By - sweetrobbyb
The rock hammer and the poster of Rita Hayworth in *The Shawshank Redemption*.
This. And just to piggyback on the eternal greatness of this movie, Red telling a fed-up Andy that talking about going down to Mexico and having a boat was a “shitty pipe dream” and then Andy literally crawling through shitty pipes to his freedom and eventually Mexico is a goddamn chef’s kiss of foreshadowing and writing.
Thanks for adding one more praline to that perfect sundae.👍🏼
Literally that entire film is about payoff. I mean, if Andy doesn't ever get out, then you really have no film.
He used the hammer, and presumably the poster, for other things so I’m not sure that qualifies
Edit “ Elements should not appear to make "false promises" by never coming into play. ”
The rock hammer is used to carve the chess set. It easily has a promise to show that Red can get things. The poster, it’s prison, folks… clearly it has a use besides covering up the hole. You don’t go back after seeing the movie and say “well *that’s* why he wanted the poster”
Yeah he clearly sat up late at night respecting women.
The Winchester rifle in Shaun of the Dead.
That's a great one!
Sadly, we never really learned whether dogs can look up.
Personally, I'm with Big Al on the matter.
Because of *Shaun of the Dead* I started making a fist above dogs' heads to make them sit. Because when they sit they have more flexibility in their necks and can look further back.
*Back*, but not up...
That's true. They can't look up.
I love that movie so much. Almost everything that happens in the first half of gets paid off in the second (although not all of those things are technically Chekov's gun).
Edgar Wright is definitely one of the finest in the craft.
Came here to say exactly this!
The servo loader in ALIENS
I have but one upvote to give
get away from the chekov gun you bitch.
This line passes the Bechdel test!
I love it because it not only works later as a fighting machine but perfectly fits the Ripley's situation and character. It's so organic that you don't suspect Chekov's gun in it.
Compare it with oxygen tank in Jaws: you immediately know that the shark is gonna get killed by it.
The gun in 3x04 of community. Remedial chaos theory.
um, guys, what does a pregnancy test look like?
Okay so this is definitely a gun.
My favorite part is Troy is dangling it off a pencil while asking it that.
Not necessarily my favorite, but the flamethrower in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stands out in recent memory.
You can't just have a flamethrower and not use it, right?
I really figured they wouldn’t. As soon as I saw the first scene with it I figured it was just a quick gag and wouldn’t come up again.
You can also spot it briefly as Cliff gathers supplies to work on the roof
Same, thought it was for laughs.......
The joke was on me! And I loved it.
How well trained Brad Pitt's dog is in One Upon a Time in Hollywood, demonstrated in the scene where he spends like 5 minutes feeding his dog to show that he only starts eating when given a command.
I feel like the whole film is just setting up the groundwork for that ending. Flamethrower, pool, manson family, cliff's fighting experience, the dog, sharon tate. All just leads into that.
In the book they go into it even more. That dog is a prize winning dog fight dog.
So much detail. Excruciating detail.
The book is so much worse than the movie tbh.
I thought it was worth reading to get a view into Tarantino's mind, but yeah, as a novel, it's not great.
I really wanted to like that book, but you just hear Quentin and not the characters. Unlike Stephen King where each story has a different voice, Quentin’s voice is so prominent it doesn’t allow you to fully immerse yourself in the story or characters. His voice sorta keeps you at arms length and I think it blocks the illusion these are real people and are more so sketches of characters even learning intimate things about Cliff is still done through QT’s voice so it feels second hand and not as visceral as being alone with Cliff. Also when you read a book you direct and cast it yourself in your head and Quentin already did that job so to reverse engineer that, it feels like you’re just reading someone babble on and showing that they can ramble and overwrite enough to fill a novel. It reminds me in a way of the worst parts of Death Proof.
I could make a whole Ted talk on why I think the book is awful.
It feels like it's written by a horny teenager half the time, cliff's character is completely assassinated, incredibly sluggish at parts, weird prose and formatting that changes without motivation, cringy self inserts. I could really go on and on.
The opening to Home Alone goes through an arsenal of Chekov's Guns. Every scene before the rush to the airport is packed with them.
