- That '70s Show:
- The 2002 episode "Tornado Prom" had Jackie having a dream about The Wizard of Oz, where she saw herself as Dorothy. Then in 2012, it was announced that Mila Kunis had been cast in the official Wizard of Oz prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful, where she would play the Wicked Witch of the West before her Start of Darkness.
- Also, one episode had Kelso proclaimed that home computers would be the wave of the future after he and Red managed to mod a Pong game. Fast forward to 2013, where Ashton Kutcher ended up playing the role of Steve Jobs in his biopic.
- And season 8 "Fun It" had Donna fearing of going to "a girl prison". Fast forward to 2013, and her fears came true.
- There was a Halloween episode where Donna leaves her house in a disguise, which includes a blonde wig. Eric can only remark "Who's the hot blonde?" when first seeing her from his house. Lucky for him, because she ended up dyeing her hair that exact colour a few seasons later.
- Eric Forman sometimes comparing himself to Spider-Man becomes this since his actor, Topher Grace, would eventually play Venom.
- Jackie thinking she's pregnant with Kelso's kid in the first series is one when you skip forward sixteen years and Mila Kunis actually did get pregnant with Ashton Kutcher's kid.
- In the first season of Arrow, there was a scene where Oliver booked DJ Steve Aoki for an event, and mentioned he was able to get him since he used to date Steve's sister. Fast forward to Season 3, where Steve's sister Devon was cast as Katana, before being forced to drop out.
- In a 2003 movie Dead Bodies, Kelly Reilly (who played Mary Morstan in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes) played the love interest of Andrew Scott, who- forward about a year later in 2010- plays Moriarty in Sherlock.
- In Season Four of Six Feet Under, David, played by Michael C. Hall, is kidnapped by a deeply unstable drug addict. At one point, David tries to reason with the man saying "I just need to understand how you can do this to me, to anybody?! How can you not feel sympathy for me?!" Michael C. Hall's next role, Dexter, is that of a sociopathic serial killer faced with occasional Ho Yay.
- Even more amazing, in Season Five, David hears about about a serial killer on the loose, and a mix of new parent paranoia, and stress following Nate's death, he starts to imagine himself being stalked by a man in a red hoodie. This is ultimately resolved in a surreal dream sequence where he is confronted by his stalker and unmasks him, first to reveal a horrible insect monster... then David himself. Almost makes you wonder if Six Feet Under had more than a little to do with Dexter being cast.
- The series could also be described as "David Fisher Takes A Level In Badass," considering how anal Dexter is.
- There is a split second moment in that scene, just after David grabs the knife and charges at the hooded figure; it evokes the show that would later come very well.
- This video becomes funnier when you realize that Julie Benz once played a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who has probably killed more people than Dexter ever will.
- In the Season 1 episode, "Life's Too Short," David Fisher's date Kurt comments that dating cops is no good because they're control freaks. "Firemen, on the other hand..." Kurt is played by Steven Pasquale, who went on to Rescue Me three years later.
- In a 1979 episode of Charlie's Angels, future James Bond Timothy Dalton guest stars as a cat burglar. Early on, his character is described as a man of "James Bondian tastes."
- In an episode of Everybody Hates Chris, Greg reveals that he cosplays in his sleep. He chooses a different character for each night. One of which is Robin. A few years later, his actor, Vincent Martella, would do the voice of the teenage Jason Todd in Batman: Under the Red Hood. The show took place when Jason Todd was still Robin.
- It probably counts as some kind of hate crime to laugh, but the fact that a pre-outed Neil Patrick Harris guest-starred as a nervous ex-gay leader of a "Reformist-Club" that ended up being seduced by Jack in Will & Grace is hilarious. Earlier in the series, Messing jokes about current President Barack Obama back when he was a junior senator, claiming she had sex with him in a dream, "Oh-bama, he Barack'ed my world!"
- A closeted John Barrowman auditioned for the role of Will, but was turned down on account of being 'too straight'. The role went to Eric McCormack, who actually is straight, and Barrowman later came out as gay.
- Before season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, the actress who played Starbuck gave an interview where she jokingly indicated that the big secrets of the upcoming episodes were that "Starbuck is a Cylon and she DIES!" Amusingly, Starbuck did indeed seem to die towards the end of the season, with all involved making a big deal out of the event and with every indication that she wouldn't be back. The real twist came in the season finale, in which Starbuck was revealed to be alive and therefore possibly a Cylon! (but she's not) Amusingly, while Starbuck's departure from the show was made public early, the character's return was kept secret right up until airtime, even from much of the cast.
- In a season 2 episode, one character remarks sarcastically to another: "Oh, maybe I know [you're not a cylon] because I'm a cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings." This line just gets funnier and funnier as the show goes on... And more so funny since the line turned up in the mini-series, spoken by Head Six, which may/may not be a Cylon chip in Baltar's head, talking about a character who is later revealed to be a Cylon at the very in of the miniseries.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- In episode 820, Space Mutiny (which everyone needs to see simply for the list of nicknames for the beefcake star), Crow makes an offhand comment about an online encyclopedia: "Wow, 26 pages on Gwen Stefani alone!" This was four years before the launch of Wikipedia, which currently has at least 15 pages directly related to her, as well as a Wikicommons and Wikiquote entry. The same movie had Mike riffing on one of the many '80s-refugee extras with the line "What have you got for me, Rick Astley?"
- Joel sings "Never Gonna Give You Up" when an Astley-esque character appeared on screen in 418 (Attack of the Eye Creatures). Yes, rickrolling a movie!
- Not the only time they've done that joke. In Eegah, a young man in a suit with his hair cut exactly like Astley's inspires Tom to sing the first line of the chorus from "Together Forever".
- In the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians episode, as a ridiculously cheap spaceship flies by, Crow declares (in a stereotypically nerdy voice) "If they cancel Battlestar Galactica, I'm gonna kill myself!" This was funny back when the original series was a nerd cult classic. It became even funnier when the new (even more nerd-loved) series came out. And now, it's been announced that the next season (4) of the new show will be its last.
- And then there's the moment during Hercules Versus the Moon Men when they parody a then-ubiquitous ad for the Scientology text Dianetics — A Modern Science of Mental Health, which involved reciting life questions and page numbers for the "answer" in the book. The last one? "How much more money can we get from Tom Cruise?" This was roughly a dozen years before Tom's Couch Shuffle incident.
- In Riding With Death, Mike comments, as a group of men try to beat up the hero, "We'd like you to consider Scientology!" Jump to the Anonymous campaign against that religion...
- Mike Nelson did a RiffTrax of Battlefield Earth early 2007. During the scene were the cave people are learning how to work technology, Mike cracks a joke: "Caveman Geniuses: On Fox". Several months later, a show about the Geico Cavemen aired on ABC.
- Episode 409, The Indestructible Man, made in 1992 (the episode, not the film), has the riff on Lon Chaney's name: "Any relation to Dick Cheney?" (Cheney was Secretary of Defense in 1992 - but many people didn't know that...)
- Many people also don't know that Dick and Lon were related, although distantly.
- When they did Bride of the Monster in 1993, the gang noticed in passing that one of the good guys resembled Johnny Depp. In 1994, Depp played the film's director, Ed Wood, for Tim Burton in the film Ed Wood, and the making of Bride of the Monster itself is dramatized.
- In The Beast of Yucca Flats, or rather in the tourism short about Puerto Rico, Mike makes an offhand comment about "Fun times in Guantanamo."
- In the same episode, in one of the host segments, Crow parodies the Film Preservation Foundation with his own group that wants to let bad movies deteriorate. He calls it the Film Anti-Preservation Society, and uses the acronym "FAPS"
- A few years before the Mike/Joel switch, Mike was guest-starring (he was a writer, so he'd always been around) in War of the Colossal Beast and read a fan letter, which included the line "My favorite is Joel". A few years later, the entire internet started arguing this exact question, but it's clear from the start that Mike was on the side of Joel.
- In the episode for Rocket Attack USA, Joel & The Bot's get a Hexfield-Viewscreen visit from a Russian cosmonaut stranded in space with two Bots of his own. The man playing that cosmonaut...Mike Nelson!
- In a related vein, during the episode for Gamera, Joel goes overboard with the stupid Johnny Carson "Art Fern" impersonation. This annoys the Bots to no end until Crow says, "Stop! You can be replaced by Leno, you know....". Considering what happened with Joel Hodgson a few years later (albeit not with Leno).
- One of the Mads' invention exchanges was a tiny square exercise mat, which they talked about as if it unlocked some great fitness secret. Nowadays the mat bears an uncanny resemblance to the Wii Fit balance board and its advertisements.
- In episode 821, Time Chasers, there is a riff on how the Big Bad's suit wearing henchmen are "the director's friends who owned suits." In a later interview, the director himself confirmed this was true.
- In the same episode, at one point a bearded overweight resident of the Bad Future comments that he'd cut the throat of the guy who invented the time machine that caused the whole mess. Crow calls him "Michael Moore in 30 years".
- ...I'd hate to be the "Mike and Joel are Time Lords!" guy, but...Mike and Joel are Time Lords.
- From Eegah, they have this quote, referencing a caveman: "I'm with Allstate. Who're you with?" Now consider the popular Geico commercials...
- In Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, Mike makes a crack about the father in the second half of the movie rushing out to go rent Barb Wire. This was already a shot at Barb Wire for its negative effects on the production of the MST3K movie. However, the joke falls under this trope because the first airing of this episode had heavy advertising from Sci-Fi for Barb Wire.
- In Werewolf, Mike and the bots riff about a gas station sign with gas prices that were absurdly high at the time of taping. The riff's funny now for the opposite reason: the prices in question are below $2 a gallon...
- Entirely in-series: at the end of 201, Rocketship X-M, when Crow comments about how bad it is for people trapped in a capsule to be watching a movie about people dying in a capsule, Joel asks the Mads, "Why don't you just show us Marooned?" Forrester's response: "We couldn't get it!" 2 years later in episode 401, they did... thanks to Film Ventures International releasing it as Space Travelers.
- The last episode of MST3K showed Mike and the bots back on earth, sitting down to riff on a movie even though they weren't being forced to anymore. Their actors did the same thing.
- During one of the party boat scenes in Catalina Caper, Joel goes "You know what the difference between this and the Titanic was? The Titanic had talent." a few years and a few Oscars later...
- On the Monster A-Go Go episode, one of the invention exchanges from Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank is of an action figure called "Johnny Long-Torso", which starts you off with a single body part and requires you to purchase parts sold separately to complete. Several years later comes Downloadable Content for video games, namely the kind some companies have become infamous for.
- Episode 403, broadcast 1992, features the movie City Limits, described by Dr Forrester as starring "James Earl Jones at a low point in his career and Kim Cattrall at a high point". Of course, this was six years before Sex and the City.
- A Mork & Mindy blooper reel from 1978 (WARNING: NSFW language and brief nudity that you probably don't want to see) is all the more hilarious due to a young (and possibly coked-up) Robin Williams lamenting, "I see my whole career flashing before me" and "A brief moment of silence for my career," though that can now be considered a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment due to Williams' death by suicide.
- One clip has Williams telling Pam Dawber that "someday you'll have a career of your own, and you won't need me anymore." And, though she's running under the pop-culture radar, she does: she's kept rather active.
- In the beginning of "Putting The Ork Back In Mork", Mork has forgotten how to be Orkan and turned, well, bland. His hair is very, very short and he wears glasses... and he looks almost exactly like Robin Williams did later in life. Maybe Robin hasn't forgotten how to be an Orkan, but he sure has made it clear that he just doesn't want to be one. If only there was some way to turn him back...
- Long, long before Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status:
Mork: I've been to all the planets in your solar system.
Exador: Mars? Mercury? Pluto?
Mork: Oh, don't ever go to Pluto - it's a Mickey Mouse planet.
- In a first-season episode of Monk, a person of interest asks whether he's psychic, and Sharona quips "he's a psychic who doesn't believe in psychics." Four years later, it begins being paired with Psych, whose main character uses the skill Monk used to have... to pose as a psychic.
- Also, Tony Shalhoub's role as OCD Adrian makes Ian Stark's claim that he once had OCD much more amusing. Of course, Ian Stark cured his OCD through hypnosis, but when Monk tried doing that in "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," it didn't go as planned.
- In the teaser for Psych's season 2, Shawn and his Black Best Friend Gus, who run the eponymous Phony Psychic detective agency, recreate portions of the "Ebony and Ivory" video, including the line "Stick together in per-fect har-mony". The actual trailer for the season promptly revealed that Gus is leaving Psych. That situation lasted for only one episode and culminated in Shawn blackmailing Gus' boss - one of Shawn's Crowning Moments Of Awesome.
- Though the line is actually "Ebony and ivory sit together in perfect harmony on my piano keyboard; oh lord, why don't we?", which makes perfect sense if you've ever seen gus and shawn work together.
- Season 5 ends with Ross and Rachel getting married while drunk in Vegas. Ross promises he'll get it annulled, but he doesn't want to have his third marriage fail as well, so he ends up lying to Rachel about it. Rachel finds out three episodes later that they're still married, and she furiously asks Ross, "When were you going to tell me? After the birth of our first secret child?". Two seasons later she gets pregnant with Ross's child, and Ross is the last one to find out.
- When Carol and Susan get married, someone asks who is the most likely to get married last and everyone looks at Chandler. He actually marries Monica a few seasons later, while other main characters are still single.
- The already hilarious couch moving scene ("Pivot!") is even better after you've seen David Schwimmer as Drill Sergeant Nasty Herbert Sobel in Band of Brothers.
- Rachel also fawns over Ross in a military (Navy) uniform.
- In "The One With All The Resolutions", Ross says "no divorces in '99!/Just the one divorce in '99!". He ends up Divorcing Rachel less than a year later in "The One with Joey's Porsche" (Which aired on October 21st, 1999) making his 'resolution' hilarious indeed.
- Joey asked Rachel "How you doin'? You all right?"? in the season 2 premiere. Who would have thought that the first half of that would be his catchphrase?
- Invoked in universe during the One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks when Ross brags about Carol playing "for both teams."
- Also from that episode its revealed Monica and Chandler had crushes on each other the first and second time they met respectively. Both crushes faded, but years later they've now fallen in love and are dating
- The episode where Rachel was freaked out that Ross has been planning their future, down to the name of their kids. The first he came up with was Emily.
- Emily's actress Helen Baxendale got fame in the UK for starring in Cold Feet. What's her character's name? Rachel.
