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  • Aldnoah.Zero uses a literal example in Episode 15, where Slaine is shown seemingly firing randomly into orbit hours before a battle. Later in the episode, he maneuvers an enemy right into the calculated path of the orbiting barrage as it swings around through the battlefield. Proving yet again that "Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space".
  • In volume one of Assassination Classroom, Okuda's Day in the Limelight chapter involves her giving Korosensei a concoction that turns him into a blobby form with even more speed than usual. Later, all the way in volume seventeen, the class discovers that said concoction reduces the likelihood of his anti-matter cells exploding to less than 1%, and might be the key to saving his life.
  • Attack on Titan:
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    • A minor example: when Annie agrees to help Armin to get Eren out of Stohess she conspicuously puts on a plain metal ring that no one has been seen with. It comes up later when she's apprehended as the Female Titan and gagged to prevent her from shifting, she opens it up to reveal a hidden barb so she could pierce her finger that way.
    • When Armin makes his (panicked) initial analysis at the start of Trost, he quickly mentions that the humans have no way of moving the gigantic boulder that's large enough to block the entrance, much less actually repairing the gate before the Titans make it in. Later on, Eren manages to move the boulder and seal the gate as a Titan.
  • Griffith's Crimson Behelit in the Berserk anime. We first see it after the naked water fight that he and Guts have in an early episode, and apart from a different colored Behelit taken off a demon Guts kills in the very first episode, it doesn't have a lot of significance, save for Zodd's prophetic warning about how when Griffith's dream crumbles, Guts will face his death. The Crimson Behelit turns out to be the key to become the very next member of the Godhand, the Big Bads of the series, during the Eclipse, and when it activates, it's the point when everything goes straight to Hell for Guts and the Hawks that Griffith led.
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  • In Black Bird, Kensuke gives Misao a bottle of Whitesnake poison. This comes in handy when she's trapped alone with Soujou.
  • There are a TON of these in Black Butler. Most of them overlap with one of the subcategories of this trope, except for the pairings in Chapter 71 of the manga, and several examples from the anime.
  • Black Clover:
    • The Third Eye use Trinity Sealing Magic to store incredibly large amounts of mana, which is first seen in Chapter 53. Licht releases this seal in Chapter 144, using the entirety of the mana to cast his Arrows of Judgement, raining down light blades on the entire Clover Kingdom and forcing Julius to sacrifice himself.
    • Sally's human chambers are first seen in Chapter 37. In Chapter 182, they're used by Rhya to reincarnate Vetto and Fana a second time in artificial bodies.
    • Yuno's pendant is part of a group of stones that can power up elves and, apparently, open magic seals. It is used specifically to open the seal of Zagred. The pendant is later revealed to be an heirloom of his biological family the House of Grinberryall, the former rulers of the Spade Kingdom.
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    • Early on a spherical magic item is seen in Hage near the skeleton of the demon that the first Wizard King defeated. It's later revealed to be an invention created by the first Wizard King and Secré. And Julius has been storing his Time Magic inside it, using it to revive himself as a 13 year old when he's fatally stabbed by Licht.
  • Bleach:
    • The hollow mask that saves Ichigo during his second fight with Renji. Hanataro briefly brings it up before the subject is dropped for dozens of chapters. It is only brought up again with its meaning when Ichigo meets the Vizards and gains control over his hollow powers.
    • Ichigo's Super Hollow form in the Arrancar Arc could be this. They hint several times that the longer he stays in Hueco Mundo, the more power his hollow side absorbs.
    • The Fullbringer Arc is pretty rife with Chekhov's Guns, both loading and firing:
      • Chad mentions while in Hueco Mundo that his power is more like a hollow's than a shinigami's or a Quincy's. This is ignored until Fullbring abilities are explained to be due to coming into contact with hollows and surviving.
      • The substitute shinigami badge Ichigo was given at the end of the Soul Society Arc turns out to be way more than just a hollow-hunting license.
      • The source of Ichigo's Fullbring abilities gets explained in the Thousand Year Blood War Arc.
      • The dead Fullbringers turn out to be training in the Rukongai with the Shibas...
    • To top all of this off, Kubo promised that everything that has been left unanswered for the past 11 years of Bleach will be answered in full in the Thousand Year Blood War arc. Essentially, all of the secrets and questions that were left unsolved are all Chekhov's Guns. Revelations include the following:
      • The reappearance of the Quincy, seeking revenge for their disastrous war.
      • The reason Ikkaku and Renji have seemingly weak Bankai is that a damaged Bankai suffers a permanent power drain.
      • The King's Key which was Aizen's goal is revealed to be a special reiatsu imbued into Zero Division members.
      • The walls that fall to surround Seireitei came from the Spirit King's palace, which resides far above Soul Society, and the Shiba family's cannon is used to transport people there.
      • Kenpachi named Yachiru after the only person he ever admired, Unohana Yachiru, the first Kenpachi.
