It is known that at a specific date or somewhere generally in the future, something happens or a situation occurs. But wait, now we see that this situation is happening before it's supposed to, long afterwards or even not at all. This could be specific events such a person's death or something more general like people having wide access to a certain product.
Often the result of For Want of a Nail
(although it can also be the cause of In Spite of a Nail
, if the thing that happens was only prevented from happening at the "correct" time). Might be a sign that time travellers have changed something they shouldn't have, or that this is an Alternate Universe
Not to be confused with Years Too Early
- ''Marvel1602: Captain America being sent back from his time to the 17th century somehow results in the entire Marvel character list being recreated in that time period.
- In 52, Booster Gold's history records from the future indicate that Superman would return early and deliver a historic speech at a major superhero meeting. He attends this meeting and totally freaks out when Superman doesn't even show up.
Live Action TV
- A common theme in The Terminator franchise:
- In the first and second film, a Stable Time Loop is established by the two time-travelers, with Kyle Reese fathering the future messiah, John Connor and the T-800 sparking the creation of the Skynet Project. It's speculated by fans that these two events would have happened later without them, in a theoretical "Primary" timeline.
- Inverted in the third film, where the destruction of Cyberdyne delayed the production of Skynet. However, since Judgement Day is inevitable, this only delays things by six years, at best.
- Played straight in the fourth film, where John Connor is disturbed to find that Terminator models are progressing faster than the previous timeline. For reference, in the first movie, we're told the T-800s are "new", in 2029. In this timeline, the T-800 rolls off the assembly line for the first time in 2018.
- In an episode of Quantum Leap Sam stops Marilyn Monroe from committing suicide, because she's not "supposed to" commit suicide until after she films The Misfits.
- In the 2009 Star Trek film, the crew of the 1701 Enterprise coalesce roughly 10 years before their "Prime" counterparts did.
- Shadowrun. Originally, the Horrors were not scheduled to return to Earth for thousands of years because the level of magic wouldn't rise high enough until then. Unfortunately, the Great Ghost Dance created a spike in magical energy that gave them a chance to return much earlier, as described in the adventure Harlequin's Back.
- Bioshock Infinite's storyline revolves around tearing holes through time and to alternate dimensions, so there's a good deal of this, you travel through different realities where history has been rearranged.
- In one episode of Time Squad, Tuddrussel and Larry help a great American inventor who's working with electricity to create the light bulb. Unfortunately, the inventor they were helping out was Benjamin Franklin.