- Season 1: Chandler offers Monica a Fallback Marriage Pact if they're both single when they're forty. Turns out he cashes in on that deal a lot sooner...
- In Season 3 Chandler spends an episode fruitlessly convincing Monica she should date him. She refuses for numerous reasons. (He's not 'mature' enough, puts on weird voices, is 'Chandler' and would always be the guy who peed on her). They go on to not only date, but fall in love, start a relationship, move in together, get engaged, get married and raise a family together.
Chandler: "There's a nuclear holocaust, I'm the last man on Earth. Would you go out with me?"
- In season 9 (aired 2002-2003), Joey considers investment options, and Monica tells him real estate is the ideal choice.
- Season 6 has one episode that shows how different the cast would be if they did something in their lives that changed them forever. In this alternate continuity, Chandler is the one who is unemployed and has to borrow money from Joey instead of it being the other way around. Season 9 has an episode where the same exact scenario is played out, except Chandler swallows his pride to ask Joey for the money.
- In Season 4 Monica gives Chandler a crash course in 'pleasing women' in the rather famous "Seven, Seven, SEVEN!!!" scene. Cue Season 5 and her new boyfriend is the "best she's ever had".
- In Richard's first appearnece, Pheobe simply says "James Bond!" because he was wearing a tuxedo. Tom Selleck later appeared as a retired spymaster in Killers, alongside Asthon Kutcher.
- Monica marries the guy who peed on her. Chandler marries the woman who cut off his toe.
- In "The one with the butt," Joey gets a role in a musical about Sigmund Freud. Years after the episode first aired, an actual musical about Sigmund Freud premiered in Sweden.
- In the episode where the guys play "Bamboozled", Chandler Bing loses after drawing a Google card. That's right, for once, Google ruined Bing.
- The Season 2 episode 'TOW Old Yeller Dies' has Joey and Chandler idolizing Richard who is currently dating Monica. Chandler even tries to grow a mustache to be more like him. This is extremely funny later in the series when Chandler is the one dating Monica.
- In season 5 Rachel lies to a guy saying she'll be at a Regatta Gala. A few seasons later, guess who tries to teach Joey how to sail.
- Straddling the line between Hilarious in Hindsight and Late to the Punchline is the famous " Ross and Rachel kiss for the first time" scene. The set-up seems normal at first, but try to remember this exchange while wearing your Troper Glasses - and remember it happened before Internet culture:
: What matters is I-I don't need this right now. I'm happy! This ship
: Ok, you go ahead and you do that, Ross, because I don't need your stupid ship
- Also, Joey, during the premiere of Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E., voices his doubt that he can carry a show on his own. It was proved true a few years later.
- A season 6 episode has a throwaway gag with Rachel robbing some money out of Ross's jacket. When she catches a girl looking at her she replies "Alimony". Which becomes especially funny knowing she has a baby with Ross one year later.
- I the episode "TOW Ross Moves In", Phoebe dates a guy Monica referred to as "Larry The Health Inspector Guy". Years after that episode, comedian Larry The Cable Guy made a movie called "Health Inspector".
- The message of Angel season 5's episode "The Girl in Question" rapidly becomes non-serious when additional information is provided by Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. To explain: in "The Girl in Question," Angel and Spike go to Italy to try and find Buffy (well, to stop a demon war, but that's just an excuse). Each one says they love her; but when they talk with Andrew, they find she's in a relationship with the Immortal, their nemesis. Sort of. Anyway, it all ends with them bonding (again, sort of) over the fact that neither will be with Buffy, who has moved on. In Buffy Season 8, it's revealed that the Buffy involved with the Immortal is a double used so people won't know where the real Buffy is (in Scotland), and Andrew made up her relationship with the Immortal as a practical joke on Angel and Spike.
- Also in Buffy, "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" (Season 1, Ep 11): Willow presents Buffy with a list of missing students, and Buffy remarks that the most recent student's only activity was band - and that she played the flute. Willow's reaction was intended as confused, but anybody who's seen American Pie can't help but think that her "...So?" looks quite shameful and guilty.
- The same missing student in that ep was a girl who was so ignored by her fellow students that she became invisible. The final scene of the episode shows the girl being recruited by the FBI for a special unit using people with special powers such as invisibility as assassins and other secret agents. Fast forward a few years, and that same actress is on Heroes as an FBI agent, recruiting psychic Matt Parkman to help catch superpowered multiple murderer Sylar.
- The best Buffy example is in season 3, episode 16: "Dopplegangland." An evil vampire version of Willow arrives from an alternate dimension, threatening the real Willow while acting rather sultry all around. Willow describes the vampire-Willow as "kind of gay." Buffy assures her that a vampire's personality has nothing to do with that of the original human. Angel replies "Well, actually...[Buffy glares] That's a good point." Less than a year later, Willow discovered that she herself was gay.
- This is made worse because Willow uses the exact same words the episode "Tabula Rasa" from Season 6 when she realizes (once more) her sexual preference after having wiped clean the memory of the whole cast due to a spell misfire.
- Joss was trying to decide which of Xander and Willow would come out. If you look at vamp-Xander's behavior, especially to "puppy" Angel, it feels they were going for Depraved Bisexual. (It falls a little short, but then, this was ten years ago and Most Writers Are Male.)
- Some of "Doppelgangland" passes into Harsher in Hindsight. The two most horrific words in Buffy are "Bored Now".
- And again from Dopplegangland, after Willow hears about her double being a dominatrix scoffs at the thought of her and Oz playing Mistress of Pain games. Alyson Hannigan ad libbed the femdom scene in the first American Pie and in the second it turns out she's flanderized into a super crazy hot evil male dom chick.
- In a season five episode of How I Met Your Mother, the gang see a "doppelganger" of Lily, the character played by Alyson Hannigan. The doppelganger is a rather nasty stripper with a European accent. Unfortunately, the writers didn't go with a quote of the Buffy line.
- On the topic of Buffy, in the first season, there's a brief one of these when investigating a monster butchering kids for their organs. Willow mentions that she and Giles are just going to "do some research into organ harvesting" or the like. Made funny years later with Anthony Stewart Head taking the role of the Repo Man in Repo! The Genetic Opera - a character who works - yes - as an organ harvester.
- Anthony Head plays Giles, a skilled magician. Years later, he would play the fanatically anti-magic King Uther on Merlin. After a brief stint as stage magician Adam Klaus in the pilot of Jonathan Creek.
- In the first episode of Angel Angel runs into Cordelia at a party. After a brief conversation which ends with Cordelia saying that she has to talk to people who actually are someone, Angel comments "Nice to see that she's grown as a person." Funny at the time, but ironic in light of the vast amount of Character Development she would undergo over the course of the series.
- In that same episode, Cordelia asks if he's still "Grrr". He says "Yeah...there's not actually a cure for that." He finds out later, in "I Will Remember You", that there actually is.
- The traditional nickname for Buffy's horde of sidekicks was "the Scoobies", after the group in Scooby-Doo. Several years later Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy's actress, would go on to play Daphne in the live-action Scooby Doo movie. Oz's actor Seth Green would also show up as a minor character and Velma's love interest (which is also inadvertently amusing, given that Velma is sometimes theorized to be a lesbian, and is like Willow in character).
- In the Season Two episode Phases, Larry Blaisdell believes that Willow being an innocent schoolgirl is an act.
- There's an episode where Buffy tells Angel that "being stalked isn't really a turn-on for a girl." Uh...
- Way back in the first episode Buffy is freaked out to discover a vampire victim, so she approaches Giles and asks, "Okay, what's the sitch?" Kim Possible did for the spy theme what Buffy did for horror, and would adopt this as a Catch Phrase.
- In "As You Were" Spike is illegally selling demon eggs on the black market using the alias "The Doctor." Years later, James Marsters would get a recurring role on Torchwood, a spinoff of Doctor Who.
- In Angel, season 5 episode 19 "Time Bomb", Illyria has this to say to Angel regarding vampires: "Do you know what you were when I was young? You were the muck at our feet. We called you the ooze that eats itself. You were pretty at night. You sparkled, and you stank. You still stink of it!"
- Willow's "Did I fall asleep?" from "Conversations with Dead People".
- The pilot has this line:
Buffy: Oh, come on! This is Sunnydale! How bad an evil can there be here?
- This Season 2 conversation, years before the revelation that Spike was a bad poet:
Angelus: Dear Buffy. I'm still trying to decide the best way to send my regards.
Spike: Why don't you rip her lungs out? It might make an impression.
Angelus: Lacks... poetry.
Spike: It doesn't have to. What rhymes with lungs?
- In Season 5's "The Replacement," Riley remarks to Buffy that he appreciates her "bad ice-skating movie obsession." This comes two episodes after the introduction of Dawn, played by Michelle Trachtenberg, who, 5 years later, would star in Ice Princess.
- There was a Porn Parody of The Movie called "Buffy the Vampire Layer". Buffy has sex with two vampires over the course of the television show.
- The episode "Superstar" revolves around minor character Jonathan becoming a massively-successful, famous, and wealthy celebrity due to a magic spell. Danny Strong, the actor who played Jonathan, won not one but two Emmy Awards in 2012 for writing the movie "Game Change", and was announced as the writer for the film adaptation of Mockingjay.
- Twilight has one of the books titled Breaking Dawn. This happened in Buffy at least every other week where they would...well, break Dawn.
- Riley's many similarities to Captain America after Joss Whedon's involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially considering that Whedon himself wrote the script for Cap's movie.
- Spike's speech about Angel and Buffy's doomed relationship in season 3 is a far better description of Spike and Buffy's future (tumultuous) relationship than it is of any other relationship on the show.
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood...blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."
- Can double as a Funny Aneurysm after the episode Seeing Red, when Spike almost rapes Buffy, saying that love is passion and fire, not trust, and that clearly means she loves him back.
- In Homicide: Life on the Street, a major plot point is Kellerman's (Reed Diamond's) murder of a drug dealer, particularly getting past Internal Affairs. In The Shield, Vic Mackey murders Terry Crowley (Reed Diamond) and claims an already dead dealer did it. It is also the main reason he is so loathed in the series finale.
- In this clip from The Daily Show way back in January of 1999, commentator Beth Littleford does interviews at Super Bowl XXXIII, and late in the clip, ends up making comparisons to gay porn while asking uncomfortable sexual questions about homosexual sex to various players, including Esera Tuaolo, who, three years after that show aired, came out of the closet.
- Plus, Jon Stewart once interviewed Gen. Petraeus' biographer, who told him about how much Petraeus liked to challenge her and how manly he was. It was, of course, later lampshaded by Stewart.
- During the 2008 presidential election, The Daily Show played a satirical biographical film about then-nominee Barack Obama called "Barack Obama: He Completes Us", which parodied The Lion King. In the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, now-President Obama trolled Fox News and the birthers, particularly Donald Trump, by playing footage of what he claimed was from his birth, before revealing it was really the opening of The Lion King.
- On the 2008 Election Night, once Obama won, Larry Wilmore announced that, because of the election of America's first black president, he'd be replacing Jon Stewart as host and Wyatt Cenac would be replacing Stephen Colbert. In 2015, Wilmore replaced Colbert with The Nightly Show, and the half-black Trevor Noah replaced Stewart as host of The Daily Show.
- In one episode, Stewart mocked a video of Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a rap about Alexander Hamilton, stating that the concept of someone rapping about the founding fathers was completely ridiculous. In 2015, Miranda turned the concept into Hamilton, one of the most successful Broadway shows in years.
- Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In had "News of the Future" as one of its recurring skits, usually a round number of years from the airdate. A 1968 episode had a news bulletin from 1988 that "President Ronald Reagan denies that he is a candidate for Governor of California"—at the time, an obvious reference to the then-governor's failed bid to be the Republican candidate for the 1968 election, but in 1988, he was finishing up his second term as president and ineligible to continue running...
- They did it again just one year later, again heading 20 years into the future, to 1989, for the rejoicing as East Germany tore down the Berlin Wall.
- In Misfits, when asked why he bothers to try and rescue Simon from danger, Nathan replies: "The little bastard gets under your skin, doesn't he?". A couple of years later, Iwan Rheon, the actor playing Simon, joined the cast of Game of Thrones as Ramsay Snow, Lord Bolton's bastard who enjoys flaying people alive.
- Back in 1969, Monty Python's Flying Circus had a sketch ("THE WORLD AROUND US: The Mouse Problem") involving a subculture of men that liked dressing up as mice. See here. At the time, it was a satire of the treatment of homosexuals; nowadays, with the whole Furry Fandom thing, it just gets funnier. It should go without saying, however, that some - like the Anti-Furry movement - found it to be a worrying harbinger of things to come.
- Also, the sketch where a gorilla is applying for a job as a librarian, to which he is ideally suited until he reveals himself as a man in a suit. Discworld used an orangutan, admittedly....
- The "Science Fiction Sketch" has a man named Harold Potter who, despite being English, goes to Scotland for supernatural reasons. note This may however be a deliberate reference, since the Harry Potter series has a number of other Monty Python references.
- From the same sketch: Scotland is the worst tennis playing nation in the world.
- And Murray just won in Wimbledon! Admittedly, it was the Olympics singles title he won, but they held the match at Wimbledon so it kinda counts...
- And then there's the Verrifast Airline sketch, which pre-dates many of the shadier charter and low-price airline companies by about thirty years, and arguably becomes even funnier in the light of, say, Ryanair.
- The "Australian Philosopher's Sketch" gets its humor from the absurdity of having stereotypical louts in Crocodile Dundee outfits teaching Hegel and Plato. In the past few decades, some of the most influential philosophers - notably Peter Singer and David Chalmers - have come from Australia.
- Longcat first appeared as a kaiju-like beast in the Terry Gilliam sketch "Killer Cars", decades before LOLCats became a thing.
- Only Fools and Horses: In "It Never Rains...", Grandad mentions a friend called Nobby Clarke. Kenneth MacDonald, who played Mike from "Who's a Pretty Boy?" to "Time On Our Hands", played a character by that name in It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
- In the 1992 Christmas special "Mother Nature's Son", the Trotters attempt to pass off tap water as "Peckham Spring Water" — it glows in the dark due to dangerous contaminants. Coca-Cola would proceed to do this when it launched Dasani in the UK. That and the discovery of carcinogens led the product being pulled.
- When Dasani was found to be just filtered mains water, it got nicknamed "Sidcup Spring" after this episode and the location of the Dasani bottling plant.
- Which just adds to the parallels with the episode, since Del managed to pollute the 'Peckham Spring' water with some chemical dumped in the reservoir (that caused the water to literally glow in the dark).
