character calling in his own suicide to 911.]]
* ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'': Gives us a really good view of a waterfall during the establishing shot of the castle in which the climax of the film takes place. Those familiar with Holmes mythology could tell where the movie was headed from there. [[spoiler:Subverted in that it's shown that Holmes survived.]] Those who weren't sure knew how it was going to end when Mycroft mentioned that the peace summit was taking place at Reichenbach
* ''Film/StarTrek'': While this film is an alternate continuity and takes liberties such as [[spoiler:killing Kirk's dad and destroying Vulcan]], you know everyone will get over the conflicts to become TrueCompanions as the Enterprise crew.
** ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'': When your movie is called ''The Search For Spock'', it's not going to end with Admiral Kirk [[BreakingTheFourthWall turning to the viewers and saying]] "Sorry folks, we didn't find him". As Creator/WilliamShatner put it, if they had done so, "people would have thrown rocks at the screen."
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': The prequels, unless you were living under a pop culture rock since the '70s. Even the ''posters'' admitted this one was a given -- the most famous poster for ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' shows young Anakin walking by a building... [[TheShadowKnows casting Darth Vader's shadow]].
** While perhaps not immediately obvious to casual fans, it was also obvious to most ''Star Wars'' fans as soon as Chancellor Palpatine showed up that he and Darth Sidious would turn out to be the same person; while not mentioned in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', "Palpatine" was known to be the Emperor's name in many novels where he appeared. And those who were musically-savvy knew that he was Darth Sidious/the Emperor from the beginning as on several occasions, the Emperor's theme plays in the background in certain shots with him in the foreground in both roles.
*** Also, the same actor plays both roles, despite the prequels taking place almost 20 years before Return of the Jedi and being filmed 20 years after. The character was always supposed to be old, but the actor who plays him, Ian [=McDiarmid=], originally played the role in heavy makeup, and by the time the prequels were filmed was old enough to portray the character again.
* ''Film/TheStrangers'': Begins with saying that the two protagonists left a wedding reception in 2005 and nobody knows exactly what happened next, all but saying that they died. Then they show some parts of the ending. Though the movie cheats at the end by [[spoiler: having the female lead ''impossibly'' survive]]. Though [[spoiler: she]] may be better off dead, as [[spoiler: she was terrorized by a group of serial killers, saw her husband blow a friend's head off, and was stuck in a chair while he and her husband were stabbed repeatedly.]] Even if the survivor... well, survives, they won't be getting out of a psych ward for awhile. In [[spoiler:her case]], "death" [[ProphecyTwist may have been meant metaphorically.]]
* ''Film/StrangerThanFiction'': "Little did he know that this simple seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death." "What? What? Hey!" [[spoiler: Subverted, though: he lives at the end.]]
* ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'': Starts with a shot of the main character and narrator lying dead in a swimming pool. Being a movie about a screenwriter and an old movie starlet, it sure as hell makes you wonder the whole length of the movie.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'': Kyle Reese will live through ''Film/TerminatorSalvation''. The humans will win the RobotWar in the end.
* ''Film/TheThing2011'': The plot is a prequel about the Norwegian camp story, and you know through [=MacReady=] and his team's investigation in [[Film/TheThing1982 the 1982 film]] the overall fate of the Norwegian camp and its occupants, including how some of them are going to die. It also foreshadows the ending that "The Thing" will imitate a dog and 2 survivors from the Norwegian camp will chase and hunt it down, which they will fail to accomplish.
* ''Film/{{Titanic}}'':
** ''Titanic'' is a double example. You know that the Titanic is going to sink, and you know right from the start that the main character survives.
** May also qualify as ProphecyTwist - viewers paying attention to Rose's backstory at the beginning will know immediately which man she ends up with, as her last name is given as [[spoiler: Dawson. However, at the end of the movie it's revealed the circumstances surrounding this were not marriage.]]
* ''Film/ToraToraTora!'': Most of this film is about the Japanese planning to attack Pearl Harbor and the Americans fretting over their attempts to discover what Japan is up to. [[spoiler: The Japanese achieve complete surprise.]]
* ''Film/{{Transcendence}}'': [[spoiler:As Max narrates at the start of the film, reminiscing about Will and Evelyn, it's clear that both of them are dead by this time.]]
* ''Film/{{Troy}}'':
** Troy falls in...this film. 'Twas ever thus.
** The film does have significant differences to the ''Iliad'' on which it is based. Both Menelaus and Agamemnon survive the war in the original story, whereas Paris does not; in the film this is reversed.
** In the film, Helen leaves with Paris because she genuinely loves him and hates Menelaus, the old man who she was forced to marry. In the original legend, Helen dearly loves Menelaus, the marriage is her personal choice, and she only falls for Paris because of a spell put on her by the goddess Aphrodite.
* ''Two Came Back'': This 1997 made-for-TV movie depicted five young people left adrift in an emergency raft after their yacht sinks. Guess how many of the characters survived the ordeal and returned to land safely? [[spoiler: If you need to, take another look at the title.]]
* ''Film/{{Valkyrie}}'': Even if you are not familiar with the historical details, everyone knows that UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler will survive the bombing. And if you don't like that, well, just watch ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'' instead.
* ''Veronica Guerin'' This film is not only based on the life and death of the aforenamed Irish journalist, the movie begins with a depiction of her murder. The film then flashes back to two years prior, when she began her investigations into the Irish drug trade, which is what lead to her gruesome fate.
* ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' and ''Film/XMenFirstClass'':
** This films are both prequels to the first three ''Film/XMen'' films (though the prequels [[ContinuitySnarl contradict each other in some regards]]) and therefore contain numerous examples of this trope (assuming that the viewer has seen the first three films and/or is familiar with the comic book source material).
** In ''Wolverine'', it's a given that Logan, Sabretooth, and Stryker [[SavedByCanon will all survive the film]]. Logan will receive his adamantium skeleton from the Weapon X program. Finally, Logan's memories of everything in his life up to, and including, the events of the film will somehow be erased by the end of the film.
** In ''First Class'', it's sadly given that despite Xavier and Magneto starting out as best friends, Magneto's inevitable FaceHeelTurn will result in them becoming the leaders of two opposing mutant factions. Eventually Mystique will make a FaceHeelTurn of her own and become Magneto's [[TheDragon Dragon]]. Beast's attempts to "cure" the physical appearance aspect of his mutation will not only fail, but will actually backfire, making his condition much worse.
* ''Film/IntoTheStorm'': Obviously the audience knows how the second world war (and Churchill's career) turns out, the interesting part is witnessing Churchill's struggle firsthand.
* The first scene in ''Film/TheStoningOfSorayaM'' of Zahra burying the bones in combination with the movie title leaves no doubt about the fate of the titular character.
%% * ''Film/DragMeToHell''

* R. Austin Freeman's ''The Singing Bone'' (1912), which features his medical detective Dr. Thorndike, is said to have the earliest inverted mystery in literature.
* ''Uprising'', by Margaret Peterson Haddix, starts with a ten years later, with a young woman coming to one of the main characters and asking about the strike, and the fire (the book is based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory...). Due to inner monologue, it's revealed that 2 of the 3 narrators of the book end up dead. But it still backs a wallop when reading the death scenes- from their own point of view!
* Adam Cadre's ''Ready, Okay!'' exemplifies this trope by stating on page 1 that by the end of the school year, every person that the main character loves and cares about will be dead.
* In both the novel ''Literature/IClaudius'' and Creator/TheBBC [[Series/IClaudius TV series based on it]], readers are told at the start that Claudius is going to become Emperor. Nonetheless, the description of 60 years of Roman politics and intrigue leading up to this event manages to remain amazing and entertaining.
* Creator/GabrielGarciaMarquez:
** His short novel, ''Literature/ChronicleOfADeathForetold''. Heck, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin it's even in the title]].
** His first novel ''The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: Who Drifted on a Liferaft for Ten Days Without Food or Water, Was Proclaimed a National Hero, Kissed by Beauty Queens, Made Rich Through Publicity, and Then Spurned by the Government and Forgotten for All Time.''
** Marquez's most famous work, ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude'', brings up early and often that Colonel Aureliano will face death by a firing squad.
* By the time the third book of ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' was published, the author wrote a short story about a werewolf alpha called Jędrzej, stating it happens after the series is over. Come book six and [[spoiler:werewolf alpha Bruno starts war against Dora. He has a henchman named Jędrzej.]] Guess who becomes the new alpha by the end of the book.
* Since the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' novel ''Mossflower'' opens with Martin the Warrior in exile, the prequel ''Martin the Warrior'' ending with him going into exile is [[DoomedByCanon pretty much a given]]. This doesn't make the latter novel's [[TearJerker monumental]] DownerEnding any less powerful, of course.
* Creator/PhilipPullman's ''The White Mercedes''[=/=]''The Butterfly Tattoo'' begins with the following sentence, also on the back cover: "''Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June...''" [[spoiler:Yeah, right. That's quite a definition of "kill" you've got there, Philip Pullman.]]
* Annoyingly, one of the ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' books talks about the future daughter of the protagonist doing something. Every example of danger that she's in is entirely unneeded, and technically never in any permanent danger.
* ''Tamburlaine Must Die'' is exempt from the historical fiction version of this trope because there are more than enough conspiracy theories about the main character, Creator/ChristopherMarlowe, that say he didn't die. It still starts by saying he's going to die in three days. However, fans of the writer will be strongly suspecting [[spoiler: a subversion... which doesn't happen.]]
* ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'', for obvious reasons. [[spoiler: Subverted in that John is the only main character who doesn't die at the end, He instead opts to die at the start. They get better.]]
* Technically, this trope could be used to describe ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', because the endings of the books are unfortunate, as the author clearly states. A particularly strong example occurs in ''The Reptile Room'', in which [[spoiler:Uncle Monty]]'s death is announced in the narration long before it happens.
* Markus Zusak's ''Literature/TheBookThief'':
** At the beginning, the narrator Death says that Liesel's story, chronicled in her diary, ends with her surrounded by ruins, howling. However, Death's description of the scene is vague enough for the later full narrative of the same scene to still [[TearJerker pack quite an emotional punch.]]
** Death reveals the death of a certain character in the middle of the book because he is bad at mystery.
* Bertolt Brecht's ''The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui'' makes interesting use of this trope. The play is deliberately shown to be an allegory for UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler's rise to power, so the audience already knows how the story will end. The focus thereon in is on ''how'' he came to power -- and how easily it could have been prevented. [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped Didactic, but very worth it.]]
* The introduction to Creator/CordwainerSmith's novel ''Norstrilia'' ends with the following words:
-->He gets away. He ''got'' away. See, that's the story. Now you don't have to read it. Except for the details. They follow.
* Anyone with a smidgeon of knowledge about European history already knows Napoleon fails to conquer Russia in ''Literature/WarAndPeace''. The [[{{Doorstopper}} whole book]] is more about why he failed. In case you didn't know Napoleon tried to invade Russia before reading the book, [[AuthorFilibuster the philosophical asides]] mention it often enough.
