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Hilarious In Hindsight / DC Animated Universe

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DC Animated Universe

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    Batman: The Animated Series 
  • In "Beware the Creeper", the Joker accuses the Creeper (Jeff Bennett) of ripping off his act. Bennett would later voice Joker on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • In "Almost Got 'Im", Joker mocks Poison Ivy's use of "exploding pumpkins." A few years, Mark Hamill would be voicing the Hobgoblin, whose signature weapon is the pumpkin bomb.
    • Also in that same episode, Ivy was barefoot in the flashback. Now it's perfectly normal for her to be barefoot.
  • Alfred's "Are we developing an interest in rock and roll, sir?" from "On Leather Wings", after Atop the Fourth Wall started the Running Gag of Batman hating rock and roll.
    • In the flashbacks from "Robin's Reckoning," the young Dick Grayson is credited as "Robin - Age 10." Though off by a few years, it's hard not to think of the "Dick Grayson - Age 12" meme that spawned from All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder.
  • In the episode "Eternal Youth", Alfred and a friend of his go to a spa secretly run by Poison Ivy, where the people eat green food, and then Ivy turns them into trees, which becomes funny if you imagine that the spa is called Nilbog.
  • In "Beware the Gray Ghost", Bruce hands the titular character's actor what is presumably a home video re-release of the long-lost Gray Ghost serial, probably on VHS. Thing is, the design of the box, specifically the blue borders, makes it look exactly like a modern-day Blu-ray case!
  • Admittedly, a little dark, but in "Legends of the Dark Knight", Michael McKean voiced the 1950s version of The Joker and the episode later had a segment based on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. McKean later appears in the actual animated adaptation of the latter as Dr. Wolper. If you're familiar with either version, then you know Wolper's fate and who kills him.
  • In "Dreams in Darkness", Batman thought he saw the Joker's reflection on the Bat-computer. Years later in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Joker really does visit the Batcave.
  • In "Harley's Holiday", Veronica Vreeland tells Bruce he needs a woman in his life to keep him up on fashion trends. About ten years later, it would become more common than not for young, wealthy men like Bruce to do that for themselves.
  • Lieutenant Hackle in "P.O.V." looks very much like an older Apollo Justice. He even uses the same Giving Someone the Pointer Finger pose!
  • The episode "Deep Freeze" could be titled as "Batman predicted BioShock" due to the similarities between both stories and setting. A rich, ambitious, Objectivist magnate creates an Art Deco Underwater City for him and those he invites to escape the corrupt surface world. There, he and his fellow members create a plethora of advanced robotics and genetic engineering that inevitably results in the end of the city and its founder. The fact Grant Walker and Andrew Ryan look like an evil Walt Disney helps the comparison.
  • The episode "Christmas With The Joker" becomes Hilarious In Hindsight after watching "The Man Who Killed Batman." During the Joker's funeral services for Batman (and Sid), he suggests hitting Batman in the face with a cyanide pie. Guess he thought of it AFTER he'd already successfully nailed him with a pie in the earlier episode.
  • In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, The Joker asks someone "Why so formal?". Replace "formal" with "serious" and you get the picture.

    Superman: The Animated Series 
  • "New Kids in Town":
    • One of Clark's classmates screams at Brainiac, calling him Darth Vader as a joke. Corey Burton will later on voice his predecessor, Count Dooku.
    • In the same episode, Martha wants to give Clark and Lana some alone time so they can talk. So she tells Jonathan that The Dukes of Hazzard is on. And who plays Jonathan Kent a couple years later in Smallville? John Schneider, of course.
    • Another Smallville-related one in the same episode: young Clark informs Lana Lang about how he is seeing through things; she asks if he's looked towards the girls' locker room. This ended up becoming Hilarious in Hindsight just five years later, when in the Smallville episode "X-Ray", Clark discovers his x-ray vision by accident and ends up inadvertently seeing into the girls' locker room... directly at Lana.
  • "Knight Time":
    • Brainiac's line to Superman disguised as Batman, "You are every bit the detective your followers on the Internet believe.", has gotten funnier in light of the rise of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and their copious use of the Memetic Badass trope.
    • In the same episode, Superman's impression of Batman is so spot on, Robin tells him never to do that again. Recently, Ben Affleck has been chosen as the next Batman. Affleck is well-known for his impressions, and while filming The Sum of All Fears, he did his impression of Morgan Freeman for Freeman himself, prompting him to respond with "If you ever do that again, I'll kill you."
      • It's worth pointing out that Robin's reaction was in response to Superman's spot on impression of his voice.
    • At one point, Superman complains that he isn't used to all the sneaking around that comes with impersonating Batman. Robin then responds by saying all the stealth is "half the fun". It seems that someone over at Rocksteady had the same idea.
  • The first episode's ending of Superman simply staring at Luthor who becomes enraged at his silence is very similar to the ending of Lex Luthor: Man of Steel released nearly a decade later.
  • A female Guardian (seemingly head of the council) appears in "In Brightest Day...".
  • In "Double Dose", Livewire sees Superman wearing a rubber suit and jokes that "the Boy Scout brought protection". Starting in 2002, the scouts would mandate that condoms be available at the World Scout Jamboree and all other large enough events.
  • The Grand Finale of Kim Possible features a male-and-female alien duo invading Earth, which many would compare them to Jax-Ur and Mala. For bonus points, both Jax-Ur and Warhow were voiced by Ron Perlman.