      • Rukia, Byakuya, and Ukitake all remark on Ichigo's striking resemblance to Shiba Kaien but then dismiss it as coincidence. Turns out Isshin was a Shiba, making Kaien and Ichigo first cousins.
      • Ichigo's inner Hollow insists repeatedly that he is Zangetsu and an integral part of Ichigo. Then it is revealed that the Hollow within Ichigo IS his true Zanpakuto and "Zangetsu" is the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy power.
      • Ukitake was afflicted with a lung disease at a very young age that turned his hair white, but he was able to survive and even remain healthy enough to become a powerful Shinigami. He survived because of a "God" called Mimihagi-sama, the Right Arm of the Soul King, which is connected to the Kamikake seen in Chapter 605. He uses it to replace the Soul King after his demise.
  • City Hunter:
    • When Hideyuki Makimura was killed by a victim of the Angel Dust, Ryo reacted badly to the mention of the drug, and was astonishingly well-informed on its effects and its makers of Union Teope in spite of them being newcomers in Japan (and him having never heard the name before Hideyuki mentioned it). Near the end of the story it's discovered that Ryo was the original test subject of Angel Dust, and the founder and leader of Union Teope was his adopted father.
    • Ryo's backstory is hinted at in many places by Ryo, other characters who knows it and small happenings before Rosemary Moon decides to reveal it. Even then, she left out some parts that would be revealed only later.
    • Not just Ryo's backstory, but also other parts of the story, sometimes mixed with Continuity Nods. For example, in his first appearance Silver Fox tried to kill Ryo's target with a rifle chambered for .308 Winchester, and at the start of his second appearance the first hint of him being the villain is the sight of a rifle usually chambered for that round.
  • CLANNAD: Remember those orbs of light Miyazawa and the Girl in the Illusionary World were talking about? Those'll really come in handy much later.
  • Claymore has a Chekhov's Gun that could have the longest duration and the biggest payoff: Clare became a Claymore by implanting Teresa's flesh within her. During the final battle, Clare regains her Heroic Second Wind and Awakens perfectly... in the form of Teresa.
  • In DanganRonpa 3 Side:Future, we have Seiko's Cure-W. She first uses it to (unsuccessfully) try and stop Daisaku Bandai from dying to the bangle poison. It makes a few appearances through the rest of Side:Future, but doesn't really come into play until Side:Hope, where its' revealed that it actually works, as Kyoko Kirigiri can now testify.
  • In DARLING in the FRANXX, Hiro's inability to pilot with anyone but Zero Two is revealed to be one. Because Hiro licked the blood off her scraped knee as a child, he was afflicted with Zero Two's curse. His scores began to plummet afterwards, going from one of the most promising pilots to a complete washout. He was even labeled as a "tainted specimen" because of the incident.
  • Detective Conan: It's frequently used and a regular watcher ends up being trained to look for them in every episode. They're particularly subtle, too. One episode involved the culprit wearing a headband with the name of her favorite singer. The singer, Okino Yoko, has an accent over the third 'o'language note . When the culprit committed the crime, blood, which was the same color as headband, got on it (conveniently right on the accent mark), and was discovered by Mouri *cough* Conan *cough* as the killer. If you are an American viewer, you might tilt your head at the odd spelling at first since, hey! You don't know how Japanese worth squat! It was probably caught easier by Japanese viewers, but still subtle, and no one really pays attention to it until Conan provides the proof.
  • Doushitemo Furetakunai: After being scolded for smoking at the office one too many times, Togawa finally decides that he should quit, and in order to do so, gives Shima a pack he just bought with the kanji for "forbidden" written on it, asking Shima to keep it away from him. A month after their break up, Shima finds the pack while looking through his desk and breaks down crying, prompting an important talk with Onoda and deciding to make up with Togawa.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • One that crosses two series and twenty years. In Dragon Ball Z's Cell Saga, Bulma, Gohan and Future Trunks discover another version of Trunks' time machine, which was later revealed to have been stolen by Cell when he killed his timeline's Trunks. Flash forward to Dragon Ball Super's Black Goku Saga and it's revealed that Bulma kept the time machine and she pulls it out when Black Goku destroys' Trunks' time machine with the intent on stranding him in the past.
    • Another example of the Future Trunks arc: Early on, Goku is given a button by Zen'o so that he can call him down whenever needed. Sure enough, in the final episode of the arc, Goku uses the button to deal with Zamasu after he transforms into an Eldritch Abomination.
    • One change that Super made in its retelling of Battle of Gods was to set it all on a cruise ship, rather than Bulma's backyard. Although mostly just a minor, somewhat random change, it comes into play in the Grand Finale, where Bulma gives it to Android 17 as a reward for saving the universe in the Tournament of Power.
  • Remember the Robot Girl model with the inscription "Rei 01" that Senku sees in the first chapter of Dr Stone Reboot Byakuya? During the story's final chapter it's shown that Rei remade itself in her image.
