History Main / EXPANSIONPACKPAST

29th Apr '16 11:20:59 AM TheArcher
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*"Literature/TheWheelofTime". A late-arrival character Androl Genhald has had a remarkably varied past. So far as we know, he's fought in a minor rebellion, sailed two seas, been apprenticed to a leatherworker AND a wisewoman (usually reserved for women), worked as a farmer and a surveyor, and was trained as a swordsman. All of this in the thirty years before joining the Black Tower.
17th Apr '16 4:00:56 PM TitoMosquito
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* Scrooge [=McDuck=] was neck deep in this until Creator/DonRosa came along and made most of it fit together in a Crowning Moment of ArcWelding. Disney Writers suffering a bad case of ÆsopAmnesia, the problem's not entirely fixed though (''since'' Don Rosa wrote his "Life and Times of Scrooge [=McDuck=] in which he reunited most facts though already not all of them , other writers have added YET MORE BACKSTORY ELEMENTS THAT DON'T EVEN FIT IN ROSA'S TIMELINE).

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* Scrooge [=McDuck=] was neck deep in this until Creator/DonRosa came along and made most of it fit together in a Crowning Moment of ArcWelding. Disney Writers suffering a bad case of ÆsopAmnesia, AesopAmnesia, the problem's not entirely fixed though (''since'' Don Rosa wrote his "Life and Times of Scrooge [=McDuck=] in which he reunited most facts though already not all of them , other writers have added YET MORE BACKSTORY ELEMENTS THAT DON'T EVEN FIT IN ROSA'S TIMELINE).
23rd Jan '16 6:29:50 PM nombretomado
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* When you see this in the X-Men, consider a sign of authorial affection for the character. [[{{Storm}} Ororo/Storm's]] backstory was pretty trippy as well, even before they inserted [[TokenMinorityCouple T'Challa]] in it.

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* When you see this in the X-Men, consider a sign of authorial affection for the character. [[{{Storm}} [[ComicBook/{{Storm}} Ororo/Storm's]] backstory was pretty trippy as well, even before they inserted [[TokenMinorityCouple T'Challa]] in it.
26th Dec '15 8:20:46 AM AnotherDuck
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Candy in ''Webcomic/DragonMango'' is a [[SummonMagic Caller]]. But as she frequently points out, before she decided to become a Caller, she studied something else. What that something else is depends on what's currently useful for the plot. That includes martial arts, lockpicking, carpentry, weight training, and a few other jobs. She's usually not particularly good at the skills, but it's usually enough for the situation.
[[/folder]]
22nd Nov '15 3:58:07 AM Morgenthaler
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** Speaking of which; the Springfield family BackStory as a whole could count as this. In short: [[spoiler: Negi is [[WarriorPrince a prince]] and his mother was TheHighQueen who was framed for genocide by a GovernmentConspiracy as a scapegoat for the war. The complexity of BackStory [[LampshadeHanging is lampshaded]] by Ku Fei, who [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v30/c270/8.html doesn't get it at all, prompting Haruna to draw a diagram which summarizes everything.]] ]]
22nd Nov '15 3:56:09 AM Morgenthaler
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*** A number of these overlap plausibly: it's not such a stretch that a man with an Italian surname would be able to speak Italian and have learned how to cook (particularly if he was caring for a mentally-challenged younger sister, which is also stated in-universe). To be a Navy pilot, one must also be an officer, which requires a college education--hence MIT. Al could have picked up boxing either in college or in the military. The murder acquittal happened early in Al's military career and came about when Sam during one of his leaps revealed that Al had been framed by another officer. It's shown in-universe that Al became a POW after being shot down over Vietnam; the photo was taken as a result of one of Sam's leaps just after Al was captured. And a Navy fighter pilot would have been an ideal astronaut candidate in the Vietnam era, when astronauts were almost exclusively military pilots. Having been an astronaut who flew at least one successful mission, along with his combat experience and heading up a major black-box project like Quantum Leap, would have easily put Al on a track for flag rank. And five marriages could happen to anyone sufficiently unlucky or careless in his relationships (Al also noted that he had an alcohol problem, which most certainly would have contributed). Of the things listed above, only running away from home and joining the circus (before or after traveling with a pool master) don't fit with the rest...and it's possible that Al encountered a role model (maybe even Sam on a leap we didn't see) who encouraged him to return to school and pursue his career as shown.



*** He also forgets some of the things that he learns during the leap and from his own life including [[spoiler:that he has a daughter that is working at project Quantum Leap that was born when he leaped into the body of a Souther man while he and his fiancée were uh,]][[spoiler: imitating rabbits]] and only Al knows this after the leap. [[AbortedArc Not that it matters afterward...]]
** Supposedly, a number of these are the result of RippleEffectProofMemory - every time Sam leaps, he changes his ''own'' past as well as whatever he changes in-leap. He has also explicitly changed Al's past on occasion.