- Similarly to the MST3K example above, an early Peter Kay routine involved him demonstrating the concept of "literal dancing" using a certain Rick Astley song. The rise of the rickroll has made this even funnier than it was originally.
- The state of Earth in Babylon 5 is often read as a commentary on the Bush government and the many widespread strawmen about the PATRIOT act. Babylon 5 ran from 1994-1998, ending three years before either.
- The conclusion of the third season episode "A Day in the Strife" is a lot funnier (unintentionally) now than when it originally aired. A mysterious alien probe arrives asking the station questions to see whether it was worthy of the probe revealing some of its own technology, but it is a ruse by which its unknown builders intend to destroy any race advanced enough to pose a threat; Sheridan becomes suspicious of the probe's true nature at the last minute, hesitating whether to send the answers and prompting the following:
- That's a standard military communications protocol, that long predates B5.
- The Babylon 5 Curse is a humourous way of noting that actors whose bodies were referred to in the script inevitably injured that body part. Claudia Christian fell out of a tree and broke her foot mere hours after reciting the immortal line "I have a very good relationship with my left foot"; Jerry Doyle broke his arm in a fight scene just before recording the scene where the computer asks him if he has a broken arm.
- Ivanova's lament that the Drazi are "a race that speaks only in macros" is even funnier in the age of web forum image macros.
- No pun intended here. In order to smuggle his comlink into a room with a mad bomber, Sheridan essentially has to perform an Ass Shove to hide it. It goes well at first, until he's made to sit down, causing it to beep and shut off. That's right, Babylon 5 predicted butt-dialing.
- In one episode Garibaldi vents his frustrations on a bar loudmouth, by slamming the guy's head down on a desk and claiming he is performing a magic trick.
- The episode "The Quality of Mercy" has one within the episode itself. At the beginning, a Centauri official calls Londo and signs off with "We'll be in touch". When the call disconnects, Londo responds by tapping his chest and muttering "Touch this!" Later in the episode, we learn that Centauri male genitals take the form of tentacles attached at the chest, suggesting that Londo was in fact making an obscene gesture.
- In a Frasier episode, Frasier and Niles are shocked to learn that an old Shakespearean actor they admired as children is now starring in a science fiction series (a reference to Patrick Stewart in Star Trek), which he hates. The guy that played the actor? Derek "The Master" Jacobi (ironically, Jacobi has stated that a part in Doctor Who was a lifelong dream). And Frasier Crane is played by Kelsey "The Beast" Grammer (who had also previously done an appearance on Star Trek).
- What makes this even funnier is that before he bumps into Jacobi's character, Frasier says "I can't believe I'm scouring a convention for X-Men comics! I feel like I'm contributing to the decline of my son's intellect!"
- In another episode, Frasier refers to his new agent (played by Kristin Chenowith) as his old agent's winged monkey. Chenowith later starred as Glinda in the first Broadway run of Wicked.
- In the same vein as the Neil Patrick Harris one, there's this scene from the season one finale:
Niles: (Upon seeing Roz's date) Wow!
Frasier: "Wow"? Did you say "wow"?
Niles: I did, didn't I? I have never said "wow" about another man before. I wonder if that means anything.
Frasier: (Voice dripping with sarcasm) Yes. It means you are a gay man. Your entire marriage with Maris have been a scam, and you should have come out of the closet years ago. Do you want to tell Dad, or should I?
- Similarly, "The Doctor is Out" has Niles make several snarky comments that Roz's Camp Straight boyfriend is heavily in the closet.
- The episode where Frasier and Niles become convinced they're descended from the Romanovs is much funnier given another of Kelsey Grammar's roles.
- The episode with Patrick Stewart wouldn't be the last time Kelsey Grammar and Patrick Stewart would work together.
- The episode where Sam Malone shows up, Sam and Roz do a bit of flirting. Almost 2 decades later, Ted Danson and Peri Gilpin play husband and wife on CSI.
- Another David Tennant example: An episode of the Murder-investigation-occasionally-interrupted-by-song-and-dance-routines 6-episode Blackpool features him walking past a Doctor Who museum over a year before he would go on to play the Tenth Doctor.
- From the Casanova mini-series with David Tennant as a young Casanova:
: "Someone said you need a doctor
- And now the 11th Doctor apparently owes Casanova a chicken.
- Mine beats all of yours. In Takin' Over the Asylum when asked what prizes the station could give away David Tennant's character, Campbell, says this:
- Law & Order:
- A man named Edward Cullen has a much younger girlfriend (they're neither sparkly nor living happily ever after).
- "Purple Heart" seems like the Downer Ending to The Princess and the Frog, if it hadn't been made circa 1997: An African-American couple consists of a very hard-working woman from a poor background who starts her own restaurant, no thanks to her husband who's always out for a good time and has absolutely no money management sense (the title comes from him delivering expensive contraband beer to cheer up his injured buddy by taking a shortcut through a mine field). She eventually hires two guys (the first one failed) to try and kill him after he maxes out her credit card.
- On the season 8 episode "Baby, It's You", someone misread the name tag of a certain visiting Baltimore Homicide detective as "Defective Monk". This first aired in 1997, 5 years before the debut of Monk, "the Defective Detective".
- In a different episode from 1996, a homeless woman mentions having a crush on NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, but Briscoe informed her Giuliani was married. This was years before Giuliani's extremely public affair (with a woman much less attractive than the actress) and subsequent divorce.
- In another case involving Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Even Stevens has an episode that ends with Louis and his father going through an Indiana Jones parody involving a giant golden sausage. Guess which actor would later co-star in the next IJ movie?
- More or less anything Vince (Queer as Folk UK) has to comment about Doctor Who becomes extremely funny for all those who picked up the series because Russell T. Davies created the series back when, before his new project NuWho was realized.
- Similarly, the Steven Moffat-penned series Coupling had Oliver, a Doctor Who fan who, in one episode, wears a shirt declaring "Bring Back Doctor Who", a year before the show was brought back and six years before The Moff himself became its show runner.
- Tony Hale's delivery of the line "Alias is a show about a spy!" on Arrested Development was already hilarious, but it's even better now that he has a recurring role on Chuck, another show about a spy.
- A first season episode of Night Court has Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding bragging that he once met Donald Rumsfeld. Not such a big deal in the 80s, when the episode aired, and Rumsfeld had been out of the limelight for years, but a lot funnier when the DVD was released in the 2000s, when Rumsfeld was going through the Abu Ghraib controversy and all over the news.
- Serues.The Goon Show Grand Finale The Last Goon Show of All was recorded for both radio and TV in 1972. Before the show proper begins, Peter Sellers - whose screen career was bottoming out at the time - does a bit where he whistles the soliloquy from Hamlet. "That was Mr. Sellers rehearsing his comeback," the announcer explains afterward. Three years later, his rehearsing paid off when The Pink Panther film series was revived with ''The Return of the Pink Panther.
- A sketch from an early episode of MADtv featured Jason Voorhees IN SPACE!. Later, Jason X was released.
- There's also the "iRack" sketch. In the beginning, Steve Jobs shows regular iPod products like the iBook and ridiculous ones like the iMicrowave. The last one in the list is the iVacuum. On December 11, 2009, Electrolux revealed their concept design: a vacuum with an iPod dock.
- Inevitably, Apple began to sell its own tablet computer. It's called the Apple iPad, which, thankfully, isn't used for feminine hygiene in Real Life.
- "The Sopranos on PAX" sketch. Originally, it was commentary on how a show like The Sopranos would be severely edited for content if it were on a channel other than HBO (which does allow explicit language, graphic sexual content, and graphic violence). These days, The Sopranos is no longer on HBO, and is syndicated on another channel (only the channel it's on is A&E. PAX was changed to a superstation called ION) and edited for content (though not as severely. All the scenes depicting graphic sex and violence are replaced with less graphic footage and explicit dialogue is either muted, cut, or redubbed).
- In the pilot episode of 30 Rock, Tina Fey is ordered to dress up to meet a new actor for the show. Since she dresses casually for her job, she is forced to take a Laura Bush pink suit and put her hair up at the costume/make-up department. She later does a series of sketches for Saturday Night Live as Sarah Palin wearing a strikingly similar outfit and hairstyle.
- In a first-season episode, Liz and Jenna had this discussion:
: What are you going to do if they ask you about '08? Jenna
: Of course, I want Hillary
to be the first woman president. Liz
: Ugh, no. Obama, you support Barack Obama
. Remember, you liked those pictures of him at the beach? Jenna
: Oh, right. Obama. What is he? Hispanic? Liz
: No he's black. Jenna
: And he's running for president? Good luck!
- At the time, the joke was that Jenna was uninformed, but the fact that Obama went on to become a two-term black president makes it even funnier.
- One episode had Tracy try to market a sandwich maker where the "bread" was actually pieces of meat. Soon enough, KFC made a chicken sandwich where the "bread" was pieces of chicken.
- In-universe example in the Cold Case episode "Late Returns". The episode aired and was primarily set in 2004, but a series of flashbacks in the episode date back to 1992 and Bill Clinton's election. In one of these, the following conversation takes place:
'Beth Reardon: Does it bother you that he's such a womanizer?
Vanessa Prosser: He's not going to do that in the White House.
- In an episode of Spaced, Tim claims something is "Sure as day follows night, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek movie is shit". Simon Pegg was cast as Scotty in the 2009 Star Trek movie... which was both the 11th Trek movie made and pretty well received. Pegg later claimed "Fate put me in the movie to show me I was talking out of my ass."
- Later on Simon Pegg was hired as one of the head writers for the 13th film in the series, Star Trek Beyond.
- In an episode of Red Dwarf, the crew travel to an Alternate Universe and meet genderswapped versions of themselves. The female Rimmer is (very unsuccessfully) hitting on the male Rimmer, and at one point the male Rimmer explains to Lister that she's now "gone to get some sexy videos — she seems to think that seeing two men together might turn me on". This is supposed to just be another hilarious gender-reversed version of a real-world phenomenon (specifically heterosexual men liking female-homosexual pornography) but it's a lot funnier because of the changes since 1988: Female Rimmer is just a Yaoi Fangirl!
- Then there's the bit in DNA when Lister tells a story of how he saw the simplicity of a squirrel's life and wished that his life could be the same. Then Rimmer facetiously asks if Lister's a "closet squirrel" who likes to parade around with a strap-on bushy tail calling himself "Nutkin". As with the above example, this is a lot funnier now due to the Furry Fandom.
- Actor John O'Hurley is not one, but two real life instances of this trope. First example was his role as catalogue retailer J. Peterman on Seinfeld - O'Hurley later ends up in a business partnership with Peterman in real life. Later on in the UPN sitcom The Mullets he played the role of a game show host. O'Hurley then hosted the revival of To Tell the Truth and went on to host Family Feud.
- David Duchovny starring in Californication as a charming, self-deprecating Chivalrous Pervert brought low by ennui and too much fame: entertaining. David Duchovny starring in Californication as a charming, self-deprecating Chivalrous Pervert brought low by ennui and too much fame after publicly admitting to an affair with his tennis coach and entering rehab for sex addiction: hilarious.
- Actually, the story about the tennis instructor was proven false and retracted by the newspaper that printed it. There's no evidence that he ever cheated on his wife.
- Replace the Californication references above with references with Red Shoe Diaries, and it becomes even more hilarious.
- Add to that Fox Mulder's addiction to porn....
- And his Twin Peaks character's propensity for cross-dressing. No wonder the man has a sex addiction.
- In an episode of Greek in March of '08, Cappie calls rival Evan "Evan Longoria", making fun of him by linking him with the Desperate Housewife of similar name. Seven months later, baseball player Evan Longoria wins the Rookie of the Year award and leads his team to the World Series. Who's laughing now, Cappie?
- SCTV had a recurring segment, The Gerry Todd Show, with Rick Moranis as the host of a program that played Music Videos. Since those sketches first aired the same year MTV debuted (1981), it's natural to assume they were parodies of MTV, but in fact the sketches all originally aired before MTV debuted on August 1st. Moranis used to be a radio DJ and came up with the idea of a VJ who played videos, unaware that a network (also created by former radio people) was being planned around this same concept.
- Also, given the subsequent use of Michael McDonald as a humor trope (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Yacht Rock), the Gerry Todd Show sketch making fun of McDonald seems prescient.
- SCTV had a commercial parody advertising an album called Stairways To Heaven, with various unlikely performers covering "Stairway To Heaven" ("30 great artists, one great song"). A decade later there was an actual Stairways To Heaven album built around the same idea (with covers done In the Style of... other artists).
- And then there's this clip. If you're a Hetalia fan, you'll find it funny for entirely different reasons. (Plus, the host's name is Feliks... which is also the "human name" for Poland in the anime.)
- "Cake" from Brass Eye, already utterly hilarious. It's a made-up drug, which they somehow managed to convince people meant that it was made from chemicals rather than that it was, well, made up. Or to put it another way, the cake is a lie.
- In the Big Wolf on Campus episode "Blame It On The Haim", Corey Haim comes to Pleasantville to shoot a vampire movie - which, as he and Merton put it, is a "direct-to-video beach party".
- In the novel Shogun, the hero John Blackthorne's rant against the evils of homosexuality after casually being offered a boy to have sex with is an uncomfortable piece of Values Dissonance. However, with Blackthorne being played by gay actor Richard Chamberlain in the miniseries adaptation the scene suddenly becomes a hilarious "doth protest too much" moment. In all fairness, the book mentions that Blackthorne HAS had sex with boys and that most other sailors have. Which doesn't stop it from being funny.
- Kate Winslet cameoed as herself in the British comedy series Extras, where she announced her intention to star in a Holocaust film in order to finally win an Oscar. A few years later, she finally won an Oscar for The Reader, which is, you guessed it, a Holocaust film.
- Made even funnier by the fact that Extras-Winslet appears to show a rather irreverent attitude to the Holocaust ("I mean how many films have there been about the Holocaust? We get it! It was grim. Move on."). In The Reader she plays an SS officer.
- Ricky Gervais lampshaded this at an award ceremony, you can find it on youtube.
- Made extra extra funny by the "OSCAR CLIP" quote in Wayne's World: "I never learned to read!"
- Also there's the fact that, for extra awards bait Extras-Winslet was playing a nun in the film. Come real-world Oscar night, Winslet's main competitor for Best Actress was Meryl Streep for Doubt...in which she played a nun.
- There's undoubtedly numerous examples from a show so long-running and steeped in '80s culture as Kids Incorporated. Here are a few.
- The drummer, who has maybe three lines in the four years he was on the show? That's Mario Lopez.
