The audience is informed of some fact X, which is both shocking and important. There's a bomb in the briefcase, or Alice is The Mole, or whatever. This is often communicated via a character who has just realized X, and says it out loud (thus informing the audience); perhaps he realizes X while explaining the situation to someone else. Another alternative is to use a fact-revealing Flashback. In any case, the audience very suddenly realizes X. Less than five seconds later, before anyone has a chance for a meaningful reaction (such as disarming the bomb), X becomes incredibly relevant. The bomb goes off, or Alice shoots Bob, or whatever.
The purpose of this trope is to allow something shocking to happen without confusing the audience. If Bob flips a lightswitch and suddenly his whole house explodes, the audience might be left wondering what happened. If the writers want to avoid that feeling, they employ this trope. Thus, Carol figures it out beforehand and says something like "Alice put a bomb in Bob's house!", or perhaps we're shown a flashback of Alice planting the bomb. In either case, the audience is informed and confusion is avoided. Of course, if we're informed about the bomb several minutes before the event, it won't be as shocking, and in Bob's case it leaves the writers with the trouble of explaining how Bob knew about the bomb, but didn't manage to do anything about it before it went off. Thus, we're informed of the truth, and the truth becomes relevant soon afterwards.
Alternately, it's an easy way of setting up and dealing with an Exact Words twist quickly.
Technically, this trope should only apply when the audience (not just a character) learns something new. If the audience already knows what's up and it's only the characters who suddenly realize something, that's a different trope. Also, if the bomb goes off and the audience is only told after the fact that Bob had it all figured out five seconds previously, that doesn't count either.
It's perfectly fine if there are hints about X scattered around the story, just so long as the audience is not intended to really get it until a critical moment, just before X causes something drastic.
Frequently, the only thing a character has time for in this situation is to go "Oh, Crap!", sometimes as a revelation. Can be related to sudden awful weather, and often involves things getting worse. Compare Confirm Before Reveal, Imminent Danger Clue and Musical Spoiler.
As this normally happens just before a plot twist, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead in the examples below. Beware!
- Attack on Titan: In the pilot, the three main characters are wondering if titans will ever break through the walls to the city again. Armin says, "Just because it hasn't happened in 100 years, doesn't mean it won't happen today," and in mere seconds the air calms, all background noises cease, a flash of lightning sends a shockwave over the city, and standing outside the wall is a titan taller than they've ever seen. It kicks through the wall, and all hell promptly breaks loose.
- The manga combines this with Description Cut. During Kako's battle, Kako, having witnessed the enemy robot wipe out the Self-Defense Forces fighter planes and ships, begins running away in a futile attempt to save himself, knowing that even if he wins his battle, he'll die. Moji knows that if the time runs out, the world will be destroyed, but wonders how anyone can convince Kako that he has to fight and die to save the world, and concludes that "No one can." The next panel shows Kirie, and the panel after that shows the dawning realization on Moji's face, before Kirie snarkily says that Kako "sure (is) a fast runner," thus causing Kako to fly into a rage.
- In the anime, just as Chizu dies, she leans back in her chair and puts her hands on her stomach. In the next scene, the group learns that she was pregnant, and Anko makes note of this specific gesture.
- Buso Renkin: As Papillon picks up Doctor Butterfly's kakugane, the audience can see that it has the same unique serial number as Kazuki's. Moments later the shell on Kazuki's kakugane breaks away to reveal that it is actually a black kakugane, the same type that created the Big Bad Victor.
- In the final episode of Digimon Adventure: (2020), as Omegamon battles Abaddomon, his right arm which normally has the Garuru Cannon changes into a golden sword, and then both arms transform into the Garuru Cannon and a red cannon respectively. An attentive viewer may recognize those colour schemes for the alternate weapons as the ones used by BlitzGreymon (the red cannon) and CresGarurumon (the golden sword), and this serves as this trope for the the final moments of the fight, featuring Omegamon Alter-S as a Super Mode for Omegamon.
- For a heroic example, in Fullmetal Alchemist, Fu uses a variety of flashbangs and colorful explosives in combat. During the fight at the main gate in Central on the Promised Day, there's a sudden burst of brightly-colored clouds, and, sure enough, Fu announces his presence a few seconds later.
- In New Game!, as Nene's college lets out for summer break, she sees a job posting for Eagle Jump on a bulletin board. In the next scene, as Umiko notices that one of the debuggers is late and considers firing her, Nene shows up in a cold sweat, revealing that she took a job at Eagle Jump.
- One Piece
- When Luffy and Nami ask the Galley-La shipwrights about whether they can repair the Going Merry, there's a brief flashback in which Zoro(who'd waited at the ship) is shown reacting in surprise to Kaku's assessment of the ship. Kaku then reveals to Luffy and Nami what he'd told Zoro- that the Going Merry can't be fixed.
- When a masked assassin arrives in Iceberg's room, Hattori the pigeon lands on the assassin's shoulder. Seconds later, the assassin is revealed to be Rob Lucci, a government assassin who'd posed as a Galley-La shipwright, and pretended he couldn't speak, using Hattori to speak for him.
- Pandemonium Wizard Village: On the way to the village chief's house, Zipher, Domika, and Molte pass by a graveyard. A few pages later, Ainu makes it very clear that the village cannot resurrect the dead.
- Persona 5: The Animation has a scene in which, like in the game, Chihaya foretells misfortune befalling Ryuji shortly before he's set upon by the Shibuya Creatures. Unlike in the game, though, in which it happened after the protagonist was done meeting with Ohya, the Creatures show up about a minute later.
- The Quintessential Quintuplets: A character bio in one of the volumes states that Yotsuba's favorite drink is carbonated juice. In Chapter 113, Fuutarou is shown to order a can of juice from a vending machine; a few panels later, he arrives to the room where Yotsuba had left her phone in and says, "Sorry for the wait."
- In one of the Robotech novels, "End of the Circle," the planet Haydon IV turns into a Giant robot. On its hands are two massive tuning-fork like prongs. The Sentinal Alliance decides to attack the planet-bot and seems to be doing well, but the planet isn't taking much damage due to pin-point barrier systems and anti-air batteries. It seems normal, except for power buildup in the prongs. Suddenly, Exedore realizes that the two technologies (transformation and pin-point barriers) were both used in the original SDF-1, and that the tuning forks are near-exact copies of the ship's Wave-Motion Gun. He starts to call out a warning, but the guns fire, nearly destroying the fleet flagship utterly.
- In the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, once Professor Chronos gets the upper hand in the duel with Judai, the audience realizes that he is using his real deck and not one of the weak proctor ones, so everybody is waiting to see if he really has a legendary rare card. No sooner do they finish speaking than Chronos summons his ace monster, which is the card they were talking about.
- In Yuri is My Job!, after Hime Shiraki mentions that a classmate who saw through her façade ruined her reputation, Mitsuki Ayanokouji asks for the classmate's name. Hime immediately says that the classmate's name is Mitsuki Yano, mentioning it to the readers for the first time and foreshadowing what happens next- Mitsuki revealing that she was the person in question, and thus, her sharing a first name with Hime's old friend wasn't a coincidence.
- A man being served shaved ice remarks "That's a lot of ice!". Then he's frozen over by Sejuku arriving by the river on his wintery rampage not a moment later.
- Mr. Jamie starts considering teaching his students robotics moments before a bad robot kidnaps him in the library.
- A Black Widow storyline has Natasha on the run after secrets of her past have come to light. Angry they include her once kidnapping a mentor of his years before, Iron Man tracks Natasha down only to find her bloodied, nursing broken ribs and crying out in pain when he grabs her arm. He takes her to his private lab where a bioscanner runs over them.
Tony: Huh, that's strange. It should be highlighting your wounds but all it shows is a few minor scrapes—-Natasha: (hitting him with a taser) Makeup and acting, Tony. You've always been a sucker for both.
- The Oracle Code: Yeong and Izzy find their friend Shanta who they'd been told had gone to a different institution in the private ward and she wakes enough to give an ominous warning right before Lachlan shows up willing to kill everyone to keep what he's been doing silent.
Izzy: We thought she just left. She was nearing the end of her therapy. They told us they couldn't do anything more for her. People leave the center all the time.
Shanta: No one leaves the center.
