Music is a powerful tool. With a good musical director, a {{Narm}} becomes a Hallelujah Moment, a dull comedy sequence becomes [[MickeyMousing hilarious]], and a theme tune gets [[EarWorm stuck on your head for days]].

The Theme Song Reveal is when it goes a little further.

In the Theme Song Reveal, ''actual elements of the plot'' are hinted at, suggested, or outright stated, and the music is the giveaway. It's a MusicalSpoiler, but an intentional one, and one that gives away plot details.

Say you're watching your favourite TV show, and Bob and Chris encounter a BlackCloak with a mask. They don't know who it is. But ''you'' do, because you bought the first season soundtrack and listened to it enough to know it all by heart, and you know that whenever BlackCloak does anything more exciting than walking down a hallway, [[{{Leitmotif}} Alice's Theme]] plays softly in the background. Alice can change her outfit, but no amount of smoke, mirrors and plastic surgery can change her theme music.

Used well, this trope can serve as a much-needed nod to the musically-observant, or to everyone with a working set of ears, depending on the way music is used in the work as a whole. Used poorly, it might result in a hint no-one notices, or a painful {{Foreshadowing}} anvil.

It seems to be used more in video games, where the use of soundtrack is more prominent, in all but the most cinematic {{Cutscene}}s.

See also MusicalSpoiler, the unintentional version of this trope.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' had Myotismon's theme play when Malo Myotismon's face appears as a partial silhouette, an episode before he revealed himself.
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers,'' Beelzemon's theme "Black Intruder" has lyrics mentioning him having wings, even though he didn't have any when it first played, hinting that this is probably not his final form.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** When Archer cuts loose with his [[FieldOfBlades Unlimited Blade Works]], a more badass version of [[spoiler:"Emiya"]] starts playing, signifying that this guy is [[spoiler: the FutureBadass version of the protagonist]].
** It played during [[spoiler: the final battle in the Fate scenario when Shirou is projecting Saber's sheath]], as well as [[spoiler: Shirou's fights against Archer and Gilgamesh]] in the UBW route and against [[spoiler:Dark Berserker and Kotomine]] in the HF route. In fact, the game only uses the song for * one* of Archer's scenes in all three routes, and even then it starts playing when he's ''losing''. Its usage in the anime is really more a FridgeBrilliance moment of {{Foreshadowing}} for anyone who is familiar with the game.
* An example of this is in ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'''s theme song, which tells the story of Edmond Dantes [[spoiler:AKA the Count of Monte Cristo]] and the motive behind his RoaringRampageOfRevenge before it's revealed at the end of the anime. It only avoids being a complete spoiler of the story by not identifying the song with his character.
* In the first episode of ''Anime/KillLaKill'', when Ryuko first appears on-screen wearing Senketsu, instead of her {{Leitmotif}} "Before My Body Is Dry", we can vaguely hear a snippet of a song entitled [[spoiler: "Blumenkranz".]] In episode six, we discover this song to be [[spoiler:the leitmotif of BigBad Ragyo Kiryuin, who is later revealed to be Ryuko's mother.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' inverts this: The music plays before the audience is supposed to know what's happening, but the music is bound to add to the [[ growing unsettling feeling]] of the moment. It plays several times throughout the movie, [[ with]] different modifications each time, depending on what's going on. Then the Reveal comes, and only then do we get [[ this theme]], which is virtually the same thing, just upgraded so it sounds like it [--Spoiler Alert!--] [[spoiler:[[ begins a huge battle]]]]. This would have overlapped with foreshadowing, except that the audience would have no context until the Reveal. Done the way it was, however, it's more of a musical [[WhamLine Wham Line]].

[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'': In "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho103TheGirlWhoNeverWas The Girl Who Never Was]]", the Eighth Doctor companion Charlotte Pollard gets stranded on a desert island. Unbeknownst to her, the Eighth Doctor, after a series of unfortunate misunderstandings, believes they've parted company and has continued on his merry way. She nonetheless hears the TARDIS materialize in front of her... only to find a Doctor she didn't expect inside. Cue the Sixth Doctor version of the theme tune.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''Disney/TheLionKing'', during the scene when Zazu brings up the subject of betrothal, the melody of Can You Feel the Love Tonight can briefly be heard.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In the prequels, there's brief snatches of the distinctive Imperial March in the soundtrack, poignantly reminding the viewer of Anakin's eventual fate. In fact, "Anakin's Theme" is essentially a more innocent version of the March.
