Sometimes an author will spend a lot of time blatantly {{Foreshadowing}} something, only to play with the audience's heads. When TheReveal comes, the promised (implied, really) development never occurs. Which, by the way, is {{Irony}}. May be an OrphanedReference and/or the result of an AbortedArc.

'''Here there be spoilers.'''

See also TheUntwist, BaitAndSwitch, RedHerring, RedHerringMole. This trope also includes any and all subversions of ChekhovsGun; see that page for examples.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** Late in the Johto saga, the gang comes across a mansion inhabited by a lone servant named Lokoko and her Ninetales. Or rather, [[spoiler:a lone Ninetales and an illusion created by it by which it could communicate with the outside world]]. As Brock mentions how he once had a Vulpix (which he had returned to Suzy over sixty episodes prior to that point), the Ninetales clearly has a fondness for Brock ([[IdenticalStranger he resembles its old master]]), ''and'' the Poké Ball that kept it tethered to the mansion breaks at the end of the episode, one would expect Brock to invite Ninetales to join his team, but the Ninetales simply roams free and is never seen again.
** Episode 11 of the ''D/P'' saga has Zoey wishing Dawn luck and Dawn saying that she'll win, but come next episode, Zoey wins against Dawn.
** In Sinnoh, the Elite 4 and the Champion all make an appearance at separate points and it's almost set up that Ash will actually get to battle them. Shame he doesn't, no thanks to [[DiabolusExMachina Tobias]].
** [[spoiler:The first half of ''Best Wishes'' has Ash's badge case have a clear slot for the Legend Badge. After getting the Icicle Badge, the Opelucid Gym is temporarily closed (much to Iris's delight), so Ash eventually wins the Toxic Badge from Roxie instead.]]
** It's practically tradition that an (obviously) AlwaysSomeoneBetter trainer would be the one to prevent Ash from getting a tournament victory, which, in the Unova arc, fans would believe to be Virgil. [[spoiler:Instead, it was Cameron, a worse IdiotHero than Ash was.]]
** The first episode of Unova implied Ash was Zekrom's chosen hero of ideals. The first time N makes his anime debut he seems to be Reshiram's chosen hero of truth. While they like each other well enough, N takes offence at Ash's chosen lifestyle as a Pokémon Trainer. So you think they will take command of each other's legendary and battle to see if truth or ideals wins the day as in the games? Nope, Ash gets N on his side before Reshiram appears and Reshiram leaves with little fuss. Zekrom doesn't even make an appearance.
*** This is apparently due to RealLifeWritesThePlot; Team Plasma had been planned to debut early in ''BW'', but the March 2011 earthquake in Japan caused those episodes to be shelved. What info exists on those episodes implies that N was planned to be the king of Team Plasma, like in the games. Instead, Team Plasma debuts much later, with their ''[=BW2=]'' designs, while N has already split from them long before meeting Ash.
** Ash's Charizard returns late in the ''Black and White'' saga. [[spoiler:In a case of BaitAndSwitchCredits, he doesn't have an actual role in Team Plasma, let alone face Reshiram, like the opening theme suggested.]] And then, with the revelation that Mega Evolutions, introduced in the next generation, ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', many were thinking that since Charizard stayed on Ash's team until the end of ''Black and White'' (and never returned to the Charicific Valley), Ash would get access to the new mechanic (since Charizard is one of those confirmed to get Mega Evolutions [two, in fact]). The ''XY'' series came and went, and Ash ''never'' got to actually be a Mega user, in spite of having Charizard (and a whole LOT of other potential Mega candidates, for that matter). In fact, ''none'' of Ash's previous Pokemon appear at all in ''XY''.
* Despite all the hints through the series as to the real identity of Marin as Seiya's sister in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', she doesn't end up being his sister at all, the real sister is somewhere else.
** [[spoiler:This, and Eagle Marin is the master of cryptic lines: she knew Seiya would have to face many a hardship, she knew who the real Athena was, but contrary to other Gold Saints who have good reason to suspect something was going on with the Sanctuary, it's never explained why she had knowledge of Saori being Athena. She also went to Star Hill to find the dead Pope's body. In the manga, she's basically always in the right place at the right time with the right info, hinting at a much larger role than that of a mere Silver Saint. WordOfGod also hinted in a databook that she has a mysterious unrevealed power.]]
* The very first scene of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', which appears to be a FlashForward, but never actually happens.
* The introduction of [[spoiler:Chrono's DisappearedDad]] in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' made it appear that he was the MysteriousProtector of the Wolkenritter, especially since the MysteriousProtector looked like [[spoiler:an older Chrono]] and acted like he was familiar with [[spoiler:Chrono]]. Nope, he was eventually revealed to be [[spoiler: the disguised CatGirl familiars of Gil Graham, the friend of Chrono's father who was trying to execute a plan to seal the Book of Darkness that killed him]]. Rewatching the season after knowing TheReveal shows that the writers foreshadowed that one too, but the popularity of the [[spoiler: LukeIAmYourFather]] trope allowed the Fauxshadowing to hide the actual {{Foreshadowing}} in plain sight.
** ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' had the foreshadowing-that-wasn't of [[spoiler:Vita's death]].
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Joey vowed that he'd be the one to defeat Marik and Save Mai after her defeat in Battle City, however, after seriously getting burned, Joey colapses just as he was about to win in the semi-finals.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' foreshadowed that the BigBad Z-one was Yusei from a BadFuture. He turned out to be [[spoiler:A random unnamed scientist who just assumed Yusei's identity so he could bring the world hope.]]