- During the Swamp Thing story-arc "Earth to Earth", Swamp Thing attacks Gotham City, whose police are holding his wife on "crimes against nature". When one character mentions that, as a city, there's not a lot of plant matter for Swamp Thing to manipulate, Batman mentions the Gotham Botanical Gardens, which include all kinds of plants. As Batman lists off a few examples, a low *THOOM* *THOOM* *THOOM* sound is heard in the background. Just as Batman finishes his list of examples with the word "Redwoods...", we see a 200-foot tall Swamp Thing made of intertwined redwood trunks approaching the city's center.
- Ultimate Wolverine: Wildchild's mooks are suddenly naked, and Wildchild suffers a Neck Snap in high speed. And then, the blur stops: it's Quicksilver.
- Becoming the Mask: While sparring with Draal for the first time, Jim takes several hits and becomes somewhat disoriented. He wonders why the arena is so brightly lit - not due to his head injury making it look brighter, but because, as a later line of narration reveals, he's having a flashback to his time in the Darklands.
- build your wings on the way down: Hughes meets Gabby at the train station for Ed's departure and thinks she looks familiar. He then immediately realizes that Gabby shares her looks with her sister, Olivier Armstrong.
- The Dark Lords of Nerima: "What's a gas main?" Said by a monster, leading to Ranma realizing that not only is the fake altar packed with about four times as much explosives as they need due to Poor Communication Kills, the whole shebang is right next to said gas main. Cue Oh, Crap!.
- A Long Road: Nie Mingjue expresses worry at the possibility of Valdemar trying to keep his friend Lan Xichen's younger brother within their boundaries, and a frontier guard twitches when he lays eyes on Lan Wangji since he's dressed in white — the traditional attire for Heralds. Sure enough, the guy is almost immediately Chosen by a Companion barely a few hours after entering the country — and it's all in the first chapter.
- In Robb Returns, when Baelish shows up for his trial by combat, Jon Arryn seems oddly gleeful to see him wearing the heaviest armor the former could find. A minute later, the reason becomes obvious: so he will drop to the depths of the Blackwater and drown.
- A Triangle in the Stars:
- In Chapter 10, Connie runs off to the pool to get a lifeguard. Who else do we know who got a brief job as a lifeguard? it's Wendy Corduroy.
- In Chapter 23, Wendy half-heartedly jokes to Connie about there being a secret room in the library. Guess what happens several minutes later?
- Alma: After entering the toy shop, Alma trips over a fallen wind-up doll of a boy on a bike. When she picks it up and puts it on the floor, it immediately tries to drive towards the door, which closes before it can escape. He's actually a child who has been transformed into a doll, which is what Alma also becomes just moments later.
- Bartok the Magnificent: After Ludmilla drinks a vial containing a potion that will turn her into what she is inside, she drops it on the ground and a rat slurps up some remaining drops, which turns it into a rat/dragon hybrid.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: While at a resturaunt, Flint's father mentions that the steaks being served seem a bit big. We can also see in the background, that other tables are having comically large steaks fall onto their plates. A minute or so later, when Flint is walking home, he notices hot dogs at a much bigger size then usual, which leads to him realizing that the food is begining to overmutate.
- Coco: When Imelda prepares to give Miguel her blessing to send him home, the marigold petal she uses emits a faint glow. When the same occurs with Ernesto de la Cruz, the petal he uses does not glow; this is but moments before the big reveal that he's a fraud and not related to Miguel.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, we finally meet Eddy's elusive older brother. When we do, he asks if anyone knows Eddy's there with him. One minute later...
- In Frozen II, Elsa, by virtue of her powers, has always been immune to cold. When she starts shivering and breathing mist, something is seriously wrong. The depths of Ahtohallan freeze her solid only seconds later.
- The Incredibles had Kari calling Mrs. Incredible about how the replacement sitter had shown up to take care of little Jack-Jack. "I didn't order a replacement sitter!" Cue Syndrome, who'd fooled Kari and makes a last stand in an attempt to kidnap Jack-Jack.
- In Incredibles 2, Evelyn talks to Helen about how consumers will sacrifice quality for ease every time, which is a very similar sentiment to the Screenslaver's Motive Rant. She is revealed to be the real Screenslaver before the scene is over.
- In Inside Out, when Riley gets sent to her room and slams the door, Family Island has a small rumble, foreshadowing what is about to happen to the rest of the Personality Islands.
- At the very beginning of The Little Mermaid, Triton and Sebastian are looking forward to the concert. Sebastian comments to the king that Ariel has the most beautiful voice but, once the king's out of earshot the crab mutters to himself "if only she'd show up for rehearsals once in a while." And what do you know, shortly afterwards, Ariel's revealed to be absent, to everyone's shock, and Triton's fury.
- In the Codename: Kids Next Door movie Operation: Z.E.R.O., the Distant Prologue sees two boys finding a hidden KND chamber. Inspired by the discovery, one of those two boys decides to begin his revolution against his own father, renaming himself Numbuh 0. Later in the movie, while escaping from Citi-Zombies, Numbuh 1's father happens to accidentally discover the same secret chamber in their own house. This makes Numbuh 1 take a gamble and guess (correctly) that his aforementioned Bumbling Dad is Numbuh 0 in the flesh.
- Pinocchio: While Pinocchio is in the pool hall with Lampwick, upon close inspection, the chair he sits in has the engraving of a donkey along the top.
- It is established in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island that Jacques the ferryman doesn't come to the island at night. So when Jacques actually does show up at night (and at a very opportune moment, as Shaggy and Scooby are being chased by zombies), this feels a little suspicious. And sure enough, mere seconds later he turns into a Cat creature and starts chasing them.
- In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, mere minutes before Doc-Ock appears one of the villain's arms has been left in plain view on the lab desk as Spider-Man attempts to "hack" the computer. This, along with Spider-Man remarking on how he is going to re-examine his personal biases a few moments before that (when he assumed the head scientist was a man instead of a woman) both foreshadow that this universe's Doc-Ock is Olivia Octavius, the head scientist.
- Tangled: A tiny unicorn figurine, last seen during the "I've Got A Dream" musical number performed by the ruffians at the Snuggly Duckling tavern, appears just before the same ruffians show up to rescue Eugene.
- Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: When Robin wakes up after being konked by a stage light, he comments at how real the Teen Titans set looks, as Jade Wilson gives a Traitor Shot. She then does a Look Behind You, which was a Mind Manipulation trick Slade had used. When she coos "Made you look!", Robin realizes that Jade isn't what she claimed to be.
Robin: Oh, no!
- Toy Story 2:
- In the scene of Andy coming home early, the card game some of the other toys are playing consists of all aces, hinting that it's actually a dream of Woody's.
- When Woody first sees the "Woody's Finest Hour" tape, it's stopped in the middle of a cliffhanger, with Stinky Pete saying Woody's Roundup was cancelled before airing the conclusion. This is the very same tape Woody plays for the others when they come to rescue him, except he doesn't pause it. On the TV in the background, after Buzz delivers his Armor-Piercing Question and leaves, Woody asks "Everybody okay?" and Jessie responds "Sheriff Woody! I knew you'd make it!" implying that Woody rescued Jessie and Pete before the show goes into the "You've Got a Friend in Me" song, showing that Stinky Pete lied shortly before he reveals himself to be Evil All Along.
- After Nick is shot with a Psycho Serum that causes those injected with it to "go savage", he doesn't shift into a more feral appearance, unlike the serum's previous victims. Sure enough, he turns out to be faking it just a minute or so later.
- When Judy is frightened and cornered, her nose twitches in fear; when being cornered by Nick after he is hit with the Night Howler pellet, upon close inspection her nose is not twitching, giving viewers a hint she's really acting.
- The Artist: In the 2011 Silent Film, George and Peppy are audibly panting after their dance routine at the end, hinting it's no longer a silent film and now a talkie.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: During their fight, Batman's punches to Superman's face start moving his head slightly less— mere seconds before one harmlessly clangs off his chin, showing that the kryptonite gas wore off.
- The Dark Knight: While looking at a rectangular object in a prisoner's gut, which suddenly rings; "Is that a... phone?" Yes, it is. Attached to a bomb.
- When the crew of the passenger ferry shuttling people out of Gotham discover the explosives below deck, complete with a detonator, one of them asks, confused, "Why would they give us the detonator to our own bomb?" The Joker immediately cuts into the PA system to helpfully explain what it actually is (a detonator to the explosives on the adjacent ferry).