** Also, the triumphant, joyous fanfare at the end of ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' is an alternate, major-key arrangement of the Emperor's theme from ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
** In addition, at the end of the credits music for ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', the "Across The Stars" piece turns into the Imperial March.
* An ''extremely'' hard one to spot in ''Film/TronLegacy''. During "Adagio for Tron" and the painful flashback to Clu's ambush, a brief snippet of Rinzler's theme plays at the moment of Tron's defeat.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "Martha's Theme" was specifically written to sound a little like the theme tune of the Doctor's previous companion, Rose, ''and'' to share its opening notes with the "Doctor's Theme", thus presenting the viewers with two subtle cues as to Martha's role in the plot of Series 3.
** "Amy in the TARDIS" is the name of one of Amy Pond's themes; part way through it segues into the 11th Doctor's "I Am the Doctor" albeit in a punched-up form that suggests the Doctor himself is better and more alive for having her around.
** In series 6, the same track plays during [[spoiler:the Eleventh Doctor's death]] in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut "The Impossible Astronaut"]] and [[spoiler:the revelation of River's identity]] in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar "A Good Man Goes to War"]], foreshadowing that [[spoiler:it is indeed River in the suit]]. The track's name on the soundtrack is [[spoiler:"Melody Pond"]].
* The opening credits/theme of ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' are changed to suit the episode. If it's a flashback, then an '80's style font is used, the technology words used are from that era and the theme has an electronic tone. If it's set in the alternate universe, then everything is red instead of the usual blue of our own universe and the technology words reflect that alternate world.
* In ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'', Sam Tyler is listening to the titular David Bowie song on his iPod when he gets into his car accident. He spends the rest of the next two seasons taking a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy, and trying to make sense of his life while feeling like he's on another planet.
* In the series finale of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', stings of the classic John Williams ''Film/{{Superman}}'' theme are used throughout the episode to hint at where things are headed, with the entire theme bursting forth at the appropriate moment.
* In a season 7 episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' ("The Naked Truth") Future Ted keeps building up to talk about someone he met at a party, then changing topics. This preserves the surprise until the end unless the viewer recognizes the recurring guitar melody from [[spoiler:"Victoria" by The Kinks]], which is played again in full at the reveal.
* In ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryFreakShow'', Elsa Mars since "Life on Mars." When we get to the lyric "Take a look at the lawman, beating up the wrong guy," we get a shot of Jimmy. It's a foreshadowing hint to Meep being framed for murder and killed in prison, and Jimmy's vendetta with the police that comes of it. It also hints at Jimmy being framed for murder later on in the series, too.
* There's a rather small one in ''ScreamQueens2015'', where Hester tells a ghost story about a girl driving on a road and being followed by a trucker, who was actually trying to warn her about the man in her back seat. During the story, the girl in the song is listening to a relatively obscure song called "Butcher Pete." This a stealthy hint towards Pete's FaceHeelTurn and becoming one of the three [[SerialKiller Red Devils.]]

* Opera example: In Music/RichardWagner's ''Die Walküre'' (from his gargantuan ''[[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Ring]]'' cycle ), the eponymous heroine Brünnhilde tells Sieglinde that this DamselInDistress is pregnant -- but the music reveals the unborn child's identity through the use of the Siegfried {{leitmotif}}, which is next encountered (and clarified) in the next opera of the cycle (''Siegfried'', naturally).
** An even better example from the first act of the same opera: when Siegmund is telling the story of how his father mysteriously vanished, the trombones very quietly play the Valhalla theme (which is also Wotan's theme). In the following scene, Sieglinde describes an old man in gray who came to her wedding to Hunding and stuck a sword in the ash tree, while the same {{Leitmotif}} plays.
** In ''Götterdämmerung'', when Hagen is singing to Gunther about being only his half-brother, Alberich's motif is played, pointing to the fact that Hagen is Alberich's son, revealed later in the opera.
* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', an instrumental version of the part of "Epiphany" in which [[spoiler: Sweeney mourns his wife]] can be heard while he [[spoiler: slits the Beggar Woman's throat, not knowing that it's actually Lucy he's killing]].