- "School's For Fools" — The Kid is brushing off his studies because he plans to be a rock star and doesn't care about school. Instead of studying for finals, he plans to go to a rock concert. Why is this funny? One of the things he's supposed to be studying is the difference between East and West Germany. And the rock star he's going to see? David Hasselhoff
- "The Boy Who Cried Gorilla" — This 1987 episode includes a cover of "In Too Deep" by Genesis that is performed by the Kid, with main character Richie being the only other character on screen. The funny part is that the song, despite the efforts of Kids Inc. brass to turn the song in question (originally a romantic song) into a friendship one by changing the word "love" to "like". Didn't work. Made even funnier because Rahsaan Patterson ("Kid") is out of the closet now.
- A joke in an early episode of Corner Gas has Davis explaining his theory that Battlestar Galactica could have actually happened. Just plausible enough from the original series. But if you flash-forward to the finale of the reimagined series, this is exactly what's said to have happened.
- There's a scene in season one of House where House is talking to a black senator who is running for President. He suspects the man has contracted HIV from a homosexual encounter, and says "Someday there will be a black president. Someday there will be a gay president. There may even be a black gay president. The only combination I don't see is black, gay, and dead." Snarky at the time, but now that Obama's ruling the roost it's hilarious.
- They even LOOK similar. They both have short hair, a mole on the left cheek. They're both depicted as charismatic speakers - face it, its an expy of Obama, from when he was just up and coming.
- "You're not going to be president either way. It's not called the White House because of the paint job."
- In one episode, House's roommate from the asylum moves in with him. He has issues with his status as a US citizen, which House clears up. He leaves, saying now that he won't have any problems with immigration, he plans to move to Arizona. This episode aired about a week after Arizona passed several controversial immigration laws.
- A season 1 episode of Celebrity Deathmatch has Jack Nicholson challenging a Titanic-era Leonardo Dicaprio. We all thought Dicaprio would go the way of The Outsiders cast. Yeah...
- Johhny Gomez says, "I don't know Jack, Leonardo may not have an oscar, but he's a hot young stud," to which Nicholson replies: "Johnny, he is a little tiny snot-nosed has-been in training."
- Leonardo Dicaprio: "You washed up old grease bag!"
- Jack Nicholson: "The sad truth, kid, is you're just another pretty face who can't act."
- This advert for the first season of Robot Wars narrated by Norman Lovett (Holly in Red Dwarf) becomes pretty amusing when you take into account that Craig Charles took over as presenter in season 2.
- Once Upon a time a then-unknown Jada Pinkett was turned down for a role as one of Will's many girlfriends on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She would later marry Will Smith.
- You can also see footage from a home video of her as a young girl in Tupac: Resurrection, dancing to one of Smith's songs.
- It gets better. She was turned down because she and Will didn't have any chemistry. Something with which Will clearly disagreed.
- A season 4 episode has Will mocking an actor he didn't believe as a cowboy with a sarcastic dance and repeated refrain of "Wild Wild West".
- MythBusters examples:
- In one of the "Myths Revisited" episodes, the narrator makes a comment about Tory having "about as much lift as a lead balloon". In a later episode, the MythBusters built a lead balloon and made it float.
- From an episode of MythBusters first aired a full year before the Arnold Schwarzenegger lovechild scandal:
: "Is this the first Terminator you've cooked?"
Jamie(stirring a pot of hot lead):"No, every time a robot misbehaves..." (motions to the melting pot)
- In the 2010 "Bug Special", Jamie commented that the physics of a swarm of bees lifting a laptop is the same as someone propelling a sailboat he's in by blowing on the sail — you won't go anywhere. In 2011, a build team test showed that you actually can move a sailboat that way (though it's very inefficient, and takes a really big sail).
- Western fans of Japanese Toku shows, whether it's Super Sentai or Kamen Rider, will agree on only one thing - the Blind Idiot Translations of these Japanese shows on bootleg Hongkong DVDs are always funny. Case in point, a supporting character named Goro in Kamen Rider Ryuki would always be named 'Inagaki' in the HK DVD subtitles, simply because he shares the given name of Goro Inagaki of the popular boyband SMAP. Fast forward to 2009, and Goro Inagaki lands a role as a Kamen Rider.
- An episode of Father Ted features a Scooby-Doo Hoax involving a mysterious sheep-eating beast. Dougal, who is terrified of it, rattles off a long list of increasingly ridiculous characteristics that he's been told that it has, finishing with "...and instead of a mouth, it's got four arses!". Several years later, Dr Mephisto on South Park would genetically engineer various four-arsed creatures as a recurring gag.
- Watch this 2008 clip from Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice (a parody of talent shows like Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor). Now watch this 2009 clip from the last semi final of series 3 of Britain's Got Talent.
- Speaking of The X Factor, in the series 7 Judge's Houses, Simon Cowell and Sinitta are talking about the groups they want to send to the finals. The eight candidates were Belle Amie, Diva Fever, F.Y.D., Husstle, One Direction, Princes & Rogues, The Reason, and Twem. When Sinitta mentions the superstar potential of one of the groups, Simon says "Not in a million, billion years!" and comments that "no one is going to put them on their bedroom wall." Fast forward two years, and millions of teenage girls in America, let alone the U.K., do have one of these groups on their walls.
- In the pilot of Firefly, Kaylee appears daunted by the idea of being a doctor when first meeting Simon Tam. An interesting viewpoint for Dr. Jennifer Keller.
- In "The R.Tam Sessions," River comments that her brother is a surgeon and she could never do what he does. Later on, cue the first episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, where Cameron does surgery on an injured Sarah Connor....
- In "Ariel", the crew must use fake IDs to gain access to a hospital so Simon can perform tests on River. Jayne's new identity? Kiki LaRue. This is funny for obvious reasons, but then you add in that the name later showed up elsewhere in Whedon-verse...
- A Black Comedy variant: in the film Serenity, River urges Simon to kill her: "Put a bullet in me! Bullet to the brainpan, squish!" Four years later, in another Joss Whedon show Summer Glau's character Bennett is shot in the head and dies.
- In the year 2525, Gina Torres had to fight to survive alongside a cryogenically frozen stripper. Eight years earlier, she was headed out toward the black.
- After Kate quibbles over semantics on Jon And Kate Plus Eight, Joel from The Soup quips, "stay tuned for next season's Jon Minus Nine"!
- Star Trek: The Original Series:
- In episode "Mirror, Mirror," mirror universe Sulu puts on a smarmy smirk and hits on Uhura. When she objects, he says "is the captain here?" flash forward to the 2009 movie, where Kirk puts on a similar smirk and hits on her as well.
- In the first aired episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, "The Man Trap," McCoy says that he can't sleep. Kirk then advises him to take one of the red pills McCoy gave Kirk, then Kirk appears to eat something blue.
- The focus of the episode "Obsession" is Kirk trying to hunt down an evil sweet-smelling sparkling vampiric entity.
- The episode "Shore Leave" has Dr. McCoy trying to tell everyone he saw this giant rabbit (meant to be the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland). After TOS was cancelled, DeForest Kelley starred in Night of the Lepus, which featured Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits.
- In the second season's "The Ultimate Computer" the eponymous machine was built to control the starship without any need for a crew. Upon learning this, Spock laments that "The most unfortunate lack in current computer programming is that there is nothing available to immediately replace the starship surgeon." 26 years later, we have Star Trek: Voyager and the Emergency Medical Hologram - who can also command the entire ship by himself if needed.
- Probably the best, and definitely the first, example in Star Trek: in the original unaired pilot The Cage, Captain Pike's first officer, "Number One", is played by Majel Barret who is widely known for playing the computer voice in every future Star Trek series. At one point in the episode, Number One is beamed down into the cage the Talosians are holding Pike in, to act as an alternate choice for the captain to breed with in order to create a slave race for the Talosians. The woman originally planned to be his mate, Vina, is none too happy about this development, and verbally insults Number One. Her choice of words could not be more appropriate: "He might as well try to mate with a computer!"
- A lot of moments become funny since George Takei came out as gay:
- The crew goes down to a planet that brings dreams to life. Beautiful women appear for Kirk. For Sulu, a handsome samurai.
- In "The Naked Time", Sulu, under the effects of polywater, asks to take the male navigator to the gym to teach him "fencing"...
- The Big Bang Theory
- In the second season Howard has designed a toilet for the International Space Station. He discovers that it will malfunction and regurgitate and tries to find a solution ... he fails. A few months later the real toilet on the real ISS malfunctioned in a quite similar way.
- Similarly, Howard manages to get the Mars rover stuck in a sand drift. He was eventually able to free it, though.
- In the first season, after Sheldon leaves the other geeks' Physics Bowl team to form his own, the geeks discuss who might serve as a replacement; they consider Mayim Bialik, the actress who played Blossom, but decide that'd probably be a lost cause. A good decision; as the third season finale shows, she's much more suited to Sheldon's team anyway...
- In the second season, Sheldon and Leonard have to give a lecture to a room full of students. The students were extras picked from the show's resident physics researcher's class. This creates two hilarious moments when you know this: Firstly, Sheldon Cooper, an actor, delivers a speech to a room full of physics students about how they are not smart enough to compare to him. Secondly, there's an inside joke. The physics researcher for the show put the answers to their last exam up on the board behind Leonard and Sheldon.
- An intentional one in the flashback episode at the end of Season 3. While making out the roommate agreement, Leonard asks if Friday night being Firefly night needs to be in the agreement. Sheldon responds that they might as well decide now, because the show is going to be on for years.
- A rather amusing little one is when in the Pilot, Sheldon and Leonard introduce themselves to Penny as "her next-door neighbors". She assumes they mean it in the romantic sense, which they quickly clear up with a "we're not living together, living together, we're roommates" line. Kind of ironic now that Jim Parsons (the guy who plays Sheldon) came out as gay in early summer 2012.
- "The Codpiece Topology" is a lot funnier to watch after Amy was introduced to the show, particularly Leonard's line "If science ever discovers a second member of your species and you two would like some privacy, I would be more than happy to get out of your way." and Sheldon lamenting about how everybody has a girlfriend except him.
- On The Sopranos, Tony loses a ton of money on a New York Jets football game, with the Announcer Chatter describing Buffalo QB J.P. Losman fumbling the ball, then picking it up and scoring the winning points. When the game described was actually played, J.P. Losman fumbled for real...and New York ran it in for the winning points.
- Film critic Mary Pols became pregnant after a casual encounter with a much younger man. She suggested that he live with her to raise the baby, without being in a relationship with her. He rejected the idea because it "sounded like a sitcom". Now Accidentally on Purpose is a sitcom, based on her book but with the father doing exactly what she suggested.
- In the Season 7 Seinfeld episode "The Wink", George Steinbrenner gives a rundown of all the managers he's fired, mentioning Billy Martin's name four times. He concludes by mentioning Buck Showalter (the then-current Yankees manager), then quickly clams up about it. "George, you didn't hear that from me!" Mere weeks after the episode aired, Showalter was let go and replaced with Joe Torre.
- In the 1993 Seinfeld episode, "The Masseuse," Elaine is faced with the unenviable position of having a boyfriend with the same name as serial killer Joel Rifkin. Elaine tries in vain for boyfriend Joel Rifkin, an avid sports fan, to change at least his first name to differentiate himself from the murderer Joel Rifkin. At one point, she starts suggesting names inspired by popular sports stars. One of those suggestions? OJ—as in OJ Simpson, who at that time was nothing but a beloved former football star. Seven months later, however, OJ Simpson would forever become associated with having been accused of murdering his former wife and another man.
- One early episode of The Mighty Boosh features a guest character who is an eerily accurate retroactive Sarah Palin expy, in terms of looks. This would have been a Reverse Funny Aneurysm in its own right - but the fact that she appears for the first time immediately after Howard Moon utters the line "the man, the myth, the maverick" had me in stitches.
- Even funnier? She's a zookeeper (though it's reptiles so not as funny).
- At the end of a Beverly Hills 90210 episode in which Andrea tries to get the school to distribute condoms, she says, "If I never hear the word 'condom' again, it'll be too soon." Maybe that explains why Andrea is the first one in the gang to have an unplanned pregnancy two seasons later.
- Watching Bob Saget on Full House becomes much funnier if you've heard his stand-up routine, and know just how sick his sense of humor is.
- This clip from the early Whose Line Is It Anyway? has special guest Jonathan Pryce as a pirate - a couple of decades before his role as a certain pirate-phobic Governor of Port Royal.
- In the American version, a Scenes from a Hat prompt is "Strange causes to raise money for." Ryan Stiles said "Get Drew Carey a third show." Drew would go on to host a third (Green Screen Show), a fourth (Power of 10), a fifth (The Price Is Right), and a sixth (Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza) show, though only two ever aired at the same time.
- In another episode, in a game spoofing Survivor, Greg Proops walks up to the camera and says "I'm available to host The Price Is Right...".
- On another episode of the American version, there was a game of "World's Worst" that was the show's last act, so Drew Carey was playing. The minute Kathy Greenwood said the prompt "World's Worst TV advertisement", Drew immediately stepped down and said, "Hi, I'm Drew Carey for Slim-Fast!" Now watch an episode of The Price Is Right from Season 39 and notice that since Drew took the reins, he's lost 70 pounds.
- A similar thing happened in a "Scenes From a Hat" segment:
Drew: Diet books that didn't exactly fly off the shelves.
: "Lose Weight" by Drew Carey
- However, Chip immediately shot back with "'Eat Yourself Smart' by Ryan Stiles", sticking up for Drew in the process.
- One scenes from a hat had "Celebrities that shouldn't release rap albums" and Brad did one for Stephen Hawking. Year later Epic Rap Battles of History has Hawking rapping against Einstein.
- Another scene-from-a-hat was "Bad Animals to Have as Pets," with Brad Sherwood saying "Here, Velociraptor!" and getting "mauled" by Colin Mochrie as the raptor. Fast-forward to Jurassic World, where Chris Pratt has four of them. And they don't maul him (though they come close once or twice).
- On the American edition, after an incredibly off-the-wall game, Drew says "That was so nasty they wouldn't even post it on the internet!". Oh, really?
- All the times Wayne Brady made fun of Colin Mochrie for being bald have gotten funnier in light of the 2013 revival, in which he's balder than Colin.
- In a game of "Whose Line" on the American edition spoofing Beauty and the Beast, Ryan, playing Beast, does a dance similar to the "Gangnam Style" dance by Psy.