** Sly who, in a potential subplot initially planned to take Stardust Dragon from Yusei counts as well.
* ''Anime/ProjectAko'' shows us A-ko a PersonOfMassDestruction capable of feats of incredible speed and strength. Space aliens are searching for their long lost princess they left behind on Earth. Obviously the aliens have come to take A-ko away. Oh wait, no they're not. They're here for [[TheDitz C-ko]].
* This ended up happening to Orihime Inoue in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. At the start of the series, her main power seems to be healing people, along with creating defensive shields. Partway through the Arrancar Saga, she's kidnapped by people working for the BigBad, Aizen. Aizen tells her that her powers go far beyond what they seemed. Her real power is to flat out reject reality. If she wants, she can alter objects or restore them to a previous state. He demonstrates this by having her repair Grimmjow's missing arm, something that he claims can't be done with regular healing. Orihime develops a plan to use her ability to unmake the Hogyoku, a mystical object essential to Aizen's plans. Later on, Ulquiorra implies that Aizen has done something to modify Orihime. A big deal is also made during the Arrancar Saga about how Orihime's sole offensive technique is a OneHitKill, but is rendered useless because her gentle nature means she'll always hesitate to use lethal force, thus weakening the attack to the point that almost anyone can block it. At the same time Ulquiorra is built up as far more Orihime's nemesis than Ichigo's, with Ichigo already getting two other major enemies in the arc (Grimmjow and [[BigBad Aizen himself]]). This is seemingly setting up Orihime to find the resolve to fight without holding back (an established theme to the series, something that Ichigo has to go through several times) and defeat Ulquiorra herself. Ultimately, [[spoiler: Orihime gets left behind in Hueco Mundo while Ichigo goes to confront Aizen, whom he manages to beat with a new power that leaves Aizen completely helpless, and causes him to be rejected by the Hogyoku. The possibility of her destroying it isn't brought up again, Ulquiorra's words are never explained, and Orihime never has an actual fight with him or anyone else. In the end, despite all of the build up, she didn't contribute to Aizen's defeat in any way.]]
* In ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'', it was implied in episode 21 that Miyuki would become the fourth Cure. Two episodes later, the spot is given to a post-{{Heel Face Turn}}ed Eas.
* ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' has a lot of fun with this, at the expense of OnlySaneMan Mahiro's sanity. His attempts to be GenreSavvy usually involve trying to find the {{Foreshadowing}} that would produce the stupidest possible resolution to the plot; while his logic is accurate, he's almost always wrong because an entirely ''different'' piece of Foreshadowing will crop up that produces an even dumber resolution than he thought was possible.
** Specific example: In ''Nyarko-San W'', the main cast goes to the GreatBigLibraryOfEverything because Nyarko has an overdue book; while they're there, a pair of aliens raid the library looking for a specific book. Putting two and two together, Mahiro guesses that Nyarko's book is the one they're looking for[[note]]What makes it stupid is, her book is just juvenile lit[[/note]]. However, it turns out that ''he'' had the MacGuffin, a book he picked up earlier and absently shoved in his pocket when the bad guys attacked. When this is revealed, Mahiro gets a BigNo at the idea that he's responsible for the plot twist, and Nyarko tells him how mean it was to immediately blame her for it.
** Another example gets lampshaded; two episodes of ''Nyarko-San W'' have the Cyclone vacuum cleaner [[LargeHam voiced by]] Creator/NorioWakamoto. At the end of the latter episode, both Nyarko and Mahiro remark that they thought the vacuum would end up being important to the plot, based off of how much set-up it got. But no, it was only there so they could give a ShoutOut to ''Series/KamenRiderDouble''.
* Early parts of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' dropped a lot of hints that [[spoiler:Van Hohenheim, Ed and Al's father]] was the BigBad of the series. He's not, though [[spoiler:the actual BigBad does look exactly like him, due to having constructed his physical body from Hohenheim's DNA]].
* Masashi Kishimoto, regarding ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', [[WordOfGod has said]] that all the comparisons and parallels made between Naruto's mother (right down to the part where Kushina advises Naruto to find a girlfriend "like your mother") and his initial love interest, Sakura, were deliberately inserted [[TrollingCreator to pull the legs]] of the [[ShipToShipCombat shipping fans]]. [[spoiler:Naruto ended up with Hinata instead, as fully detailed in ''[[Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie The Last]]''.]]
* PlayedForLaughs in a chapter of ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret''. It starts with an ominous flashback featuring demonic principal Akane and a character we had heard of but so far never seen [[spoiler:(the former principal Shirayuki).]] Then return to the present, where an equally mysterious character appears before Akane with their face hidden. They fight, then there's a dramatic build-up to the reveal that [[spoiler:said character is completely unrelated to Shirayuki, and is baffled by Akane's assumption.]] Cue Akane curling on the floor in shame after her dramatic effect was ruined. The character in the flashback does eventually appear, but much later.
