aka: Ominous Foreshadowing
"Foreshadowing: Your clue to quality literature!"A clue or allusion embedded in the narrative that predicts some later event or revelation. It could be a wayward comment or action, an event that doesn't make sense until later, a Meaningful Name, a rare blood type... so many things can warn us of the future. The foreshadowing may be ominous, or mildly suggestive, or it could merely be Obvious In Hindsight. Good foreshadowing doesn't spoil the surprise, yet seems an obvious clue in retrospect. Bad foreshadowing either deflates the suspense or is too obfuscated (such as an Ice-Cream Koan) to predict anything. Foreshadowing may establish something to avoid an Ass Pull. Or it may put a viewer off as introducing a needless supernatural element to the story. In literature, foreshadowing is commonly done when a possibility is mentioned, but almost immediately dismissed or disproved. To some readers, they will dismiss the suggested possibility just as the unsuspecting characters do. More experienced readers will immediately call the author's bluff and know what to expect. Dreaming of Things to Come often foreshadows. Chekhov's Gun is often used as a foreshadowing tool. If it makes no sense, it may be Strange Minds Think Alike. If this is done in a Prequel (such as in the page image), it's a Call Forward. Two specific variants are Futureshadowing, where the shadowing comes after the actual event chronologically but is still seen before it, and Foreseeing My Death, where a character has foreseen, prophesied or predicted his/her own demise. When there's only a tiny gap between the foreshadowing and the actual foreshadowed event, that's Five Second Foreshadowing. Contrast Plot Point. Compare AND contrast "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, Hilarious in Hindsight. Contrast Fauxshadow. Production Foreshadowing is this trope's meta version. This Index Will Be Important Later covers foreshadowing tropes. This trope is a good Rewatch Bonus. Not to be confused with The Shadow Knows, which the picture to the right uses to do this trope. Naturally, the examples are full of spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
— Berke Breathed, Bloom County
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- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Infernoid archetype's existence has been mentioned in Qliphort Monolith's flavor text. They're known as the Fire Flood in the OCG text and as the Scourge in the TCG text.
- Magic: The Gathering: The Future Sight set, as the name suggests, featured many cards from potential futures of the game, differentiated by a different frame. Many of these cards have since been printed in other sets.
- Notably, the group of Planeswalkers called the Lorwyn Fivenote were originally meant to debut here, but appeared in the next set, Lorwyn, because WotC wanted to take the time to develop the new card type correctly. The five have nothing to do with the story, the cards are just there as, well, this trope.
- ElfQuest comics have a lot of foreshadowing. One of the best examples is in the original series. In ElfQuest #2 the Wolfriders are resting up during a grueling desert journey, having managed to find a little water. Cutter, however, wants to do some more exploring, and his friend Skywise reluctantly agrees, complaining that "you won't sit still 'til you've found us a blasted waterfall". Several years later (in both real and comic time), in ElfQuest #9, Cutter and Skywise are involved in a literal Cliff Hanger beside - you guessed it - a giant waterfall.
- The retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" in Castle Waiting features this. The evil witch proclaims to the Opinicus — a griffin-like creature that she was riding — that after today, she'll ride the Devil himself as her steed and he'll thank her for the privilege. It turns out to be exactly correct, but not in the way she meant — her wickedness was worse than the standards the Devil considers acceptable and he disguised himself as the Opinicus on her return trip to personally carry her off to Hell.
- Watchmen's Pirate Story.
- In V for Vendetta, there's This Vicious Cabaret. It's a song performed by V, complete with accompanying sheet music, whose lyrics lay out V's entire plan squarely in the middle of the story, when all of the pieces are about to fall into place. If you haven't finished the story, though, it just seems to be a summary of the previous chapters.
- In Alpha Flight, Northstar's sexuality was foreshadowed for years - right back to the beginning of the series - before he came out in #106.
- A clever one foreshadowed a death in Fantastic Four, where the team are visited by the future Invisible Woman, who mentions that future Reed Richards and Ben Grimm died to get her there, but she doesn't mention Johnny Storm. This is a good way to do so as Johnny died about twenty issues later. Foreshadowing far ahead, but making the death more effective.
- The era of Grant Morrison's Justice League of America started with Midsummer's Nightmare, where a villain gave all of humanity super-powers, leading to chaos and mayhem, in order to prepare them for a nebulous apocalyptic threat. When that threat finally appeared in the form of the "anti-sun" Mageddon, the League was only able to beat it by... giving everyone on Earth superpowers.
- In the first proper arc of Morrison's run, the White Martians also mentioned that they'd experimented on humanity in the distant past, with the result that a species who should have been superhuman ended up only human. The anti-Mageddon plan pushed human evolution to the super-race it was destined to become.
- In a Batman one-shot, a museum owner meets two female members of a rock star's entourage, and states that the musician is probably unable to keep track of all his groupies. Turns out he's right; the women from the entourage are Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in disguise, and the real groupies are Bound and Gagged somewhere else.
- All Fall Down - On his first trip to the moon, Pronto complains about being "boxed in." In issue five, he is in a crate, arriving at the same destination, as AIQ Squared's secret weapon.
- Issue 1 from Transformers: More than Meets the Eye ends with a message from the future trying to warn the crew of the Lost Light about... something. It says not to do four things: don't take Skids, don't go to Delphi, don't look in the basement, and don't open the coffin. This becomes Fridge Horror when the reader realizes that as of issue 6, the crew has already done three of the things the message says not to do.
- During issue #4 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), Chrysalis comments that while she can drain emotions or take new forms, Twilight posses an ability and knowledge she doesn't have. Love? No, it's the power of devastation.
- A possible one can be seen on the first issue, when the mysterious stallion that always appears to watch important events can be seen watching Time Turner, who's holding a fob watch and looking at it with an alarmed expression.
- When Applejack asks why the Nightmare Forces are even interested in the Mane Six, Princess Luna has a brief flashback to an ominous throne room, shakes her head, and then tells them they basically want revenge and make sure the Elements of Harmony don't cause any problems this time around. Issue #5 ends with Rarity tied up to this very same throne.
- #6 includes several instances of Luna thinking to herself that there's some information she has deliberately held back from the mane 5.
- Issues #5 and #6 have both shown that, for whatever reason, Spike is neither targeted or even affected by the Nightmare forces. In issue #7, Nightmare Rarity can manipulate his dreams (preying on his desires instead of his fears), but Spike is able to break free after catching on to dream!Rarity's uncharacteristic behavior. Nightmare Rarity is not pleased by this.
- In Avengers Academy #13, Veil states that Casanova Wannabe Striker only ever seems to hit on girls who are sure to spurn his advances. Not much is made of it at the time, but near the end of the series, Striker comes out of the closet and reveals that his constant attempts at picking up women were a desperate ploy to hide the fact that he was gay.
- In Violine, Violine and her father can read thoughts by looking people in their eyes. They both occasionally seem to read each other's thoughts without looking at each other. At the end of the story, she is revealed to be able to telepathically call to her pet mouse, Klaas.
- The Writing On The Wall features sick workers, the eponymous writing on the wall, and even the metallic thorns built to keep people away from the building, though the last, while the greatest giveaway, is only comprehensible if the reader is familiar with a somewhat obscure proposal for a building in real life.
- The Second Try: When the moment of Asuka and Rei's elevator conversation comes up in chapter 7, Asuka takes the initiative and tells Rei of the advice she got from her in the previous timeline to open her heart to make the EVA move, asking her if she does it herself. Rei replies that she mustn't. Two chapters later we discover why.
- Kyon mentions his uncle is called Keichii in one early chapter of Kyon Big Damn Hero. Later on, he ends up in Hinamizawa for Golden Week, staying with said uncle.
- Frequent in the Sonic X fanfic Don't Keep Your Distance. These hints range from the minor, like seeing an old friend again after she is mentioned in passing in conversation, to the first major attack by Dr. Eggman being foreshadowed by a radio broadcast that isn't quite intelligible.
- Happens in every other scene in Hammered Down. When you get to the climax, it's like everything just decided to go boom.
- Occurs twice in the Portal 2 fanfic Test Of Humanity. First is when Wheatley gets stuck in a garbage chute after trying to find a way to get into the lab and save Chell.. He later gets stuck in an exhaust pipe (he's too fat to fit all the way through) causing it to explode. The second time is when Wheatley is overwhelmed with guilt after watching 2001: A Space Odyssey and begins comparing himself to HAL. During the climax GLaDOS tortures Wheatley by playing the film but replaces HAL's dialog with Wheatley's evil speeches from the games.
- In the The O.C. fanfic AVDC, Summer hits on Alex early on in the story. Later in the story she ends up in a relationship with her Non Rival Anna
- In The Tainted Grimoire, there is a lot of these. Examples include:
- Cid noticed that Raven's smile seemed of. That's because he is actually a ruthless member of Khamja.
- Klesta is mentioned by caravan travellers to St. Galleria. Guess who becomes the antagonist in a minor arc.
- Three big examples in Pokemon Storm Clouds:
- When exploring the ruins beneath Saffron City, Nightshade comments that Pokemon Tower was thought to have been built by the same civilization. The artifacts in the Tower prove crucial in returning Dan and Missy home.
- The phrase "pokemon are made of stronger stuff than humans" is thrown about a great deal in the early chapters. This foreshadows Missy's survival of the apparently-lethal wound inflicted on her at the story's end.
- At one point, Masque responds to Giovanni's directives with a smug "You cannot control a marionette with only one string." This comment, seemingly mere insubordination, actually confirms in a big way that Masque is the real danger and manipulating Giovanni. It even receives a direct Call Back when Masque reveals his true nature.
- Examples from the Calvinverse:
Calvin: I wish Dad would put me on my OWN boat.
- Several examples in Calvin and Hobbes II: Lost at Sea:
- One exchange combines this with a Title Drop:
Mom: Don't be silly, Calvin. If you were on a separate boat, you'd get lost out at sea!
Mom: Dear, Calvin has more of a chance of meeting a sea monster then hitting the Bermuda Triangle.
- Then there's the beginning of Chapter 6:
- In the Season 3 finale of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, the MTM starts taking a while to do anything, earning the ire of the gang. There's also Hobbes' cowardice, which is rather prominent in this episode. When the latter mocks the deceased former as useless, Calvin is infuriated and belts out a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- At one point, the MTM complains about his low battery which prevents him from teleporting everyone from the station.
- The drifting canoe from "Camping Trip Part 1" is described as being a quarter-mile away from the island. In Part 2, Calvin combines this with two Chekhov's Guns and a Chekhov's Skill in order to get the canoe back to shore.
- The side story "Prelude to a Season" is entirely made of this. Certain cryptic hints throughout Season 5 follow suit, building up to the season finale and beyond.
- A Cryptic Conversation in "Dark Laughter Part 1" foreshadows the strange events facing the group in the rest of the episode and Part 2, in addition to the above.
- Several examples in Calvin and Hobbes II: Lost at Sea:
- Clash of the Elements: Hints of future plot events are thrown out quite often in Part 1 alone. A few examples include:
"Though his body may be weak, his soul still lives. And as long as that's alive, then he shall live as well"
- Rosalina's Big Damn Heroes moment, were it not easy enough to figure out before, had the clearest hint given at the end of Chapter 35 with the words: "shadow of an observatory"
- Likewise, Mario destroying Joe Dark's sword with his star energy is hinted at during previous battles against him, where star energy was proven to be capable of dealing critical damage to beings consumed by darkness.