  • Stock in trade for Eat-Man, where Bolt Crank may spend the entire adventure snacking on a bag full of bolts and other small machine parts. At the climax however, he'll swallow the last bolt, then whip a BFG he'd just finished eating the last of.
    • Really, if he eats something at any point in the story, you can expect him to use it later, even if he obviously didn't plan to. For example, in one chapter, he escapes from being locked in a safe by eating the safe. Later, He's caught in a massive explosion... and survives by hiding in the safe.
    • There's also a subversion, during the MOLE arc. Early on, Macus is playing with a yo-yo and musing on how, in Zero-G, the yo-yo goes all the way to the end of its string regardless of what direction it's thrown. Bolt promptly eats it. Later, Macus has his legs cut off by lasers and is set adrift. Bolt whips out the yo-yo and sends it in his direction... But the string isn't long enough to reach him.
  • Eureka Seven features a very sneaky Chekhov's Gun in the form of Eureka and Anemone's collars. They seem like random accessories until the very last episode, where it's revealed that they're devices meant to destroy the Scub Coral, triggered by Dewey Novak's suicide.
    • Kinda foreshadows its significance in Episode 11 when Eureka does not take the collar off when bathing and Episode 19 when the collar was intact while Eureka's clothes and hair were being consumed by the Scab Coral.
  • In Excel Saga, Elgala finds a gold bar in Volume 11 that she hopes will help the trio with their finances. It goes missing for six volumes and turns up in Volume 17 when the City Security troop find it going through their garbage and Kabapu is able to use it to build capital to regain access to hidden funds and resume his power base.
  • In the Fairy Tail anime, the sign that Laxus taught his grandfather has spread throughout the entire guild, as seen in Episode 2.
    • In the cover page for Chapter 197, "Bye Bye Fairy Tail", look at who's missing.
    • Gildarts' beating of Natsu and telling him that fear isn't evil and is sometimes necessary.
    • Mystogan never formally quits being a member. He just stays behind at the end of the Edolas arc.
    • The Dragon King Festival, mentioned in Chapter 100 and again in 292.
  • The bottomless swamp in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA which Rin and Luvia fell into later reappeared as the trap that finally captured Black Ilya.
  • In Episode 14 of Fate/Zero, Tokiomi mentions a treasure of Gilgamesh's he calls the "Sword of Rupture" which Gilgamesh is completely unwilling to use even though it could apparently easily destroy Caster's giant monster. In Episode 23, Gilgamesh summons it during his fight with Rider and completely destroys his Reality Marble and his entire army with only a few seconds of charging.
  • FLCL episode "Brittle Bullet". Ninamori receives a water pistol during the episode. At the end she uses it to cool off Naota after he's ejected from Conti.
  • Miaka Yuki's unborn child in the third Fushigi Yuugi OVA. The only Shinazho that wasn't a MacGuffin.
  • Gankutsuou has many. One is a gun placed in a desk drawer by Fernand. The two suits of armor outside the Morcerf mansion are actually giant mecha. Then there's the watch given to Albert by The Count when they first met.
  • Early in the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Togusa investigates the disappearance of a man who was last seen talking to people who have hired a number illegal immigrants as cheap laborers. It turns out he died in an accident while salvaging parts from an old nuclear power plant inside a restricted area. However, it's not a single episode about exploitation of refugees and endangering workers to save money, but kicks off the seasons main plot as the Big Bad initiated the illegal salvage operation to let plutonium fall into the hands of foreign terrorists to cause a massive scare against Chinese and Korean refugees.
  • At the beginning of the Monkey Hunter arc of Gintama, Gintoki ends up getting his...joystick turned into a hexagon screwdriver, which ticks him off to no end, partly because of how rarely one would ever need such a screwdriver. Come the end of the arc when he confronts the aliens responsible for the deed, it turns out the only thing that can stop their ship's engine is precisely that. The scene is about as awkward as one might imagine.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Mako is only willing to join the Tankery team to get amnesty for all the times she's been late to school. At the end of Episode 12, Sodoko gets Mako's attention and lets her see that all the tardies have been erased, leaving Mako with a clean record. Cue one Glomp from Mako.
  • Gundam:
  • Wendy Garret in GUN×SWORD carries around a gun given to her by her brother, Michael, when their home was attacked. It only has one bullet. There may as well be a large tag on the handle saying "FUTURE PLOT DEVICE".
  • Daisuke Aurora's silver-bullet pendant in Heat Guy J it's actually a sort of flash drive containing all kinds of dirt on his brother.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers movie, In the beginning of the movie, Italy is seen scribbling funny faces on the photos of The Faceless aliens. It turns out to be the key to defeating them.
  • Roughly a third of the way into Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable, Rohan and Koichi wander into a section of town connected to the afterlife. One of the rules of this area is that when you enter or exit, you cannot look behind you or your soul will be taken away. After leaving that part of town, this fact is quickly forgotten about until the Stand Cheap Trick attaches itself to Rohan's back. Just as it's about to kill him, Rohan points out where he's lead them to...
