Blatant Movie Spoilers You’ll Only Notice The Second Time You Watch

List Rules
Vote up the most obvious foreshadowing in these classic films.

Movie foreshadowing is a tricky thing. When done well, viewers might not even realize they're being told what's around the corner; when done poorly, the film is just handing out obvious spoilers.

The best kind of foreshadowing doesn't even click for a viewer until they're watching a movie for the second time. Films like Shaun of the Dead and Fight Club are stuffed to the gills with visual and textual clues that reward rewatches. You can also find plenty of subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints of things to come in the Star Wars prequels and the works of M. Night Shyamalan.

Check out the films below and vote up the bits of foreshadowing that are super obvious - but only the second time around.


  • The Departed features several main characters being bumped off throughout the film. This is signaled by an "X" appearing on screen in some form.

    Before Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) is thrown off a building, we see X-shaped tape on the windows. There is an X in the elevator behind Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) just before Sullivan (Matt Damon) takes him out. There are also X's on the carpeted floor of Sullivan's apartment, where he's whacked by Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg).

  • There are a lot of hints that Fight Club's narrator (Edward Norton) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) are the same person. The biggest giveaway is when the narrator beats himself up in his boss's office in order to fulfill his blackmailing scheme.

    When the narrator's boss refuses to meet his demands, and tries to fire him, the narrator proceeds to beat the ever-living snot out of himself. "For some reason I thought of my first fight," the narrator thinks, "with Tyler."

    We later learn this is because the narrator's first fight with Tyler consisted of the narrator beating himself up in a parking lot.

  • "But where's his brother?"

    That's the question a young boy asks Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) after he makes a bird disappear and then reappear. "Sharp lad," he remarks. That's because the boy has seen through the trick.

    To pull off this disappearing act, Borden must smash a bird and substitute an identical one in its place. In other words, the bird has a double. Borden also has a double - an identical twin that no one knows about - and this is how he performs "The Transported Man" trick that makes him famous. Unfortunately, by the end of the film, only one of the Bordens will be "the lucky one" who survives.

    The bird trick also mirrors how Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) performs his own "Transported Man," and in that case he's literally executing his doubles to make the trick work.

  • Reservoir Dogs opens with our group of well-dressed bad guys first discussing Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and then Mr. Pink's (Steve Buscemi) aversion to tipping.

    When Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) joins them, he asks who didn't throw in a dollar for the tip. Without hesitation, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) says it was Mr. Pink. As will become clear later in the film, this is because Mr. Orange is an undercover informant, and his job is to inform on those who break the rules.

    Which is a nice way of saying Orange is a rat.