Created By: FatCorgi on December 2, 2011 Last Edited By: keplek on December 8, 2011
Nuked

Overdue Future

A work that took place in the future when it was written that now takes place in the past.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs More Examples, May need a better title. Previously titled "The Distant Future: The Year 2000."

Work in Progress notes: Many examples that can be used for this trope are already used in the examples pages of Zeerust and I Want My Jetpack largely due to the fact that these works can be conclusively verified as featuring one or both.

Cpt. Webb: Log entry: March 16th, 1980...
Crow: Oh, our old future.
-- Mystery Science Theater 3000, "The Phantom Planet"

The future is now… or yesterday… or twenty years ago, at least according to some older works of speculative fiction. Whether or not the work is a futurist prediction of what is to come, or the author just wants to play with future tropes, the fact remains the same; works that were written as taking place in the future at the time of their writing are now placed in the past or the present. Some premises could still be plausible with a few changes if they were set a little further in the future. Others, either from science, technology, or our sense of taste marching on, don’t hold up so well. At any rate, the time that the piece of speculative fiction took place in is no longer up for speculation. The ways in which the story’s speculations contrast with what actually happened may result in hilarity in hindsight.

This trope only applies to works that describe a world that feasibly (but not necessarily that feasibly) could have happened according to the knowledge available to the writer at the time of the writing. For instance, a future where civilization is destroyed by a dragon invasion is not this trope, because it is obviously fantastical in nature. Also excluded are works that we now know are infeasible or ridiculous, but still take place in a time that hasn’t happened yet. Because of this, this trope usually applies to stories that take place Twenty Minutes into the Future or Next Sunday A.D. (though stories that take place in the future-proper are obviously slated to join the ranks of this trope at some point).

Also see Zeerust and I Want My Jetpack, as any work featuring this trope is very likely to have a lot of either or both of these. Compare Zeerust Canon, for when a series or franchise continues to run even after this trope has taken its toll.

Examples:

Film

Literature
  • I, Robot written in the 1930's has people owning robots in 1996 that still do not exist
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the original version takes place in 1992 and was written in 1968. By 1992 humans are living in a dystopian earth created from nuclear war.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the most famous examples. Guess which year it takes place in.
  • The Shape of Things to Come was H.G. Wells' imagining of the future from the time it was written in 1933 to 2106. It's surprising how accurate some of his 'predictions' were, but almost half of the range of time the story takes place in has passed.

Anime and Manga
  • the manga version of AKIRA starts in 1992 when a nuclear explosion destroys tokyo and starts world war 3. The manga was first published in 1982.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. Though the story takes place in 2015, the events leading up to it begin in 2000.

Video Games
  • Live A Live, made in 1993, had a "Present Day" chapter set on 1994 and and a "Near Future" on 2010, the latter being based on AKIRA. Of course, both are more like "Near Past" and "Present" now.

Comics
  • V for Vendetta's comic version (1982) was set in 1997.
    • The movie adaptation (2006) is set in the 2030s to adjust for this.

Live Action TV
  • Star Trek had the Eugenics Wars which spawned the tyrant Khan Noonien Singh - set in the distant future of 1993 to 1996.

Rolling Updates Celebrity Biography

Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • December 3, 2011
    jate88
  • December 3, 2011
    FatCorgi
    No. Those tropes are both symptoms of dated works. This trope is simply that 'the future' as presented in the story is no longer the future. For instance, the dystopian future of 1984 is kind of funny when you consider 1984 was almost 30 years ago. This trope implies nothing about the accuracy of the predictions made in the work, though history has shown that it's very rare for works of fiction to closely predict future events.
  • December 3, 2011
    matsuiny2004
    Film
    • In I am Legend made in 2007 Robert Neville in 2009 loses his family in a helicopter accident during a quarantine of New York for people infected with a virus that is a mutated form of measles.
    Literature
    • I Robot writtent in the 1930's has people owning robots in 1996 that still do not exist
    • Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep the original version takes place in 1992 and was written in 1968. By 1992 humans are living in a dystopian earth created from nuclear war.
    Anime and Manga
    • the manga version of Akira starts in 1992 when a nuclear explosion destroys tokyo and starts world war 3. The manga was first published in 1982.
  • December 3, 2011
    the29thtman
    Intentionally invoked with "In the Year 2000" segments on latenight with conanobrien. They made outrageous claims for what would happen in the next few years. They kept making new ones well into the actual year 2000.
  • December 3, 2011
    TheChainMan
    Video Games
    • Live A Live, made in 1993, had a "Present Day" chapter set on 1994 and and a "Near Future" on 2010, the latter being based on Akira. Of course, both are more like "Near Past" and "Present" now.
  • December 3, 2011
    Duncan
    The Apple - 1980, set in the futuristic world of 1994.
  • December 3, 2011
    fulltimeD
    I think this covered already by the various "Marches On" tropes. I'm not seeing the necessity.
  • December 3, 2011
    dalek955
    This just seems like Zeerust But More Specific.
  • December 3, 2011
    Rytex
    V for Vendetta's comic version was set in 1997. The movie is set in 2030s.
  • December 3, 2011
    SharleeD
    Maybe "Overdue Future" would be a better title? That might better distinguish the fact that it's just the year number, not necessarily the tech (I Want My Jetpack) or specifics of the historical timeline (various Marches On tropes) that has become out of date.
  • December 3, 2011
    FatCorgi
    This isn't just zeerust but more specific, at least in my opinion. While you might argue that this is a form of zeerust, movies like I Am Legend as one troper mentioned, suffer from no zeerust but still fall under this trope