* ''Manga/MadeInAbyss'' misleadingly implies that "Mitty," Nanachi's pet blob-mutant, is the remnants of Riko's mother Lyza. It's established that the Curse of the Abyss often turns people into unidentifiable "hollows" of their former selves, like Mitty, and Lyza was last seen heading to the region of the Abyss with this nasty side effect. Mitty seems oddly attached to Riko, and during a scene where Reg [[AmnesiacHero tries to remember]] what happened to Lyza, the camera keeps jumping to Mitty at ominously-framed angles. "Mitty" sounds like a nickname, and Nanachi is evasive about her backstory. [[spoiler:It turns out Mitty was an unrelated girl of Riko's age; she was Nanachi's best (and only) friend, but they failed to save her from the machinations of a MadScientist that changed her, and Nanachi, into her current unfortunate form.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** All throughout the second half of the series, [[BigBad Zeref]] anticipates that [[TheHero Natsu]] is the only person in the world capable of killing him. [[spoiler:Indeed, Natsu is revealed to be a former human reborn as an Etherious, demons created by Zeref for this very purpose. However, Natsu's only opportunity to kill Zeref is wasted midway through the final story arc, and while he does remain the only one capable of ''defeating'' him in battle, it's ultimately Zeref's ex-lover Mavis who kills him as an ActOfTrueLove via their shared InstantDeathRadius.]]
** The Dragon King Festival is set up as a major event that is implied to happen on the anniversary of Igneel and the other dragons disappearance, which is also when they prepare to make their return. When the awaited event occurs, it turns out to be a BigBadWannabe's attempt to recreate a similar historic event, and none of the dragons are anywhere to be seen [[spoiler:except a few random ones brought over from the past through the Eclipse Gate. However, it's justified as the dragons were waiting for Acnologia, who never showed up, and they all reappear in the next major arc.]]
** One example is played straight in the manga, but averted in the anime. Early on, Lucy worries that Eisenwald's leader, Erigor, may one day come back for revenge. His return is even foreshadowed right before Fairy Tail's fight with the Oracion Seis. Although Hiro Mashima planned for him to return in the initial draft, this the last that's ever spoken of him in the manga, as he was written out of the next draft. The anime, however, ''does'' feature his return in that very arc.
** After getting her butt whooped by Erza's Nakagami Armor in the Grand Magic Games, Minerva reveals she has found a countermeasure for Erza's armor and promises an epic showdown with her rival. The closest they get to this is a fight Erza has absolutely zero interest in, and Minerva's countermeasure is never revealed.

* The first story arc of ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' features an UpperClassTwit named Jimmy Wells, who occasionally drops hints that there's more to him than people think, and who tends to make excuses and leave quickly when something exciting happens; the clear implication is that he's the foppish alter-ego of the Phantom, like Lamont Cranston in ''Radio/TheShadow'' (or Bruce Wayne in ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'', except this was before Bruce Wayne had been invented). Eventually, the Phantom decides to reveal his true identity to his love interest -- and he's somebody completely different. It's generally assumed to be a case of an AbortedArc, where the writer originally did intend Jimmy Wells to be the Phantom but then had a more original idea partway through.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'', the leader of the GreekChorus of owls states explicitly several times that the main character is going to die. At the end of the movie, Rango is still very much alive, and the owl states that he will die someday, as everyone does eventually... just not right now.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy features several:
** Han Solo getting the feeling he's never going to see the Millennium Falcon again; probably a holdover from an earlier draft of the script, where he ''didn't'' see it again.
** Yoda proclaiming that Luke was not their last hope, implying that he would fail and that the "other" he was talking about (Leia) would have to take his place. An Infinities arc was later written that demonstrated this possibility.
** The "love triangle" of Luke/Leia/Han. Han and Leia end up together, but only after Luke and Leia have shared a few kisses that are never re-visited after they learn they're brother and sister.
* The whole film ''Film/SleepawayCamp'' seems to be setting up a [[TheReveal reveal]] that Angela, the obvious suspect, is innocent, and Ricky is the real killer. Every time someone victimizes her who later ends up dead, Ricky always witnesses what they're doing to her and gets angry. That the head of the camp suspects him seems to be obviously part of the fake-out. Everything seems calculated to add up to Ricky being the killer for those who are watching carefully, but it's not too terribly overt. Then at the end it turns out that [[TheUntwist Angela really is the killer]], and the real surprise is... well, let's just leave it that it's something else entirely, although that ''has'' been conservatively foreshadowed. A little bit.
* Wes Craven said on the commentary track of ''Film/WesCravensNewNightmare'' that he had deliberately made two characters seem, very subtly, to be possible villains in disguise. He did this by introducing them with "was it really a false alarm or just foreshadowing?" moments, and by making their performances seem suspicious. One is a babysitter (who in the original draft of the screenplay ''was'' in league with Uber Freddy) and the other is a slimy chauffeur. Neither of them turns out to be either a villain or a threat: the babysitter ends up dying to save Dylan and the chauffeur is never seen again after his one introductory scene.
* ''Film/{{Unstoppable}}'' has an excellent example in the form of Frank's death. He has a FatalFamilyPhoto, he [[{{Retirony}} retires in less than a month, and he even]] [[TemptingFate Tempts Fate]] at one point by remarking offhandedly to Will, "Don't get sentimental on me; it makes me feel like I'm gonna die." He survives to the end of the movie.
* Steven Spielberg has stated that upon seeing ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'' as a child, he was very disappointed that the movie never revealed what the Krell actually looked like, after the line about a characteristic triangular door shape throughout their compound being the only clue to their physical appearance.