- This hint is a bit of a stretch towards the end result, but The Genesis Samurais' souls going into Alex's body was more than likely foreshadowed by this line:
- Camp Nightmare: Jerome's Incoming Ham moment mentions Calvin being "JUST RIGHT!".
- Weightless: In one of the first chapters, Shepard went rampage on the Citadel after talking to Saren. Later, Liara mentioned that in Shepard's memories, there was a starved figure who looked a lot like Garrus. Sometimes, Shepard would think about a person who was the first one that showed her kindness. They seems irrelevant and random at first, but then the author reveals about Shepard's true connection with Nihlus.
- Subverted with another other clue: When Shepard talked with Sidonis, she mention that she once had a lover, who was dead now. After the reader knew about Nihlus, they would think that she was talking about him. She was actually referred to Garrus, since to her, he died (at least in spiritual sense) once.
- The Total Drama story, Legacy has several notable examples:
- Racer and the Geek is chock full of foreshadowing from quite literally the first paragraph of the first chapter! Hell, even the description contains foreshadowing. If you thought that it was just going to be another ho-humm OC x Rainbow Dash romance fic, then you are mostly likely blind and definitely have another thing coming.
- Before Discord reveals himself as one of the Big Bads of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless, he has made his presence known at several points in the fanfic. The Author's Notes in The Reveal chapter should explain everything, because, really, there's a lot.
- At exactly two points in Ed, Edd n' Eddy Z, characters' lines that include foreshadowing have flashing "EPIC FORESHADOWING" text underneath the text box.
- The Powers Of Harmony has plenty of examples.
- Quite a bit of it is thanks to Rarity's Foresight ability.
- Thanks to various conversations between the Guards and their thoughts when the story's from their POV, by the time their true nature and Dark Secret is revealed early on in Act 2, the more attentive readers are probably capable to piecing it all together already.
- The retroactive editing throws a bit into Fluttershy's trip to Dragon Turtle Lake in Act 1; when Master is listing recent affairs in Equestria's neighbor states, he offhandedly mentions Chrysalis having recently become Queen, and how she might prove dangerous in the future. Cut ahead to Act 2, where we find out that the Changelings have begun invading Gildesdale as a prelude to invading Equestria.
- In Power Games, the involvement of Ixpellia and the Mariage was subtly foreshadowed in several ways.
- In The God Empress Of Ponykind, Discord mentions that he saved someone in the Warp during his first fight with Celestia, but doesn't elaborate further. During the Final Battle with Nightmare Moon, it turns out to be the redeemed spirit of Horus, who helps Luna break free of The Corruption long enough for Celestia to use the Elements of Harmony.
- Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has plenty of foreshadowing, some of it seemingly innocuous.
- ProtoMan mentions in Episode 4 that if the ion bomb had been any bigger they'd all be dead. In episode 6 a much bigger ion bomb is seen, and it's in danger of exploding.
- Blueprints for Splash Woman are seen in the interlude to episode 8. Wily also mentions a Project G-2.
- Chapter 1 states that a robot cannot self-terminate at the behest of a human. This saves Drill Man in episode 8.
- In episode 7, ProtoMan stops Wily in the middle of testing a pain program on a Metool. The whisper in Wily's head comments that he should use it on ProtoMan. In the episode 10 epilogue, he does.
- In Episode 11 the Conduit mentions a third, female associate. She is seen later on, as is a fourth associate.
- Mega Man Recut has many nods to upcoming episodes.
- In the very first paragraph, Dr. Light is mentioned to attend the New York Philharmonic regularly. In the original cartoon, he is shown to love classical music in "Cold Steel".
- The machine Rock shoves at Wily and Proto Man in "The Beginning" was a prototype of the dream wave machine used in "Mega Dreams".
- At the World Robot Expo, Roll tries to get tickets to Fun World, the setting of "Bad Day At Peril Park".
- Governor Parson was hoping to run for another term, but then he cedes the state to Dr. Wily, setting up Deacons landslide election victory in "Bro Bots".
- When Proto Man and Roll are trapped underground, Proto Man mentions that he listens to Cold Steel.
- Mega Man’s doubts that lead him to see Dr. Petto in "Mega Pinocchio" begin in "The Big Shake" when Dr. Light tells him to focus on finding Dr. Wily instead of Roll.
- Ring Man and Magnet Man talk about Metal Man, who appears in the cartoon episode "Future Shock". Metal Man debuts not in "Future Shock", but in "20,000 Leaks Under The Sea".
- When fighting Wave Man, Mega Man notices his harpoon gun and wishes he had one, in a nod to the second season's marine gear.
- In the Slender Man fic By the Fire's Light, the endgame of the six story series where the world ends is foreshadowed during a brief interlude that touches on the Slender Man's origins in the second story in the arc "The Wanderer of Blazes."
- The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity is full of this, between prophecies, narration, and Time Turner. "The King of Lies" in particular is pretty much all about this.
- Anthropology: In the first chapter, Lyra tells her cutie mark story to the CMC. In the flashback, she was one of the last ponies in her class to get her cutie mark and learn magic, and one night she heard her parents discuss it:
Lyra's Mother: "You know that Heartstrings has been struggling in school"Lyra's Father: "Some unicorns just take longer to learn magic, that’s all. Things will come to her in time"Lyra's Mother: "But what if it doesn’t? It’s been too long now. No magic, no cutie mark. What if it’s all because she’s –"Lyra's Father: "Heartstrings is a unicorn. It’s that simple. It’ll all come in time."
- In her dreams, Lyra is a human and is exploring a big city. She actually ends up in New York.
- Throughout the story, Lyra is told that she should act like a normal unicorn by her parents and Bon Bon. All this leads up to the revelation that Lyra isn't a normal unicorn. She is actually a human.
- Attempted at Chapter 6 of The End of Ends, though by that point it stopped being foreshadowing and became a Captain Obvious Reveal.
- When Syaoran nearly gets run over by a car in Shatterheart, he notes that a car accident would be a relatively quick death and he could have died in worse ways, like being tortured or impaled by a sword. He gets kidnapped and tortured in chapter 41 and rammed through his clone's sword in chapter 144.
- Sakura encourages Kurogane to confess his romantic feeling to whom he's in love with, warning that if he doesn't, he will regret not doing so when they inevitably have to move on since Kurogane intends to return to Suwa. Kurogane confesses his love for Syaoran after they're nearly killed by Fai and decides to continue traveling with him instead of returning to Suwa.
- Koyonagi,the Zanjutsu department head of Shin'hou Academy and Ichigo's friend in Swinging Pendulum, is noted to have a lot of knowledge of Kidou despite it not being his speciality and manages to teach Ichigo the proper mindset for casting. Asuka and Rangiku note it strange that Koyonagi acts as Ichigo's guidance counselor when he's usually mean and dismissive to both students and faculty. Koyonagi is a former Kidou Corps Commander working for Central 46, hoping to recruit Ichigo.
- The rewritten Episode 69 of Sonic X: Dark Chaos focuses on Sonic and friends being caught in the middle of a religious conflict between Marmolim Christians and the Marmolims who worship Maledict. The satanic Marmolims initially revere Sonic as a literal messiah sent by Maledict to save them from the Shroud outside their city, while the Christians accuse him of being The Antichrist and a spawn of the devil. Episode 75 reveals that both of them are more correct than they could ever know.
- Also from Episode 69, there's a scene (taken from the original series) where Cosmo receives her fortune from a Marmolim seer, who says that her hate will bring suffering and death to those close to her. The previews of the sequel make this a form of retroactive foreshadowing - Cosmo snaps from the trauma, jumps straight through the Moral Event Horizon, and becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
- Cosmo takes Venus' demon-powered scythe from Tsali after he is beaten in Episode 73. In the sequel, Cosmo's actions parallel Venus' mistakes almost to a tee - with tragic consequences.
- Pretty much every single scene involving the Legend of Disaster is this trope toward the Cruel Twist Ending.
- Flam Gush starts off seeming like it might just be romance, but several hints in the first chapter, such as Lina's commentary on knowing about "rolls in the hay", read much more darkly by the end.
- The tapestry from Gourry's old home was brought to the inn by his crippled mother.
- When Lina hears about Erik's death, she briefly feels as though she should have already known that already.
- In The Fifth Act a Nibelheim local comments that Mayor Lockhart doesn't like Cloud because he's afraid "he'll leave a trail of bastards" Guess what Cloud's father did?
- Ms Strife freaks out at sight of Cloud and tries to shoot him because his "brother"note and his family did something horrible to her and she doesn't want them to take her son. There is a good reason to why she freaked out.
- At one point Cloud muses on how to destroy Jenova, remembering that she's vulnerable to mundane means and that a few good Fires should finish her off. Genesis does exactly that, firing off a bunch of Firagas and burning Jenova to ash.
- When Vincent first tries to talk down Cloud from killing Sephiroth, Cloud utterly refuses to acknowledge such notions and wouldn't even lie or budge even if it meant losing Vincent as an ally.
- When Church and Twilight talk to Sheila/FILSS in I Against I, Me Against You, she refers to Church as Director before either of them have any idea what Church really is.
Church: Honestly? It was because of Tex. She joined the army and left me without so much as a goodbye, so I decided to go after her. It was either that or med school. And really, can you picture that? Doctor Leonard Church?
- A few chapters later, Church explains why he joined the army in the first place.
- In Build Your Wings On The Way Down note how Alexander gets very little mention by Edward, despite being Nina's pet? Later, Edward notes that he needs something to sacrifice to the Gate if he wants to restore Nina without losing more limbs. Alexander is sacrificed to the Gate by Ed to restore Nina.
Films — Animated
- The Incredibles.
- Dash comments that saying "everyone is special" is just another way to say that no-one is, which ends up echoed in Syndrome's Motive Rant. A bit later, Edna, while discussing why she doesn't work with capes, mentions a superheroine whose cape was sucked into a jet engine. This ends up being exactly how villain Syndrome dies.
- Helen's supersuit being able to withstand missiles being fired upon it.
- The reason given for the rampage of the Omnidroid is that it got smart enough to question why it should take orders from its masters. At the time, this is a lie; but at the very end, the final version of the Omnidroid does, in fact, develop sufficient intelligence to question its orders and turns on Syndrome as a result.
- In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, the first story has Prudence shooing away commoners from the castle gate. One of them is the baker who Anastasia falls in love with in the third story.
- In Coraline, the Other Father's song when he sang to Coraline.
- She's a peach, she's a doll, she's a pal of mine/ She's as cute as a button in the eyes of everyone who's ever laid their eyes on Coraline/ When she comes around exploring/ Mom and I will never ever make it boring/ Our eyes will be on Coraline!
- Also, the Other Mother referring to the Other Father as "Pumpkin". Guess what he really is.
- When Spink and Forcible read Coraline's tea leaves and declare she's in danger, Spink sees a hand while Forcible claims it's a giraffe. Both are right. The Other Mother's hand comes after Coraline near the end and the Other Mother's true form resembles a giraffe with a long neck and long, thin limbs.
- Forcible also mentions that she sees a "tall handsome beast" in Coraline's future, which may allude to the Cat who isn't tall but his voice actor certainly is.
- Alternatively, she could be talking about Other Bobinsky, who's a bit more charming than normal Bobinsky and is just as tall.
- In the Other House, there are three frames, each with the silhouette portrait of a child in them. Coraline will meet them as the three Ghost Children whose souls were eaten by the Other Mother.
