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    September 11th Attacks / Terrorism 
  • In the first ten minutes of Armageddon, New York City is decimated by a meteorite shower, complete with a shot of the Twin Towers with huge gaping holes in them. And the middle of this scene, there's a cabbie that screams something with each impact: "Look at that! Whoa! We're at war! Saddam Hussein's bombing us?" Oh, the innocent irony of '90s catastrophe films.
  • The main plot of Bastille Day is about a series of terrorist attacks that culminated in riots on Bastille Day that are meant to hide a heist by the police. Not only does the plot feel creepy after the Bastille Day, 2016 terrorist attack on the Promenade Des Anglais in Nice, it gets even more awkward when you find out that this movie was supposed to come out in France on the very day the terrorist attack happened since it was both Bastille Day and a Friday.
  • The last thing the 2000 film Battlefield Earth needs is another reason for people to treat it with derision. But after the real-life tragedy that took place the following year, when one watches the movie (for some unfathomable reason), one may find the hero's journey depicted there as a path to terrorism. (The hero's land is taken by a technologically superior civilization because of its resources; the hero educates himself on the aliens and their technology and formulates plans to take the alien civilization down; the hero attacks, crashing aircraft and sending in suicide bombers.)
  • 1994's Blown Away centers around a mad bomber who targets the city of Boston. On April 15, 2013, a bomb explosion at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon killed three people and injured hundreds more. The worst part is, the finish line is at Copley Square - one of the bombing sites in the movie.
  • In the 2007 film Breach, which depicts the final days of the investigation into notorious FBI spy Robert Hanssen, Agent Burroughs reveals to the heretofore clueless Agent O'Neill that Hanssen is a traitor who has been selling military and government secrets to the Russians for years. Among these secrets includes the Continuity of Government Program, which details where the President, Vice President, etc would be taken in the event of a nuclear or terrorist attack. Hanssen was arrested in February 2001 and pleaded guilty in July 2001. Two months later, the 9/11 attack took place. The realization that one of our archenemies (even at best, US-Russian relations have been chilly) had such pertinent information (even if changes were no doubt instantly made once the leak was discovered) is terrifying.
  • The animated El Cid movie was made in 2003 and it's set during Moorish Spain era, yet it's a lot harder to see nowadays without the Islamic State in mind since the main villain is an Islamic warlord whose hordes dress in black, sweeping across the land, enslaving and conquering everything in their path and threatening both Christians and Muslims. They are also prone to gratuitous and needless cruelty to keep their people in line, such as when he orders his men to dismember an old slave because his hands are too tired to work.
  • Deep Impact features a scene where the World Trade Center is destroyed. The film was released in 1998. In 2001, the World Trade Center was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.
  • This Die Hard poster. The Angry Video Game Nerd even comments on it. It shows Nakatomi Plaza, which was filmed at Fox Plaza in Los Angeles, with an explosion on the top. The dark stripe down the middle makes it look at first glance like two skyscrapers of a similar look to the World Trade Center. Alternatively, looking at the first three movies is kind of eerie when put together: A tall tower blowing up, airplanes, and New York being the target of terrorist bombings.
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, one of the cops makes an offhand reference to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and how inconvenient it was. Ouch. It even has the plot revolving around a terrorist attack on the Financial District where the WTC stood (though underground, in the Wall Street subway station), and thus the Twin Towers are prominently seen in the background in some scenes.
  • Escape from New York begins with terrorists hijacking an airplane and flying it into a building in Manhattan near the World Trade Center; later, Snake Plissken lands a glider on the WTC's roof.
  • In Escape from L.A., Snake meets a woman who reveals that she was persecuted and ultimately rejected from society for being a Muslim.
  • The 1996 film Executive Decision deals with a Middle Eastern terrorist group who, after pulling off a bombing in London, hijack a plane with which they plan to attack Washington DC. "Ouch" doesn't start to describe how much harsher the movie is today.
  • The anti-nuclear drama Fail Safe was intentionally very serious and gloomy, but the events of 9/11 make the ending worse, in which a pilot is ordered to drop a nuclear bomb destroying New York City. In retrospect it makes 9/11 conspiracy theories look trivial.
  • The British comedy film Four Lions about a band of incompetent jihadists who plot to bomb the London Marathon becomes far harsher in light of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Also back in 2010, while the fear of major attacks existed, there had been several years without them at least in Europe. After 2013, a wave of major terrorist attacks took place in Western Europe, including Britain, putting to rest the notion that almost all would-be terrorists are largely incompetent and at most can kill a few people primarily through dumb luck.
  • Godzilla (aka the first Western adaptation, set in NYC) had the destruction that Godzilla leaves behind being described by a reporter as "the worst act to hit New York since the World Trade Center bombing". ...You know, the 1993 one...Yeah. The animated series also features the towers frequently, including a future where they've been badly damaged by monsters.
    "Who's been playing dominoes with the World Trade Center?"
  • Independence Day was immediately yanked from network's schedules and not aired for a long time after the 9/11 attacks due to the scenes of New York City and Washington, DC being destroyed—in particular, the Empire State building collapses in a very similar fashion to the way the Twin Towers did.
  • The Chuck Norris film Invasion U.S.A. (1985) revolves around terrorists invading the US. Needless to say, it's a tad uncomfortable to watch after 9/11.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, released in 2015, when Richmond Valentne activates his device that unleashes a Hate Plague across the world, we see a double-decker bus running over dozens of people who are engaging in a massive street fight in London. In 2016 and 2017, numerous European cities, including London, were the site terrorist attacks, where the perpetrator drove a large truck and ran over as many people as he could.
  • The Living Daylights: Bond teams up with the Afghan mujahideen during the final battle. In real life, those anti-communist freedom fighters would go on to become the Taliban and al-Qaeda, two groups who the US has spent over a decade and a half fighting. For bonus points, they even help Bond put a bomb on an airplane.
  • This exchange from The Long Kiss Goodnight vies with The Lone Gunmen pilot for this trope incarnate:
    Leland: 1993. World Trade Center bombing, remember? During the trial, one of the bombers claimed the CIA had advanced knowledge. The diplomat who issued the terrorists' visas was CIA. It's not unthinkable that they paved the way for the bombing, purely to justify a budget increase.
    Mitch: You're telling me that you're going to fake some terrorist thing, just to scare some money out of Congress?
    Leland: Well, unfortunately, Mr. Hennessey, I have no idea how to fake killing four thousand people, so we're just going to have to do it for real. Blame it on the Muslims, naturally. Then I get my funding.
  • The 1979 Disaster Film flop Meteor had a spaceship called the Challenger exploding and the Twin Towers destroyed near the end.
  • The 1997 HBO made-for-TV movie Path To Paradise featured a fictionalized account of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Most notably, the film discusses accusations that U.S. intelligence forces knew about terrorist cells operating in the country and never did anything about it until after the attempted bombing. At the end of the film, the "organizer" of the bombings is escorted back to New York City to stand trial for his crimes, and as he is flown past the Twin Towers, he says, "Next time, we'll bring them BOTH down." For obvious reasons, it hasn't been broadcast in the U.S. HBO channel since 2001 (although it has aired on HBO Canada, and has been released on DVD). This is also a Real Life example - the helicopter was deliberately flown by the towers, and one of the agents taunted the bomber: "Look, still there," prompting this response.
  • In the trailers for Patriot Games, Admiral Greer is shown saying "There's never been a terrorist attack on American soil.". It got cut because the producers realized it sounded too much like an invitation or a dare. But only a year later came the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, then there were the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, and finally, the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
  • Yet another "New York City blowing up" one is The Peacemaker, in which Nicole Kidman and George Clooney have to find a terrorist who is carrying a nuke in his backpack and plans to blow up the United Nations building. In fact, the terrorist is there as a delegate, replacing a dead representative from his country.
  • As a movie of historic interest, Pearl Harbor went into the cinemas in May 2001 in the US and elsewhere not later than in summer of said year, conveniently even sixty years after the actual event. Of course, nobody could even remotely suspect that a comparable event would happen in the course of the same year.
  • The Siege is an action thriller from 1998 about terrorist strikes in New York that end up with Brooklyn under martial law. Back in 1998, there was a backlash from the Arab community because they thought it made them look like terrorists. Three years later and it can honestly be said that "At least they were wrong about martial law and the internment of American Muslims (though a lot of Muslims and people who could be mistaken for Muslims were harassed and faced discriminated for a time because of 9/11)." In fact, FOX itself marketed the movie as being "Eerily prescient of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath" in the back copy of the Blu-Ray DVD edition.
  • In Skyfall, the villain Silva and two of his henchmen burst into a hearing at Parliament and open fire in an attempt to kill M. This became much more unsettling in October 2014, when a gunman who was enraged at Canada's participation in the war against the Islamic State murdered a soldier at Ottawa's National War Memorial, then rushed across the street into Parliament and opened fire down the main hall. At the time, the three major Canadian political parties were holding caucus meetings. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in one of the rooms the attacker ran by while trading shots with police. Moreover, after the explosion at MI6, the news reports "a terrorist attack in the heart of London, leaving 6 dead and many more injured". In March 2017, a terrorist attack in Westminster (just two bridges further) also claimed the lives of 6 (including the perpetrator) and left many more injured.
