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Hilarious In Hindsight / Western Animation

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    Cartoon Network 
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • In the episode "The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From The Future", at one point, Shake mentions, "Have you seen that the interest rates for mortgages are really low right now?" This was in 2002, a few years before "Credit Default Swap" became a household name (and later, one of the reasons why the economy ended up in the tank).
    • In "The Cloning", Master Shake says that Jesus Christ & Santa Claus are the same person, and Meatwad says he doesn't know Santa Christ. Guess who followed up on that idea years later?
  • In Season 4 of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Muriel makes a deal with a Scottish Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • Dexter talks to his computer, Quadraplex T-3000 Computer, and it responds to him in a female voice whatever command he has. In May 1996 when internet access was limited, this seemed futuristic, but since Amazon launched the Amazon Alexa on November 6, 2014, 18 years and 6 months later, it's retroactively funny in that Dexter seemed to be ahead of the crowd before Jeff Bezos was!
    • The episode "Dee Dee's Rival". It ended up showing how dance contests, even kids' ones, were Serious Business, but then, 21 years later, BBC show Strictly Come Dancing would feature an episode where two professional dancers were feuding, although the feud was in the media, not on-screen.
    • The episode "A Dad Cartoon", from November 2001, was a fairly mundane Slice of Life episode, but the ending where there's a lot of near-identical sedans ended up presciently showing how many automobile manufacturers have a lot of cars kept on airstrips - Stock Footage of unsold Kia Optima and Mazda 6 sedans on British airstrips was common in the 2010s.
    • "Momdark", an episode from November 2001, seemed to presciently show a transgender parent (due to Retcons showing Mandark raised as a girl called Susan by hippie parents) long before CBBC started to show occasional documentaries on this.
  • The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "It's Way Ed, in which the Eds try to come up with some wacky fashion trends with random everyday objects these days wouldn't be out of place in Lady Gaga's wardrobe.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: A Running Gag in "Nigel Planter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets" has bad luck occurring whenever someone says Lord Moldybutt's name. Then came Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where Voldemort actually put a jinx on his own name.
  • Johnny Test:
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • In-Universe example: Early on in the episode "You Snooze, You Lose", Mojo Jojo considers using fly paper as a means of preventing the Girls from flying away from his latest Death Trap, only to dismiss it almost immediately as "too stupid". Two seasons later, in "Stray Bullet", Mojo has the floor of his Evil Lair covered in fly paper when the Girls arrive to bust up his latest plan and it works.
    • There's those "theories" that the Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls universes are connected. At one point one of the Cartoon Network bumper's narrator mentioning whether Samurai Jack is Professor Utonium in disguise and the fact that there are Talking Dogs in Jack's universe in the future while the PPG universe has its Talking Dog. But those are not what are hilarious in hindsight. What made the punchline is Tara Strong who voiced Bubbles in PPG also voiced Ashi in Samurai Jack's season 5.
    • Another example involving Tara Strong. In this show, she voiced Bubbles, a character who can talk to squirrels. One of her future roles is Omi from Xiaolin Showdown, who is afraid of squirrels.
    • In the Christmas Special "The Fight Before Christmas", The Mayor asks Santa for a "My Little Horsie Doll". Not only did Lauren Faust work on both The Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but also the Mayor was a fan of ponies long before the latter show started having a huge following of grown-up men.
    • The episode "Super Zeroes" features the girls wanting to be like other fictional superheroes. Bubbles dresses up as "Harmony Bunny" similar to a Japanese comic she read at the beginning (which is not a superhero comic, but a cutesy manga about a little white bunny and her friends), and she even tries to fight the giant monster destroying Townsville with stickers. Some of the elements may have inspired this anime, whose protagonist is a little white bunny who uses stickers in battle.
    • Overlapping with Ace becoming a temporary member of Gorillaz in 2018 (see the Music page for more info on that): the banned episode "See Me Feel Me Gnomey" was supposed to guest star Jack Black as the evil gnome. Now, in 2018, we have Gorillaz's "Humility" music video, which features a Powerpuff Girls character (Ace) and Jack Black.
    • What started as an April Fool's joke way back then involving Peter Jackson in doing a live action version of the Powerpuff Girls became real many years later but under different people.
    • In "Octi Gone", the titular plushie octopus has a sad expression on its face after having one of its tentacles ripped apart, but becomes happy again after being repaired. This change in expression brings the reverse octopus toys to mind, which have a happy face on one side and an angry face on the reverse side.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch parodying Sesame Street features Oscar noting that Sesame Street is the only New York neighborhood that hasn't yet been gentrified, and Grover saying that will change thanks to Hannah from HBO's Girls joining the cast. Two years later, the show moved to HBO, and the set was changed to what could only be described as a cleaner, gentrified street.
  • One of the longest Alternative Character Interpretations on Scooby-Doo is that Velma is a lesbian. Well, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins has Velma portrayed by "Lesbian Jesus" herself, Hayley Kiyoko.
  • During its earlier years, Cartoon Network had a series called Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, a show about a non-human characternote  living in a world with an '80s aesthetic. It didn't last long. A little later, CN would give us the series Regular Show... a show about non-human charactersnote  living in a world with an '80s aesthetic. But unlike Robot Jones, Regular Show became wildly successful.
  • Regular Show: In "Take the Cake", a short-tempered, entitled woman stalks and tries to kill Modecai and Rigby after accusing them cutting in line at the store (when really they were smart enough to use the pre-check pick-up line). It wouldn't be until 2020 that women of her demeanor would gain mainstream attention via the term "Karen".

  • One scene of Lilo & Stitch has Stitch build a model of San Francisco out of random stuff lying around in Lilo's room. He then proceeds to knock it all down like a kaiju. Sound familiar?
  • In Hercules, Hades pointing to Pain's Hercules shoes and asking "What are those?"
  • Kim Possible: In "Grudge Match", Ron worries about Zita, a girl that he's trying to impress, seeing him and Kim coming out of a movie theater together, because she might think they're on a date, a notion that Kim finds ridiculous. note  Two seasons later and they're an Official Couple, and going to the movies on a date is probably the norm for them.
  • Phineas and Ferb depicts Perry the Platypus as a bright teal color which creator Dan Povenmire simply thought was a fun artistic choice. Then came the 2020 discovery that platypus fur under a blacklight has a bio-fluorescent glow that is the exact same shade of blue-green as Perry is...
  • Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel: Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man have lost their powers during a fight in New York against Venom, Red Skull, Whiplash, and M.O.D.O.K., and have gone to Phineas and Ferb to help restore them. Phineas builds a machine to help restore said powers, but during the restoration process, Candace messes with the machine and accidentally SWAPS their powers. Spider-Man with Hulk's powers, Thor with Spidey's, Iron Man with Thor's, and Hulk with Iron Man's.
    • Iron Man tries and fails to summon Mjolnir, but Thor explains that summoning Mjolnir is a matter of worthiness, not strength, and so, Comically Missing the Point, Iron Man asks how he can control lightning, to which Thor says "That only works WITH the hammer." In Thor: Ragnarok, this is proven wrong by Odin.