* While everyone who knows about ''Film/{{Audition}}'' (or [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil catches sight of its DVD cover]]) knows just what's up with the enigmatic Asami, watching it in the mindset of someone unaware of the twist makes it apparent that the first half of the film set up many indicators of Asami [[DeadAllAlong being a ghost]]: her ethereal [[WomanInWhite white-dressed]] beauty, Aoyama's friend commenting that something seems off about her and that none of the references she gave exist, and her sudden and mysterious disappearance one day that baffles Aoyama -- all of which would make TheReveal even more shocking to an unknowing viewer who was expecting a quiet, romantic story.
* ''Film/MarthaMarcyMayMarlene'': The cult leader takes the protagonist (Martha) out to the woods to practice shooting. Turns out she's barely involved in the murder the cult perpetrate (and that is with a knife). Martha also spends much of her time swimming alone in a large lake by her sister's summer house and near the end of the film her sister cautions her that the day is quite cold for swimming, suggesting that Martha might meet a watery end. She doesn't.
* In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Chekov is forced to put on a RedShirt at one point, suggesting [[AnyoneCanDie he could die at any second]] (he even looks appropiately ''horrified''). Instead, Kirk is the one who ends up dead (he gets better).
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', Zod's armor has a BladeBelowTheShoulder he uses to kill Jor-El. In the final fight with Superman he makes an adjustment to his right gauntlet, as if to bust out the blade, but instead just removes his armor.
* Early in ''Film/DjangoUnchained'', when Django and Schultz ride into the first town they visit, the foreground of one shot conspicuously incorporates [[spoiler: a noose through which Django's head cleanly passes, strongly suggesting that he will be hanged.]] In a way, he does end up [[spoiler: hanging]], but not quite that way.
* ''Film/LeavingLasVegas'' seems to be setting the viewer up for a thriller plot or subplot, with its early chance encounters between Ben. the mobsters, and Yuri, with exposition on the latter's increasingly desperate circumstances. But then he's killed, offscreen, and that's that.

* In Creator/VladimirNabokov's ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' there are several indications that [[spoiler: Humbert will murder the title character; and we know from the prologue that Humbert was arrested for murder after the novel's events. He won't.]]
* David Farland's ''Literature/TheRunelords'' draws heavily upon Mormon theology, philosophy and symbolism, and one of the clearest examples is the wizard Binnesman, based on a [[Literature/TheBookOfMormon Book of Mormon]] prophet named Abinadi. His confrontation and continual opposition to the [[BigBad evil king]] Raj Ahten make the comparisons clear almost from the first encounter between the two. Raj Ahten's ever-growing affinity for fire only serves to heighten the foreshadowing: Binnesman is clearly going to end up being burned to death by Raj Ahten, or at his command, which was the fate of Abinadi. Except... in the end, Raj Ahten is defeated and Binnesman is still alive, preserved by the author to meet an even stranger fate in the books that follow.
* Some people were ''very'' disappointed while reading ''Literature/TheShining''. Early in the book, a character mentions a large picture window, how expensive it was to install, and to take care that it doesn't get broken. It doesn't get broken [[spoiler: [[KillItWithFire presumably until the scene where the hotel explodes]], which does not mention the window]].
* In the beginning of the Literature/LordPeterWimsey mystery ''The Nine Tailors'', the bumbling vicar explains how his dear old clock is going a bit slow these days. He always sets it an hour early when he winds it on Sunday morning - but if you can only remember that it is before time on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, accurate on Wednesday, and late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, why, it's a very excellent clock indeed! The reader expects a tricky alibi problem, but it never happens. The clock is only mentioned once more in the book. Lord Peter's manservant and the vicar's maid has an argument about cleaning it.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Maskerade'', which is heavily inspired by the various versions of ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', has several characters remark that [[FallingChandelierOfDoom the giant chandelier in the middle of the Opera House is an accident waiting to happen]]. At the end of the book, it still hasn't fallen, [[spoiler: though that's [[InvokedTrope not for lack of the villain trying]]]].
* In ''Hero of Ages'', the third book of ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', a character, [[spoiler: Marsh]] is under mind-control from [[spoiler: BigBad Ruin]]. He has enough HeroicWillpower to resist ''once'', and his thoughts in his POV sections make it clear he intends to use this to kill himself at a key point, depriving [[spoiler: Ruin]] of his services. [[spoiler: Nope: he uses it to rip out [[ActionGirl Vin's]] earring -- revealed as a kind of minor ArtifactOfDoom -- thereby allowing her to break free of its influence and ascend to a PhysicalGod type state, where she can face Ruin directly. Marsh is one of the only POV characters to ''survive'' the entire series]].
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', prophecy is commonly used as a tool for {{Foreshadowing}}; [[TheMagicComesBack Talents thought extinct or dying are resurfacing]], several of which allow insights into the future, with varying accuracy and clarity. There are characters who mostly just crank out one serious-sounding prophecy after another; however, most prophecies are quite diluted in importance as a result[[note]]There is only so much drama one can fit into a person's life![[/note]], and there is no telling which prophecies are important or even fulfilled during the timespan of the series.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Neville Longbottom is revealed as having been a potential ChosenOne until the BigBad singled out Harry instead. He is plagued with memory problems. What deep, dark secret is lurking in the recesses of his mind? [[spoiler: [[Film/{{UHF}} NOTHING!]]]]