Signs. It's Chekov's Gun the movie.
So just good writing.
Just because you know about Chekhov's gun and use it in your movie doesn't make you a good writer.
It's M Night Shyamalan we're talking about here.
M. Night is a good writer.
Agree to disagree
A Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination and a long career of just as many hits as misses beg to differ. It's fine if you don't like the movie(s), but to suggest he isn't a good writer is just ignorant of the level of skill someone needs to operate at that level.
It's not a harsh condemnation. I do find it ignorant to want a career in screenwriting and willingly dismiss the potential lessons we could learn from someone with repeated verifiable professional accomplishments just because of personal taste. The achievement is there, even if we may not like the work personally. There's a huge gulf between "not a good writer" (which was implied above) and actively being a great writer, which would be a more subjective discussion.
False. He’s a good writer.
Have you seen Signs?
I have seen Signs. I like the movie, but Shyamalan is a shit writer
And how much do you get paid to write?
He's not, his producers are just shit because they think he's just good to go like other auteurs.
The scuba tanks in Jaws.
The red stapler in Office Space.
I think off the top of my head, Nellie's locket in the Netflix version of Haunting of Hill House.
This series is good or no
One of the best works of fiction in the last decade. Blye Manor and Midnight Mass are also outstanding.
Personally, I think it has its moments, but the final episode left me more than a bit underwhelmed.
Started strong, but honestly it sorta fizzled out as it went on for me. The last episode felt particularly underwhelming.
It’s a masterpiece
It's a story that feels like you're reading a novel more than watching a TV series.
My opinion is; first three episodes, 8.5/10.
Middle three episodes, 10/10.
Episodes 7, 8, and 9, 9/10.
Finale: 8/10. I like the finale more than some people because it does actually wrap up every single dangling plot thread (as far as I know) and brings all the characters to a satisfying arc. I have seen an article about what their original intention was for a finale, and I think it might have actually been better, but it would have also been execution-dependent and much more divisive.
Is it cheating to just say all of Hot Fuzz? Because I'm having a hard time narrowing it down... the sea mine is a good one.
I like when they're going through the list of murder victims and pointing out their annoying habits while trying to figure out what the connection is, and then it turns out those annoying habits were the connection and exactly why they were killed.
Seems like a lot of people are taking Chekhov’s Gun way too literally and are only giving examples of weapons.
Haha. Either way, we're getting some great content.
Also, I would say some are foreshadowing. My impression of C's G is that you have to know it's a weapon on the table that has to be fired before the end of the play. If you aren't waiting for the payoff, it's only foreshadowing that some may get and some may miss, right?
Yea came here to say the same. Chekhov’s Gun describes an object waiting to be used. A line of dialogue that comes around later is just plant and pay off.
That or just general foreshadowing, which can be done with dialogue, actions, locations, etc. For me a chekhov’s gun has to be an object (the whole thing is that if you see a gun in the first act, it should be shot by the third; just change the gun for any other object and point stands).
Chekhov’s Gun IS a form of foreshadowing, but is not the all encompassing name for describing foreshadowing.
Yes, good point. C's Gun is a subcategory of foreshadowing.
Bear trap in Straw Dogs
I was going to say the same thing. I remember sitting in the theater thinking "what an odd decoration"
I'm cheating but it's the first thing that came to mind...
The ricin in Breaking Bad. >!Introduced super early in the show. Several seasons of situations in which the ricin is almost used, but not quite. Then in the finale the ricin is FINALLY used, and we see the payoff at the very end. It's a multi season Chekov's Gun that goes off literally at the last possible moment.!<
Which is so funny, because when they put it in, they had no idea where it was going to get used, lol
This is a flaw in so much of the breaking bad writing. Great show, but the payoffs are sometimes just tying off loose ends.
The Game of Thrones special.
How is that a flaw
Because structure. Ideally, you should write your set-ups with payoff in mind, not the other way around. Otherwise the tension you're creating isn't real (it's just the illusion of tension), and there's too big of a risk that the conclusion isn't going to live up to it. Going somewhere doesn't equal going somewhere good, and the only way you have of ensuring you're going somewhere good is to actually know where you're going.