* Phoebe from ''Series/{{Friends}}'' often makes passing allusions to unusual jobs or situations she was involved in before the series started, although she does have an ordinary backstory as well.
** And as she's a firm believer in reincarnation, there was at least one flashback scene to Phoebe in a previous life. Whether this is supposed to be purely imaginary is, one supposes, left to the viewer.
** Lampshaded once when she makes one such reference to her past, gets a lot of blank looks, smiles and says "There's so much you don't know"

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* Phoebe from ''Series/{{Friends}}'' often makes passing allusions to unusual jobs or situations she was involved in before the series started, although she does have an ordinary backstory as well.
**
well. And as she's a firm believer in reincarnation, there was at least one flashback scene to Phoebe in a previous life. Whether this is supposed to be purely imaginary is, one supposes, left to the viewer.
**
viewer. Lampshaded once when she makes one such reference to her past, gets a lot of blank looks, smiles and says "There's so much you don't know"



** And he 'never thought it would come in handy, then he moved next to Tim'.
* ''PowerRangers'' really gropes when it tries to come up with what Rangers returning for team-up episodes have been doing since they were last seen. Being a member of the original team, after fifteen years on and off of the screen, Tommy Oliver has been a martial artist, a football player, a race car driver, a paleontologist, a MadScientist (seriously!), a high school science teacher, and highly involved in Ranger-ness behind the scenes while between power sources, having made contact with ''every'' team even if they were based in space, just visiting from a lot more than TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, etc. If there's anything "Dr. O" has not been, he ''will'' have by the next anniversary teamup to bring him back.

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** And he 'never thought it would come in handy, then he moved next to Tim'.
* ''PowerRangers'' ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' really gropes when it tries to come up with what Rangers returning for team-up episodes have been doing since they were last seen. Being a member of the original team, after fifteen years on and off of the screen, Tommy Oliver has been a martial artist, a football player, a race car driver, a paleontologist, a MadScientist (seriously!), a high school science teacher, and highly involved in Ranger-ness behind the scenes while between power sources, having made contact with ''every'' team even if they were based in space, just visiting from a lot more than TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, etc. If there's anything "Dr. O" has not been, he ''will'' have by the next anniversary teamup to bring him back.



** First of all, the length of time he spends with his companions must be something comparable to the length of time their actresses work on the show, since his companions do not age, physically ''or'' psychologically, at a rate faster than their actresses. So 33 seasons = 33 years of traveling with his canon companions, possibly closer to 50-55 years if interpreting the longest plausible amount of extra aging between episodes for every companion. However, given that he gives his age as 950 as Seven (although it's implied he's mostly pulling numbers out of his ass, he'd likely be rounding down, not rounding up), there's still have a few empty centuries if you subtract 55 from 950, in which he may have been getting up to any number of adventures while growing old in his first regeneration before meeting Barbara and Ian, or traveling with Romana, with companions who didn't appear on the show, or alone. And then there's the 200 years he spent between "The God Complex" and "Closing Time".



** Nevermind that both her show and Herc's show that it spun off from were supposed to take place in ancient Greece, long before the time of even AlexanderTheGreat (who according to legend was a ''descendant'' of Hercules), let alone Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar.



** Each HRG focused episode adds a new element to his past to the point they've created an Expansion Pack Past for the events of Season 1.



* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'': Duncan [=MacLeod=] has done just about everything imaginable, and lived in (or at least visited) virtually every culture on Earth, in the course of flashbacks doled out throughout the series. Justified to some extent due to the fact that he's over 400 years old.
** Several of the other characters have similarly varied pasts, which is also justified because they're usually even older than [=MacLeod=]. For example, his drinking buddy Hugh Fitzcairn is 800 years old, his on-and-off girlfriend Amanda is nearly 1200, and Methos is so old that even most immortals think he's a myth; he says his earliest memories date back to 5500 years ago, but he was already an adult and had already experienced his first death (activating his immortality) before that point.

to:

* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'': Duncan [=MacLeod=] has done just about everything imaginable, and lived in (or at least visited) virtually every culture on Earth, in the course of flashbacks doled out throughout the series. Justified to some extent due to the fact that he's over 400 years old.
**
old. Several of the other characters have similarly varied pasts, which is also justified because they're usually even older than [=MacLeod=]. For example, his drinking buddy Hugh Fitzcairn is 800 years old, his on-and-off girlfriend Amanda is nearly 1200, and Methos is so old that even most immortals think he's a myth; he says his earliest memories date back to 5500 years ago, but he was already an adult and had already experienced his first death (activating his immortality) before that point.