- Death Proof: When Pam realizes that Stuntman Mike isn't actually going to give her a ride home, there's a super close up of her eyes. One second before Stuntman Mike hits the gas and speeds off... With Pam locked in the passenger side.
- Den of Thieves: During the final shootout, the cops warn the bystanders in their cars to get down in such a way that the engine block is between them and the bullets, letting the audience know that Concealment Equals Cover is not in effect. By the end of the scene, Merrimen is shot through a thin metal fence.
- In Dobermann, the transvestite providing Pitbull with LSD in the club explains how she conceals the drugs in cartridges because the police never think to search there. When the club is raided shortly thereafter, the transvestite grabs her revolver and leaps out to confront the police. Too late, the drug addled Pitbull realises that she grabbed the wrong cartridges and is attempting to shoot the police with a gun loaded with drugs. She gets gunned down.
- In Friday the 13th (1980), Pamela Voorhees is introduced a handful of seconds before being revealed to be the killer.
- The Godfather trilogy:
- The Godfather: Michael realizes something's fishy about the car, and quickly tries to warn his Sicilian wife about it, but shortly thereafter she starts the car and it explodes.
- The Godfather Part II: Michael realizes that the drapes are open a second before his room is hit with a hail of gunfire from outside, giving him just enough time to dive for cover.
- The Green Mile: The botched execution scene. People who are executed by electric chair are supposed to have a wet sponge placed on their head so they are killed quickly. Paul and the other men notice that the sponge is dry, but by then it's too late to stop it, and Eduard Delacroix proceeds to die a truly Cruel and Unusual Death.
- The Hangover: Some viewers may notice that the clothes 'Doug' is wearing during the exchange are not the clothes he was wearing last time we saw him.
- In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when the trio realizes they have to play their way across a giant chessboard, they take their positions on the board before Hermione nervously asks an appropriate question:
Hermione: This isn't going to be like... real wizard's chess, is it?
(Ron sacrifices a pawn to an opposing pawn to test it; said pawn ends up shattered)
Ron: Yes Hermione, I think this is going to be exactly like wizard's chess.
- During Harry's Occlumency lessons in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Professor Snape snaps at Harry that "You and Black, youre two of a kind, sentimental children forever whining about how bitterly unfair your lives have been. Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isnt fair. Your blessed father knew that, in fact he frequently saw to it!" Right after this, Harry accidentally reverses Snape's Legilimency back on him and sees Harry's father James bullying Snape when they attended Hogwarts.
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York:
- Multiple times during the family's sprint through the terminal, we can see a man identical to Kevin's father right behind them. He goes the other way than the family at an intersection. Guess who Kevin follows to the plane?hint
- "Now why would anybody soak a rope in kerosene?" (Though if one was paying attention to the Hard-Work Montage of Kevin's preparations, one might have spotted this one before....)
- The climax of Interstellar has the crew of the Endurance pull off the mother of all Spaceship Slingshot Stunts around a black hole. In order to help the main ship shed mass (and to gather potentially vital quantum data), TARS detaches his lander when it runs out of fuel, plunging him into the black hole. Brand frowns in confusion when she hears Cooper's farewell: "See you on the other side, slick!" Sure enough, Cooper detaches his own craft moments later, having calculated that the lander alone would not make enough of a difference.
- In John Wick, Iosef is irritably on edge in his hideout and yells at his cohort playing a First-Person Shooter at full volume to turn it off, finally snapping "WILL YOU STOP PLAYING THAT FUCKING VIDEO GAME!" Literally five seconds later, John gets him to stop playing by sniping him from afar.
- In the climax of Joker (2019), Arthur confesses his murder of the three Wall Street kids on national television and defends his crime with "They were awful!" Moments later he uses the same word to describe the Jerkass host Murray, and moments after that he kills Murray with a bullet to the head.
- A case of this and Interface Spoiler. Kong: Skull Island's closing credits spoil The Stinger by crediting Toho as the owners of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah, who show up in said stinger.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- At the beginning of The Avengers (2012), the Tesseract is acting up. Hawkeye suggests that someone out there (i.e. not on Earth) may be trying to open a doorway to Earth. Several seconds later, a portal opens and Loki arrives.
- At the end of Captain America: Civil War, when Iron Man arrives at the old Winter Soldier complex to help Steve and Bucky fight the other five Soldiers, one of them asks him how many heat signatures he's picking up; he says "...One." The next shot is of the Soldiers still in their cryo chairs and wiring... with bullet holes in their foreheads. Zemo never intended to use them for anything except as bait so he could show Tony that one security tape.
- In the finale of Avengers: Infinity War, after Thanos destroys half the life in the universe with a snap of his fingers, the surviving heroes pick themselves up and lick their wounds. Black Panther helps a shell-shocked Okoye stand up, telling her, "Up, General, up! This is no place to die". He then immediately disintegrates into ash just before she can take his hand.
- It is established in Infinity War that donning the Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones causes a powerful, painful surge of energy through the wearer. This happens when Thanos completes the Gauntlet, and then in Avengers: Endgame it happens to Hulk, and then again to Thanos in the final battle. Captain Marvel interrupting this moment of vulnerability buys the heroes time, and when she is defeated, Iron Man races in and grapples with Thanos for the Gauntlet before being bashed aside himself. Thanos places the Gauntlet back on his hand, smugly declares himself inevitable, and snaps his fingers - but nothing happens, as Tony swiped the stones during their scuffle without him noticing. The clue is that Thanos didn't suffer the energy surge this time.
- The NeverEnding Story: Atreyu sees a number of murals that show various events that have already happened to him. He then sees a mural showing a growling wolf in some rubble, which he definitely hasn't encountered. He then hears some growling, spins around and sees the wolf.
- Ninja Assassin: Raizo has been captured and taken to the secret ninja temple, but secretly he has a GPS tracking device in his gut, alerting the good guys to the temple's location. The ninjas discover the device, and right after that the temple is attacked.
- The Passion of the Christ had two little boys check to see whats wrong with Judas, and when he said to them Leave me alone you little satans! it turns out the boys are actually demons in the forms of human children.
- Paycheck: The bad guy stands in front of the machine that shows the future, but only sees his own back, as he is futilely trying to get away from the exploding machine. Soon afterwards he realizes that this means the machine will explode, and futilely tries to get away from it.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: A random Mook in a steam house had been identified as not belonging there, and threatened under the assumption he was allies with Turner and Barbossa. Barbossa shrugs and tells Sao Feng to go ahead and kill the guy, cause he's not with them. Will wonders, then, who he is with — and not two seconds later, Cutler Beckett's men break in and start firing.
- Richie Rich, the movie: Richard uses his smell detector to sneak a few of his gifts on their plane...then it sniffs out "trinitrotoluene." He brings that gift to the cockpit, where his wife figures out it's TNT...he opens the package. "My God, Regina, it's a bomb!" He does manage to get it out of the plane in that one second, so the resulting Kaboom! plants them in the ocean instead of killing them.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Ramona always uses the term "Exes" when describing her previous lovers, and corrects Scott whenever he says "Ex-Boyfriends" instead. Scott eventually notices this and comments on it—and roughly two seconds later, someone knocks him upside the head. It's the Fourth Evil Ex... the very female Roxy Richter.
Roxy: He really doesn't know?Scott: ...wait...(A lever in Scott's head moves from "NO CLUE" to "GETS IT")Scott: YOU AND HER?
The Operative: [to Mal] You are fooling yourself, Captain. Nothing here is what it seems. You are not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena.
Inara Serra: And that's not incense.
[He turns to look: the incense stick burns away - rather like a fuse - and FLASHES in an explosion of light and sound]
- That could have been Fridge Brilliance, since a flashbang would be most effective if he was looking at it. She may be trying to get him to do just that.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
- During the chase through San Francisco, Sonic skids under a truck with an ad for a travel agency on the side, reading "Visit Paris!" over a shot of the Eiffel Tower. A few seconds later, Sonic's next thrown ring portal sends them to the Eiffel Tower, since they send you to whatever location you were thinking of.
- Listen closely to the "Speed Me Up" song during the credits. One of the lyrics reads "best friend named Tails". A few moments later, during The Stinger of the movie, Tails shows up, looking for Sonic.
- Star Trek
- Star Trek: Generations: When Dr. Soran checks on his sun-killer missile after Picard messes with it, the viewscreen says that the missile's locking clamps are still engaged. Soran gets an Oh, Crap! look on his face as he and the audience realize that something bad is going to happen when the missile tries to launch. Then the missile explodes, killing him.
