When something said or appearing in a work foreshadows
another work that would be produced by the same people much later.
If this happens in the same continuity as the work they appeared in, it's an Early-Bird Cameo
. If it's not, but the work they originally appeared in has already been made (but you haven't seen it since it hasn't been localized), then Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.
When this happens the other way around, it's a Production Throwback
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Anime and Manga
- One episode of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid features Souske getting a haircut. During a bit in a barber shop in which Souske makes a scene, the shot cuts to several characters outside the shop taking notice. Each character is from Death Note. The studio that animated that season of FMP had intended to animate the anime adaptation of Death Note, but the contract ultimately went to a different studio instead.
- At one point in Air, Ayu, Nayuki and Makoto from Kanon appear as Mizuzu's classmates, and later on Kyoto Animation would go on to animate that series, as well as several other Key Visual Arts properties, of which Air was the first.
- The last of the Tribute Comics included in the pamphlet for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd As had Movie Comics Continuity Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate talking about the various timelines and Alternate Continuities of the series, ending with Hayate wondering "if there's a world where we all live as normal elementary schoolers"? Around one year later, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT was released, an Alternate Universe where all of the Nanoha cast are normal earthlings.
- Since 2003, Pixar has been doing this a fair deal:
- In Monsters, Inc. (pictured above), one of Boo's toys is Nemo from Finding Nemo.
- In Finding Nemo, a boy in the dentist's waiting room is reading a comic book of The Incredibles.
- In The Incredibles, a scene features in the background a Hudson Hornet resembling Doc Hudson from Cars.
- In Ratatouille, whilst working his way up to the rooftops of Paris, Remy is chased by a dog (seen only in silhouette) bearing a striking resemblence to Dug from Up.
- Also from Up, Carl's cane is seen in WALL•E.
- An apartment Carl's house flies by in Up has Lotso from Toy Story 3.
- And in Toy Story 3, one of Andy's posters features Finn McMissile from Cars 2.
- Cars 2 has car-versions of the royal family of Brave pictured on a tapestry in the British pub.
- Brave itself, meanwhile, has Sulley visible on a sack (to prepare for Monsters University.)
- An example of foreshadowing that took quite a while to get payoff (and may be a coincidence): Toy Story (from 1995) includes a gas station with the name "Dinoco", whose logo is a green Apatosaurus. Their upcoming movie, The Good Dinosaur, stars... a green Apatosaurus!
- Pinocchio has books of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan propped in the background during the Storybook Opening.
- In Walt Disney's introduction to a TV broadcast of Alice in Wonderland, Walt discusses a Christmastime tradition that people living in England have of performing pantomimes of classic stories. The stories that Walt gave as examples include Beauty and the Beast (which was currently in Development Hell) and, coincidentally, Aladdin.
- Books in The Magic School Bus series often did this. On one of the final pages, Ms. Frizzle would wear a dress related to the topic of the next book. (For instance, her dress would have pictures of bees on it, and the next book would be about bees)
- In one episode of Spaced, after a day of being high and playing Resident Evil 2, Tim starts hallucinating that he is surrounded by zombies. The production of this episode is where everybody on the show realized how familiar they all were with classic zombie horror, which led to the later film Shaun of the Dead.
- The Colbert Report was originally a fake commercial. Stephen Colbert had mentioned how much better his own show would be on The Daily Show long before The Colbert Report.
- Doctor Who has, since the reboot in 2005, three times shown a character that would be the next companion in the season prior. First was Freema Agyeman, who played the cousin of Martha Jones (also played by Freema) during "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday". Catherine Tate was the companion Donna Noble just before Freema became the companion. This is the only case where the actress didn't appear as another character. Finally, Karen Gillan appeared as a one of the prophets in The Fires of Pompeii before joining as Amy Pond with the new Doctor. (also good cases of You Look Familiar) And then Jenna-Lousie Coleman did it for the same season when she appeared in Season 7's Asylum of the Daleks as Oswin, who died in that episode. She'll become the official companion in the 2012 Christmas special, though apparently she'll have no relation to Oswin.
- The sides of the soccer field in Flipper Football include billboards for several other Capcom games, including the unreleased Kingpin and Big Bang Bar tables.
- The Future Sight set of Magic: The Gathering contained several themes (and cards) that would make their "proper" debuts in later sets. It was the third set of the Time Spiral block, whose previous two sets contained Production Throwback and What Could Have Been.