* Elim Garak from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' fits this trope. Played with in that you can never know for sure if '''any''' of his supposed backstory is true, since ThatLiarLies. His backstory was finally revealed in a ''thick'' book, ''[[Literature/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineAStitchInTime A Stitch in Time]]'', written by the actor who portrayed him.

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* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** Former Cardassian spy-turned tailor
Elim Garak from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' fits this trope.always adds more details to his past. Played with in that you can never know for sure if '''any''' of his supposed backstory is true, since ThatLiarLies. His backstory was finally revealed in a ''thick'' book, ''[[Literature/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineAStitchInTime A Stitch in Time]]'', written by the actor who portrayed him.



** Though it's not totally surprising considering all he gets done in [[RealTime one day]].
* Nessa from the British comedy ''Series/{{Gavin and Stacey}}'' has a ridiculously impressive and convoluted past, revealed in brief reminiscences and anecdotes, although how much of this history is true is debatable - she could be making it all up for all we know. Many of the stories she recounts are of bizarre sexual liaisons with high-profile celebrities, made all the more hilarious by her dead-pan delivery of these lewd stories.
** Hilariously, politician John Prescott showed up at her wedding as one of her exes, meaning at least one of her stories is true.

to:

** Though it's not totally surprising considering all he gets done in [[RealTime one day]].
* Nessa from the British comedy ''Series/{{Gavin and Stacey}}'' has a ridiculously impressive and convoluted past, revealed in brief reminiscences and anecdotes, although how much of this history is true is debatable - she could be making it all up for all we know. Many of the stories she recounts are of bizarre sexual liaisons with high-profile celebrities, made all the more hilarious by her dead-pan delivery of these lewd stories.
**
stories. Hilariously, politician John Prescott showed up at her wedding as one of her exes, meaning at least one of her stories is true.



* Parody: Jim from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', as a RunningGag, often tangentially mentions being involved in all sorts of different odd jobs (space program test subject, special forces, something about submarines, something else about professional skateboarding, etc.) that he would [[NoodleIncident "rather not talk about"]].
** Except for the one time [[CrowningMomentOfFunny he'd love to talk about it, but he doesn't have the time.]]

to:

* Parody: ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
**
Jim from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', from, as a RunningGag, often tangentially mentions being involved in all sorts of different odd jobs (space program test subject, special forces, something about submarines, something else about professional skateboarding, etc.) that he would [[NoodleIncident "rather not talk about"]].
** Except for the one time [[CrowningMomentOfFunny he'd love to talk about it, but he doesn't have the time.]]
about"]].



* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' plays the trope for laughs with the numerous backstories assigned to Grandpa. Among other things, he spent 40 years as the night watchman at a cranberry silo, lived in the Statue of Liberty's head as a child, earned a commission as an under-aged officer in [[UsefulNotes/WW1 World War 1]] (so under-aged that he still took naps and cried) worked as a strikebreaker during the Depression, fought in World War II as an Army infantryman in Europe, Piloted bombers in the Pacific, and so on. However, despite small hints that some of this is probably true, it's usually chalked up to his delusional senility.
** Considering the fact that Abe's son has, in his 30-something years, gone into space; won a Grammy; invented grunge music; saved a town from nuclear annihilation, doomed a town to nuclear annihilation and visited Japan, Australia, Africa, China, etc., Grandpa Simpson could have done all that and more.
*** Let's not forget about two decades worth of experiences and adventures by Abe's 10, 8, and 1-year-old grandkids.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' plays the trope ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Played
for laughs with the numerous backstories assigned to Grandpa. Among other things, he spent 40 years as the night watchman at a cranberry silo, lived in the Statue of Liberty's head as a child, earned a commission as an under-aged officer in [[UsefulNotes/WW1 World War 1]] (so under-aged that he still took naps and cried) worked as a strikebreaker during the Depression, fought in World War II as an Army infantryman in Europe, Piloted bombers in the Pacific, and so on. However, despite small hints that some of this is probably true, it's usually chalked up to his delusional senility.
** Considering the fact that Abe's son has, in his 30-something years, gone into space; won a Grammy; invented grunge music; saved a town from nuclear annihilation, doomed a town to nuclear annihilation and visited Japan, Australia, Africa, China, etc., Grandpa Simpson could have done all that and more.
*** Let's not forget about two decades worth of experiences and adventures by Abe's 10, 8, and 1-year-old grandkids.
senility.