- In Megamind, after creating Titan/Tighten, Megamind holds up a picture of Metroman with the head ripped off, so Titan's/Tighten's head is in place instead. Later on, after Titan/Tighten has revealed that he prefers being evil, he holds up the same Metroman picture, this time with Megamind's head in place. Not only does this hint to who the true hero will be in the film, it also gives a subtle clue as to who it really is when Metroman turns up during the final battle.
- In the final fight shortly after Metroman (Megamind in disguise) says his death was greatly exaggerated, he strikes a grand pose and the tassels on his boots straighten and flare out as if Metroman is even able to flex his tassels. This frightens Tighten who immediately takes off trying to get away. Metroman can't flex his tassels, the tassels were being blown around by the jets as Megamind powered up his flying suit.
- Near the end of Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete the Prospector actually threatens Woody and his friends that "one day, they will all rot away in a dump." Guess where the climax of Toy Story 3 takes place!
- When Lightning McQueen and his pit crew arrive at Tokyo, Japan to meet Miles Axlerod in Cars 2, while they are all talking to Axlerod Sarge is frowning while everyone else is smiling, suggesting that he is thinking that Axlerod is up to no good. Guess who's actually right!
- Also, the line "But I never leak oil!" Guess who was with Mater when the tow truck saw a puddle of oil on the carpet!
- In the first film, Chick Hicks is assigned with the number 86, which not only references the year Pixar was first established, but also a slang term for being fired. Which is exactly what happened to Chick at the end of the film for deliberately pushing Strip "The King" Weathers off the racetrack.
- In Sleeping Beauty, during the scene where Maleficent is yelling at her goons, if you listen very closely when she hits her staff on the ground, it makes the same sound effect as her eventual dragon form's biting sound at the end of the film.
- In Tangled, the opening line is Flynn saying, "This is the story of how I died." Who would take it seriously?
- One of Flynn's first lines is how much he wanted a palace. He's joking, but that's what he gets in the end.
- At the very beginning of the film, the mobile dangling above Rapunzel's crib is decorated with cutouts shaped like a chameleon, a duck, a horse, and a cherub. All four things would appear in some shape or form throughout the movie: Pascal the chameleon was Rapunzel's faithful companion, there was the "Snuggly Duckling" bar, Maximus the stallion helps Rapunzel on her journey, and Shorty the barkeep dressed as Cupid during "I've Got A Dream".
- The Lion King: "A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. The sun will set on my time here and will rise with you." The guy who says that has his reign end at sundown, and in the end, his son ascends to the rock in the sunrise.
- At the end of "I Just Can't Wait to be King", the tower of animals collapse. It can be interpreted as Played for Laughs or foreshadowing how Simba's whole self-esteem is going to come crashing down due to Scar's frame up.
- In Rango, before reaching the town of Dirt, Rango has a bizarre dream that foreshadows things to happen later in the movie. The dying cactus moving. The rattlesnake tails. The shadow of the hawk flying. The voice of Roadkill asking him "Where are your friends now, amigo?" Rango being submerged in water.
- When the mayor orders his men to call Rattlesnake Jake, they warn him specifically that Rattlesnake Jake is a "grim reaper" and "never leaves town without taking a soul". He doesn't listen and orders Jake to be contracted anyways. After betraying Rattlesnake Jake, the mayor is dragged out of town by an angry Rattlesnake Jake.
- Disney's Aladdin first film. During the song "One Jump Ahead", Aladdin and Abu grab a rug, jump out a window and glide on the carpet down to the ground. Later on, Aladdin acquires an actual flying carpet.
- In The Iron Giant, Hogarth shows the titular giant a few comics, like Superman and Atomo, later in the film, we learn the giant can fly, and Atomo bears an incredibly eerie resemblance to the titular robot's combat mode.
- Pinocchio: "They never come back... as BOYS."
- Near the very beginning of Pocahontas, while inside Kekata the Medicine Man's wigwam, Kekata actually tells Chief Powhatan about a dream he had of the settlers from England. As Kekata starts talking about his dream, he waves his staff around over a fire, causing the smoke rising from it to turn into a ghostly pack of wolves, which surround Kocuom. This foreshadows Kocuom being killed by one of the settlers, which is represented by the wolves.
- The smoke wolves then rush towards Powhatan, but are dissipated before they can surround him as they did Kocuom, foreshadowing how Powhatan is also nearly shot by Radcliffe.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, whenever Oogie Boogie is talking, an insect will occasionally crawl out of the seams holding together his burlap body and all over him before finally disappearing back inside, annoying him as it does so.
- Near the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as Judge Frollo is destroying Quasimodo's model of Paris, at one point he grabs the wooden figure of Esmeralda and throws it, knocking down a wooden figure of himself in the process.
- Also, pay attention to the scenes where Esmeralda is kicking, jumping, or performing some other action that would make her dress fly up, which reveals the lacy, tattered hem of a white dress underneath. Guess what color dress she wore at the end of the film!
- I'm guessing the lacy stuff was just her underwear, and the white frock is something new that Frollo made her wear for her execution.
- During the song "Topsy Turvy", Esmeralda actually performed her infamous pole dance wearing a skimpy red dress, and this led to Frollo's obsession. Red is ironically considered as a sign of bad luck in real life according to Gypsy culture.
- Also, pay attention to the scenes where Esmeralda is kicking, jumping, or performing some other action that would make her dress fly up, which reveals the lacy, tattered hem of a white dress underneath. Guess what color dress she wore at the end of the film!
- Despicable Me: The first scenes show a little child who does a perilous thing trying to get the attention from his oblivious father. Later, we will see the real reason why Gru wants to steal the moon.
- Near the beginning of Atlantis The Lost Empire, while Milo and Whitmore are talking to each other, Whitmore presents several photographs to Milo showing the explorers he will be travelling with to Atlantis. Commander Rourke's photograph shows only half his face.
- In Brave, in an argument with her mother, Merida tells her that "You're a beast!"
- At the abandoned castle, Bear!Elinor knocks over a large rock to protect her daughter from Mor'du. Guess how she defeats him in the final battle?
- The very first scene has young Merida playing with her family. Elinor plays at being a bear and chases Merida around the table, saying, "I'm goin' to gobble you up!"
- Midway through The Jungle Book, the orangutan King Louie kidnaps the human orphan Mowgli and demands the secret of fire, which Louie believes is the only thing separating him from being a man. At the film's end, Mowgli uses fire to drive off his nemesis, the tiger Shere Khan, and shortly thereafter leaves the jungle to claim his human heritage.
- Wreck-It Ralph:
- As Felix and Calhoun prepare to go into the game Sugar Rush, there is a particular subtle piece of graffiti on the wall: The word Turbo, and the 8 bit face of the man himself.
- Several times it is shown that Vanellope's glitching extends to whatever she is in contact with, including people like Taffyta. During the race, this exposes King Candy for who he really is.
- King Candy immediately assumes Ralph is in Sugar Rush to steal his game, and goes crazy over the very thought. It turns out that King Candy is actually Turbo and has stolen the Sugar Rush game, explaining his irrational outburst.
- When Vanellope first meets Ralph, she jokes about using the "royal we" and later on, she has Ralph kneel and appoints him like a knight, saying he was her "royal chump". There is also the fact that she is the only character with "Von" in her name which is associated with nobility.
- When Ralph first enters the palace, he remarks to King Candy that it is oddly pink for a male character. Turns out the palace originally belongs to Princess Vallellope.
- King Candy's age and cartoon-y appearance in contrast of the anime-esque and the child racers shown that he's not part of the game.
- In Mulan, the titular character runs to catch up with the other girls throughout the song "Honour To Us All". At the end of the sequence, she opens her parasol slightly later than the other girls, foreshadowing the disaster of the matchmaker meeting that was to come.
- During the acupuncture scene in Kung Fu Panda, Mantis has difficulty finding Po's nerve points because of his thick fat. Tai Lung's nerve attacks prove to be ineffective against him for the same reason.
- Kung Fu Panda 2: Po's dream about fighting alongside mighty warriors actually occurs in the end of the film.
- A flower kid idolizes Queen Tara and dreams of becoming queen like her. She becomes the one to succeed Tara at the end of the film.
- A ronin is a samurai without a lord to serve. Fittingly, Ronin goes through most of Epic without a queen to command him.
- In Monsters, Inc., this line comes up.
Waternoose: James, this company has been in my family for three generations. I would do anything to keep it from going under.
Mike: It would never have gotten out if you hadn't been caught cheating last night!Randall: Cheating!? I—(catches himself) Cheating...
- While Mike, Sulley and Boo are hiding in the bathroom from Randall and Fungus, they overhear them talking about a machine, which Sulley wonders why would they be talking about such a thing.
- And this brief moment:
Mike: Just think about a few names, will ya? Loch Ness, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman. They all got one thing in common, pal: banishment! We could be next!
- When Mike and Sulley are trying to sneak Boo into the factory and Mike worries about what might happen if they're caught.
- Monsters University has plenty of foreshadowing that would come later in the film and in the next one.
- When Mike enters the human world to prove he is scary, he fails to make the child scared at all who then tells Mike that he "looks funny". It's a subtle reference to how he and Sulley solved the energy crisis in the first movie.
- Worthington's remark that "they're always hiring in the Mail Room".
- Dean Hardscrabble tells Sulley that his only method of scaring would cause the child in his scenario to cry instead of scream, which is what happens in the first film when Sulley indirectly scares Boo during his scare demonstration.
- Sulley suggested the idea of cheating to win the Scare Games though he realizes it's stupid. It does show he's willing to cheat to win the Games, which he does.
- Mike tells Sulley that they are going to "change the world". At the end of Monsters Inc, that's exactly what they do by finding out that children are not toxic to monsters and that laughter is a more powerful resource than screams.
- In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Grumpy refers to the queen as "an old witch".
- In The Swan Princess, when Derek first meets the baby Odette, he gives her a locket with a swan on it. And when they reunite again as adults, Derek refers that Odette is as beautiful as a swan. Later on in the film, Odette is cursed by Rothbart to become a swan each time the moon sets.
- Meet the Robinsons:
- Wilbur bumps into a little girl carrying frogs. That little girl was Fanny, Wilbur's mother, who teaches frogs how to sing.
- Just before Bud introduces Lewis to Fanny, he tells Lewis that he would like her. Fanny is Lewis's future wife.
- Early on, when Anna sings about finding romance, she describes her fantasy man as "A handsome stranger, tall and fair". Kristoff matches the description much more closely than Hans, foreshadowing the fact that Hans is not her true love.
- Much more obviously, the troll who heals Anna at the beginning comments that it was lucky her heart wasn't hit by the ice magic. Guess what happens later.
- Very subtle, but in "Love Is An Open Door" Hans sings, "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place!" Guess what Hans really wanted.
- Another subtle hint that Hans is playing with Anna's feelings and is just leading her on, particularly when Hans sings the line about the two of them finishing each other's - only for Anna to jump in to say "sandwiches," followed by Hans's "That's what I was gonna say!" showing that he's tailoring his acting to draw her in.
- The very first song in the movie, "Frozen Heart" forshadow's the plot, singing about how powerful, beautiful and deadly ice is. Along with it's title forshadowing the dangers of Anna's frozen heart. The best part forshadowing though? During the song, the men chant the words "Let it Go".