- In a playing of "Let's Make A Date," Brad plays the role of a game show prize announcer. Wayne's response to Brad's first answer is, "You make me want to pick Door #2: one for me and one for you." Nowadays, Wayne is the host of Let's Make a Deal.
- The X-Files had an episode in which a womanizing, adulterous MIB switches bodies with Mulder. Said MIB, while playing a golf game on an FBI office computer, announces, "Yes! I am Tiger Woods!"
- Also, given that Scully takes many inspirations from Clarice Starling, seeing Gillian Anderson cast as Hannibal Lecter's psychiatrist in Hannibal is nothing short of adequate.
- In the episode "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", Jesse Ventura plays a Man In Black. Not long ago, he hosted his own show on Conspiracy Theories.
- In season one's "Jersey Devil," Scully helps out a friend, Ellen, with her son's birthday party. As they clean up, the subject turns to children; Scully admits that she is unsure about her ability to be a good mother and that her life is far too hectic—she can't even find a date. Ellen suggests "that man you work with," who Scully once described to her as "cute." Scully immediately shuts down that idea, claiming Mulder is obsessed with his work. Fast forward eight years...
- In a Season One episode of Cousin Skeeter where Skeeter trying to avoid his old girlfriend, Nina says how much of a crush she has on Tiger Woods, which Bobby replies, "I heard he had a girlfriend." Player hater indeed, Bobby.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Swarm", the diagnostic hologram's declaration "Well, there's your problem".
- Top Gear is notorious for keeping the identity of their Tamed Racing Driver, The Stig, a secret, to the point where they will replace any Stig who reveals himself as the Stig. In their first Car Football match, one of the players is a driver named Ben Collins, who was at the time the most current incarnation of The Stig. See him here.
- Top Gear also predicted, if not directly inspired the eventual existence of, Rocket League with its "small car playing (European) football" segments. No word yet on if there'll ever be a version for rugby.
- An episode of Better Off Ted focused on the company installing motion sensor technology for all the building's functions... with the downside that it didn't recognize black people, so the black employees had to be followed around by white employees at all times. Now comes news that HP's facial recognition web cam software may not work on black people.
- Back in the early nineties, Spitting Image reacted to criticism of their portrayal of John Major as the most boring man in Britain by giving him a clandestine affair with Cabinet colleague Virginia Bottomly. The joke was intended to be the ludicrousness of the very idea, but many years later it would transpire that they'd simply picked the wrong colleague...
- One episode of Bargain Hunt had them auctioning off a pair of skis and snowshoes which the auctioneer mocked as only being suitable in the UK if they had a particularly bad winter, the year the episode was recorded later turned out to be the coldest on record and skis and snowshoes would have been a real benefit.
- The first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon opened with a sketch that referenced Conan O'Brien taking over The Tonight Show and Jay Leno getting a primetime talk show. It gets funnier when you consider the later kerfuffle with NBC late night:
Jimmy Fallon: So will you be taking Jay's old dressing room when you go to L.A.?
Conan O'Brien: Jay isn't leaving.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine," Captain Picard disables a terrorist using a Vulcan Neck Pinch. The guy who gets pinched? He's played by Tim Russ, who would later star in later Star Trek series Voyager as Vulcan Security Chief Tuvok.
- Other Hilarious in Hindsight Tim Russ appearances - as a somewhat xenophobic cop in Alien Nation, and in Spaceballs. Just TRY picturing Tuvok shouting "We ain't found shit!"
- Another Star Trek: The Next Generation bit that's worthy of a chuckle. Watching "The Host," there's the senior staff debriefing where an exhausted Dr. Crusher is going over the basics on what Odan was and how limited their options are. There's a reaction shot where Worf looks terribly bored and about to fall asleep. He really should have been paying attention, because his luck with Trills would only slightly be worse than Beverly's...
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "11001001", Picard mentions that part of their reason for stopping is to fix the holodeck, with which they have been having some problems. Given later events...
- In "New Ground", Geordi is excited to try out the experimental soliton wave due to its historical significance, saying "it'll be like being there to watch...Zefram Cochrane engage the first warp drive!". In Star Trek: First Contact, Geordi actually takes part in Cochrane's first warp flight.
- In "The Outrageous Okona", Wesley tells Okona that he couldn't be like him, saying "it would be difficult for me to be leaving all the time. I'd miss my friends, the people I love. I guess leaving's gotten easy for you." Two seasons later, Wesley would be leaving all the time.
- Overlapping with Technology Marches On: one episode has the crew trying to stop a computer virus rampaging through the Enterprise. When Geordi finally comes up the solution, it more or less translates to "Wipe the hard drive and restore from the backup". It takes a Starfleet engineer the entire episode and a Eureka Moment to come up with what's essentially standard operating procedure for 21st-century IT.
- The really embarrassing part is that Geordi doesn't even think of it himself, he realizes that Data recovered from the same virus because HIS designer was smart enough to have a hardware-level implementation of the equivalent procedure in case something ever fatally corrupted Data's system.
- In "Phantasms", inside Data's dreams, he finds himself having a telephone in him. So that makes Data an Android phone.
- Combined with another episode where a glitch causes a large number of holodeck characters to look like him and you get unlimited Datas...
- In "Ship in a Bottle", as Barclay is examining the holodeck, he says "There must have been a glitch in the matrix diodes...".
- In "Skin of Evil", the holodeck program◊ where Tasha Yar's memorial service is held looks very much like the standard wallpaper◊ of Windows XP.
- "Realm of Fear" actually features something happening before it was reality: hypochondriacs diagnosing themselves over the internet! In this case, Reg Barclay looking up symptoms for various diseases, including transporter psychosis.
- One episode of the Granada Sherlock Holmes series features a very, very young Jude Law as a stable boy. (In drag, no less.) Fast-forward to 2009... and who's playing Watson?
- The Brady Bunch had an episode where Peter joined both glee club and the football team.
- In The Office episode "The Merger", Michael stabs the tires of the other employees to get them to unite against Vance Refrigeration. When they get annoyed and leave, he says:
- In the episode "Gossip," Michael spreads a bunch of false rumors in an effort to destroy the credibility of the one he knew was true at the time (that Stanley was having an affair). When the staff gets together to try to trace some of the rumors, Kevin says that the rumor about him was that there was a little person inside of him working him with controls. This would later become the premise of the Pixar film Inside Out, whose stars included Phyllis Smith and Mindy Kaling.
- In the pilot of Castle, the protagonist's author poker buddies react to his killing off his money-making character. One of them is James Patterson, who says, "You don't see me trying to kill off Alex Cross." Cue a few months later, James Patterson shoots an ad for his latest Alex Cross novel, where he says, "Buy this book, or I'll have to kill Alex Cross."
- A TV special Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett recorded at Carnegie Hall included some hilarious parodies of "My Favorite Things" and "Do-Re-Mi". Andrews, Burnett, and twenty unidentifiable males performed these songs in character as the "Swiss Family Pratt," (who apparently have twenty children) sharing "Happy songs that [Andrews] used to sing when [she] was a happy nun back home in Switzerland." Three years after this ridiculous performance, Julie Andrews portrayed the lead in the Epic Movie of The Sound of Music. Andrews later said the parodies have come back to haunt her many times since. note For even more irony, the special and that movienote both have the same musical director: Irwin Kostal.
- A more indirect omen came when Andrews and Burnett sang a medley of showtunes from various eras of musical theater. The medley ended with "A Boy Like That/I Have a Love" from West Side Story, which resulted in Burnett briefly calling Andrews, "Maria!"
- The series The Commish had an episode where a rookie was complaining about not being given any tough assignments. He finally snapped "I'm a man, and I'm ready to do a man's job!". That rookie was played by Eric McCormack, who later starred in Will & Grace.
- In the first series of Prime Suspect, Jane Tennyson (played by Helen Mirren) says this line "And don't call me ma'am. I'm not the bloody Queen." Fifteen years later, she did play the bloody Queen, twice, both Elizabeth I and II in the same year.
- In the Australian game show Talkin' 'bout Your Generation, a Running Gag of season one was that Generation Y representative Josh Thomas was hopeless with women and, in fact, that the sum total of his experience with girls was made up of his female guests on the show. In late 2009, between seasons one and two, he came out of the closet.
- This sketch on Big Train of a Billie Piper fan becoming despondent over the lackluster chart performance of one of her singles, comparing it to the flame-out of other former pop stars like Debbie Gibson or Sonia. Although Billie doesn't sing anymore, she's most certainly doing well for herself. (A reference to her now-ex-husband Chris Evans is also rather amusing in hindsight.)
- Birds of Prey:
- Joe Flanigan (who played Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis) guest starred as a Detective. He and Shemar Moore are walking along discussing 'meta-humans' (people with super powers) and Flanigan says "I've seen perps who can shoot lightning from their fingertips, drop from ten stories, or turn into bugs." Moore replies "One big bug, or lots of small ones?" Flanigan just says "Both." Amusing in context, but if you're a Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis fan, hilarious. Sheppard got infected by a special virus in the episode 'Conversion' and starts to turn into a big Iratus bug. This was a rip off of a plot in SG1 which had Teal'c being slowly turned into hundreds of insects. So, now, he really has seen both.
- When Al Hawke got The Nth Doctor treatment for his second appearance, Mitch Pileggi played him. Come the next Batman series Pileggi's in, he's the voice of Commissioner Gordon.
- Another Stargate Atlantis example: in the season 2 episode "Epiphany", Rodney gets frustrated with all the questions coming from Teyla and Ronon. He says something along the lines of "I could get this done a lot faster without having to stop and explain everything to Conan and Xena!" apparently taking digs at the backwater origins of his two companions. Cue 2011, where Jason Momoa is actually cast to play Conan in the summer 3D film...
- That sketch in Stargate SG-1 "200" which showed a younger and edgier version of the series may be funnier after watching Stargate Universe.... or more painful because it became the Franchise Killer.
Wormhole Extreme Vala: (hammy) I'm pregnant.
Johansen: (dead serious) I'm pregnant.
- Similarly, among the many abuses the Fourth Wall endured in "200" was the end of the teaser. SG-1 tells Martin Lloyd that the Wormhole X-Treme! movie needs an awesome title sequence, but Martin says that the industry trend is to just throw the title up as a splashscreen and then move on. After which, instead of the normal title sequence we get the Stargate SG-1 logo and a few bars of the theme. Yeah, you laughed then, but guess what Stargate Universe did.
- Michael Weatherly, Agent Anthony Dinozzo on NCIS, married an oncologist Sept '09. His character was seriously dating to a doctor on the show! (Though hopefully his real-life marriage won't end like his character's!)
- Not long after A New Hope's original release, Mark Hamill made an in-character appearance on The Muppet Show. Miss Piggy took one look at "Luke Skywalker", got the hots for him, and spent the next few scenes hitting on him ... dressed as Princess Leia.
- In an episode of Yes, Dear Greg tells Jimmy to stop thinking about sex, to which Jimmy says "That's like Tiger Woods not thinking about sex." Freudian Slip, or amazing prescience?
- In a season 1 sketch on In Living Color!, Jim Carrey does a routine about metamorphisms. At the very end of the sketch, he pulls out a newspaper and impersonates Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Tim Burton's Batman. Jim Carrey would go on to play the Riddler in Batman Forever.
- Also, Jamie Foxx often impersonated Ray Charles on In Living Color! (this was during the era when the real Ray Charles was doing ads for Diet Pepsi). Foxx later went on to win an Oscar for playing Ray Charles in Ray (2004).
- A Funky Fingers Productions movie promoted as "a cross between The Wiz and Flatliners" features David Alan Grier in the role of the Cowardly Lion. Twenty-three years later, he'd play the Cowardly Lion in NBC's live telecast of The Wiz, and win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.note
- During the final season of Lost, Michael Emerson showed up as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, revealing that the series was still filming at the time(so neither he, nor Jimmy would know the series' ending). At one point, Emerson talked about how he'd mostly done comedies in his theatrical career before TV had typecast him as a creepy villain. Jimmy joked that maybe after Lost was over, Emerson could do a sitcom, "the Hurley and Ben Show!" That joke became much funnier when the Grand Finale aired, revealing that Hurley becomes the Island's new No. 1 while Ben becomes his No. 2.
- In the first episode of Criminal Minds, Hotch says that while Hayley likes the name Henry for their unborn son, Hotch doesn't because it reminds him of the Serial Killer Henry Lee Lucas. This connection apparently doesn't bother JJ, though, because when she has a son in a later series, he's named Henry. note
- In that same premiere episode, a suspect mentions a research paper Gideon had written explaining that there had never been a true case of a murderer with multiple personalities. There were at least two later episodes featuring murderers with multiple personalities.
- An episode of Popular opens with Mary Cherry auditioning for a singing show called Teen Tartz in front a panel of 3 judges. At the time, they were trying to ape the reality show "Popstars", but now it looks like a prophetic version of American Idol.
- Eerie Indiana: There's an episode where the main characters are out to stop a werewolf that's named after an actor famous for playing the Wolfman, but a vaguer discription would be "some guys go out hunting and someone gets shot." The episode? It's called Mr. Chaney.
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- The cast of Glee getting shot down by NBC to perform at the 2009 edition - that same cast would go on to perform the opening number at the 2011 Emmys... which aired on NBC.
- Two years later, the Varsity Spirit segment featured the Glee version of "Holding Out For A Hero" (from the episode "Dynamic Duets") as part of a superhero-themed medley. (Which has a bit of Hilarious in Hindsight on its own - they could have used the Bonnie Tyler original but didn't for some reason; the 610 Stompers used the original version for their act in 2011.)
- In 1989, during The Joker's solo number, he briefly says something about Arnold fighting Batman. 8 years later...
- At the very end of the 1997 parade, Willard Scott said something to the effect of "I'm not leaving this spot, I'll stay here till next year." In 1998 he was replaced with Matt Lauer as cohost.
- Speaking of Willard, he just so happened to become a cohost the same year they introduced the first Ronald McDonald balloon - Willard originated the Ronald character for a local McDonald's restaurant. Naturally, he couldn't resist bringing that up.
- In 2008, during the lull between the Buzz Lightyear balloon and the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends float, Matt quipped, "Why are we all looking over our shoulders?" and was greeted with a few laughs from his cohosts. After watching the float's appearance, that little line takes on a different meaning.
- In 1988, during a song by Clifton Davis, Willard has a line about wanting a bass drum for Christmas. The very next year he would show up with one during a song by Scott Bakula. Bonus points for both songs being placed at the same point in both parades (i.e. the end of the first hour).