- Star Trek: Nemesis: The Enterprise is being stalked by a cloaked ship, so it's hoping to rendezvous with the fleet for protection. On the way, they enter an area of space where long-range communications don't work. Data and Picard realize that this would be a perfect place for the stalker ship to attack them. After that thought, they get attacked.
- Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk notes that in the event of an attack, protocol dictates that all available senior Starfleet officers should gather for a special briefing in this very room. Cue second attack.
- Star Wars:
- The entire franchise has the famous Share Phrase "I have a bad feeling about this" (and small variations thereupon). Whenever anyone says this, they are absolutely correct, and the cause of the "bad feeling" usually makes itself known within minutes.
- Return of the Jedi: "But how could they be jamming us if they don't know th- ...that we're coming." In this case, they get enough warning to avoid immediate destruction by colliding with the Death Star's shield, but shortly after, we see evidence aplenty that the Imperials did indeed know the Rebels were coming, and had lured them into a trap.
- ''The Viking: In the first scene of the movie, one of the ladies in Lady Editha's room prays before a cross "From the sword and the chains of the Vikings, O Lord, deliver us." Next we see a Viking kill a guard from behind a tree, and less than three minutes later, the castle has been stormed by Vikings and Alwin has been carrried off to Norway as a slave.
- Young Frankenstein: "Well now look here, if it wasn't you and if it wasn't you..."
- Ax's death in Animorphs happens like this. He and his ship are exploring a seemingly abandoned ship, when someone notices white hairs on the ground. Then says wait, not white but transparent. He then yells for his ship to raise shields just as the supposedly abandoned ship opens fire (the colorless hairs would be from polar bears, which meant the Yeerks were still nearby).
- The Girl from the Miracles District: when Nikita and Robin are investigating Sawa, a rat - likely a spy of the local Beastmaster - suddenly jumps out and squeaks in alarm, which is all the warning the two get before they're attacked a moment later.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, during the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry sees and hears Bellatrix Lestrange laughing at Molly Weasley, the same exact laugh that his godfather Sirius Black used just prior to Bellatrix cursing him under his outstretched arm and sending him careening into the Veil. At that point, after Bellatrix had been torturing Molly for Fred's death, that laugh kinda makes it a Foregone Conclusion what will eventually happen.
- The Machineries of Empire: Cheris realizes that the supposedly-friendly fleet is here to destroy her ships just in time to start giving orders to her people, but too late for this to save any of them.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: The music at the wedding of King Robb's uncle (made hastily to patch over the rift caused by him breaking his own betrothal) is played rather badly. There's a reason for that.
- Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch has a small version that doesn't affect the plot except to underline the personality of the villain, Zenf. At a gathering of underground figures, Zenf reaches into his pocket for his cigarette case and casually remarks that some pickpocket seems to have triggered the poisoned blade booby trap built into it. At that exact moment, the poison takes effect and a man standing nearby collapses, foaming at the mouth.
- In Ward, The nature of the Anti-Villain Parian's true power-previously thought to be solely telekinetic manipulation of cloth, thread, and needles-is hinted at earlier in the same chapter it is is revealed. Partway through Radiation 18.6 Foil gets a ride on a giant leather bird created by Parian and comments to Antares that Parian must be running low on materials, because leather always seemed to be a better material for her power and she tries to hold it in reserve. Leather is of course made of the skin of a dead animal. Then a little later, she is shown using clothes stripped from dead heroes for material, out of desperation. At the end of the chapter, it's finally shown that her true power is the telekinetic manipulation of dead human skin and other tissues, and the ability to use other textiles is merely a side-effect.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "The Real Deal", Deke, who joined the team from 2091 has scrounged up the stuff for Fitz and Simmons's wedding. He mentions to Deathlok that he chose the ring he got for Jemma because it reminded him of one his mother had, which belonged to his grandmother. Cut to the US military testing a DNA sample they got from when Deke was jailed to figure out who this guy is, and discovering that he's related to them both.
- Alex Rider: It's very blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but the Kyra who approaches Alex asking for help during the storming of Point Blanc uses the 1889 code to open a door, rather than the 0000 code Alex and Kyra added to the system, meaning this is not the real Kyra.
- Played for Laughs in an episode of Angel when Cordelia gets a prophetic vision of impending danger mere seconds before a group of demons show up. She shouts: "That was helpful!" before the fight commences.
- The A-Team, "Deadly Manuevers". As a doctor is examining B.A., who is in a state of near-collapse from the spiked milk, Hannibal notices a gold watch on his wrist. He immediately forces the doctor to put his hands up, realizing that he saw that same gold watch on the milkman's wrist.
- In Breaking Bad, Gus notices Hector looking right at him despite Hector's pride not allowing him to earlier, as well as Hector's bell not working properly which leads to Gus realizing too late that the chair is a bomb and is already rigged to blow them both up.
- In the same episode, we see the orderly looking horrified when coming from Gus's shadowed side as we pan to his front and see half of his face blown up!
- Similarly, Jesse tells Walt he accidentally suspected him poisoning Brock, as he wasn't poisoned with ricin but a plant called 'Lily of the Valley'. The closing shot of the episode shows the plant marked in Walt's garden as such, meaning Walt indeed had poisoned Brock.
- In one Burn Notice episode, Michael gets a phone call from Sam that another character was killed by a bomb attached to his front door, one second before he opens the door to his own house (which is also rigged to explode). This gives him just enough time to jump off his stairway (his front door is a dozen or so feet off the ground and he needs to climb a metal stairway to get there) and away from the explosion. He doesn't escape completely unscathed though; some of the fire manages to sing him, and he would have died impacting with the concrete ground if he hadn't hit his car first, which still had the effect of knocking him out and leaving him clearly disoriented and barely able to stand and walk without Sam's help when he wakes up. Fiona herself observes the damage later and notes that if Michael had opened the door any wider he'd be in bitty pieces regardless.
- One episode of Castle ("Tick, Tick, Tick") involves hunting down a killer obsessed with Nikki Heat (and Beckett, because he thinks they're literally the same person). They catch him with time to spare and Beckett goes home. Castle continues looking over evidence because something bothers him, realizes the man they thought was responsible was being set up, and rushes to warn her. A few seconds later, her apartment explodes. (In this case, the warning was enough time for her to take measures to protect herself from the blast.)
- Chicago P.D.: In "Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill-Will", the team captures a suspect responsible for selling a weapon to a thug that killed an innocent civilian. In the cage, the suspect declares that he will walk because he has connections. Five seconds later, Platt walks in with an ATF agent. It is revealed that their man is an undercover federal agent. The supervisor tells Voight that they had been working a six-month undercover operation. The moment Team Voight made the arrest, the operation went south.
- Doctor Who:
- "Forest of the Dead":
- Donna is stuck in a Lotus-Eater Machine. She meets Miss Evangelista, who forces her to realize that she's in a virtual reality by pointing out that all of the children on the playground she's taken her two virtual kids to are identical. Eagle-eyed viewers can see this very fact earlier in the scene in question if they look closely.
- Josh and Ella, Donna's children, have this to say to her after Miss Evangelista reveals the world she's in is not real: "But, Mummy, sometimes, when you're not here, it's like we're not here." "Even when you close your eyes. We just stop." Guess what happens a few seconds later.
- "Heaven Sent": When the Doctor locates the words "I am in 12" in the grave, he notices a fly there, which is the calling card of the Veil, a mysterious creature that will never stop walking to kill its target. His face says it all as the latter suddenly bursts from the grave, cornering the Doctor.
- "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": Near the end, the Doctor, while explaining what the teleporter she built out of an alien transport pod is supposed to do (send her to the location of the TARDIS), mentions that she hates Stenza technology because parts of it just don't make any sense. When she activates the teleporter shortly thereafter, instead of teleporting only her to where the TARDIS is, it sends her and almost-companions Graham, Ryan, and Yaz into the vacuum of space. Cue the cliffhanger.
- "Fugitive of the Judoon": When Ruth finds the old fire alarm in the lighthouse, Circular Gallifreyan symbols can be seen on it just before she breaks the glass and unleashes the golden light of a Chameleon Arch.
- "Forest of the Dead":
- In the Season 1 finale of The Good Place, The Reveal that we have been following the Bad Place all along is sprinkled with subtle immediate clues.
