Foreshadowing is hard to get right. You want to reward loyal viewers with hints of what's to come, but if you make it too obvious all the tension will drain out of your show like gravy out of a balloon. When done well, the big plot twist will shock people the first time around ... but upon a second viewing, all the pieces fall into place like you're the detective in The Usual Suspects. As such, we're betting most of you didn't catch any of these the first time around ...
6 The Walking Dead: Major Plot Points Are Revealed In Split Second Images
Shane was one of the two male leads in The Walking Dead, and (arguably) the primary bad guy of Season Two, constantly squaring off with Rick, the show's "hero." As tends to happen in situations like these, the two wind up in a love triangle. After competing over Lori (aka "TV's worst mother") for two seasons, Shane loses his mind and decides to turn their love triangle into a biangle by murdering Rick, because obviously getting laid should be your biggest priority in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Shane fails on account of not being the protagonist, and becomes a zomb- er, walker after Rick stabs him in the heart. Symbolism!
We're not sure what punching Carl in the dick symbolizes, we just know it's important.
Two episodes earlier, and after months of alpha male posturing, Rick and Shane finally come to blows. Rick manages to repeatedly punch Shane in his stupid, perpetually open mouth, and all that face punching leads to Shane staggering around with a nosebleed. We see him reflected in shards of broken glass ...
And even then he can't close his dumb mouth.
... looking suspiciously like the pale, shambling legionnaire of the undead he would soon become.
If that's too subtle for you, another twist gets revealed via Easter egg in season four. The gang follows signs promising sanctuary to anyone who can reach the community of Terminus, because characters on The Walking Dead have no sense of pattern recognition. Upon arrival our heroes are greeted by Lieutenant Tasha Yar, who offers to feed the weary travelers. In a twist that shocked literally no one, we learn that Terminus is run by cannibals and the food that was offered up was probably the parts of Ray Liotta left over after Hannibal.
"Hi, welcome to our totally normal community, where nothing bad happens to anyone!"
But if you paid attention five episodes prior you could have seen the obvious twist coming even earlier. When exploring a house, Michonne takes a break from lopping off zombie heads to work on her art appreciation skills. The painting she studies depicts a woman who looks exactly like the one who offers them food ... except she's covered in blood. Because she's a cannibal. Symbolism!
"This is reminiscent of early classical bullshit."
5 True Detective: Every Detail About The Cult Of The Yellow King Is Given Away
True Detective is a critically acclaimed series with a name so dumb it might as well have been called Police Cops. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are actual detectives tasked with solving a murder that was committed by a mysterious figure known as the Yellow King. Eight hours of soul-crushing ennui and pretentious literary references later, the saddest buddy-cop duo ever take down an occult-inspired murder club led by an unassuming minor character no one suspected.
If you were watching closely, you already knew the detectives were hunting for more than one perpetrator. That twist was foreshadowed through the strategic posing of beer cans, paintings and toy dolls, much like how we foreshadowed flunking out of college by constantly getting drunk and playing around instead of studying:
Plus, with all the scenes with two breasts in them, we're amazed we didn't see it earlier.
Meanwhile, the identities of the men associated with the cult were given away with the use of yellow. There's Billy Lee Tuttle, a yellow tie wearing, yellow office occupying reverend who tries to cover-up the investigation...
He looked smug too often as a kid and got his face stuck.
...and Reggie Ledoux, a meth cook with such appalling hygiene that the yellow hue is grime radiating out of his very pores.
A creepy, corrupt reverend and a meth dealer? Truly, True Detective broke new ground!
But the main killer is the apparently inconsequential groundskeeper the detectives briefly meet in an early episode. The writers were so confident that no one would guess his real identity that they wrote it on a sign and slapped it right in the goddamn foreground.
Though, that could just as easily be an ad for a Post-It Note tycoon.