** Ron Weasley mentions off hand that his mother has a cousin [[MuggleBornOfMages with no magical abilities]]. The cousin works as an accountant. We never get to meet this character. (WordOfGod is J K Rowling originally planned to make this cousin important, he was going to have a witch daughter named Mafalda who would cause trouble. But then Rowling rewrote Goblet Of Fire and Mafalda never made it into any of the books.
* ''Literature/CiaphasCain'': The last words of Chaos Warmaster Varan the Undefeatable ("That was unexpected.") are used as a quote at the beginning of a chapter, leading the reader to think it's a character wryly commenting on his betrayal (the other quotes are similarly humorous). When the actual character is seen in a later book, he actually screams the line, the reveal being that his CompellingVoice isn't the only thing he got out of worshipping the Chaos gods, they also gave him carapace-like skin and razor claws. Not that it stops Cain from dispatching him with a kickass ([[HilariousInHindsight and]] [[Memes/GameOfThrones prescient]]) PreMortemOneLiner ("[[spoiler:Commissar Donal]] sends his regards").

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': In Season 5, Bronn jokes about death, sings a song about dying, and gets cut by a poisoned weapon. Despite all of these obvious death flags, Bronn survives the season.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' season 2, probably as a side effect of the Writers' Strike cutting the season short, had three main plots: 1. ''slowly-building storyline about a character with the uncontrolled power to produce a deadly virus and her antigen-producing brother'', 2. ''major plot about a future deadly apocalyptic virus outbreak'' and 3. ''Hiro gets set back in time to meet his ancient Japanese samurai hero''. The brother is offed by Sylar and the sister arrives in New York just in time to not be involved in destroying the virus at all, and the ancient samurai hero ends up being a foreign Immortal who tries to release the virus.
** There's also the Isaac Mendez comic of St. Joan which is supposed to be Monica. Also, a kriss bladed dagger appears in the vault at the end of Season 2. As we all know, the Monica arc doesn't go anywhere.
** Also, just about anything in the vault.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Giles the untouchable. The BigBad of Buffy's last arc could take the form of anyone who had died, but only as a non-solid illusion. There was a scene that suggested Giles may have died, and his later appearances had him never directly interacting with anything, hinting that he may be aforementioned BigBad in disguise. The characters themselves eventually pick up on this and panic, especially as Giles just went off to mentor the very group of teenage girls the BigBad has been trying to kill. When they finally catch up with him and find that he is indeed still a living, tangible person, he gets a great line about how "they thought he was evil because he ''wasn't'' touching underage girls?"
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Locke's [[ArcWords special]] destiny is foreshadowed for about five seasons. Then he dies uselessly.
** Caesar for season five. Prior to the premiere, they ''heavily'' hyped him up with bits and pieces of information. When it airs, the hype grows as questions are asked: why is he on the plane? Why does he seem to already know about the Island? Why is hiding a gun and other items from what appears to be his lancer, Ilana (who comparatively seems boring, just some bounty hunter who escorted Sayid onto the plane)? What is his agenda? Surely he'll be a important player in the show's endgame...then he dies in the middle of an episode. He's never mentioned again, while his lancer turns out to be a important character with a personal link to Jacob and a promotion to regular for the final season
* In the pilot episode of ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'', Topher explains that he deliberately worsened Echo's vision in her hostage negotiator imprint hence her wearing glasses, because that was the case in one of the people the imprint was built on, and to get a a copy of such a person great in their field you need the entire package and their flaws along with their strengths (hence also giving her asthma, which comes into play later.) However this does not appear in any later episodes. The only one where a doll is given a deliberate flaw is a later episode where Echo is made blind, and this is only because her eyes are basically serving as cameras making direct vision for her impossible.
* The BigBad of season 3 of ''{{Justified}},'' [[RuthlessForeignGangsters Detroit mob enforcer Quarles,]] has a rail-mounted gun he conceals up his sleeve; multiple characters point out that, while this is handy for getting the drop on people, he'd be fucked if the mechanism were to jam. In the season finale, nothing goes wrong with the mechanism... but [[spoiler: Quarles' ''entire arm'' is lopped off with a meat cleaver.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the TV Movie, there is a radical reveal that the Doctor is half-human, a detail stated three times to make sure we get it. It's also made very clear that the Eye of Harmony, a structure inside the Doctor's TARDIS containing the Doctor's memories and the TARDIS's power source (which the Doctor says would suck out his soul if he looked into it), can only open when looked upon by a human retinal structure. Surely the Doctor's half-human eyes are going to be instrumental in opening the Eye of Harmony? Nope, it never happens, the Master instead using his human companion Chang to open the Eye. The consensus seems to be that this was [[AbortedArc buried in rewrites]].
** Amy and the Doctor getting together and/or being together off-screen seemed like this. In series 5, Amy was especially flirtatious with him, even attempted to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar have sex with him]] on her wedding night. In "Amy's Choice" she chooses her fiancé Rory, but it's revealed that the Doctor had been battling with his attraction to her. Eventually the couple do get married, but they keep the tension up; when kidnapped Amy keeps up a constant monologue, saying she loves a man, "even though you think it should be him," without specifying which 'him' it is, only that he has a 'stupid face'. It's Rory. Later, when Amy and her child are kidnapped, she tells the baby to look out for her father, who is TheLastOfHisKind and OlderThanHeLooks. She actually means The Last Centurion, Rory's alter-ego. Later, when the two of them have been (briefly) rescued, they beg the Doctor to tell them what's going on, because this is their baby. His response is "It's mine." He actually meant the cot.