** And if that's not enough, the scene where [[spoiler: the Beggar Woman is at Sweeney's barber shop]] in the theatrical production [[spoiler: has her singing something to the tune of "Poor Thing," the number that played during Lucy's rape]]. (This was a late addition to the show, and so isn't on the original cast recording. It's apparently optional material, like the tooth-pulling contest and Judge Turpin's song.)
* OlderThanPrint: In the [[TheHighMiddleAges 12th century]] Latin ''Ludus de Herode'' (''The Play of Herod'') King Herod and his son sing a song about their fear of and desire to destroy the new-born Christ. Then, when Herod calls the Magi in and instructs them diligently to seek out the Child, he sings the line "that I too, coming, may adore Him" to the melody of his VillainSong.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'':
** [[spoiler:[[FaceHeelTurn Bastila]]'s]] theme plays as you reach the crest of the temple on Rakata Prime. Also an example of DissonantSerenity.
** The fact that [[spoiler:Darth Revan]]'s theme plays during character creation also certainly foreshadows a few things...
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', the masked, unidentified ninja dives for Ocelot's arm, and the music plays the sharp opening bars of [[spoiler:Olga]]'s theme, providing a clue for the musically observant as to who the ninja is before the official reveal. This one was in a very cinematic cutscene and was short - it was so subtle that everyone who hadn't shelled out for the OST (or watched the Making Of where the trick was blatantly pointed out by the announcer) probably didn't notice it.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', [[spoiler:Big Boss]]'s theme plays over the voice actor credits...
* Players of ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}} III'' will probably figure out quite easily, if not from the hundreds of other giveaways, who exactly Tenkai in ''Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams'' is.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Original Generation 2'' a certain character from the first game reappears in disguise. While Ratsel Feinschmecker's identity is [[PaperThinDisguise immediately apparent anyway]], the audience is left without any doubt whatsoever when Elzam Branstein's extremely ''distinctive'' (and insistent) {{leitmotif}} starts playing.
* ''Sin Episodes: Emergence'', an otherwise mediocre sequel to a great game, does this very nicely by using variants on the characters' themes just before they appear. It's used to particularly good effect with Elexis.
* In the video game ''VideoGame/FlowerSunAndRain'' the end credits roll to a song nicknamed ''Welcome Home''. That song may be the single most leitmotif-heavy song Masafumi Takada has ever written. One interesting thing about it is near the end of the song, it stops abruptly with a needle drop noise, and then resumes again. But when it resumes, you can actually catch the subtle leitmotif of the song ''Kusabi'' from Grasshopper's previous game ''VideoGame/TheSilverCase''. This is foreshadowing ''Flower, Sun, and Rain's'' [[TheStinger stinger]], which reveals that [[spoiler:your new pal Peter Bocchwinkur is really your old pal Tetsugorō Kusabi from ''The Silver Case'', whose theme music was hidden in the end credits theme.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', while breaking into the playroom of the enigmatic "King P", Lucas and party encounters a jukebox that plays [[spoiler: the "shop" and "hotel" theme from ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', making it even more obvious that the Pig King is none other than [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Pokey/Porky]] Minch]].
** The Magypsy theme music is a faux-Baroque string aria, but most of the time it's overlaid with kind of a funky saxophone countermelody. When [[spoiler:the reconstructed Fassad and his interpreter]] appear, the former, [[spoiler:who now can only speak through the horns on his face, "sings" that same saxophone line when he speaks]]. It's later revealed that [[spoiler: Fassad was the treacherous seventh Magypsy]].
*** Done waaay before that in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' the enemy music in the ''final area'' of the game is a remix of [[spoiler:Porky's]] theme when you talk to him. Gee, wonder who the boss of that area is? Granted, it isn't ''his'' battle theme but it still is a spoiler/foreshadowing. Although, most people don't notice this, as [[spoiler: Porky's]] theme doesn't play often and it is one of the more forgettable tracks.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Advent Children'', upon Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo's first appearance, before any other information is revealed about them, Sephiroth's leitmotif, 'Those Chosen By The Planet', plays in the background. This, of course, spoils Sephiroth's resurrection and the nature of his Remnants.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' uses this twice:
** The fight with [[AnIcePerson Shiva, Lady of Frost]] has significantly different lyrics from those of the other [[PhysicalGod Primals]] you've fought up to that point: whereas the other themes typically [[VillainSong extol the Primal and their power]], Shiva's theme is in many ways a WorldOfCardboardSpeech sung by the NPC who called her forth, Lady Iceheart. [[spoiler:As it turns out, this is because Lady Iceheart is not only Shiva's WillingChanneler, but has been made ImmuneToMindControl by the power of the Echo...[[NotSoDifferent the same power granted to your character]]. You're not fighting Shiva the're fighting Lady Iceheart wielding Shiva's powers.]]