  • The 2001 film adaptation of The Sum of All Fears changed the Arab and Communist terrorists in the original 1991 book to neo-Fascists. At the time, it was a practical choice, as East Germany - one of the main hostile nations in the book - had just been reunited with West Germany when the book was first published. Since then, relations between Russia and NATO have deteriorated further, and neo-Nazi movements have made far more visible reappearances - even making it to political office - in the late 2010s than earlier in the century.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. film adaptation, the human world and the "lizard" world begin to merge together around the third act of the movie, the highlight of this being a scene featuring King Koopa's tower from the lizard world being merged into the human world's World Trade Center towers. This is depicted by showing both of the towers turning black, emitting large clouds of smoke, and one of the towers being partially disintegrated, topped off with a visible plane passing by near the towers. As CinemaSins put it in their review of the movie, "Whoa, that is some weirdly prescient creepy bullsh*t there." The scene becomes especially damning when you consider that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing had occurred a few months before the film was released.
  • The Tailor of Panama is a 2001 film about the eponymous tailor telling tall tales about the Panama canal to a corrupt intelligence agent which ultimately leads to a mistaken U.S. invasion of Panama seeking to reclaim the canal before it is sold to the Chinese. Meanwhile, in real life, "Curveball" was an Iraqi engineer telling tall tales to German intelligence about mobile weapons labs, whose testimony was heavily used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
  • In The Towering Inferno, it's hard not to listen to Steve McQueen's last lines as the fire chief and not find them eerily prophetic in a post-9/11 world.
  • Wrong Is Right seemed like an over-the-top political satire about the links between war, government, and the media in 1982. Now the number of coincidences with events in Iraq is staggering.
  • Xtro II: The Second Encounter is a So Bad, It's Good Canadian ripoff of Aliens. At one point, a soldier (played by Nicholas Lea) mentions that he "has enough C4 to blow the World Trade Center." Needless to say, it's a line that can make you cringe now.
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    Actors and Directors with Multiple Examples 
  • Any time that Ducky or Anne Marie is in danger. Both were voiced by Judith Barsi. Judith Barsi was murdered by her father.
    • But probably the worst of all is Jaws: The Revenge, where her character's father is almost responsible for her death, due to neglecting to warn his family that a shark is in the area.
    • Also Judith's last film was about death (All Dogs Go to Heaven). She passed on a year before the film was released.
  • Robert Blake, who in 2001 became a real-life murder suspect:
    • In the film In Cold Blood, he played real-life convicted murderer Perry Smith.
    • His role in Lost Highway is now even creepier than originally intended.
    • Money Train, in which it becomes increasingly apparent just how unhinged his character is.
  • John Candy:
    • The Great Outdoors: In one scene, Dan Aykroyd makes a joke to Candy about people dying of heart attacks; John Candy himself died of a heart attack in 1994. Also the scene where Candy is on water skis screaming "I'm gonna die!" becomes harder to watch in light of his unfortunate passing just a few years later.
    • In Stripes, Candy's character Dewey "Ox" Oxberger explains that he joined the Army as a way to lose weight and avoid having heart attacks.
    • In Cool Runnings, his character Irving Blitzer is ambushed by two other characters and, after yelling in shock, clutches his chest as if he's going to have a heart attack.
  • Michael Douglas:
    • The China Syndrome, which deals with a near-meltdown at a U.S. nuclear power plant, was released to theaters on March 16, 1979, and was a success. Then, twelve days later, a partial meltdown took place at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania. Of course, no one perished in that situation, but it got massive amounts of news coverage, remained in the forefront of America's mind, and contributed mightily to The China Syndrome being an even bigger hit — though producer/star Douglas noted that they actually scaled back its release somewhat because of this trope. According to the PBS documentary Meltdown at Three Mile Island, Mike Gray, The China Syndrome's screenwriter and a reporter at the scene during the TMI incident stated that reporters that weren't familiar with the inner workings of a nuclear power plant used the movie as sort of a briefing film.
      Mike Gray: At one of the major New York dailies the managing editor stood up on his desk and shouted "Who here has seen The China Syndrome?" Three guys raised their hands. He said, "You, you, you, you're goin' to Harrisburg."
    • Watching Falling Down becomes cringe-worthy thanks to the rampage in Chapel Hill, which resulted in three casualties. Douglas' character William Foster goes around Los Angeles on a shooting rampage, searching for his estranged wife and daughter. Harsher in Hindsight if Craig Stephen Hicks fits this description. Made worse when the shooter's ex-wife said that it was his favorite movie.
    • In Traffic, Douglas' character has a daughter who has problems with drugs. Then you learn that his real-life son Cameron has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling drugs.
      • And even more freaky once you watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and stumbles upon the following quote, that is less a Harsher in Hindsight moment and more a freakish case of an enforced actor moment.
        Winnie, he was my only son. I tried everything. I put him in the 12-step-deal... I never told you, I borrowed money from hardcore guys. Tens of thousands of dollars which I didn't have. I gave it to the best therapist I could find. I even tried to pay off one scumbag dealer not to sell to my boy! [..] Rudy was a victim, you know! Like, he had cancer. You cannot blame me, and you gotta stop blaming yourself!
  • Brittany Murphy:
    • One of the DVD promotional posters for the 2009 horror movie Deadline depicts lead actress laying dead in a bathtub with her hand over the edge. In light of Murphy's death (in which she was found lying dead in her shower), the posters were hastily recalled.
    • Girl, Interrupted is hard for star Winona Ryder to watch now, as Murphy's character commits suicide...in the bathroom.
    • Try listening to Tai describe her "near-death experience" in Clueless. Yikes.
    • Across The Hall, in which her character is unfaithful to her husband and ends up getting killed for it. As this was the last movie she made that was released before her actual demise, it can't be a fun watch.
  • After the death of his wife Natasha Richardson, some of Liam Neeson's films provide a few examples:
    • Love Actually: The character's storyline is just gut-wrenching in light of his wife's death.
    • Batman Begins: His character says, "I wasn't always here in the mountains. I once had a wife... my great love... and she, too, was...taken from me." The scene immediately follows the scene of him training Bruce on the snow-covered, icy mountain... and his wife died in a skiing accident.
    • Neeson and Richardson's last performance together are voiceovers (narrator and letter writer, respectively) in a documentary about Mount Everest.
    • Then there's his role in The Grey which was released after the incident. Many attribute his especially powerful and emotional performance in this film to the fact that he suffered the same thing in real life.
  • Roman Polański:
    • Repulsion, about a woman who has passionate fantasies of being raped every night, seems a lot darker after Polanksi committed statutory rape.
    • In The Fearless Vampire Killers, his character fails to save Sharon Tate's from a murderous cult. Tate would ultimately get murdered by Charles Manson's cult while Polanski was away. In fact, the pair met while filming this movie.
    • Rosemary's Baby: What felt like a film that dealt implicitly and thoughtfully with the issues of spousal rape and forced impregnation is a little harder to peg down once you're familiar with Polanski's history and know both about the sexual abuse accusations and his wife being murdered by Charles Manson's cult. The film also paints a startling picture of the destruction and perversion of the classic American dream family, which is eerie given that Tate was murdered while carrying his child only fourteen months later.
    • Chinatown: Noah Cross raped and impregnated his daughter and gives this line when confronted: "Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they're capable of anything." Polanski himself was charged for drugging and sexually assaulting an underage girl and fled to France to avoid going to jail for it.
  • Pete Postlethwaite:
    • In Inception, Postlethwaite has two scenes as Maurice Fischer, a tycoon character who spends his entire screen time in a hospital bed and eventually dies. Postlethwaite died six months after the movie's theater release, and almost a month after it was released on DVD and Blu-ray.
    • In The Town, Postlethwaite plays the villain and has a Karmic Death in which Ben Affleck shoots him in the nuts. Postlethwaite died from testicular cancer.
  • Oliver Reed was an alcoholic, and he drank himself to death on the set of Gladiator. This casts an uncomfortable reflection on some works in his filmography:
  • Tony Scott:
    • Scott dedicated The Hunger to his and Ridley’s brother Frank, who died of skin cancer in 1980. In a 2014 statement to Variety, Ridley Scott revealed that Tony was dying of cancer at the time of his suicide and was on medications. Which means Ridley has now lost both brothers to cancer.
    • In the DVD Commentary for Man on Fire, Scott discusses the scene in which Creasy makes a failed attempt to shoot himself. Scott remarks "the toughest thing anyone can do is attempt to take their own life." In 2012, Scott died of suicide by jumping from a bridge.
  • Kevin Spacey:
    • American Beauty is about Stepford Suburbia at its finest and centers on Spacey's character Lester being attracted to his teenage daughter's best friend. Also, his neighbor is an Armored Closet Gay who ultimately kills Lester for discovering his secret. In October 2017, actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations that Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance towards him when he was only 14, and other actors have followed suit. In short, Spacey himself had been a closeted gay man for most of his life on top of having an attraction to teenagers.
    • Watching Hurlyburly, in which Spacey's character lusts after a teenage girl, becomes uncomfortable in the wake of the allegations against Spacey. For added discomfort, the actress involved, Anna Paquin, has since alluded to a "grooming industry" within Hollywood pressuring young actresses like her to put up with people like Spacey.
    • In The Life of David Gale, Kevin Spacey portrays a man who is publicly disgraced and fired from his job as a college professor after a False Rape Accusation. He is later arrested and put on death row for allegedly raping and murdering a female friend who turns out to have orchestrated the entire thing with him as an anti-death penalty statement. After Spacey's own sexual misconduct scandals came to light, the film (which featured an extremely Anvilicious political message as is) is even more uncomfortable to watch.
  • Sylvester Stallone:
  • Most of the films directed by John Waters are full of Harsher in Hindsight because of the circumstances surrounding the Dreamlanders.
    • Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead) appeared in most films with the Dreamlanders, and these involve death.
