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  • This trope is most commonly seen in the Psychological Thriller genre. Usually, the unique pieces of Foreshadowing are presented as these. (i.e. Tyler Durden appearing as a brief flash four times before he is properly introduced in Fight Club.)

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    Marvel Cinematic Universe 
  • Iron Man 2:
    • During the Iron Man/War Machine fight at the party, watch Pepper and Natalie. When the armored suits crash through the floor, Pepper screams and flinches, Natalie drops into a combat stance.
    • Another example at around 1:13:55. Take a look at the image on the right page of the book Tony is thumbing through. A three dimensional square within a three dimensional square. Otherwise known as a Tesseract. Seems the Arc Reactor may be based off research on the Cosmic Cube.
    • Look closely at the virtual map of superhuman activity Nick Fury shows Tony at the end of the movie. The various markers match up with the events of other MCU movies (such as one in the Arctic for Captain America: The First Avenger and one in New York for The Incredible Hulk), except for one in Africa and another in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
  • In Thor, a brief shot of The Infinity Gauntlet is seen in the Vault as two Frost Giants run by it.
  • During the scene where Zola is fleeing the HYDRA facility in Captain America: The First Avenger, he can be seen grabbing some blueprints that have the designs for the computerized body he comes to inhabit in the sequel.
  • The Avengers
    • After Tony falls out of the Leviathan he took out from the inside, he slides along the street... past a shawarma restaurant.
    • In the plans for Stark Tower's redesign, separate floors can be seen designed for Bruce Banner, Thor, Steve Rogers, Hawkeye, and Agent Romanoff.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier Zola lingers on a newspaper clipping of Howard Stark's death, meaning that either The Winter Soldier or an undercover HYDRA agent was responsible for his death. Captain America: Civil War reveals that it was the former.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy has a fair few in the Collector's museum, including a captive Chitauri, a captive Dark Elf, Adam Warlock's regenerative cocoon, and a brief shot of the Tesseract flying past when the Collector talks about the Infinity Gems.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
    • Among Tony Stark's collection of spare AI assistants is a disc labelled "JOCASTA".
    • If you pause when the Avengers are looking at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s dossier on Ulysses Klaue, you can see that it mentions his great-grandfather having been killed by a previous Black Panther.

  • In The 6th Day, Sarah Winter's bare breast is visible for one or two frames as she sits up as the newest clone of Talia Elsworth.
  • In Adult World, Amy discovers "Screams of Abandonment" by Rat Billings, who becomes her favorite poet and would-be mentor. On the back cover: "Rat Billings is perhaps the most influencial poet of this generation. Blending the meledies of the city with the angst of the heart, Billings creates cocoons of wit and valleys of depression with his unique, soulful, and disgustingly honest voice." The editorial quality control that passed 'influencial' and 'meledies' and 'disgustingly honest' should have been Amy's first clue about the real Rat Billings as she gets to know him later. But it's probably quite intentional that Amy would buy into the shoddy "Screams of Abandonment", considering how we get to know her during the course of the movie.
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  • In Alien, if the film is paused right as Ripley runs to the controls of the lifeboat during the escape from the Nostromo, the xenomorph can be seen already hidden among the machinery and pipes in the wall she runs past - this is marked by its distinctive domed head.
  • At the very beginning of Anaconda when it shows the point of view of the anaconda as it swims through the jungle, you can briefly spot a demolished boat and a dead man lying in the wreckage, presumably the partner of the poacher attacked shortly afterward.
  • The theatrical cut (not the DVD cut) of Apocalypto has exactly one frame showing Waldo of Where's Waldo?, lying among the corpses of the mass grave that Jaguar Paw falls into. In the movie trailer of the same movie, one frame shows Mel Gibson himself, along with some Maya guys covered on white powder.
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  • There's a brief scene in Attack the Block, where a map of the local area is shown. All the tower blocks and local streets are named after science fiction writers.
  • The Babysitter: If you pause during the scene where Max falls through the floorboards of Cole's treehouse, right as the rope wraps around his neck and snaps taut, you'll see Max's spine poking through the base of his neck. Yikes.