* In the prequel season of ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand'', obviously any character who appeared in the first season was not going to die. Anyone else was fair game and most of the important characters introduced that season were indeed killed. However, that wasn't the case with the champion Gannicus. He was never mentioned in the first season and anyone unfamiliar with the legend would very likely assume it was a question of when and how rather than if he was going to die. The writers exploited this by giving him some close calls, but ultimately he won his freedom and left the Ludis, then reappeared in season 3.
* We are led to believe in the "Conspiracy" episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' that we might have another encounter with the "Bluegill" aliens after Remmick sends out a transmission. Nothing ever comes of it (at least within the main canon), and what remained of the ideas regarding them were repurposed into the Borg.
* In an early episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', the cast sees a "future echo" of an aged Lister with a mechanical arm. Six series later, Lister gets his arm chopped off in an attempt to cure him of a sentient virus that had been driven into that arm, apparently fulfilling the foreshadowing... until the next episode where Lister's body is reconstructed by nanites, giving him a whole new flesh and blood arm.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Future!Ted mentioned that the titular Mother was at the same St. Patrick's part he and Barney went to. Stella mentioned offhand that she went to the same party. She is not the Mother.
** Various episodes in the series imply that Barney and Robin's wedding will turn out disasterous. It actually went off without a hitch (though Barney backs out on the flower gorilla idea at the last moment).
* In ''Series/BreakingBad'', when Hank follows Heisenberg's rolling meth lab to a garbage disposal yard, he pulls off the duct tape over the bullet holes in an attempt to gain probable cause to investigate. When he does, light shines through the holes and falls on Walter's chest, clearly indicating that Hank would shoot Walter. Hank is gunned down by a gang of Neo-{{Nazi}}s two episodes before the end.
* In the comics, Barry Allen/Franchise/TheFlash travels back in time to save his mother from Professor Zoom, which would lead to the ''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}'' storyline. In ''Series/TheFlash2014'', after a whole season of buildup, [[spoiler:Barry travels back in time, but was prevented from saving his mother by his alternate (perhaps older) self]], and thus Flashpoint never came to fruition.
** And then the next season, [[spoiler: this ends up being averted, as at the end he decides to save his mom after all, and ''does'' create the show's version of the Flashpoint reality]].

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', there was a ''lot'' of build-up with Andrew's dreams and dark consciousness that seemed to foreshadow a FaceHeelTurn, or at the very least a mutation. What happened in the end? Andrew got over it. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen This was mainly the unintentional result of Andrewnuva199 changing his plans for Andrew.]] Ironically, another Dino Attack agent from LEGO Island, Zachary, ended up fulfilling the FaceHeelTurn role.

* In ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', there's a brief scene when Madame Morrible meets up with Elphaba during a rainstorm, at one point saying, "You mustn't get wet." Elphaba is not seen in contact with water throughout the show. [[spoiler:It's just a RedHerring, Elphaba isn't actually allergic to water in this version.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* At the beginning of ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'', a shadowy figure holds up Edgeworth in his office. [[spoiler: We can't hear the voice, obviously, and Edgeworth only refers to them as 'that person', leaving open the possibility that the mysterious person might not even have been a man despite the masculine silhouette. It turns out to be Detective Badd.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 2|SonsOfLiberty}}'', whenever Snake's name is brought up in front of the Colonel, he dodges the subject, only referring to him as "that man", eagerly accusing the terrorist of being Solid Snake as if desperate to kill even a lookalike to get some closure, and getting irrationally angry whenever anything is mentioned about Snake's competence, prowess, or heroism. However, Snake and the Colonel parted in the previous game as close friends. Raiden explicitly asks the Colonel if Snake did something terrible to him, and he doesn't give a straight answer -- every implication is that Snake somehow betrayed the Colonel or hurt him on a very personal level, and [[ChekhovMIA the absence]] of Snake's love interest from the previous game, Campbell's daughter, adds to this suspicion. As personal secrets come out, TheReveal is actually that Snake [[spoiler:had nothing to do with anything]] and that [[spoiler:Raiden has been talking to a crazy A.I. that had been imitating the Colonel and attempting bring about a plot to control human will and consciousness]].
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', a game full of betrayal as is, it was heavily suggested that [[TheLancer Genis Sage]] would [[spoiler:betray the party and side with the BigBad, Mithos]]. In fact, there is one scene where he openly states that [[spoiler: If TheHero, Lloyd, and the BigBad, Mithos (who wasn't known to be the BigBad at that time) were to get in a fight, he (Genis) would side with Mithos.]] [[TheReveal When it all comes out]], Genis [[spoiler:sides with Lloyd, mainly because he knows by that point that Mithos is the BigBad.]]
