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X Within X

(permanent link) added: 2011-10-19 10:55:04 sponsor: HiddenFacedMatt (last reply: 2011-11-03 18:15:00)

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'9/11 was an inside job' was an inside job!
- The alt-text for this XKCD comic.

This is for when an inner X is part of an outer X. If the X is a show, the subtrope in question is Show Within a Show, if the X is a dream, the subtrope in question is a Dream Within a Dream.

May also extend further to X-within-X-within-X, etc.

Often used as a form of Mind Screw.


  • Parodied in the above XKCD alt-text.
  • Seen in many math-related fields, such as computer science, which has nested if-statements or nested do-loops to control for several conditions, and math itself, wherein a "second derivative" is basically a derivative of a derivative, a "third derivative" is basically a derivative of THAT, etc...
  • This meme.
  • All examples of Show Within a Show and Dream Within a Dream double as examples of this.
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