  • Back to the Future:
    • In Back to the Future, there's a couple of shots of the car racing toward the square just before the lightning strike. One of the buildings across the street from the square is a travel agency with a sign that reads "TIME TO TRAVEL?", which is a nod to the plot of the movie.
      • In the opening scene, when Marty shows up at Doc's home, all the clocks show the time around 7:53, and when they go off at 8:00, Doc calls to tell him that clocks were 25 minutes slow as part of an experiment. But, if you look closely, you'll see beneath a table that there was one clock which was showing the actual time around 8:18, which was serving as a "control" clock.
    • In Back to the Future Part II, the future edition of "USA Today" has various headlines like "Thumb Bandits Strike Again" and "Queen Diana to Visit Washington, D.C.".
      • In the alternate 1985, Doc shows Marty a newspaper whose front page shows that in 1983, this reality's Doc was committed to a nuthouse. The secondary headline reads "Nixon to run for Fifth Term, vows to end Vietnam War by 1985."
    • In Back to the Future Part III, as Doc and Marty discuss their plan at the train station, you'll see the clock for the (then-)new courthouse has the time at 10:04, which is when it will stop in 1955. Also, you'll see that the audience is actually introduced to Clara earlier, as we see her in the same background shot, waiting for Doc, who'd originally agreed to pick her up from the station. Since he apparently hadn't shown up, she takes the buckboard carriage which almost goes into the ravine before being rescued by Doc.
      • Before going to 1885, Marty complains that Clint Eastwood never wore such a ridiculous getup, and Doc doesn't know who that is. They have this conversation in front of a drive-in theater, in front of a poster for Revenge of the Creature, Eastwood's first film. The movie marquee in the background also lists three sequels, as a Take That! from the writers against the complaint that Hollywood was making too many sequels at the time, visually showing this was always the case in the industry.
  • In Big Game, every time a newspaper shows up, it's worth pausing the film and taking a closer look for gags and Stealth Puns.
  • The Big Lebowski:
    • During the Dude’s Establishing Character Moment, we see him writing a check for a carton of half and half in the supermarket. Pause on the quick shot of the check and you’ll see that the check is postdated, making Dude look like even more of a slacker.
    • When the Dude picks up Walter from his office, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of the building Walter walks out of that reveals just what he does for a living; he’s a security consultant and runs a store that sells surveillance equipment. You’ll also notice that, despite Walter’s staunch Judaism and hatred of Nazis, he apparently hasn’t realized that his store’s logo forms a big "SS"
  • In The Book of Eli there is a hint as to what might have caused the end of the world on the map in Carnegie's office. If you pay attention you can just make out the outline of North Korea encompassing a THIRD OF CHINA.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods you can match the items in the cellar to the names on the white board and to the monsters at the end.
  • Pausing the frame in A Christmas Carol (1999) while Scrooge signs Jacob Marley's death certificate lets you see the person just before him, Edmund Swinbank, who died via "decay of nature." Marley himself is listed as having died via a visitation from God.
  • In The Core, when pigeons have lost their sense of navigation and are flying into plate-glass windows, one of the windows finally breaks. If you freeze-frame on this moment, you'll see that the window is broken not by a flying pigeon, but by a flying trout.
    • The director actually makes it a point to specifically mention this during the commentary track, and to explain the circumstances behind it. While the animators were running tests to make sure all of the birds behaved correctly, one or more birds would often be temporarily replaced by trout models instead to make it easier to see those particular birds' paths through the swarming flock. Unfortunately, when they actually did the full rendering of the scene, someone forgot to change one of the trouts back into a bird, and no one noticed until it was too late to re-do the shot.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Batman Begins. The "police officer" who recovered the Joker card was named J. Kerr.
    • The Dark Knight:
      • When the Joker's semi driver is killed during the chase and Joker takes over for him you can see that the bullet holes in the windshield form a smiley face.
      • Right as Harvey Dent's face catches on fire the flames form the Batman symbol.
      • When Sal Maroni walks with his bodyguards to his car, right before he gets inside the car you can briefly see Two-Face grab his bodyguard and drag him away, which is how he was able to get inside without him noticing.