** In the ''Heavensward'' expansion, one of the themes for the Alexander raid has lyrics that, although [[{{Mondegreen}} difficult to understand]], very strongly hint at (if not outright spoiling) the fact that the fortress in question [[spoiler:is capable of [[TimeMaster rewinding time]] to before you went inside to destroy it]].
* It takes a sharp ear, but in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', the true identity of [[BigBad Count Bleck]] can be determined pretty early on if you notice that his theme is a variation on the "Memory" theme used during the flashbacks in-between chapters.
** As if it wasn't [[PaperThinDisguise obvious]] enough that Mr. L is a BrainwashedAndCrazy Luigi, Mr. L's theme plays in the background when Mario and Luigi reunite in the Underwhere.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAndTheBlackKnight'', the main theme is full of what seems like a bunch of knightly nonsense to fit the theme of the game, such as "I will conquer near and far" and "By the table I command." It sounds like it's about King Arthur, but it's performed by Crush 40, the typical "voice" of Sonic and Shadow. It seems like they just got lazy, until the end of the game reveals that [[spoiler: Sonic is the true King Arthur, possibly literally; the one the Black Knight replaced may have been to Sonic as the game's Gawain is to Knuckles]]. A few astute fans actually suggested something to this effect before the game was released based on the first verse of the song.
** This get quite obvious when [[spoiler: Sonic is dubbed "Knight Of The Wind"]] before ''and'' after the duel against Percival.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', Ventus' theme [[spoiler:takes cues from Sora's AND Roxas's themes]].
** In addition, the Unversed boss themes [[spoiler:contain part of Vanitas' theme, hinting at the fact that that they all come from him]].
** Vanitas' boss theme has a portion that's very reminiscent of [[spoiler:Roxas' theme, and since there's an obvious visual connection between Roxas and Ventus, one can connect the dots between Ventus and Vanitas]].
** [[WordOfGod Nomura]] has stated that [[BonusBoss Mysterious Figure's]] battle theme is also this. [[spoiler: It takes cues from Rage Awakened (Terra's Lingering Sentiment), Darkness of the Unknown (Xemnas's final battle theme in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''), and Lord of the Castle (Marluxia's final battle theme in ''Re: Chain of Memories'')]]. Make of that what you will.
*** With the release of ''Dream Drop Distance'', we now know the Mysterious Figure is [[spoiler: the youngest version of Xehanort, and will be responsible in some way for the creation of all those characters]].
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', Celes' theme is very obviously a variation on "Aria de Mezzo Caraterre", the song used for the famous opera sequence. It heavily foreshadows her CharacterDevelopment in the second half of the game during the World of Ruin.
** "Dancing Mad" is a massive BossRemix of many different songs used in the game, and many of the pieces incorporated into it have some sort of symbolism attached [[ if you listen hard enough.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga 2'' as soon as [[ Inherent Will]] starts playing you know [[spoiler:someone will die]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', the chorus of "Ballad of the Goddess" is actually the {{Leitmotif}} for another character [[ played in reverse]], revealing that [[spoiler:this game's Zelda -- and all other Zeldas -- are reincarnations of the goddess Hylia]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'' the final dungeon Lorule Castle is a giant boss rush each boss you kill adds another layer to the music. The final form of the music adds in Ganon's theme revealing that you're not just fighting Yuga but the all powerful influence of Ganon inside Yuga's mind.
* In ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'', the music for [[spoiler:the first battle]] has the [=DomZ=] addressing Jade by her pseudonym [[PhysicalGod Shauni]] [[spoiler:long before she chooses the name as a pseudonym.]]