    • Hulk only gets the powers of the man in the suit, and not the suit itself, therefore having no powers at all. However, he does show to have a much higher level of intelligence.
  • The Little Mermaid:
  • Enchanted has Idina Menzel play Nancy, a modern-day-woman who has her fiance stolen away from her by an over-the-top self-parody of a Disney princess. A few years later, and she's playing Elsa in Frozen, who rapidly became one of the most popular Disney princesses (queen, actually, but still).
  • Lloyd in Space: An eye-shaped robot with a British accent that is a bit ditzy. This sounds familiar...
  • The Lion King: When Mufasa is wondering what he's going to do with Scar, Zazu jokes that Scar would make a very handsome throw rug. In Hercules, Scar makes a cameo appearance... as a throw rug.
  • An article released before Big Hero 6 compared Wasabi to Cyborg from Teen Titans (2003). Cut three years to the cartoon, and he's voiced by Khary Payton, who's often considered the definitive voice for him.
  • The Replacements:
    • In the Grand Finale the Big Bad uses special hypnotic goggles to control innocent people (including Todd & Riley's father) into doing his bidding. Nearly 10 years later in Incredibles 2 the villain of that movie does the exact same thing.
    • One of the guest stars in the show was a post-High School Musical Zac Efron, who played a lifeguard named Davey Hunkerhoff as a send-up to Baywatch. Flash forward to 2017, and Zac stars in the big-screen remake of Baywatch as one of the lifeguards.
    • In "Riley's Birthday" K manages to get pop star Dustin Dreamlake, voiced by Jason Marsden, to attend said birthday by lying that she needs his help to deal with the criminal known as Tiny Evil. A season later, in "Canadian Fakin,'" Tiny Evil actually appears on the show...and is voiced by Jason Marsden.
  • Donald Duck in The Band Concert interrupts Mickey's performance of the William Tell Overture with Turkey In the Straw at the same pace, somewhat reminiscent of SiIvaGunner.
  • On Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, Tonya's weapon is called the Omnitool. Cue jokes about Commander Shepard working with the Ducks when the show became widely available for the first time in decades due to Disney+ launching in late 2019. For bonus points, another member of the team, Mallory, shares both her voice actor and appearance/temperment with the default FemShep.
  • Another meta-example: In the educational video series Language Arts Through Imagination, the first entry, "Would You Eat A Blue Potato?", has Figment offer not only the titular food but green milk to the 2 kids visiting him as a snack in addition to other strange colored foods. Decades later, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in the Disney Theme Parks would have actual green milk available for guests to drink.

    Family Guy 
  • "Peterotica":
    • One of Peter's many erotic stories is, in the tradition of porn parodies, "Harry Potter and the Half-Black Chick". Three years later, the film version of Half-Blood Prince featured a scene not from the book in which Harry flirts with a light-skinned African girl.
    • Then there's the fact that the episode centered on Peter writing erotica in his style (with very clunky and unsubtle prose) and becoming popular for it, despite the quality. Like the South Park example, this is funnier thanks to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (and all the praise and criticism attached to the series).
  • The first banned episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" (the episode where Peter takes in a Jewish man who helps him manage the family's money, and Peter taking Chris to Vegas to get a quickie bar mitzvah) becomes laden in Fridge Logic now that "Family Goy" revealed that Lois' mother was Jewish, not Protestant, and had to hide her true religion so Carter could join a country club that doesn't allow Jewish people.
  • In "Jungle Love", Peter is demoted following an inebriation that caused damages in his brewery. He is placed under the authority of Opie, a mentally challenged man who only talks in gibberish and asks Peter to put his finger in his mouth and then bites it. This gets absolutely hilarious when it is revealed 11 seasons later that Opie was not retarded: he was only drunk all this time!
  • The Thanksgiving episode in which Joe's long-lost son comes back from the Iraq War (and most of the episode consists of the characters arguing about the moral and ethical stance of why America had any business in the country) goes from being Ripped from the Headlines to an Unintentional Period Piece thanks to the Iraq War ending a month after the episode's premiere.
  • "Lois Kills Stewie" predicted Katie Holmes' escape from Tom Cruise.
  • "Don't Make Me Over" is a double whammy. Not only did the show predict that Jimmy Fallon would come back and host an episode of Saturday Night Live, but Seth MacFarlane, for all the times he's made fun of Saturday Night Live and the stars who became famous because of SNL, hosted an episode (the first episode of season 38) and showed off his vocal and musical talents in the monologue (doing an entire conversation with himself as Peter, Stewie, Brian, and Quagmire, and singing about his many voices).
  • "Road to Rhode Island", pre-9/11 episode, had one scene where Osama bin Laden attempts to board an airplane by distracting security by singing "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line. On the one hand, the scene isn't all that funny thanks to all the aspects that make it Harsher in Hindsight because of 9/11, the fact that security is tighter because of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks at airports (the shoe-bomber incident), and the fact that Seth MacFarlane would have died on the plane that crashed into the Twin Towers had he not missed the flight entirely due to a hangover and bad information he got from his travel agent. On the other hand, Osama bin Laden singing "God, I Hope I Get It" takes on a new, more darkly hilarious context now that bin Laden has been caught and killed.
  • In "To Love and Die In Dixie" Chris gets a girl Elizabeth Taylor perfume and says it'll make her smell like bourbon and Vicodin. Twelve years later there would be a tea and whiskey flavored perfume.
  • In "Back to the Pilot", one of the things Brian and Stewie see in the (CGI) future is that Cleveland Brown is back, with Stewie noting that things didn't work out in Virginia. This is even funnier after The Cleveland Show was cancelled and Cleveland would return to Quahog.
  • A scene from "Airport '07" features an "edited-for-rednecks" version of Cosmos where Carl Sagan's words are covered up with religious references. Later, a Fox affiliate in Oklahoma "accidentally" covered up a mention of evolution on Seth MacFarlane's reboot, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
  • The opening from from "I Take Thee Quagmire" where Peter correctly guesses a Wheel of Fortune puzzle despite little help from the "letters" he picked becomes this after a real Wheel contestant made a correct guess with only two letters to help him in March 2014.
  • In "Road to the Multiverse", Brian and Stewie go to a universe that's based off of The Flintstones, during which they take several pot shots at the show. This gets funnier when at one point later Seth MacFarlane was attached to a reboot of The Flintstones.
    • The visit to the Disney-esque universe in the same episode may become this in light of Disney's acquisition of much of the Fox conglomerate, including 20th Television.
    • Likewise, all those jokes about Walt Disney being a Jew hater? Disney now owns every single scene like that, including the above Disneyverse scene where the characters beat up Mort simply for being Jewish. For those of you offended by that scene, watch it again with the knowledge that Disney now has the rights to Walt-bashing.
    • The Star Wars parodies that the show did are much funnier now that Disney owns both Star Wars and Family Guy.
