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"