What happens when a TV show is so insanely good that we’re immediately sucked into the plot? We miss all the awesome details that make the show even better than we remember.
Name any one of your favorite shows and we’d bet that there are Easter eggs and crazy obvious spoilers hidden right in plain sight. With an eagle eye for red herrings and foreshadowing techniques, you’ll likely be able to spot the best spoilers right at the beginning of a show’s run. We’re talking first season spoilers that don’t pay off until seasons three or four, and pertinent info in the pilot that clues you into how the show will ultimately end.
TV shows across genres are guilty of sliding spoilery bits into their early episodes. In each instance, these shows have given themselves away way before any member of the audience could ever catch on. It’s this admirable level of detail and writing skill that make all our favorites worth rewatching. We’ve compiled an incredible list of all the juicy stuff you’ve missed over the years. So sit back and get ready to have your mind blown.
Here are 15 Obvious Spoilers You Completely Missed At The Start Of TV Shows.
15. Stranger Things – Nancy Gives Away Barb’s Final Resting Place
Oh, Barb. How we all loved her and her loyalty to Nancy in Stranger Things season 1. Unfortunately, all that loyalty earned her was a disastrous and deadly trip to the Upside Down. While Nancy and company have an inkling about where Barb could be, Barb’s parents and the rest of Hawkins are completely clueless.
When Barb’s mother grills Nancy about her daughter’s whereabouts, Nancy goes against her instinct and simply lies about it. She tells the worried mother her that Barb’s got her head buried in books at the library. Little does Nancy know that the library is exactly where Barb is. When her body is discovered later in the season, we see that she expired just outside the library in the Upside Down.
14. House of Cards – Frank Hints at Zoe Barnes’ Murder
If you managed to get through the first season of House of Cards, you know that this show is all about the web of lies and manipulation Frank Underwood spins. In doing so, he actually gives himself away more frequently than he’d probably care to admit.
In one early episode of that first season, Frank literally tells Remy that he doesn’t use someone unless he can throw them away afterward. This doesn’t bode well for young reporter Zoe Barnes, who’s gotten herself all wrapped up in Frank’s dangerous web.
13. Lost – Locke Reveals the Final Season in the Pilot
“Two players. Two sides. One is light, one is dark.”
That was John Locke in the pilot telling Walt what it takes to play a good game of backgammon. What viewers didn’t know at the time was just how important that little story was in the long run. It turns out that Locke was telling us everything we needed to know about the entire series and, more specifically, the final season of the show. This bit of information links directly to Jacob’s rivalry with the Man in Black and proved to be a significant lesson for everyone to learn over the course of the show.
While some fans might argue that this isn’t actually foreshadowing because the writers of Lost were winging it as they went along, executive producer and co-creator Damon Lindelof begged to differ: “We did know that when Locke referred to the black and the white, that ultimately that concept was going to be personified by two individuals.”
12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Willow’s orientation
When Willow came out on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it probably shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. While some fans were miffed about this character development, they likely failed to detect that clever clues were being fed to us along the way.
In season three’s “Doppelgangland”, Willow sees her vampire doppelganger and is immediately struck by how far removed the vampire is from her present self. “That’s me as a vampire?” she says. “I’m so evil and skanky. And I think I’m kinda gay!“
Little did we all know how true some of those early reflections were! And thank goodness for that because Willow’s relationship with Tara was one of the most interesting and powerful relationships this show had to offer.
11. Pretty Little Liars – Alison’s Halloween Story Gives Away A’s identity
If the writing on Pretty Little Liars is anything to go by, we’d bet the creators of the show are clever little devils. In fact, they gave us a clue way back in season two that completely spoiled the season seven finale.
In season two, Alison told a haunting Halloween story about twins— one good and one evil— that ended in a gory murder. When Spencer is revealed to have her own evil twin in season seven, fans immediately recalled that horror story.
Up until the big reveal, the PLL fandom was rampant with fan theories about Spencer possibly being a twin. Needless to say, they were more than happy that their long-standing theory was finally confirmed. Looks like fan theories aren’t so outlandish after all.
10. True Detective – A Clue in Season One Tells Us About The Yellow King
Fans of True Detective know well that this show relies on its audience to be…well, detectives. They drop hints about storylines every opportunity they have, and one of the biggest clues they gave away was about the Yellow King in season one.
With a police search underway, the audience is able to trail the the King’s whereabouts as the color yellow crops up anytime the detectives find themselves on the right path. But the big twist comes when they learn that they’d crossed paths with the Yellow King in an earlier episode when he was mowing the grass outside a school. The shot of the King gives his identity away completely, with a sign that reads, in part, “notice king.” Guess the devil is actually in the details.
9. American Horror Story – Coven’s Opening Credits Give Away The Supreme
Ah, American Horror Story: Coven was a wild ride. What with all the rivalries, deaths, New Orleans landscapes, and bids for Supreme, we’d dare say Coven was one of the most exciting seasons of American Horror Story. But what if we told you that all that excitement was for nought? That all that juicy drama ultimately led to nowhere?
With a keen eye, you would have known that Sarah Paulson’s Cordelia would become the Supreme way before anyone else! In the opening credits of Coven, Sarah Paulson’s title card was paired with an image of Santa Muerte, a folk saint commonly known as “Lady of the Seven Powers” – aka the Supreme.