* In ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', [[BigBad Odio's]] theme "The Demon King Odio" plays twice in the Medieval Chapter. The first time reveals [[spoiler:Straybow's betrayal]]. The second and far more relevant time occurs at the end [[spoiler:when Oersted gives in to despair and hatred and claims the power of the Demon King, renaming himself "Odio". As the music plays over the ending credits of the chapter, that's when players realize this chapter was a StartOfDarkness all along.]]
* Alex's theme from ''VideoGame/SilentHillHomecoming'' describes Alex's ''entire backstory'', the reasons for why his parents treated him the way they did, and foreshadows the entire plot of the game, though it won't make a lick of sense to anyone unless they've already played through once.
** P.T. doesn't reveal itself as a teaser demo for ''VideoGame/SilentHills'' until the very end... and that's when the opening chord from "Hometown" plays, to cement that this ''is'' a new Silent Hill game.
* In ''VideoGame/BrokenAge'', two scenes use the same music: [[spoiler:the attack on Shay's ship in Prima Doom]] and [[spoiler:Vella's battle in Shellmound]]. This is because they're actually [[spoiler:[[RashomonStyle the same battle]].]]
* The song "A Love Suicide"- which is about a {{Yandere}}'s spite towards her lover- accompanies both the intro and credits of ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose''. It's the first hint at the BigBad's true identity and [[LoveMakesYouEvil motivations]]...which won't be overtly revealed until eight chapters later. (Most first-time players don't notice it. because the intro cutscene is so [[MindScrew weird]] that few of them even notice its music.)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' the boss encounter in the Brain Tumbler Experiment is set to familiar music, [[spoiler:a remix of Coach Oleander's military theme]]. After the battle ends his status as BigBad is confirmed.
* ''Videogame/DarkSouls3'''s final boss fight is a showdown against a fiery swordsman on an ashen plain, while bombastic, direful music plays in the background. And then his second phase starts, and [[spoiler:[[{{Leitmotif}} three piano notes play]]]], and you realize [[TheBusCameBack who you're really fighting...]] [[spoiler: Gwyn, Lord of Cinder and FinalBoss of the first game.]]
* ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' has a section of Guzma's battle theme that's a remix of the Aether Foundation theme. [[spoiler: We later find out that Team Skull has been working with the Aether Foundation]].
** Way back in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', players might have noticed that the Team Rocket HQ's theme bore a striking resemblence to Viridian Forest's theme. The two locations appear to be unconnected, until you learn that [[ItWasHisSled the leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni, is also the missing Gym Leader of Viridian Gym]]. It's the first piece of major foreshadowing towards the identity of the last Gym Leader.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations'', it's obvious pretty much instantly who [[spoiler: Diego Armando]] really is, but, when [[spoiler:Godot's distinctive, mournful, jazz {{Leitmotif}}]] starts playing, the player's suspicions are finally confirmed.
** A smaller version is Ron [=DeLite=]. While the first part of the case is an attempt to prove that he is not the GentlemanThief Mask☆[=DeMasque=], the fact that Ron's theme plays when the thief is mentioned doesn't leave much room for doubt.
** Iris may be wearing a hood when you first encounter her, but the Background Music alone is enough to ensure you: "This girl is the Dahlia lookalike Phoenix is searching for!"
** Phoenix himself gets a variation of this in the fourth game. The mysterious client in the grey parker with the blue beanie might have been revealed to be him already half a case prior to this, but many players were unwilling to accept this as the truth - until his theme song started playing, at which point he uses his iconic Objection-stance.
** From the same game, there's a brief snippet of triumphal, almost circus-sounding music when Trucy demonstrates her magical panties (don't worry, it's a prop used in her show). [[spoiler:That same music is revealed much later on to be the Troupe Gramarye theme, hinting at her ancestry.]]
** ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' has a short cameo for Shi-Long Lang during a flashback case where he appears as a mysterious police officer, but his theme song makes it clear who he really is.
*** From the same game, the fact that [[spoiler:Shih-na]] apparently does ''not'' have a theme hints at a major plot point. [[spoiler:Namely, she's the same person as Calisto Yew, whose theme plays upon TheReveal.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', this is combined with ChekhovsGun in [[spoiler:Lilly's good]] ending. [[spoiler:He wakes up in his hospital bed, hearing a music box in the background, then realizes that it's the music box he gave to Lilly, proof that she never left for Scotland. Lilly herself then walks into the room moments later]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Listening to the ''Squiddles!'' album that was released as Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} merchandise [[LastNoteNightmare tells you that something isn't quite right]] about the [[ShowWithinAShow fictional show.]] So when ''Let the Squiddles Sleep'' played while Jade was trying to dream, the more devoted fans knew that something was going to go wrong.