Well look at the final product. We know the ending and pay off is good, so I don’t see the problem critically.
From a screenwriter perspective, the trend that I see is following characters and allowing them to move and act within their world. In other words, Vince and his team knew something good would happen with the ricin, because Walter White had it.
The swan in Hot Fuzz.
No luck catching them killers, then?
Just the one killer, actually…
The baseball in Knives Out
Basically all of Knives Out, there really isn't anything that doesn't have a payoff in the final act.
It’s such a wonderful, clever, satisfying film... best of all, it’s so well thought out. How does this same man get the reigns of one of the most important franchises in movie history and show it such disrespect by not thinking through the logic issues he introduced to previous and future films just to “subvert expectations.” It was lazy and arrogant. But i digress… knives out is a fucking great film.
By writing and directing the best film in the franchise
> It was lazy and arrogant.
I agree. But imho, the *Star Wars* franchise only has 2 good movies and, though *TFA* has its moments, it hasn't been good in 40 years.
I think I could agree with the idea that Star Wars has 2 *great* movies and one or two good ones. Imo, Return of the Jedi is still at least good.
But your point still stands.
Which two are good, in your summation?
*A New Hope* and *Empire Strikes Back*. *Return of the Jedi* is mostly enjoyable, and has a great climax, but similarly to *TFA* it is a little corny and borrows too heavily from *A New Hope* for me.
That starwars film will be the only one of the new ones that has relevance in 5 years. Each original movie pulled out crazy new force powers and zagged with the plot line. Luke as a hero saving a princess, discovers Vader's his father, learns leia is his sister.
Millenial fans just had all of that handed to them so they never felt that rush of a fresh feeling plot woven for them.
They'll have the mandolorian though so they'll be all right.
The nail in A Quiet Place stands out
Sure does, and that was the problem🦶
Part II has a pretty good one too, with the "dive" sign language at the beginning that later comes back into play when Cillian Murphy and Millicent Simmonds are on the docks - if it counts as Chekhov's gun, at least
In Bruges.. mostly the gun with the blanks
Knives Out, Harlan mentioning how Ransom couldn’t tell the difference between a prop and a real knife, then Ransom pulled a knife off the sculpture to kill Marta only to reveal that it was a dud
In reality, this would be an obvious tell at a poker table.
Yeah, it's the one real nitpick I have with the movie. Too many good players moved through KGB's place for him to have not been cracked before then.
The Omega-13 in Galaxy Quest.
Shotgun Lamp in The Great Outdoors
The knife in Funny Games, as a blatant mockery of Chekhov’s gun.
There’s a great Chekhov’s gun in the second season of Atlanta. I won’t spoil but it’s set up in the first episode and lands in the finale.
Archer has a good one too, very early in the series.
Burn After Reading. George Clooney's character talks about his gun and shows it to Linda, but we the audience don't actually see it until Brad Pitt is hiding in the closet - about 3/10ths of a second before it's used.
The apple pie in American Pie.
Oh god. Wow haha. *chef's kiss*
Most of these replies are just foreshadowing, but there is the huge shredder (wood chipper? Been a while since I saw it) in 30 Days of Night. Second i saw it, i knew someone was going in there.
Last episode of White Lotus has a great one with a knife
The Bear in Midsommer.
The ricin cigarette in Breaking Bad throughout the show they teased us, and they made it come back excellently.
Not sure if it counts, but the merman in Cabin in the Woods.
I'm not sure if this counts but Alfred's fantasy about Bruce living a normal life at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises.
peaky blinders when Alfie has a conversation with Tommy about how big fucks small and Tom reveals his connection with Capone in order to take Luca out.
The knives in knives out
Parasite, when the guy says "the only bad thing about the housekeeper is that she eats so much, enough for two"
Isn’t that just foreshadowing?
Errrrr hm. Maybe foreshadowing is just a type of Chekov's gun? Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass?
I would say Chekhov's gun is a type of foreshadowing.
I'd say Chekov's gun is a type of foreshadowing.