8. Mr. Robot – Pilot Episode Spoils the Season One Twist
Remember the crazy twist that happened at the end of the first season where Elliot discovers that Mr. Robot is in fact an alternate personality he created to look like his dead father? Yeah, well think all the way back to that very first episode of Mr. Robot. Think about who and what Mr. Robot and Elliot encounter during that episode.
Now, get this: no one ever interacts with Elliot and Mr. Robot at the same time in the pilot. Clearly, this isn’t just a coincidence. Right from the beginning, the writers were putting us on the spot, challenging us to see right through the farce of Elliot’s encounters with Mr. Robot.
Some viewers caught on to this rather quickly, while others were wrapped up in the mystery until the twist was revealed at the end of the season. No matter which camp you were part of, you’ll likely never watch a pilot episode the same way again. After all, you never know what interesting information might be lurking around in there.
7. The Good Place – Eleanor Predicts The Bad Place
You ever have those moments when stuff just seems… unreal? Not quite right? Questionable? If so, you’re not alone because that’s exactly what happened to everyone on The Good Place.
For the entirety of season one, each beloved character had it in mind that they were right where they should be (the Good Place) but couldn’t actually grasp the happiness they sought after. To put it plainly, they were forking miserable and really couldn’t figure out why. Turns out, they were actually in the Bad Place which Eleanor joked about right in the pilot!
“My parents were divorced when I was a kid. They were both crummy people, so they’re probably in the Bad Place. Maybe they’re being used to torture each other. It would work!” she tells the not-so-angelic Michael, who actually orchestrated the whole thing to begin with.
6. Arrested Development – Buster’s hand
When Buster Bluth loses his hand in season two of Arrested Development, it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise. All throughout the first and second seasons, the writers were dropping hints left and right that this would happen.
By the end of season one, we get a hint of what’s likely to happen when Buster gladly exclaims that a party he’s attending is “off the hook.” And in an early episode of season two, when Buster’s reunited with his hand-shaped chair, he says ironically, “Wow, I never thought I’d miss a hand so much.”
These are just a few hints that Buster was about to go to bat for his hand against a bow-tie wearing seal. Nonetheless, all those weird hand and seal references make sense now, don’t they?
5. The West Wing – Zoey’s Abduction is Called in the First Season
When it comes to hiding clues right under its viewers’ noses, the writers of The West Wing are experts. In season one, they laid out an entire plot that took place three seasons later. And they did it in such a nuanced way that they could tell us all the details without any of us catching on to their true meaning.
In a fit of anger, President Bartlet yells at his daughter Zoey, giving her a play-by-play description of how she could— and eventually would— be abducted. He flat-out tells her that her careless behavior will lead to an abduction in a nightclub bathroom and that Secret Service agents will lose their lives trying to save her.
4. Futurama – Nibbler’s shadow
Few people can deny the intelligence with which a show like Futurama is made. And in its pilot episode, Futurama writers showed us just how smart they can be.
In a bold move of literal foreshadowing, the creators of the show flashed a visual of Nibbler’s shadow right in the pilot episode… and then waited another three seasons for that moment to pay off. It wasn’t until season four that we understood what that little shadow was all about.
So, what was Nibbler actually up to? When Fry is cryogenically frozen at the start of the year 2000, it’s actually Nibbler who’s behind the crazy incident. Nibbler blows on Fry’s chair, causing him to topple over and into the cryogenic tube.
3. Bates Motel – The Shower
That first episode of Bates Motel was a doozy. And the way it ended was even more insane…and actually quite clever.
After being attacked by former motel owner Keith Summers, Norma Bates lets loose and kills him in a violent display of anger, sadness, frustration, and revenge. Then she gets her ever-sensitive son Norman to help hide the evidence. They eventually settle on hiding Summers’ body in a motel bathroom which, as all know, is the iconic location for the Norman Bates-Marion Crane encounter in the original Hitchcock film Psycho. What the writers of Bates Motel do here is give us a clever little throwback to the film as well as a hint at just how dark this show is going to get.
The motel room showers serve as the channel through which Norman’s inner darkness flows. He unleashes all of his sinister urges there— he watches women undress and shower and even kills Marion Crane’s boyfriend in the shower during the final season.
2. Mad Men – Don Draper Predicts Pete’s Future
There’s no question that Mad Men was one killer show. You know why that is? Because it was so superbly crafted and written that Jon Hamm’s Don Draper was able to predict Pete Campbell’s future all the way back in the pilot episode.
“You’ll die in that corner office, a mid-level executive with a little bit of hair that women go home with out of pity. Do you know why? Because no one will like you,” Don warns.
By season seven, Pete seems to heed this advice. He works his way up and out, eventually landing a gig where he’s relatively well-liked. By this time, of course, his hair has thinned but he’s a bit above mid-level status.
Over the course of the show, as Don initially predicts, Pete goes from sniveling backstabber to an executive with his own clientele who’s worthy of being named partner. How’s that for character development?
1. The Wire – D’Angelo Predicts Character Deaths with a Game of Chess
Back in season one of The Wire, when D’Angelo is teaching his boys Wallace and Bodie about chess, few of us could have predicted the outcome of that game. But D’Angelo somehow did.
The game itself, in this instance anyway, is all about “the game” – meaning the drug hierarchy of the world in which Wallace, Bodie, and D’Angelo live. It’s the only way they can understand how easily they can be used as pawns and how metaphorical a game of chess is to the lives they lead.
“Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early,” D’Angelo explains. And sure enough, Wallace and Bodie do meet their tragic end games early.
Did you catch any of these spoilers? Are there others that we missed? Share in the comments!
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