    • On a slightly different Disney-related note, the episode "Lois Kills Stewie" has Stewie (in a simulation) becoming the president of the United States and banning all straight-to-video Disney sequels. Come later that following year, The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning turned out to be the last produced of these sequels (that isn't Disney Fairies or an official sequel like Toy Story 3 onward). Does that mean Stewie succeeded in taking over the world in this timeline?
  • "Holy Crap" sees Peter's uber-religious father Francis ultimately going to work for the Pope as a security guard (this was aired when John Paul II was still Pope). A few years later a guy is named Pope and takes the name of Francis.
  • In "Hell Comes to Quahog" there's a cutaway gag involving Iceman visiting a gay movie theater. In 2015, Marvel Comics officially announced that Iceman would come out as gay.
  • The episode "If I'm Dying, I'm Lying" is about Peter trying to get a cancelled TV show, Gumble2Gumble, back on the air. Family Guy would later be cancelled twice just to be brought back.
  • "Boys Don't Cry" features a National Lampoon's Vacation parody where the girl in the car gets hit by a semi. This happens in the trailer for the 2015 reboot/sequel.
  • In the same episode Julia Louis-Dreyfus appears in the beginning promoting her new show Now It's Just Getting Sad where she literally pleads with the viewers to watch her new sitcom where she's married to an elephant. At the time, the so-called Seinfeld curse was in effect, where the primary cast members couldn't find a successful new show since Seinfeld ended in 1998. Five years after this episode aired, Louis-Dreyfus starred in HBO's dark political satire Veep, a show that became a huge success and netted her six consecutive Emmy Awards for her performance as Selina Meyer.
  • In the episode "We Love You, Conrad", Stewie calls Bruce Jenner "an elegant, beautiful Dutch woman", and Jenner's feminine side is implied again in the later episode "Lottery Fever". Almost four years after the latter episode's premiere, Bruce Jenner came out as a transgender woman during a 20/20 special.
  • In the episode "North by North Quahog", Peter discovered that Mel Gibson had made a sequel to The Passion of the Christ. In 2016, Mel Gibson stated that he is making a "Passion of the Christ" sequel.
  • In the early episode “Lethal Weapons”, Lois practices a martial art called “Tae-Jitsu”. It’s more amusing nowadays, when Naruto is pretty well-known: there, the style of martial art is called “taijutsu”.
  • "April in Quahog" has a cutaway gag where Mayor West punches the Orion constellation for no reason. It then turns into the Orion Pictures logo, causing him to say "That's right. All you are is a failed production company." Come 2013 and Orion began it's rise from the ashes with the relaunch of Orion Television and then in 2014 the main Orion movie label was relaunched.
  • In a earlier episode of the series, one of Meg's friends mentions that Brian looks like Ben Affleck. The Super Friends parody has Brian play the role of Batman. Guess which actor later played Batman?
  • "I Never Met the Dead Man" features a cutaway to an episode of The Scooby-Doo Murder Files. The joke is obvious; plopping the traditionally silly, family-friendly cast of Scooby-Doo into a dark, adult crime drama with gruesome murders and truly monstrous antagonists is a pretty silly thing to do and would be very hard to take seriously! Except in 2022, Warner Bros. announced Velma, an HBO Max Original spinoff of Scooby-Doo that... takes the traditionally silly, family-friendly character of Velma and plops her down in a dark, adult crime drama with gruesome murders and truly monstrous antagonists.

    Looney Tunes and Other Warner Bros. Cartoons 
  • The 1938 short Porky in Wackyland has a weird dog and cat hybrid appear, and it has a startling resemblance to the lead characters of the Nickelodeon series CatDog.
  • "Fresh Fish", a cartoon released just a year later, is set almost entirely underwater and has a cast of odd anthropomorphic sea creatures, many of whom are living puns. One of them is a grumpy, nasal-voiced crab modeled after dour-faced character actor Ned Sparks. Well, technically he's not a crab—he only works for one—but he's no less grouchy for it, and he does have the whiny voice down: Squidward Tentacles. Oh, there's also a a fish with a head on either end, who is male but gives birth to an egg somehow.
  • In the 1938 short Daffy Duck in Hollywood, Daffy puts together footage from several different films to make a bizarre patchwork feature that heavily resembles today's YouTube Poop videos.
  • The 1943 Looney Tunes short Tortoise Wins by a Hare features the news headline "Adolph Hitler Commits Suicide", which would be a reality a mere two years later. Now, generally something like this would be Harsher in Hindsight, but considering we're talking about Hitler, it's safe to put it here. The same gag was also used two more times in Fighting Tools (a Private Snafu cartoon) and What's Cookin, Doc?, both of which were also released before Hitler actually did it.
  • In the 1943 short Porky Pig's Feat, Daffy and Porky are imprisoned in their hotel room (for not paying their bill), and Porky wonders aloud what Bugs Bunny would do in a situation like this. Daffy eagerly chimes in, "Yeah, Bugs Bunny—my hero!" Later on, Daffy would be rewritten by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng into being jealous of Bugs' success, so YMMV on whether this is funnier in hindsight or Harsher in Hindsight.
  • The 1944 short The Old Grey Hare has a newspaper in 2000 that mentions that "Smell-O-Vision" has replaced television. An aroma-releasing system for movies with the same name was used in 1960 for a movie, although it did not see further use.
  • In the 1950 short The Ducksters, Daffy tries (and fails) to stump Porky with an obscure trivia question about boxing. Five years later, Dr. Joyce Brothers (who would go on to become one of the first big "pop psychologists") managed to win big on The $64,000 Question by exhaustively studying boxing trivia.
  • The 1966 short A Taste of Catnip involves Daffy believing that he's going crazy when he starts acting like a cat, doing things like hissing at dogs and wanting to eat mice. 50 years later, we get this report of a woman claiming that she's a cat in a human body.
  • Animaniacs:
    • Consider the lyrics of "The Presidents Song", the version on the Variety Pack album:
      "Now in Washington, D.C.
      There's Democrats and the GOP
      "But the one in charge is plain to see
      It's Clinton, first name Hillary!"
    • These lyrics were revised from the version of the song used in the show; as clearly audible (and visible) here, the lyrics are "But the ones in charge are plain to see/The Clintons, Bill and Hillary!" It still works, more or less.
      • There was also a MAD cover with the Clintons dressed up as The Flintstones, and these lyrics:
        "Clinstones! Meet the Clinstones!
        They're America's First Family!
        From the town of Li'l Rock -
        And the one in charge is Hillary!"
    • One episode opened with Saddam Hussein speaking out to his subjects (who are all shown in silhouettes, waving plungers in the air) just before falling through a trap door and ending up in Hell. Well, they got the falling-through-a-trap-door-to-his-death part right. All they were missing was the noose.
      • Also at one point, Satan (voiced by Ron Perlman) gets his horns caught in the ceiling and mutters about how he should've gotten them trimmed. Ron would later go on to play Hellboy.
    • Another episode opened with the Warners running away from their watertower, which was about to explode. Yakko then says that he and his siblings would be back, rebuild, and make a brand new water tower that would be exactly like the old one. They are, they have, and they did!