      • The Diane Linkletter Story, where the character died in a drug-induced suicide. The actor portraying her father would later be dead of a drug overdose.
      • Polyester: Divine's character Francine Fishpaw attempted suicide by sticking her head in the oven. Lulu tried this too after Stiv Bators' character Bo-Bo Belsinger was shot dead by Francine's mom. Both the deaths of Divine and Bators make this film very gloomy.
  • Since Robin Williams's suicide due to depression in August 2014, material in several of his films have now become much tougher to watch:
    • Dead Poets Society: The scene of Mr. Keating breaking down in tears after he discovers that Neal killed himself has now just become a thousand times worse to watch. It also makes Mr. Keating's speeches about "carpe diem" and seizing the day before it's gone heartbreaking.
    • Patch Adams sees Williams playing a man attempting suicide. It also has him share several scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also died of unnatural causes earlier the same year.
    • In Fathers Day 1997, Williams' character is first seen sticking a gun in his mouth. This is played for laughs. Yeah, not going to seem funny in the future, not that anyone was watching it anyway. There's also this line:
      Dale Putley: For years, I've thought about killing myself. It's the only thing that kept me going.
    • Early on in Mrs. Doubtfire, there are scenes of Williams' character struggling with depression and denial. These became a lot tougher to watch after Williams was Driven to Suicide by a struggle with depression.
  • Natalie Wood:
    • In the 1952 film The Star, Wood's character is on a boat and is warned by her mom (Bette Davis) not to lean too far over or she'll fall in. Wood died in 1981 when she fell off her yacht (named Splendor) and drowned.
    • In the 1961 film Splendor in the Grass, Wood's character Deanie tries to drown herself, but she's rescued.

    Other 
  • In 2013, 12 Years a Slave was a film about a tragic true story that received critical acclaim and won some Academy Awards. At the end of April 2014, many people were once again reminded of the film, but not in a good way, after the shocking audio of NBA LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, who talked about not wanting black people to attend his games. More shocking, was him also talking about his own Clippers' players (who are 90 percent black) like they were slaves on his plantation, with statements that sounded similar to many of the lines slaver Epps used in the film to justify his harsh actions. And Sterling said all of this to a black woman who was his mistress he was angry with.
  • 22 Jump Street has Maya referring to Schmidt as "Maya Angelou." This can be a little uncomfortable, considering the real Maya Angelou died shortly before the film was released. The film also featured a joke about Tracy Morgan about two weeks after his car crash.
  • In January 2011, a documentation called 25 Years of Tscernobyl appeared. Fast forward two months, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident happened.
  • Christopher Reeve starred in a TV movie called Above Suspicion. His character faked having his legs disabled so he could murder his wife while standing so he would be "above suspicion." Just six days after the film's release, Reeve suffered a horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed below the neck for the rest of his life.
  • The Concorde that was used for Airport '79 (and is seen exploding in the end) was the same one that crashed on 25 July 2000 in Paris, taking 109 lives.
  • The critically reviled An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn features producer Harvey Weinstein playing a private detective. Decades later, Weinstein would become known as a serial sex predator who hired private detectives to spy on and intimidate his victims.
  • The events of Alien became this in 2017 with the passing of John Hurt, who played Kane, being the first of the actors to play the humans to die (he was preceded by the actor who played the alien, Bolaji Badejo). It got worse later the same year as events mirrored the movie even more when Harry Dean Stanton, like his character Brett, was the second to pass on.
  • The movie Allure, which has Evan Rachel Wood playing an abusive bisexual who seduces a teenage girl, becomes much more disturbing when Wood revealed she was sexually, physically, and psychologically abused to the extent where she had to have a brief stay in a trauma hospital. In all likelihood, Wood probably drew a lot from her real-life abuser to play the role. Also, she is herself bisexual.
  • The documentary American Movie has many instances of Mark Borchardt's friends and family members confessing that they don't believe Mark has it in him to actually finish the movie he's making. Two decades later, the movie is further away than ever from being finished, giving these moments an extra layer of tragedy and ultimately souring the documentary's attempt to be inspirational overall.
  • Arthur (1981): The original version of Arthur had shades of this trope for Dudley Moore himself as years later, reported incidents led people to believe that he had become a falling-down drunk. In reality, he was suffering from a neurological disorder that would eventually prove to be fatal.
  • Arthur (2011): The remake has Russell Brand playing a funny alcoholic (just like Dudley Moore in the original). Three and a half months later, his friend Amy Winehouse died trying to kick an alcohol addiction. Brand (who himself was a drug, alcohol, and sex addict back when he was only famous in the United Kingdom) is now trying to get Hollywood to help celebrities fight their addictions.
  • Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies mentions he has eaten a baby once and still behaves a tad cannibalistic. After a bout of character realignment, he reveals to Austin that he has changed his ways and went on the "Subway Diet" inspired by Jared Fogle. Cue Jared pleading guilty of receiving child pornography and sexual assault of minors...
  • In Back to the Future Part II, a copy of USA Today has this in the top right-hand corner: "Washington prepares for Queen Diana's visit." The film, of course, long predates not only Diana's very public divorce from Prince Charles but her catastrophic death in a Paris car crash. The newspaper in the film is made a little less painful to see now that 2015 has actually come to pass, with Queen Elizabeth II still on the throne as of October 21 - meaning that the headline would not have been possible on that date even if neither of those events had happened. Possibly even more depressing is Marty being forced to give up the job he loved because of his hands not working properly. Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's, which has forced him to pretty much retire from acting.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood has a triple whammy in its climax:
    • When Jason tries to get Bruce to kill the Joker, he points out that the "It Gets Easier" rational for why he doesn't. A double one as both Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) sees a version of Bruce who snapped and ultimately killed his world's Superman and Dark Nights: Metal sees the Joker-corrupted Batman Who Laughs.
    • Jason tells Bruce if their places has been reverse and it was Bruce who died, he'd kill the Joker. The Interaction Fiction movie and follow-up DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family can see Bruce die by the bomb instead of Jason if you choose to save him — and a lot of the paths that the viewer can choose in that route do see Jason kill the Joker for what happened to Bruce.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
    • The movie cast Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan as Thomas and Martha Wayne respectively. This became this trope because of The Walking Dead where the show kept Negan (played by Morgan) killing the husband of Cohan's character, Maggie. Additionally, it gets worse as there's an alternate scene where Negan kills Maggie.
    • The movie adapted The Death of Superman, including, as the title implies, Superman's "death". Zack Snyder now knows what Martha Kent is going through, as he stepped down from filming reshoots for Justice League (2017) after his daughter committed suicide.
  • A Beautiful Mind: John and Alicia Nash were both killed in a car accident in 2015, fourteen years after the film was made, while he was coming home from winning the Abel Prize, adding a rather sour grace note to the uplifting ending of his winning the Nobel Prize. It also makes the hallucinated car chase pretty hard to watch.
  • In the film Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Philip Seymour Hoffman's character Andy is a heroin addict. It's bad enough considering that Hoffman himself struggled with heroin addiction, even worse that he died from an overdose in 2014.
  • In Gore Vidal's 1964 political drama The Best Man a nameless American party is selecting its Presidential Nominee. The two frontrunners are the leaders of the progressive wing and of the conservative wing of the Party, two men who strongly despise each other. In the end, the former (played by Henry Fonda) throws the votes of his pledged delegate behind a dark horse candidate to deny the latter, a corrupt and ruthless politician (played by Cliff Robertson) the nomination. Then, he delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to his opponent, bluntly stating why he is unfit for the presidency. Who is based upon Cliff Robertson’s character? None other than Richard Nixon.
    William Russell: You have no sense of responsibility towards anyone or anything. And that is a tragedy in a man, and a disaster in a president.
  • This trope was experienced by the guy who played Michael Oher in the film The Blind Side. He was at risk of being evicted from his home at the time, and in the film, his character's grandmother has been evicted from her home.
  • The Blues Brothers:
    • The Illinois Nazis are introduced holding a rally because "they won their court case". While it's most likely a reference to SCOTUS this SCOTUS case that occurred a few years prior, it becomes more upsetting after the Supreme Court ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church's funeral pickets were protected under the First Amendment in 2011.
    • In the same scene, the brothers get past the rally and counter-protest by driving their car through the crowd. In August 2017, a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, VA, killing one and injuring at least 19 others.
  • Joaquin's relationship with his Disappeared Dad in The Book of Life, became this when Jorge revealed on Twitter that pretty much the entire rest of the town thought he had gone crazy in his obsession with fighting Chakal. All that bread set around his father's monument? All made by Joaquin himself. No one else wanted to put in the effort to honor him.
  • In The Bourne Ultimatum, Black Briar is exposed into the public. The person responsible is later under criminal investigation for it in The Bourne Legacy since after all, those were still-classified documents. Cut to 2013 when Edward Snowden, an NSA security agent, exposes PRISM and the entire NSA spying program. And the US wants him to be tried for treason.
  • Arthur Lowe made a cameo in Britannia Hospital as a patient who dies in bed. This was his final onscreen appearance before his death.
  • A Deleted Scene from Bruce Almighty that appears on the DVD has God confronting Bruce over the latter answering people's prayers with easy solutions to their problems — for example, engineering events so an old woman struggling with bills can take a tumble at a grocery store and successfully sue it. God explains that they could have achieved personal growth had they been left to their own devices; in the case of the old woman, she might have reconciled with an estranged sister had she been "reduced" to asking for help. God then shows Bruce an example of a person who triumphed without a Deus ex Machina: Lance Armstrong. This movie was made in 2003 when the cyclist was regarded as a hero for dealing with cancer as he won Tour de France after Tour de France, but in 2012 it was confirmed that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs all along. It's definitely for the best that this sequence didn't make it into the movie, although one who believes an Interventionist God would be better than a Non-interventionist God would say the opposite.
