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

Updated October 15, 2020 3.2k votes 753 voters 221.9k views18 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • All of Edgar Wright's films are full of clever callbacks and foreshadowing, and there's so much in Shaun of the Dead they deserve their own list.

    The big one, however, is in Ed's (Nick Frost) plan for cheering up Shaun (Simon Pegg). Screen Rant has a neat breakdown of Ed's monologue and how it's later fulfilled:

    We’ll have a Bloody Mary first thing [they kill a zombie named Mary in the backyard], a bite at the King’s Head [Shaun’s stepdad Phillip gets bitten in the head], couple at the Little Princess [they pick up Liz, David, and Dianne], stagger back here [they imitate zombies to get through a horde of the undead to the Winchester], and bang, back at the bar for shots [they use the pub’s Winchester rifle to shoot the zombies].

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  • 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.

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  • As the helicopter descends on Isla Nublar, paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) discovers that his seat belt ends are incompatible. They're both "female" ends, or buckles. After some initial confusion, Grant simply ties the two belts together.

    On a first watch, this scene might feel like just a funny bit of business before moving on to the real spectacle of Jurassic Park. However, it's actually a clever metaphor for the film itself. The park's scientists have made all their dinosaurs female, but because they used frog DNA to replace missing dino DNA, the bioengineered dinosaurs end up with the ability to change from female to male and vice versa.

    In other words, much like Grant found a way to make his seat belt work, "Life, uh... finds a way."

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  • "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.

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