- A subtle and very clever foreshadowing happens in The Rugrats Movie: A circus train is taken over by monkeys when their owners leave the locomotive to get coffee, and they end up crashing it somewhere in the forest. The audience starts thinking "I'm pretty sure this'll become plot relevant real soon'' And it does! the Rugrats while lost in the forest find the wrecked circus train and with it, the monkeys
- What's better that it does NOT fool the audience as being a Big Lipped Alligator Moment
- In Help! I'm a Fish, Chuck is washed into MacKrill's lab with a jellyfish stuck on his head, which is what he will turn into later. Similarly, while in the lab, Fly comes across a stuffed fish labeled "California Flyfish", which looks exactly like the one he will turn into.
- Not to mention the meaningful name Stella (Star in italian), who turns into a starfish.
- The Book of Life:
- When La Muerte and Xibalba make the bet, Maria has gotten into trouble and her father sends her off to study abroad. Manolo gives her the pig she rescued as a parting gift. Joaquin races to catch her bonnet as the wind blows it off. Both call farewells to her as the train pulls away. When Manolo opens the gift Maria gave him, it's a guitar, engraved with a message from Maria.
- While playing, young Joaquin has fashioned a pretend moustache. After the Montage, he has grown a real one.
- When Manolo dies, his soul is shown leaving his body. No such effect was shown for Maria during her apparent death. Also, when he checks in with the attendant in the Land of the Remembered, he accidentally gives Maria's name instead of his, and the attendant doesn't see her name on the list. A few scenes later, it's revealed that she's still alive.
- When La Muerte and Xibalba take the forms of mortals to interact with Joaquin and Manolo during the A Minor Kidroduction part, they rather resemble Mary Beth and the security guard at the start, giving the hint as to who's really telling the story to the school children.
- La Muerte, Xibalba and the Candlemaker are the only characters in the story that are not depicted as wooden carved dolls. This is because that's what they really look like, as shown when La Muerte and Xibalba reveal themselves in the end.
- The Lego Movie has a few scenes where a ship is accompanied by the sound of a child going "brrrrrrrrrrrrm" as it flies, foreshadowing that the entire plot is merely being acted out by a child playing with one hell of a Lego collection.
- Strange Magic: Marianne comments that the Bog King should rethink his giant pointy teeth skull entrance as the two fly off for a romantic evening. Cue it seemingly killing the Bog King when the castle starts collapsing.
- Early in 9, 1 claims "sometimes one must be sacrificed for the good of many". Though he means it in a The Needs of the Many context, 1 does just that near the finale and sacrifices himself so 9 can defeat The Machine once and for all.
- A darkly funny one in Gary Larson's The Far Side: Some Natives are bidding farewell to a group of European explorers, when one of them turns to the man just to his right and asks: "Did you detect something ominous in the way they said 'See you later'?"
- Two 1989 Bloom County strips foreshadowed the ending of the strip later that year, in which Bill the Cat with Donald Trump's brain fires all the characters. In the first, Milo says to Binkley that he has been feeling really secure around here and that around Bloom County, he feels a real sense of...permanence. Binkley responds "Dabbling in a little bit of ironic foreshadowing, are we?". In the second, Opus spots a shooting star, and after wondering what to wish for, he then says "I wish I knew if I'll have meaningful employment after August 6th" (August 6th was the day the strip ended).
- Subverted in For Better or for Worse. Elly, discussing her daughter Elizabeth with a policeman, says "I suspect it will be a few more years before she meets Mr. Right!" A caption points out the Meaningful Name on the policeman's office door: "Constable Paul Wright." Paul and Elizabeth do begin a romance within a few weeks after that — but he doesn't turn out to be Elizabeth's Mr. Right and she winds up marrying someone else.
- In Street Scene, the Gossipy Hens' talk about Mrs. Maurrant's Cheating with the Milkman includes this ominous prediction:
Olsen: Some day, her hoosban' is killing him.
Mrs. Fiorentino: Dot would be terrible!
Jones: He's li'ble to, at that. You know, he's got a wicked look in his eye, dat baby has.
Mrs. Jones: Well, it's no more than he deserves, the little rabbit—goin' around and breakin' up people's homes.
- In a A Doll's House Nora has a causal conservation with her children's nurse asking her "if anything ever happens, will you...".
- The song "The Wizard and I" from the musical Wicked has several examples of foreshadowing. In this song we see starry-eyed teenage Elphaba, who we already know is going to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, fantasizing about being the Wizard's right-hand girl one day. She dreams about "a celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me" after we've just seen the townspeople rejoice at her presumed death. She also says "I'd be so happy I could melt" and "when people see me they will scream." This could also be considered an interesting example of a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
- There is foreshadowing with Fiero in the song "Dancing Through Life" whe he sings Life's more painless, for the brainless, hinting at his transformation into the scarecrow with no brain later in the show.
- The Secret Garden: Martha sings to Mary about what she can do now that she lives out in the middle of nowhere and talks about all kinds of fantastical things to explore out there, including pirate caves and fairies. Tucked into all this fantasy, she sings If you chance to see a garden guarded by a tree and meet a bird who speaks to thee... which of course turns out to be real.
- In Vanities: The Musical, Mary warns Kathy in the song "Let Life Happen" that her obsession with organizing will "drive her mad", foreshadowing her later nervous breakdown. Kathy recalls this in "Setting Your Sights (What You Wanted)" and "An Organized Life (1974)".
- Cyrano de Bergerac:
- In the first act, Christian lampshades that he really would prefer his personal life to (stay with Roxane and defy De Valvert) to save his friend Ligniere’s life, but he chooses to do the right thing. He will chose the same at Act IV when he discovers that Roxane really does love him for his soul (meaning that she really loves Cyrano).
- The first act show us Montfleury, a fat, deluded man who thinks of himself as a tragic actor still capable of romancing the ladies. Cyrano utterly and implacably destroys his delusions of love and glory. Guess what happens to Cyrano in the final act.
- At Act IV, Scene VIII, Roxane says that if Ulises have sent Penelope the letters Roxane had received, she also would have risk everything for his love sake like Helena did. At Act V, we see that Roxane, who at Act IV acted as real Guile Heroine like Helena, has settled to be a tragic I Will Wait for You heroine like Penelope, because she has got into a nunnery to devote all her life to Christian’s memory.
Roxane: Oh! wise PenelopeIf her Ulysses could have writ such letters!But would have cast away her silken bobbins,
- Floyd Collins is chock full of this. Such as right before Floyd breaks into his first song:
- Abundant throughout the Ring Cycle due to Leitmotifs:
- At the end of Die Walküre, Wotan calls: "He who fears my spear-tip shall never cross the fire!", the Siegfried leitmotif is played, indicating that it'll be Siegfried who'll cross it.
- The first act of Götterdämmerung has an extremely unsubtle example: Hagen's greeting of Siegfried is accompanied fortissimo by the "Curse" motif.
- In the third act of Götterdämmerung, Siegfried offers his drinking-horn to his blood-brother Gunther, who takes a look inside, shudders, and gloomily pronounces it a "flat and pale" brew with "thy blood alone within!" Even more grim than Gunther's tone of voice is the accompanying Leitmotif, associated with the soon-to-be-consummated plot to kill Siegfried. Siegfried then eagerly mixes it with Gunther's horn, foreshadowing Gunther's death as well.
- H.M.S. Pinafore: The Captain's revelation that he can "hand, reef and steer" (i.e. possesses the skills necessary to qualify as an Able Seaman), is a first hint that his family tree isn't all it seems, since Pinafore runs heavily on In the Blood.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the 2013 West End musical) has quite a bit of this, of varying levels of obviousness. Among other things, the grounds of Veruca Salt's house have little squirrel topiaries, foreshadowing her interest in the real critters; a grouchy sweet stall owner sarcastically asks Charlie "You've finally come into your inheritance?" when he buys the Wonka Bar that turns out to contain the last Golden Ticket; and the Flashback about an Indian prince who commissioned a chocolate palace from Mr. Wonka is tweaked to end with him drowning when it melted in the hot sun, presaging several of the bratty kids getting subjected to possible Death by Adaptation for similarly foolish actions later.
- A whole page for Gunnerkrigg Court.
- El Goonish Shive:
- These two comics have the characters read a note Tedd's dad left for him. While he reads it normally, each other person who reads it reads something related to the future: Justin, Nanase, Sarah and Tedd
- Most of the Sleepy Time storyline was a serious take on it though. All the dreams are this and/or Character Development. Proof? This foreshadows Elliot gaining a superhero spell and This foreshadows Nanase getting into a relationship with Ellen.
- What's seen here translated with this. "Death. It Is Time For The End Of Man. This Master of Fire Shall Inherit The Earth. My Very Presence Eats Away At Your Flesh" Other than the two bizarre words in the end, it's pretty creepy.
- Susan's sword (5th December, 2002) and "tattoo" Venus (5th October, 2005) were good hints that she isn't as simple as she looks, but were proven to be plot points and not throwaway gags only in much later flashback (26th May, 2010).
- This arc cover is full of foreshadowing (and one Red Herring). It foreshadows the appearance of Abraham and Nanase's angel form.
- This sketchbook comic, from January 2011, where Dan notes that "Catalina and Rhoda have never met in canon, but I do think of them as being connected in a strange way". They meet in October of the same year (with the sketch linked as "Foreshadowing or goofy sketchbook? YOU DECIDE!") and are now a couple.
- In Get Medieval strip #731, Sir Gerard says: "I'd return via the Moon if that could avoid it." Guess what, 70 strips later and he's on the Moon.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Xykon chooses his name in Start of Darkness, with a poster of a skull - strongly resembling his lich self - prominently shown next to him.
- The Order of the Stick also parodies foreshadowing.
- The party wanders into a cave looking for an item for a Fetch Quest and discover that it's inhabited by a dragon. During the fight, the dragon mentions its mom, who thought it important to study other cultures and thus taught him to speak lizard. Later, the party wizard deduces that the Fetch Quest item they were after must have been brought there by a much older dragon. However, no character (and, surprisingly, not a single fan) thinks anything of it. Until the dragon's mom shows up over 400 strips later bent on bloody revenge.
- V's, er, thorough and pragmatic approach to problem-solving is hinted at earlier.
- This very same comic mentioning "villians fighting eachother to thin the heard" might be foreshadowing for Nale's ultimate fate.
- The IFCC (Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission) first appears as part of a one-panel joke in #380. They then appear as an important part of the plot in #632 (spoilers).
- The police chief of Cliffport jokes that the mayor will put his head on a pike for allowing such a ruckus in his town. Turns out that Nale did the mayor's work for him.
- When the different parts of Haley's mind show up in her head, one ("the part that is sick of all this emo crap and wants to get back to comedy") has short hair, and very much resembles her after her Important Haircut some 300 strips later.
- The MitD's remark in the first panel there comes into a whole new light with the eleventh panel here.
- The case lost in this strip? It was Zz'dtri's.
- Durkula loses his Funetik Aksent whenever he's in grave danger. Hmm...
- Malack's health condition that necessitates a special diet, as well as the references to his late children and the possibility of having more.
- The redone first chapter of Bittersweet Candy Bowl has a picture of the primary couple in the comic get knocked down and broken on the very first page, putting a crack between Mike and Lucy.
- Girl Genius:
- This strip — it takes some conscious effort to put a mad science related heart exactly there, and if you're thinking coincidence you might have missed the fact the heart was "hit" twice and the first time Agatha was saying love. Or the piece of heart region clothing Gil loses, as if to expose his heart. Agatha touching a heart with seemingly no fear of being mangled by the combat klank, as some sort of symbol of her touching Gil's exposed heart despite Gil's antics. Gil grabbing Agatha is a distinct foreshadowing of the wedding proposal that comes before she leaves the airship. Plus 15 or so threads of you know what I mean about in the forums if you want more esoteric symbols mad love, or Agatha's love of the mad science involved.