    • This is also how Reimi gets rid of Yoshikage Kira before ascending to heaven.
    • The first episode of Jojos Bizarre Adventure shows a carriage crash with Dario Brando and his wife trying to rob it. Dario opens a case and reveals an odd stone mask, which later on serves as the symbol for Part 1, and comes up again in Part 2.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War:
    • In Chapter 42, Kaguya sets up a Twitter account so she can follow Shirogane and find out what he's doing over the summer, but is unable to work up the courage to send a follow request to his private account. 2 chapters later, she ends up using it as a cry for help when she's forbidden from attending the fireworks viewing with the rest of the Student Council.
    • Chapter 60 establishes that one of the perks of being Student Council President is a letter of recommendation allowing access to any university in the world. In Chapter 111, Shirogane announces his intent to study abroad. And then Chapter 137 reveals that because Shirogane was elected twice, he's allowed two letters of recommendation, and he wants to use one of them to let Kaguya get accepted into Stanford with him.
    • The Sports Festival arc establishes that the Student Council compiled a top secret file about the circumstances behind Ishigami's suspension in middle school. It's latter revealed that while the Student Council agreed to keep it secret on Ishigami's request, Fujiwara, frustrated since the information would exonerate Ishigami, kept the file in an open place in the Student Council room, in hopes that one day someone would stumble upon it. That someone ends up being Osaragi, who passes on the information to Tsubame
  • In the first part of the ecchi OVA Labyrinth Of Flames, we briefly catch a glimpse of a Soviet T-34 tank during maintenance. Its reappearance towards the end of the second episode (powered up by Kalinka, no less) doubles as the resident Lovable Sex Maniac's Moment of Awesome.
  • Yuuta's collection of items related to his "Dark Flame Master" in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, which he originally planned on throwing away come tenth-grade, turn out to be useful whenever he has to distract and/or keep Rikka and friends occupied.
  • Lupin III:
    • The Castle of Cagliostro, there are a few details you might miss the first few times you watch the movie:
      • Right before Lupin and Jigen are attacked in their room by the Count's assassins, you see Lupin fiddling around with some sort of forgery kit. What's he doing, you ask? Making the fake ring he gives to the Count about halfway through the film.
    • In The Mystery of Mamo, Goemon's sword is shattered in a duel and Lupin takes one of the shards. In the climax of the movie, Lupin uses the shard to save himself by reflecting Mamo's lasers back at him.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has Chekhov's Wave Motion Gun; an early episode in A's gives us an apparently throw-away scene involving a high-powered magical cannon, the Arc-En-Ciel. The Arthra is out of service most of the season being refitted. When it returns, what should it come equipped with, but an Arc-En-Ciel.
    • Oh please. There's another one which is WAAAAAAAAY back in Season 1: Wide Area Search. Simple spell just to collect the magical jewel shards right? During the final battle, Nanoha used this again to track down Quattro.
    • In conjunction with the above spoiler, Season 3 (StrikerS) opens with Nanoha rescuing a girl from a raging fire and using Divine Buster to blow a hole clear through the entire building to get her out. That scene is nothing but Chekhov's Guns. The girl becomes Subaru, whose origins are crucial to the plot and lead you to one of the big Wham Moments of the season; and Nanoha stalls in a battle while doing Wide Area Search so she can stop Quattro, who when it is way too late remembers Nanoha has an attack that can also serve as the biggest Dungeon Bypass in history.
  • In Macross Frontier, Sheryl loses one of her earrings (inherited from her mother) when Alto crashes into her in mid-performance. She goes nuts looking for it, but later tells him to keep it as a good luck charm during combat (at which point it's lost forever.) It is later revealed that the earrings are made of Fold Quartz, a material that can transmit thoughts and emotions across the galaxy, and she (and Alto) use the remaining one during the Grand Finale to communicate with the Vajra. It became so important, the Blu-Ray release of Macross Zero went back and added the earrings in a scene with Sheryl's ancestors.
    • Macross Frontier gets points for sneaking Chekhov's Gun into what looks to be a throw-away Accidental Pervert gag. The fact that the Vajra start retreating from Island 1 just after Ranka's scream in that scene is no coincidence.
  • Maken-ki!:
    • In Chapter 11, Akaya asks Otohime why she was loitering on school grounds at Tenbi Academy. To which, she replies that she was investigating the validity of several rumors; including one that claimed even the dead could be brought back to life there. It seems like a throwaway mention, until Chapter 58, which is when Yuuka uses Makaru along with a Magatama stone to bring Himegami Back from the Dead.
    • During Minerva's conversation with Himegami in Chapter 12, Himegami's pupils briefly become slitted like a dragon's. The reason is revealed during the flashback mini-arc between Chapters 51-53, which reveals she's the biological daughter of Yatsuno, who was the Yamato no Orochi in human form. Meaning, Himegami is half dragon.