- Neighborhood 12358W is dubbed "The Good Place" in Michael's designs. Now, why would any Good Place neighborhood be called that? And how would a then-rookie like Michael have any authority to change the entire Good Place?
- Michael and his co-workers are working in a dim stuffy place, an early hint that this is not supposed to be a nice place.
- Michael's flashback also shows him casually telling his coworker which coffee pot contains antimatter and which has real coffee. The flashback was set off by Shawn mentioning a mistake Michael made, so the viewer thinks he's about to be proven wrong, but in fact he's correct— meaning his supposed anxiety and propensity to mix things up is just an act.
- When Jason implores Janet to visit him in the Bad Place, she replies that it's literally impossible to do that (go to the Bad Place), meaning they are already there.
- Eleanor's blunt insistence that she and Chidi be sent to The Bad Place is refused by Michael and Shawn despite fitting the conditions they'd already been given. A few seconds later, Eleanor reveals that doing so would ruin Michael's Paranoia Gambit, that they originally planned to let all of them off the hook so that the four main characters torture each other with the guilt of placing "bad" people with them.
- Michael seems oddly pleased when Eleanor points out the main reason why his plan completely failed, shortly before he reveals that he gets to have a second try.
- Game of Thrones: Jojen sees a vision of Karl's dead body burning. Five seconds later, the attack that results in just that begins.
- The Mountain stops Tommen from attending Cersei's trial. It is soon revealed that the whole Sept is rigged to blow. Which happens not long after.
- Then, of course, there's that moment of "The Rains of Castamere" suddenly being played at a certain very not Lannister wedding.
- In the Leverage premiere, Nate, Hardison, Eliot, and Parker realize that their employer tricked them into meeting in an abandoned warehouse without paying them (by not paying them)... roughly twelve seconds before the building explodes. At least it was enough time to get far enough to not die in the blast.
- Mimpi Metropolitan:
- In episode 60, Juna warns Dian (who is about to date a girl) that people doesn't always use their real picture on social media. Moments later, Dian's date Niken arrives and proves Juna right.
- In the finale, Bambang comes back to his house in Wonosari and finds white flags and people wearing black clothers in front of it. Not too long after, his aunt tells him that his father has died.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus. A sketch called "The Show So Far" was, simply, Terry Jones at a desk reading a synopsis of the sketches in the episode up to that point.
Terry Jones ...and then a man told us about what had happened on the show so far and a great hammer came and hit him on the head. (confused) I don't remember that...
- In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Murdoch in Toyland", Murdoch and Inspector Brackenreid descend the stairs of a church basement and Brackenreid comments, "It's like a tomb down here." Seconds later, Murdoch turns on a light and they find a headless corpse.
- Psych: In "Santabarbaratown," Henry comments about how expensive Jerry Carp's house is, and Jerry claims it's because of his investment skills. Twenty seconds later, a Wham Line and accompanying Scare Chord reveal Jerry took bribes from Ellis Beaumont.
- Star Trek:
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Defector", the Enterprise is lured into an ambush in the Romulan Neutral Zone. Surrounded and outgunned by two massive Romulan warbirds, Enterprise should be at a fatal disadvantage. At this point, it's obvious that Picard has something up his sleeve, but it's not clear exactly what that is...until some familar music starts to play:
Commander Tomalak: I expected more from you than an idle threat, Picard.
Picard: Then you shall have it. Mr. Worf?
[Klingon leitmotif swells before three Klingon birds-of-prey decloak, revealing that it's actually the Romulans who are surrounded and outgunned]
Lieutenant Worf: Klingon warships armed and ready, Sir.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish", A member of the Q continuum wishes to die ("Quinn", for ease's sake). After screwing up and vanishing every male on Voyager, and pressed by Captain Janeway, he begins to speak to himself, "Humans... humans... Who would have more recent experience with humans?" Cue Q himself. note
- Star Trek: Discovery:
- Towards the end of the first season, the titular ship is on its way to Starbase 1, the last remaining safe haven for Federation ships. A few seconds before they drop of out of warp, Saru's threat ganglia come out, indicating mortal danger. They drop out of warp and see that the starbase is now in Klingon hands, who have slaughtered the 80,000+ people on it.
- At the end of Season 1, the ship is on its way to Vulcan via warp drive. They then get a distress signal from a Federation ship. The communications officer tries to raise them, with the camera focusing on the screen trying to ID the vessel. Before it cuts away, it slowly pulls up the numbers NCC-17. Only a few seconds later, Discovery drops out of warp to establish a proper signal, and the distress turns out to be from Captain Pike, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, with the old gal pulling up to meet her sister vessel.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Defector", the Enterprise is lured into an ambush in the Romulan Neutral Zone. Surrounded and outgunned by two massive Romulan warbirds, Enterprise should be at a fatal disadvantage. At this point, it's obvious that Picard has something up his sleeve, but it's not clear exactly what that is...until some familar music starts to play:
- Similar to the Angel example above, That's So Raven featured an episode where Raven had a vision of Cory being announced as a contest winner, mere seconds before Cory was announced as the contest winner.
- In Torchwood: Miracle Day the FBI discover who The Mole is (viewers know this beforehand) a few seconds before she sets off a bomb in the office to cover up exactly this revelation (at least long enough to get a head start escaping).
- In the A Touch of Frost episode "Benefit of the Doubt", a number of mysterious deaths in a hospital has Frost stumped, and to make matters worse, his latest assistant is now in critical condition in the very same hospital. After a visit to his bedside, Frost is leaving just as the audience get a very clear shot of a cleaning lady unplugging an electric cord, so she can plug in her vacuum cleaner. Frost makes it halfway down the hall before he realises that the cleaning lady had inadvertently unplugged the medical ventilator. A faulty alarm sensor meant that the alarm wasn't triggered when it was unplugged.
- In The Twilight Zone (1959), during The Twilight Zone S1E8 "Time Enough at Last", Henry Bemis was reading a newspaper headline that read "H-Bomb Capable of Total Destruction". Mere seconds later, the vault he was in was rocked by a massive explosion, and when he emerged after regaining consciousness, there was nothing but devastation, as far as the eye could see.
- The Untamed: In the finale, once Jin Guangyao is completely cornered with no more means of escaping, Lan Xichen warns him that he will strike him down if he tries anything. Almost immediately, the camera cuts to Nie Huaisang giving a cold and calculating look at both of them. When Lan Xichen turns to Nie Huaisang to tend to his wounds, the latter suddenly shouts that Jin Guangyao was about to do something... and Lan Xichen carries through with his threat.
- Whenever the song ''Ave Maria'' plays during most films, television, and even some video games, expect some sort of grand violence, destruction, or tragedy to occur seconds later, sometime lasting until the song is over.
- Early 2015 when Jay had set up a camera to promote the Briscoes' ROH Tag title defense against Team Ambition. He was explaining why he wasn't impressed with either Davey or O'Reilly's "rational thinking", stating his brother, who was off camera sure as hell wasn't, before nearly shitting himself when a gunshot from Mark shattered a beer bottle behind him, followed by Mark's apologies that he thought Jay was done with it.
- The eponymous Hatchimals. Though the owner won't know what animal they get until their egg is opened, the sole hint toward what's inside is it will be one of the two Hatchimals displayed on the front of the package. The Mystery variant averts this.
- Wowwee has a line called My Squishy Little Dumplings, whose electronic eponymous dumpling toys keep whoever will pop out a mystery. However, you can tell who will pop out by the dumpling's mouth design — Dee has lipstick, Dot has his tongue sticking out, Dip has a big smile, and Doe has a normal grin.
- In Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, the leader of the last ace squadron you fight on the Knight path makes a call to a Wizard 5, but you can only see four planes in their introductory cinematic. Then, very shortly into the fight, another four planes in the squadron - stealth planes - pop up seemingly out of nowhere to ambush you while you're distracted.
- There are a few hints leading up to The Reveal in Assassin's Creed III that Haytham is a Templar, but there's a big one just before at the mention of "order and purpose" during Charles Lee's initiation. Astute players have just enough time to think "Wait, what?" before the Wham Line hits.
- At the end of Batman: Arkham City, Talia fatally stabs the Joker. Batman then muses on a number of odd events and various bits of Mook Chatter that have happened over the course of the game, and realizes there were two Jokers. Talia is then shot in the back by the real one seconds later, and the one she stabbed is revealed to be the still alive Clayface. If the players were paying very close attention, they have guessed this as well.