** NegativeContinuity applies even to backstories.



* Roger the Alien from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' originally had a two-sentence origin: He was an alien being held at Area 51 who saved Stan's life. To repay him, Stan lets him live in his house. Over time, though Roger's past has been much more colorful -- in one episode it was revealed that he's actually been on Earth for over sixty years (he was the alien who crashed in Roswell) and stories of his past exploits keep popping up.
** Like how during the 70's, he was a millionaire music producer who "invented" disco by exploiting a StableTimeLoop, then lost everything when disco died.
** Or that he's inexplicably an Olympic-class figure skater.
*** Supported by his time as a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic hockey team.
** Or that he's inadvertently responsible for the death of Biggie Smalls.
** Or that he fought in the Vietnam War, against the Americans.
** And he invented MDMA.

to:

* Roger the Alien from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' originally had a two-sentence origin: He was an alien being held at Area 51 who saved Stan's life. To repay him, Stan lets him live in his house. Over time, though Roger's past has been much more colorful -- in one episode it was revealed that he's actually been on Earth for over sixty years (he was the alien who crashed in Roswell) and stories of his past exploits keep popping up.
**
up. Like how during the 70's, he was a millionaire music producer who "invented" disco by exploiting a StableTimeLoop, then lost everything when disco died.
**
died. Or that he's inexplicably an Olympic-class figure skater.
*** Supported by his time as a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic hockey team.
**
skater. Or that he's inadvertently responsible for the death of Biggie Smalls.
**
Smalls. Or that he fought in the Vietnam War, against the Americans.
**
Americans. And he invented MDMA.



** For that matter, Rex himself embodies this trope a bit considering that in the six years between The Nanite Event and his discovery by Six he somehow lived in several different countries, lead (and betrayed) a Tokyo street gang of [=EVOs=], evoked the ire of every EVO baddy on the planet. And he doesn't remember any of it.
24th Oct '15 5:00:53 PM nombretomado
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* Parodied with Ginji in ''[[PrettySammy Magical Project S]]'', who is often alluded to having done tons of improbable things and has a wallet full of licenses to prove it.

to:

* Parodied with Ginji in ''[[PrettySammy Magical Project S]]'', ''Anime/MagicalProjectS'', who is often alluded to having done tons of improbable things and has a wallet full of licenses to prove it.
19th Oct '15 9:43:33 AM ScroogeMacDuck
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* Scrooge [=McDuck=] was neck deep in this until Creator/DonRosa came along and made everything fit together in a Crowning Moment of ArcWelding.

to:

* Scrooge [=McDuck=] was neck deep in this until Creator/DonRosa came along and made everything most of it fit together in a Crowning Moment of ArcWelding.ArcWelding. Disney Writers suffering a bad case of ÆsopAmnesia, the problem's not entirely fixed though (''since'' Don Rosa wrote his "Life and Times of Scrooge [=McDuck=] in which he reunited most facts though already not all of them , other writers have added YET MORE BACKSTORY ELEMENTS THAT DON'T EVEN FIT IN ROSA'S TIMELINE).
14th Oct '15 5:49:45 PM nombretomado
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* ''{{Greek}}'' has this in all of Cappie's majors (and one-time photography minor). Of course, he could be lying, but that's part of Cappie's mystery (just like his [[NoNameGiven name]]...)

to:

* ''{{Greek}}'' ''Series/{{Greek}}'' has this in all of Cappie's majors (and one-time photography minor). Of course, he could be lying, but that's part of Cappie's mystery (just like his [[NoNameGiven name]]...)



* Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from ''{{Newhart}}'' had an extremely packed past.
* Despite being an utter failure at almost 40, Johnny Drama on ''{{Entourage}}'' has a story about anyone and everyone in show business, just because he's been around so long. Oddly, his own brother and best friends have never heard most of these stories before.

to:

* Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from ''{{Newhart}}'' ''Series/{{Newhart}}'' had an extremely packed past.
* Despite being an utter failure at almost 40, Johnny Drama on ''{{Entourage}}'' ''Series/{{Entourage}}'' has a story about anyone and everyone in show business, just because he's been around so long. Oddly, his own brother and best friends have never heard most of these stories before.
7th Oct '15 11:01:04 AM Morgenthaler
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* Howard Moon is supposed to be like this in the Crack Fox episode of ''TheMightyBoosh''.
* And then there was "Bon Chance Louie", proprietor of the Gold Monkey Bar in ''TalesOfTheGoldMonkey'', who apparently had been everywhere and done everything -- including being part of Mallory's expedition, in his last, unsuccessful, attempt to climb Mt. Everest, and nearly being guillotined.

to:

* Howard Moon is supposed to be like this in the Crack Fox episode of ''TheMightyBoosh''.
''Series/TheMightyBoosh''.
* And then there was "Bon Chance Louie", proprietor of the Gold Monkey Bar in ''TalesOfTheGoldMonkey'', ''Series/TalesOfTheGoldMonkey'', who apparently had been everywhere and done everything -- including being part of Mallory's expedition, in his last, unsuccessful, attempt to climb Mt. Everest, and nearly being guillotined.



