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20 Movie Foreshadowing Moments You Might Not Notice

11 June 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by David Zou

We all know what it feels like when a movie slightly touches on critical events/twist endings yet to come. Usually it’s the best when it’s something that you could only pick up on after already watching the movie once before – it’s like a little inside joke you get to have with the filmmakers, a reward for sitting through the movie more than once.

At times it’s not even the fact that it foreshadows event in the films, but rather that it’s so subtle that it takes a few goes to even pick up on. Other times are less subtle, but just as fun. Most of the time the brilliant implications work in the movie itself, few times it works in its sequel if there is a movie franchise involved, which is a more rewarding thing for you to pick it up on.

Here are 20 great movie foreshadowing moments you probably didn’t notice when you saw them, you may have not realized it even till now. This is going to have spoilers in the list.


20. Reservoir Dogs


The Foreshadowing: When Nice Guy Eddie is on his way to the warehouse, an orange balloon can be seen floating behind his car…

How It Pays Off: It transpires that the rat in the organization was Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange.


19. King Kong


The Foreshadowing: Jack Black’s filmmaker outlines the plot of his latest picture: “The Beast was a tough guy… He could lick the world. But when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft, he forgot his wisdom, and the little fellas licked him.”

How It Pays Off: The same thing happens to the mighty Kong, whose love for Ann Darrow is eventually his undoing.


18. The Terminator


The Foreshadowing: It is explained in the first Terminator film that dogs are able to spot cybernetic infiltrators. Man’s best friend, after all…

How It Pays Off: When the disguised T-1000 turns up at John’s house searching for his prey, you can hear John’s dog going wild in the background.


17. Back To The Future


The Foreshadowing: Marty’s mum Lorraine frowns on today’s youth, claiming she never called, kissed or sat in a parked car with a boy when she was the same age. Little does she know, Marty will soon be able to verify that for himself.

How It Pays Off: Not only do we see Lorraine doing all of those things later in the film, the suggestion is that she isn’t doing them for the first time…

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  • Brian Sleider

    This list is awful. Most of these are hardly foreshadowing the rest every one saw. I mean take your #2 The joker card? Yeh NO ONE SAW THAT. Waste of time reading and writing.

  • Korabljenik

    I don’t think that the list is awful, it really has some nice pieces
    of trivia, but you really should change the title: ”…You Probably
    Didn’t Notice”.
    I mean, at the end of Batman Begins, Gordon says: ”He calls himself The Joker…”
    I mean, it’s not really a ”you didn’t notice” moment.
    #13 also applies.

    But all other entries are interesting.

  • TrueNubin

    i agree this isn’t a list more like a retards guide to some films,

    even the shaun of the dead “fact” is something you took from the DVD special edition

  • Yeesh

    I never noticed that Nick Fury was talking about the Avengers when he showed up in Iron Man!!! HurHurHur!!! Thanks for pointing it out to a dumb idiot like me. If I am dumb enough to click on a list article that too you 16 minutes to write a google image search, I am definitely dumb enough to not have understood the blatant plot of 2/3rds of these movies.

    If I wrote this, I’d be embarassed.

  • u4ea

    Is the person who wrote this just really, really dumb or something? Most of these “foreshadowing” moments are so obvious they hardly qualify as such. Saying “you probably didn’t notice” is ridiculous. You’d have to be an idiot not to have seen these.
    The Avengers reference? What the hell else would he have been talking about called “The Avenger Initiative”? Jesus this person is dumb.

  • zirtoc

    My favorite missed foreshadow was in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Somebody says a line like, “I wonder where the Chamber of Secrets could be?” and the very next shot is of the fountain in the girl’s bathroom! Totally missed it.

  • Rick Bauer

    You missed one. In “Dead Poets Society”, Keating has the boys looking at a trophy case with old photos of former students, most if not all, have since passed. As he goes on about how one day they will all share the same fate, there is a cutaway of Neal, who later in the film commits suicide.

  • Steph

    I think this is an awesome list … I thoroughly enjoyed it. I never noticed many of these things, including the orange balloon in Reservoir Dogs. I liked the Exodus motif in Magnolia, which ties together the theme of guilt — that runs throughout the movie — and the strange scene with the frogs.

  • Johnny Prothero

    I guessed the Shutter Island twist about 5 mins into it. I then found it completeley boring.