* In ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'', because of the AnachronicOrder of the story, readers learn that [[spoiler: something bad will happen to Henry when he's 43 years old]].
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'' is (almost certainly) written under the assumption that readers are already familiar with ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', which it's a prequel to. The knowledge of how it all turns out (hint: not happy) adds to the sense of tragedy. Not to mention that if you read it first you'll get most of ''Fate/stay night's'' plot twists spoiled in the prologue. Discussed by the author in the end of Volume 1.
--> "Don't get too attached to these guys, no matter how [[{{Badass}} cool]] they may be. You know they're just going to die."
* Stephen Brust's ''Literature/ToReignInHell'' explains exactly what caused the falling out between {{God}} and {{Satan}}.
* ''My Brother Sam is Dead'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin does indeed end with the main character's brother, whose name is Sam, dying]].
* In Peter David's ''Literature/SirAproposOfNothing'' trilogy, Sir Apropos mentions multiple times that he survived the events of the story, though he's not always sure how.
* Similarly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''[[Literature/AlcatrazSeries Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones]]'', sequel to ''Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians'', both of which take the LiteraryAgentHypothesis UpToEleven.
-->I want you to think of a regular ship. No, not a flying dragon ship like the one that was falling apart beneath me as I fell to my death. Focus. I obviously survived the crash, since this book is written in the first person.
* Anyone even the slightest bit familiar with Literature/TheBible or Christian theology in general will know how ''Literature/ParadiseLost'' is going to turn out before it even begins. Anyone else will be told how it's going to turn out in the first five lines or so.
* In the Literature/TheBible; the Gospel authors (especially John) had a tendency to introduce Judas Iscariot as "the man who would betray Jesus".
* Creator/VladimirNabokov's ''Literature/PaleFire'' starts out with the UnreliableNarrator Charles Kinbote writing about the death of his good friend John Shade. Is John Shade actually dead? [[MindScrew Hell if anyone knows.]]
* Nabokov's ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' has a [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis foreword]], which says that Humbert died from coronary thrombosis [[spoiler: and Lolita died in childbirth. However, it refers Lolita as "Mrs. Richard F. Schiller", her married name, which isn't revealed until the end of the book.]]
* Stephen R Donaldson's ''The Real Story'' spends the first chapter describing how a DamselInDistress got rescued from an evil villain by a dashing hero. Then the rest of the novel is spent finding out that both the situation and the characters were in fact rather more complex than they seemed to a casual observer. Following books compound the process.
* Daniel Defoe's ''[[LongTitle The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the]] Famous Literature/MollFlanders, Etc. Who Was Born In Newgate, and During a Life of Continu'd Variety For Threescore Years, Besides Her Childhood, Was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife (Whereof Once To Her Own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon In Virginia, At Last Grew Rich, Liv'd Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.''
* In Creator/MercedesLackey's first ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' novel, she details the dramatic death scene of Vanyel, the last Herald-Mage of Valdemar. When Vanyel gets his own trilogy, everyone knows where this is ultimately going. The same thing happens with Lavan Firestorm, whose death is described in the first ''Heralds of Valdemar'' trilogy long before his story is told firsthand in ''Brightly Burning.''
* Yukio Mishima's ''Patriotism'' actually begins with the reader being told about the couple's (who are the main characters) joint suicide.
* Kevin J. Anderson's ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Last Days of Krypton]]''. Everyone knows the planet is going to go kaboom, but he manages to milk a large amount of suspense over ''how'', introducing multiple possibilities in rapid succession. Will it explode from geologic instability? Will it be smashed by a massive comet? Will it be consumed by its red sun Rao going supernova? [[spoiler: Answer: none of the above. All of the above threats are taken care of, then near the end a bunch of stupid politicians throw a portal to the Phantom Zone into the core, causing the planet to implode]].
* Lian Hearn's ''Literature/TalesOfTheOtori'':
** ''Heaven's Net Is Wide''. If you've read the main series that this book is a prequel to, then you know exactly what's going to happen. And that just makes it even more heartbreaking.
** Additionally, parts of Hearn's ''Otori'' trilogy are presented as the memoirs of one of the characters, letting the reader know that that particular character will survive all the way through. When Hearn revisited the series with ''Harsh Cry of the Heron'', the story switched to omniscient third person, cluing you in to the fact that the narrator of the previous books would not survive to the end.
* It's not hard to see how the author would expect you to know the ending of ''The Death of Ivan Ilyich''.
** In ''Film/{{Ikiru}}'', the narrator tells when and how Watanabe will die. You get to see what he does before then, and then watch his funeral.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** There's a novel, ''Literature/DeathStar'', which takes place [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin on the first Death Star]]. It gets used on Alderaan and is later destroyed. The characters, of course, don't know that. There's a cantina owner whose bar got burned down getting an offer to work in a bar up there, and deciding that there probably isn't a safer place to work than an invincible battle station. The head gunner, uneasy about being in a station which theoretically could destroy a planet, consoles himself by thinking that it will be used purely on large ships, enemy space stations, maybe some moons, since no one would be evil enough to order him to fire on a populated world. A few other characters vaguely wish they could leave, maybe join the Rebellion, but with something like the Death Star cruising around, the Rebellion would come to naught, since people who would gladly die for their cause would hesitate to risk their planet. War as they knew it would end. A lot of the tension comes from wondering who, if anyone, survives, and how, since most of them don't have [[ResignationsNotAccepted permission to leave]].
** Another EU example is ''Literature/OutboundFlight''. Anyone who's been paying attention to Creator/TimothyZahn's other ''Franchise/StarWars'' books would know that it doesn't end well for the title project.
** Second book in the ''Coruscant Nights Trilogy'' -- Captain Typho, Padme's BodyguardCrush, seeks to avenge her death, eventually deciding that he has to kill Darth Vader. Even ''he'' thought it would be a CurbStompBattle unless he was really prepared. [[spoiler: Didn't really work.]] It introduces a ContinuitySnarl, though, as [[spoiler:Typho is cut down by Vader, even though existing canon confirmed that he was still alive 18 years later]].
** Anyone who has seen ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' knows what happens to the title character of ''Literature/DarthPlagueis'' at the end. In fact, the first chapter opens with an aftermath of the murder, as the author realizes that it will hardly be a surprise. [[spoiler: There ''is'' a surprise twist that the reader doesn't realize until the climax, however; ''how'' Palpatine killed Plagueis isn't important. It's where and more importantly ''when''.]]
* Julie Buxbaum's ''The Opposite of Love'' is mostly centred around the main character's difficulties forming relationships following the death of her mother -- problem is, any tension that might arise over whether she'll ever work things out is sapped by the flash-forward prologue, where she's married with a baby on the way.
* In ''Film/TheGodfather'' Mario Puzo frequently mentions something that will happen, and then "rewinds" to show ''how'' it happened. For example, the deaths of [[spoiler:Sonny -- the scene with Vito calling in the favor from the undertaker appears before the tollbooth sequence]] and [[spoiler:Vito]].
* The "Emperor" series (as well as any other story depicting the life of Caesar). It's known what will happen between Julius and Brutus in the end, yet the story is very compelling all the way through.
* The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' series. The major (and many of the minor) facts of the Horus Heresy have been part of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' {{canon}} for over twenty years. If nothing else, you ''know'' Lucius, Kharn, Abaddon, Typhus et al are going to survive, because ''they have profiles in the friggin' Chaos Codex''. Well, for a given value of 'survive' in at least two of those cases. Lucius isn't really the man he used to be.
* SandyMitchell's ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novels -- Cain will survive because these are his memoirs; Amberly Vail will survive because she outlived him and edited the memoirs; Sulla will survive because she reaches the rank of reached Lady General and Vail included excerpts from her memoirs to supplement Cain's; in ''Death or Glory'', Tayber and Arriott will survive because Vail included excerpts from their memoirs.
* Similarly, the ''Literature/GotrekAndFelix'' series prefaces its chapters with excerpts from the Book Felix has sworn to write. So while Gotrek's death is a given, it's obvious that Felix will survive whatever doom Fate has in store for the [[DeathSeeker Trollslayer]], despite his worrying about it in the present.
** It was later revealed in the books by Nathan Long that Felix had been sending the manuscripts to his brother and that they had already been published with Gotrek still alive. The only indications of Gotrek's death are a vague prophecy by a mortally wounded daemon and the fact that the books Kinslayer and Slayer are being billed as The Doom of Gotrek Gurnisson.
* ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'':
** ''Literature/Dune'' does this twice, telling how the first of the book's three parts will end in the second chapter (spoiling a PlotTwist in doing so), and the book's ending is foretold in the middle of the second part by the prophetic, MagnificentBastard protagonist. Yet this still doesn't detract how exciting it is reading how it happens.
** It's done even more in the sequel, ''Literature/DuneMessiah'': the conclusion is hinted at in the second chapter, and by halfway through the novel, the protagonist has a prescient dream in which he foresees the entire rest of the story. The vision guides him even after [[spoiler:his eyes get burned out by nuclear radiation]]. By twenty pages before the climax (a substantial portion of the just 200-page book) it's a definite example, [[spoiler:except for the PlotTwist in which Paul foresees only the birth of his daughter, and not her far more significant twin brother.]]
* ''The Night Watch'' by Sarah Waters is written backwards chronologically. It is particularly bittersweet as you view the beginnings of a pair who you know will eventually turn into an embittered, nigh abusive couple.
* ''Literature/BreakfastAtTiffanys'' by Truman Capote starts out with Holly Golightly having already left and the narrator going backwards to recount their time together.
* ''Literature/AnneFrankTheDiaryOfAYoungGirl'' is typically presented as a cautionary tale about fascism, and the book gives away Anne's fate on the cover and introduction.
** Similar is Nina Lugovskaya's ''I Want To Live'', essentially the Stalinist version of Anne Frank, although [[spoiler:Nina survives her imprisonment]]. But why else would you be reading these books?
* Alfred Doeblin's ''Berlin Alexanderplatz'' begins with a one-page summary of the book's plot, describing the character's frequent falls from grace, but it refers rather elliptically to his final redemption, leaving some mystery. Likewise, each chapter is preceded by a summary, and throughout the book there are references to events yet to occur. All this is to show how the central character has no control over his life.
* The original book of ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' had loads of this for anyone even remotely familiar with either [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz the book]] or [[Film/TheWizardOfOz movie]] of ''The Wizard of Oz''. We know that somehow the green-skinned Elphaba will get a pointy black hat, a broomstick, some winged monkeys and set up shop in the West as the Wicked Witch, while her friend Glinda will become the Good Witch of either the North or South (it ends up following the movie version, from the North), her sister will become the Wicked Witch of the East before being squished by a Kansas farmhouse dropped by a tornado and carrying a young girl who will ultimately [[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled kill Elphaba by splashing her with water]]]]. Note that the ending is [[spoiler:not quite so foregone]] in the musical version. The book also has more obscure ones for those who have read [[Literature/LandOfOz the other Oz books]]. For example, a peasant boy being dragged along by an old woman is Tip, who will become [[spoiler:the princess Ozma]].
* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books including ''Chronicles'' in the title all do this to some degree
** ''Andalite'' tells the backstory of Elfangor, who dies in the beginning of the first book (the FramingStory is that it's his last testament, transmitted telepathically just minutes before his death). It also has Alloran, whom we know as the host body of Visser Three, as Elfangor's commanding officer.
** ''Hork-Bajir'' involves the conquering of the Hork-Bajir, who are almost entirely enslaved by the time of the main series.
** ''Ellimist'' relates a humble space bird's journey from gamer to God via SufficientlyAdvancedAlien. The framing device is of him telling his backstory to a deceased but unnamed main character (which is itself sort of a spoiler for the main series), so it's really not surprising where "Toomin" ends up.
** ''Visser'' involves the Yeerk's discovery of Earth and the early stages of the invasion, the results of which are seen in the main series.
* ''Literature/TheEgyptian'' has this on multiple levels. Due to its nature of both being involving a FramingDevice and being HistoricalFiction.
* ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach''. There is a planet named Reach. It falls.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut
** ''Literature/{{Galapagos}}'' employs this trope extensively. In fact, he goes so far as to play with this by putting an asterisk by the name of every character due to die soon in the course of the story, and telling us that humanity will shortly be [[DepopulationBomb killed by a virulent disease]]. ''Literature/CatsCradle'' is similarly upfront in saying that ice-nine ''will'' escape and [[ApocalypseHow destroy the world]], despite the protagonist's efforts.
** There is a character introduced near the beginning of ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive''. Almost every time that character makes an appearance in the story Vonnegut tells us when and how he will die. By the time the reader finally sees his death, it doesn't have as deep an impact. So it goes.
* Danish author Hans Scherfig's novel Det forsømte forår (Stolen Spring, or literally The Neglected Spring) begins with the murder of a latin teacher from a high-esteemed school. Then we flash forward to many years, where his students meet and think back to their school time, and through this, we get to know the killer (the fact that his killer is among the students is revealed right away.)
* ''What Came Before He Shot Her'' tells the ending right in the title, although it may take quite awhile to figure who 'he' and 'her' are. [[spoiler: The main character actually didn't shoot her, though he takes the blame.]]
* The opening lines to Ruth Rendell's novel ''A Judgement In Stone'' tell us that "Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write". This doesn't prevent it being one of her best novels.
* If you've ever heard about Griboyedov, much less studied in a Russian school, then you probably know how ''Literature/TheDeathOfTheVazirMukhtar'' ends. If not, then you will realize it as soon as it is explained that Griboyedov's diplomatic title is "Vazir Mukhtar" in Farsi.
* In the Stephen Hunter ''Swagger'' series, it's well established that sniper Bob Lee Swagger's best friend and spotter Donnie Fenn was killed at Swagger's side in Vietnam even before Fenn's story is told in ''Time To Hunt''.
* Because Bobby's segments of ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'' are presented in journal formats, it is obvious that he has survived all of the events in the books. The point of the journals is to see exactly what events he survived, and how.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** ''Bluestar's Prophecy''. As if the fact that how and when Bluestar dies is [[LateArrivalSpoiler already known by the entire fanbase]] isn't enough, the book opens with her death scene rewritten from her point of view. A good part of the book works like this, too, such as her relationship with Oakheart, Mosskit's death, and the fact that all of the characters who aren't in the first books will end up dead.
** ''Crookedstar's Promise'', especially seeing as [[spoiler: we never heard of Willowbreeze or Crookedstar's other kits.]] And also Stormkit breaking his jaw and being held back from being an apprentice. And that he dies at the end.
* Anyone who's read ''[[Literature/{{Twilight}} Eclipse]]'' already knows that the main character of ''The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'' [[spoiler:is murdered by the Volturi]]. Heck, just reading the title gives most people a good idea of how it'll end. On a lesser note, anyone at all the least bit familiar with the ''Twilight'' series will know that sunlight makes the vampires sparkle and not burn into ash, long before the actual characters do.
* ''[[Creator/GordonKorman Losing Joe's Place]]''. As if the title isn't enough, the book starts with Joe furious with Jason over the title blunder and forcing him to recount how it happened.
* Invoked in ''The Doomsday Brunette'', when a genetically modified gorilla is reenacting Film/KingKong (ItMakesSenseInContext) and the detective says, "King Kong only ends one way."
* The reader knows from the beginning of the ''Literature/TheSparrow'' that the mission ends catastrophically. The novel is about how and why that happened.
* The ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' has some of this in certain passages. For instance, it describes a character's reaction to an event, and adds how decades later, when he'd married and fathered children, those children loved to hear him retell the story of that event. Well, we sure know '''he's''' going to survive the series. That example occurs in the '''first''' book. The same passage also specifies that another character will be killed in a later battle, and of course it happens as described.
* The very title of the final book of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy lets the reader know that Aragorn will live to claim the throne of Gondor, spoiling plot points in the first two books. This is why Tolkien wanted to title the book "The War of the Ring" rather than "The Return of the King". [[ExecutiveMeddling He was overruled by the publisher]].
* In ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' you know that humanity will survive because the book is supposedly written after the war.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed: Renaissance'' by Oliver Bowden has one placed near the end of chapter one, when Ezio is living it up with Federico. [[spoiler:"Little did he realize how short-lived those days would be." Doesn't exactly bring about a feeling of good nature and happy-la-la, does it? Of course, if you'd played the game already, [[ItWasHisSled you likely saw the bit that follows coming.]]]]
* In ''Obasan'' by Joy Kogawa, the main character Naomi's mother went to Japan around 1940 to help an ailing grandmother and never came back. Most readers can probably figure out that her mother probably died in the atomic bombings. But in the 70s, Naomi reads some letters about her missing mother which state that she went to Nagasaki in August 1945 to visit a cousin, and was mutilated and later died in the bombings.
* Samantha Kingston dies at the end of the first chapter of ''Literature/BeforeIFall'', and a few more times after that.
* In an odd context-reliant example, readers of Truman Capote's ''Literature/InColdBlood'' knew full well what happened to the Clutter family and their killers thanks to the huge press coverage it received when the news broke. Capote had to rely on the one thing they didn't know in order to make his book a success; the gritty details.
* ''Literature/TheFeastOfTheGoat'' is a novel that deals with the end of Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship. Thanks to knowledge in history and the chapters' order, we know from the start that [[spoiler:he's going to be murdered]].
* The first page of ''Literature/TheCruelSea'' tells us that [=HMS=] ''Compass Rose'' will be sunk and replaced.
* ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''. There is a crime. There is a punishment.
* ''Literature/WhyWeBrokeUp''. It's a girl telling her ex-boyfriend why they broke up; throughout her 300-or-so-page description of their relationship, you know the entire time that they're going to break up, assuming you read the title.
* ''Literature/DarknessAtNoon'': Rubashov is going to be shot, and he knows it. The question is what he will (or will not) say before his execution, and to whom.
* In Muriel Spark’s novella ''The Driver’s Seat'', the fate of troubled protagonist Lise is established in the opening paragraph, which mentions Interpol agents investigating her death.
* As mentioned in the {{Film}} section above, if a story has a {{Narrator}}, you can generally assume they will live to the end, though there are of course subversions. [[Series/WireInTheBlood Val McDermid]] loves subverting this trope (so much so that a [[GenreSavvy fan of her writing]] may start to expect it). Many of her books switch back and forth between two or three narrators, letting you assume that at least those two or three characters will make it... only to have one of them be brutally murdered halfway through the story.
* ''Literature/TheyShootHorsesDontThey'' starts InMediasRes, and it's told in the first few pages that the protagonist, Robert killed his friend, Gloria because she asked him to, and he'll be sentenced to death for it.
* "[[Literature/TheLovelyBones My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name, Susie.]] [[PosthumousNarration I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.]]"
* Literature/ApollosGrove is the story of the last Oracle of Delphi, who is identified as such early in the play by her mentor. She fights to save her temple and religion. She obviously fails, though she does manage to FlingALightIntoTheFuture.
* ''Literature/TheCatWhoWentToHeaven'' is about a cat who goes to heaven [[spoiler:after dying with happiness after being included in a picture with the Buddha]]. Knowing this doesn't make the ending any less of a TearJerker.
* TheSeaHunters series by Clive Cussler is a nonfiction account of his shipwreck hunting expeditions. It's extremely episodic, with each part being the name of the ship in question and having "Chapter 1" be a dramatized account of what made the ship famous and its demise. Therefore, you know that each section of the book will have the part's namesake going to the bottom a few sentences before the phrase "Chapter 2".
* Since the S.D. Perry ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' novels were written for fans of the games who all know Wesker is the BigBad, the author doesn't even try and hide it. Instead we get numerous chapters which show what Wesker was up to (and exactly how evil this guy really is), while Chris and Jill fumbled through the mansion.
* ''Creator/CordwainerSmith'' was notable in that many of his stories begin by telling the ending. For instance, one of his finest stories, "The Dead Lady of Clown Town," begins: "You already know the end—the immense drama of the Lord Jestocost, seventh of his line, and how the cat-girl C'mell initiated the vast conspiracy. But you do not know the beginning, how the first Lord Jestocost got his name, because of the terror and inspiration which his mother, the Lady Goroke, obtained from the famous real-life drama of the dog-girl D'joan. It is even less likely that you know the other story--the one behind D'joan. This story is sometimes mentioned as the matter of the "nameless witch," which is absurd, because she really had a name. The name was "Elaine," an ancient and forbidden one."
* The ''Literature/SPQRSeries'' by John Maddox Roberts is set near the end of the Roman Republic and [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis framed as the protagonist Decius's memoirs]] written during the reign of Augustus. So obviously, he's going to live to a ripe old age so he can write the books. Also, as the books are chock full of {{Historical Domain Character}}s, virtually everyone else's eventual fate can be spoiled by [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]].
* ''[[Literature/DustAndShadow Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson]]'': whether Literature/SherlockHolmes finds UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper or not, six women will still be murdered and mutilated.
* ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' talks a lot about Hal Mikkelson, and the fact his revolutionary sail plan is a common feature on wolfships. ''Literature/{{Brotherband}}'' is a prequel to these mentions, and stars Hal Mikkelson. A large amount of tension in the latter series is whether or not Hal can clear his name, a feat he would have done for Skandians to be permitted to discuss him in the former series.
* The ''Literature/WheelOfTime'' series makes it perfectly clear, at the beginning of every book, that the story takes place in both an age long past and an age yet to come. In fact, the very title of the series suggests that time is cyclical, and thus everything that has happened before will happen again.
* [[Literature/TheMortalInstruments We already know]] that Camille and Magnus's relationship in ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices'' isn't going to last long.