  • In the movie Busters Mal Heart, Jonah's wife and daughter are unexpectedly murdered while they were staying in a hotel he was working in. The scene becomes even harder to watch because one month later, the 2017 Manchester Attack had occurred where most of the victims consisted of young people (the youngest victim being only 8 years old) and parents.
  • In the 1995 film Canadian Bacon there is a deeply ironic scene where the National Security Advisor Smiley, (Kevin Pollack), General Panzer (Rip Torn), and the President (Alan Alda) are discussing the gutted military budget of the US since the end of the Cold War:
    Smiley of State: We were thinking, what could be a bigger threat than aliens invading from space?
    General Panzer: Ooh boy! Scare the shit out of everyone. Even me, sir!
    U.S. President: Jesus, is this the best you could come up with? What about, ya know, international terrorism?
    General Panzer: Well, sir, we're not going to re-open missile factories just to fight some creeps running around in exploding rental cars, are we, sir?
    • Which is more ironic is up to debate: the aforementioned rise of "international terrorism" as described in many films of the period, or that in the decades after the Cold War, United States military spending instead remained sky-high (the US accounts for two-fifths of all worldwide military spending, though with under-reporting particularly in regards to the Iraq War, it may be closer to half).
  • The Carry On film series eventually had a few moments of this.
    • Carry On Dick finished with Dick Turpin and his gang riding off into the sunset, managing to escape the police. Pretty cool, until you realise that this was the last film that series regular Sid James ever did before his death two years after, after taking his hiatus from the series in order to do other projects. He quite literally rode off into the sunset out of the series.
    • Some of Charles Hawtrey's characters became alcoholics as the series progressed into the '70s, and it was mostly Played for Laughs. Then it turns out that they were written like this on purpose because Hawtrey had become a heavy drinker due to his depression after his mother's death and his severe loneliness, and the production team allowed him to feed into his problem in order to save arguments. He was later fired for upsetting some of the actors in his drunken state.
    • Hattie Jacques' characters sometimes received snide comments about being a large woman, and later died in 1980 due to complications with her health and her struggles to lose weight.
  • Cars isn't immune-when Lightning McQueen calls Doc Hudson out for not revealing himself as Hudson Hornet, he responds by showing that the racing league gave up on him after a crash. Doc muses, "I had a lot left in me, I just never got a chance to show it." His voice actor, Paul Newman died in 2008, two years after the film's release. Not to mention the film's co-director and Pixar story-artist Joe Ranft (who voiced Red the Firetruck), was killed in a car wreck before completion of the film. Ranft never saw the finished product. The credits show a few Pixar characters Ranft voiced in honor of him (Heimlich, Wheezy, etc. )
  • The Children's Hour is a 1961 adaptation of a 1930s play that's famous for its Gayngst-Induced Suicide ending. The Setting Update has an element of this. Martha killed herself a few years shy of the LGBT rights movement becoming mainstream.
  • In the 2000 movie Chocolat, there's a plot thread involving Peter Stormare's character abusing his wife, played by Lena Olin. About a decade later, one of the movie's leads, Johnny Depp, and his wife, Amber Heard, each alleged that the other abused them.
  • The end of the "real world" prologue in Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away became a lot sadder after the death of a performer in the Cirque show KA from a fall a few months after the film's release: The acrobat the protagonist has a crush on takes a fall, leading to them both getting pulled into the fantasy world. Making matters worse, the KA excerpts that appear in the film include the climactic "Battlefield" sequence, which was where the real-life disaster occurred.
  • In the Bruceploitation film The Clones of Bruce Lee, one of the Bruce clones is investigating a director who uses his work to cover his gold smuggling. The director gets suspicious and eventually decides to eliminate Bruce by staging a weapons malfunction during filming... which is exactly the way Bruce's son Brandon died while filming The Crow. Not only that, but the villains in the finished version of Game of Death used the exact same trick to try and kill Billy Lo. Eek.
  • In Pixar's 2017 film, Coco, a major plot point is the main character, Miguel, discovering that his favorite singer is in actuality a murderous fraud who fatally poisoned his songwriter (who turns out to be Miguel's own great-great-grandfather) to claim sole ownership of their music. The film was coincidentally released as a flurry of sexual harassment scandals that rocked the American film industry, resulting in many real-life Broken Pedestals - among those implicated even being John Lasseter, one of Pixar's own bigshots.
  • Contagion first got some disturbing resonance with the Ebola epidemic in 2014. And then the COVID-19 pandemic got even closer to what the movie was depicting, down to featuring a disease that first came from Asia, transmitted by a bat-originated virus, that leads to government-enforced social distancing. It says something that the movie became highly rented/downloaded as COVID-19 started to spread.
  • The Crow, during the making of which Brandon Lee died from an accidental gun discharge. It's really hard to watch behind-the-scenes interviews in which he's talking so reflexively about his character coming back from the dead, complete with lines like how "we should live life to the fullest because it could end at any moment." Lee's character murdered just before getting married to his fiancée. Lee himself was meant to get married the week after shooting on The Crow wrapped.
  • King Vidor's silent classic The Crowd involves a man whose life descends into joblessness and alcoholism, climaxing in his near-suicide. The lead actor in the film, James Murray, fell into joblessness and alcoholism himself during the Depression, and in 1936 died after falling from a pier into New York's Hudson River and drowning.
  • In 1993, director Juzo Itami made the film Daibyonin, about a director who finds out that he is dying of cancer. Four years later, Itami would pass away. Also in the film, the main character has a failed suicide attempt. Itami's death was ruled a suicide (though some have claimed that his death was the result of a mob hit, as Itami was a target of the Yakuza).
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
  • The Day After Tomorrow:
    • In an eerie real-life coincidence to the film, a reporter covering tornadoes in LA was hit and killed by a flying billboard. A year later, Anderson Cooper was almost decapitated by a flying sign while covering Hurricane Dennis.
    • Another eerie real-life coincidence was that a giant ice shelf broke off of Antarctica that's three times the size of Manhattan. Suddenly, "It's the size of Rhode Island!" seems less silly.
    • And the film's second act; consisting of New York City being flooded by tidal waves has become rather chilling with Hurricane Sandy rolling through the area and causing floods for real.
  • The film Daylight which revolves around people being trapped in the Holland Tunnel by a flood, became a lot more uncomfortable to watch when Hurricane Sandy caused rampant flooding in many places in New York and New Jersey, including the Holland Tunnel.
  • The DC Animated Movie Universe has a truckload of this thanks to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. The extend of The Flash's Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox's Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! extends past the Flashpoint world as it's revealed that his altering of time was what drew Darkseid's attention to Earth. Justice League: War ending with the soon-to-be League fending off Darkseid and Reign of the Supermen's stinger featuring the League planning to take out Darkseid? All for Nothing: The initial attack on Apokolips at the start of AW ended with much of the League dead or captured and Earth conquered — and taking it back is so much of a Pyrrhic Victory that the Flash has to do a Cosmic Retcon again just to give the heroes a chance to fix it.
  • In Demolition Man:
    • While looking up the parole hearings, the name listed before Simon Phoenix is "Peterson, Scott." Despite the fact that there would be a murderer with that name years later, the writers maintain that it was a complete coincidence — and it was. Demolition Man was released in 1993. Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in 2005.
    • A later scene has Phoenix looking up the names of the cryoprison inmates. He comes across Jeffrey Dahmer's name and shouts "Jeffrey Dahmer? I LOVE that guy!". Dahmer was beaten to death in prison the year after the movie was released, prompting some broadcasts of the movie to cut the line.
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story has a scene with Lance Armstrong in a cameo giving an inspirational boost to the main character about never giving up. In 2012 it was confirmed that Armstrong had been using performance-enhancing drugs all along.
  • In Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Bruce Lee is depicted battling his family demon to protect his son Brandon. Brandon Lee would die from an accidental gun discharge during the making of The Crow a few months prior to this film's release. Making this worse is the fact that Brandon turned down the opportunity to play his father, opting to do The Crow instead.
  • Akira Kurosawa's 1990 film Dreams has one segment where a nuclear power plant near Mount Fuji explodes, causing the citizens of Japan to flee. The film then cuts to a scene with two men, a woman, and her two children alone near the sea. The older man explains to the others that everyone else drowned themselves in the ocean. This is very harsh in hindsight after a tsunami in 2011 destroyed some nuclear power plants.
  • Evil Toons starts with David Carradine's character hanging himself.
  • The Call to Arms trailer for the first Expendables movie reminds you not to watch it off your torrents but "in a fucking theater where violence belongs". However, the third movie was leaked online three weeks prior to release, with several thousand people torrenting it. That line is also fairly wince-inducing in light of the mass shooting that took place in a cinema right around the film's release.
  • Face/Off:
    • The movie starts with Archer's son Michael dying in his arms after being shot by Castor Troy. Then there's the fate of John Travolta's son Jett, who died on January 2, 2009.
    • Actual face transplants, now that they're being done, have a loooong way to go before their recipients can pass for ordinary. Seeing Archer and Castor both come out of their transplants with great looks and immediate control of their facial expressions is bound to be frustrating for real graft recipients.
    • A pre-That '70s Show Danny Masterson plays a guy who attempted to rape Jamie. Masterson was fired from The Ranch after allegations that he had actually raped several women.
  • The entire premise of The Fast and the Furious series becomes this after Paul Walker's death in November 2013 from a car accident. What is more heart-wrenching is that someone who plays a Badass Driver was killed in a car accident in which he was not the driver (his friend drove the car).