  • During the Hot Coffin scene in Diamonds Are Forever, you can see the burners in the retort appear to shut off for a split second before cutting back to inside the coffin in which James Bond is being cooked alive to a Creepy Awesome Wagnerian soundtrack. The payoff comes seconds later when light unexpectedly shines on Bond and the Wagnerian music suddenly and abruptly cuts out just before Shady Tree, who had gotten him out, yells at him for passing him fakes.
  • In Equilibrium Preston's Beretta shot flares look like the Tetragrammaton cross logo. The producer himself has stated that it was mostly a wasted effect, as few viewers noticed it.
  • In Ex Machina, when Caleb uses Nathan's computer, we see, for a split second, folders named AVA, KYOKO, JADE, JASMINE, KATYA, LILY and AMBER. Also, on the desktop is a folder named DEUS EX MACHINA.
  • Fight Club has some single frames of Tyler Durden near the beginning before his first appearance in the story, and a few times it has some single frames of porn.
    • They even put a halt to the narrative to break the fourth wall and explain the practice midway through the film, just to get you thinking about it.
    • The "FBI warning" on the DVD release has been re-written by Tyler as well.
    • At one point in the film, Tyler calls the narrator, who's at a pay phone, and on the phone you can barely see the words 'no incoming calls allowed', meaning that it's physically impossible for Tyler to have called the narrator at that phone. The narrator is actually imagining Tyler's words, since Tyler is his split personality.
  • Godzilla:
    • In the scene from Mothra vs. Godzilla when Godzilla trips and crashes into the pagoda building you can see some of his teeth fall out.
    • The opening credits of Godzilla (2014) have a lot of text that is quickly whited out to give credit to the production team. Several hidden messages are contained in said text, some of which are subtly tongue-in-cheek.
    • The end credits for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) did the same, but are more cohesive, together telling a tale of a highly advanced prehistoric civilization which lived in symbiosis with the Titans, but when some members of this civilization attempted to control them for selfish purposes, the monsters Turned On Their Masters. The civilization was destroyed and its survivors scattered into colonies across the globe, the monsters slipped into dormancy with the onset of the ice age, and all knowledge of the Titans was eventually lost, fading into legend.
    • Shin Godzilla: After Mr. G's first arrival in Tokyo, the Yaguchi team are reading citizens' Twitter posts about rising radiation levels in the city. Look for the post from bakashinji, who uses Asuka as an avatar.
  • In Idiocracy, the very small Surgeon General’s warning seen on the Tarrylton’s Cigarettes billboard reads: “Warning: The Surgeon General has one lung and a voicebox but he could still kick your sorry ass”, Comically Missing the Point on what constitutes a warning in that context.
    • When Joe is being apprehended by the police in Costco, the background screens display why he is wanted: “For being a dick,” “For escaping from jail” and “For fucking up lots of shit.”
  • In Jaws: The Revenge in the theatrical version in which the shark explodes after being impaled, if you pause the frames before the shark's head explodes you can see that the shark is just a toy model and is much smaller than the regular mechanical shark.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2: The armorer visited by Wick is wearing a weird-looking badge. Close inspection reveals this to actually be a Bandenkampfabzeichen, a real medal which was given by the Wehrmacht to German soldiers who participated in anti-partisan operations. However, the design is chilling enough to look like something invented by Lord Voldemort.
  • In Jurassic Park when the Tyrannosaurus breaks through the top of the jeep to try and get at Tim and Lex, when it takes a bite out of the glass you can briefly see one of the Tyrannousaurus' teeth break, Joseph Mazzello who played Tim points this out in an interview.
    • When John Hammond talks to Alan and Ellie in the trailer there is a newspaper heading behind him that reads "Space Aliens Stole My Face!".
  • In the 1997 informative video The Kids Guide to the Internet, many old websites are showcased. By pausing the video you can see news stories, websites and movie listings long forgotten.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, in the scene where Arthur and Eggsy share the special brandy, watch the glasses after the camera pans back from the painting. The brandy is visibly sloshing more than it had been before the camera pan, because Eggsy switched the glasses.
  • Mandy (2018): Nicolas Cage goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after his girlfriend Mandy is kidnapped. Before all this happens, there is a scene where Mandy is reading a novel, and we see a page. A warlock has gained a prize, but at great cost to himself and to others.
  • Man of Steel:
    • A freeze frame of Zod's threat video (at 0:29) will show the Superman shield.