** Album listeners will instantly know what will happen in Intermission 2 when the music starts playing. [[spoiler: The song used is "English".]]
** Though sometimes it can be misleading, since the music is done by people who don't necessarily know all the future twists. Post-gigapause (that is, in late 2014) it's a bit disconcerting to find out that John's "windy music" strongly resembles "Dark Carnival", due to its association most recently, and terrifyingly, with [[spoiler: Gamzee's killing spree]]... until you remember that "Dark Carnival" is itself a remix/variation on "Harlequin," originally a John theme.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Absolutely ''expertly'' used in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Perchance to Dream", where careful listeners get to notice the theme tune of the villain behind that episode's plot minutes before the reveal. [[spoiler: In the final confrontation at the Bell Tower, where Bruce fights the-Batman-who-isn't-him, the Mad Hatter's theme is being played by brass (instead of the usual flute), instruments usually reserved for our protagonist.]]
** For the curious, the theme of [[spoiler: the Mad Hatter]] can be found [[ here]], while the theme of that episode's villain can be found [[ here]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}},'' a rather surprising scene in "The Gathering, Part 1" reveals that [[BattleButler Owen]] expected [[PhysicalGod Oberon's]] attack and planned defenses, but would not stay around to help Xanatos in the battle. Just before he leaves, a certain leitmotif hints at the next episode's twist: [[spoiler:Owen is, and always has been, [[TricksterArchetype Puck]] in disguise.]]
* In Bruno Bozzetto's [[ "Dancing"]], the [[OminousPipeOrgan ominous groaning music]] causes the dancer to look around warily, followed by the GrimReaper showing up.
* [[ This Day Aria]] sung by [[spoiler:Imposter]] Cadance in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Its chord progression ends in the relative minor instead of the relative major, which is known as a UsefulNotes/DeceptiveCadence in music terminology. [[spoiler:It's a [[GeniusBonus genius-bonus-level]] hint that "Princess Cadance" is actually the shapeshifting monster Queen Chrysalis.]] Explained in detail [[ here]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' associates many characters with [[{{Leitmotif}} particular instruments and bits of music]]. At several points in the series, someone's music hints at their involvement in the current situation, and any similarity between two themes hint at the characters having a present or future connection:
** Pearl's main instrument is piano. Steven's best friend Connie is normally accompanied with a synth bell, but said bell is replaced with piano when she's involved in an action scene. About a season after the first instance of Connie getting involved with Gem fights, Connie becomes Pearl's apprentice and learns how to sword fight from her.
** Amethyst and Jasper's themes are extremely different, but are also the only two themes to utilize drums. This was not only a hint that the two are the same type of gem (Quartz), but that Jasper was created on Earth like Amethyst was.
** In "Same Old World", Lapis's flashback to the Homeworld gems evacuating Earth ends with a flash of white light and a snip of the Diamond Authority's DroneOfDread, heavily implying something made explicit a half season later: [[spoiler:Most of the Gems on Earth were corrupted by the Diamonds's WorldWreckingWave.]]
** Steven, Connie, and Mr. Maheswaran spend "Doug Out" chasing trespassers in Funland. They think it was just Onion, but the music that plays are two new pieces, whereas Onion is a supporting character with no particular theme. This foreshadows the episode's end, where two SinisterSilhouettes come after Onion. When [[spoiler:Topaz and Aquamarine]] appear in person a few episodes later, we can hear full versions of the same music.
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': Near the end of "The Ricklantis Mix-up", right after [[spoiler:President Morty]] shows his true colors by [[spoiler:having some of his dissenters murdered]], the soundtrack starts playing [[spoiler:Blonde Redhead's "For the Damaged Coda"]]. Said song was previously used [[spoiler:in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", when Evil Morty revealed he was TheManBehindTheMan, confirming for the audience that President Morty and Evil Morty are one and the same, if the paperwork floating in space didn't hammer that point home]].