  • In Finding Nemo Dory would happily sing to herself just keep swimming then in Finding Dory it's revealed as a kid she came up with it while lost, alone and having forgotten her parents.
  • Alice Hardy being stalked by serial killers in the first Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 is especially hard to watch when you know that in real life the actress Adrienne King had a traumatic experience with a stalker after the first film and retired from acting for 20 years as a result (she only agreed to come back for part 2 on the condition that her character was killed off).
  • Depending on your point of view, this trope or Hilarious in Hindsight will apply: Frozen came out in November 2013 and Elsa accidentally sets an eternal winter storm on Arandelle with horrible conditions. Within weeks of the movie's release, a deep freeze hit many parts of the United States, resulting in subzero temperatures in an area from the Rocky Mountains all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean, with massive blizzards hitting the east coast. A lot of fans jokingly blamed the extraordinarily cold temperatures on Elsa's powers. That, or telling Mother Nature that when Elsa said "the cold never bothered me anyway," it wasn't supposed to be taken as a challenge. Never mind that it was mostly the United States and eastern Canada where 2014's winter was exceptionally cold, whereas it was nothing out of the ordinary in Elsa's native Norway.
  • The 2005 remake of Fun with Dick and Jane satirized the economic strife under then-President George W. Bush. But, it becomes more uncomfortable after 2008, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and plunged the economy into recession, causing high unemployment and putting more people into the same sort of financial troubles Dick and Jane go through.
  • The first trailer for Gangster Squad was released on May 9, 2012, and it featured characters shooting through a screen at moviegoers in a theater. After the Aurora, Colorado shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, the trailer was pulled and the film was reshot to lose this sequence, which delayed its planned fall release to the winter of 2013.
  • The scene in God Bless America where Frank shoots people at a movie theater for annoying him became even more disturbing after the Aurora multiplex shooting..
  • The Vatican plot of The Godfather Part III becomes this, now that we know all the shady business deals involving the Papacy depicted in the movie doesn't even come close to the horrible things the Catholic Church has covered up in real life. Or the numerous scandals involving the Vatican Bank since then.
  • The scene towards the end of Gods and Monsters where Clay Boone (Brendan Fraser) is sexually assaulted by James Whale (Ian McKellen) is even darker after Fraser admitted in real life being sexually assaulted by the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which led to the weakening of his career.
  • In the earliest stages of Godzilla (2014), Toho required Gareth Edwards to have the film take place mainly in Japan. Edwards says that the Fukushima plant leak, which happened after this stipulation was given, made it where the team had to be extra careful in being respectful to the victims of that leak. And considering the movie opens with a nuclear plant accident, it's impressive how Edwards did it in a way that doesn't hit too close.
  • The 1991 film Grand Canyon includes a scene where a white driver, whose car has broken down in the streets of Los Angeles, is "rescued" from a gang of young black teenagers by a black tow-truck driver. Many a journalist drew parallels when the Los Angeles Riots began than a year later with the Reginald Denny Incident. White truck driver (Reginald Denny) was driven to safety by an unarmed black civilian (Bobby Green Jr - himself a truck driver), after being brutally beaten by a group of young black men at the corner of Florence and Normandy.
  • The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin's 1940 comedy about Adolf Hitler... before the atrocities of the Holocaust were made public. Chaplin reportedly later said that if he had known about the death camps, he would not have made the movie. The film got hit hard with this again several years later when Chaplin was exiled from the United States for alleged ties to Communism and years of anti-Chaplin hysteria followed within the country. One of the theories about why this happened is that he was accused of Communist sympathies because he made this movie at a time when the United States wasn't formally at war with Germany yet and one of the countries that was at war with Germany, well...
  • After Richard Griffiths died of heart problems in 2013, suddenly Uncle Vernon's Hair-Trigger Temper in relation to anything having to do with magic in Harry Potter (both the books and the movies) becomes a major health hazard. It makes his death in The History Boys that much more uncomfortable too.
  • Yukio Mishima's final film as an actor, Harakiri, sees his character driven to seppuku; a year later, Mishima would go out the same way after his failed coup attempt.
  • In Help!, there's a scene in which a man points a gun at John Lennon and pulls the trigger, only to have the gun jam. The scene began to look disturbing after Lennon was shot dead in 1980.
  • Hereafter features the Boxing Day tsunami wiping out everything, and on the 11th of March 2011, an 8.9 earthquake triggered a tsunami that wiped out the town of Sendai in Japan. The movie's producers eventually decided to donate the film's box office money to tsunami relief.
  • Here Comes the Navy is a silly comedy in which James Cagney joins the U.S. Navy in order to piss off a rival of his who happens to be a chief, only to fall in love with his rival's sister. Much of it was filmed aboard the USS Arizona, which was blown up and sunk by a Japanese bomb seven years later, killing over 1100 sailors.
  • The New Zealand-made 2010 film The Holy Roller was filmed on-location in Christchurch, just before the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes ravaged the city. By accident it depicts a time capsule of what the city looked like before the quakes.
  • In The Hour of the Pig, Sophie Dix provides a lot of fanservice playing Maria, who's a maid/prostitute by both appearing completely naked and having sex with the main character. This becomes very uncomfortable when you learn that in 2017, Dix stated Harvey Weinstein (a producer) had tried to rape her and then masturbated in front of her during filming, leaving her traumatized (she's just one of his many accusers). One wonders if he had some influence over her role... Colin Firth, who had played the main character, said he knew of this and was ashamed for not doing anything. This casts a pallor, to put it mildly, over her happy-go-lucky character's jumping into bed with him.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup just barely manages to stop Toothless from murdering his father Stoick the Vast. Come the sequel, and Stoick saves his son from a mind-controlled Toothless at the cost of his own life. Of course, this is an example of the trope being deliberately invoked since the story was planned.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
    • Judge Claude Frollo's Villain Song "Hellfire" sounds eerily similar to rhetoric used by misogynistic mass shooter Elliot Rodger.
    • The fact that Quasimodo's mother dies is bad enough, but Mary Kay Bergman's death three years later made it worse. It doesn't help that she essentially died by head wound (she shot herself).
    • Then the cathedral itself was set aflame in April 2019, and the ending scene where Notre Dame is shown in flames suddenly becomes a reality. It didn't help that Frollo's song eerily predicted this incident.
  • In The Hunger, David Bowie plays an ageless vampire who suddenly starts deteriorating over the course of a few days. Bowie himself kept his terminal cancer a secret and was still appearing in public in seemingly good health mere days before his sudden death.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1:
      • The film came out around the time when a grand jury chose not to indict the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot Michael Brown. Some of the resulting protests turned violent and Katniss' line "If we burn, you burn with us" has shown up in graffiti and in Tweets supporting the riots. The fact that another police death — that of Staten Island resident Eric Garner — quickly received notoriety about a week later only made things worse.
      • Protesters in Thailand have been arrested for using the Three-Finger salute seen in the films, and some showings there have reportedly been cancelled or banned.
    • The penultimate sequence of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 sees the protagonists storm the Capitol, a heavily populated metropolitan area. Destruction ensues, with heavy casualties all around, including civilians. This is all reminiscent of the terrorist attacks in Paris that occurred just two weeks prior to the film's premier. As such, red carpet interviews were cancelled in light of the tragedy. Not to mention, those scenes in question were filmed in Paris.
  • The final scene of If, a surrealist counterculture comedy from 1968, centers on the protagonist and his fellow misfits getting revenge on their hated school by going on a shooting spree. At the time of its release, this scene was intended to be the surreal culmination of the protagonist's revolutionary ideals. With Columbine and Virginia Tech making the news, it comes off as a youth in trouble. It doesn't help that the protagonist is played by Malcolm McDowell (Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange, which also had teenagers committing horrific crimes, such as rape and murder).
  • A lot of In the Loop, focusing as it does on the political dishonesty that was the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Especially when combined with the film's penchant for Cringe Comedy. There's nothing wrong with dark satire, but a particularly striking example from the deleted scenes is Toby asking for directions in Washington, D.C. from a confused young boy, who proves to be of no help. Toby tells him, "Don't come crying to me when you get called up because I didn't stop this shit!" Toby is a Dirty Coward and there's nothing heroic about the character or the line. It just makes you wince. To be fair that was the intention- In The Loop is a comedy but it's also a very angry film, based on a Real Life bunch of Dirty Cowards and written by a team of British writers who were ashamed of their own government's involvement in the war.
  • The 1991 film Inner Sanctum begins with Valerie Wildman's character attempting suicide by drug overdose. Five years later, co-star Margeaux Hemmingway would successfully commit suicide by drug overdose.
  • In both It (2017) and It: Chapter Two, there is a heavy emphasis placed on how Mike's parents screamed for help and struggled to escape during the house fire that killed them. This becomes harder to watch given that Chapter Two opened just days after a horrific and well-publicized fire on a dive boat that claimed the lives of 34 people trapped aboard.
  • Any scene in the Jackass movies with Ryan Dunn in a vehicle, mostly because he usually ends up falling out of it. It's not so funny anymore following his death.
  • The Jack Reacher movie opened with The Dragon sniping five innocent people. With the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut going by, the movie was forced to cancel its red carpet premiere.
  • In Jingle All the Way, a crowd gathers in front of a toy store, waiting for it to open. The moment it does, everyone bursts in, trampling the employee guarding the door. Then on Black Friday 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was killed in a similar incident.
