Gumball: Man, I really wish something that once seemed insignificant would show up and save me!
(Darwin charges at Bobert, but he gets knocked away for the second time.)
Gumball: Okay, something else insignificant.
— The Amazing World of Gumball, "The Robot"
Thornton Reed: Take this, Dag.
Dr. Rick Dagless M.D.: What is it?
Thornton Reed: Something that might come in handy.
— Garth Marenghis Darkplace, "Scotch Mist"
It appears that you're heading directly into the heart of the volcano. On reflection, this was inevitable, really. I mean, you can't just have a Final Boss Battle near a volcano. It would be like having a car chase in which the fruit cart doesn't get knocked over. Or fighting crime in a giant robot and never using Rocket Punch.
TG: you just HAD TO FIGURE all that juice was going to come back to haunt me
TG: like frankensteins incontinent fucking ghost
TG: it was like
TG: chekhov's juice
—Dave Strider, Homestuck
Vyvyan: "It's a potion I've invented, where, when the patient drinks it, he turns into an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. It's basically a cure...for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"
Neil: "Is this it?"
Vyvyan: "Yeah, yeah, I put it in a Coke can so nobody'd drink it by mistake."
Neil: "Y'know, I just bet a bit later on somebody does drink that and turns into an axe-wielding homicidal maniac."
Rick: "Yes, I bet that as well. That's just the sort of crazy, imaginative thing that happens around here."
This means nothing right now, but obviously will later.
Casey: Well, you know what they say about a gun in the first act, Ron.
"We’ve been trained by movies that if you find some seemingly unimportant bauble, then the story will later create a situation where it will be the key to solving a problem in an unexpected way."
Archer: "God, I SAID the cap slips off the poison pen for no reason, didn't I?!"
Cyril: "I know, I know, but I just assumed that if anything bad happened it-it would've been-"
Archer: "No, do NOT say the Chekhov gun Cyril! THAT, sir, is a facile argument!"
Woodhouse: "Also woefully esoteric."
The coffin was the trap, the coffin was the solution. That's so neat I could write a thesis.
— The Doctor, The Sarah Jane Adventures
Works like a charm. I could build a mechanical barrel-maker in my sleep, but for real inventing genius, these Brain-Transfer Helmets have to be my pièce de résistance!''
[James Bond] always used every single item. He never came back and said "Q, I've got a lot of stuff I didn't use on that adventure."
— Eddie Izzard, Unrepeatable
Show a gun on the mantelpiece in the first act. Before the curtain goes down, it's going to blow someone's scrotum off.
I won't find it fantastic or think it absurd
When the gun in the first act goes off in the third.
— Aimee Mann, "Frankenstein"
Cut the music! Go back and look at that fern. Stanley, this fern will be very important later in the story. Make sure you study it closely, and remember it carefully.
— The Narrator, The Stanley Parable.