    • Yan-Min briefly alludes to combining Element when she explains to Aliliu and Lilu that "Black" has the properties of the basic five Elements combined. She later uses the same knowledge in Chapter 86, by combining her own "Blue" Element with Azuki's "Green" and Celia's "Red" to create "White". Which is the only thing that can hurt Yamato Takeru and his clones.
  • In Mazinkaiser Episode 6, Boss gives Kouji a bar to protect him while trying to get to Mazinkaiser. Kouji accepts it, but points out he has protection in the form of his Photon Gun. In the next (and final episode), Mazinkaiser's steering wheel is destroyed in battle with Hell King Gorgon. As the machine tumbles back, the bar tumbles out and Kouji remembers Boss giving it to him, causing him to shove it in the shaft and finish the fight.
    • The sequel movie, Deathmatch! Great General of Darkness has an interesting one, though — way back in Mazinkaiser Episode 1, the titular mech thrashes an altered Mazinger-Z and it is never seen in the series again and it is never mentioned as to its fate. Come the movie, a knife Kouji uses to defend himself is revealed to be made from Mazinger-Z's remains!
  • Monster:
    • A hospital director helps himself to the unconscious antagonist's candy. Nothing happens for a while. And then they find his body next to a candy wrapper.
    • Much later, the antagonist rigs the poisoned candy scene to repeat, killing three cops and framing one of their subordinates, knowing it'll lure Tenma in.
  • In Murasakiiro no Qualia, no one would have imagined the cellphone Hatou innocently wanted to buy would end up being used to re-attach her cut off arm and become a embedded means of communication with Yukari. But that's not where its usefulness ends. It also becomes the means through which Hatou can interfere with the parallel worlds by communicating with her alternate selves.
  • Where to begin with My-HiME? Seriously, this series has great rewatch value.
    • Mikoto's penchant for passing out from hunger: First shown in Episode 2, Funny Moment in Finale.
    • Shizuru's thing for Natsuki: my Mom, somehow, picked up on it in their first onscreen interaction, the first time she watched the series in Episode 3, becomes important in Episode 21.
    • Aoi and Yayoi's fantasy in Episode 5. See Episode 17. Because they were right about everything. Except for Akira's gender.
    • The wedding kimono: Makes its first appearance in Episode 6, becomes a vital clue for the audience in Episode 18.
  • Naruto:
    • The First Hokage's necklace that Tsunade gives Naruto becomes very important after the timeskip, as it becomes an essential instrument to control his Kyuubi powers.
    • When Sasuke's Team Taka is fighting Killer Bee, there's a rather prolonged focus on a tentacle of the Eight Tails that Sasuke had cut off. It later turned out that Killer Bee hid inside it while being underwater, while transforming another tentacle to look like his unconscious body, deceiving Sasuke into thinking that he had captured Killer Bee.
    • Itachi stuffed a crow down Naruto's throat, which comes out about 150 chapters later, and is revealed to be one of Shisui's Sharingan eye.
    • The cool space-time ninjutsu that Kakashi used in the Kazekage Rescue arc, appears again when Tobi is revealed to have the same ability, which also serves as a clue to his true identity.
    • The tablet hidden in the Naka Shrine is only readable with a Sharingan, and contains the reason for Uchiha Clan's creation (controlling the nine-tailed fox). It is revealed later that with a Mangekyou Sharingan and a Rinnegan, the full tale of the Sage of Six Paths and all the Tailed Beasts could be read from the tablet.
    • Edo Tensei was used by Orochimaru to resurrect the First and Second Hokage during the Invasion of Konoha Arc. It doesn't show up again for over 300 chapters until the Fourth Ninja World War arc, when Orochimaru's former Battle Butler Kabuto uses it on an enormous scale.
    • In the arc where Sai first appears, he refers to a dead brother. This is commented on quite a bit, showing Sai's lack of emotion and artistic ability. Much, much, much later, this turns out to be his Berserk Button, which is pressed by Kabuto in two ways.
  • In Season 2 of Natsume's Book of Friends, our titular hero finds an ayakashi in his house, but he doesn't get rid of it because he finds out that it's harmless and can even prevent disasters from happening. To stop the tragedy, it must sacrifice itself. It did just that and saved Natsume from an evil ayakashi in the process. At the very end of the episode, he collects the remains of the small ayakashi saying that they're very precious to him.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Ayase Yue's Orbis Sensualium Pictus and Saotome Haruna's Imperium Graphices were both created well before they became useful. Both Pactio artifacts were the main way for the Ala Alba (not named that yet) to escape and defeat enemies during the arc. Nodoka's Diarium Ejus isn't as distant a creation to use timeline.
    • A better example of a Chekhov's Gun in Negima is the bracelet that Ako won when she and Negi (disguised as Nagi) finished second in a pageant-like event during the school festival. Over a 150 chapters later, Ako is seen wearing the bracelet, with the item plying a key role in stopping a Magia Erebea-corrupted Negi from attacking her and the rest of the Sports Girls.