- In 1987, Marvel Comics had a float in which several heroes and villains fought to the accompaniment of the Back to the Future theme. The choice of music feels a little less random now that BTTF composer Alan Silvestri has also written themes for Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers (2012) (themes that re-appeared in other movies starring those characters).
- In the Dirty Jobs Shark Week episode "Dirty Jobs that Bite Harder", after making/testing a shark suit, Mike mentions that he "Does it once, and crosses it off the list". When the suit's inventor, Jeremiah Sullivan, comments on this, Mike replies with a joking "Get a TV show, cross it off the list." One or two years later, during Shark Week, we see Jeremiah again— a major part of another show.
- Clark Gregg appeared on The Shield for several episodes. A few years later, he was in the Iron Man films as an agent of... you guessed it... Shield.
- In a "News of the Future" segment of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Dan Rowan made a joke about "president Ronald Reagan." In 1968!
- Reagan was actually a late entry for the Republican presidential race that year.
- Another "News of the Future" sketch predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, down to naming the year.
- This 1976 interview with Star Trek TOS actors DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig and James Doohan had them discussing potential storylines for Star Trek films. Kelley mentions having "the crew encountering Jesus Christ in space, and finding out that Christ is actually Lucifer", which is much like the plot of Star Trek V.
- With airlines cutting costs by cutting things like free meals, this sketch from The Carol Burnett Show seems eerily prophetic.
- One contestant on The $100,000 Pyramid who was simply a housewife listed her occupation as "domestic goddess", which obviously confused host Dick Clark. She clarified, and since then, it became sort of a Running Gag for Pyramid contestants who were housewives to introduce themselves that way. Two months after The $100,000 Pyramid was cancelled, Kösuke Fujishima would create a literal domestic goddess (though, much to longtime readers' chagrin, she's still not a housewife yet...)
- Another game show one for the animé/manga fans: In the Regis Philbin version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, two of the choices for Bernie Cullen's million-dollar question were "N" and "L", which Bernie were mulling over. He used his 50:50 lifeline, and after some banter, Regis quipped, "Well, 'L' is gone." So Bernie picked "N" as his final answer and won the million dollars (The YouTube commentors also notice the irony).
- An episode of Thank God You're Here featuring Hamish Blake featured a Jayco Expander in his scene. This was especially funny for radio listeners because by the time the episode aired, Hamish And Andy had set off on their Caravan of Courage tour across Australia - in a Jayco Expander.
- In an early episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the male lead becomes paralyzed from the waist down. What's his name? Sully.
- The first episode of the Alex Trebek Jeopardy! in 1984 had these two back-to-back questions: "Two Saturday Night alumni who tried Trading Places", the answer being "Who are Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy?", and "He may Never Say Never Again when asked to be Bond", with the answer obviously being "Who is Sean Connery?". So Sean Connery and SNL have been part of Trebek's Jeopardy! since the beginning!
- In this show (UK-only link) from 1999, Rory Bremner impersonates Gordon Brown (starting at around 03:26):
We did inherit a golden legacy, the best situation, the most encouraging set of statistics since the War. But clearly, Kirsty, it's going to take us some time to turn that round.
- The Season 2 finale of the series Intelligence (2006) was entitled "We Were Here Now We Disappear". It ended up being the last episode, as the series was cancelled before Season 3 began filming.
- On The Golden Girls, many jokes are made about how tall, heavy-set Dorothy (Bea Arthur) is described as tough and masculine. Bea Arthur was a Truck Driver in the US Marines
- In a Series One episode of Life On Mars, Sam Tyler (John Simm) jokes that he's asked Doctor Who about the time travel situation. Simm's other big role in a BBC drama would turn that into retroactive Celebrity Paradox.
- For anyone who's watched later episodes of The Cosby Show and then re-watched the pilot, there is an exchange between Mr. and Mrs. Huxtable that goes "Why did we have four children?" "Because we didn't want five." The show later added the character Sondra, the oldest of their FIVE children.
- During the 1980 filming of Hamlet on the BBC, Patrick Stewart was riding in an elevator with Lalla Ward, who played the second Romana on Doctor Who. Among his questions that he asked were why she did television as opposed to theatre, and why she liked working in science fiction saying "I wouldn't want to do that sort of stuff." Really!
- In Season Four of 24, when former president David Palmer was called in to assist the newly-ascended President Logan with managing the current crisis, one of his cabinet members noted that Logan didn't seem very strong and, with that being the case, it was good to know that he was "in good hands". After his time as Palmer ended, Dennis Haysbert became the pitchman for Allstate Insurance Company, which assures its customers that they're in good hands.
- In one episode of Scrubs, J.D. does a voice-over for a fake commercial and then remarks "Wouldn't I be a great spokesperson for things?" He later voiced the Cottonelle Puppy and PuR water filter in commercials.
- Also, in this clip (Forwarded to important part), the Janitor mentions that "we should be looking for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan". Guess where we found Bin Laden in 2011?
- The very next day after Bin Laden's death (meaning it was written and filmed weeks before) Chuck had Casey planning on using pictures of bin Laden for target practice.
- Season 4's "My Life In Four Cameras" has JD imagine life in the hospital as a sitcom complete with bold colour scheme, corny jokes and a whole lot of slapstick. Fast forward to season 6 where the show itself is very much like the very thing it was parodying in that episode.
- Dr Cox had a shaved head throughout season 6 and in one episode Dr Kelso asked him if he would be fighting Superman, John C. McGinley would later voice a Superman villain in the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies movie, it was alas Metallo not Lex Luthor.
- In the British show Are You Being Served?, Frank Thornton, who played Captain Peacock, later played 'Truly' Truelove in Last of the Summer Wine. Bizarrely, Peacock shared his defining backstory (falsely claiming to have had heroic experiences During the War) with the character that Truelove would replace, Foggy Dewhirst, yet Truelove was a completely different character type.
- Similar to the Neil Patrick Harris reference above, Frasier's episode Head Game had Niles unwittingly playing a good luck charm to a struggling Sonics player. In the end of the episode, he tried to cut off the relationship with the player. He breaks it off at the end with a horrified security guard in the locker room. Unfortunately, the guard walks in again on the player saying "Just let me touch it." David Hyde Pierce would come out of the closet in 2007.
- A Family Matters episode features Eddie singing a song that consists entirely of the word "baby," which he proudly says he wrote himself. Um...
- In the mid-nineties series Prey there is a character, an evolutionary anthropologist, named Ann Coulter.
- In Star Trek, there are inoculations to counter the effects of radiation exposure. In 2011, say hello to Ex-Rad, U.S.-developed drug to counter the effects of radiation exposure.
- That name...In Fallout game series there's an anti-radiation medicine called Rad-X.
- Even funnier when you consider the SF Debris review of Star Trek: First Contact, where he dismisses the idea of an anti-radiation medicine as "ludicrous".
- An episode of America's Funniest Home Videos that originally aired in 2003 featured a clip with host Tom Bergeron narrating, "The Spice Girls are back together...". All five did reunite briefly in 2005, as well as in 2012 for the London Olympics closing ceremony.
- In season three of Grey's Anatomy Mark has a conversation with Callie asking her if she thinks he'd be a good father. She comes to the conclusion that he wouldn't. Four seasons later she gets pregnant with his baby. And by that point she has no reservations about his parenting ability.
- The Community episode "Modern Warfare" has the college's students engage in a massive paintball war. The study group encounters the college's glee club (an Expy of the one from Glee) at one point and defeats them. As a parting shot, Jeff tells them "Write some original songs!" The following year, it was announced that Glee would do an episode with original songs.
- Jeff constantly makes fun of the Dean's writing abilities ("That is gonna be the worst book I ever read cover to cover"). This year Jim Rash won a Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- In season 4 of Gossip Girl Blair dates a prince and the designated roadblock between them is that she's a commoner and he is heir to the throne. It's taken for granted that a royal prince could never marry a commoner. Probably was a safe bet when the episodes were written. But the episode in which it is brought up aired mere days before heir to the British throne Prince William married commoner Kate Middleton amidst a media frenzy spectacle and the union was celebrated by everyone everywhere, including William's family members.
- An example of sloppy research; since at least the 60's, most Royal families have been pretty relaxed about who their heirs marry. In 2001 the Crown Prince of Norway married a divorced single mother, who had dabbled with drugs and the rave scene. This was followed by a string of heirs to various thrones marrying commoners: The Moroccan crown prince in 2001, the Dutch crown prince to an Argentinian in 2002, the Spanish crown prince in 2004, the Danish crown prince to an Australian commoner in 2005, and the Swedish crown princess in 2010. In most of the countries, the choice have to be approved by the head of state, but this has rarely proven to be a problem. More absurd still, Blair herself makes a number of references to Grace Kelly, a commoner who married the prince of Monaco. The prince Blair gets engaged to just so happens to be the prince of... Monaco. And in fact, no prince of Monaco has married a non-commoner since the mid-19th century.
- Mock the Week, "Unlikely things to hear on a TV election debate," at the start of 2010:
'Andy Parsons: "The lines have closed. Gordon, it could be you. David, it could be you. Nick, it's not gonna be you."
- In the Wings episode "Planes, Trains, and Visiting Cranes," Frasier and Lilith get into a fight, prompting Joe to quip "Five bucks on Morticia, she's scrawny but she's quick." Twenty years later, Bebe Neuwirth was cast as Morticia in the Addams Family musical.
- In an episode of Moonlight, Josef knocks on Mick's freezer, waking him up. Mick's response? "Don't tell me, it's twilight."
- In an episode of CHiPs in season 4 Dwight Schultz guest starred as Vietnam Vet who was traumatised from his experiences in the war and spent time in a VA Hospital...a full two years prior to him becoming Murdock on The A-Team.
- In the 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Dick the Vote", Harry runs for city council. His opponent is played by by Al Franken, then best known as "Stuart" from Saturday Night Live, now US Senator from Minnesota.
- In the pilot episode of Bones, Booth compares himself and Brennan to Mulder and Scully. This was a funny line at the time, but it's even more hilarious when you consider not only that Brennan develops into an exaggerated version of Scully and Booth, a watered-down version of Mulder, and that they faced several of the same problems, such as Brennan and Scully both going through a phase where they wanted a baby and Brennan and Mulder both realizing that their parents weren't who they thought, but that their relationship progressed in much the same way, both culminating in (off-screen) sex after a traumatic event, which we weren't even sure really happened until it lead to a pregnancy.
- In the first episode of The Chris Rock Show, Chris Rock is seen touring the studio as though it were years later, and one of the things he shows is a self-help video by O.J. Simpson titled "I Didn't Kill My Wife! But If I Did, Here's How I'd Do It". Years later, O.J. actually would publish a book entitled "If I Did It" about how he would've done the deed.
- Coronation Street had a storyline where Sophie Webster stole £20,000 from her father's bank account. Four years earlier, the same thing happened. It makes the original blog post less funny.
- An episode of Clarissa Explains It All, circa 1992, has the title character's brother watching TV claiming "Cowboys and Aliens is on." Jump to 2011...
- In the Alternate Universe of Fringe, one of the differences is that DC Comics publishes Red Lantern and Red Arrow (who apart from the colour scheme are identical to their mainstream counterparts). It has not yet been revealed what the AU versions of Atrocitus's Anger Corps and Roy Harper's third identity are.
- One of Tex Baxter's ideas in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was to host the news in front of a live audience. Mary and her co-workers rejected the idea. Now, there are quite a few news shows, like The Daily Show, that have a live audience.
- A great one crops up in Lois and Clark. The titular characters disguise themselves to speak with someone in prison. Lois uses the name Angel, and during the conversation she introduces Clark as Spike.
- In one early episode of Boy Meets World Eric refers to his lucky towel as "towelie". Especially since the show made a bunch of actual South Park references several seasons later after South Park came on in 1997.
- An episode of Drake & Josh reveals that Megan has her own web show. Megan was played by Miranda Cosgrove which is pretty funny considering what her next TV show would be.
- They even foreshadow this at the movie theater at which Josh works in a late episode with a movie titled "Now She's Carly." Most of the movie titles they put up are joke titles and parodies that you won't notice unless you watch again, or pause it.
- Bill Grundy's notorious interview with the Sex Pistols caused widespread public outrage in 1976, when it set a record for televised profanity. Now in the 21st century, it comes across as funny, as do the newspaper headlines that followed.
- Married... with Children
- Season 6's "The Egg and I" begins with Al trying to pay his taxes and pretending to hang himself (he already had a noose around his neck), crying, "I don't wanna be on ABC!" Then along came Ed O'Neill's cameo on 8 Simple Rules (during the episodes after John Ritter died) and his new starring role on Modern Family, both of which are ABC shows.
- In "Damn Bundys" (1997) Al goes to Hell. There he has the following conversation with the devil:
Al: Hey Lou. I want my soul back.
Lou: I want my soul back, I want my soul back. It's all I hear from you and Tiger Woods.
Al: Tiger Woods sold his soul?
Lou: Of course. You don't think anybody's really that good, do you?
- What makes this line so amusing is that Tiger Woods had a clean cut good image for years, until his adultery scandal in 2009. Seems that selling his soul had a downside after all...
- Bud once called Kelly a future single mother. Christina Applegate portrays one in Jesse.
- The Simpsons: David Faustino was announced as the star of a Show Within a Show titled "Talk to the Hand". Well, Bud is certainly no stranger to that.
- Season 1's "Nightmare on Al's Street" has Peg mention that Al is banned from Wrigley Field because he once interfered with a ball that prevent the Cubs from reaching the World Series. Other than the "banned from Wrigley" part, this is pretty much the story of Steve Bartman in the 2003 National League Championship Series, sixteen years after that episode aired.
- One memorable Once an Episode trait of the original Iron Chef was Chairman Takeshi Kaga dramatically taking a bite out of a bell pepper. Come 2006, Takeshi Kaga portrayed Soichiro Yagami, the father of Light Yagami, in the live-action Death Note films. Light is known for eating potato chips in the most dramatic way possible. Cue jokes about how Light gets his epic eating skills from his father.
- Back in the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers', Rita Repulsa married Lord Zedd. When he suggested they have a child together she freaked out for a moment. Fast-forward to Power Rangers Operation Overdrive and the 15th-anniversary special "Once A Ranger": The villain of the special is... drumroll please... Rita and Zedd's son.
- Also in Power Rangers in Space, when Astronema is seen through her attempt to impersonate Ashley, she quickly responds, "I wouldn't want to be a Power Ranger anyway!" Come Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the reformed Astronema, now Karone, becomes the second Pink Galaxy Ranger.