* Invoked and lampshaded regarding the nature of the top-secret project that Si Morley is being asked to join in Jack Finney's ''Literature/TimeAndAgain''. It is obvious from the very [[SpoilerTitle title of the book]], not to mention the blurb and cover art, that time travel is going to be involved somehow. In-universe, Morley himself acknowledges that what all these people [[spoiler: in their incredibly realistic historical stage sets]] had been attempting to do had been clear to him for some time before either he or anyone else came out and said it. Nonetheless the scenes in which Morley goes from bemusement to awed understanding as to what the Project is, and why an unsuccessful commercial artist like him is being offered a role in it, are real page-turners.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Documentaries seem to use this trope all too often, especially if they're covering things like shark attacks or storms. [[CaptainObvious The very presence of an interviewee talking about how they felt during the incident that nearly killed them thoroughly implies that they survived.]] No interview? Probably didn't make it. Occasionally, however, a GenreSavvy director will leave the victim out of the interviews until after their survival has been established.
* Game shows provide many examples of the winner being virtually assured before the episode's natural conclusion -- that is, the contestant in the lead will have such a great lead that it is impossible for the other players to catch up. For instance:
** ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'': When a first-place contestant has more than double the cash amount (score) of the second-place contestant at the end of the "Double Jeopardy" round, the situation is known as a "lock" or, more recently, a "runaway". That is, unless the leader does something very stupid (such as bet everything in "Final Jeopardy!" and then give a wrong answer) he is assured of winning.
** ''Series/SaleOfTheCentury'': For the first year of the 1980s NBC revival, the front game ended with three questions, worth $5 each (for a maximum $15 payout). Oftentimes, the leading contestant had a lead of at least $16 lead, rendering the final set of questions a mere formality. To avert this, a "SpeedRound" was added, with host Jim Perry asking as many questions as time allowed at $5 each -- although by the end of these rounds, a dominant contestant will have such a big lead that not enough time exists for the second- and third-place contestants to catch up.
** ''Series/WheelOfFortune'': Starting in 1999, $1,000 is added to whatever dollar space the wheel landed on the [[SpeedRound Final Spin]], to reduce the amount of foregone conclusions at the start of the Speed-Up part of the final round and give trailing players a better shot at catching up. However, if he ''does'' hit $5,000, then this sometimes over-compensates to the point that a player with a very low score can abruptly overtake someone who was doing reasonably well before then.
** On the ''Series/{{Pyramid}}'' game shows hosted by Dick Clark, the front game automatically ended before the sixth category if the trailing contestant's score was so far behind that the sixth category was not necessary (except in the instances where bonus categories still had to be played). At least twice (once in 1985 and again in 1986), the game ended after the fourth category.
** Similarly, on ''Series/MatchGame'', the front game's second round ended immediately after an incorrect match made it impossible for the losing contestant to at least tie the score.
** ''Series/TheNewlywedGame'': Although extremely rare, husband-wife teams whose scores were 30 or more points behind the other teams did not play the final "25-point bonus question," since they were out of the running for the show's prize (the 25-point question, even if answered correctly, would not give them the lead and a shot at winning).
* The last episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' begins with the crew on Earth, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their return home. The producers of the episode then throw in some HowWeGotHere and some good old fashioned ResetButton to both subvert and lampshade this trope.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' tries to maintain sufficient drama, suspense, and {{Shipping}} even though we already know that Clark becomes Franchise/{{Superman}} and ends up with Comicbook/LoisLane. Clark's friendship with SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor is actually more compelling given that we know they become mortal enemies later in life, than many other relationships on the show.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' does this for nearly every plot line. In the first episode, we learn how G'Kar and Londo Mollari die (but the context is [[ProphecyTwist nothing like what we expect]]). The end of [[spoiler:The Shadow War]] is given a season before it actually happens. Half way through the first season we see [[spoiler:the eventual destruction of Babylon 5 (the space station)]]. And of course there's [[spoiler:"[[ArcWords If you go to Z'ha'dum you will die]]"]].
* ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'' Wild Bill Hickok serves as a main character in the first four episodes of the first season, and his murder becomes central to several storylines that follow. Also, viewers knowledgable of history would know that characters based on historical figures such as Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock and Sol Starr were going to survive the time portrayed in the series.
* ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', the TV mystery series starring the iconic Peter Falk character, is a beautiful example of how this trope can generate narrative tension. Famously described as not a whodunnit but a '[[ReverseWhodunnit howcatchem]]', the show devoted the opening fifteen minutes or so of each episode to showing the murderer set up and execute their version of the perfect crime. From there we follow Columbo's slow, methodical attempts to unravel it, picking up subtle physical clues and using them to play mind games with the suspect.
* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' often shows the killer at the beginning of the episode, leaving the rest of the episode to show how Jessica goes about catching the killer.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' has an episode called "The Reichenbach Fall." Guess what happens. [[spoiler: Subverted in that we see that he survived, although we're not told how.]]
* Most episodes of the last several seasons of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' are better classified as "whydunits," as we see the crime, but it doesn't seem to make any sense, such as the time when a millionaire tries to mug a middle class man at gunpoint. The police want to clear the crime from the books, because all the facts seem in order, and there are no loose ends, but Monk senses that someone must be getting away with something.
** Many episodes of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' are whydunits, although while there is usually a bit of black humor, or wackiness in the ''Series/{{Monk}}'' crimes, the ''CI'' crimes are always played straight. The "whydunit" is just from the audience's point of view. The detectives still have the whole case to solve. It's like the ''Columbo'' model, with the extra tension of wondering why the crime was committed in the first place. The crimes on ''Columbo'' usually had obvious motives, like monetary gain, when expensive jewels were stolen.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** At the beginning of the episode "Doomsday", Rose Tyler's voiceover says, "This is the story of how I died." Of course it turns out that [[spoiler: she's only considered dead in our world because she's trapped, and quite alive, in an alternative dimension with no apparent way back to this one...except that she appears in the first episode of]] series 4, [[spoiler:before disappearing in a flash of light, and comes back later in the season.]]
** Also any time they go back to famous events, Pompeii, the Reign of Terror, Madame du Pompadour, World War I, World War II, etc., the world doesn't end -- big shock.
** In the 4th series, River Song dies in the double episode she is introduced, but is capable of time travel... effectively making her immortal whenever she appears in other episodes.
** In the first part of the series 5 finale, [[spoiler: van Gogh's expression of the TARDIS exploding is passed through the centuries]]. Earlier on, a chunk of an exploded TARDIS is extracted by The Doctor from a time crack. However, [[spoiler: The entire reality in which the event happened is wiped out and [[ResetButton replaced by a similar one.]]]]
** Subverted in "The Waters of Mars" when the Doctor breaks his rule [[OoCIsSeriousBusiness and decides to save the people who were supposed to die.]] One of the women disagrees with what he did and [[InSpiteOfANail kills herself]] to [[ForWantOfANail correct his mistake.]]
** The Doctor's regeneration is a foregone conclusion in any regeneration episode, due to the publicity that goes to the new Doctor ahead of time.
* Gee, how do you think ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' will end?
** Even though Ted spends the first season trying to get Robin, we know from the first episode that their relationship is ultimately doomed ([[spoiler:Ted does get her by the final episode of the first season and they break up just before Lily and Marshall's wedding at the end of the second]]).
** We learn that Marshall's greatest mistake was buying his first apartment with Lily, then later that episode we see them buying an expensive apartment downwind of the sewage treatment plant with a bad mortgage.
** A lot of things about the show are foregone conclusions from flashforwards or spoilers given by Future Ted: the gang's friendships will all last, Lily and Marshall will stay married, Robin will never have kids, Robin's career will take off, Wendy and Meeker will get married, [[DeconfirmedBachelor Barney will get married]], Lily and Marshall will have a baby, Ted and the mother will have children, etc. Elaborated on in [[http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/12/06/143195693/how-i-met-your-mother-the-optimism-of-inevitability this]] NPR article.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'', a story about how intelligent machines were created by [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined the twelve colonies]]. Guess how ''that'' ended up. Subverted with [[spoiler: young William Adama]]. ContractualImmortality, my ass.
* In ''Series/MadMen'', the main characters work on an ad campaign for Richard Nixon's campaign for the presidency (against John Kennedy.) We know it won't work, but it's still very interesting. However, the trope is played with a bit as the audience is initially led to believe that their client, described as a "young, handsome navy hero", is Kennedy.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' does this at the end of the season one with the episode "Epitaph One," a FlashForward ten years when imprinting technology has caused what basically amounts to a ZombieApocalypse with BrainwashedAndCrazy killers instead of corpses. [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] because WordOfGod said the [[HowWeGotHere the imprinted memories of how this happened]] [[UnreliableNarrator may not be accurate]]. This plotline was picked up and completed with the last episode of the second season/series.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''
** The show only starts hinting at an Arthur/Gwen romance in season two. And, of course, eventually Prince Arthur is going to be king, with a magic sword, a Table Round, and Merlin as his trusted advisor.
** Also, Morgana eventually [[spoiler:turns evil.]]
** No matter how [[spoiler:loyal]] Mordred appears to be to [[spoiler:Arthur]], one of the defining moments of the Arthurian Legends is that of Arthur and Mordred's [[spoiler:fight to the death]] and thus he must be [[spoiler:evil.]]
* An episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' starts with one character racing to find two others, just in time to see them start to drown. Most of the rest of the episode shows how that scene came to be. The fact that every segment begins with a one-second "repeat" of the final second of that very segment should also apply here.
* Series/{{Xena|WarriorPrincess}} spends Season 4 with recurring visions of herself and Gabrielle crucified at the hands of the Romans, while all the while Caesar is getting rid of his competitors and consolidating power in Rome. When an episode entitled "The Ides of March" pops up at the end of the season, you know what's coming. [[spoiler: Caesar dies with the requisite Shakespeare quotes, Xena and Gabrielle die on crosses. Somewhat of a surprise at the time, many people expected the writers to find a way for the heroes to ''technically'' fulfill destiny and still escape...]]
* ''Series/{{Rome}}'', quite obviously. [[spoiler: Caesar dies. Marc Antony and Cleopatra die. Octavian wins and changes his name to Augustus.]] ''Rome'' has the distinction of being spoilable by a '''calendar''' -- a simple glance at the months between June and September are all one needs to see just whose clan comes out on top.
* ''Series/YouRangMLord'' plays this up in the final episode, as Lord Meldrum talks about how things are finally looking up--just a year before the beginning of the Great Depression.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' has it several times, notably on the Taylor Swift episode (we know what happens to her character but not how and why) and the 9th season opener (the audience knows who did it and why, so the question is [[ReverseWhodunnit whether the team will find out and how]]).
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''
** The first series (''The Black Adder'') is built on the premise that Henry Tudor (aka Henry VII) eventually became king and (according to the programme) re-wrote history to depict Richard III as a hunchback monster who'd killed his nephews. So, the resolution's already known from the start, the only question is how.
** At the end of ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' (the final season, set in UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne), Captain Edmund and his battalion finally go over the top. Once they get there, the gunshots cease. But then they consider the war has ended... in 1917.
* Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''UsefulNotes/DavyCrockett'' mini-series. Davy going to the Alamo? [[HeroicSacrifice What happened in real life]]?