- Agatha's comment about her "parents" hating the Heterodyne Boys Stories portraying Punch and Judy as stupid foreshadows the reveal that they themselves are none other than Punch and Judy - they feel insulted.
- When a jagermonster claims Agatha smells "really goot" in book one, Gil (and the reader) assume he's just being lecherous and disgusting. It later becomes apparent that jagers can smell that Agatha is a Heterodyne.
- Sidekicks: Lamia's nightmare of a masked Theo killing her counts as double foreshadowing. In the season 1 finale, the Big Bad ends up usurping control over Theo's body and then tries to kill her. Then in season 2, Lamia has become the superhero Nightmare.
- It gradually becomes evident to the reader that all of the major events in Narbonic have been planned long in advance. The Little Nemo in Slumberland-inspired Sunday strips, especially, hint in beautiful, complicated, cryptic ways at events to come.
- In the middle of the series, Dave is lost in time and twenty years later meets a pre-recorded 'future Dave' who tells him a fundamental piece of information: "remember to fill the swimming pool." Years later near the end of the webcomic, this becomes the thing which saves the lives of Artie and Helen, and completely alters the future.
- When Hilda Ramirez and Feddyg meet face-to-face for the first time, he mockingly compliments her as "almost Death Note smart." He then proceeds to kidnap her, keeping her alive just long enough for a very Death Note-like The Plan.
- Strip 434 of 8-Bit Theater drew much, much especulation from the moment it was posted. Five years later... (and it's impressive that it wasn't Fauxshadowing, considering how the author loves anticlimactic jokes)
- Books Don't Work Here:
- Every one of Robin's shirts has been exactly what she's asked for. although usually not how she meant it.
- When Robin changes her mind about her roommate being her girlfriend (while bringing her into existence) she says that she is not friends with her in any way, and we will never know how much easier her life could have been otherwise.
- This page has a good bit of foreshadowing in it, but then again it also kind of takes place in the future. It's a quasi jump forward in time referring to and before a redoing of a previous serious of events the readers haven't seen yet. with out time travel.
- Looking for Group:
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
- Toward the beginning of Sam and Fuzzy's "Noosehead" arc, Malcolm says some things that most would dismiss at first as being the ravings of a paranoid nutcase who's been breathing too many fumes, but in fact they reference key elements of the coming arc. A guest comic after the arc's completion calls attention to this.
- Darths & Droids has Palpatine using Darth Maul's business card to contradict his claim that "I work alone" in this strip. Later on, Jango Fett reveals that Obi Wan killed his partner.
- Parodied with extreme prejudice in Ansem Retort:
Ansem: This is foreshadowing! Pay attention to this, this will be important later on! ...FORESHADOWING!
- Homestuck and the rest of the MS Paint Adventures, being written on the fly, regularly turns gags or details into Call Backs; this is known in-fandom as "retroactive foreshadowing".
- Given Homestuck's penchant for increasingly complex storylines told in Anachronic Order, as well as some mercilessly hardline Time Travel rules, things can become foreshadowing that were not even noticed at first by the fans beforehand.
- Calliope and Caliborn sharing a body was so heavily foreshadowed, a sizeable portion of the fanbase was convinced that this wasn't going to be the case because, well, it's Hussie.
- Wapsi Square:
- Tina's nickname for Monica foreshadowed the role she played in the fixing of the calendar machine. Monica's response to Phix's riddle did the same.
- The very second strip shows Monica receiving an ancient Peruvian doll which Amanda says looks like a voodoo doll of Shelly. In the next strip Amanda grabs the doll's foot, and elsewhere the real Shelly feels it. In isolation this looks like a one-off gag, but actually it's a foreshadowing of all the supernatural shenanigans that would later become the strip's main focus. In the strip after that Monica tells Shelly she makes decisions using a committee in her head but it doesn't have a chairperson - a possible foreshadowing of Tina, who is a literal committee of inner demons sharing one body after its "chairperson" (the original Tina) died.
- In Sluggy Freelance, way back in October of 1999, we saw Oasis get furious at someone, and shortly afterwards the building she was in went up in a fiery explosion. It wasn't until June of 2009, over nine years and 3000 strips later, that we found out that, when Oasis gets mad, she can start fires with her mind. There was loads of other foreshadowing between those two strips, but, if the strip's official forum is anything to go by, that revelation was still entirely unanticipated by the readership.
- Fite!: Look at this strip, then this one.
- In Bob and George he gets some dramatic music.
George: Damn foreshadowing.
- In Sinfest Lil'E's identity as being the Anti Christ is hinted at at these two strips.
- The author of Roommates loves to do this, and is actually good in it. Like: Why on earth is the Erlkönig on the monitors of Heaven and Hell together with Jareth and Jadis? They are family. Or This highly literal example.
- Off-White: The cover for "Chapter VI – Fangs of Steel" is of a wolf skull being pierced by broken sword blades, two of which are going through the eye sockets. It's probably not a coincidence that a important character loses a eye in this chapter.
- In Knights of Buena Vista, the Game Master said he was only going to fix one goof Adriana makes, no more. As this is a Campaign Comic covering Frozen, and Adriana is playing Elsa, this shows how the game's plot is going to intersect with the movie's.
- Miho, her identity, her nature, and her relationship with the boys:
- Early on, one of the sketches in the book Piro lost has the same ribbon as Miho, foreshadowing the fact that he's seen her before.
- Shortly after the sketchbook example, Miho recognizes Piro's name, despite never being told. She also continues to speak to him in an overly familiar tone before he even knows her name. She was actually close friends with both him and Largo in the Endgames MMO; her character and Piro's even became lovers, a relationship that extended into cybersex.
- When pulling Ping out of the arcade, Largo recognizes Miho's tactics, though he can't remember from where. Shortly after, he has a flashback to a fight in a fantasy world with a man with Miho's hairstyle, and tries to tell Piro about it (too bad he wasn't listening). It was Endgames, a unique fantasy MMO that he and Piro played. "Moh" was their friend and ally, until he destroyed the game world. And Largo is right, he was Miho.
- In the arcade strip, she muses that she knows both of them, but apparently never met in person before. Again, Endgames.
- During her time in the nurse's office, Miho dreams of fighting someone who looks like a female Piro. Endgames again, when Pirogeth confronted Moh.
- After bringing Ping back, Miho mentions that "maybe we can all play again sometime." Piro misses the most important part of that phrase (the "again") to wonder if Ping has a multiplayer mode. More Endgames.
- The first time we see Miho playing I Have the High Ground, she references knowing Piro and Largo, but again not in person.
- Ed and Dom freak out when they see her (Ed's threat detector goes crazy), even more so than when they ran into Junpei. Dom even mentions "That stance...I've seen it before." This hints at the fact that as a badass weapons-grade retired idol, the government treats her as a walking nuke.
- The fact that she constantly gives Kimiko advice on voice acting is a clear hint that she was one herself.
- When she talks down one of Erika's fans, Largo is in awe of her "raw power." It seems like Largo just being crazy, but idols like Kimiko really are valued for their ability to do that sort of thing.
- Miho, her identity, her nature, and her relationship with the boys:
- In Schlock Mercenary, the aquatic, tentacled Schuul being behind the civil war plot is hinted at by the personality-overwriting "hack" being used: this strip shows the hack as water, when its previous use had manifested as someone "moving in", and this one has an interesting shape while melting.
- Mata Nui On-Line:
- Numerous hints are made toward the Bohrok Saga, which begins after the game's conclusion:
- One of the prophecies placed under the Great Telescope shows the silhouette of a Bohrok
- A rock in the jungle area has "Wake one and you wake them all", the Bohrok Saga's Tag Line scribbled on it in Bionicle writing.
- Similarly, the message "Beware the swarm" is engraved into one of the rocks in the snowdrifts, which triggers a cutscene about the player having an illusion, during which the text and the Bohrok symbol appear on screen
- When you talk to Turaga Vakama, he says something vague about "expecting the arrival of another...". At the end of the game, he compares the player's (who we then learn is called Takua) adventures to those of the Toa heroes. Takua, two real-life years after the game's story, becomes a Toa himself.
- The Onu-Koro miners talk about hitting an impenetrable rock strata that has organic properties. Seven years later, it's revealed that what they had reached was Mata Nui's face.
- The MNOG II also had a few. When you (this time controlling Hahli) talk to a scholar in Ko-Metru, he says something about her losing her loved one and reuniting the island. These all happen in the Mask of Light movie, which the game was a lead-up to, although Jaller's death was undone by the end.
- Numerous hints are made toward the Bohrok Saga, which begins after the game's conclusion:
- PBG's "Hardcore!" series has enough foreshadowing throughout its many seasons to warrant its own subpage.
- A Very Potter Musical:
- Parodied in a conversation between Hermione and Snape.
Snape: Can anyone tell me what a portkey is?Hermione: A portkey is a enchanted object that will transport whoever touches it to a location decided upon by the enchanter.Snape: Very good. Now can anyone tell me what foreshadowing is?
- Later, horcruxes are brought up.
Lavender: Professor, can, like, a person be a portkey?Snape: No, that's absurd! Because then if a person were to...touch themselves they would be instantly transported. A person can, however, be a horcrux.Harry: What's a horcrux?Snape: I'm not even going to tell you, Potter, you're just going to have to find that out for yourself.
- Parodied in a conversation between Hermione and Snape.
- In the Youtube video The Devil And Daniel Webster, the main character, Javez, along with 2 others mention 'not selling [Javez's] soul to the devil. After doing so, a character will look puzzled, and whoever said it will reply, "Foreshadowing."
- Well-hidden in episode three of If The Emperor Had A Text To Speech Device. Kitten claims that he was the person who led Alicia Dominica to the Hall of the Golden Throne. If one cares to check with canon, the person who took her there was of Centurion rank, second only to Captain-General, indicating that the Butt Monkey Custodes might be of higher rank than he seems. Come episode eleven and we find out.
- In this Left 4 Dead custom campaign video, at about 3:40, the person playing as Zoey tells another person, when asked to predict the future, that he will die and everyone else will live. This actually turns out to be true. Lampshaded by an annotation at the end.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
- All of Bad Horse's communications are sung by a trio of cowboys. Guess what the ring tone sounds like when he calls?
- Several throwaway lines during the songs.
"'Cause the dark is everywhere and Penny doesn't seem to care that soon the dark in me is all that will remain..."
Horrible/Penny: There's no happy ending/So they say
Horrible: Not for me anyway...
"It's not a death ray..."
- Commonly in The Slender Man Mythos, whenever someone mentions childhood fears or something along the line of that, expect Slendy to be intersected with those fears at some point. For a more specific variant, see Just Another Fool, in which Josh mentions breaking an arm after some man in a suit refused to get off the road, so he swerved out of the way and fell off his motorbike. It's heavily implied that the next time this happens, it's not just his arm that gets broken.
- In Stone's first appearance as a Global Guardian, a fight with several villains from TAROT, Strength jokes at him, "Say hello to your Mom for me." Stone, being an orphan, just took it as a taunt. Nine years later, Stone finds out that he isn't an orphan at all, that his mother is a supervillain and that Stone was hidden from her by his own father, and that she had worked with Strength on several occasions.