* Wilson W. Wilson, on ''HomeImprovement'', speaks multiple languages, has been to dozens of countries, has studied several esoteric religions and philosophies, and engages in such myriad hobbies as wine-tasting, ant farming, and fire walking. He is revealed in-universe to be a retired intelligence operative, which would make for an eclectic past.

to:

* Wilson W. Wilson, on ''HomeImprovement'', ''Series/HomeImprovement'', speaks multiple languages, has been to dozens of countries, has studied several esoteric religions and philosophies, and engages in such myriad hobbies as wine-tasting, ant farming, and fire walking. He is revealed in-universe to be a retired intelligence operative, which would make for an eclectic past.



* Before meeting Hercules, ''XenaWarriorPrincess'' has been an Amazon, Valkyrie, mother, student of a Chinese mystic (in China, no less), lover of Caesar, and warlord. She has travelled most of the known world, including Scandinavia, northern Africa, and all of Asia. It's a wonder she never found herself in the New World.

to:

* Before meeting Hercules, ''XenaWarriorPrincess'' ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' has been an Amazon, Valkyrie, mother, student of a Chinese mystic (in China, no less), lover of Caesar, and warlord. She has travelled most of the known world, including Scandinavia, northern Africa, and all of Asia. It's a wonder she never found herself in the New World.



* [[JustShootMe Nina van Horn]] is a former supermodel, who back in TheSeventies ventured into acting and singing careers. She has also apparently slept with every male celebrity she's ever met, has converted back and forth to various religions, and has even been brainwashed several times into joining cults.
* Happened to the character of Venus Flytrap on ''WKRPInCincinnati''. He got so many contradictory backstories (he was a former soldier, a former teacher, or else a very experienced DJ from New Orleans) that finally they had to make an episode to reconcile the inconsistencies, establishing that he and Andy had simply lied when they said he was an experienced DJ in the first episode.

to:

* [[JustShootMe ''Series/JustShootMe'': Nina van Horn]] Horn is a former supermodel, who back in TheSeventies ventured into acting and singing careers. She has also apparently slept with every male celebrity she's ever met, has converted back and forth to various religions, and has even been brainwashed several times into joining cults.
* Happened to the character of Venus Flytrap on ''WKRPInCincinnati''.''Series/WKRPInCincinnati''. He got so many contradictory backstories (he was a former soldier, a former teacher, or else a very experienced DJ from New Orleans) that finally they had to make an episode to reconcile the inconsistencies, establishing that he and Andy had simply lied when they said he was an experienced DJ in the first episode.



* Nessa from the British comedy ''{{Gavin and Stacey}}'' has a ridiculously impressive and convoluted past, revealed in brief reminiscences and anecdotes, although how much of this history is true is debatable - she could be making it all up for all we know. Many of the stories she recounts are of bizarre sexual liaisons with high-profile celebrities, made all the more hilarious by her dead-pan delivery of these lewd stories.

to:

* Nessa from the British comedy ''{{Gavin ''Series/{{Gavin and Stacey}}'' has a ridiculously impressive and convoluted past, revealed in brief reminiscences and anecdotes, although how much of this history is true is debatable - she could be making it all up for all we know. Many of the stories she recounts are of bizarre sexual liaisons with high-profile celebrities, made all the more hilarious by her dead-pan delivery of these lewd stories.



* Many an episode of ''RemingtonSteele'' revolved around someone from the main character's past coming around to reveal another piece. He's known to have been a thief, con man, and boxer. Along the way, he picked up numerous skills and bits of information.
* Blair Sandburg in ''The Sentinel'' has some odd skills learned on summer jobs, or acquired from his free-spirited mother's various lovers, or picked up in his anthropological/archaeological studies.

to:

* Many an episode of ''RemingtonSteele'' ''Series/RemingtonSteele'' revolved around someone from the main character's past coming around to reveal another piece. He's known to have been a thief, con man, and boxer. Along the way, he picked up numerous skills and bits of information.
* Blair Sandburg in ''The Sentinel'' ''Series/TheSentinel'' has some odd skills learned on summer jobs, or acquired from his free-spirited mother's various lovers, or picked up in his anthropological/archaeological studies.
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