    • Spoileriffic example: Note Ku Fei's comment in panel five, then read Chapter 311.
    • Way back in Chapter 162, Chao brought her secret item, "Chao's family tree" that would indicate who will Negi marry in the future. It pops up again in Chapter 349 (a copy of it at least) and this time, Negi's descendants are now a blank slate which means everyone gets a chance at being Negi's partner.
    • The most shocking Chekov's Gun is the truth about Poyo and Zazie Rainyday. For almost the entire manga, one of them is a background character with nothing interesting about them... unless you noticed what Zazie looked like on the two-page spread in the very first chapter of the entire manga!
  • Ouran High School Host Club hangs a lampshade on this. The device that sets up the plot of the whole series is a large, expensive vase that will be broken. The vase is seen in the foreground of most of the shots leading up to the breakage...and is indicated by a large, blinking arrow. The blinking arrow returns in later episodes to point in every device and person whom will set the plot of the episode.
  • Pokémon Adventures gets away with this more often than is healthy for the reader's mind. Lt. Surge's gloves, the feathers on Yellow's hat, a shard of the Grand Meteor (multiple times), and the list goes on. Almost every object explicitly discussed in dialogue returns later in the saga — or even in a completely separate saga — to turn the plot around.
  • Pokémon:
    • The anime gets away with this a few times too, the most prominent being in "Pika and Goliath" — Ash revealed he kept the Thunderstone he got all the way back in "Electric Shock Showdown" in case Pikachu changed its mind about evolving. Though that was more of a Recycled Script in all honesty.
    • Ash won a King's Rock in a Pokémon sumo tournament in the Johto region and it was quickly forgotten. Fifty-three episodes later, Misty's Poliwhirl pulled the King's Rock out of Ash's backpack and it triggered its evolution into Politoed.
    • In the well-known deleted scene to the first movie, known as "The Birth of Mewtwo", we've got a serious Chekhov's Gun. Amber reveals that Pokémon tears are full of life, and though it seems unimportant at the time, it becomes very significant when Ash is revived by Pokémon tears. "The Birth of Mewtwo" was cut from the English version, making Ash's revival completely ridiculous...
      My daddy used to tell me a bedtime story that when Pokémon are sad, and they cry...their tears are filled with life.
      • Actually, even the dub includes a very subtle Chekhov's Gun for Ash's revival: When Officer Jenny explains the boat trip to New Island was cancelled due to the storm, the woman accompanying her addressed that cave paintings explained that several Pokémon died in a storm, and that the survivors' tears revived them.
      • In the same movie, when Brock sees the missing Nurse Joy poster, after remarking that she's cute, he realizes that he recognizes her. It's later revealed that she was in fact the one who summoned them to New Island in the first place, under Mewtwo's Mind Control.
  • Two in Pokémon Origins: the Pokémon Mansion (which contained information on Mewtwo), and the stones given to Red by Mr. Fuji (which allow Charizard to Mega Evolve).
  • Early in Princess Mononoke Eboshi warns that a wolf's head still has the power to bite, even after being severed. Guess how she loses an arm later?
  • A few times in Ranma ½: the horned mongoose whistle Shinnosuke gave Akane ten years ago turns out to be the key to pacifying and sealing the Orochi of Ryugenzawa. The photo of Akane that Nabiki snapped (and tried to sell to Ranma, but was bought by Ryouga) gave him the impetus to save himself from a rockslide, and was later used by the bad guys to kidnap her.
  • In Red River (1995), Prince Mattiwaza gives Yuuri one of his sister’s earring, which he always wears around his forehead as a keepsake, so that she can leave the Mitanni’s fortress without being held back by his soldiers. Yuuri wears that earring on her neck from then on, until the day she throws it toward Queen Nefertiti — Mattiwaza’s sister — to stop her from killing Ramses. The earring brings back Nefertiti’s memories of her brother and home country and holds her back for a while, which in turns saves Ramses’s life.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena is mostly just clever storytelling and repetition so it's actual ChekhovsGuns are much harder to spot. Akio's planetarian is one of them, but a much more significant one is the Sword of Dios, drawn from Anthy's bosom every other episode. No one asks why. Come the second arc onwards swords are being drawn from everyone's chests. And, to cap it off, then the Sword of Dios has to be drawn from Utena's breast.
  • In the very first pages of Riki-Oh, two guards chatter about how the eponymous protagonist has survived being shot five times in the chest when he sets off a metal detector. Forty chapters later, the Big Bad of the current story arc shoots him with a sixth bullet which completes the "GNOSIS" hexagram, a seal that strips him of all his power.
  • The tiny bombs that Sagara Sanosuke got from Tsukioka Tsunan in Rurouni Kenshin play an important role in the Kyoto Arc when Sagara uses them to blow up Shishio's battleship, earning a major victory for Kenshin and company.