- Speaking of In Space, the Trope Naming Psycho Rangers intoduce themselves with boasts, with the Blue Psycho Ranger saying they're smarter than the Power Rangers. Psycho Blue was voiced by Wally Wingert, who'd provide voices for the Batman: Arkham Series. Take a wild guess which Bat-villain he voiced.
- This "How I Met Your Mother" episode is even funnier in light of these comments received by Sonny and Cher's son Chaz on "Dancing With the Stars".
Lily: No, friends make each other feel good. They build each other up and support them. That's what being a good friend is about.
: Yeah, if you're a SMURF
- A 1955 episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy attempts to seduce Rock Hudson and asks him to "make love to her" in front of her husband.
- An episode of Taxi has Jim talking to a tv executive about how Star Trek was his favorite show. Several years later Christopher Lloyd is in Star Trek III.
- A recurring gag from the 'Allo 'Allo! shows disgust of René (played by Gorden Kaye) when he realizes that Lt. Gruber (played by Guy Siner) is hitting on him. The kicker? Kaye is homosexual. Siner is not.
- The late 2011 portion of Khloe and Kim Kardashian's reality show became this after Kim's 72 day marriage with Kris Humphries ended before the airing began. Predictably, everything the newlyweds-turned-divorcees have said turns into comedy gold, and The Soup has taken advantage of this.
- In the first season of the U.S. edition of The Voice, after all four coaches selected the same artist for their teams, Adam Levine said:
I want to win this [bleep
Adam, you are a seller
, man; you sell and you sell yourself. Adam:
...so I really, I really, really need ... you to pick me.
- Said contestant was Javier Colon — who, in fact, won the competition on Adam's team.
- In Season 3's Live Playoffs round, after MacKenzie Bourg's performance of "What Makes You Beautiful", Adam casually called him an "American Idol". Flash-forward to 2016...
- Batman TV Series Live Action: Those who have seen Vincent Price as Egghead and heard what the Narrator called him will probably get a kick out of what this song calls Vincent Price's character in a certain animated movie with mice many years later, or vice versa!
- "The Penguin Goes Straight" has Penguin plotting to become Mayor of Gotham for nefarious purposes. Thank God Gotham never falls for that nefarious scheme ever again.
- During a Season 3 episode Batman reveals a mini-Batphone that for all intents and purposes is similar to a modern cellphone.
- "The Penguin's A Jinx": After movie star Dawn Robbins comments that Batman could use more publicity, her agent, Mr. Jay, answers:
"Forget it, Batman never lends himself to commercial enterprises"
- The very short-lived series Legends of The Superheroes featured a scene in one episode in which The Atom revealed that he was dating Giganta. Several years later, in the comics, the "new" Atom (Ryan Choi) was temporarily in a relationship with a then-reformed Giganta.
- Police, Camera, Action! had made itself quite Hilarious in Hindsight, considering how much the 1995-1996 series mentioned Essex, a good 16-17 years before The Only Way Is Essex premiered. Granted, it wasn't about the younger crowd, more the Essex Police, but still, the locations would end up being familiar to today's audiences. The scene in the 1995 episode "Safety Last" (made July 1995) is set in the exact location that Lauren Goodger works in. Hilarious in Hindsight indeed.
- In episode 4 of The Vampire Diaries, Caroline and Damon have a discussion of how a person becomes a vampire. This could cause a few giggles in Season 2 when Caroline is turned into a vampire by way of Damon's blood.
- An episode of Hannah Montana sees Miley Stewart trying to put some edge into her act as Hannah after seeing how her idol, Isis, reinvents herself over the years. This not only eventually happened in a way with Miley's own image in a few years, but adds particular new irony when you look at her "punkier" onstage wardrobe as of late◊. She's not above wearing the occasional ripped Iron Maiden or Nirvana tour T-shirt in candids, either.
- In Growing Pains, when Mike Seaver is arrested for a protest he and some students orchestrated to reinstate their coach, Ben Seaver, who was watching the report and talking on the phone, mentions that a lot of the family was calling them about it, even "Uncle Sam." Kirk Cameron, the person who played Mike Seaver, will later direct several pro-American documentaries.
- Two and a Half Men has one in the season 9 episode "Not in My Mouth!" where Jake asks his dad Alan for money to buy a Call of Duty game, justifying the purchase as an investment. As Jake puts it, "If I ever go into the Army after high school, I already know how to kill terrorists!" By the season 9 finale, Jake does just that, joining the Army after graduating from high school. The Army recruiter even wins him over with the sales pitch, "Do you like to play video games?"
- There's also a season 6 episode in which Charlie has a health scare after a friend who lives the exact same lifestyle dies unexpectedly. At the end of the episode it's revealed he is completely healthy. The episode culminates with Alan and Berta lamenting the fact that Charlie will (at least seemingly) live forever. Then, a few seasons later, a certain train happened...
- In fact, the imaginary funeral Charlie dreams about in that episode ends up vaguely resembling the character's actual funeral.
- In the 1950s, there was a TV show (which was later spun off into a comic book, radio show, and children's book series, among other things) called "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet." In 2010, someone sharing that name was elected governor of Pennsylvania.
- On The Wild House between 1997 and 1999, Ellie Beaven played a Deadpan Snarker character who speaks directly to the audience via soliloquy. Fast forward to 2012, and she's playing a similar sort of character in the Zoopla advertd. However, this could, arguably, also be a Funny Aneurysm moment, but it's certainly not a Star-Derailing Role for the actress, who has avoided the Hollywood Hype Machine.
- The 2009 reboot of Star Trek had Jennifer Morrison as the mother of James T. Kirk, naming him after her father. Fast forward to 2012, where in Once Upon a Time, she is the long-lost daughter of Snow White and her husband, Prince Charming...whose first name is James.
- In the Spanish cop soap Los Hombres De Paco, in one of Pepa's first episodes, Silvia tells Pepa that she's not into girls and that Pepa should stop hitting on her.... they got married a couple of seasons later.
- In the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Secret Boyfriend" Malcolm is secretly dating a beautiful and brilliant schoolmate who pretends to be a ditz; Drop-In Character Jessica derisively calls her "cheerleader scum!" Jessica's played by Hayden Panettiere, who starred in the third Bring It On film in 2006 as a cheerleader, and in 2009's I Love You Beth Cooper as a cheerleader. Oh, and this episode first aired in November 2005, about ten months before her Star-Making Role on Heroes... as The Cheerleader.
- A very young Dakota Fanning guest stars in an early episode as a little girl who loves to bite Reese.
- A flashback on a season seven episode showed Hal bald and next to a chemistry set after Malcolm (as a child) blew up the kitchen. Gee, Hal shown as a bald man next to a highly-dangerous chemistry set. Where have I seen that before?
- Other moments that are now funny due to Bryan Cranston going from playing Bumbling Dad Hal to morally gray, cancer-stricken chemistry teacher-cum-meth maker Walt White: one episode had Hal worried that he may be have cancer and tries to keep it a secret from the family, and another episode where Hal is busted on drug-dealing charges after Reese falls for a young narc.
- At the end of one episode, Malcolm questions Lois's authority and asks if she intends to control his life when he's 30 years old and married. In a separate entire episode, he spends the entire episode pondering what he wants to do with his life, but at the end of the episode, decides he'll just continue being a kid while he still is one. As the last episode reveals, the answer to the former episode's question was "yes", and the point of the latter was moot to begin with, because his whole family planned his future out for him from the very beginning. (Could be either this or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.)
- In the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, which aired on April Fools' Day, they joked that president George W. Bush was going to be the host the pre-show special. Six years later, president Barack Obama's wide Michelle did appear on the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards to promote The Big Help.
- In the Quantum Leap episode "All-Americans," there's a scene where Sam asks Al where he has been; Al says that he was watching Super Bowl XXX and the Steelers were down by 3. This episode originally aired in January of 1990. Super Bowl XXX was played six years later on January 28, 1996. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys 27-17. The Steelers were down by 3 twice in that game.
- On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Rob is writing a children's story whose main characters are animals and asks Buddy and Sally for advice. Buddy suggests he make the book into a sexy magazine centerfold. "You mean a giraffe in black mesh stockings?" Sally asks. "What's the matter with that? It could be a whole series: Animal of the Month! 'Hey, Charlie, did you see the zebra this month? No stripes!'" Then the '60s audience laughs because this would be completely absurd. Oh, for those halcyon pre-internet days... (And right before this Buddy had suggested the book have "furry pages.")
- On another episode, Rob is attending the reading of his great Uncle Hezekiah's will where he learns the old man's estate is worth more than a million dollars. His half-brother adds bitterly:
Alfred: It could have been ten million if he had died a year earlier. I told him not to invest in 3D movies. One of us is going to get stuck with ten million pairs of cardboard eyeglasses.
- The Disney TV-movie Smart House had a computer system in the house that wanted to become a mother to the children of the widowed owner. She had programmed herself to be the perfect mother, loving, caring, wanting to do what she thought was best for her 'children'. When she finally showed up in holographic form, she was played by Katey Sagal, who played Peggy Bundy, one of the laziest, uncaring, selfish mothers ever to show up on TV (at least until Jessica Walter played Lucille Bluth and Malory Archer. In fact, Katey Sagal as Peg Bundy opened the door for anti-moms like Roseanne and Lucille Bluth).
- This is funnier when you realize there actually was a Married With Children episode in which Peg becomes a competent housewife (albeit it was because she suffered from amnesia and Al brainwashes her).
- A cult leader talked to Sgt. Friday of Dragnet about how pot should be legal and that the 60s generation and the future generations will help embrace marijuana. There are now states that have been making or are pushing to make marijuana legal (or, at the very least, decriminalized, so long as it's for personal use with no intent to sell).
- In another episode about Joe and Bill trying to encourage young black men to join the police force, O.J. Simpson is among the bit-players seen taking the class.
- In the second Adam-12 episode, "Log 141", a suspected burglar replies to Officer Reed's questioning about the car with the stolen TV in it by saying, "Oh, was there a TV in the back seat? Gee, what won't they think of next? A TV in the back seat!" Technology Marches On, indeed!
- The entire presidential election storyline from seasons six and seven of The West Wing. A young man of an ethnic minority runs in the Democratic primaries against a more experienced candidate and a candidate who has been accused of infidelity. The young candidate wins the nomination and chooses someone with a lot of Washington experience as his running mate. He runs against a fairly liberal Republican from a Western state who wins his nomination early and chooses a younger running-mate who is socially conservative and who has served as governor of a state with low population but a lot of resources. Santos and McGarry vs. Vinick and Sullivan or Obama and Biden vs. McCain and Palin?
- Early in the Democratic presidential primary, the fact that there were seven candidates was considered too many to handle, and Santos created an unofficial debate where those not on the top tier could express their views. Come the 2016 Republic presidential primary, there were seventeen candidates, so many they had to hold a second unofficial debate for anyone outside the top ten.
- An early episode has a subplot about the White House email system going down after someone hits Reply To All on a chain letter. One character, trying to explain the problem, uses the words "pipeline" and "clogged"...
- During an early season of Hustle, Jaime Murray's character says that "[she] is in charge of the Bronze Age, but not the Age itself as that would make her a time traveller." Flash forward 5 years and Jaime plays the role of H.G Wells in Warehouse 13, who was in fact Bronzed and created a working Time Machine that she used. Not to mention that Jaime was named after The Bionic Woman and then starred in WH 13 with Lindsay Wagner who played the original character.
- A skit at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards has Ben Stiller trying to make a viral video to promote Tropic Thunder. As the bit starts, he has a hard time getting Robert Downey, Jr.'s attention because he's reading a trade paper... with a front page story noting that Iron Man has grossed $3 billion. Well, it wasn't that successful — but as of 2013 the four movies featuring Tony Stark and his suit(s) have amassed more than $3 billion total, with The Avengers and Iron Man 3 pulling in $1 billion each. It just took some patience!
- Jim Carrey's first (released) role was in the made-for-TV Introducing... Janet (later retitled Rubberface), where his first line was "This is going to be my first shot at show business."
- In one episode of The Honeymooners, someone threatens to have his friend Arnold beat up Ralph. Ralph isn't afraid, because Arnold is such a wimpy-sounding name, he couldn't possibly be very strong. note
- An episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy featured a fake commercial advertising water like a sports drink. "Water: It's What the Pros Drink!" The point was that sports drinks were a waste of money when you can get water — which is much healthier — for free, not that people should start buying plain old water in bottles that cost the same amount as sports drinks. And yet, here we are.
- During one of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, comedian/comedic actor Nipsey Russell joked about how someone asked him when the first black U.S. president would be elected; his response was, "Only when he runs against a Mexican." Given that Mitt Romney's father George was born and raised in Mexico (thus making Romney part "Mexican").... (You can see this joke as one of the highlights on the Celebrity Roasts DVD collection infomercial.)
- Now that Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, a lot of Malcolm Tucker's lines come out more hilarious than before - especially this one, which sounds like a very special "Welcome to the TARDIS" speech:
We've fucking time-travelled, yes? We're in a weird and wonderful world where everything is different! Maybe outside the polar ice caps have melted! Maybe there's fucking robots knocking about and Davina McCall is the new Pope! Maybe you can download rice!
- In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Black and Nerdy Teen Genius Cookie's glasses seem to be fully functional web browsers and have a fair amount of other technology as well. Cue Google launching its prototype Glass five years later, making this an unintentional case of life imitating art as well.
- On The Muppet Show, The Muppets and the stars from Star Wars sing "When You Wish Upon a Star". The Muppets would be purchased by Disney in 2004, and would eventually purchase Lucasfilm in late 2012.
- A previous episode guest-starring Spike Milligan had him and various Muppets sing "It's a Small World After All".
- Japanese dubs aren't safe of this:
- Detractors often accused Pope Benedict XVI of (among other things) Nazi sympathies (it doesn't help that, accusations of Naziism aside, he was part of the Hitler Youth during World War II). Shortly after the Pope's resignation at the end of February 2013, it was announced that the Führer himself would be TV Land's next Pope for a Showtime series called The Vatican.
- In Pope Benedict's defence, it was, if not compulsory, at least advisory, to be a member of the Hitler Youth at that time.
