A cold opening is a scene before the introduction or credits in a TV series or film.
A scene, usually before anything has happened in the show or movie, in which hints, clues, or out right truths are given on the upcoming feature but the truth behind what is shown is hidden from the viewer.
SNL is best known for the technique, it would portray a skit or scene before going into the opening credits of the show. More recently known for the technique, from time to time, is Breaking Bad in which the cold open is used for individual episodes and even entire scenes, hinting to upcoming events and sometimes trying to mislead audiences even though it shows exactly what's going to happen. 2006's Casino Royale also makes use of the Cold Opening technique and breaks from the formula of the series which usually opened with the "Gunbarrel sequence".
|2011||Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows|
|2011||Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy|
|2011||The Hangover Part II|
|1964||From Russia, with Love|
|Game of Thrones|
|Power Rangers Samurai|
|Parks and Recreation|
|Rules of Engagement|
|Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip|
|How I Met Your Mother|
|It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia|
|Doctor Who (Modern Series)|