    • Also THIS promo. When The Hub aired Tiny Toon Adventures AND Animaniacsnote , Dot must have been furious!
    • At the beginning of one episode, the video rental store has on its door a poster for "X-Toons", supposedly a parody of X-Men, but eerily prescient of Loonatics Unleashed.
    • The episode "Jokahontas" had a Take That! song about how Disney movies make tons of money off movies about female heroines with the same formulas, which has Dot transform into Ariel, Belle and Jasmine. Four years later, Disney made a franchise starring these three and Pochahontas alongside other female heroines called Disney Princess which was based on the popularity of these kinds of movies among young girls.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action Shaggy (voiced by Casey Kasem) is seen criticizing Matthew Lillard for his portrayal of him in the Live-Action Adaptation of Scooby-Doo. Matthew Lillard would later replace Kasem as the voice of Shaggy on all latter-day Scooby Doo productions.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • The episode "Animaniacs" (no relation to the series) featured a film festival. Dizzy Devil's entry was a crudely drawn animation of him swallowing the entire planet titled "Dizzy Eat World". A few years later came the rock band Jimmy Eat World. Although considering how the band got their name, it's entirely possible the cartoon indirectly inspired it.
    • The episodes "Field of Honey" and "Two-Tone Toons" in which The Tiny Toons helped some washed up 1930s characters become famous again. Bosko and Honey's updated designs and personalities in the first one may have inspired the Animaniacs characters. In the latter one, which was made near the end of series' run, the 1930s characters audition for a new show being produced by Warner Brothers and end up becoming the main characters (and more famous than the Tiny Toons).
    • In the short 'Samurai Film Critic', Dizzy goes berserk at the premise of a movie and shreds the screen with a scream of "Who cares about Kiefer Sutherland?!" At the time, with Sutherland's career all but destroyed, it was funny. Once he was the leading role in 24 for over a decade? Gut-busting.
  • Freakazoid! is an entity created when a mild mannered computer nerd is sent into his PC and gets all the information on the Internet sent into him. As noted by Bob Chipman, in the 1995 where the show came out, most people viewed the internet as the future of how we got information, not a completely screwy place as it was implied to be why Freakazoid is such a Talkative Loon. Fast-forward and the Internet, while used for information, is a very screwy place indeed.
  • Duck Dodgers:
    • One episode reveals that there's a spring on Mars (it's crucial to the plot of the episode). In 2015, in real life, liquid water was discovered on Mars.
    • "The Green Loontern" has Katma Tui, a purple skinned Green Lantern voiced by Tara Strong, go up against Sinestro, who's voiced by John de Lancie. This would not be the only time it happens.
  • One episode of The Looney Tunes Show has a scene where Daffy is looking for a tiny license plate with his name on it and finds a plate with the name Darvin instead; he then proceeds to question why anyone would name their kid that. Funny enough, in the Looney Tunes fandom, fans who ship Daffy with Marvin the Martian typically call the ship Darvin.
  • Justice League Dark sees Jeremy Davies reprise his Constantine role of Ritchie Simpson, who serves as a patsy for Dr. Destiny (albeit without the "Doctor" in the name). In the Arrowverse crossover Elseworlds (2018), he played Dr. Destiny himself [albeit only called John Dee(gan)].
  • Batman: Year One:
  • Beware the Batman:
    • Many fans have noticed Sumalee Montano's voice for Katana sounds similar to Kelly Hu. Guess who actually voices Katana in Infinite Crisis?
    • In what turned out to be the final episode, Harvey Dent, having finally become Two-Face, tells Gordon that if the position of mayor is so important to him, then he can just go and be mayor himself. Batman: Arkham Knight's best ending features Gordon becoming mayor of Gotham after 100% Completion.
  • The Batman has a few:
  • DC Showcase: Green Arrow
  • Lauren Faust created Super Best Friends Forever, which focuses on female DC heroes, but it was turned. Cut to 2019, and she's in charge of the television version of DC Super Hero Girls, a franchise that also focuses on female DC heroes. Spiritual Successor much?

  • Until late in The '90s, Doug was the only Nicktoon that wasn't a Grossout Show, and would later double as the one that got sold to Disney (although Nickelodeon would still keep it under the brand and air everything prior to that point in reruns). Eventually, The Atlantic would write this article, about how Nick, once the "splattery" opposite of the squeaky-clean Disney, had come to be more or less a clone thereof.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • At the end of an episode, a button is pressed that would blow up a planet. It ends up blowing up Pluto, but it's okay because "no one cares about Pluto." In 2006, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, much to the shock and disappointment of people who grew up being taught that Pluto is a planet just like Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
    • The opening for Abra-Catastrophe! has a scene where Timmy pretends he's Spider-Man. Almost a decade later, the live-action adult Timmy is the new voice of Spidey. This comes full circle in "A Fairly Odd Christmas," in which Santa Claus tells Timmy, "With great power, and yes, magical fairies do fall under that category, comes great responsibility."
    • In "It's a Wishful Life", one of the consequences of Timmy not being born, according to Jorgen, is the Chicago Cubs actually winning the World Series, something that would eventually come to happen in 2016. Looks like we live in the world where Timmy wasn't born.
    • The Dinkleberg meme, you know, the one where Dinkleberg is blamed for everything? Well, try to watch the episode where Dinkleberg pretends to actually be evil and try not to laugh harder.
    • One of the (minor) wishes Timmy's made has been for a unicorn, which is a lot funnier when you remember one of the later roles his voice actress wound up taking. Bonus points for both shows having a character named Trixie.
      • Hilarious for the same reason, in the first Crimson Chin episode, Timmy wins a costume contest at the comic con due to his Cleft outfit, the prize he wins being "Pretty Ponies" issue 2 and 3.
      • Double points is that in the first Crimson Chin episode is one of the show's many Superhero Episodes and the title "Pretty Ponies" might lead to this episode.
    • In "Nega-Timmy", the poof cloud whenever Timmy does opposites from his parents says "Foop". Cue the first episode of the seventh season.
    • In "When Losers Attack", Foop, Crocker, and Dark Laser team up and call their group the League Of Super Evil Revenge Seekers (LOSERS). Those who are familiar with their forgotten Cartoon Network shows will recall a show they ran called League of Super Evil.
    • In the episode where Timmy visits Atlantis, the mermen eat crabs, sea-stars, and the occasional underwater squirrel. Guess who experienced Seasonal Rot before the other.
    • This line from "Tiny Timmy": "Emotions are controlled by little people in chairs." Not to mention a later episode in which Timmy wished away all his emotions after being publicly humiliated at a community swimming pool, where said emotions were represented as an uncontrollable hoard of tiny, colorful, anthropomorphic spirits designed accordingly to the individual feelings they embodied (i.e. an anthropomorphic pink heart representing "love").
    • Cat Man, anyone? Also, both the April Fool and the Inappropriate Comedy Tree like to say "What's up with that?"