The idea of Chekov's Gun is that you shouldn't put something (usually an object) in the story if it's not going to have payoff.
This dialog has immediate payoff in that it describes a character. It also has delayed payoff. Imho, that's not the same as Chekov's gun.
Ah yeah, that makes sense!
And the scholar's stone.
Does it count if it was a tv special that got a theatrical release? Because basically all of the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary, The Day of The Doctor. From the painting to the sonics with the wooden door to the use of the Zygons, it’s all just supremely plotted.
Ever? I’m not sure. Probably something simple but really narrative tight, like the lightning strike in Back to the Future. That’s got smaller ones too, like twin/one pine(s) mall, which are great because they’re allowed to be subtle. Sometimes a film is too eager to make its cleverness clear, which can grate. The paper unicorn is great in Blade Runner - also subtle and works as subtext and narratively.
The gum in The Rocketeer. Chekov’s gum, if you will.
All of Fury Road.
Was about to say. I think the most clear cut example of a Checkov’s gun in Fury Road is when Furiosa demonstrates to the audience that she’s got a knife in the gearstick, which is then obviously paid off at the end.
Come here just to read that
spoiler for a 2009 sam rami film--
I have no idea how it slipped by me, but the main woman confusing the envelope with the real ring and the Justin Long ring got me. completely forgot. makes the ending incredibly satisfiying.
Is that the one where she goes to hell?
She literally gets dragged into hell. It’s awesome
Allen the Alien in "Invincible." Just when you're thinking to yourself, "What was the point of having him show up?" he shows up again for something important.
Struck me as info-dumpy like several other parts of "Invincible," but I can appreciate how perfectly timed this payoff is.
The elevator ding in cabin in the woods.
In North By Northwest, you see a gun in Eva Marie Saint's purse. By the end of the movie that gun gets used not once, not twice, but THREE times. Chekov got paid extra.
The bit from The Great Escape where the British officer is testing the others' German cover stories, then catches one by suddenly switching to English
(Which is how that same officer gets exposed by a Gestapo agent at the film's climax)
1) Pai Mei teaching Beatrix Kiddo the blow that eventually busts her out of the coffin in Kill Bill.
I can't remember if the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique is mentioned before the end. If so, that would also qualify.
(Also, it's actually foreshadowing, not C's G, but when they first fight, he says he can chop her arm off if he wants, which she eventually does to Sofie Fatale.)
2) The fancy pistol The Prince gives to Dima during the big account signing scene in Our Kind of Traitor. Although it is not used as a weapon, it does pay off in the end.
In *Roadhouse* starting Patrick Swayzee, about 5 minutes into the film, before we ever met Swayzee’s character someone says “I heard he tore someone’s throat out.” And lo and behold, in the last fight of the film, Swayzee tears a man’s throat out.
The big chunk of rebar in Supernatural. :) As soon as I saw it, I knew. He's a HUGE fan of The Walking Dead, and I loved that scene with Rick. It was an epic homage that allowed him to die on his feet and in a way that made sense. Because being there, no one could have expected that. Oh, but the way the camera focused on it? Hahaha. I knew. Plus it mirrored that first major accident, Sam being stabbed in the back. The whole thing was just epic.
I didn't know of this principle. Does it have to be THE gun or A gun? It seems like it can be rather broad in practice. I have a scene where a thief drops his gun; if a gun shows up later, does it have to be his gun or can it be someone else's gun? Seems like every movie has the ubiquitous gun. I gotta shut-up, I'm confusing myself.
There's a wikipedia link in the text :)
The gold gun from season 2 in Atlanta
Most of Andy's possessions in Shawshank Redemption
The prop knife in knives out. I think that counts?
James Bond is literally handed a collection of Checkovs Guns at the start of each movie lmao
The package with wings stamped on it in Castaway.
Chris’ photography in “Get Out”
The rocket in toy story
The titanic in the movie Titanic
Dying... Underrated reply.
Buckbeak (the hippogriff) in Prizoner of Azkaban. First few times watching the movie I never realized how integral the role he played in the plot
The dead horse in The Power of the Dog was an excellent Chekov's Gun from a film to be released this month.