  • In Joe, Gary Poulter portrays Wade, a homeless alcoholic and abusive father. To begin with, Poulter was chosen for the part because he was homeless and suffering from alcoholism in Real Life, but the fact that he was found dead in a shallow body of water months after the film was finished makes his performance difficult to watch... Especially a scene where his character commits suicide by jumping off a bridge.
  • In The Karate Kid (1984) film, Tommy cheered for Johnny to put Daniel in a body bag. Fast forward to Season 2 of Cobra Kai, where Johnny and his old buddies go on One Last Field Trip, which ends with Tommy dead in the morning and carried out in a body bag. It would be Rob Garrison's final appearance, as he died in September 2019 at the age of 59.
    • At the end of the movie, Johnny gave Daniel the trophy as a Graceful Loser. Flash-forward to Cobra Kai where it's revealed that Johnny and Daniel still hate each other to this very day. A hatred that led to Miguel, Johnny's best student and closest confident, to be comatose, his son to go to jail for being responsible to Miguel's coma and Daniel's daughter to be injured as a result of their ongoing grudge.
  • The Killer That Stalked New York: Dr. Wood's Imagine Spot of New York City as a Ghost Town (the result of failing to contain the smallpox outbreak) is eerily prescient of what the streets of New York City would look like during the 2020 lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • The direct-to-video film The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists is about Grandpa Longneck having a terminal illness and the children going off to find a cure. Kenneth Mars would die of prostate cancer in 2011.
  • The 2007 documentary The King of Kong has hit this trope as of 2018 with the revelations that Twin Galaxies was even more corrupt than the film implied, including the VHS tape that Billy Mitchell submitted containing a new record having since been proven to have been done on an emulator in defiance of the rules, and the organization letting a different record holder, Todd Rogers, get away with submitting physically impossible record times to the leaderboards for decades, dating back at least to 1982, which is ironic considering the documentary mentions the famous story of Mitchell having exposed Stephen Sanders’ fake and impossible Donkey Kong high score by setting his own record that same year.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service:
  • Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural starred Cheryl Smith as an adolescent with an absent father coming to terms with her budding sexuality, making the transformation from being the target of predatory attention to herself becoming an aggressor. In Real Life, Smith's father had abandoned the family long before, and she was reputed to have spent part of her teenage years working in Sunset Strip massage parlors.
  • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, a high wall is built along the beach near Prince Eric's castle, a security measure meant to keep Melody from going into the sea after Morgana tried to kill her when she was a baby. In 2016, Walt Disney World built stone a wall along Seven Seas Lagoon after an alligator killed a 2-year-old child in it.
  • In The Living Daylights, while leaving Bratislava, James Bond says to Saunders "Go ahead. Tell M what you want. If he fires me, I'll thank him for it." In Licence to Kill, Bond deserts MI6 to avenge Felix Leiter and his wife. Then, in real life, Licence To Kill underperformed in theaters, leading the franchise into a six-year Development Hell which saw Timothy Dalton leaving the series.
  • The Longest Ride features a scene where Britt Robertson's character is about to start a new job only to be interrupted by her boyfriend being injured in an accident. Less than a year after the film's release, Robertson had just signed onto a new role when her boyfriend Dylan O'Brien was injured during a filming accident on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
  • In one of the Ma and Pa Kettle films, there's a scene where Pa, desperate for some cash, sees a man get hit by a car and then is compensated for it and decides to allow himself to get hit by a car. He walks across the street with his eyes closed and as luck would have it doesn't get hit, but causes some wrecks. This scene becomes a lot less funny when you realize the actor who played Pa, Percy Kilbride, was killed from a head injury he sustained when he was hit by a car.
  • Magnum Force: There is a scene where a pimp kills one of his prostitutes in the back of a cab by forcing a bottle of Drano (drain cleaner) down her throat. Two years later, the Hi-Fi murders happened in Ogden, Utah, when a group of armed robbers robbed an electronics store, force-fed their hostages Drano, then shot them. It's made even worse as the armed robbers actually chose to use Drano because of that very scene. The armed robbers actually thought drinking Drano would instantly kill the victim. They shot their victims only after discovering this wasn't true.
  • In a scene in the film Maid in Manhattan, the title character and her coworker enter a suite to clean. The guest walks into the room completely naked and feigns surprise that they're there (the maids had previously been warned that this man likes to expose himself). The ladies laugh it off and leave, clearly unimpressed by what they've seen. The IMF chief's alleged attack on a hotel maid apparently started out almost exactly as this scene in the film. Furthermore, a follow-up article in the New York Times indicated that hotel maids frequently have to deal with this sort of behavior.
  • Bollywood film Main Hoon Na is a double offender: first, it shows a group of terrorists shooting up an Indian television studio. Later in the film, the terrorists take the students and faculty of a school hostage in a gymnasium rigged with bombs. The Beslan School Siege in Chechnya would happen a few months after the film was released, and the terrorist attacks on Mumbai would happen a few years later.
  • The movie Marooned (likely known better to MST3K viewers as Space Travelers), was about an Apollo mission going awry after its engines failed. The film was released four months after the Apollo 11 moon landing. Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell reported that he had taken his wife, Marilyn, to see Marooned. This added to her worries in the weeks leading up to the launch of the Apollo 13, and we all know how that turned out.
  • Towards the end of Men in Black, when Agent Kay gives Jay his neuralizer to wipe out his memories so he can retire, he tells him "I've just been down the gullet of an interstellar cockroach. That's one of a hundred memories I don't want.". This becomes even more poignant in Men in Black 3, in which Kay failed to save Jay's father in 1968, and needed to neutralize the memories of the young Jay afterward.
  • The scene in Les Misérables where young Gavroche gets shot at point-blank range is sad to begin with but may be uncomfortable to watch in the 2012 movie adaptation if you know that it was released merely 11 days after Adam Lanza killed twenty children, six adults, and himself in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
  • The events of Monsters University make Randall's antagonism towards the protagonists, especially Mike, in Monsters, Inc. a whole lot darker. Not only did they used to be friends, or at least friendly roommates, Mike's advice to Randall to use his invisibility is what helped him become such a good scarer in the first place. It also works two ways - for months, if not years, he'd been beaten out as Scare Leader by a college dropout!
  • Jerry Nelson's performance as the Ghost of Christmas Present (who rapidly ages, then fades away into thin air as Christmas ends) in The Muppet Christmas Carol is more than a bit unsettling when you compare it to Nelson's actual decline in health, and eventual death in 2012. The same goes for his character Robin the Frog's frequent cough as the sickly Tiny Tim — Nelson died of emphysema.
  • The Muppets is about Kermit joining a trio of outsiders in reuniting the Muppets, punctuated by scenes like "Pictures in My Head," a nostalgic song about the good times he had putting on shows with his friends. That, along with Kermit's ending speech about how no matter what happens, the Muppets will stay together and be true to themselves, becomes incredibly hard to watch after Kermit's puppeteer Steve Whitmire was fired by The Muppets Studio. One of the stated reasons? Not trusting the newcomers who wanted to work with the franchise.
  • Muppets Most Wanted: Constantine, an evil Russian frog, frames Kermit for a crime he committed and takes his place, sending him to prison. Matt Vogel, Constantine's performer, is also the new puppeteer for Kermit.
  • The 1997 TV movie Murder Live! concerns a man taking a talk show hostage because the hosts humiliated his daughter on the air and caused her to commit suicide. It becomes harder to watch these days with the rise of social media and stories of people killing themselves over embarrassing incidents taped and gone public.
  • At the end of The Notebook, Noah suffers a fatal heart attack while holding hands with Allie. Ten years and one month after the film's release, his actor James Garner would also succumb to a heart attack.
  • O Lucky Man! has a segment where Mick Travis fails to prevent a London housewife played by Rachel Roberts from killing herself. In 1980, Rachel Roberts really did commit suicide.
  • In 1980, Mary Tyler Moore starred in Ordinary People as a mother coming to terms with the accidental death of her son. A month after the film's release, Moore's only child Richie died after he accidentally shot himself.
  • The Philadelphia Story: Mike's Anguished Declaration of Love to Tracy, in which she says she's lit from within by "hearth fires and holocausts." The word "holocaust" has become a much more loaded term since 1940.
  • Prisoners: The main suspect in the mass child murder case is named Alex Jones. The parents of victims torture him. Almost at the same time the film came out, Alex Jones became infamous for his baseless assertions that an actual mass child murder case was fictional. The parents of the victims successfully sued him.
  • "Pimpernel" Smith, a 1941 updating of The Scarlet Pimpernel, ends soberly, with its Adventurer Archaeologist hero facing execution by the Nazis for helping refugees to escape. From a shadow, Leslie Howard delivers the final speech as Smith, before vanishing into the darkness, baffling his captors forever:
    General von Graum: Why do I talk to you? You are a dead man.
    Smith: May a dead man say a few words to you for your enlightenment? You will never rule the world because you are doomed. All of you who have demoralized and corrupted a nation are doomed. Tonight you will take the first step along a dark road from which there is no turning back. You will have to go on and on, from one madness to another, leaving behind you a wilderness of misery and hatred. And still, you will have to go on, because you will find no horizon, and see no dawn, until at last you are lost and destroyed. You are doomed, captain of murderers. And one day, sooner or later, you will remember my words...
    • Two years later, Leslie Howard was shot down over neutral waters by the Nazis. On the flip side of this trope, the Nazis did lose in real life two years after that.
    • Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from concentration camps, cited the film as one of his inspirations - making the speech a rare simultaneous crossing of this trope and Moment of Awesome. According to declassified Russian documents, Raoul Wallenberg had been detained by NKVD and then killed on Stalin's (or possibly Beria's) orders because he knew about atrocities committed by USSR during the war.