- BioShock uses this for The Reveal: Andrew Ryan reveals that the phrase "would you kindly" acts as a command phrase for the player, forcing him to obey. The player immediately sees a flashback montage of several scenes in which Atlas had used the phrase, which if the player noticed at all simply sounded like a Verbal Tic.
- Before the violence begins in BioShock Infinite, Jeremiah Fink refers to a woman working at the Raffle and Fair as "the prettiest young white girl in all of Columbia". The fact that he mentioned her being white subtly foreshadows the city's jingoistic racism, which is made evident when the raffle prize is revealed: you get to have the first throw at the stoning of an interracial couple.
- Black Mesa: Shortly before your first encounter with the HECU troops in "We've Got Hostiles", Freeman has to work his way past some turrets and laser-tripmines they've set up, obstacles that would seem a bit odd to introduce if the marines were a benevolent rescue squad. Then the typically calm, human-sounding Black Mesa Announcement System gets taken over by a creepy, robotic and very hostile-sounding Military VOX mid-announcement. Any remaining illusion that the HECU are the good guys is shattered in the next room, when their troopers start gunning down the surviving scientists to cover up the incident.
VOX: [distorted buzwarn] A-Attention. T-This announce-ᴍᴇɴᴛ s-s-sys-ᴛᴇᴍ. ɴᴏᴡ. ᴜɴᴅᴇʀ. ᴍɪʟɪᴛᴀʀʏ. ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴀɴᴅ.
- In Bravely Default, just after Alternis has been beaten, you get the usual display of the group in the new Job outfits, in this case the Dark Knight. Ringabel's Dark Knight armor is identical to what Alternis had been wearing. In the cutscene immediately thereafter, his helm splits open, revealing that he has Ringabel's face. Even before that, both Alternis and Ringabel had the same pre-battle jumping animation before drawing their weapon.
- In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night after the player has explored most of the castle and discovered some optional items they can then enter a secret chamber underneath the marble gallery's giant clock. The chamber in question is quite clearly upside down, the first oblique hint at the existence of the reverse castle, which can be discovered immediately after visiting this chamber.
- In Cookie Run, the custcene that plays when obtaining a costume indicates the rarity of the costume. If GingerBrave is stumbling on the obstacles, you're most likely going to get a Common costume. On the other hand, seeing Cheerleader Cookie's cheerleading squad literally pull out the red carpet for you means an Ultra-Rare is in your near future.
- In the Danganronpa games, a One-Woman Wail plays in the background whenever a corpse is discovered. In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, the absence of that when Kokichi's corpse shows up in Chapter 3 is a tell that he isn't actually dead.
- In the trailer (around 1:50) for the Warhammer 40,000 game Dawn of War 2, a Space Marine strikes down an Eldar with his chainsword, proclaiming "This planet is ours, witch!" "No," she gasps, pointing towards the heavens, "This planet... is theirs." Enter the Tyranid horde, as the Space Marine turns to meet a massive 'Nid bug right behind him.
- Fire Emblem does this sometimes, thanks to the color-coded army factions.
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Wallace appears to Lyn's group and questions the legitimacy of their claims. Everyone assumes he's going to capture her, but, since his overworld sprite is (the allied) blue, the player can easily figure he'll change his mind at the end of the conversation.
- Fire Emblem Fates does the opposite a couple of times, foreshadowing certain characters being enemies.
- In Birthright, Takumi and Flora both show up as red units on the map right before officially revealing themselves as enemies (though in Takumi's case, he fortunately gets snapped out of it quickly enough). In Flora's case, she leaves the group as a friendly unit and returns as an enemy unit. Similar to the above example, you also see a friendly General (a disguised Ryoma) show up at the end of Chapter 13 of Birthright, just before the individual in question attacks Leo.
- Fates has a dialogue example in the Paralogue in which you recruit Leo's son, Forrest. Leo's younger sister Elise casually mentions Forrest being a troubadour, and says she's excited to see her nephew again only to find that Leo is unusually reluctant to visit. Leo's retainer Niles then reports that a "beautiful woman" who happens to be a troubadour is helping the victims of a brigand attack. You can then put two and two together to realize that Forrest is a crossdresser.
- Halfway through one level of Gamer 2, the player witnesses a setpiece zombie munching on a policewoman's corpse. Almost immediately after this, the game's first police enemies start appearing.
- At the beginning of GreedFall, Constantin mentions that he heard a rumor that the Nauts had brought one of the giant creatures from the island back in one of their ships, only for Kurt to say it's ridiculous, citing that the Nauts aren't stupid. Almost as soon as he says that, a giant creatures breaks free from one of the nearby ships.
- Halo: Reach, after the city mission, Kat declares that the Covenant are beginning glassing procedures. Another Spartan asks, "How close?" Cue massive explosion from the surface bombardment.
- Kingdom Hearts III has the names and actors of the Foretellers in the end credits, despite them not being anywhere in the game. Cue The Stinger...
- Mass Effect 2 has this in its prologue. The Normandy is in a part of space where a few ships have gone missing. Thinking geth, they pick up a ship moving in behind them, which they dismiss because the Normandy's stealth systems are engaged, and thus they can't be detected unless someone looks out a window (which the geth won't, because they think windows are a structural weakness). Then the ship turns to an intercept trajectory. Right as Pressley is saying that the geth don't have the technology to pick up the Normandy, Joker realizes...
Joker: It's not the geth! (cue the Normandy getting utterly wrecked in two shots)
- Medal of Honor:
- In Vanguard, after being asked 'What's the holdup Corporal?', Corporal Garrett responds by saying how the area ahead of them is 'perfect sniper country'. Exactly three seconds later, a soldier (who thinks that area is empty) is killed by a sniper.
Soldier: What are you talking about? They're retreating, there's no one out there! *BANG* URRRRRGGGGGHHHHH
- In the 2010 reboot, this happens to Sergeant Peterson's Ranger team as they are about to kick in the door to clear a house, only to hear a mobile phone ring inside. Bonus points as the player knows what this sound means, having seen the same trick in the game's prologue mission, but the characters have no clue what is about to happen.
Tech Sergeant Ybarra: ...cellphone? *BOOM*
- In Vanguard, after being asked 'What's the holdup Corporal?', Corporal Garrett responds by saying how the area ahead of them is 'perfect sniper country'. Exactly three seconds later, a soldier (who thinks that area is empty) is killed by a sniper.
- Super Metroid: In Tourian, you will enter a room filled with grayed-out enemies that crumble to dust if touched or shot. In the very next room, you become trapped with one such enemy, which is impervious to your weaponry (except super missiles). In the next second, you find out what happened to the others.
- Metroid Dread:
- The Corpius in its invisible state can be seen in the background of a room in Arteria before retreating, with the monster itself fought not long afterwards. It can be seen much earlier as well, but the second time is only a few rooms away from where it is finally fought.
- The Elun area is sealed off by a massive bulkhead, and Samus has to submit to a scan at the entrance before she's allowed further in. Elun is where the X Parasites were quarantined.
- On the Itorash, the final area of the game, the standard network room conversation with Adam takes a sudden turn, as he explains that Samuss trip to ZDR was all according to his plans. The very next line then makes it explicit that Samus is speaking to Raven Beak instead of Adam, and has been ever since their encounter at the start of the game.
- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: Your characters are mutants in a Scavenger World who live in a settlement ruled by The Elder, and are trying to find a legendary place called Eden. When you reach Eden, you can find a note saying that Dr Ingmar Edison took some mutants to the birthing chamber instead of euthanising them. If you remember The Elder's claim to have found the mutants in the forest, this is a big clue to the subsequent revelation that The Elder created the mutants.
- In Noita defeating the final boss opens a portal to a room with an altar where the MacGuffin can be placed to end the game. Also in the room is a gold statue of another Noita and a message in the game's runic language reading "WHAT YOU DESERVE". All of this is warning that the Work is the wrong place to complete the ritual, as it will turn the Noita and the entire world to gold.
- Not for Broadcast: In Day 296: "The Heatwave", just before Jeremy Donaldson takes the entire studio hostage, Camera 2 prominently shows the CCO's handgun.
- In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the boss of Drybake Stadium requires a baseball bat to massively damage him, as you fight him in a baseball field. Also, the battle intro says "Play Ball". Where this trope comes into play is that the top floor is the only floor with a sports motif- the five floors preceding it, meanwhile, have no sports stadium theme whatsoever.
