Created By: captainsandwich on February 7, 2012 Last Edited By: TomWalpertac2 on February 26, 2012
Nuked

Time Travel Clone

Use of time travel causes the same character to exist at at least 2 points in space simultaneously.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
for simplicity lets call the characters clones. Sometimes a clone might not be allowed to see another clone in order to prevent a time paradox (although that could just be the characters simply being careful).

In Dexter's Laboratory dexter and his 3 clones (who are different ages) team up to beat mandark, who also has 3 clones.

I have also seen this trope in Redvs Blue blood gulch cronicles church had quite a few clones, one of them had a different color for some reason.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • February 7, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I know its hideous and sloppy but this is my first one, and i think it might work out if it gets cleaned up
  • February 7, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • This occurs in the Robert Heinlein short story "By His Bootstraps". At one point in the story there were three different versions of Bob Wilson (all from different time periods) in the same place and time interacting with each other.

    Tabletop RPG
    • In the 1st edition of Dungeons And Dragons, Time Elementals had the ability to bring in extra copies of themselves from other time periods to fight opponents.

    I remember another Tabletop RPG where a PC could bring in future versions of himself to fight, but at some future time(s) the PC would vanish as he was taken back to the past. Unfortunately I can't remember the game's name.
  • February 7, 2012
    unclerupee
    I always assumed that these guys were called Paradox Clones.

    They always seem to be doomed/destined to die. At least, thats the rule when dealing with them in Futurama and the webcomic Homestuck.
  • February 7, 2012
    captainsandwich
    It was already called something? I just thought time travel clone would be more self explanatory. If Paradox Clone is an established name, i am more than willing to change it
  • February 7, 2012
    captainsandwich
    What do you guys think is more common, time travel with the clones or time travel without clones?
  • February 7, 2012
    Psychobabble6
    Not sure.

    Literature
    • Very, very deliberately averted and discussed in Dean Koontz' Lightning, in which it is expressly clear (and a plot point) that it is impossible for time duplicates to exist due to the paradox they create.

    Western Animation
    • Futurama has the "time paradox duplicates" that will inevitably die as an in-universe rule.
  • February 7, 2012
    SalFishFin
    Time Turners in Harry Potter work like this.

    In Misfits, "The guy in the mask" turns out to be one of the main group who traveled back in time."
  • February 7, 2012
    aurora369
    Jasper Stone did this in the metaplot of Deadlands.
  • February 7, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • Kevyn in Schlock Mercenary once went back in time four weeks to prevent the destruction of the galaxy (and Captain Tagon's death, incidentally). Due to the one-way nature of the method he used the older time clone bought a lottery ticket (and scammed the mob) and retired, returning in a later arc.
  • February 7, 2012
    KingZeal
    This is a plot point in Time Cop, which operates by the rule that "same matter cannot occupy same space"--this means that the same person or object from two separate time periods cannot physically touch or else both will be erased from reality.
  • February 7, 2012
    lunarkweh
    This is a major game mechanic in Continuum--they're called Gemini Incidents, and are expected of player characters. This is also the reason why Joan of Arc is 98% of the police force of Atlantis.
  • February 7, 2012
    LarryD
    In Marvels' Alpha Flight one of the minor villains had the power to summon temporal clones of himself, giving him Mes A Crowd. Trouble is, one of them was killed in a fight, and he broke down psychologically, knowing exactly how he was going to die, but not exactly when.
  • February 7, 2012
    Stratadrake
    In Harry Potter, when using the Time Turner Hermione explicitly warns Harry that they can't risk coming into contact with their other selves, because "awful things" have happened to wizards who mess with time too much. In Back To The Future 2, in 2015 an elderly Biff Tannen stole the De Lorean to give a sports almanac to his 1955 younger self; yielding changes to the timeline that erase him from the timeline (and turn 1985 into a Biff Tannen ruled city), and Marty and Doc must go back to 1955 again to recover and destroy the almanac, all while avoiding contact with their previous selves from the first film.

    In one episode of Star Trek Voyager, the timeship Relativity was attempting to apprehend a rogue captain (Bragston) who had planted a temporal bomb on Voyager at some point. Seven of Nine interacted with her former self at one point to catch him, but then they conscript Janeway to track down an earlier version of Bragston. Janeway doesn't interact with her former self, but is momentarily stopped by Tauros from Engineering in the process. The Relativity crew states that each version of Bragston will be "properly re-integrated" into their respective timelines in time for trial.
  • February 7, 2012
    Bibliophile
    With dragons in the Dragonriders Of Pern series by Anne and Todd McCaffrey being able to go between times this happens periodically. If a rider is in same time in too many places or too close to their clone they feel dizzy, muzzy and/or weak. This is generally worse for the older (and typically POV) version and does not affect pre-Impression characters. The side effects make it almost impossible (or at least very uncomfortable) for clones to interact directly with each other. Todd McCaffrey plays around with this a bit, using time travel of a few hours to double his fighting force and having clones wave at each other, particularly when the younger one will see the older one die.
  • February 7, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Deep Space 9 played this one straight with Miles O'Brien who laments: "I hate temporal mechanics."
  • February 7, 2012
    Hello999
    We already have Never The Selves Shall Meet. Not sure if it covers this.
  • February 7, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^ That's specifically when meeting your future or past self is a bad thing. Time Clone would be more along the lines of this
  • February 7, 2012
    Generality
    This is a necessary result of any Stable Time Loop. As such, I'm not sure if we need it.
  • February 7, 2012
    captainsandwich
    What i had in mind would include Never The Selves Shall Meet as a subcategory (even though i didn't know about it).
  • February 7, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^^ But it doesn't necessarily involve a Stable Time Loop, sometimes the future self successfully prevents the past one from doing something. And come to think of it I recall several loops that didn't involve meeting yourself.

    More examples:
    • The Red Dwarf episode "Stasis Leak", at the end there's three Listers and three Rimmers in one room (though the past Lister is asleep and the past Rimmer thinks he's hallucinating).
    • Family Guy: One episode where Brian and Stewie screwed up the timeline and their attempts to go back and stop themselves resulted in a few dozen of each of them in one place. NOT A LOOP
    • One arc of Umlaut House 2 showed that Rhonda practically grew up with her future self.
  • February 7, 2012
    elwoz
    The "<N> Doctors" special episodes of Doctor Who involve multiple incarnations of the Doctor teaming up via time travel to deal with an especially epic problem.
  • February 7, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think this is tropable as long as we stipulate that it needs more than just meeting your past or future self. One common variation I see sometimes is people collecting past and future versions of themselves to create an army, like Purple Tentacle in Day Of The Tentacle.
  • February 7, 2012
    AP
    • The Savage Dragon villain Darklord had this ability and used it to maximum effect such as sending in time duplicates as backup.
  • February 7, 2012
    c0ry
    The time-traveling captain from the 29th century in Star Trek Voyager is Captain Braxton, not Bragston.
  • February 7, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Is this My Future Self And Me? If not, I think we need a different word than "clone" here, not that any good words are coming to my brain right now.

    @Larry D: the Marvel Comics villian was named Flashback.
  • February 8, 2012
    Arivne
    This looks like My Future Self And Me. That page already has the Dexters Laboratory, "By His Bootstraps", Back To The Future, Red Dwarf and Doctor Who examples.
  • February 8, 2012
    SalFishFin
    Okay, but what about the ones that have to do with traveling to the past?
  • February 8, 2012
    randomsurfer
    When you travel to the past you are your past self's Future Self. It still counts IMO.
  • February 26, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6tw6bu45wro7u5skk72mmm5r&trope=DiscardedYKTTW