  • Woody Allen's film Radio Days includes a scene involving a little girl falling down a well, and the nationwide media sensation it causes. The film was released in January 1987; in October of that year, 18-month-old Jessica McClure fell down a well in Texas, causing - yes - a nationwide media sensation. Only the fact that McClure was successfully rescued keeps this from being even Harsher than it is. (In Allen's film, the little girl dies before rescuers can reach her...which was also the case with three-year-old Kathy Fiscus, whose own 1949 well accident was the basis for the movie incident.)
  • Bobby Beausoleil plays a rapist and murderer in The Ramrodder. A member of the Manson Family, he was later convicted of murder and is serving life without parole in the California penal system.
  • In The Revengers' Comedies, Bruce Tick dies of an asthma attack, four years later in 2001 Charlotte Coleman, who played Norma, died of an asthma attack.
  • RoboCop:
    • The original RoboCop was described by Stephen Colbert in 2013 as turning out to be more optimistic than the real Detroit, which at that point had become the largest city in America to file for bankruptcy. A New York Post article also points out that Detroit has become a bankrupt, crime-ridden place like the one shown in the franchise. It further points out that a Noodle Incident in one of the news reports in the second film mentions a nuclear meltdown that destroyed an entire landscape and compares it to the Fukushima Daiichi plant meltdown.
    • Also from the second movie, Alex Murphy is compared to the failed attempts to recreate him for the RoboCop 2 project, with Faxx saying that part of the reason he's still alive is due to his family values and being a devout Irish Catholic. Come RoboCop Versus The Terminator, this and the scene of Cain's men stripping Murphy become this as upon discovering that the technology that made him RoboCop will also result in Skynet becoming self-aware and Judgment Day happening, Murphy opted to kill himself to prevent it, only for two Terminators to be sent back to stop him, and stripping Murphy down to just his head and keeping him alive to force Judgment Day to happen.
    • Another from RoboCop 2 is Hob and Angie argue to the mayor as part of helping the mayor paid back the debt owed to OCP that turning a blind eye to them would result is a cheaper and safer version of Nuke sounds similar to arguments made to decriminalize certain drugs like Marijuana.
  • In the 1989 movie Roger & Me, Michael Moore's first film, Michael discusses the possibility of all the jobs in Flint being lost to prevent General Motors from going bankrupt with a GM spokesman. 20 years later, GM did go bankrupt, and by then almost all the jobs in Flint were gone. This was all explored in Michael Moore's later movie, Capitalism: A Love Story.
  • There's two of these moments in one scene in the 2001 dark comedy The Royal Tenenbaums where Ritchie Tenenbaum attempts suicide by slitting his wrists with razor blades. The character of Ritchie is played by Luke Wilson, whose brother Owen (who not only plays Eli Cash in the movie but also co-wrote the film) attempted to kill himself in late 2007 in a similar manner. Furthermore, this scene is soundtracked by "Needle in the Hay", a 1995 song by alternative folk musician Elliott Smith. Two years after the film was released, Smith succeeded in killing himself (although with a knife, not with a razor blade).
  • Victor Salva, director of the Monster Clown film Clownhouse, was later convicted of having molested the film's underage male star. After serving prison time, Salva went on to direct Jeepers Creepers, which featured a monster who appears to target teenage boys. The monster is at one point seen identifying a potential victim by rifling through his laundry and sniffing his underwear.
  • The opening of Scream 2 features two people getting murdered in front of a movie audience with the audience thinking it's All Part of the Show. When the first shots were fired in the real-life 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting at a showing for The Dark Knight Rises, the audience thought that was supposed to be happening in the film.
  • The Formula One documentary film Senna plays out as a huge collection of mentions of crashes, Senna being in a crash, Senna talking about crashes and safety issues within Formula One (Senna's death being the major turning point for safety within Formula One). There are very few scenes without a nod to the fact he died on the racetrack. One of the very first scenes is an interview with his family when he began racing saying how they prayed to God their son would never get injured on the racetrack...
  • In Shrek Donkey mentioned that he was sold for some magic beans because he was so annoying. In Puss in Boots, a prequel to Shrek, we see Puss stealing those same magic beans from Jack and Jill... and they were ''not'' nice people.
  • Groucho Marx's scene in the 1968 film Skidoo, where he says "it stinks getting old" and how he wants to be young again becomes hard to watch when you find out that he spent the last 5 years (1972 - 1977) of his life going in and out of hospitals in constant pain.
  • Simon Scudamore, the actor who portrayed the mentally unstable and heavily bullied Marty in Slaughter High, committed suicide shortly after the film was released.
  • SpaceCamp, a family adventure film about a bunch of kids who accidentally take off in a space shuttle, was notoriously hard to promote - because the movie was released a mere five months after the Challenger shuttle disaster. Film critic Roger Ebert stated in his review that "Our thoughts about the Space Shuttle will never be the same again, and our memories are so painful that SpaceCamp is doomed even before it begins." Too true. And it gets worse—one of the Blue Team's training simulations before the actual mission ends with them dying when their orbiter burns up on re-entry. Think about that for a minute...
  • Zigzagged with the Spawn movie given the source material's known history of retcons. The film depicts a post-resurrection Al as close with his former wife Wanda's daughter Cyan and it's implied that Cyan's his daughter. The comics would later reveal that this wasn't the case — with the zigzagging being that for a period of time in the lead-up to Al's Comic Book Death it was stated that Al abused Wanda, caused her to miscarry their child, and lied to himself about it, causing him to be Driven to Suicide — then during his titular Resurrection, it was retconned that the abuse itself was a lie to manipulate Al.
  • Spider-Man 3:
  • The Russian film Stalker became rather famous because in the movie, an incident creates an enclosed Zone which is forbidden for most humans to enter. (And entering the zone has a reputation of being lethally dangerous) Years later, the Chernobyl Accident created a similar Zone and some terms of the movie were even directly used for some aspects of this zone. For example, the illegal entering of this zone is sometimes called "Chernobyl Stalking" as a reference to this movie. The the video game of the same name is also partly inspired by the similarities between this movie and the real-world incident. There are even rumors that parts of the movie were filmed in places that became the real zone of alienation and that one scene of the movie even shows the real Chernobyl Nuclear plant. (Although this is proven wrong.)
  • Stand by Me, the death of River Phoenix in Real Life in contrast with that of his character is hard to miss, especially when he disappears when walking away. It's also notable that he was initially cast in Brad Pitt's role in A River Runs Through It, which is doubly startling considering his first name is in the title.
  • Star Trek:
  • Star Wars:
  • Keep in mind when watching Street Fighter that in the final scene, Jean-Claude Van Damme is beating the crap out of somebody who is dying of cancer. It gets even more uncomfortable when it turns out that Bison has a life support system (CPR, defibrillator, adrenaline injection) built into his uniform, which kicks in after Guile defeats him the first time.
  • In Superman: The Movie, Jonathan Kent dies of a heart attack while following Clark to his barn. Twenty-eight years after the film's release, Jonathan's actor, Glenn Ford, would also die of a heart attack.
  • In Superman Returns; a penultimate scene has Perry White examining a Daily Planet headline reading "Superman is Dead" after stopping Lex's plans; with him saying to Richard White "always be prepared". While already a sad scene on its own, it's heartbreaking after the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where Superman really does die at the hands of Lex Luthor-created Doomsday in a Heroic Sacrifice to stop him from destroying Gotham, with this continuity's Perry printing a near-identical headline in Clark's honor announcing his funeral.
  • Mike Myers' 2013 documentary Supermensch about power talent agent Shep Gordon has a few parts that became uncomfortable after sex scandals started sweeping Hollywood in 2017. The film features footage of Bill Cosby, Mario Batali, and Harvey Weinstein, all of whom were later accused of sexual misconduct. The film also uncritically acknowledges and glorifies Gordon's history of brief affairs with young, beautiful women, at least some of whom were up-and-coming entertainers. This type of conduct has landed other celebrities in hot water for taking advantage of women from a position of power over their careers. The film also shows a photo of a young Gorgon wearing a shirt reading, "No Head, No Backstage Pass," further suggesting that Gordon misused his power for sexual gratification.
  • The ending of the movie Targets is a psychopath shooting people at a drive-in theater. A scene that became even more disturbing after the Aurora multiplex shooting.
  • Taxi Driver is about a man who goes insane, and at one point looks as if he is going to shoot a U.S. Senator. After the film's release John Hinckley Jr., an actual crazy man, saw the film over and over again, developing an obsession with actress Jodie Foster (the film was her breakout role). He then attempted (but failed) to kill U.S. President Ronald Reagan, all while apparently imitating a scene from the movie in the hopes of somehow impressing the actress.
  • Terminator:
    • At the beginning of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, John Connor is living "off the grid" as a homeless drifter, breaks into a veterinary practice to steal painkillers for an injury and is found by the owner who knew him as a kid and claims he "just...disappeared". Fast forward to 2012 where Connor's actor Nick Stahl was reported missing several times, purposefully avoiding carrying a cell phone to avoid being found in order to buy drugs.
    • While making Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron considered getting Michael Biehn as the T-1000, as a reversal of the original movie (with Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 as the hero this time), but decided against it, thinking audiences would get confused. In Terminator Genisys, we see John Connor gets assimilated into a shape-shifting Terminator himself.