    • For certain Five Nights at Freddy's and South Park fans, Sparky's name and species can be seen as this.
    • One of Timmy's more minor friends on the show was a kid named Sanjay.
    • There's one episode that is titled and features a Show Within a Show called The Odd Squad. By sheer coincidence, an edutainment show on PBS would end up having the same name.
    • The episode "Pipe Down" partially revolves around charades. Then you realize this may have been inspired by Butch Hartman's time as a contestant on the CBS game show Body Language, which revolved around charades. (On a side note, Dee Bradley Baker's co-star from another Nickelodeon show, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Kirk Fogg also appeared as a contestant on Body Language.)
    • "The Boy Who Would Be Queen" was first aired in 2002, but Chester's panicked insistence that boys and girls have different bathrooms because they're different and his meltdown at seeing Veronica in the boys' room with him is even more topical more than a decade later as it resembles the transgender bathroom panic. The general theme of this episode was a deconstruction of gender norms with the moral of "Boys shouldn't be ashamed for liking girly things, and girls shouldn't be ashamed for liking boyish things." It became a lot more topical in The New '10s with the rising Brony fandom (male fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) and more girls being into video games that were normally aimed at boys.
    • The plot of "Just the Two of Us" is a guy arranges it so that the girl he likes will be trapped with him in a world where they're the only two people around, only for her to eventually snap and turn on him. In 2016, someone decided to turn this 10-minute cartoon episode into a feature length film.
    • In the otherwise lackluster "Timmy's Secret Wish," we find out the titular wish was for Timmy and everyone else to stay the same age, even after 50 years. Fast forward to 2017...
    • The debut episode of the Nega-Chin has Timmy summon all the alternate versions of the Crimson Chin to fight the entirety of the Chin's Rogues Gallery in that episode's climax. Wait, that sounds familiar...
  • The Life With Loopy short "Loopy And The Snow-Lady", which aired in 1998, had Loopy try to bring the "snow lady" she made in the winter to a winter-themed indoor theme park during the summer so she doesn't melt. Unfortunately, Snow-Lady is absolutely fascinated by summer, especially the beach.
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Ember Island Players" features a play based on the Gaang's adventures which isn't exactly accurate. In light of the live-action film, this exchange seems almost prophetic.
    Zuko: That wasn't a good play.
    Aang: I'll say.
    Katara: No kidding.
    Suki: Horrible.
    Toph: You said it.
    Sokka: But the effects were decent!
    • Amusingly, many people found the effects to be decisively lacking.
    • Yes, lacking giant fish monsters.
    • The Boiling Rock was leaked in the last week of April, for people in Latin America, that meant to see Azula using the Repulsive Fire to fly THE VERY SAME day that Tony Stark did it with repulsive rays in Iron Man.
    • In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Sokka has to wear the Kyoshi Warriors' usual apparel to get training from them, and Aang mocks him for it ("nice dress"). About a season later Aang himself has to wear almost the same thing as part when he's trying to channel Kyoshi's spirit.
    • For those of you who succeeded in repressing all memory of How I Became Yours (or just have never seen it), remember how Katara bloodbends in broad daylight, something supposedly impossible in-universe? Two (actually 3)of Korra's villains do the exact same thing.
    • For much of the series we were told that Earthbenders are useless around metal, then Toph comes around and proves us all wrong by bending metalnote .
    • In "The Avatar and the Firelord", Roku tells Aang "Being the Avatar doesn't hurt your chances with the ladies either." Both Roku's predecessor Kyoshi and Aang's sucessor Korra were/are bisexual and are shown in relationships with other women.
    • In "Avatar Day", Sokka loses his boomerang and says it would be like Aang losing his arrow tattoos or Katara losing her "hair loopies". Later, for several episodes of Book Three, Aang covers up his arrow and Katara changes her hairstyle while Team Avatar is hiding out in the Fire Nation.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Korra's jealousy and resentment of Asami for dating Mako is hilarious after watching the Grand Finale since Korra and Asami have a Relationship Upgrade and start dating. This also makes Hiroshi's disapproval of associating with benders all the more hilarious.
    • On that note, a popular Crack Ship from before the series started was pairing Korra with Yue (whose actress in the live action movie went on to voice Asami).
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • The episode "Rinse & Spit" closes with a segment where Gordon, a foot parody of Johnny Carson, talks about the importance of visiting the dentist. Five years after the episode aired, a children's show called The Noddy Shop had an episode called "The Tooth Fairy" in which a spoof of Johnny Carson called Johnny Crawfish sings a song about the Tooth Fairy which has Johnny confess he has a cavity and ends with him wishing the Tooth Fairy could visit him at the dentist.
    • One of the characters on the hit Show Within a Show Wacky Delly is yellow and has holes, just like another who would take the world by storm some years later. Coincidentally, both shows shared many of the same staff members.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius season 2 finale "Win, Lose and Kaboom!" the episode parodies hit reality television show Survivor. During that spoof Bolbi voted himself off and is sent to the Cell of Indignity (in there he spent the rest of the game being pampered and waited on by two beautiful alien women providing him food from home). Two years later on Survivor: Micronesia, contestant Cirie Fields asked contestant Erik Reichenbach to give her the immunity necklace he won in the Immunity Challenge thus voting himself out of the game. On Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Tyson Apostol switched his vote from Russell Hantz to Parvati Shallow at the last minute in the tribal council. Hantz used an immunity idol for Shallow thus resulting in Apostol being voted off instead of sticking to the split vote plan. In the season Survivor: Game Changers, during the tribe switch contestant Debbie Wanner became the only castaway without a buff and is sent to Exile Island. When Debbie got there the "island" was a yacht which was loaded with food from home and advice from former contestant John Cochran. On another CBS show Big Brother 19 there was a memory competition for the POV. Each houseguest had to get a question right in order to advance to the next round, and if a houseguest got a question wrong they would have to complete a challenge. One of the challenges was an eating challenge which houseguests Elena Davies, Josh Martinez and Matthew Clines did after they got a specific question wrong. They were forced to eat something gross, which is the exact same challenge Carl Wheezer did in "Win, Lose and Kaboom!"
  • The My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "This Time With Feeling", in which Fembot Jenny upgrades herself with a nervous system that allows her to be tickled and feel pain, predates the creation of a real nervous system for robots.
  • The episode of Rugrats where the kids find a stork egg and think it will hatch a baby brother for Tommy becomes ironic when Dylan is born much later in the series.
  • Invader Zim:
    • In one episode, Zim catches Dib sneaking around his house in a squirrel disguise. After Dib runs off, Zim yells a parting insult to him, calling him "Squirrel boy!" Several years later, Zim's voice actor would go on to voice the titular character in the series Squirrel Boy.
    • This, when you consider the Internet meme involving trollface and "u jelly?"
      Dib: You're just jealous...
      Zim: This has nothing to do with jelly!
    • Pretty much everything, if you've played Psychonauts. A short, goggle-wearing character voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz, dealing with a paranoid security guard, wearing goggles, enjoys setting things on fire, and screaming about meat? There's also Zim trying to justify his green skin with "a skin condition" and Psychonauts' cast featuring several green, blue, and purple-skinned characters.