- For most of The Pedestrian, the camera is more or less fixed on the current puzzle and only moves to keep up with the player character. Come the final section, the game indicates you can move the right stick/mouse, something that previously only moved the cursor in sign repositioning mode. As of that point, however, doing the same thing lets you fully rotate the camera to look at the surroundings. With that, what was previously a third-person puzzle platformer experience suddenly gains first-person elements.
- The Pokémon ability Anticipation causes the Pokémon who has it to 'shudder' on the turn they are sent out if the opposing Pokémon has any moves that are super-effective against it, knocks out opponents in one hit, or Self-Destruct or Explosion. If a Trainer switches to a Pokémon with Anticipation mid-turn, and the enemy had used a move that is super-effective against it, the consequent shudder could well be about the move that your opponent immediately uses. Similarly, Trace causes the user to copy the opponent's Ability (with certain restrictions for Pokémon-exclusive abilities) at the time they are sent out, and one Pokémon who has it is Alakazam's Mega Evolution. Mega-Evolving an Alakazam against an opponent who has Anticipation - especially against AI-controlled Trainers, who always prioritize super-effective moves - might well cause your Alakazam to shudder immediately before taking a super-effective Ghost- or Dark-type move.
- Red Dead Redemption II: If the player hasn't already realized where Arthur Morgan's disease came from or that it's a contagious one, they might be clued in by Dr. Joseph Barnes immediately and nervously washing his hands after inspecting Arthur.
- When pulling the Grimoire (the gacha roulette), pay attention to Parrah and Noya's dialogue. If either one of them mentions missing a rare, followed by Parrah hurling abuse on Noya, one of the brown books (A weapons) will be replaced with a shiny book (S or SS(R) weapons). If the rope breaks during the pull and Noya loses his head, congratulations - at least 1 of the shiny books contains a SS(R) weapon/Nightmare.
- During Recycle Grimoires (exchanging an unused SS(R) weapon for a pull which guarantees at least 1 new SS(R) weapon), players launch a book into a machine instead. If the book hits Noya and he loses his head again, one of the new weapons has a cost of 19 and above. However, should the player miss the first time, but subsequently cracks the ceiling, congratulations - there's more than 1 SS(R) weapon in the pull.
- In Sonic Riders Zero Gravity, after Eggman is beaten once again and the power-unit meteorites are recovered, Tails looks back on wondering why the Babylonians sealed them away in the first place. After questioning the "lightless black" that destroyed them and how a robot containing one of the meteorites suddenly exploded from the inside, Tails immediately realizes that the meteorites have the power to create a black hole.
- Star Wars:
- The flashback approach is taken with The Reveal in the first Knights of the Old Republic. Right before Darth Malak drops the Revan bomb, the game replays every single bit of foreshadowing that had happened earlier in the game.
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: while reliving the moment where he was forced to go on the run, Cal recalls training with his master on a ship with clone troopers who can be overheard discussing new orders that will be coming in soon. Not long after, they receive their new instructions: Execute Order 66.
- In Undertale, in the True Pacifist ending, you've spared everyone in the game, everyone is together, everyone is happy, when suddenly...
Alphys: How did you know to call everybody?
Papyrus: Let's just say... a tiny flower helped me.
Alphys: (visibly frightened) A tiny... flower?
[Cue Flowey showing up, everyone right where he wanted them, ready to absorb everyone's SOULs]
- Warframe: The Tennocon 2019 cinematic trailer gives two:
- The girl wipes the dirt off Mag's faceplate, revealing her mirrored helmet. Meaning the warframes in front of her are not merely statues, but actual warframes.
- When the girl is done praying, she removes her hood, revealing that she has Operator implants. Then she disappears in a burst of Transference energy, and the warframes begin to wake up. Bonus points because new players will have no idea why it was important or what just happened, while it's a huge Wham Shot for more experienced players.
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: While possible to grow suspicious ahead of time, due to all the windows on the ship being iron-plated closed, and the waterline of a supposedly sinking ship staying ludicrously still, the biggest hint that the players were in Building Q all along, (and thus in no danger of drowning at 6 AM) is the shot of the Gigantic sinking 9 years in the past. It makes sense that a large ship would be difficult to recover and reuse, but this big visual hint is only one scene-transition from the reveal proper.
- no-one has to die.: At one point, Steve complains about how the player is the one who chooses who dies to the fire, asking them what they would've done if he wanted to sacrifice himself for someone else. Christina dismisses his statement, saying that Steve would never sacrifice himself for anyone, to which Steve points out that Christina wouldn't either. A few moments later, the player has to choose between saving Steve or Christina, and each of them want to sacrifice themselves for the other.
- In Exiern, the know-it-all book tells Ctyx that The Fractured are planning to perform a ritual. Two strips later, Tiffany and Teresa enter a room where said ritual is being performed with three sacrificial men, just in time to save the day.
- Goblins: From here. "...is that Thaco the goblin? What is he doing?" Dellyn squints at Thaco in the distance, and then realizes with dawning dread... "How many guards were left at the dungeon?!" he demands of his second-in-command. Just two, the second-in-command admits. Dellyn screams for the west gate to be closed, having realized what is then revealed: Thaco took advantage of the guard force's absence to get the dungeon keys and free all the prisoners.
- Metompsychosis Union: When freeing OPAL's captives in the shipping container it can be seen that one of them has partially opened their restraints moments before they grab the man who had taken Tilo captive at gunpoint.
- The Order of the Stick:
- In the pyramid, Xykon calls Roy by his name, which is evidence that he's just a figment of Roy's imagination.
- In #1101, Haley does some spitballing about the spell Vampire Durkon had supposedly been trying to learn. She points out that, given their new knowledge of the character's plans, their prior assumption about the spell's identity doesn't make sense. Just as she completes this thought, the corpses around them rise as vampires, revealing that the actual spell was the one to hasten the rise of a vampire.
- In 1203, Durkon is facing away from the rest of the Order while windwalking. The next strip reveals he went to parlay with Redcloak.
- One of the twists of Stand Still, Stay Silent is a person turning out to be in a crate of food supplies for the main characters. In the panel preceding this reveal, the team's mage, who can see spirits of both living and dead and has an Ambiguous Disorder, is standing next to the crate, staring at it and growling a little, while another member of the the team is starting to open it. The only other in-story warning of the crate person showing up eventually was the aforementioned mage seeing him in a dream.
- Spooky Month:
- After sending Skid and Pump off to the house on the hill, Roy mentions it's the place his uncle takes him. When Skid and Pump burst into the manor in the next scene, a creepy stranger locks them inside and references Roy tricking them into coming, revealing him to be Roy's uncle.
- When Jaune presents the Happy Fella doll she bought for Pump, it has Dexter's white eye, indicating he's already possessing it. Lila understandably begins to panic, and Dexter tries to break out the doll's box shortly after.
- Achievement Hunter released the video Cleaning Gavin's Desk. Long story short, Jeremy did a silly thing to Gavin's desk despite both of them being repeatedly told it wasn't a good idea. Michael's reaction after says it all.
Michael: Remember when I said it was gonna break?
- Potter Puppet Pals: "Hey, everyone! I found the source of the ticking; it's a pipe bomb!" "Yay!" BOOM
- Having started recording before determining who gets what starter in Mario Party TV Group Nuzlocke of FireRed/LeafGreen, Steeler comments that the Random Number God will probably determine that Holms ends up with Squirtle when he's the only one not interested in running him. Sure enough...
- A particularly hilarious example occurs in the 4-player Battletoads race between ProtonJon, Super Jeenius, PCULL 44444, and NintendoCapriSun, when Patrick is having trouble with a shark in Terra Tubes:
Patrick: I was doing, I was doing alright and then the shark started killing me and then I dodged him and he's chasing me and it's making me sad, but I'm going through this thing quickly now... and he's gonna make me die on these spikes down here— SHIT! *Achievement Unlocked! Called It: Narrated your own death*
- The Runaway Guys get into this quite a bit, especially with Jon's dice throws.
Emile: Jon always rolls ones, it's his thing.