** Subverted in a sense with Kratos. Most of the foreshadowing that he might be [[spoiler:Lloyd's father]] is ''heaped'' on early in the game, and if you're going into the game expecting a plot twist -- which you should, it's a ''VideoGame/{{Tales|Series}}'' game, after all -- that is most likely what you'll guess. However, when you arrive at the Tower of Salvation, it seems to be Fauxshadowing because [[spoiler:Kratos pulls a pretty blatant and unexpected FaceHeelTurn]]. So then you believe ''that's'' the plot twist, and all of the [[spoiler:father]] stuff was fauxshadowing. [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out that Kratos ''is'' Lloyd's father and the FaceHeelTurn was actually a sham, so he could go on helping Lloyd from inside Cruxis.]] [[{{Understatement}} Kratos is a complicated guy.]]
* The Creator/{{Infocom}} game ''VideoGame/{{Wishbringer}}'': Throughout the feelies and prologue, repeated mention is made of the threat of the dragon Thermofax, who doesn't play any role in the game whatsoever. Naturally, there are a number of fake-clues in the hint book about dealing with him.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX''
** The end of ''VideoGame/MegaManX3'' hints that to save the world, [[FightingTheLancer X must destroy Zero at some point in the future]]. (In the original Japanese, it merely hints they will fight at some point.) ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX5 X4]]'' continues the hint and states they will come to blows in some kind of epic, world-shattering battle. ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX5 X5]]'' finally [[FightingYourFriend has them fight]], and canonically it wasn't even close to a fight to the death or for the fate of the world. (In the non-canon BadEnding, it IS to the death, however.)
** ''Mega Man X4'' foreshadows [[spoiler:the title character's FaceHeelTurn]] for the SequelSeries ''VideoGame/MegaManZero''. (Un)fortunately, because the series [[FranchiseZombie continued on after the creator's planned ending]], that plot twist never comes to be. [[spoiler:At least it succeeds in foreshadowing the Maverick Hunters' transformation into the evil Neo Arcadian regime. (Plus said regime is ruled by an evil copy of X that Zero has to stop.)]]
** Similarly in ''Mega Man X5'', Sigma mentions during the final battle that he has a "partner" who hates X as well and provided him with a new body. Due to the story being nuked by ExecutiveMeddling, we never find out who this partner is and he [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse vanishes]] into the numerous other {{plot hole}}s in the following sequels. WordOfGod claims he meant it to be [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Dr. Wily]] in some form or another and the game does strongly hint at Wily's presence.
--> '''Sigma:''' Here I am. You can challenge me at anytime. I have delightful news. I've recently acquired a new partner. He has been very supportive. He seems to have created quite a few robots. And he gave me the toughest body that you will ever see. You got here sooner than I expected, so it is not yet complete... is enough to defeat you... He is an excellent partner... I believe you two know each other... In fact, he used to be a comrade of yours. He was very persistent about you... and that makes him very helpful to me. You see X, there is someone other than me...who hates you... Now feel our combined rage and die! ...But not before suffering horribly, ha ha ha! ...Goodbye, X!
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'': The only surviving child born in Hope, Idaho, was taken into government custody and codenamed PARIAH. According to the few people who know about him, it would be "extraordinarily bad" if he and protagonist Alex Mercer were ever to meet one another. Fortunately, they don't.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Shepard rescues Tali from the geth on Heastrom. Before being attacked, she was researching the planet's star. It turns out the star is dying, but is nowhere near old enough to actually be in the stage of decay it's at. Later, she hypothesizes that dark energy is decreasing the star's mass and killing it, noting that if it's not just an isolated, freak phenomenon, it could be very bad for galactic civilization. This plot point is never brought up in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''; supposedly, stopping it from becoming widespread was originally the true goal of the series' villains, but this was discarded early in the third game's development.
** [[ Confirmed]] in June 2013.
* A [[MindScrew fairly bizarre]] scene in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' seems to imply that Link or Midna will wind up corrupted by the [[MacGuffin Fused Shadows]] they spend the early parts of the game tracking down. Upon getting the final Fused Shadow, they're stolen by the villain (who's ''already'' evil, so the Fused Shadows didn't seem to do anything to him). Then the heroes get the Fused Shadows back, [[spoiler:Midna turns into a monstrosity!... for only two different scenes, and in both of them, she is completely in control, still on the side of good, and goes back to normal a few seconds later.]] After all this, the scene Lanayru presents to you seems like a BigLippedAlligatorMoment.
* ''VideoGame/BraveFencerMusashi'' has the action figures of enemies and bosses, each with voices and "attack actions" that you can often buy before encountering said enemies. Typically they serve as a heads-up to what kind of enemies you'll be facing next. [[spoiler:However, you [[TheUnfought never fight Colonel Capricolla]] and it turns out [[ReverseMole he's been helping you the entire time]]. The pistol, sound effects, and [[CallingYourAttacks battle cries]] made by his action figure are only there to keep players from discovering the big twist.]]
* There's an minor character in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' named Zherron. A creepy dude that's spying on the mercenaries and is holding something back. Most Definitely Not A Villain. [[spoiler: Sarcasm excluded, as the mercenaries intended to attack the local settlement and Zheeron was one of the few who suspected that.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Red XIII's tattoo puts him in the same category as the Clones, which all have number tattoos. He's given a scene where he worries to Tifa that the fact that he was experimented on by Hojo means he might go mad and get possessed by Sephiroth. Red XIII's medical history or mental state is never mentioned again in the rest of the game. Early in Disc 2, there ''is'' a scene where Red XIII is manipulated by Sephiroth into giving Cloud the Black Materia for [[IdiotBall flimsy reasons]]... but Barret, who was never experimented on, will do the exact same thing if the player gives him the Black Materia instead.