Stone: "At least now I know what that muscleheaded bastard meant..."
- The Nostalgia Chick's Xanadu review mentioned her love for robots and had her finally getting pissed off with just doing girly shit. The next episode was a four part arc, starting with Transformers and the Critic yelling at her for going into his territory.
- Discussed in We Are Our Avatars
Priere: ...Wonder what'd I'd be like as a superhero...no, that's a stupid subject, never mind...
Izzy: Probably do well.
Jack: With your power, you'd do fine.
Matilda: I wonder if I'd make a good superhero... What made you think about that, anyways, Prier?
Priere: ...Dunno. Some sorta premonition, I guess...of what I dunno.
Hilarity: I hope it's not one of those premonitions where everyone dies, then you tell people about it, thereby saving a select few survivors from certain death, only for those very same people to die in bizarre accidents a short time later, and then someone makes a shitty horror series based off of it.
Priere: ...I really hope not...I don't think I could stand to watch such a movie...
- In The Gamers Alliance, foreshadowing happens quite often. Even relatively minor NPCs or objects referred to in passing can end up having a big impact some time later.
- Broken Saints: In chapter 18, "Forecast", at the end of her Tarot reading the Albino fortuneteller advices Raimi to "chose love". Guess what ends destroying the Big Bad plans.
- In Chapter 8.2 of Worm, the Travelers stand when Legend tells everyone who faced an Endbringer before to do so. We later find this is because they are victims of the Simurgh, a monster who sets up Disaster Dominoes in those who spend too much time in her vicinity.
- The text from the TV ad in Episode 1 featuring Fantöm includes "Cheated?", as an emphasis on him being The Ace.
- The little that got revealed about Sparadrap's younger brother in Season 1 pointed towards him having his own character on Horizon. Said character's identity still comes as a surprise.
- The first time we see Sparadrap's brother's avatar, he's seen going AFK to send someone an e-mail, just like Sparadrap did little time after being introduced.
- Sparadrap's attempts to recruit anything that stands on two legs had him consider recruiting Fantöm into the guild a full season before the plot twist that made the idea no longer completely silly happend.
- In the same vein, Sparadrap has been considering levels as low as 2 to be "almost level 100". When he tells a potential new recruit that the guild is almost level 100 in Season 4 prologue, it can be mistaken for the Running Gag. However, Omega Zell is heard saying the same thing a little later, revealing the progress made by Noob between Seasons 3 and 4.
- The fact he ends up being the replacement Guild Master in Season 4 and the official one in Season 5 also gives a new meaning to his "Do you want to join my guild?" Catch Phrase.
- Fantöm accepted to join the guild while Arthéon, the only one who can accept new members due to being Guild Master, was absent. The new recruit didn't realize this and, among all the members present, expected Sparadrap to make his membership official. Eventually justified by the fact that Sparadrap is the one constantly asking for people to join, but still quite an omen looking back.
- One of the many gags about Sparadrap's pet collection has him refusing to wear a set of fur items because smourbiffs were killed to make it and Gaea getting him to do so by mentionning their death would have been useless otherwise. A phrase about smourbiffs not getting a useless death reappears later, in much sadder circumstances.
- Omega Zell's Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment in Season 2 finale temporarily created a situation that happend again and became permanent during the Season 3 Wham Episode.
- Despite Nazetrîme's tenure in the Noob guild being quite brief, the audience got a good look at her cursor and hence the exact spelling of her name during that time.
- The advertizement for Horizon 2.0. in Season 3 premiere depicted a duel between Amaras and Fantöm getting interrupted by an Order player. This is exactly what Spectre did in the same Season's finale.
- A Season 5 scene has Fantöm worry about paying back the investments others have made into making his victory against Spectre and Amaras easier, only for Heimdäl to basically tell him "Winning the duel will make paying people back easier". Fantöm seems to consider this False Reassurance due to not having won yet, being aware that the means of paying people back won't automatically come if he does win and possibly the fact that he was planning to use all that help to have Amaras win instead.
- In the first volume of RWBY, a then-unnamed girl is shown watching Jaune at orientation. Because she wasn't a black silhouette like the other side characters, fans instantly predicted that she would later be a major character. They were right- not only does Pyrrha become a deuteragonist, but her unrequited feelings for Jaune form a major part of her character arc.
Weiss: No! You wanna know why I despise the White Fang!? It's because they're a bunch of liars! Thieves! And murderers!Blake: Well, maybe we were just tired of being pushed around!*Blake stops and realises what she just said*
- From Episode 6: Ruby cuts down a tree in frustration after an argument with Weiss, and a giant black feather floats down, foreshadowing the appearance of the Nevermore in Episode 8.
- A lot of foreshadows are dropped in regards to Blake. She is disgusted by Cardin's Fantastic Racism, her large bow twitches slightly, and she demonstrates a suspiciously intimate knowledge of the Schnee Dust Company's inner workings. Cue Episode 15, where she gets into a very loud and emotional (that is, uncharacteristic) argument with Weiss about the Faunas and the White Fang, and:
- And sure enough, she runs off to have a bit of a cry and takes her bow off... And there are cat ears under there! Blake is a Faunas!
- In one episode early on, Glynda points out that Jaune's skills are a bit behind the others despite what the transcripts say about him. Much much later, Jaune admits to Pyrrha that the transcripts are falsified and he faked his way into the Academy.
- It's stated by Word of God that Yang has a deficiency against kick-based fighting styles. Sure enough, go all the way back to the Yellow trailer, where Yang is going one-on-one against Melanie (the girl in white, with the foot blades), and it seems Yang has a little trouble reading her footwork, and the girl even manages to get a few solid hits in, the only person in the whole bar who gives Yang any kind of difficulty. Sure enough, this deficiency really bites her in her clash with Neo.
- Matthew Santoro:
- If you pause Matt's video Anonymous, you can see Matt wearing the Guy Fawkes mask worn by the members of Anonymous. This foreshadows Anonymous taking over his video at the end.
- In Winter is WICKED!, Eugene says that he's a warlock in World of Warcraft. Later, it turns out that he's a warlock in real life, too - he snaps his fingers, and makes it snow.
- In Receive Of Many after Hades and Persephone make love during the Midsummer all pomegranate trees in Eleusis loss their flowers and form fruit. Persephone thinks this is a good omen that she is pregnant. She is wrong. It’s actually hinting at her and Hades' role in restoring earth’s fertility each year and giving it energy to grow and bear fruit.
- In The Most Stupid Deaths In Super Mario 64, the bracket guy's first line is "&my name is not known for now".
- The intro to one Welcometo Night Vale makes reference to "that ridiculous god Desert Bluffs has". Said god shows up in the season one finale and it's not pretty.
- During the finale of season 5 of Red vs. Blue, Church is infected by the Omega AI after it has passed through every other character in Blood Gulch. While everyone else turned into maniacal, psychopathic versions of themselves while possessed by Omega, Church observes that he doesn't feel any different. While this seems to indicate that Church is already evil and being infected by Omega just didn't do anything to his normal disposition, it's later revealed that Church himself was an AI all along, and all of the other AIs that appear in the series were made by splitting the original AI, Alpha, into many different ones, with Omega being one of these. Church didn't feel any different because Omega is just one of his split personalities back from whence he came.
- Adventure Time:
- In The Eyes, where a horse spies on Finn and Jake all night, Finn remembers all the adventures they have in that week. One of them is rescuing yet another princess from the Ice King, who screams: "I only want to be happy!" The end of the episode reveals that the horse is actually the Ice King in disguise, and that he's spying on Finn and Jake in order to learn how to be happy.
- In the episode "Fionna and Cake" which turned out to be a Fan Fic written by The Ice King Fionna tells Cake to take off the Ice Queen's crown to "not catch her crazy". In the second part of "Holly Jolly Secrets" is revealed that the Ice King used to be a human antiquarian called Simon Petrikov who found the crown, which eventually made him lose his sanity.
- Every single alternate version of Finn (excluding Fionna) has a robotic arm note . Sure enough in "Escape From The Citadel" he loses his right arm trying to stop his Dad from escaping the Citadel prison.
- In the Regular Show episode "Dead at Eight", Death suggests that Muscle Man will die in a hot dog eating contest. Sure enough, in the episode "Last Meal", Death comes back to take Muscle Man's soul during a hot dog eating contest.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Schematics for the drill from the middle of the second season appear during "The Northern Air Temple" in the first.
- Katara's overall waterbending potential is alluded to early in the first episode when she rips an iceberg apart (and frees Aang) without even realizing it as she blew her stack over her brother's sexism.
- We see that attacking/blaming Appa is Aang's Berserk Button in "The Chase". When Appa is gone, he goes for the full Heroic BSOD.
- When Azula is introduced, we see her practicing lightning-bending. She successfully pulls off the difficult firebending move (and is the first to demonstrate it in the series; only two others know how to do it), but with one hair out of place. When this is pointed out to her, she gets angry and freaks out slightly, saying that "almost perfect isn't good enough." Later in the series, when she actually miscalculates on something significant, she completely loses it and starts what is likely the most epic Villainous Breakdown in the history of fiction.
- While we're on that subject, in the episode The Drill, Mai flat-out refuses to jump into the rock slurry after Katara and Sokka, saying "She can throw all the lightning she wants at me. I'm not going down there", showing that her sense of disgust outweighed her fear of Azula. And, as we find out in The Boiling Rock, so did her love for Zuko.
- Also in "The Drill", Aang states he really wishes he were a metal bender. Toph invents metal bending a few episodes later.
- White lotus tiles sure do come up often. Especially around old men. They turn out to be the symbol of the Order of The White Lotus.
- In "The Boiling Rock, Part 1", the Warden says he'd rather fall into the boiling lake surrounding the prison rather than let its record be blemished. In Part 2, he proves he's not just blowing steam.
- A portrait of the lion turtle appears in Wan Shi Tong's library. And the music (complete with Buddhist chanting) which plays when Aang meets the turtle also plays when he is briefly possessed by Roku at the Fire Temple, setting up the connection between the turtle, the Avatar, and the Spirit World.
- When searching Hama's house in "The Puppetmaster" the Gaang stumbles upon a closet full of marionettes. This foreshadows Hama's bloodbending ability, with which she controls peoples limbs, jerking them around like puppets. The episode title also foreshadows this.
- In "Siege of the North Pt 1" before the fire nation attack, the northern Chief gives a speech calling his family knowing that "some faces will disappear from their tribe" we have a quick focus of Yue, Master Pakku and Hahn. In Siege of the North Pt2 Yue, sacrifices herself to revive the moon, Hahn is thrown off a platform after his failed attempt of attacking Zhao and Master Pakku leaves to the Southern water tribe at the end.
- At the end of "The Beach," Azula gets the Mood Whiplash/Crowning Moment of Funny line of "My own mother...thought I was a monster. She was right, of course, but it still hurt." During the finale, the thing that finally sends her over the edge of madness is a hallucination of her mother.
- When they fight the melonlord in "The Phoenix King", they group up the same way they do in the final battle: Aang is alone, Zuko is with Katara, and Sokka is with Suki and Toph.
- The Legend of Korra: Photos of Tahno and Councilman Tarrlok appear on newspapers held ◊, and attacked ◊, respectively, by Korra in "A Leaf in the Wind." Though they serve as innocuous introductions for both characters, Korra is speaking with Tenzin about pro-bending while she holds Tahno's newspaper, and is attempting to airbend Tarrlok's in vain after a long day of practice.Tahno becomes her rival in the pro-bending arena and Tarrlok uses her lack of airbending ability as verbal whiplash against her in a later episode.