    • You can spot a LexCorp building during the Zod / Superman fight.
    • Zod throws a LexCorp tanker truck at Superman during said fight.
    • The satellite that is destroyed in the fight belongs to Wayne Enterprises.
    • If you are paying attention to the flashback scene where Clark is pushed, there's a sign for "Sullivan's auto parts"
    • When Zod and Superman are fighting in a construction site, one of them is thrown into a sign with the common "Days since last accident" label. On the impact, the numbers fall, leaving a zero for a split second.
  • In The Mask in the scene when Milo retrieves the keys from the sleeping guard at the jail Stanley Ipkiss is being held in, if you pause when Milo walks past the guard's desk to give Stanley the keys you can see that the guard was watching The Ren & Stimpy Show on his portable tv.
  • Memento has one that puts a whole new spin on some of the plot. In a flashback scene in which Lenny is narrating the story of Sammy Jankis, a shot of Sammy sitting in a nursing home briefly changes to Lenny in the same spot and same clothes.
    • There's a similar effect in an earlier part of the story. Where Sammy is giving the finger after being shocked, one shot is of a longer and thinner hand than Sammy's is. Leonard's hands are roughly the longer and thinner shape.
  • Mission: Impossible: If you are careful at looking at the screen during the Prague mission, you will realize who the real traitor is very soon. When Jim gets "shot", you can see that the hand holding the gun is turned in such a way that it is obvious the shooter is Jim.
  • In the Serial Killer thriller Mr. Brooks, Dane Cook's character's first name is only revealed if you pause the DVD and look closely at the newspaper article about him in one of the last scenes of the film.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master during the beach scene, there is a half-second frame when the sand castle briefly turns into the Elm St. house before exploding.
  • In Now You See Me, when the Horsemen first meet in the NYC apartment and see the holographic schematics, the name TRESSLER briefly appears.
  • Towards the beginning of Ocean's Eleven, Danny is reading an article while waiting for Frank. The viewers get a glimpse of it having a photo of Terry and Reuben, thus setting up Danny's interest in them as a target and ally respectively. Upon closer inspection, the article reveals that Terry plans to demolish the "Xanadu" and replace it with the "Angkor Wat Casino and Resort". The demolition is shown in one scene, but the only other reference to the Angkor Wat is Reuben dismissing it as "some gaudy monstrosity."
  • In Of Dice and Men, John Alex's drawings of the previous Spango Garnetkillers have many hidden details that can only be fully appreciated by using the pause button.
  • The Pink Panther: In the opening sequence, when the Pink Panther's hand gets smashed by a hammer while it's on the typewriter, we get "!!!*?#OW!;;#(!)" on the page as this.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Pirate Lord, Diego De Leon, in the "Hoist The Colours" scene, appears to have a flag very reminiscent of Blackbeard's real-life flag. (However, in On Stranger Tides Blackbeard's flag is different.)
  • In Punch-Drunk Love when Barry punches the wall in frustration the cuts on his knuckles form the word "love".
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones, Sallah, and Marion walk through the chambers in the Well Of Souls, one of the carvings on the walls is of C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars.
  • Scary Movie has a trailer for Amistad 2 that opens with this content warning:
    "The following peeview has been assproved for immature audiences only. If you can read this you are too close. Pee pee poopy boogers farts butthole. Rate I for Immature. We thought it would be funny to put this here. Kiss our asses and take it off pause."
  • Scream 3: If you pause and look closely during one of the scenes in Kincaid's office, you can see the bulletproof vest Sidney wears when Ghostface/Roman shoots her later on.
  • In Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, taking Scott's thought wheel frame-by-frame reveals some pretty funny responses/actions. The full list of responses and actions: "I gotta pee", "Who, her?", "It was nothing", "Pass out", "No, you are", "Tell Pac-Man story", "Uh...", "When's dinner?", "No speaka English", "Idiot!" "She's forty!", "She's nobody".
  • Blink-and-miss scene in The Searchers. The tombstone (of Ethan's mother) that Debbie hides next to reveals the source of Ethan's glaring hatred for Comanches. The marker reads: "Here lies Mary Jane Edwards killed by Comanches May 12, 1852. A good wife and mother in her 41st year."