* ''Series/DeadliestCatch'': Capt. Phil Harris died of a stroke while filming season six. When the season premiered there was a lot of intentional/unintentional {{foreshadowing}}, and even worse {{Hope Spot}}s -- he was doing so well they had already started thinking about physical therapy...
* The Creator/{{BBC}}3 drama pilot ''Dis/Connected'' starts out with the funeral of one of the characters, then goes on to tell most of the story through flashbacks. The audience thus knows from the beginning that Jenny killed herself - the question is why none of her friends responded when she emailed them her suicide note.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' features many historical characters so their fates are pretty much sealed.
** WarrenHarding will become President and die in office
** Al Capone and Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano will survive and become organized crime bosses running Chicago and New York. "Big Jim" Colosimo, Arnold Rothstein and Dean O'Banion will be murdered. Any attempts to kill Joe Masseria will fail if they take place before [[spoiler: April 15, 1931]].
** The series also gets to play with this in cases where historians disagree on what actually happened. Jess Smith died in 1923 and while his death was ruled a suicide many historians speculate that he was actually murdered. On the show [[spoiler: multiple people want him dead but he really is DrivenToSuicide]].
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' has an interesting case of this in the episode "In The Pale Moonlight". The episode is told through flashbacks and begins with Sisko wondering where it went wrong so that the audience knows from the beginning that something bad happens. And during the episode we see Sisko trying to get the Romulans to their side in the Dominion War and so the audience begins to think that the plan fails and makes things worse. But ultimately the reason he is saddened is that [[spoiler: he succeeded but that to reach this far he had to cheat, bribe, lie and 2 people were killed in the process and for him the most damning thing is that he finds himself able to live with it.]]
* Each season of ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand'' has this. For ''Blood and Sand'' itself: The slaves of Batiatus will rebel against their master and succeed.
** ''Gods of the Arena'' is a prequel, so you know what will happen.
** ''Vengeance'' builds up to the battle of Mount Vesuvius, where Spartacus will kill [[ArchEnemy Glaber]], and Oenomaus will also die.
** ''Spartacus War Of The Damned'' is going end with Rome [[TheBadGuyWins crushing the rebellion]]; but as historically Spartacus' body was [[NeverFoundTheBody never found]], ''his'' fate is uncertain, as well as {{Canon Foreigner}}s such as Agron and Nasir.
* As lighthearted as ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'' was, eventually it came to a SuddenDownerEnding where... they become extinct.
* An episode midway through ''Series/HumanTarget'' goes back several years, to tell the story of exactly how the main character turned from his previous life of crime. Anyone who watched basically any previous episode knows that this story involves him [[LoveRedeems falling in love]] with a girl... who doesn't survive.
* Any episode of ''Series/QuantumLeap'' where a famous person is involved. Good luck trying to save Creator/MarilynMonroe or UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy. Slightly subverted in that the show claims that things were much worse in the ''original timeline''. Apparently, what we know is the result of Sam changing things for the better. Marily Monroe was supposed to die before making her final movie. JFK's wife was supposed to be shot along with him. Sam made sure it happened differently.
* Sometimes happens in the History Channel series ''America: The Story of US''. For example, one episode plays suspenseful music and asks if Andrew Carnegie will be able to get the Bessemer steel-making process to work, so he can revolutionize America, pave the way for such things as the space program, and become the richest man on earth.
* The [=BBC=] produced a reality series called ''Dancing On Wheels'', a wheelchair dance competition in which the winner would go forward to represent the UK at European Wheelchair Dance Championships in September 2009. The show didn't air until March 2010.
* Every episode of ''Series/ColdCase'' starts off with an introduction to the Victim Of The Week, followed soon by a depiction of their death. No matter how likable the subsequent flashbacks might make them out to be, it's only a matter of time before the final flashback reaffirms what we learned in the first few minutes of the show--this person is going to ''die''.
** This is subverted in a few episodes when we find out in the end that the presumed victim actually survived. The dead body was misidentified or the police never found a body and assumed a murder was committed while the supposed victim simply moved away under a different identity.
** The victim in this case was injured in the attack, getting amnesia as a result, and was found by police and subsequently adopted.
* [=NBC=]'s ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' is a kind of adaptation of the book series, but also a prequel. So at some point in the show, Hannibal is going to get discovered and eventually imprisoned.
* An early season two episode of ''Series/{{LOST}}'', after the Tailies discover the survivors from the raft, shows a man impaled on a stake, identified by Ana-Lucia as Goodwin. When Goodwin shows up in the flashback episode ''The Other 48 Days'', it's easy to guess his fate.
** Also, in season 5, half the main cast goes back in time to the 70's and join the Dharma Initiative... thing is, we already know what will happen to them, as it was shown in Ben's flashbacks towards the end of season 3. And it's not pretty.
* Creator/TheBBC's ''The White Queen'' is the story of the life of [[TheHouseOfPlantagenet Elizabeth Woodville]]. [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler The first episode]] builds suspense over whether her and the king's MyOwnPrivateIDo ceremony was faked just to get her into bed before he marries the princess he's betrothed to; even if you don't know the first thing about the historical events, the series' ''title'' rather [[SpoilerTitle gives away]] the fact that she's going to become Queen.
* ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'''s fourth episode, ''Giant of the Skies'', opens with a dead male ''Ornithocheirus''[[note]]([[ScienceMarchesOn nowadays called]] ''Tropeognathus'' but whatever)[[/note]] lying near a mating site. The story deals with his journey to the area. The sixth episode, about the extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, is titled ''Death of a Dynasty''. Guess what happens to the central ''Tyrannosaurus'' family. [[spoiler:Actually, the mother is killed shortly before the meteor impact.]]
* ''Series/HouseOfSaddam'': As a historical drama, the audience knows that Saddam Hussein's regime will collapse and that he will eventually be captured and executed.
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': Invoked, obviously, for the war as a whole and the advance of the Western Allies from D-day onwards. But very much inverted when it comes to the [[AnyoneCanDie fates of the individual soldiers]]. Although several of the surviving real life members of Easy Company are interviewed at the opening of each episode, the makers ensure that the survival of any given interviewee ''won't'' be a foregone conclusion by not showing their names until the end of the series.
* Some of the best ''Series/MythBusters'' segments test myths that everyone ''assumes'' have a foregone conclusion only to yield surprising results. The best example is when they discovered an African elephant actually will go out of its way to avoid a mouse.
-->'''Jamie Hyneman''': "A lot of the stuff we do is kind of ridiculous. ... But time after time, once we get into it, we run into things that we either totally didn't expect or something we were positive was going to go one way and it doesn't."
** Any case in which the testing of a myth actually puts a tester in serious danger (such as the time they made a plane- the outside of one anyway- out of duct tape and had an actual pilot fly it) will obviously end with the tester's survival, because if someone had actually died during a test, the viewer would have heard of it and they probably wouldn't have shown that test.
* Series/BetterCallSaul is a prequel and the story of Saul Goodman, who played a significant role in BreakingBad as Walter White's lawyer. He's still "Jimmy McGill" at the start of the show, but we know he'll eventually become Saul, he'll eventually lose most of his ethics and turn into a high-powered organized crime attorney and he'll eventually end up exiled to Nebraska after the events of BB. VinceGilligan has said the show's about how someone like Saul even comes to exist.
** Also, we know that[[spoiler:Mike will not make it to the end]] from BB
* ''Series/TotalDivas'' suffers from this as a result of trying to make a reality series about women who appear on live TV every week. The episodes are usually a few months behind so several of the stories they tease make no sense. At the end of the third season the CliffHanger was that the Bella Twins did not want to renew their contracts. Since the Bellas had continued to appear on TV since that episode was filmed, with Nikki even holding the title belt, they clearly changed their minds.
* ''Series/AirCrashInvestigation'' tried to add drama to their re-enactments of air disasters, but they also include TalkingHeads of the survivors telling their stories. Clearly if there were survivors then the plane either landed safely or at least crashed in a somewhat controlled manner. Subverted in one episode where a pilot is sucked out of the cockpit mid-flight - the episode shows no real-life footage of him until near the end, disguising the fact that he miraculously survived the ordeal.

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism Determinism]].
* Many Marxist thinkers (including the leaders of the Russian Revolution) believe in a kind of historical determinism which posits an inevitable progression from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism. Interestingly enough, Karl Marx himself never supported this view of history, any more than he supported genocidal, totalitarian dictatorships.

* A variation occurs in ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. The {{narrator}}, noting that stress is a growing problem in the world, chooses not to unduly stress the readers by giving away the ending of a suspenseful sequence: The planet they are above ''is'' Magrathea, and the nuclear missiles approaching the ship will cause no damage, save for a nasty bruise to the forearm. To order to preserve ''some'' sense of suspense, though, he does not say whose forearm -- until the closing credits of the episode. It was [[spoiler:Arthur]].
** When Ford says that's he's not going to watch the football match later the bartender assumes that it's because Ford considers it a forgone conclusion that Arsenal will lose, although it's actually because Ford knows that the Earth will be destroyed before the match.

* Basically the whole Literature/BookOfRevelation in Literature/TheBible says how it's all going down according to the Christian faith. [[spoiler:[[TheAntichrist Satan]] [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption loses]]. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Big]] [[AndIMustScream Time]].]]
* In [[NorseMythology Norse Mythology]] almost all of the gods are fated to get killed (in very specific ways) at Ragnarok, along with most of humanity, trolls, giants, monsters and assorted other species.

* Creator/WilliamShakespeare invented the phrase, used in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'', although he meant it more literally: the evidence of Cassio's dream "denoted a foregone conclusion" of his sleeping with Desdemona, "foregone" meaning "having previously happened".
** Also, here's a pattern: if you're in a Shakespearean tragedy, and your name is in the title, you're screwed. If your name ''is'' the title, doubly so.
** Perhaps the most famous example is ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''. Creator/WilliamShakespeare says in the prologue that Romeo and Juliet are [[YourDaysAreNumbered going to die]].
** Although inverted with ''Theatre/KingLear''. The legend at that time had Cordelia and Lear ''survive'' and Lear restored to the throne. Shakespeare surprised audiences by turning it into a tragedy.
** The histories all fall into this trope as well, given that they're all BasedOnATrueStory. There's even a meta-example in the epilogue of ''Theatre/HenryV'', in which the Chorus pretty much tells the audience the outcome of the next ''three plays'' in the chronology, ''Theatre/HenryVI, Parts [[Theatre/HenryVIPart1 I]], [[Theatre/HenryVIPart2 II]] and [[Theatre/HenryVIPart3 III]]''.
---> "Henry VI, in infant bands crowned King
---> Of France and England did this king succeed
---> Whose state so many had the managing
---> That they lost France and made his England bleed."
* Including fictional history, as is the case with Steven Brust's ''Khaavren'' saga, a prequel series presented as a written DocuDrama of a major {{Backstory}} event in the world of Literature/{{Dragaera}}.
* ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''. The main character's a salesman. Three guesses what happens to him.
* In addition to being a PerspectiveFlip ExternalRetcon of ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', the play version of ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' opens with everyone celebrating the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the story takes place in a flashback. [[spoiler:However, [[FakingTheDead Elphaba lives]], subverting the trope.]]
* The musical ''Theatre/MissSaigon'' reveals [[spoiler: Chris will get out of Vietnam while Kim (and the Engineer) will not]] towards the end of the first act. The second act shows how this happened.
* All Greek tragedies, being based on well-known myths, were like that. It was considered normal to the point that, when New Comedy authors started imitating some aspects of tragedy while still telling stories they made up themselves, they created the Prologue, which was already pretty much what it is in the Shakespeare example: one of the actors would address the public at the beginning and explain how everything was going to play out -- they feared the spectators would get confused otherwise.
* ''Music/{{Evita}}'' begins with a song about Eva's funeral.
* A small note of this is in the opening scene of the play ''Theatre/AnInspectorCalls''. The rich family sat at dinner are discussing the amazing modern world they live in, including the new utterly unsinkable ship that's due to sail soon - The Titanic. It's a not-exactly subtle bit of symbolism - the family's own personal iceberg is, as the title says, about to call on them - and some productions have actually gone so far as to omit the line entirely, since the usual audience reaction is to laugh.
* ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'': Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die.
* ''Theatre/LesMiserables'': The June Rebellion will fail and the barricade will fall.
* ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'': Congress will declare independence and America will win the Revolution. It's a sign of a well-done production when the audience completely forgets this and spends the entire play biting its collective nails.
* ''Theatre/Elisabeth'': The very first line of the musical makes it pretty clear that the titular character is going to die (and that everyone else in the play is dead).
--> '''Judge''': But why Lucheni? Why did you kill the Empress Elisabeth?

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'':
-->'''Max:''' They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger, and then it was over.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', you already know how the game is going to end in the introduction (the main character, Ramza, being branded a heretic and erased from history, while his childhood best friend, Delita, is revered as a hero and became king) due to the fact that it's narrated by a historian looking back into the past. Although in this case, it's not a matter of [[OhAndXDies how things end]], but rather [[spoiler: an attempt to uncover the massive church conspiracy that damned Ramza as an evil heretic instead of the hero he is.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' begins with the main party sitting at a campfire outside of a [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon ruined Zanarkand]], with the protagonist, Tidus, asking the player to "listen to [his] story" because "it may be the last chance [they] have left." [[ProlongedPrologue Cue extended flashback]]. [[spoiler:Seymour]] never really stood a chance. Funnily enough, the only thing ''not'' absolutely certain is whether or you and Wakka manage to win a [[FictionalSport Blitzball]] tournament or not.
* ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', the prequel to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', expands upon the character Zack, who was seen in two flashbacks in the original game. Since one of the flashbacks shows Zack being killed by members of Shinra, you already knew the ending. Creator/SquareEnix ups the ante by having ''Crisis Core'' end with Cloud Strife jumping on the train from the start of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** The same can be said about ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'', a game that chronicles Roxas' time with Organization XIII. Since we know the conclusion of his story in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', we know that that game won't end happily.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', a prequel to the first game, does not [[DownerEnding end happily]]. Given that all three protagonists are MIA as of the aforementioned first game just ten years later in-universe, it was only a matter of ''how'' they all met their untimely ends. [[spoiler: It's played with since technically none of them are actually dead.]]
* Averted In ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria'', which is seemingly a prequel to the first game. We "know" that Silmeria is going to get captured by Brahms… and that's when TimeTravel from the first game completely changes everything. But played straight in a way by the first game. Regardless of what happens with the various Einherjar you pick up, the world is going to end a month in-game after the prologue. Sure, [[spoiler:Lenneth recreates, uh, creation afterward]], but only in the best ending.
* ''VideoGame/HeavenlySword'''s first mission ends with main character Nariko succumbing to the deadly curse of the title sword. The rest of the game is a FlashBack on the events leading up to this point. [[spoiler:She eventually does succumb to the curse, but not before taking King Bohan and [[TheWarSequence hundreds of his soldiers]] with her in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].
* In ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'', the story of the game is being told, ipso facto, by the protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood. As such, it is logically impossible for him to die in course of the game. However, in a certain puzzle in which Guybrush is suspended over a cauldron filled with acid taking too long to solve the escape will cause him to fall into the acid and subsequently die. [[FissionMailed The game then cuts back to the present, where Elaine points out to Guybrush that he obviously can't be dead, since he is telling her the story]]. The player then gets another try.
** Since the title of ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland [[FourIsDeath Chapter 4]]'' reads "[[SpoilerTitle The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood]]", we are curious at to what happens to Guybrush at the end. [[spoiler:Although it is subverted when he is saved from execution by [=LeChuck=], who clears out the last of the five charges for him, it becomes double subverted when the same guy who saved Guybrush later kills him by the Cutlass of Kaflu after the latter cures everyone of the Pox of [=LeChuck=].]] That Spoiler Title is definitely [[{{Pun}} a Four-Gone Conclusion]]!
* Pick any number of historical first-person shooters or RTS games that don't deviate into AlternateHistory. These spoilers run anywhere from [[spoiler:the Allied victory in WWII]] to [[spoiler:the Union victory in UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar]]
* Done in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' in which the opening narration is by a novelist who wrote about the war described in the game and talks about how Gallia would come to withstand the invasion and would challenge one of the continent's great powers. The fun in the game, is of course in finding out exactly how, and the price of victory. And soon you realize that it will be very high. The question is not who will win, but what will be left once the war is over.
* The story in the video game adaptation of ''VideoGame/TheDarkness'' is being told by the protagonist, Jackie Estacado, so the assumption is that he's around after the fact to tell you his story. In an unusual subversion, there ''are'' totally unexpected twists in the story which present further examples: [[spoiler: "That... well, that was the ''first'' time I died."]]
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', you can ask your [[spoiler:uncle]] Duncan to tell you about some of his adventures. Although he has a lot of stories to tell, he refuses to tell them to you because there wouldn't be any tension since you know that he lives.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'': ''Fuuin no Tsurugi'' has Hector [[spoiler:dying within the first few chapters]] - in the prequel game ''Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken'', Hector is one of the protagonists.
** Fuuin and Rekka have (6 and 7 respectively) has several of these. [[spoiler:by playing Fuuin, you already know that Canas will die, Eliwood's wife (and Hector's) will become a MissingMom, not to mention that Karla will die of an illness and that Rath (as well as possibly Lyn) will die in a Bern uprising.]]
** However, it's only at the end of ''Rekka no Ken'' that it's implied that [[spoiler:Lucius was the priest who started the orphanage that Chad and the twins lived in, and who was killed by Bern forces.]]
* Adventure game ''Diamonds In The Rough'' starts off like this. "However I'll tell you the ending. I have just consumed 200g of yellow phosphorus dissolved in olive oil. Now I feel fine, if a bit queasy from the olive oil. Soon extreme thirst will happen. Followed by nausea and headache. That's when the real fun begins." He goes on to describe exactly how his body will shut down and suffer severe organ failure. It also serves as hint on how to progress; you need to read a report on its effects and grab a beaker of it late in the game.
* The ''Day Of Sigma'', an unlockable {{O|riginalVideoAnimation}}VA on ''VideoGame/MegaManMaverickHunterX'', acts as a prequel to the events of [[VideoGame/MegaManX the series]]. This shows an inevitable StartOfDarkness (of sorts) for [[BigBad Sigma]]. What fans didn't see coming in the video was [[spoiler:[[CityOfAdventure Abel City]] being destroyed by a MacrossMissileMassacre]]. And that's not the ''only'' {{retcon}} the video had made.
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' plays with this, mixing it with ProphecyTwist here and there. The prologue of the game as well as the cutscenes of Alex recounting the events so far occurs at the 18th Day of the infection. From the looks of New York and the background images of desperate fighting the player gets the impression that TheVirus has all but taken over Manhattan. So, as the game progresses, it is of no surprise as hives and infected are popping out left and right. It is not until about midway through the game that the player learns that [[spoiler: Alex killed Elizabeth Greene and the Blacklight lost its momentum]] and another couple more missions before [[spoiler: she actually dies]]. Likewise, Alex mentions very early on that he [[spoiler: killed [=McMullen=]]]. What he doesn't say is that when he finally got to [[spoiler: [=McMullen=], he shot himself in the head, depriving Alex and the player a treasure trove of information, most importantly, about the Pariah]]. In a similar vein, the Web of Intrigue videos clue the player on [[spoiler: Alex's role in the creation and spread of the Blacklight virus before the actual reveal occurs.]]
* "The Last Stand" poster in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' saying "It won't end well." This is for Survival mode where you have to hold out for as long as you can because everyone will eventually die. But that it is not canon, at least not yet.
** "The Sacrifice" in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' will involve one of the original ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' characters [[HeroicSacrifice dying to save everyone else]], and the tie-in comic establishes that it's [[{{Canon}} officially]] [[CoolOldGuy Bill]]. In gameplay, it could be any one of the players.
** Initially the fact that the campaigns were connected made the ending of each one an example (Since no matter how hard you fought, you were right back to where you started in the next one). The creators thought this would leave a sour taste in the player's mouths since it meant each ending bar the last one was a DownerEnding. The "Crash Course" campaign and later comic then confirmed that all of them tie into each other since the fans wanted continuity.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'': "The gods of Olympus have abandoned me. Now there is no hope left." The game begins three weeks before Kratos crosses the DespairEventHorizon.
* The ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' {{prequel}} ''VideoGame/HaloReach''. Anyone who's been paying even a little attention to the backstory knows that Reach is Master Chief's DoomedHometown and is gonna [[ApocalypseHow burn]]. Bungie have acknowledged this, as the game's tagline seems to be "From the beginning, you know the end."
** This goes for the player character as well. The first cinematic upon starting a new game is a scorched wasteland - and a helmet with a bullethole through the visor. The game then cuts to your character placing the same helmet, now intact, on his/her head...
* Several "dungeons" in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' involve the players going back in time to foil the Infinite Dragonflight's attempts to break the TimeyWimeyBall. While this could be a subversion if it were possible to fail, canon states that if the players screw it up the time guardians of the Bronze Dragonflight will hit the ResetButton. So not only are the original enemies DoomedByCanon, so are the Infinite agents.
** Additionally, one such flashback (the Battle of Mount Hyjal) has no Infinite Dragons interfering and even [[WordOfGod the developers admit]] that it only exists because [[RuleOfCool it's a cool moment for the players to be a part of]], so Archimonde and friends are 100% doomed.
** To make things worse, the 4.3 patch added the "End Times" dungeon where you go to the BadFuture to defeat the leader of the infinite dragonflight... the corrupted Nozdormu himself who ''knows that he's screwed'' but must ''defeat his insane self anyway'' to preserve the future from his upcoming madness. Anyone taking bets that the other members of the bronze flight are equally aware of their eventual corruption?
