You're gonna get it.
Writers want to surprise the audience with a clever plot twist. But just like that time Billy Mumford trusted you with his shameful secret -- that he honestly thought Go-Bots were better than Transformers -- something inside them is itching to tell everybody. You may have ruined poor Billy's life by shouting his shame during that Yo-Yo assembly, but most creators are a bit more subtle. They like to reveal big secrets right there in their characters' names ...
Ace Ventura is about a private detective who investigates a disappeared dolphin and discovers that Lt. Lois Einhorn, the woman whom he's been reporting to this entire time, is the culprit ... and also a man named Finkle. He then promptly throws up, because they made out a few scenes earlier.
And then the joke was never repeated in pop culture ever again. The End.
But if Ventura had taken his Ritalin long enough to finish a coherent thought, he could have seen the big twist coming. The reveal that Einhorn has a cock was likely met with shrugs and bemusement in Germany. See, in German. "Ein horn" means "one/a horn." Get it? Horn = penis.
Remus Lupin is introduced in the third Harry Potter as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He handily wins Hogwarts Teacher of the Year by helping Harry to not die one time, and then giving him chocolate. (The uh ... the bar wasn't exactly set very high.)
Oh, and he's also a werewolf.
Hermione naturally figures it out, but there were so many clues to Lupin's true identity that even Ron should have raised his hand on that one. In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twins who founded Rome after being abandoned and raised by a female wolf. So the first "Remus" was a human who walked the earth as both man and wolf. His surname is Lupin, which is French for "wolf-like," so "Remus Lupin" essentially translates to "Wolf-like Wolf-man." Not super subtle.
Further, the entire movie revolved around the escape of one Sirius Black from Azkaban, Harry Potter's version of Alcatraz mixed with a haunted house. If Hogwarts had anything even close to traditional Muggle education, then Harry and the gang would've figured out that the black dog lurking in the shadows was in fact Sirius the whole time.
Sirius, after all, is the brightest star in the night sky, part of the constellation Canis Major (Big Dog), also known as the Dog Star. So this missing man's name is basically "Black Dog," and there's a mysterious black dog around ...
Nah, it's probably nothing!
There's a reason Hogwarts isn't an accredited learning institution.
Walt Disney Pictures
Zootopia is about a cute little bunny's adventures in the titular city. The head of this shining beacon of animal freedom is Mayor Lionheart, but -- dun dun dun! -- late in the film, we find out that he's been imprisoning predatory animals that have inexplicably gone feral. Lionheart goes to jail for a while, and his number two, Deputy Mayor Bellwether, takes over.
Walt Disney Pictures
Once in charge, Bellwether convinces everyone that this is happening to predators simply because they're evil, and Zootopia morphs into whatever the animal pun on dystopia would be. But -- double dun dun dun! -- it turns out that Bellwether was the true bad guy, turning innocent predators savage by drugging them! She's eventually taken down, while Lionheart, still in jail, claims to have done "a bad thing for the right reasons."
Walt Disney Pictures
All of this is foreshadowed by their names.
Bellwether means "leader of others," which is what she becomes. Originally, though, it referred to leading a flock of sheep, which also happens when Bellwether manipulates the city with fear and turns its citizens into mindless "sheep." Lionheart, on the other hand, is the nickname of King Richard, who ruled England and fought in the crusades -- arguably doing a "bad thing for the right reason" -- and then went to jail / was held for ransom. According to Robin Hood folklore, his number two, Prince John, took over and turned England into a non-animal-themed dystopia. Well, depending on what version of the story you're watching. We're not totally sure, but we have a feeling the animated one wasn't entirely historically accurate.
New Line Cinema
Se7en is about police detectives Mills and Somerset tracking a serial killer who's been dispatching his victims in ways that ironically punish them for the sins they committed. The killer eventually turns himself in, and leads the detectives into the desert, where a white van delivers Mills' wife's head in a box. The killer murdered her because he was jealous of Mills' perfect life, and is then killed for his sin of envy by Mills, who in doing so "becomes" wrath.
New Line Cinema
We should have known the killer wanted to die from the second he introduced himself as John Doe. You almost certainly know that John Doe is most often used as a placeholder for anonymous dead bodies in the ER or the morgue. We thought he was referring to himself as "Hey, I'm an anonymous guy," when he really meant, "What's up? I'm a pending corpse."
The Usual Suspects is told to us in flashbacks by one Roger "Verbal" Kint -- a weak, crippled man, and the lone survivor of a massacre supposedly organized by legendary Turkish crime lord Keyser Soze. The twist is that Kint was Soze the whole time, which Turkish audiences were immediately aware of. As a result, they probably didn't get the appeal of the movie at all.
In Turkish, "soze" comes from "soz" and can mean, among other things, "talk," "say," "remark ... you know, verbal stuff. Get it? Get it?!
Ah, you probably don't get it.
Almost every name in The Matrix means something, from Neo being an anagram of "one," to Trinity and Zion being obvious Biblical references, to the name Morpheus pointing out that Laurence Fishburne in a trench coat is goddamn dreamy.
Then there's Cypher, Morpheus' treacherous crew member, played by Joe Pantoliano.
In the first movie, Cypher kills half of Morpheus' crew in one fell swoop, which you should really should've expected from a guy named after the devil.
Movies and TV have been using variations on the name "Lucifer" for years. There's Bill Cipher in Gravity Falls, Louis Cyphre in Angel Heart, and Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, (that means "the Cipher" in French). Sure, Matrix's Cypher could have been named after an old word for "zero," making him the binary opposite of Neo ("the one"). But that's the advanced theory. Maybe the real explanation is that he's just another bad guy named after the devil. But that would imply that The Matrix seems a lot smarter than it actually is, and that can't be true ...
Matt Cowan is a columnist here at Cracked, as well as the most prolific children's book author not on the scene today. You can find some of his pop culture mashup T-shirt designs here. Tara Marie writes a lot. You can follow her on Twitter and see what comics she thinks you should be reading at Comics Alliance.
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For more foreshadowing you probably missed, check out 5 Movies And TV Shows With Brilliant Clues In The Dialogue and 6 Minor Details That Reveal Major Things About Movie Worlds.
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