    Batman Beyond 
  • Being set in the future tends to attract this from time to time, whether it is Terry quipping "Who reads newspapers anymore?" (in "The Winning Edge") or reviewing the Presidents with "Clinton was the fun one, then came the boring one." (in "Mind Games"). By the time of the series a perfect SAT score is 2400 (see the example in Second Place Is for Losers), which as of 2005 it has been.
  • "Out of the Past":
  • In the pilot episode, a Jokerz member says "Let's put a smile on his face," while brandishing a knife. Ever since TDK came out, one may now consider it retroactive fanon that that particular Jokerz member was intentionally quoting one of the signature lines of his "hero."
  • In "Countdown," Zeta disguises himself as Terry in costume to escape the NSA. Diedrich Bader would later voice a different Batman years later.
  • During "Disappearing Inque" while interrogating a captured Terry about who Bruce is, Inque asks "Is he your father? Grandfather?" Come an episode of Justice League Unlimited a few years later, we find out Bruce is Terry's father.
  • The episode "Zeta" starts off with a lecture about the theory that one's genetic makeup makes a person inclined to act a certain way and brings up the question of free will. Terry wonders if being Batman makes him naturally suspicious. As Terry would find out later, he does have Batman's genes that might make him naturally suspicious.
  • Melanie Walker (aka Ten) is the daughter of King (voiced by George Lazenby), in real life, George has a daughter named Melanie, who became one of the most successful real estate brokers in New York.
  • While Terry and Max are going over Presidents for school, Max describes Clinton as "the fun one, then came the boring one." (the episode aired during the 2000 president elections) George W. Bush's stint as president was a lot of things, but it's probably safe to say that boring wasn't one of them. This would have been even more hilarious if Al Gore, who actually has a reputation for being boring, had won the 2000 election.
  • Terry, at one point, calls Ace "Scooby". Ace was voiced by Frank Welker, who would provide the voice of Scooby-Doo just a couple of years later, although he was no stranger to the franchise as he is also the voice of Fred.
  • Spellbinder's mask bears a resemblance to the first two worn by Tobi/Obito in Naruto.
  • This isn't the last time that Henry Rollins (voice of Mad Stan) would play an anarchist terrorist in an action cartoon. In The Legend of Korra Season 3, he voiced Zaheer; who basically follows the same political ideology (though is very different personality-wise, being much more stoic than Stan). Not to mention having different abilities (Zaheer has wind superpowers rather than throwing bombs).
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker:
  • The thug who whales on Bruce during the heart attack that led to his retirement was voiced Rino Romano — the same Romano who'd go on to voice Bruce himself.

    Static Shock 
  • Static, in one episode early in the first season, does research on Replay from the "TV Trivia" website. Fast forward to today...
    • Also, at the time of that episode's airing, Neil Patrick Harris was a perfect choice for that role - a washed up child star who was only known for one role. Then, a few years later, How I Met Your Mother came along and shot him back into the spotlight.
  • In an episode where Static worked with Batman, he noticed Robin was absent and asked where he was. Batman answers, "With the Titans. You might meet them someday". While the DCAU never made a Teen Titans cartoon, they were at least right that Static would join them in the comics several years later in Young Justice.

    The Zeta Project 

    Justice League: Unlimited 
  • An episode of "Fury" with Wonder Woman walking into the cosmetics section of a department store, and questioned a woman for wanting to cover up her "natural beauty" with makeup. Now, MAC cosmetics has a Wonder Woman collection, complete with large promotional displays of Wonder Woman fighting "Medusa's drab rays".
  • This dialogue between Speedy and Green Arrow, in light of Young Justice.
    Green Arrow: You wanted Superman? Now you've got—
    [pauses to let the two teleport in.]
    G.A.: [flat, disappointed] ...the Crimson Avenger and my ex-sidekick.
    Speedy: [annoyed] Ex-partner.
    G.A.: Speedy, we gotta do this now?
  • "The Savage Time":
  • In "The Enemy Below", both the human doctor trying to treat Aquaman and the doctor in Atlantis who gives him his hook hand sound suspiciously like Jeffrey Combs. Moreso after Combs actually joined the cast later on.
  • Batman's disarming of the nuke in "The Doomsday Sanction" is extremely similar to the climax of The Dark Knight Rises, down to escaping by ejection, though in the former case everyone knew he lived.
  • The producers of the show said they tried to make Aquaman an "underwater Conan". Then in 2014, Jason Momoa was cast as the sea king in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • In the penultimate episode, Grodd dies vowing revenge on Luthor. In The Flash (2014), he gets his revenge on Clancy Brown, who plays General Eiling in that series.
  • In "In Blackest Night", Kurtwood Smith voiced the prosecutor and at one point, questions Kanjar Ro. In Green Lantern: First Flight, Smith voiced Kanjar Ro himself.
  • In "Flashpoint," Flash and Green Arrow are part of the League's disaster-response team after the Watchtower's satellite-cannon is hijacked and used to destroy a Cadmus base and the surrounding city; despite their relative lack of interaction with each other, the two are shown to work fairly well together, with Flash at one point giving encouragement to the demoralized Arrow. The episode aired in 2005; come 2014, their CW counterparts are shown to be staunch allies in their shared universe, with Oliver being the one to act as a mentor to Barry.
  • Here, J. K. Simmons voices General Eiling, a man who's against superheroes. Come the next Justice League project he's in, he's the Trope Namer for The Commissioner Gordon.
  • In the episode "Secret Society," during the League's second confrontation against the titular group of villains, Flash takes on and summarily defeats Killer Frost. In The Flash (2014), Killer Frost is a regular not-nice ally to Team Flash.note