Many works of media use Flashbacks and Chronology
tropes; either as a tool
of exposition to inform ignorant audiences
of important information, as a means of obfuscation
to increase suspense
, or even just to make a work more artistic
Viewers have reordered some works to make them easier to follow. From the simple act of organizing volumes on a shelf, to the complex remixing of an entire TV series with video editing software, it's time consuming and often Do-It-Yourself. Occasionally creators may give instructions on how to put their works in order if it was put Out of Order
by a publisher or editor. Networks have a tendency to air a show Out of Order
during its inaugural run, for whatever reasons (often when they feel some episodes may be better suited for sweeps weeks
), and in a lot of cases, many fans will go by original broadcast order as the final say, even if episodes were never intended to be aired in that order.
In a lot
of cases, when the shows go into reruns and/or syndication, one of two things will happen: depending on the market, the episodes will either be aired in their correct, chronological order (usually on cable channels), or in order according to production codes/numbers (usually in individual, local markets). And of course, field days are to be had when the shows are released on DVD and you're not sure what order the episodes are in, because it depends on the distributor and the information went with. Cable listings and guides can be confusing too, they appear to identify episodes of shows based on their original broadcast orders too; for example: the Seinfeld
episode "Male Unbonding" is the second episode of the series, but was the fourth to air, and cable guides list it as S1E04.
Contrast with most of the tropes in Flashbacks and Chronology
. Compare with The Abridged Series
Anime & Manga
- The original anime adaptation of Haruhi Suzumiya told the story in an Anachronic Order, mixing up the Myth Arc episodes with episodes from much later in the story. The second adaptation put all of them back into chronological order and added more episodes.
- Several sites hosting Rental Magica put it into chronological order despite it's Anachronic Order.
- The Bible
- There have been various publications such as this one which have sought to rearrange it (down to chapters and even verses) in chronological order—the original Bible is not chronological, but its books tend to be arranged more in groups, by general theme (law, chronicles of the Hebrew people, poetry, prophecy, etc.).
- One such example is the version of the Old Testament many Christians are familiar with.
- C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia were written completely Out of Order, with the only book whose publication and chronological orders match being the finale The Last Battle. Most modern printings use the chronological order.
- The Anne of Green Gables novels weren't written in order. The main nine books in the series were written and published in the order 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 4, 6, 9. Reordering them to be in the proper 1-9 sequence to follow Anne's life without jumping around doesn't create too many hiccups (with a notable exception being the lack of Summerside characters either attending or being mentioned at Anne's wedding).
- The 1934 edition of Tender Is the Night makes use of Anachronic Order, but a negative reception from critics prompted a revised edition in 1948 which uses a more conventional chronological structure. The 1934 edition is now generally held to be the superior of the two.
Indexes: Continuity Tropes
, Flashbacks and Chronology