  • In The Silence of the Lambs when Clarice enters the guard's station the camera pans around the room and passes over a bank of security monitors. One of the monitors shows Lecter's cell and shows Lecter getting up from his cot to get himself in position for his famous introduction to Clarice (and the audience).
  • In one scene of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999) a demonic face can be seen in the fireplace; the makers point this out in the behind-the-scenes feature.
  • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, frame-stepping through Spock's attempt to mind meld with V'ger will pretty much give away the big reveal, as some of the images are of the Voyager space probe.
  • Industrial Light & Magic did the special effects for Star Trek: First Contact, and some Magnificent Bastard snuck in a split-second shot of the Millennium Falcon flitting around in the background.
    • ILM also did the effects work for Star Trek (2009), and just like in First Contact, they snuck in a split-second shot of R2-D2 zipping past the Enterprise as it ploughs through a debris field.
  • If you watch the commentary tracks of the Star Wars movies, several of these are explicitly pointed out.
    • In Attack of the Clones, during the speeder chase through Coruscant, there are briefly an X-Wing and a TIE fighter in the background, with the X-Wing chasing the TIE fighter.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, there's a quick clip of a large number of moving ships with the Millennium Falcon hidden within the crowd.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke leaps out of the carbon freezing chamber, freeze framing reveals that a toy of Luke is leaping out of the carbon chamber.
    • In Return of the Jedi, when Vader is being electrocuted by the Emperor as he's lifting him in the air, freeze framing allows you to notice that you can see his skeleton and the various mechanical components inside.
    • The Rise of Skywalker: There's a very brief scene of two women sharing a kiss in the background as the Resistance celebrates the First Order's destruction. This is the first on-screen depiction of any LGBT people in the Star Wars universe, albeit barely noticeable. It was nonetheless cut for the Singapore release, since their law mandates a higher rating for depictions of homosexuality, and in Dubai, where homosexuality is illegal. Most viewers probably missed it entirely.
  • TRON The page image is, indeed, PacMan showing up on Sark's monitor. It's even accompanied by sound effects buried in the background noise.
    • The film also has an Early-Bird Cameo in the scene in the scene where the orange is being digitized. In the lower right hand corner, you see "LOAD YORI, RUN YORI" (a big hint as to what Lora's Program actually does). There's also a Hidden Mickey when the Solar Sailer is flying out of the occupied domain.
  • In Twilight Zone: The Movie during the segment "Terror At 20,000 Feet" when John Lithgow's character opens the window and comes face to face with the gremlin, as he screams in terror a split second shot shows his eyes bugging out of his head and the veins in his head are visible.
  • In Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays an alien disguised as a human woman. In one early scene she is driving around Glasgow, and we see from left to right: a shop selling leather, a poster saying SPACE INVADER, an advertisement with the slogan "You. Me. Something Else", and a poster for a performance of Beauty and the Beast. Just after the bus with an advert on the back saying "It's possible."
  • A scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit reveals that Jessica Rabbit is Going Commando. This has been censored in the subsequent digital editions.
    • Close examination of the train that destroys the Dipmobile at the end reveals that a murder is taking place in each compartment window.
    • During the car chase scene with Eddie and Roger trying to escape from the weasels, you can see that Eddie is replaced with a hand drawn cartoon in some scenes when the car spins around or goes soaring through the air.
  • The 1988 feature-length version of Mike Jittlov's The Wizard of Speed and Time is rife with these; practically every effects shot has something hidden in it (such as sparks or lighting spelling out words one letter at a time). And the "speed" segment of the film-within-a-film of the same title has what amounts to Jittlov's manifesto on the power of the creative spirit written one sentence at a time into dozens of frames that go by in seconds.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X2: X-Men United, William Stryker's computer desktop is a treasure trove of shout outs. You'll see folders marked things like 'Victor Creed', 'Remy LeBeau', 'Elizabeth Braddock, 'Omega Red', 'Maximoff (2)', 'Project: Wideawake', 'Franklin Richards', and so many more!
    • When Xavier connects to Cerebro in X-Men: First Class, some familiar mutants from the comics can be seen if you pause, with a young Storm being the most notable.


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