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMario64'', some time after Chapter 1, if Mario checks his mail, he will find a letter from the Koopa Bros. (the bosses of Chapter 1) vowing to return to get their revenge on him. Sure enough, they do indeed make their return during the final chapter, ready to make good on their treat... [[spoiler:[[BaitAndSwitchBoss only to get their asses thoroughly kicked by]] [[PlotIrrelevantVillain Jr. Troopa]].]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures'' is ''built'' on this trope... (and [[{{Troperiffic}} most of the other ones]]). The overall plot is planned ahead of time, but the actual ''details'' of the story are mostly ad-libbed, making foreshadowing difficult. The author's solution? Foreshadow ''everything,'' and decide which ones were red herrings later, shortly before the reveal.
* ''Webcomic/DiamondInTheRoughAladdin'', a prequel to the Disney film, throws in misleading hints to who the main characters might be, such as suggesting they might be the Sultan or Jafar. The real answer is [[WasOnceAMan much more surprising...]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The second season finale of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': [[spoiler:After spending an entire season giving Zuko every reason to do a HeelFaceTurn, he makes the choice to stay loyal to his father instead.]] This was then double subverted [[spoiler:because he ''does'' do a HeelFaceTurn later.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', season 3 (you decide if this was intentional or not): An episode has Stella saying, "I hope I don't have to save Chimera", of having to save someone from her own realm to earn her Enchantix. [[TemptingFate You know what that means, right?]] Well, wrong. When Chimera and her mom and her dad come under attack at a party later, Chimera's mom takes her daughter and escapes, leaving just Stella's father for Stella to save.
* ExecutiveMeddling has an example of executives putting the Faux in Fauxshadow (the ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' entry).
* The SeriesFauxnale of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings", has a scene where Fry makes a deal with the Robot Devil to replace his clumsy human hands with those of a "random" robot chosen by a giant Wheel of Fortune with the name of every robot featured in the series. The scene drops numerous blatant hints that the Robot Devil has rigged the wheel to stop at Bender's name... and when the wheel spins, [[spoiler:it moves just past it and lands on "Robot Devil".]]
** [[spoiler:To his utter shock.]]
* The last season of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' seems to be building up to the resurrection of [[spoiler:Brainiac]], with ComicBook/LexLuthor bent on that singular goal. However, this is twisted in the second-to-last episode when [[spoiler:Darkseid, who was killed with Brainiac in the second season episode of Justice League, is accidentally revived instead. The Luthor-Brainiac plot thread dies away in the last episode (although Darkseid's new appearance led to fan speculation that he had been fused with Brainiac, WordOfGod said otherwise)]].
** There's another example earlier in the series; there are hints that Batman might join forces with Project Cadmus. As it turns out, [[DebateAndSwitch Cadmus was more of an authoritarian power-grab than it first seemed]], so the foreshadowing comes to nothing: Batman stays in the League.
* Done intentionally and PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s first Christmas episode (sorry, first non-denominational holiday episode). It was the first episode in which Kenny doesn't die, despite being put in several life-threatening situations.
** However, it happens for real in Season 20, which was plagued by other problems such as dropped characters and plot points. Lennart Bedrager, the apparent BigBad of the second half of the season, was hinted to not be what he seemed; for example he dropped his Danish accent to reveal he was apparently American. So the fans speculated that he was actually one of the characters from the previous episodes that could be acting behind the scenes, such as J. J. Abrams, Hillary Clinton or even a lifeless husk being controlled from the inside by the Memberberries. The answer? He was just some random guy who wanted to cause World War III for shits and giggles.
* A long running subplot in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' involved Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo trying to find their cutie marks, symbols that represent their special talent. The season one episode "The Show Stoppers" drops hints as to what their talents are. Apple Bloom is shown to be a skilled designer, Sweetie Belle has an excellent singing voice, and Scootaloo is a talented dancer. A season four episode shows Apple Bloom's potion making skills, Sweetie Belle's improving magic, and Scootaloo's mechanical prowess. And all along, Scootaloo's namesake scooter skills basically make her the pony version of Evel Knieval, performing insane stunts with ease and once getting enough speed to ''outrun a train''. Finally, in season ''five,'' [[spoiler: the episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" has them gain their cutie marks when they realize that their real talent is helping other ponies figure out their special talents.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', Sara predicted the death of Haley's mentor Sun Park, but due to ExecutiveMeddling they had to rewrite "Homecoming" to remove the scene where Rose killed her.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime,'' we see various versions of [[KidHero Finn]]--via {{Reincarnation}}, an AlternateTimeline and a YearInsideHourOutside lived-a-whole-different-life situation--who [[AnArmAndALeg lose one arm]] and get a [[ArtificialLimbs robotic replacement]]. Eventually, Finn ''does'' lose an arm...[[ResetButton and then gets it back a few episodes later]], through weird means in an episode that was already disliked for other reasons. Though they technically ''did'' follow through with (half) of their {{Foreshadowing}}, many fans cried foul, and eventually [[AuthorsSavingThrow Finn lost his arm again]], this time getting a robotic replacement. He even explained away his AngstWhatAngst by admitting that [[FandomNod this felt right somehow]].