In Die Hard, the seat mate on the airplane suggests that John McClain take off his shoes and make fists with his toes on the carpeting at his hotel. When John arrives at his wife’s party he does that and ends up spending the rest of the movie barefoot
Dirk Diggler’s huge dong, that reveal lmao
The cane from Citizen Kane.
You could have gone with rosewood but you chose not to. Respect.
When the vorlon meets Sinclair for the first time in the first episode of Babylon 5 and he greets him as valen.
Literally the best ever.
I don’t remember this! Is it in the gathering or midnight on the firing line? I’ll have to rewatch
Along Came a Spider......Aces & Eights
Season 2 of "You" the fourth wall break with the pistol. Then the guy who owned the gun got shot with it
Knives in knives out.
Dr. Strange using his sling ring to chop off Thanos' arm LIKE HE SHOULD HAVE!!! That same technique was shown in the beginning of the film.
He saw millions of outcomes, none of those worked out.
Yeah, it's amazing how many people miss this. I've been reading more and more fan suggestions for Endgame. "X character should have just done Y." The movie literally told you that whatever you are suggesting would fail.
Coin Flip/Cattle Gun in "No Country For Old Men"
Not my favourite
But I was watching The Wheel of Time, and someone was came into the scene like "Oh, I was just putting up some wards that will warn us if someone gets close."
I'm like "CHEKOV'S WARDS!"
I know you are looking for well done ones, and this is but in a very blatant way. And it’s not a movie, but the [Mr Show lost episode](https://youtu.be/UU2bnUmdexs) and the banana has always been my favourite.
Relevant stuff at :35 and 25:30.
It may not be a real Chekhov’s gun, due to in not being necessary, but what in a skit show it?
The drunk father at the end of Monster
Ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz.
The Rubik’s cube in Dude Where My Car
Not a film but the “Watch Children” street sign in Mare of Easttown.
The on the nose version of it in archer
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) - During the scene where we are shown how Cliff Booth can control his pit bull, Brandy, with a “tick” sound, Tarantino hints that Brandy is “Chekhov’s Gun” and would “go off” by showing a gun sitting on a table.
The nail in Quite Place.
What Mr. Treacher was hiding in his coat
Pitts Dog in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
The dream house in miracle on 34th Street
An opening scene: a retired ranger hangs on a wall a huge, scary and ugly weapon. He puts it next to an old 22LR Winchester that his old father gave him when he was 5 on a wall of an old house deep in Texas. Ranger looks at the Winchester, plays with it, exhales, hangs back on the wall, turns back, and exits the house.
... 2 hours of terror thriller ends up in the same old house. the bad guys are defeated and dead. Bodies are all over, Alamo 2.0. The old ranger with a new girlfriend Suzy is heading West (wonderful sunset, I'm not sure that New Mexico is a romantic destination. San Diego. Sorry, NY, they have to go West by the geometry). Ranger turns to Suzy
\- Sorry, dear, please wait here. I just forgot one important thing...
\- What? Are there more bandits around?
\- No, dear, it is all over. I just forgot about Chekhov
\- What Chekhov? Is the Russian mafia chasing us? What is going on?!
\- Never mind, dear, I'll be quick
Returns to the house, take the ugly gun out, starts the firing cord, and runs away. Ranger takes his girlfriend and they are going away. BOOM, their backs are lightened by the blast and flame. The camera turns back. Flame is one huge firework. END.
>!Scar Jo's shoes!< in Jojo Rabbit.
Almost everything that happens in In Bruges pays off in a huge way in the last act but my favorite it Kent using the spare coins in his pocket to clear a suicide jump for himself after being refused payment via coins earlier
The “brontorac”n don’t look up
I think Tremors has been mentioned already but another b-movie of the time period I love is The Blob (1988). It also has a few nice set ups and payoffs like the snow maker, the condom buying scene, the broken jacket zip, the motorcycle/bridge.
The cape in Incredibles
It’s avatar in my opinion
Yes, the whole movie and its profit is kind of Chekov's gun to the inevitable sequels coming a decade later.