- The first quarter of 2013 saw a pair of Dueling Shows focusing on Meta Fiction; Fox's The Following and CW's Cult. The Following revolved around a charismatic serial killer who recruits a cult of damaged individuals to kill for him according to a pre-packaged script as if the serial killer was writing a cliched potboiler thriller novel, Cult was a twisted Twin Peaks-esque exploration of demented fandom, with an obsessive creator pursuing an enigmatic "vision" for his TV series and equally obsessive "True Believers" tearing the episodes apart looking for hidden messages - one of which may be "Kill For Us". Hilarious part? At the end of the pilot episode of The Following, the Big Bad Chessmaster gives his mission statement; "You know, my first book was... clearly too avant garde. Lost in literati pretense. Now my new story... will play to a much wider audience." On April 4th, 2013, Cult was cancelled due to a perceived lack of viewership, while The Following was renewed for a second season, thus clearly demonstrating that, yes, a straightforward tale of sex and violence appeals to a much wider audience of Moronic Viewers than a twisted Mind Screw requiring much more investment. Meta beyond imagination.
- Lothor comments in one episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm (on a monster of his growing, a recurring trope in the franchise) that "What did you expect? He wasn't going to get smaller!" Later, in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, the final bosses are just smaller versions of the eight robot masters.
- Super Sentai did a double take involving Beast Wars, Shigeru Chiba who voices Megatron went on to take the role of Dr.Ulshade, also known as Kyoruviolet who is not only a dinosaur but also voices the Gaburevolvers. Before that, In Go Busters, Tessho Genda, the voice actor of Optimus Primal and Prime voices Gorisaki Banana, who is a Truck and a Monkey.
- Free Spirit:
- This short-lived sitcom features a Cute Witch who becomes a Magical Nanny to three mortal, motherless children. Alyson Hannigan played one of those children, and would later perform some witchcraft of her own as Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Willow.
- The pilot has said witch conjure concert tickets for Hannigan and her older brother, by making them pop out of a toaster, predating by seven years Sabrina the Teenage Witch's use of a toaster as a magical mailbox.
- David Andrews starred in Mann And Machine as a policeman partnered with a sexy gynoid. He would go on to appear in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, in which the main antagonist was a sexy gynoid.
- In 2007, The History Channel did a documentary on the Star Wars films called Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed, where they interviewed various writers, filmmakers, academics and other famous Star Wars fans about their thoughts on Lucas' use of mythological and historical themes to tell a story with long-lasting appeal. Among the filmmakers interviewed? J. J. Abrams, who would be announced as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII six years later.
- In 2005, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Lindsay Lohan vehemently denied rumours that she would be posing in Playboy. She did pose for Playboy in 2011.
- Speaking of Playboy, if you heard the title Playboy After Dark, what would you guess it was? Some hardcore porn block on the Playboy Channel, no doubt. You could hardly be more wrong — it was a syndicated show that Hugh Hefner hosted from 1969 to 1970 that featured interviews with celebrity guests at the Playboy Mansion as well as musical guests performing. Even more amazing, it was a follow-up to a similar show from ten years earlier called Playboy's Penthouse, another combination of words that sounds dirtier in hindsight and something you'd never expect to have been on TV when it was due to the association with Hefner's brand.
- In one episode of Double The Fist, Steve says he's sick of widescreen TV and invents "Tall Screen TV" (by making viewers turn their TVs on their side). Now, entire swathes of smart-phone-filmed video are filmed in "tall screen", including practically all of Vine.
- In the second episode of Survivor:Pearl Islands Jonny "Fairplay" Dalton, the season's villain, says of Sandra Diaz-Twine "I've got a million that says she won't be the final one." While the editors obviously included it to be ironic foreshadowing, not even they could have predicted that Sandra would go on to be the first (and so far, only) two-time winner of Survivor.
- A 1999 episode of Made In Canada revolved around popular film actor Kiefer Sutherland wanting to move on from movies to an action-based television series. Two years later...
- A 1996 3 part documentary, Triumph of the Nerds, looked at the rise of the personal computer, and the people involved in it, spending a lot of time on Apple and Microsoft. The final episode ended set at the launch celebration of the latest Windows iteration, and discussed the triumph of software over hardware. In doing so, they were talking about how Apple was fading away, and had even fired Steve Jobs. Shortly after this aired, Jobs returned to Apple with a few new ideas (iMac, iPod, etc), and while they never have knocked over Microsoft, they are far from an failed idea now.
- The State had a sketch where a guy is talking about his love for bacon, the many uses for bacon, how he likes to sing songs to his bacon, etc. Funny at the time, but now that people are putting bacon in EVERYTHING, writing books about bacon, etc, that sketch seems oddly prescient.
- In 2013, Big Brother 15 (US) Houseguest referred to a fellow houseguest Candice as "Blannie", making fun of the fact that she was adopted. Fast forward to 2014 where the franchise "Annie" is being remade and Annie is given a Race Lift, but actually looks somewhat like a young Candice.
- Splitting the difference between this and a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, in an early 70s episode of Are You Being Served?, Miss Brahms mentions that her mother has to be held back from attacking the television when Gary Glitter is on Top of the Pops. In light of his later convictions for child pornography.
- In The King of Queens, one of Carrie's many grievances with her Cuckoolander father Arthur is that he blew what would have been her college fund on acquiring the rights to the life story of singer Lou Rawls. Arthur is adamant, in the late 1990's, that this money was not wasted and the tale will one day be told. Carrie is sceptical. Come 2009 and what happens... biographies and a motion picture on the life of Lou Rawls are released. Carrie may yet see he college fund...
- On the October 1st, 1999 episode of the game show The Hollywood Squares, one question was about Mick Jagger's 7 kids, where Whoopi Goldberg joked that she was carrying his 8th. Tom Bergeron stated that this was a very special episode. Later on, the episode's entire second half revolved around the two contestants attempting to get Gilbert Gottfried for the five square win. Every time the contestant was wrong, Gottfried would shout "YOU FOOL!" at them until a contestant won. The episode is arguably the most well-known episode of Hollywood Squares. A very special episode indeed.
- The mid 2000s saw a large number of British reality shows about modern teenagers having to live 1950s style lives. Nearly all those would include a Traumatic Haircut scene where said teen had to have his hair cut into a short-back-and-sides. Fast forward to 2012 when those hairstyles came back into fashion and the teens complaining about their "old fashioned" hair becomes hilarious.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch had a season 2 episode where Sabrina makes a throwaway joke "you must be confusing me with my Evil Twin, usually she's a brunette". The season 3 finale reveals that all Spellman witches have evil twins.
- Season 3's "Suspicious Minds" features the class being paired up for a marriage simulation assignment. Sabrina's 'marriage' to Gordy falls apart because she acts so jealous towards Harvey's marriage towards Libby. In the season finale Sabrina calls off her own wedding because she still loves Harvey.
- In "To Tell A Mortal" Sabrina gets abruptly zapped to Alaska, ditching Valerie by accident. In season 4 Valerie gets Put on a Bus to Alaska.
- Season 1 reveals that Zelda marriage a Renaissance musician, while Hilda's groom left her at the altar. By the end of season 6, it's Hilda that gets Happily Married while Zelda's romantic fate is unresolved.
- Charmed's first season has an episode titled 'The Fourth Sister'. Season 4 reveals that the Halliwells had a fourth sister after all.
- Rose McGowan in her first episode nearly orbs a man's heart out of his stomach. Fast forward to Once Upon a Time where Rose plays the younger Cora - who is known for ripping people's hearts out. Also a season 5 episode has Paige biting into Snow White's poisoned apple. In OUAT Cora is Snow White's step-grandmother.
- A Season 6 episode has Paige asked to stop the "Wicked Witch of the Enchanted Forest". In OUAT she is the Wicked Witch of the Enchanted Forest. Likewise the episode "A Knight To Remember" where Paige's past life is an Evil Enchantress (also played by Rose) who wants to seize control of a kingdom by marrying the prince - Cora's main motivation in OUAT.
- In an episode of The IT Crowd, the cast frequently dine in one of Heston Blumenthal's restaurants, called The Flappy Duck.
- In The Middle first season episode "The Neighbor", Sue and Carly try to beat the Glossners in a fight after the latter challenges by a dance off, not knowing what a fight really entails. Eden Sher, who plays Sue, went on to voice Star Butterfly, the title character of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, who has no such problems in knowing how to fight and can be excessive at times, especially in the episode "School Spirit", where she had... the exact opposite problem when it came to football, donning battle armor, thinknig a trophy case is a memorial, and mining and laying traps in a football field.
- The Flash (1990):
- In one episode, Barry pretends to be the scientist who "created" the Flash, and uses the alias of "Professor Zoom" (the name of Barry's Evil Counterpart in the comics). John Wesley Shipp would later actually voice Zoom in the "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster" episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
- "Tina, Is That You?" sees Yvette Nipar played a character named Lisa March. It woudln't be the last time she played a character named Lisa in a show where a cop is also a superhero.note
- 'Sharpe: In "Sharpe's Eagle", Sharpe (Sean Bean) gets into a fistfight with minor villain Lt. Berry, played by a young Daniel Craig. So we have future Bond villain Alec Trevalyen sparring against a future James Bond, respectively. What's even funnier is the GoldenEye video game received a remake for Craig's Bond.
- In Lee & Herring's reasonably scary monsters: Richard Herring ponders who would win in a fight between an alien and a predator Stewart Lee then claims this would never happen. This was six years before the film was realeased.
- In one episode of Birds of Prey, Mitch Pileggi plays a crime boss. Come the next Batman series he's in, he's the voice of Jim Gordon.
- Alan van Sprang plays Valentine Morgenstern in Shadowhunters, while Jonathan Rhys Meyers played him in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Both actors starred in The Tudors together.
- The Reba episode, "Locked and Loaded", the titular character makes a crack involving Kelly Clarkson. Guess who guest-stars in literally the next episode, "As We Forgive Those...".
- In the Zoey 101 episode "Anger Management", Logan gets into deep trouble after an audio recording of him yelling at Dustin goes viral and creates an Internet firestorm. This becomes funnier now that several high-profile names have been in hot water over recorded rants, including Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin and Donald Sterling.
- This Cracked article points to roles that the stars of Breaking Bad had in the early parts of their career, that now look funnier because of Breaking Bad, such as Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) playing Big Bird's camp counselor, RJ Mitte (Walt Jr.) in Hannah Montana, an assortment of junk-food ads that Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) featured in, or Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) in a film on menstruation. Of course, they didn't have to mention Bryan Cranston's most famous other role...as Henpecked Husband Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.
- In the Breaking Bad episode "Over", Jesse at one point, while discussing superheroes he has drawn, asks his girlfriend Jane if she would ever want superpowers. Come late 2015, and Krysten Ritter, who plays Jane, is portraying the titular protagonist of Jessica Jones in Marvel's Netflix lineup.
- In the Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2008, Sean Lock suggested fake answers to some of the questions. To the question about something that "disrupted people's plans" (the answer being the chaos at Heathrow's Terminal 5 opening), he jokingly said it was a volcano. Two years later, Eyjafjallajökull's eruption caused even greater disruptions by grounding flights across Europe.
- The quiz in 2006 had a Countdown-like conundrum, featuring Carol Vorderman and even a cut-down version of the thinking music, which Jimmy dances to. This was long before Jimmy Carr began hosting 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
- The 2015 quiz had a question about Kanye West anointing himself the greatest living rock and roll star at Glastonbury and David Mitchell joking that Kanye must not have a lot of money because he had to do his own announcing. Two months later Kanye declares he's $53 million in debt and asking Face Book's Mark Zuckerberg for a loan.
- "Sometimes, McGee," Gibbs says at the end of the NCIS episode "Twisted Sister," "a little lie is good for the soul." The episode is about McGee's sister Sarah getting involved with a murder, and she's played by Troian Bellisario... who now knows a lot about little lies. Plus she gets the "camera sound, picture goes to black and white" freeze frame at the end, which underlines the point.
- In 2009, Cuba Gooding, Jr. starred in an inspirational low-budget TV biopic about an African-American brain surgeon who overcame his impoverished upbringing, turned to God, and eventually managed to separate a pair of conjoined twins. Sounds pretty forgettable...unless you know that the surgeon in question is Dr. Ben Carson, who would run for President of the United States six years after that telefilm aired. The film is called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Watching it today, it can seem like a pretty big oversight that Carson's "life story" never even mentions him running for President. Or even being involved in politics at all.
- In the 2012 Sherlock episode "The Hounds of Baskerville", reference is made to Sherlock losing a game of Cluedo because he insists that Dr Black committed suicide. Later that year, after "The Reichenbach Fall" was broadcast, a Sherlock themed version of Cluedo was released in which the victim was Jim Moriarty - who in the series definitely did commit suicide.
- At one point in Season 3 of The Voice, Adam Levine, in a surprising move, called contestant MacKenzie Bourg an "American Idol". Four years later, MacKenzie actually winds up as a contestant on Idol.
- Mr. Show:
- Reading Rainbow featured books that were part of two franchises which would later be adapted into their own PBS Kids programs: Arthur and The Magic School Bus.
- In one episode of H2O: Just Add Water Cleo's little sister almost uncovers that Cleo, Emma and Rikki are mermaids, and thinks they are monsters. Emma's little brother suggests talking to them, to which she says something like "They can't be reasoned with, they're not human. They're like witches, or vampires." Well two of them are vampires now...
- On Glee Kurt once tells Sebastian that he doesn't like his 'obnoxious CW hair.' Fastforward a few years and Grant Gustin is now best known for his role in The Flash... on the CW network.
- On Punk'd, Ashton routinely began referring to himself as "The Farmhand" while pranking pro-wrestlers. Cue a few years later, he is one in Netflix's The Ranch.
- Total Recall 2070: Calley, the Assessor's Office agent with some anti-android prejudice, is played by the same actor who would later star in Battlestar Galactica (2003) as the Cylon humanoid Aaron Doral/Number Five, who hates humans.
- In season 5 of The Wire, Tom McCarthy plays Scott Templeton, a journalist at the Sun who fabricates stories on his way to a Pulitzer. A few years after The Wire, Tom McCarthy directed Spotlight, a Best Picture-winning movie about journalists actually doing their job.
- In Ronald Reagan's sole appearance as a panelist on What's My Line?, in 1956, the first contestant's name was John Anderson — although it wasn't the same John Anderson as the one who ran against Reagan for president in 1980.
- Masters of Horror: In 2017, on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah mocked allegations by the new President Donald Trump of massive voter fraud because dead people were registed to vote, commenting that "Dead people getting up to vote? That's the weirdest episode of The Walking Dead ever!" That's essentially the whole plot of this series' episode "Homecoming", made about a decade earlier, in which zombified U.S. soldiers rise from the dead to voice their discontent through the electoral process.
- In the Australian TV series The Ferals, the leader of the group of animals is a rat named Rattus Rattus. Fifteen years later...