  • In Sailor Moon, when Mako/Sailor Jupiter is introduced in the first season of the anime her rose-shaped earrings sparkle with reflected light. They seem insignificant until the beginning of the fifth season, when Usagi is trapped in Queen Nehelenia's illusions and loses the will to press on to save Mamoru and Chibi-Usa. When Jupiter shields Usagi with her body to block Neheleni'a lightning attacks one of Jupiter's earrings falls off and Usagi finds it later; the rose shape reminds her of her love for Mamoru, and she jolts herself out of her illusion to continue to save Mamoru.
  • In Saint Beast, an angel helping Shin move drops a stack of his books, and the first one Shin picks up is about witchcraft transformation. The Monster of the Week? An evil tree that's actually an angel who underwent witchcraft transformation. Overlaps with Some Day This Will Come In Handy.
  • In perhaps one of the oddest examples of Chekhov's gun, an early episode of the Senran Kagura anime shows Ryōna is so "experienced" with rope that she can even tie herself up, bondage style. This is presented as just another gag of how perverted and masochistic she is. But when a giant yōma proves to be impervious to attack, Ryōna busts out a giant rope and quickly ties it up.
  • Shakugan no Shana has a Chekhov's BFS, Blutsauger. It first appears in the hands of a minor antagonist, and when he's defeated, leaving the sword, any viewer could correctly deduce that by the end of the season, it will be in Yuji's hands. Although it trades hands several times, Yuji does indeed use it in the first season finale, and in the second half of the second season he carries it regularly.
    • There was also the antifire ring, which shows up with the first minor antagonist and is given to Yuji afterwards. He uses it to survive two later fights, including the finale of the first season.
  • In one scene in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Dr Eggman lets off a missile in the shape of a tortoise; it moves so slowly that it is of very little use to him in the fight. At the end of the film, after Eggman's clone of Sonic is destroyed, he announces that he still has Sonic's DNA and he can make another clone; at this point the tortoise re-enters shot and explodes, destroying the data disk.
  • In Spirited Away, the gift that Chihiro received from the river god was able to cure Haku from his injuries and free Noh Face from all the food (and people) he had eaten.
  • The mangaka of Sweet Blue Flowers and Wandering Son frequently includes characters that looks like they'll only appear once or twice, or that don't have much to them, that become important characters later on. Same thing with plot devices.
  • In Sword Art Online:
    • During the "Mother's Rosary" arc, it's mentioned in passing early on that Asuna has a second ALO account with a Sylph character named Erika. Other characters suggest that Asuna use Erika to challenge Zekken (aka Yuuki), but Asuna decides not to, since she's more comfortable using her Undine healer. Asuna later has her mother log on to Erika when she shows her the house that she bought in ALO (another Chekhov's Gun in and of itself), which not only is like the one Asuna owned in SAO, but looks very much like her maternal grandparents' house.
    • In the light novel version of the Alfheim arc, Kirito and Leafa take a brief detour through Jotunheim, catching a glimpse of the legendary sword Excalibur in the process. This ends up being a double example, because not only does Kirito summon the sword with his admin powers during the battle with Oberon, but the Calibur arc is about the quest to find the sword.
    • In Alicization, Cardinal mentions that the gods of the Underworld, while technically fake, do exist as super-accounts that the supervisors use in case of emergency. They end up being used during the War of the Underworld arc- Asuna uses Stacia, Leafa uses Terraria, Sinon uses Solus and Gabriel uses Vecta.
  • There's actually a fairly elaborate one in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes at the end of Season 1. Mary and Kate from Episode 5 inspire Milky Homes to not give up. Aileen from Episode 4 gives the girls transportation to their final battle, the recurring Pig-Faced character comes by to deliver a Toys-Powered Ring from Sonya (Episode 9) and a wedding plate from Claris (Episode 6), Sherlock's various encounters with Henriette's Cleavage also come into play as well. The ring winds up saving Sheryl's life, the plate becomes crucial for Cordelia's defeat of Stone River, and Sherlock's previous brushes with Henriette ACTUALLY become a way for Milky Holmes to identify her as Arsene.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, while getting annoyed at Kotetsu's attempts to get him a birthday gift, Barnaby randomly points to the television show that was advertising a rare diamond necklace and says to get him that. Later on the episode, a gang steals it and Kotetsu catches the boss and presents him to Barnaby, complete with the diamond necklace.
    • Kotetsu's nickname of "Bunny" tends to aggravate Barnaby to no ends. In Episode 23, Barnaby's memories return when Kotetsu uses it.
  • Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu gives us Pit, the cute but easily forgotten Robot Buddy who's always running around. Actually, Pit contains data of Gou's deceased grandfather Joutarou, who has been observing the drivers all along and provides vital help in taking down the Evil AI.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise had a particularly impressive example. When the Decepticons were introduced, Scourge's protoform scanned a truck that Kelly was trying to escape in, and which Optimus Prime was holding up, meaning he simultaneously scanned Prime. Initially, the only outcome of this seemed to be a Decepticon who was ironically similar in appearance to the Autobot leader. Much later, it turned out that this event had given Scourge a hybrid Predacon/Autobot/human spark based on that of Optimus Prime, which in turn allowed him to control Fortress Maximus.