    • When Gaz gets cursed, Professor Membrane creates the "Pig Girl" wing and the character herself (who is a horrifyingly cutesy version of Gaz with a pig nose added) becomes popular with young children and even gets a movie. note  A decade later, an English-speaking pig who is loved by all ages becomes famous worldwide.
    • Almighty Tallest Purple was voiced by Kevin McDonald. A year later, he would be voicing another wacky alien in a science fiction story.
    • Zim's species' skin seems to be burned by water. One year later, Signs comes out.
    • One of the most common Fandom Specific Plots among Invader Zim fanfics is Zim finding out the truth about his mission being fake and becoming depressed over it. That exact plot ends up being used in the movie special Enter the Florpus.
  • At the end of an episode of The Angry Beavers, the beavers and Stump are playing a trivia game, and Norbert asks what an expy of Indiana Jones did when confronted with certain danger. The answer is "He did nothing." Years later in another Nicktoon, that becomes the same thing someone says he did (actually biding his time) when his city was invaded.

    Transformers and Its Spin-Offs 
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • Bumblebee dressed as a vampire and said he "want[s] to drink your motor oil". Oil is later shown to be the Transformer equivalent of alcohol. That means he's supposed to be Dracula and he said, "I want some beer". Maybe he's a vampire, but not Dracula...
    • "Till All Are One": In Transformers Animated, Elita-1 has the power to download every Cybertronian's special ability, indeed.
    • In a later episode, the oil-guzzling Constructicons actually do ingest a bit of Bumblebee's motor oil after they find a trail made by his leaking tank. Apparently he tastes even better than their usual fare, so it's possible that Bumblebee just settled on the first blood analogue he could find for his dramatic statement.
    • It also serves as a sort of retroactive Reverse Funny Aneurysm moment when you consider two things:
      1. Before this episode, Beast Wars introduced Tarantulas, who at least once tried to drain the mech fluids of a Maximal in a vampiric manner.
      and 2. During that same time, a cartoon called Vanpires aired, about - you guessed it - mechanoid vampire cars that drained the motor oil from helpless vehicles.
    • Safeguard's look reminds many people of Kamen Rider Double. One person even modded their Safeguard into CycloneJoker colours.
    • The casting of Corey Burton, the voice of Shockwave on Generation 1 as Megatron. Recently in Dark of the Moon, the G1 incarnation of Megatron's voice actor, Frank Welker, returned the favor and voiced movie Shockwave.
    • Wasn't there another show where Jeff Bennett and Bill Fagerbakke voiced two characters in a Five-Man Band who were put in stasis? And funnily enough, their roles in the team are even the same.
    • One of TF Wiki's earlier image captions for Lugnut describes him in relation to Shockwave and Omega Supreme. This becomes amusing when Animated Shockwave is introduced and Lugnut feuds with him on who is Megatron's most loyal servant. And then the last episodes have the creation of Lugnut Supreme, based on Omega Supreme, which involved both Lugnut and Shockwave.
    • Lugnut is fanatically loyal to Megatron in the series. Several years after the end of Animated, a new incarnation of Lugnut in the IDW G1 continuity becomes a part of Deathsaurus' army in More Than Meets the Eye, who are dead set on murdering Megatron after his defection to the Autobots.
    • In "Human Error Pt. 2", both Optimus Prime and Soundwave battles using The Power of Rock (complete with guitar shredding). Fast forward to 2014, and we got another one from Hasbro... in the form of a My Little Pony: Equestria Girls short involving Rainbow Dash and Trixie in a guitar shred-off!
    • There's something funny about how back in Beast Wars, Gary Chalk voiced G1 Megatron but in this series David Kaye now voices Optimus Prime. Deliciously ironic yeeesss?
    • In "Transwarped, Part 1", Bulkhead utters a version of phrase his Transformers: Prime counterpart would frequently be on the receiving end of by Ratchet: "We need that."
  • Beast Wars:
    • In the episode "Possession", the Starscream-possessed Waspinator tells the Predacons a lie about how he fell at the hands of Unicron while defending Galvatron. Well, guess what ends up happening to Starscream in Transformers: Armada...
    • During the episode "Call of the Wild", the Maximals have been taken over by the primal instinct of their beast modes, and the Predacons are hunting them down. Now look at the following quote and try to not think about Sarah Palin. However, not all will find this as amusing, given that it involves "hunting/poaching" animals, shooting wild wolves from helicopters with rifles.
      Terrorsaur: Huntin' from the air with automatic weapons! Now that's a sport!
    • Also from Beast Wars, Blackarachnia once made an annoyed off-handed remark that almost seems to foreshadow a certain infamous director.
      Blackarachnia: What is it with guys and high explosives?
    • In "Double Jeopardy," Rattrap is suspected of being a spy and sent on a mission to prove his loyalty. When he gets attacked by Terrorsaur while his coms are open, Rhinox turns to Dinobot and says "I told you he wasn't a Predacon clone." At the time it's a throw-away line, but by the end of the series, there have been multiple Dinobot clones, and none of any other character, which makes it quite a bit funnier that he's the one who came up with that theory.
    • When the show started, detractors protested the show saying "TRUKK NOT MUNKY!", referring to Optimus Primal's gorilla form. In "Optimal Situation", as Primal shares the spark of Optimus Prime, he becomes a new transformer whose modes include truck and monkey (gorilla).
  • The Transformers:
    • The episode "Hoist Goes Hollywood" has the Autobots participating in a film. But the human cast overshadows them, there's a good deal of pyrotechnics and explosions in it, and the director initially lacks respect for the Autobots. And then it all actually happened.
    • The episode "Heavy Metal War" features Megatron taking the powers of the other Decepticons to use in battle. Three years later, a more benevolent robot with "Mega" in his name would do the same thing.
    • "Fire on the Mountain" uses the term "robot chicken". Then the identically named series came twenty years later, and frequently uses Transformers in its sketches.

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks:
    • On December 17, 1988, an episode titled "The Wall" focused on the Chipmunks performing in Berlin and meeting a young girl whose brother was trapped on the other side of the Berlin Wall. During that episode, a song titled "The Wall" is performed, complete with said wall crumbling down. While the episode proved All Just a Dream, not quite one year later... the wall begins to come down for real. Also counts as Heartwarming in Hindsight.
    • The episode "Theodore's Life as a Dog" has Theodore pretending that he has become a weredog. In the 2000 direct-to-video film Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, Theodore starts behaving like a dog when he becomes a werewolf for real.
  • Arthur:
    • The 2002 special It's Only Rock 'n' Roll has D.W. drawing trading cards based on members of U-Stink, and she writes their names wrong; Fern's card calls her Ferb.