* In ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'', it was a given that Chopin was going to die. Players were told on the game's cover that he's on his deathbed. The drama was not in whether he would die but how he would die, peacefully or in turmoil, and what the dream represented for him.
* The ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series is HistoricalFiction with a healthy dose of WrittenByTheWinners, so it is inevitable that the memories that are being relived of various 13th and 16th century historical figures will have outcomes that don't differ too much from history.
** The premise of the game -- that these stories are being viewed through the GeneticMemory of Altaïr and Ezio's descendants -- mandates that the main characters will survive past the events depicted ''and'' will have children whose bloodlines converge in Desmond Miles. [[note]]Interestingly, Altaïr marries and has children after the events of the first game, and the second game makes it clear that Desmond is descended from his firstborn son, but ''Revelations'' requires that later memories of him be explored. This is done by means of having Altaïr use the Apple of Eden to store his own memories in keys which Ezio later recovers and views.[[/note]]
** In the modern-day setting, 2012, Abstergo is the MegaCorp that evolved from the [[TheKnightsTemplar Templars]] that Altaïr and Ezio battle. We also know that the Templars reign virtually unopposed throughout much of modern history. So while these two Assassins may do great things in their time, their achievements are doomed to be remembered only in secret among their descendants.
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', the BigBad, Rodrigo Borgia, must survive to become Pope, therefore Ezio finds an excuse not to kill him. This is {{foreshadow|ing}}ed in the game by having Shaun tell Desmond about his historical research on the subject prior to Desmond viewing the final memory sequence.
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'', Ezio destroys a number of mechanical inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci, such as a tank, a machine gun, and a bomb-equipped glider. We all know that he merely delays their creation. Also, the BigBad's manner of death is a matter of historical record, so Ezio foregoes his normal assassination method in favor of [[spoiler:throwing him off a wall]].
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' takes place during the period of time visited in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' and ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis 3]]''. Raccoon City got nuked at the end of ''3''. So the odds are ''greatly'' stacked against the playable survivors, with {{canon}} [[GaidenGame doing nothing]] to establish anybody's survival.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilZero'', despite being a prequel, goes both ways with this trope. You know Rebecca will end up in the Spencer mansion and you know her entire team dies, but since Billy isn't even so much as mentioned in any other games you have no clue whether he'll die, be handed over to the authorities by Rebecca, or make his escape.
** Actually in Resident Evil 2 which was released before Zero Billy Coen is mentioned in a report in the file room of the rpd where you have to push a ladder for a puzzle. In it it's stated he died. [[UnreliableNarrator But since Rebecca is the one who wrote it...]]
* Surprisingly subverted in most ''Franchise/StarWars'' games. The conclusion is forgone, since they're all sidequels, interquels, and prequels… but you can always play towards the non-canonical Dark Side ending anyway, where that doesn't happen. The (Knights of the) Old Republic games avoids it, unless you play The Old Republic first or are aware of [=LucasArts=] general policy on Light Side/Dark Side choices -- they might be prequels, but they take place so long before the rest of the expanded universe that there is over a ''millennia'' of thus-far undetailed time for things to snap back (the Sith Empire wins? The internal contradictions causes it to collapse within a century or two (or even quicker), and the Republic re-emerges from the ashes). You know how it ''ultimately'' is going to end up, but that ultimately is so distant that it doesn't really matter to the ending.
* In most [[LicensedGame games that are based on movies]], it can be safely assumed that the game's canonical ending will be the same (or at least, very similar to) the ending of the movie it is based on. Some games partially subvert this by giving the player the option to play as the movie's villain(s), usually creating a non-canonical ending in which the villains win.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''
** Anyone even remotely familiar with ''Zelda''-series history knows a little bit about the Master Sword and its role as "The Sword of Evil's Bane." So when they play ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' and start to see the eponymous sword beginning to look more and more like that legendary blue-hilted blade, they can likely fill in the blanks before they reach the end.
** An outdated but more obvious one - anyone who played the older games would have realized things weren't going too well for Link and Princess Zelda in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''.
* ''VideoGame/AgarestSenki Zero'' star Seighart and his son Leonis. Both of them are Leonhardt's ancestors so, of course, Leonis cannot die [[spoiler: so it's obvious the normal ending is non-canon.]]
* ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' opens with Zoe in a coma, so you know you're getting set up for a DownerEnding. And it works in the opposite direction, too. [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/TheLongestJourney The first game]] ends with April Ryan living as a content old woman, so her apparent death at the end of ''Dreamfall'' is probably not going to stick.]] In this case, then this must means that [[spoiler:Kian Alvane will also survive to marry her, as the kids called her "Mrs. Alvane"]].
* The beginning of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' starts ten years after game play actually begins, so it reveals that Hawke will become the Champion of Kirkwall and will be involved in events that will severely cripple the Chantry. However, exactly what Hawke does is up to the player. The trailer also gives another one; [[spoiler: the Qunari uprising, the Viscount's death, and the possible duel against the Arishok.]]
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/SecondSight'': half the game is set in the present, with the rest being told as flashbacks roughly six months earlier. However, the ending reveals that [[spoiler: what the protagonist believes to be the past is in fact the present and what he believes to be the present is in fact a hypothetical future, which he is experiencing because of his precognitive abilities.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Lufia II|RiseOfTheSinistrals}}'', you know Maxim and Selan don't end well, and you know that killing Gades won't end the game because there are three more bad guys you have to fight on [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon the Doom Island.]]
* The missions "All Ghillied Up" and "One Shot, One Kill" in ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4'' involve you attempting to assassinate [[RenegadeRussian Russian Ultranationalist leader]] Imran Zakhaev in 1996. [[spoiler: Of course, since the mission just before ended with Zakhaev attempting to call [[RebelLeader Khaled al-Asad]] in the present day, you can figure out how this will end...]]
* ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space: Episode 3]]'' opens with the duo held captive inside a deathtrap by the vampire Jurgen. The first half of the game details how the two wound up that way.
* Playing through ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'' you eventually meet Glenn, who, seeing as how he is a principal character in the T.V. show and comics, will ''not'' be staying with the main character and his group.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' [[FanSequel Fan Interquel]] ''VideoGame/SonicBeforeTheSequel'' has Sonic trying to stop Eggman from launching the Death Egg. Since the game takes place between Sonic 1 and 2, the latter game showing that the Death Egg is now orbiting above the Earth and Sonic ''still'' has to stop it, it's pretty obvious that he fails this time.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'':
** From a game mechanics standpoint, most missions qualify by not featuring failure conditions.
** The Foundry mission [[Recap/StarTrekOnlineFoundryDivideUtRegnes "Divide ut Regnes"]]. You can't fail at capturing the Undine infiltrator because, due to a StableTimeLoop, [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast you technically already succeeded]]. (Have we mentioned that TimeTravel is a pain in the ass?)
* BatmanArkhamOrigins subverts this: You know that Cyrus Pikney died. What you don't know is how he was murdered, and why. Then it turns out that [[spoiler: Cobblepot Senior FAILED: Cobblepot needed to silence Pikney to take over Gotham's economy, and used the classic poison and a social invitation that Pikney couldn't refuse. Pikney died, but used a derivative of the Lazarus Vector (thanks to a young Arkham, no less) to resurrect himself. Unfortunately, like all applications of Lazarus (Venom, Titan, Raj Al-Ghul, etc.) it drove him a little insane. He then killed Cobblepot for real.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' fangame midquel ''[[VideoGame/CognitiveDissonance MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance]]'', you already know that Giegue will descend into madness if you've played the series before, no matter what you do. [[spoiler: Not even PK Harmony, the ability equivalent to [[VideoGame/{{MOTHER1}} Sing]] and [[VideoGame/{{EarthBound}} Pray]], can save him, only momentarily holding off his insanity.]]
* ''VideoGame/AceCombatZero'' is a prequel telling the story of the Belkan War, which occurred years before the events of ''[[VideoGame/AceCombat5 5]]''. Due to events specific to ''Zero'', [[spoiler: Mission 12]] is still a WhamEpisode, but it occurs on [[spoiler: June 6th, 1995.]] If you've played the previous game, you already know how that ends.
* Thanks to no one remembering the events of ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'' in the [[{{VideoGame/Persona 3}} main]] [[{{VideoGames/Persona 4}} games]], it's obvious to players of those games that the memories of the games will be erased somehow. This somewhat hurts the game as it progresses some of the subplots in 3, namely the Yukari and Mitsuru and Ken and Shinjiro ones, but all of these have to be erased at the end of the game.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': Saber will return to her timeline and [[DownerEnding die atop a hill with the corpses of her countrymen surrounding her]]. It's already been recorded in history, and anything that happens during the Holy Grail War cannot prevent that from happening on her own personal timeline. Somewhat subverted in that the point was never to prevent her from dying, but to let her live life to the fullest before her death.
* ''VisualNovel/RoseGunsDays'' takes place in TheForties and tells the story of Rose Haibara and her club of ladies of the night turned mafia family, Primavera. In an AlternateHistory where Japan was destroyed by a disaster and repopulated by Chinese and American immigrants, she desperately tries to keep Japanese culture alive and prevent the Japanese people from disappearing. Before the story even begins, in 2012, we already know that she failed and that Primavera degenerated into a violent nationalistic group that has little to do with what its first Madam wanted it to be. Over the course of the story, several important elements are also unveiled in advance, like [[spoiler:Wayne surviving and having children or Jeanne having taken over Primavera by defeating Rose.]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}'' focuses on TheShinsengumi from their rise to prominence through the Boshin War. While the addition of supernatural elements to the story creates a degree of uncertainty, players who know anything about that period of history and [[AnyoneCanDie the fates of the real-life Shinsengumi]] can tell from the beginning that [[KillEmAll it's not going to be pretty]].
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney''
** Case 4 of ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney Trials & Tribulations]]'' is [[spoiler: a flashback to Mia's first case as a lawyer]]. As soon as you find out the prosecutor's identity ([[spoiler:Edgeworth]]) it's meant to be clear that [[spoiler: you can't win]] because [[spoiler: Edgeworth never lost a case prior to meeting Phoenix in court]]. Although it was a subversion since [[spoiler:''neither'' lawyer won: the defendant commits suicide while testifying and the case is thrown out without a judgment.]] Also, in ''Apollo Justice'' [[spoiler: there's another flashback trial]] that you know will end badly, because you've already been informed that [[spoiler:it's the one that caused Phoenix's disbarring]]. It's also made clear ''in the same game'' that [[spoiler: Mia is going to lose the case, as shown by her thinking back to it in the first case of the game and reflecting on how badly it ended. Of course, this still led players to expect her to outright ''lose'', instead of ''neither'' lawyer winning, so it's still a subversion.]]
** In ''[[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Ace Attorney: Investigations]]'', Edgeworth is shown at his first trial during a flashback case. [[spoiler: It's not the one with Mia, so you know something's going to go horribly wrong; the suspect is killed at the beginning of the case and instead of prosecuting him, Edgeworth has to figure out what happened.]] At the end of the case, present-day Edgeworth comments that [[spoiler: his true first case would take place months later, and if you've played ''Trials and Tribulations'', you already know what's going to go down...]]