  • In the end of the Trigun anime, where Vash brings the Crossgun with him to the final fight, and leaves it rooted in the ground. He later interrupts Knives by lifting it from the sand created in their fight and shooting him up.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, the eponymous reservoir, while it appears halfway through the story, does not seem relevant until the final arc, where a flashback and a reveal make it retroactively the most important location in quite possibly the entire CLAMP multiverse. Shoulda known CLAMP wasn't just throwing in random words.
  • In Utawarerumono, Eruru wears an odd, apparently decorative loop in her hair at almost all times. Later it is revealed that it is some sort of transmitter originally made by the humans when it automatically opens the door to a human research facility.
  • In the Vampire Princess Miyu TV series, Miyu and Chisato purchase two good-luck charms from an artisan. The artist is a Shinma, and the trinkets keep Miyu from sensing Chisato's own energy, as she is an exceedingly powerful Shinma who hasn't been awakened yet.
  • In Wind A Breath Of Heart, everybody has a special power. Except the protagonist. This point is made whenever the subject of the powers comes up, suggesting that the protagonist will eventually awaken to a kickass power. Oddly enough, the episode in which he uses his power was taken out of the TV broadcast.
  • ×××HOLiC has the egg given to Domeki by Yuuko, who tells him that it'll be useful somewhere down the road. Subverted in that even though it's brought up regularly, the right time for it to be used never comes.
    • In the first volume of the manga, Watanuki finds Sakura's staff in the storeroom, and Yuko tells him it's just a plastic toy. Nope. That's the real deal, and it's extremely important.
  • In the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, Urara is shown having just caught a Pinky and storing it in her Transformation Trinket. Come the end of the movie, when the Big Bad uses the Dream Collet to grant his wish after gathering all of the Pinkys, he realizes it's not working — Urara then mentions that, whoops, she didn't put the one she caught in the Collet, unintentionally foiling his plan.
  • Inverted in Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou — the story introduces tons of "unnecessary elements," never using them. This includes characters that are introduced but never meet each other, offers that are never used, and an actual gun that is never seen again after its introduction.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, if a character even explicitly obtains a given card (from a trade, a victory, or even just though picking it) rather than having it in their deck, it will be absolutely critical to their victory in at least one duel that season.
    • In Episode 139 of the first series, Yami draws a card and places it on the field without looking at it, and Ishizu says that Yami knows the card is Fiend's Sanctuary. Yami's ability to predict and pull exactly the card he needs goes unnoticed until a hundred episodes later, when it's revealed how it exactly works.
    • Shortly before Battle City, Yugi trades a card while out with Anzu for a Trap called Lightforce Sword, which he later uses in the first duel of Battle City against the Exodia-using Rare Hunter and later against Strings, but after that, the card is not even mentioned again for thirty episodes when it plays a vital part of his duel against Kaiba in the finals of Battle City, saving him by delaying Kaiba from summoning Obelisk the Tormentor
    • Joey's Time Wizard! He's saved their necks with that card a lot!
    • The Deck Masters (Except for Joey's against the duel with Johnson) and some of the cards that Yugi and their friends (Specifically Serenity) during the Virtual World Arc.
      • Kuriboh actually helps save Yami Yugi from defeat, then, because of a card Rainbow Blessing, allows Yami Yugi to strike Gansley directly and win the duel.
      • The Dark Magician Girl helps Tea against by allowing her to summon Yugi's Dark Magician out of nowhere.
      • With Serenity, somebody who has never dueled before, she picks a card (St. Joan) thinking it looks cool. Combined that with her Deck Master's ability and with some help from Duke Devlin, her monster obliterates Nesbitt.
      • Kaiba's Lord of Dragon allowed him to summon a Blue Eyes White Dragon and obliterate Lector.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, the final Signer Dragon, Life Stream Dragon, originally appeared in one of Luna's dreams. It was finally unlocked by Leo from Power Tool Dragon late in the series.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, the pendant Tea wears is the key to unlocking the door of the final stage.
  • In an episode Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Yuma uses Baby Tiragon to beat Cathy three episodes after he got it from Tokunosuke as the token of their friendship.
    • In the first episode, Yuma is looking over the cards he borrowed from his father's deck to try to find out what would be good to use in the duel against Shark, and is seen reading the effects of the card Double-Up Chance. He later uses that card in a combo with No. 39 to win the duel, and said card keeps being used in several more duels throughout the series. It even helps him win his final duel of the series against Astral.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Koenma's pacifier which is even referenced during the Dark Tournament Arc as being significant in an off-hand scene with Koenma and Ogre. It turns out to be an artifact to create a nearly unbeatable barrier that Koenma tried using on Sensui.
  • Zoids: Chaotic Century has a pretty big one. Remember The Valley of The Rareherts? It turns out that Zoid Eve is located in there.


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