- South Park: In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, when Kenny wants to go see the Terrance and Philip movie instead of going to church, his mom says, "Well, fine, you go ahead and miss church. And then, when you die and go to hell, you can answer to Satan!"
- In the Duckman episode "Room With a Bellevue", Cornfed has to break Duckman out of an insane asylum, and so flips through his large collection of previously-prepared contingency plans to find the appropriate one. One of the other plans is labeled 'Duckman becomes dictator of a South American country.' Two episodes later..
- In "The Lucky of the Fryrish," Fry's father tells Yancy, Fry's brother, that his name was passed on from his father's grandfather, to his grandfather, to him, then down to Yancy. He leaves out his father, or Yancy and Fry's grandfather. This is because in the next season episode "Roswell that Ends Well," it's revealed that Fry becomes his own grandfather.
- In the very first episode Nibbler's shadow is clearly visible at several points when Fry is goofing off in the cryogenics room, a seasons-long foreshadowing that Nibbler was present at, and in fact was directly responsible for, Fry being frozen for a thousand years. Here's a picture.◊
- And during the Time Passes Montage, you can see Planet Express, where Fry ends up working, being built.
- Leela's cycloptic parents can be seen among the sewer mutants when Fry and pals end up in their city. It's not until much later that Leela learns who they are.
- In "Into the Wild Green Yonder," when Bender bursts out of the Donbot's wife (who is cheating on the Donbot with Bender), he quickly comes up with a flimsy excuse about having been sucked through a wormhole thousands of lightyears away. Guess how the Feministas elude Zapp Brannigan later in the movie? And how the Planet Express Crew escapes Brannigan again at the very end?
- In Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?, the King Decapodian states that he lives a life of celibacy in order to uphold the rules and traditions of his culture. It seems like he's just stating his objectiveness in matters of love, but it turns out that Decapodians die upon mating.
- The "City of Stone" 4 parter and the following episode "High Noon" set up the 3 part episode "Avalon" as The Weird Sisters take control of Demona & Macbeth, as well as securing the three talismans (The Grimorum Arcanorum, The Phoenix Gate and The Eye of Odin).
- Lexington's Halloween costume in Gargoyles #4-5 is identical to Cyber Lex. Furthermore, when Brentwood choses to join Thailog, Lexington's only objection is,"You're making me look bad".
- In "The Price," Macbeth attacks the Manhattan clan out of nowhere, is apparently killed, then comes back, and throughout this uses the same few lines over and over again, including an almost random exclamation of just "Trophy!" It's revealed at the end that it wasn't Macbeth at all, it was a robot built by Xanatos to keep the gargoyles busy while he kidnapped Hudson, explaining his somewhat erratic and out-of-character behavior.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law:
Phil Ken Sebben: I was wrong. Dead wrong. Ha! Ha! Foreshadowing. About being dead, not the being wrong part.
- Justice League:
- In "The Terror Beyond", Hawkgirl realizes that Dr. Fate is using Thanagarian runes, and demands that he tell what he knows about Thanagar. This is because Hawkgirl is afraid that Dr. Fate may have blown her cover and discovered the Thanagarians' invasion plan. But, given Hawkgirl's cover story, the audience is led to interpret her reaction as her being antsy to return to her homeworld, and thinking that Fate might have information that could help.
- In another episode, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl are flying through Brainiac's data banks, J'onn suggest that they could find information about Hawkgirl's homeworld, only to have Hawkgirl insist that they don't have time for that (cause they have to help Superman). In another episode, J'onn also discovers he cannot enter her mind, something that becomes a plot point in Starcrossed.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- As the camera follows Twilight Sparkle when she's dictating her letter to Celestia in the pilot episode, the hourglass distorts everything behind it like you'd expect, but replaces the unicorn head sculpture outside with Nightmare Moon's head.
- In the same episode, Rarity is choosing decorative ribbons. Upon selecting a particularly glittery one, she declares "Sparkle always does the trick!".
- Also in the same episode, Twilight exclaims, "the fate of Equestria does not depend on me making friends." By the end of episode 2, it's pretty clear that it does.
- Listen closely to the music playing at Pinkie's surprise party in episode one. It's almost identical to the tune of her song in episode 2.
- When Nightmare Moon shows up at the festival, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are briefly shown cowering in fear next to each other, despite the fact that this episode was before "Call of the Cutie."
- The camera also pans across each of Twilight's friends as she lists each of the Elements of Harmony as they correspond to each pony.
- In "Call of the Cutie", Rainbow Dash tells Apple Bloom that she got her cutie mark after her first race. In "Sonic Rainboom", she says that she's only done a sonic rainboom once before, when she was "just a filly." These are, in fact, the same event, which is shown in detail in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles."
- "The Show Stoppers" hinted what each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' special talents are. Apple Bloom's is designing, Sweetie Belle's is singing/song-writing, and Scootaloo's is dancing.
- In "Party of One", what happens at Gummy's birthday party is mostly Fauxshadowing, but one of Pinkie Pie's lines is true Foreshadowing.
Pinkie: I can't tell you that, silly—then it wouldn't be a surprise!
- In the first episode, Twilight proclaims that "all the ponies in this town are CRAZY!". By the time the first season ended, all the mane characters had had a mental breakdown at least once.
- In "Lesson Zero", Spike mentions that Twilight has a cape, and that he and Twilight dropped it off at the cleaners. In the next episode, "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight wears a cape as part of her Nightmare Night costume.
- In "Party of One" during the infamous Pinkamena insanity scene, an odd rendition of Discord's theme can be heard briefly in the background.
- In "Return of Harmony Part 1", after Rainbow Dash says that she'll always be loyal to the princess, Discord ominously says "We'll see about that...". He later gives her a Sadistic Choice and inverts her sense of loyalty.
- In the same episode, when Discord is taunting Celestia about being imprisoned in stone, he is leaning on one of the pictures in a window, and then knocks on the forehead of the pony whose image he's leaning on. The pony in question is Fluttershy the only one he had to magically touch instead of tempt to turn bad and the pony that would eventually reform him.
- When we first see the Elements of Harmony in their new forms in the second episode, Twilight's isn't a necklace like the other five, instead taking the form of a tiara (which she comments on in "The Return of Harmony part 2"). In "Magical Mystery Cure", when Twilight becomes an Alicorn and a princess, the tiara changes shape slightly and becomes her crown.
- One particularly clever bit of foreshadowing is also extremely subtle. Twilight's mane and tail are both cut in a style called "Hime Cut" and have been since day one. In Japanese, this literally means, "Princess Cut". What does she become at the end of Season 3 again?
- Another subtle bit of foreshadowing regarding Twilight's destiny happens in "The Crystal Empire Part 1". When Princess Celestia gives Twilight her final instructions regarding her "test", there's an Art Shift in the background, with Celestia's and Luna's cutie marks looming behind them, and a similar treatment given to Twilight's reaction shot.
- A rather subtle bit of foreshadowing occurs in "Magical Mystery Cure" with Pinkie Pie's role being switched to running Sweet Apple Acres. The following season, we discover that she may be a distant relative of the Apple family.
- Back from "Three's a Crowd", Discord, in full-on jester mode, gives Twilight a friendship medallion of little value. In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Discord gives Twilight the medallion he got from Tirek, assuring her he fully means his friendship this time.
- Before being sent to Tartarus with Luna and Cadence, Celestia weakly tells Tirek that he would not prevail. Her prediction would later come true when Twilight and her friends unlock their rainbow powers from the chest and send him back to Tartarus.
- Happens a lot in Rollbots, most notably with Vertex collecting parts of the Dymex Key and with references to a lost tribe.
- Crontab trouble starts with Spin sleep-talking "Zuuuuuuuuuushiiiiiiiiiiin".
- The same episode, and later R.O.S.E. hint at a relationship between Pounder and Vertex.
- Spin's comm messages also count.
- In Teacher's Pet:
- Ms. Appie accidentally says that Pikea is the Last of His Kind, and later on when Spin tells her about Vertex, she says "there's no such thing as Spiderbots!" He never mentioned Spiderbots.
- Every appearance of Daso or the En has involved foreshadowing somehow.
- Crontab trouble starts with Spin sleep-talking "Zuuuuuuuuuushiiiiiiiiiiin".
- One episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, "The Masters of Evil," begins with a taxi driver reading a newspaper with a headline promoting a Baxter tenant's recollections of the time he got replaced by an alien. At first, this seems like just another of several Mythology Gags featured in the paper (which also contained references to The Punisher and the X-Men). However, later episodes reveal that shapeshifting Skrull aliens have started infiltrating the Earth, and replacing various crimefighters and villains, as part of a plan to Take Over the World.
- "The Private War of Dr. Doom" gives a hint of one person who will become revealed as a Skrull in the end: When Tony Stark calls out Reed Richards on ignoring Sue, Reed tells him that Sue's also been ignoring him lately; she seems distracted with something he can't figure out.
- Hank Pym has a private fit of rage in "To Steal an Ant-Man." The camera cuts to a yellowjacket wasp afterward, in reference to the fact Hank will soon assume another superhero identity, Yellowjacket.
- In The Simpsons, this sequence from the first of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episodes foreshadows Burns's later attempt at stealing a lollipop from Maggie.
Burns: [Stealing oil from Springfield Elementary] will be like taking candy from a baby.
(Burns looks through the binoculars and sees a baby with some candy.)
Burns: Say, that sounds like a larf. Let's try it right now.
Smithers: Er, um, there's some candy right here, sir. Why don't we eat this instead of stealing?
Burns: Oh, very well.
- In the first episode of Season 1 of Transformers Animated, when Decepticons are bearing down on his ship, Optimus Prime orders Teletraan 1: "Emergency Defense Program, Codename: Omega". Nothing happens, and the show goes on, where in the last episode of Season 2, the ship transforms into Omega Supreme.
- Also the revelation that Sari is part-robot is foreshadowed so many times in the first two seasons that it might as well be a drinking game!
- "You must never sacrifice a piece of the future to restore the past. When your time comes, you will understand." Prowl sure did and the fandom wept.
- The series Transformers Prime confirmed Dark Energon to be the blood of Unicron. A behind the scenes video shows Frank Welker as Megatron stating that "Unicron...grows even stronger" meaning he will soon appear in some form.
- The Venture Bros. uses this a lot. A throwaway line about The Monarch's Henchmen stealing equipment from Sgt Hatred becomes the reason the later decides to become Dr. Venture's Arch-Enemy. The boys being clones is hinted through several times during the first season, most notably when Dr. Venture mentions it could have saved Dean from Testicular Torsion by eliminating it during the "prototype phase".
- A rule of thumb for viewers: Any line uttered at any given point can become useful to the plot. Any. Or at least the subject of a Brick Joke.
- Similarly, the name of Brock's assignment "Operation Rusty's Blanket" comes into play at the end of the third season.
- Possibly an accident, but the first season finale has the main cast dressed at the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including Dean as Riff-Raff. The in the third episode of season four it turns out Rusty threw out a malformed Dean clone, who survived and looks quite a bit like Riff-Raff.
- In the season one finale The Monarch tells his minions to send Wonder Boy's charred remains to Captain Sunshine, three seasons later and entire episode revolves around this event.