    • In the episode "Meet Binky", the eponymous band is outed as being a bunch of holograms when Arthur tosses a banana peel into a bizarrely cylindrical computer, mistaking it for a trash can, causing the system to glitch out. Fast forward to 2013 when Apple announces a brand-new Mac Pro that looks almost exactly like that. As a bonus, one of the most common uses of Mac Pros is in media production, which is exactly the sort of thing the computer on the show was doing.
  • An episode of The Backyardigans had Uniqua as a flower seller who turned into a pink-clad superheroine with flower-themed powers. Later, HeartCatch Pretty Cure! comes along with a protagonist who had those exact traits.
  • In the song scenes from The Beatles cartoon "Strawberry Fields," Paul is seen sliding down a helter skelter with some children. A year later, the real Paul would record his song "Helter Skelter" for the band's White Album.
  • From the Betty Boop cartoon Minnie the Moocher: The titular song contains a line about Minnie meeting the king of Sweden. The character singing the song is a walrus. Robbaz, a Swedish YouTuber who started his channel in 2006, jokingly calls himself "king of Sweden" and associates himself with walruses.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures: In one episode, there is a Mister Rogers' Neighborhood parody called Mr. Radish. 30 years later, a spin-off of the show Mr. Radish parodied, Donkey Hodie, premiered, and the titular character adores a character named The Amazing Radish.
  • Bob's Burgers:
  • In Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!, Long John Baldry voices KOMPLEX, the ruler of the Toad Empire, who is an evil (computerized) toad and is bent on taking over the galaxy. A few years later, he voiced a good toad, being Mistle Toad in Toad Patrol.
  • Captain N: The Game Master featured Princess Lana, who was good friends with Zelda and ruled Videoland, but didn't come from any particular game. Fast-forward to September 2014, one of the new playable characters in Hyrule Warriors is a heroine named Lana, though she's completely different from the cartoon character.
  • The Cleveland Show:
    • In an early episode, there's a cutaway gag of Uncle Thomas the Tank Engine. A few years later there were accusations of subtle racism in the children's show.
    • Another episode features a cutaway in which a man on the street asks one of the Wachowski siblings "So you have a vagina?" "No, that's my brother." This becomes funny now that both Wachowskis have come out as trans women.
  • The Critic:
    • One episode had Jay preparing to review Home Alone 5 with Kevin as an adult. Fast forward to 2012, and a real Home Alone 5 was made, though with a different kid instead.
    • Another episode gave us the memetic "And nothing of value was lost" quip when a flaming parade float crashes into a theatre playing Cats and blows it to kingdom come. After the film adaptation crash-landed into theatres with its downright abysmal critical reception and gained notoriety for its creepy characters, the clip has only become funnier.
  • Daria had a section on 'Sick Sad World' featuring a story involving a princess turning into a frog after kissing an enchanted prince.
  • Dinosaur Train, a cartoon which first started in 2009, has a Spinosaurus character named The Old Spinosaurus. It was a fairly accurate reconstruction of the animal based on the science known at that time, but science marched on so hard for Spinosaurus in 2014 with the discovery of a more complete specimen which gives the name Old Spinosaurus a whole different meaning than originally intended.
  • In the 1949 Droopy cartoon Out-Foxed, Droopy and other dogs go fox hunting. The fox is first seen at home, reading a newspaper titled Fox News — the similarly named television network didn't exist until 1996.
  • The Duckman episode "Dammit, Hollywood" had No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up together to kill Duckman. Then along comes The Expendables and its sequels to make this collaboration a reality, along with many other action stars.
  • In the Fantastic Four: The Animated Series episode "Prey of the Black Panther," The Thing jokingly calls Black Panther "The Lion King" and "Shere Khan." Marvel eventually ended up being bought out by Disney, who would go on to release the Black Panther movie.
  • This clip from Fritz the Cat for a multitude of reasons:
    • The girls ask why James Earl Jones always plays black characters - some of his most famous roles after this movie were The Lion King and Darth Vader.
    • To anyone who uses Tumblr or LiveJournal, that entire scene will either make you roll on the floor laughing, or cringe uncomfortably for the same reason: You've seen that conversation take place, maybe even word for word.
  • Frosty's Winter Wonderland's portrayal of Jack Frost looks quite similar to the character Jevil from Deltarune, a video game initially released in 2018. They're both short humanoids with large Pointed Ears, wearing jester-like motleys. But what really makes this HIH is that Jack Frost unintentionally quotes what would later become one of Jevil's most famous lines:
    Jack Frost: I'm Jack Frost! I'm wonderful! Why, I can do anything wintery!
  • Futurama:
    • In season 1's "When Aliens Attack," Fry accidentally spills soda on a TV switchboard and scrambles an airing of the Ally McBeal Expy Single Female Lawyer. Cut to Omicron Persei 8, where Single Female Lawyer gets cut off due to technical difficulties and an announcer says, "We now bring you eight animated shows in a row" (which would be impossible, if the signal from Earth's FOX station is out), causing an alien to get frustrated and shoot his television. Now that it's over a decade later and FOX once had a Sunday-night lineup called "Animation Domination", this joke still plays quite well today. However, in November 1999, when the episode first aired, this would have counted as more of a joke about FOX airing animated shows because there were just three cartoons total on FOX Sunday nights: Futurama, The Simpsons and King of the Hill.
    • The season 1 episode "Fishful of Dollars" ends with Dr. Zoidberg yelling for "MORE!".
      • The same episode has Fry buy Ted Danson's skeleton for $10,000 because "I have an idea for a sitcom". Fifteen years later, Netflix premiered The Good Place, a sitcom about dead people... starring Ted Danson.
    • In the season 4 episode "Three Hundred Big Boys", made just after the dot-com bubble burst, Hermes' son Dwight mentions that he'll use a penny he was given to "buy five stocks of", to which Hermes responds, "A risk taker. That's my boy." And twelve years after that episode aired, Amazon became the largest retail company in the US.
    • In "The Honking", Calculon reveals he was attacked by the original were-car in the year 2019. Come the actual year 2019, a self-driving Tesla ran over and "killed" a robot at the Las Vegas CES tech show. Cue yet more jokes about Matt Groening being able to predict the future.
    • In the episode "Crimes of the Hot", the scientists are cheered at a conference as if they were movie stars. In the 2010s, scientists gained a level of popularity and visibility rarely seen.
  • The 2014 FIFA World Cup was accompanied by a German parody show called Hoeggschde Konzentration. The episode right before the match against Brazil had the Germans completely ridicule their opponents, expecting to win 6-0. They went on to win 7-1 in Real Life.
  • The Illusionauts, a little-known mockbuster of Fantastic Four, whose premise features a group of heroes recruited to enter the world inside a fiction writer's books (in the original dub, the aforementioned writer is Jules Verne) to keep it from being changed. Four years later, we have Bungo to Alchemist, which has exactly that as its central premise (but with the recruited heroes being the actual authors of the books being protected, brought Back from the Dead).
  • Kaeloo features an ice and snow-themed penguin villain named Olaf. He was introduced in 2012, the year before Frozen premiered in theaters with an ice and snow-themed snowman hero named Olaf.
