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When something said or appearing in a work foreshadows another work that would be produced by the same people much later.
If this happens in the same continuity as the work they appeared in, it's an Early-Bird Cameo. If it's not, but the work they originally appeared in has already been made (but you haven't seen it since it hasn't been localized), then Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.
When this happens the other way around, it's a Production Throwback.
- In one episode of Spaced, after a day of being high and playing Resident Evil 2, Tim starts hallucinating that he is surrounded by zombies. The production of this episode is where everybody on the show realized how familiar they all were with classic zombie horror, which led to the later film Shaun of the Dead.
- In the Quentin Tarantino-written True Romance, Leo Donowitz is filming a World War II movie. Quentin Tarantino's later WWII movie Inglourious Basterds features a Donny Donowitz.
- In Pulp Fiction Mia talks about filming a pilot episode about an all-women assassin squad. This was intended to be a reference to the later Kill Bill movies (the KB plot changed a bit meanwhile).
- The Colbert Report was originally a fake commercial. Stephen Colbert had mentioned how much better his own show would be on The Daily Show long before The Colbert Report.
- In the 2003 movie The Singing Detective, Robert Downey Jr's character describes his memory of watching his mother have sex with a stranger, with the onomatopoeias "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".
- In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, they walk past a movie set where Daredevil is fighting some ninjas. The scene was probably put in because Kevin Smith was supposed to have directed (or wrote the screenplay to) the Daredevil movie - Ben Affleck appearing in both was probably just a coincidence.
- Since 2003, Pixar's been doing this a fair deal:
- In Monsters, Inc. (pictured above), one of Boo's Toys is Nemo from Finding Nemo.
- In Finding Nemo, a boy in the dentist's waiting room is reading a comic book of The Incredibles.
- In Ratatouille, whilst working his way up to the rooftops of Paris, Remy is chased by a dog (seen only in silhouette) bearing a striking resemblence to Dug from Up. Also from Up, Carl's cane is seen in WALL-E.
- An apartment Carl's house flies by in Up has Lotso from Toy Story 3.
- And in Toy Story 3, one of Andy's posters features Finn McMissile from Cars 2.
- Cars 2 has car-versions of the royal family of Brave pictured on a tapestry in the British pub.
- The Vertigo Comic Book Nevada was an expansion of a throwaway gag in Marvel Comics' Howard the Duck, which mentioned "a mandatory fight scene between a Las Vegas chorus girl, an ostrich, and a standing lamp". Both were written by Steve Gerber.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Excellen Browning notices that all the Humongous Mecha produced by Isurugi Industries have names ending in -lion & makes a joke something along the lines of "Does that mean they made Go-" before being interrupted. Two years later Super Robot Wars W was released featuring GoLion's SRW debut.
- The 3DO version of Policenauts was preceded by a supplemental database disc known as the Pilot Disk which featured information on the game's production and plot. The database disc was later ported to the Play Station as Policenauts: Private Collection. Both versions of the disc feature a glossary of the game's terminology. If you look for the definition FOXHOUND on the glossary, you will find early concept art for the first Metal Gear Solid drawn by none other than Yoji Shinkawa himself.
- In Persona 3: Portable, there's a NPC at a bar who mentions girlfriend problems, but tells the protagonist it's not something s/he will have to worry about now. This character ends up being the protagonist for the future game Catherine.
- Books in The Magic School Bus series often did this. On one of the final pages, Ms. Frizzle would wear a dress related to the topic of the next book. (For instance, her dress would have pictures of bees on it, and the next book would be about bees)
- One episode of Full Metal Panic The Second Raid features Souske getting a haircut. During a bit in a barber shop in which Souske makes a scene, the shot cuts to several characters outside the shop taking notice. Each character is from Death Note. However, this proved to be an unintentional subversion, as the studio that animated that season of FMP had intended to animate the anime adaptation of Death Note, but the contract ultimately went to a different studio instead.
- A Sonic the Hedgehog air freshener can be seen hanging hanging from the player's rear-view mirror in the Sega racing game Rad Mobile, which was released for the arcades two months before the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis.
- The Nintendo 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a room with a (not so) hidden artwork from the then-upcoming Skyward Sword for Wii.
- The English pub scene in Uncharted3 features a newspaper with a headline about deadly fungus, which is a reference to Naughty Dog's upcoming The Last of Us.
- The trailer for the Nintendo 3DS that Nintendo used for its 2010 E3 Press Conference (where Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime get sucked into a 3DS) featured what turned out to be an early rendition of the final portion of the final boss fight against Bowser from Super Mario 3D Land.