** Furthermore, some cases (usually the first one in each game) show the killer at the very beginning. It's a matter of proving it to the court.
** ''Investigations 2'' features a flashback case where you get to play as Gregory... against von Karma. Anyone who's played the first game will know he maintained his perfect record until he went up against Phoenix, so it's clear Gregory won't be able to win. Not only that, this is the case where von Karma received his only penalty, so you know that [[spoiler:Gregory is going to find out von Karma forged evidence]] and [[spoiler:that won't end well for him...]] You also know you won't be able to catch the real killer in the flashback portion of the case. But they still managed to pull a few surprises though, such as [[spoiler: Badd being involved in the case]], [[spoiler:von Karma only barely winning due to LoopholeAbuse, the moral victor was firmly Gregory]] and, most significantly, [[spoiler:[[BiggerBad the Chief Prosecutor at the time being involved in the forgery, and he only gave von Karma the penalty to cover his own tracks.]]]]
* ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoKajitsu'' has one for each character, each in their own routes. While this is mostly done well, some are...less so. Amane's in particular stands out due going on for well over half the length of her route before concluding for a result you already know.


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Concerned}}: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman''. Emphasis on '''death'''. Most fans [[HesJustHiding apparently never noticed that though]].
* ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'': If you've played [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid the game]], you know how the main characters end up. At the beginning when it's all {{flanderiz|ation}}ing the characters for humor, this doesn't register. At the end after a long bout of CerebusSyndrome, it's pretty damn bleak. The panel with Sniper Wolf and Bertholt is exceptionally heartbreaking.
* The book "The Sharp End of the Stick" of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' starts with several characters dressed in loincloths and wielding sharp sticks, rather than their usual military uniforms and plasma weapons, not to mention that [[spoiler: Kevyn and Elf]] have become a couple. The rest of the story switches back and forth between telling the story in chronological order from that point and showing how the characters got there.
* ''FanFic/ChessPiece'' takes place during TheRoaringTwenties -- 1927 currently, to be exact. Although times are good, the Great Depression is just around the corner.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', all the time. Not only does the story run on AnachronicOrder, but time travel and having visions of the future are regular occurrences, and twelve of the sixteen major characters with dialogue already know everything that's going to happen for a large portion of the story and regularly tell the four protagonists about it.
* The current "Tower of Babel" arc of ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' is essentially the backstory of one of the characters, and previous arcs make it clear that [[spoiler: Tessa's squad destroys Arthur, but during the battle Julian is killed and Tessa is captured. Then she escapes with help from Tin-head, and sometime later wins Sticks from Julie Waterman in a card game.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'': Nogg tells Mr. Zorilla that his daughter, Martina, has died. The rest of the comic is Nogg telling "the long and very detailed version" of how this came to pass.
* ''[[http://revfitz.com/chuckcomics.html Kick The Football, Chuck]]'' uses Charlie Brown attempting to kick Lucy's ball as a metaphor for his fight with cancer after chemotherapy. We all know he never kicks it.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' invokes this trope to set up a BrickJoke of incredible proportions.
** Played with a little bit earlier before that; [[spoiler:Sarda believes that the outcome of his battle with the Light Warriors is a foregone conclusion, and that he literally cannot lose to them, since his present-day self grows up in a world that isn't terrorized by the "heroes". He does actually lose the fight... sort of... but the Light Warriors disband after the battle anyway.]]
* The "Sam" arc of ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'' goes into Ki's past with Sam, her former fiancee, who had been alluded to in the past. While it is implied that they had a bad breakup, the arc reveals that [[spoiler:he tried to ''[[AttemptedRape rape]]'' her]].
* Much ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}''[='=]s "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)". The story is Wanda's loss of Goodminton, and her journey to be a caster in Faq. Anyone who's read the main story already knows that Faq falls through Wanda's actions.
** In-story, anything foretold by a Predictamancer. ProphecyTwist is ''possible'', but less common than you'd think, and is a source of endless grief for the main characters.
* The Bleedman Comics ''Webcomic/GrimTalesFromDownBelow'' and Powerpuff Girls suffer from this. The former is set ~20 years after the latter, and Grim Tales has been explicit and [[KillEmAll horribly morbid about the future]]. So the long term end of the Powerpuff series (barring multiverses) is [[TheBadGuyWins very much foregone]].
* [[http://www.wordwearycomic.com/2014/01/20-janurary-2014.html This conversation]] in Webcomic/TheWordWeary could have just been avoided entirely with a little honesty.
* There is a multi-chapter flashback in ''Webcomic/EvilPlan'' which tells the origin story of Kinesis from Will's perspective. The entire time you get to know how much of a bright and happy spirit Will was, knowing the flashback has to end with his death by Stanley's hand.
* One of the main draws of ''{{Webcomic/Sire}}''. The Binding is a mystical force which forces the lineage children to follow the destiny of their sire/dam. Dramatic Irony itself is the antagonist of the series and each character just has to work their hardest to avoid their foregone conclusions.

[[folder:Web Original / Web Animation]]
* In ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', when a character gets rolled and isn't saved by any of the other handlers within the time limit, you can be sure that their death is only just around the corner. The same fate falls upon inactive characters who don't get adopted.
* Half of seasons 9 and 10 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' are prequel stuff, taking place several years before the beginning of season 1. Due to the events of the previous 8 seasons we know that [[spoiler:most of the Freelancers we meet are going to go crazy, almost all are going to die (often at the hands of their former teammates), and those that survive will be irreversibly damaged by what they go through]]. We also know several key events that will occur, just not how or when they do.
* It's played up as suspenseful, and doesn't officially occur until halfway through the first season, but I wonder who's going to end up on team ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}''...
* In ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'', Satan himself orders the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Grand Duke Abigor]] to lead an army of approximately four hundred thousand demons to Earth, to subjugate humanity. Unfortunately for them it's 21st-century Earth (the point of divergence being January 2008). Human technology has already made short work of several [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Kaiju-like]] demons, and Abigor's army is made up of demons only slightly bigger than humans, fighting with feudal technology and tactics. So forget the plan, Abigor's army itself does not survive the ''first battle'' with humans, and an overarching theme of the story is [[HopelessWar just how]] ''[[HopelessWar doomed]]'' [[HopelessWar the demons were the moment they entered Earth]].
* It should be exceedingly obvious at this point that ''[[KillEmAll everyone]]'' that has anything to do with [[TheSlenderManMythos the Slender Man]] is going to die horribly. [[AvertedTrope Averted,]] surprisingly, by ''[[WebOriginal/MarbleHornets Marble Hornets]]'' - [[spoiler:Tim lives. So does Jessica. Jay and Alex and everyone else, however...]]
** This also applies to ''{{Slender}}'' and its [[SlenderTheArrival sequel.]] Every ''Slender'' game, really.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Any ChristmasSpecial that's set in the ancient Middle East should be a dead give away to its [[StarOfBethlehem subject matter.]] Even more obvious if the main character is a [[Disney/TheSmallOne donkey]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Spoofed when Homer fears the worst when reading a wilderness survival story.
-->'''Homer''': [reading] Then I heard the sound that all Arctic explorers dread... the pitiless bark of the sea lion! [gasp] He'll be killed!
-->'''Marge''': Homer, he obviously got out alive if he wrote the article.
-->'''Homer''': Don't be so... [flips ahead] Oh, you're right.
** Likewise, any flashback episode that shows problems with Homer & Marge's relationship (i.e. "That 90's Show"). Since they're married in the present, it's pretty obvious they're going to be fine.
* The ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Candace Gets Busted". Two guesses as to what happens at the end.
* For ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', everyone is waiting for [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_many_deaths_of_Optimus_Prime Optimus Prime to die]] and [[DeathIsCheap come back to life]], just to get it over with.
** [[spoiler: There's a twist for the Season One finale. Since a dead character can't come back in this series, they killed Prime metaphorically. Unleashing the Matrix on Unicron took away all of his memories of being Optimus Prime. He is now Orion Pax, and has joined the Decepticons via Megatron taking advantage of his current state. The Autobots eventually went back to Cybertron to reload the Matrix, giving Optimus his memories back.]]
** [[spoiler: Come the end of Season 2, Prime was in the base when the 'Cons blew it up, and his arm can be seen amongst the wreckage. He might be dead this time, but it's highly doubtful.]]
** [[spoiler: Played completely straight in that Prime did die and come back to life in season three, although subverted in that he was ready to pass the mantle on, just as the original Prime did in the movie. Ultra Magnus even shows up to take command of the Autobots in their darkest hour. Smokescreen's ScrewDestiny move, however, ensured that Prime's habit of cheating death will live on.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch''
** Before a classic match between OJ Simpson and Joe Namath was shown, Nick started making OJ jokes. Johnny explained the fight took place before the ugliness in a simpler time.
** In the episode with the match between Kevin Spacey and Michael Caine, there was this parody of the opening line from ''Film/AmericanBeauty'':
---> '''Spacey:''' My name is Kevin Spacey, and I'm 49 years old. This is my life. In less than half an hour, I'll be dead. [[ItMakesSenseInContext I'll also be dressed like a giant hamburger.]]\\
This was [[spoiler: sort of a subversion, because he won the match with Caine, but was then killed by Dave Thomas, who was in the show's previous match.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'':
** Any time they come close to capturing or killing an important figure in the Separatist Alliance or if any of the Jedi are in peril. You already knew Nute Gunray was going to get away and that Obi Wan somehow escapes the supposedly inescapable trap. The series does avert this to a degree whenever they feature clones, since you never know which among them will get offed the next minute.
** As the series is an interquel set between episode II and episode III of the prequel trilogy, and KidAppealCharacter Ahsoka, Anakin's padawan, is nowhere to be found in the latter, ''something'' is going to happen to her eventually which removes her from being able to do anything to influence the events of the movies and makes Anakin, who is quite attached to her, not want to talk about her. [[spoiler: Turns out that she was expelled from the Jedi Order after being framed for a crime she didn't commit. Though the truth eventually comes out and she is acquitted, she declines to return to the Jedi afterwards due to the Council's lack of trust in her.]]
** While the series obviously cannot touch any named Jedi that appeared in or after the third prequel, they do manage to off some important expanded universe characters. Due to the higher level of canon Clone Wars has, these deaths are final. [[spoiler: This became quite shocking in the season finale, where Barris Offee was arrested as a terrorist. She was suppose to die by her master's side during Order 66, which was ultimately cut from the movie but appeared in a comic.]]
* Particularly depressing example in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''. In the climax of "Simon and Marcy", Simon manages to [[spoiler: use his abilities and still remain semi-sane, and it looks like there might be hope for him to eventually gain control over [[ArtifactOfDoom the Crown]]...but of course, the audience already knows from previous backstory episodes that [[DownerEnding he will ultimately fail at this, lose his mind, and be forced to abandon Marceline.]]]]