- Another is when Monarch casually mentions during a Villain Party that he tricked Sunshine into believing he was invincible. A few seasons later Sunshine is shown to still believe this.
- W.I.T.C.H. is famous for its constant foreshadowing of many of its main plot points and plot twists.
- Elyon being the princess is eluded to many episodes before it is revealed.
- The mystery surrounding the Mage's identity is also hinted and prodded at many episodes before the big reveal. Also, there are various scenes where we see Julian and the Mage exchange glances of longing for each other, especially after Caleb or Julian mentions their family, foreshadowing that the Mage is Caleb's mother.
- Will states "Victory at any cost is no victory at all; not if you lose yourself in the process." In the final episode, in order to defeat the Big Bad (former Dragon Cedric), the Guardians connect with their true elements, becoming living manifestations of their powers. This also strips away their humanity, leaving them mindless, and vulnerable to control by Nerissa. Fortunately, that doesn't happen, and their friends and family manage to bring them back to themselves.
- In "V Is for Victory" we have three in one scene, the one where Will enlists Phobos' help against Nerissa. The first is Raythor being the only prisoner who wasn't already near the energy bars of his cage to follow the conversation when he , hinting about the conversation he was having with an invisible Hay Lin in that very moment. The other two are when Will gets Phobos to swear on the power of Kandrakar to not use the power of the Seal of Nerissa for himself and Phobos is looking at his right, where Cedric is imprisoned, silently asking for warnings if it's a trap, forewarning both Will's plan and Cedric's future betrayal.
- Young Justice:
- In the episode "Failsafe", the first clue that the team wasn't in the real world was that there was no time and date stamp in the beginning of the episode. Also, the team's reaction to the deaths of the Justice League.
- The episode itself is littered with foreshadowing of events occurring throughout the rest of the season and even season two, from season two's "alien invasion" premise, a message the Team transmits around the world, to the winter stealth-suits and a mission in the snow, to Kaldur "leaving" the team, Kid Flash being distraught by someone's death, Dick's cold and calculating nature coming out, the Justice League being "gone" and leaving the kids behind in the wake of an alien threat, Artemis's "death", and M'gann's powers causing problems.
- In one episode, there's an exchange between hero Red Arrow and assassin Chesire that foreshadows that Roy is actually a pre-programmed clone who doesn't realize he's going to take down the League from within.
Red Arrow: I think you know what I'm after.Chesire: I do, actually. Do you?
- When Kaldur visits Atlantis in season 1, in the background we see a fish boy practising magic. In season 2 he's joined the team as Lagoon Boy. Other cameos of heroes are also common; for example, Barbara Gordan (aka Batgirl) appears as a civilian in several season one episodes, Rocket is seen saving lives before joining the Team, and both Virgil Hawkins (aka Static) and Stephanie Brown (aka Spoiler/Robin IV) are among the Light's hostages in season 2. Garfield Logan stars as a civilian in a season one episode, only to have become Beast Boy by season 2.
- M'gann makes many comments about racial conflicts and her green skin throughout season one, foreshadowing that her real form is a huge white monster that was discriminated against back on Mars. In the same episode, M'gann's catchphrase "Hello, Megan!" becomes much more important.
- In Bloodlines, Bart introduces himself to Wally with the line, "You're Wally West! My first cousin once removed!" Since Wally is erased from existence at the end of the second season, Bart had never met him before the events of the episode.
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy movie, Eddy says "Man, I'm really starting to hate slapstick." That was right after the last injury Eddy received before meeting his brother.
- There were a few times in the series that hinted at Eddy's Brother's true nature, such as near the end of Ed...Pass It On..., where it seems like Eddy's Brother really has come home and Eddy looks genuinely terrified and near the end of An Ed Is Born, Eddy says, "No more beating up little Eddy, huh big bro?".
- The third season of The Flintstones had several episodes where Fred mistakenly thought his wife, Wilma, was going to have a baby. This eventually built up to an episode where it turns out that she actually is pregnant, leading to the birth of their daughter, Pebbles, towards the end of the season.
- Fillmore!: the first few minutes of the first episode, "To Mar A Stall", shows one character's gloved left hand. At the end, it's revealed that she's wearing the glove to conceal red pen on her wrist - evidence that she committed the vandalism the episode is about.
- In The Stinger of the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: C.A.B.L.E.-T.V.", Mr. B's age-altering ray is found by the Delightful Children. In "Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.", they use it to turn Numbah One into an adult.
- In "Operation: Z.E.R.O.", while several villains are ambushing the KND museum, they destroy wax statues of the long-lost Sector Z, which the artist complains about. Later, it's revealed that the Delightful Children are in fact the missing Sector Z.
- At the end of "Operation: M.E.S.S.A.G.E.", the note Numbuh 2 was hired to deliver makes an allusion to one of the most crucial elements of that season's Myth Arc; "Muffy- The splinter cell is real! Pres. Eggleston"
- Ultimate Spider-Man episode "The Lizard" shows that Doc Ock had several test tubes of animal DNA. Test tubes contained pictures of lizard, rhino, scorpion and vulture. The Lizard and The Rhino have already appeared, Scorpion has appeared but as a martial artist from K'un-L'un, however his debut episodes ends with him being exiled and likely seeking revenge against Spidey and Iron Fist. Vulture hasn't appeared yet, but the existence of a test tube of vulture DNA may be a sign that we will see him at some point.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): In "Origin of the Sorceress", the background of a flashback scene features She-ra's sword.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is full of this:
- In the first episode, when the gang finds the locket that spurs off the plot, Mayor Jones flinches. This is because the people in the locket are Fred's real parents.
- Also in the first episode, Velma says that Crystal Cove was found by Spanish Conquistadors, who play a crucial role in Crystal Cove's backstory later on.
- In the fourth episode, the gang finds a newspaper clipping about the missing kids, and Angel seems to be looking at it as if she knows something about the missing piece. That's because she's the one in it.
- In "Howl of the Fright Hound", Professor Pericles tells the gang to "Beware of those close to you", and gave extra emphasis to Fred. Fred's dad turns out to be the Big Bad of the season.
- In "Escape from Mystery Manor", Danny Darrow thinks Fred is Brad Chiles of the original gang, and refers to him as "Big Chin Man." The physical resemblances between them foreshadow that Brad is Fred's real father.
- In "Nightmare in Red", the Annunaki possessing Nova tells them that "Everything can be undone, everything can be forgiven." In the finale, "Come Undone", literally everything is undone.
- Gravity Falls:
- Bill Cipher appears for less than a second at the end of the theme song, and in many other places throughout the course of the show. In "Dreamscaperers", he turns out to be an evil demon, who watches over the town.
- In "Tourist Trapped", Dipper is worried that Mabel's new boyfriend, Norman, is a zombie. He shows her the journal he found, and tries to show her the entry it has on zombies, but accidentally turns to the entries on gnomes. As it turns out, Norman is not a zombie, but a group of gnomes.
- In "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", Gideon sings his song "Lil Ol' Me", about his alleged telepathy. During the song, he puts his hand on his amulet, and tells the audience to stand up. Everyone, including Dipper does this, much to Dipper's surprise. Later, it's revealed that the amulet grants the user telekinesis.
- In "Headhunters", Mabel unveils Grunkle Stan's old wax figures, plus the wax figure she made of Grunkle Stan, to the townsfolk who came to see it at the Mystery Shack, and she takes audience questions. Old Man McGucket asks her if the wax figures are alive, and how he can survive the wax man uprising. Later, the wax figures come to life, and reveal that they do so whenever the moon is waxing.
- In "Into the Bunker", before the Shapeshifter is refrozen in his cryo chamber he warns Dipper about attempting to find the author of the journals, saying "If you keep digging, you'll encounter a fate far worse than you can imagine, and this will be the last form you'll ever take!" and turns into Dipper screaming right before he freezes. The pose he makes is the exact pose that Dipper makes when he's turned into wood in "Northwest Mansion Mystery".
- The part of the intro where the gravity in Dipper and Mabel's room is inverted arguably foreshadows when it becomes a plot point in "Not What He Seems".
- In the first TV short, Grunkle Stan's horrible advertisement for the Mystery Shack includes a sequence where a double of Stan shows up, claiming to be "the real Mr. Mystery". Stan used to have a twin, who was the one who founded the Mystery Shack in the first place.
- Blink-and-you'll-miss-it example in the Steven Universe episode "Fusion Cuisine": when Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl break out of their fused form Alexandrite, their silhouettes are shown but Garnet briefly appears as two silhouettes with two gems each. In "Jail Break", she's revealed to be two Gems that are constantly fused together.
- In "Keystone Motel", when Greg gets back to the motel and looks inside, Sapphire says "He's not going to like that it's square." A few minutes later, Greg opens up his pizza box - and Steven is horrified that the pizza is square.
- When Pearl is talking about how the Gems stayed on earth to defend it at the start of "On the Run" she only mentions herself, Garnet, and Rose, while excluding Amethyst. That's because Amethyst wasn't a part of the original rebellion, but was instead created on earth.
- Ferdinand Foch, French general in World War I said after the Treaty of Versailles (1919): "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years." And twenty years later...
- Comics National Comics #18 was telling a story about a Nazi attack at Pearl Harbor. One month before the Japanese - who were allied with the Nazis - attacked Pearl Harbor.
- In Super Bowl XXV in January 1991, the Buffalo Bills, trailing 20-19 late in the game, had driven to the New York Giants' 30-yard line to set up what would be a game-winning field goal by Scott Norwood. As he prepared to kick, ABC ran a graphic stating that Norwood was pretty much at the outer limits of his kicking range, and later added that he had never kicked well on a grass field. Sure enough, he missed.
- Once upon a time, there was a man named W.T. Stead. In the late 1800s, Stead penned two stories - the first one about a mail boat that collided with another boat, resulting in massive loss of life due to a lack of lifeboats. The second one was called From the Old World To The New, and dealt with a White Star Liner named the Majestic that was called unsinkable, sunk by an iceberg. He published this story in 1892. He died on April 15, 1912, at the age of 62, when the HMS Titanic sank.
- Not to mention a book published in 1898 called Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. It not only had the ship named Titan, only two letters away from the actual one, but also the same cause (sunk due to striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic), with many people freezing to death in the water as there were too few life boats, etc. Once the real Titanic sinking happened, the author reissued it with changes to bring the book further into line with the real event, so he could cash in even more on the similarities.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. "We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!" That speech was given on April 3rd. King was assassinated the next day.
- A few days before he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln actually had a nightmare where he was awakened by muffled crying coming from downstairs in the White House, in which he then found out that the crying was actually coming from the mourners at his own funeral held in the White House's East Room.
- Shortly before being assassinated Lincoln had his photograph taken. Unfortunately the glass negative cracked while the photographer was printing it and had to be thrown away. The photographer wasn't too concerned because, after all, he could always take another photo later... And that's why the only surviving print of Lincoln's last photo has a dark line right across his forehead.
- Osama bin Laden once said in an interview, "If I am to die, I would like to be killed by the bullet." On May 1, 2011, SEAL Team Six had no problem in granting that request.
- Invoked by Jean-Paul Sartre. As a child, he read a book with (possibly fictional) stories from brilliant people's childhoods. These stories always contained some event that foreshadowed what they were going to do as adults. Sartre, who felt that he would surely become famous as an adult, went to his mom and told her that it was so dark in there, even though it wasn't. He figured that when he got older, he would be famous, and if he turned blind this would be seen as foreshadowing by historians who would marvel at little Jean-Paul's foresight.