    • Quite a few things thanks to Terminator: Dark Fate:
      • Among the detractors of Alien³ opening with the deaths of Hicks and Newt were their creator and director of Aliens, James Cameron, with many thinking it turned the latter film into a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story. Cameron's return of the Terminator franchise, Dark Fate similarly opens with a third T-800 gunning down John Connor, likewise turning The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day into Shoot the Shaggy Dog stories and many finding Cameron o be hypocrite, especially after it got out that John's death was his idea.
      • Additionally, Terminator 2's ending was also this as made "Uncle Bob"'s death a Senseless Sacrifice, due to both Legion replacing Skynet; Skynet having sent multiple Terminators back; and while he was programmed to stop the T-1000, if "Bob" had stuck around, he might've been able to prevent "Carl" from killing John.
      • InTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines, it's revealed the T-850 sent to protect John and Kate killed John in the future due to John letting his guard down due to its resemblance to "Uncle Bob". Here, the same thing happened, but by "Carl" while John was a kid.
  • Julie Andrews appeared in a film called That's Life! in which she played a character who may have throat cancer; she even tells a friend that she might never sing again. Over a decade later, she lost her beloved singing voice due to a botched throat surgery. What makes it even harder to watch is that at the end of the film, she learns that she doesn't have the cancer.
  • They Shoot Horses, Don't They? culminates with Jane Fonda's character begging to be shot dead and put her out of her misery. In 1978, Gig Young, who won an Oscar for his role in the same film but never got the career boost he had been hoping for from it, shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself.
  • In Depression-era drama Three Wise Girls (1932), Dot (Marie Prevost) talks about how she's had to go hungry sometimes because she didn't have money for food. In Real Life, Marie Prevost died penniless in 1938 of starvation brought on by severe alcoholism.
  • The scenes of Grace Kelly's character driving recklessly around southern France in order to freak out Cary Grant in Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief take on a different feel once one realizes that they were filmed in the same vicinity as the site of Grace's fatal 1982 car accident.
  • Tommy Boy:
    • The characters' fears of the Callahan factory potentially shutting down and having Sandusky go down with it have gotten worse thanks to businesses implementing lay-offs due to the shaky global economy and causing economic downturns for cities, notably in Flint, MI, which we see Tommy and Richard pass through.
    • Tommy's father, Big Tom Callahan, dies suddenly from a heart attack, with Tommy and Richard as the last two people to leave the funeral. Less than 3 years later, Chris Farley died suddenly from a drug overdose, and David Spade was so heartbroken that he couldn't bear attending his funeral.
  • In Toys (1992), the Big Bad is an American general who wants to create violent video games in order to trick children into becoming drone pilots (he's rejected, but only after strangling another general who thinks the plan might need some refining). If only he knew trickery would be unnecessary nine years later and all he had to do was finance the video game industry. In Real Life drone pilots do train on video game-esque simulators and prior experience playing games is said to help with the training. Still, this movie was made years before the Murder Simulator term became widespread.
  • TRON: Multple:
    • Sark starts Evil Gloating during the final one-on-one battle with the title character, laughing off his efforts with "You should have joined me. We'd have made a great team!" Now, try watching that after you've seen the sequel knowing that "Rinzler" served the same function for Clu 2.0 as Sark did for Master Control.
    • Oh, hell - the entire first movie falls here after you see the sequel. The cheerful smartass of a protagonist ends up a broken, ruined man trapped by his own creation, which makes his comment about Clu 1.0 being the "toughest" Program ever made a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. He's widowed by 35, drives himself half-insane, is Forced to Watch while the Iso "miracle" is hunted down and destroyed, and fights a Hopeless War for the equivalent of centuries. And no matter which timeline you use, Alan is left to fight alone, powerless and friendless against a crooked executive board, reduced to almost a joke by them. Legacy is somewhat more merciful to him, but not by much.
  • When Two-Minute Warning was released the idea of a lone sniper gunning down people at random with no apparent reason was so unsettling that to have the film released on television the producers had to add additional scenes showing that the shooter had a motive for his rampage. Sadly, active shooter incidents have become a common occurrence in contemporary America. Almost 2,500 people lost their lives in such incidents between 2000 and 2018.
  • In the first Urban Legend movie, the killer turns out to be Brenda, played by Rebecca Gayheart. Three years later in 2001, Gayheart accidentally killed 9-year-old Jorge Cruz, Jr. when she struck him with her car. To make things harsher, the film actually does have a scene where her character commits vehicular homicide.
  • V for Vendetta: The scene where the first open act of rebellion by the citizens of Britain against the Norsefire Regime (and in the case of the graphic novel, the first step towards total anarchy in Britain) was when the people killed a Norsefire officer in retribution for killing a little girl for spraypainting V onto a Norsefire propaganda poster. This becomes significantly harsher when it comes to light the August 2011 London riots over a police shooting.
  • The Virginity Hit is a comedy about a guy whose friends secretly tape him and his girlfriend making out and the ensuing hilarity that follows after said video is released on YouTube. In Real Life, a guy gets caught on webcam making out with another guy and after it's shown on the web he jumps off a bridge — the fourth gay teen to kill himself in a month. Commercials for the film stopped after that.
  • Wag the Dog concerns a sleazy President of the US who starts an entirely fake war in the Balkans to divert attention from a sex scandal. Shortly after it was released, President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about his sexual escapades with Monica Lewinsky, and then went to war in the Balkans (though it wasn't a fake war; America had been gearing up for action in the Balkans for months). Watching it after 9/11 makes it even harsher, with the idea of terrorists from some backwater country that "hate freedom" and want to "destroy our way of life". Even more so is the idea claiming that the (non-existent) Albanian terrorists want to infiltrate the US via Canada to any Canadian familiar with changes to the border traffic after 9/11 and numerous false accusations from the US of terrorists coming into their country from Canada.
  • The Swedish Wallander franchise:
    • In Indrivaren the character Patrik gets killed towards the end. The fact that the actor playing Patrik, Emil Forselius, committed suicide before the movie even premiered makes the scene in the morgue with Patrik's dead body particularly difficult to watch.
    • In the Yellow Bird Swedish TV adaptation, during the final episode of the 2005-2006 season, The Secret, Stefan kills himself as a result of disturbing events that happened in his childhood. As if that wasn't heart-wrenching enough, the actress who played Linda (Johanna Sällström) committed suicide the next year.
    • There's another episode where Kurt Wallander talks about survivors of the 2004 tsunami. Johanna Sällström was such a survivor and her suicide was due to PTSD and survivor's guilt.
  • In WarGames, the US military's computers mistakenly assume the USSR is commencing a nuclear assault. On September 26, 1983, just three months following its release, a Soviet early warning station detected 5 inbound ICBMs. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, the man in charge of the station, decided it was a false alarm and did not report it to his superiors. He surmised that no one would launch just five ICBM's as a first strike... they'd launch EVERYTHING. Falken also predicts that bees were likeliest to replace humanity in the event of a nuclear war. 25 years later, bees started dying in droves...
  • Wedding Crashers is somewhat difficult to watch now, as part of the Black Comedy of the second half is that Owen Wilson's character is contemplating suicide. Wilson attempted suicide in 2007 and was hospitalised for depression afterwards.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, a 2011 psychological drama, centered around a young perpetrator of a school massacre in an upper-class Connecticut suburb and his mother. In an extended flashback, Kevin's mother grows increasingly concerned about her son's psychopathic tendencies, but appears to be in denial and refuses to get professional help for Kevin. She even encourages Kevin's use of what ultimately turns out to be the murder weapon, believing it simply to be a recreational hobby for him. Ultimately, Kevin murders members of his own family just before committing the school massacre. A little over a year later, in Newtown, Connecticut, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shoots to death 6 teachers and 20 students at Sandy Hook Elementary School, shortly after having shot to death his mother Nancy Lanza using her own guns. According to reports, Nancy had long been worried about her son's mental state, but she refused to get psychological treatment for him. Nancy would even take Adam target shooting with the guns he ultimately used in the mass shooting. The only major difference between this and the film is that Adam Lanza shot his mother and ultimately committed suicide, whereas in the movie Kevin survives (and is imprisoned) and he kills his father and sister, not his mother.
  • The Wizard of Lies, an HBO film about the Bernie Madoff scandal, starred Robert De Niro as Madoff. A few years later in 2020, De Niro has found himself in severe financial debt, with his lawyers saying he’ll be lucky to make $7 million, putting him in the same position as people Madoff stole from.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoirs of the same name, is about a corrupt stockbroker who recounts how he built his fortune through shady (and outright illegal) stock manipulations. In July 2019, one of the producers, Riza Aziz, was charged with embezzlement in Malaysia.
  • The World of Kanako: This movie was released in 2014. Two years later the story of a 17-year-old girl from New Zealand (known as "Poison Ivy") who bullied weak men into degrading themselves online before encouraging them to kill themselves became known. Something very similar happens in this movie.
  • The Three Stooges short You Nazty Spy! (which predates The Great Dictator) falls under this trope when you consider that the Stooges (and the short's producer/director Jules White) were Jewish. Unlike Chaplin, the Stooges never regretted making their Hitler parody, and in fact, they considered it their all-time best film.
  • Zootopia:
    • The film was conceived as a reflection on prejudice and profiling in 21st century America, with strong themes about unity and not letting biases and fear (both yours and others) overcome you or affect who you are. It came out in early 2016, a year that has come to see some of the worst cases of hate crimes and racial profiling in years. Of course, one can look at it more positively as being exceptionally (and unfortunately) well-timed.
    • The child hippo's line toward Judy, a rookie cop who was assigned to parking duty — "My mommy says she wishes you were dead" — comes across as harsh in the first place. However, it gets even more cringe-worthy when during the Summer of 2016, many police officers were the victims of highly publicized and deadly attacks.

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