  • The elections in the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Inside Job" (which aired in 2014) echoes some opinions about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with one candidate focused on spending money and making verbal jabs while the other one initially plays nice but decides to play dirty later on. The school collectively settling on a third student mirrors some sentiments of voting for a third-party candidate.
  • The 1990s children's series Magic Adventures of Mumfie had two queens who are sisters in it: The Queen of Night and The Queen of Light, whose outfits closely resemble those of Anna and Elsa, whom are also royal sisters, but only one of them is queen. Their statuses are also reminiscent of those of the royal sisters Celestia and Luna from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • In the Mel-O-Toons short "The Seasons", Prosperine looks just like Alexa Hamilton.
  • On October 9, 2010, an episode of The Penguins of Madagascar had Private be offended that Kowalski would mock his favorite show about unicorns. It was meant to be a joke that Private was weird in the fact he liked something for girls. Only a day later, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic happened.
  • In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, one of the Misfit Toys is a cowboy who rides an ostrich. Similar flightless birds as steeds have since become a common subtrope of Horse of a Different Color, and one show in particular even features an actual cross between a horse and an ostrich as one of its many Mix-and-Match Critters.
  • The Secret of Anastasia (a Mockbuster of Anastasia) has a plot point where Anastasia has two men interested in her, and is unaware that one of them is a Prince Charmless who's only using her to get the throne. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
  • Tex Avery's 1955 short for Walter Lantz, Shhhhhh: The main character exclaims "D'oh!" twice.
  • During the first season Stickin' Around episode "Buttnochio", the kids see a movie called Megamind, which is much different than the real movie.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! understandably has a lot of it, being a cartoon based on such a long-running video game franchise. In the episode "Two Plumbers and a Baby", Peach is accidentally transformed into a baby after falling in the Fountain of Youth, and Koopa ends up suffering the same fate later on. This was years before Baby Peach and Baby Bowser's canon debuts, respectively in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
    • Two episodes, "Stars in your Eyes" and "Star Koopa", have the Mario Bros. travel through space to save Peach and the galaxy from Bowser, just like Super Mario Galaxy. Mario finally goes into space for the first time on the Moon Zone stages in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
    • In the "Mama Luigi" episode of Super Mario World, Mario tells Luigi that Peach is locked up in Bowser's "Coney Island Disco Palace". Fast forward 20 years to World Bowser in Super Mario 3D World.
    • An episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has Mario and friends taking Princess Toadstool to a Milli Vanilli concert. In this episode, songs were used during the concert performances without permission from the band, who had said songs removed for legal reasons. The copyright-friendly version of the episode featured stock instrumental rock music playing in the background, with the singers' mouths still moving as if singing.
    • In one episode, Bowser tries to force Peach to marry him. This idea was already used multiple times. Although the tux Bowser wears is VERY similar to the one he would wear in Super Mario Odyssey.
    • In the episode, "The Unzappables", Al Koopone (King Koopa as one of his many alter egos) destroys a safe by going Bob-omb Bowling. This was 9 years before the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which included the Bombchu Bowling mini-game, in which you roll bombs into holes in a wall to win rupees, which the safe has a very similar resemblance to.
    • One episode of the live-action segments is called "HAL 9001: A Mario Odyssey".
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • In "Any which way but Zeus", Doc Venture wants desperately to be kidnapped by the mystery villain and says this:
      Dr. Venture: Soon this guy will want a "Rusty Venture" on his mantleplace.
      • We later learn in "Operation PROM" what that means.
    • Dr. Orpheus being mistaken for a "Dracula" is even funnier after Hotel Transylvania was released, centering around the actual Dracula as a Large Ham single dad protecting his Perky Goth short-haired daughter from her dorky love interest. It even earned the nickname "Dr. Orpheus: The Movie" from some fans.
    • Fans had been crossing over Team Fortress 2 with Venture Bros. for a couple of years due to their similar art style and humor. Now there's VB Cosplay items in TF2, and an ad for the game even ran at the end of S5E1. Perhaps as a coincidence, that episode revealed that Sgt. Hatred's real name is Courtney, while TF2's resident Drill Sergeant Nasty also has a feminine name: Jane.
    • In season five's third episode, Shore Leave in a fit of exasperation yells "That's So Raven!" becomes funnier when the actress herself, Raven-Symoné, came out on twitter
    • "Well, did you dab?" "What?" "Dab. Did you dab?" "" "I dab." "Well, I don't." "You should dab." "Stop saying dab!"
    • One episode has Expies of the Scooby gang break in to the Venture compound to hunt a ghost they believe is there. It...does not end well for them when they go after the boys. Luckily, the gang's next encounter with Dean and his brother goes much more pleasantly for them.
    • Speaking of which, said series also has their Dean go through a montage where he ends up dying in increasingly darkly comic ways.
    • The whole "Dr. Venture cloning Dean and Hank to keep them alive" thing, given a similar thing ends up being a plot point in explaining resurrections in X-Men (2019).
  • The 1941 Woody Woodpecker short, "Pantry Panic":
  • The 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon featured a number of Ho Yay moments between Magneto and Professor X, especially in the series finale. A few years later, openly gay actor Ian McKellen was cast as Magneto in the live-action films.
    • The series' fifth season included a two-parter titled "Storm Front", wherein Storm becomes engaged to Arkon, a seemingly affable alien ruler. Beast and Wolverine consider her acceptance too quick; when Storm refers to Arkon as the man she loves, Wolverine quips, "who you just met." The series' DVD releases were licensed by Disney, who later released a movie with a very similar message and quote, and which also featured a main character with Elemental Powers.
    • In X-Men: Evolution when the Brotherhood is first introduced to Wanda, Lance sarcastically asks whether she's Pietro's old girlfriend, when in fact she is his sister. Later, in the Ultimate Avengers universe, they would be boyfriend and girlfriend, as well as brother and sister!
  • Inspector Gadget seems to have predicted the existence of modern voice recognition technology; an activation word or phrase (Go Go Gadget), followed by a prompt (name of the gadget he wishes to use), and then half the time it doesn't work as intended.
  • The 2006 Drawn Together episode "Terms of Endearment" does a Chair Reveal scene taken directly from Admiral Piett glimpsing Vader's helmet being lowered onto his scarred head in The Empire Strikes Back. Except that in the Drawn Together version the villain is revealed to be... Mickey Mouse, six years before Disney obtained The Empire Strikes Back!
  • One episode of King of the Hill has Bobby looking to buy a new gaming system and finding a cheap one online. Hank then tells him that he can't just buy things from a stranger online and stresses the importance of finding a physical person for each type of purchase. The episode came out in 2008, when online shopping existed but hadn't yet reached the level of commonness that it has in the current day.
  • In the 1938 Popeye cartoon "The Twisker Pitcher," Popeye's Pirates are facing Bluto's Bears in a baseball game. Before Popeye eats his spinach, his team is trailing the Bears by a 21-0 score. Fast forward to April 23, 2022, where the Cubs of Chicago defeated the Pirates of Pittsburgh, 21-0.