- Magic has done quite a bit of this of late to create a feeling of continuity between sets with unrelated stories. A set will often be seeded with individual cards or a sub-theme that will be expounded on in a later set or block.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Excellen Browning notices that all the Humongous Mecha produced by Isurugi Industries have names ending in -lion & makes a joke something along the lines of "Does that mean they made Go-" before being interrupted. Two years later Super Robot Wars W was released featuring Go Lion's SRW debut.
- The 3DO version of Policenauts was preceded by a supplemental database disc known as the Pilot Disk which featured information on the game's production and plot. The database disc was later ported to the PlayStation as Policenauts: Private Collection. Both versions of the disc feature a glossary of the game's terminology. If you look for the definition of FOXHOUND on the glossary, you will find early concept art for the first Metal Gear Solid drawn by none other than Yoji Shinkawa himself.
- Attempted in Metal Gear Solid 3 with "Guy Savage", a minigame using an engine that was to be used in Zone of the Enders 3. The game got cancelled, though. Due to the game's cancellation, the mini-game was not included on the HD version of MGS3.
- In Persona 3: Portable, there's a NPC at a bar who mentions girlfriend problems and strange dreams, but tells the protagonist it's not something s/he will have to worry about now. This character is Vincent, the protagonist for the then-upcoming Atlus game Catherine.
- A Sonic the Hedgehog air freshener can be seen hanging hanging from the player's rear-view mirror in the Sega racing game Rad Mobile, which was released for the arcades two months before the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis.
- The Nintendo 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has several rooms with (not so) hidden artwork from the then-upcoming Skyward Sword for Wii.
- The English pub scene in Uncharted 3 features a newspaper with a headline about deadly fungus, which is a reference to Naughty Dog's upcoming The Last of Us. Although according to Word of God, it was a company in-joke that wasn't meant to be in the final version of the game, and almost ruined Naughty Dog's surprise reveal.
- The trailer for the Nintendo 3DS that Nintendo used for its 2010 E3 Press Conference (where Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime get sucked into a 3DS) featured what turned out to be an early rendition of the final portion of the final boss fight against Bowser from Super Mario 3D Land.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee had previews to future titles Cubivore and Animal Crossing, as well as on to the (then) future installment in the Fire Emblem series in Roy.
- In the Team Fortress 2 official comic "A Smissmas Story", Balloonicorn (who would later appear in Meet the Pyro) made its first appearance as a Christmas ornament.
- Mega Man ZX Advent features the 8-bit styled bonus game Mega Man a, with graphics reminiscent of the classic NES series. Guess which game Inti Creates worked on next.
- Mega Man 9 itself had a blueprint of Bass shown in Dr. Wily's lab, during the ending. Needless to say, he wound up having a playable DLC appearance in the following sequel.
- Halo 3: ODST was the second-to-last Halo game Bungie made before turning over the series to 343 Industries. However, this hidden poster◊ alluded to their next big work: Destiny.
- There is a statue of a star in Super Mario 64. This statue has a plaque on it, engraved with a message which was responsible for much speculation: "L is real 2401". Some people read it correctly, while others read it as "Eternal Star" (made Hilarious in Hindsight when you realise that this still would've counted). For some it was taken as a hint to how to unlock and play as Luigi (who wasn't actually in the game, despite initial plans for this that didn't end up (fully) surfacing until 17 years later). What many people didn't take note of was the second line of text, which read "In Paper M".
- There's a similar thing done in the sequel. There is an unopenable door inside a stone structure in a giant bottle in the sky. Centering the camera behind Mario reveals a book behind the door.
- In a cutscene from Hitman: Blood Money, the camera briefly lingers on a copy of The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, which would be much more important to the plot of Eidos' next big game in development at that time, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
- In Madworld, there's an ad for The Gates of Hell in the subway. The Gates of Hell is the bar from Bayonetta, which was still in development at the time of Madworld's release. Also becomes Hilarious in Hindsight once you realize that Madworld was a Wii exclusive, the first Bayonetta was an Xbox 360/Playstation 3 exclusive, but as of Bayonetta 2, all further games in her series will be Nintendo exclusives.
- The fifth game in the Dark Parables series, The Final Cinderella, includes a sketch of the Crooked Man and the Crooked Cat, from the nursery rhyme. Blue Tea Games later revealed on their Facebook page that this was a piece of Production Foreshadowing for their new series, Cursery, a dark take on classic nursery rhymes.