    I'm tempted to call it "The Date Marches On," but I'm afraid that may confuse it with, or make people think it's the same as Time Marches On, which it is not seeing as that's the Supertrope of all these related tropes, or History Marches On, which it also isn't.

    I'm sorry if the comments are not the place to defend the justification of your trope. I'm not too experienced with Troperville's various rules of etiquette, so I hope I'm not stepping on any toes. Anyway, thanks for the input so far. I edited in the examples given (except for thechainman's 'in the year 2000 section', not because it doesn't fall under this trope, but because I don't want people to confuse this trope with classic zeerust, the thing Conan is pardodying, while I'm trying to get it off the ground).
  • December 3, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^ Perhaps "History Creep"?

    Star Trek had the Eugenics Wars which spawned the tyrant Khan Noonien Singh - set in the distant future of 1993 to 1996.
  • December 3, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    Classic Doctor Who, the Cybermen and Planet Mondas almost conquer the Earth in the far off days of Christmas 1986 (broadcast in 1966). I'm pretty certain there are other examples of this in the classic series (Nu Who just uses the Timey Wimey Ball to get around it).
  • December 3, 2011
    HanTorso
    It should just be called "In The Year 2000".
  • December 3, 2011
    FatCorgi
    Cryptic Mirror, I think that falls more under Zeerust Canon.
  • December 3, 2011
    AndrewJ
    Any work set in the future will fit this eventually. Is this really tropeable?
  • December 3, 2011
    FatCorgi
    That's not actually true. Many titles don't give an actual date, at least not one that corresponds to our current calendar. Others happen so far in the future that this trope is irrelevant to them. It's tropable because it describes works whose plausibility lies in the fact that the story takes place in the future.
  • December 3, 2011
    crazysamaritan
  • December 4, 2011
    AP
    I could swear we already have this.
  • December 4, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    TV series- Space: 1999 UFO, set in the 1980s. Buck Rogers was launched on "the last of America's deep space probes" in 1987.
  • December 4, 2011
    fulltimeD
    @AP: We do, but people are arguing for a More Specific Split in an attempt to reinvent the wheel. If you read the Twenty Minutes Into The Future article, it's basically this.
  • December 4, 2011
    Damr1990
  • December 4, 2011
    BlackMageJ
    If you need another title suggestion- Twenty Minutes Have Elapsed.
  • December 4, 2011
    Statalyzer
    This is NOT 20 minutes into the future, which could STILL be in the future.
  • December 4, 2011
    Statalyzer
    This is NOT 20 minutes into the future, which could STILL be in the future.
  • December 4, 2011
    ThreeferFAQMinorityChick
    Just Imagine, which was made in the 1930s, takes place in the 1980s, with some drastic social changes.
  • December 4, 2011
    Prfnoff
    The description makes this look like it's just about the setting having a future date that has now elapsed; as AndrewJ hinted, that's not a trope. Saying that it needs to have been a "could have happened" doesn't really narrow it down enough.
  • December 4, 2011
    Fanra
    This is way too common. Every single future story ever written, if a date is included that has already passed, fits this.

    This is more People Sit On Chairs than a trope.
  • December 4, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    ^It feels like something of some note point out on a work page, like Technology Marches On or Society Marches On, but maybe leave examples off the main trope page?
  • December 4, 2011
    FatCorgi
    That's more or less what I think too, Sean Murray I. Does anyone else agree?
  • December 5, 2011
    MorganWick
    Maybe it's trivia. Worth noting that a work that once wasn't an example may become one with absolutely nothing happening to the work itself.
  • December 5, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    I agree; trivia, not trope.
  • December 7, 2011
    Rytex
    Chrono Trigger, made in 1995. In 1999, the world gets destroyed, and yet, here we are. Granted they prevent it from happening.
  • December 8, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Fanra is correct: I'm calling Chairs too.
  • December 8, 2011
    TechUnadept
    Robo Tech. World War 3 in 1990, ended in 1999 with an alien spaceship crash, and an alien invasion in 2009 when the repaired ship is launched.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3b9qbzkdr1cixjg44h70h6sz&trope=DiscardedYKTTW