Jon: *demonstrates this*
- Sword Art Online Abridged: Princess Leafa, introduced towards the end of Episode 13, shares a lot of characters traits with Episode 1 Kirito: Snarky, Lack of Empathy, superiority complex, starting exposition with "For you see!"... For good reason: at the end of Rpisode 14, Leafa's player Suguha finds out Kirito is her real-life stepbrother... and she said he had a nice ass.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd devotes an entire mini-rant to heavily chastizing the Frankenstein NES adaptation for doing this, by having a fallen soldier mention a monster roaming in the woods right before you encounter and fight it as a boss:
Nerd: Then immediately, you fight the evil He-Monster and She-Monster of the trees, which is what the guy just told us about. Doesn't it seem cheap, that right after he tells us about a certain monster they appear? It doesn't build up any mystery. Remember the first Zelda game? You knew that you had to fight Ganon, the instruction manual talked about him, characters in the game talked about him. But at the time, nobody knew what Ganon looked like. It created all this suspense. But imagine if they never talked about him until right before you walked into that room. It's like: "Oh, there's this monster you gotta fight. Oh, there's the monster! Fight him!"
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Toph was being forcibly taken away to her parents, one of the kidnappers say, "You might be the greatest earthbender in the world, but even you can't bend metal!" Guess what happens.
- Big City Greens:
- In "Cricketsitter" as Tilly plows Cricket to the ground to stop him from telling on Bill with his dislocated arm, a popping noise is heard as they hit the floor, and when he stands up, he uses both his arms.
- In "Supermarket Scandal", the fake produce Chip bites despite Cricket's warning is the 8-ball apple. Though this is not intentional, it refers to the idiom "behind the 8-ball", which means to be placed in a difficult situation where one is unable to escape. This could be interpreted as a literal foreshadowing of the moments when Chip bites the 8-ball, the distrust and hatred he envies onto the Green family like Bill ultimately predicted.
- In "Coffee Quest" after entering Gloria's cramped apartment, Cricket meets her pet parrot who yells, "I'm lonely! I miss home!" Seconds later, it's revealed Gloria is not from Big City.
- In "Bad Influencer" when Remy meets Ichaboi on his cruise ship, he runs up to hug him, but he stops him. Also, he wasn't there before once Remy arrived. Moments later, he is revealed to be just a hologram, and the real Ichaboi is still at home.
- When Chip steps in as CEO in "Reckoning Ball", he changes to a suit that's entirely grey, and his Cool Shades on his forehead are gone completely. Evil Costume Switch, anyone?
- Bob's Burgers: The episode "The Unnatural" has Gene join a baseball team and declare his love for the sport. Namely, he loves the pizza parties, the shoes and the parades. Note that none of them actually involve playing baseball. In the very next scene when it's his turn to play once the scores are tied 11-11, he does so poorly his team loses 33-11.
- Father of the Pride: In "One Man's Meat is Another Man's Girlfriend," Sierra starts crying once Sarmoti beats her in a game of poker because she claims she told Justin she would give him money to buy his mother a gift, which he is now unable to do. Feeling sympathy for his granddaughter, Sarmoti returns the money to Sierra and she thanks him. As she walks away glumly, she clenches her fist and shuts her eyes tightly as if trying top stop crying. However, she was actually doing a fist-pump of victory since she was faking crying to hustle Sarmoti out of the money. Just then, he realizes he just got played, to which Sierra replies, "Big time!".
- Gravity Falls, with its reliance on Freeze-Frame Bonus, loves this trope, often setting up Brick Jokes and Chekhov's Guns in this manner.
- In "Into The Bunker", Dipper and Wendy believe they've found the long-lost author of the journals. But Wendy (and the audience) spot some strange things about him just before he reveals himself as the Shapeshifter. Firstly, he does not have six fingers like the journal covers; most importantly, he resembles the man on a logo for a nearby can of beans almost perfectly, then blinks horizontally. Also, Mabel can be seen grabbing Dipper's backpack in a Freeze-Frame Bonus as she flees the kids' room in sadness, foreshadowing who will be getting the rift out.
- In "Dipper and Mabel vs the Future", when Blendin approaches Mabel, he's using his camouflage device properly, when in the past he had been klutzy with it. A few moments later, it's revealed that Blendin is possessed by Bill. Of course, audience members probably caught on earlier when Blendin asked Mabel for the rift she was carrying.
- Finally, in the Grand Finale, Ford agrees to let Bill into his mind. However, he and Stan have apparently swapped facial features, and "Stan" has six-fingered hands, a sign that this is a Twin Switch.
- In The Legend of Korra, Korra calls Tenzin, telling him to evacuate from the air temple to avoid an imminent attack. Tenzin responds, "Oh no... they're already here," shortly before the camera pans to an attack airship.
- A common running joke in Megas XLR was Coop forgetting he had a button, labeled as exactly what he needed at the moment. Another was Kiva warning him that what he or the bad guy was doing would cause something really destructive... and then Coop would trigger that event anyway not five minutes later.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In "Dying for Pie" whenever Squidward has an Imagine Spot of SpongeBob exploding, he leaves chunks of sponge when he goes boom; when an explosion occurs behind the brick wall after the sunset, no sponge chunks are seen, giving away that SpongeBob did not eat the exploding pie and is still alive and well.
- In "The Secret Box" when SpongeBob is flung into the wall after tripping on his own shoelaces while stealing Patrick's secret box, a picture of SpongeBob and Patrick falls on his head and divides into two halves, with himself on one and Patrick on the other. This can be interpreted as a literal foreshadowing of the moments when Patrick wakes up, the distrust he envies onto his best friend and the imminent end to their friendship.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Lair of Grievous", Kit, Nahdar, and the clone troopers find several statues of a being who is gradually becoming a cyborg, and who has a clear resemblance to Grievous, before they find the General's spare-parts room and realize who the base belongs to.
- Happens in the Teen Titans Go! episode "Nose Mouth", when Cyborg, Beast Boy and Robin, who have been afflicted by Raven's magic for increasingly petty reasons, deduce that Starfire is the next target. Cue massive scream.
Leela: I've been thinking, Fry. If I lost you, I don't think I could stand it either. I'd probably build a copy of you too.
- In "The Problem With Popplers", a group of animal rights activists (a thinly-veiled Take That! at PETA) show up at Planet Express to protest against the ongoing harvesting of Popplers, claiming they are "intelligent creatures", when until this point they've just seemed to be crops. Their claim doesn't seem like it should be taken seriously, and the Planet Express crew certainly don't... until Leela turns around and happens to witness a Poppler hatching into a sentient infant.
- In "Rebirth", Leela falls into a coma and Fry gets a robot duplicate to replace her. Then Leela wakes up, resulting in an awkward Love Triangle. However, there is yet another twist in the episode that complicates it even further, which is heavily foreshadowed just moments before The Reveal:
- Central Park:
- In Season 1 "Dog Spray Afternoon", after Birdie tells the audience there's probably no consequences for accidentally revealing a spoiler to the main characters, he walks by a guy who's playing a guitar and the camera stops following Birdie and focuses on the guy. The guy reveals he's Griffin and he's the new narrator now.
- In Season 1 "A Fish Called Snakehead", while the Tillermans are having a picnic in a boat while Owen is trying to catch the snakehead, two fishermen can be seen in the background. When Owen notices more people are coming to the lake, Paige realizes her snakehead story got immediate attention.
- Dora the Explorer: Whenever the sneaky Swiper the Fox shows up to swipe and hide things from Dora and Boots, this prompts them to stop him with "Swiper, No Swiping!"; while they are successful most times, there are times where they fail to stop him. However, there is a way to tell if Swiper will be stopped or will swipe the object; it depends on whether or not Dora asks the viewer to help them stop Swiper. If she asks the viewer, then Swiper will be stopped; if not, he will swipe it.
- The Fairly Oddparents: In the episode "Just Desserts," Timmy wishes for all food in the world to be turned into dessert, which predictably results in everyone getting fat. During class, Mr. Crocker discusses how a planet's orbit depends on its weight and distance from the sun, and how a significant shift in weight in one area could unbalance it and send the planet wobbling into the sun. He then says that the kids will find more dessert in their desks, which leads to them getting fatter, Dimmsdale getting heavier and the earth being thrown out of orbit.
- In the Numberjacks episode "The Dreaded Lurgi", Four makes gestures related to the symptoms Six lists before it's revealed that he also has the lurgi.
- One segment of the "Fairies and Gnomes" episode of The Mr. Men Show has Five Split-Second Foreshadowing; Mr. Tickle's infamous tickling sound can be heard for about a second before he enters the scene, claiming he tickled open Mr. Grumpy's back door to get inside.