Created By: Eschper on September 21, 2011 Last Edited By: Eschper on February 16, 2012


Sending a message from the future to the past.

Name Space:
Page Type:
Do We Have This One?, Needs More Examples, Needs a Better Description, Up for Grabs.

A Time Travel Trope.

So you haven't quite worked out how to send yourself or other people back in time yet but you can send a message back.

A D-mail is where you send an E-mail, Text, Video or any other data back through time. If it works properly then you can change history from the comfort of your own time. Though you'd need to have ripple proof memory to be able to notice it.

Could in thoery be used to send messages to the future too.

D-mail is short for De Lorean mail which is named after the time machine in Back to the Future, although the idea for the name comes from Steins;Gate.

Contrast with Write Back to the Future, which is pretty much the inverse of this but useing The Slow Path rather than some sort of time machine.


Anime and Manga
  • Steins;Gate is the Trope Namer and the story is based around the discovery and use of them.

Western Animation
  • In the South Park episode "Go God, Go" Cartman uses a phone call version of this to stop himself from burying himself in the snow. Turns out the phone is a toy in the future used for making prank calls.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • September 21, 2011
    Needs A Better Tittle also for the inversion of this see Write Back To The Future
    • Yuki Nagato can connect with any version of herself at any given moment of time (unless said version of her does not want to), that means that she can obtain information from the future if she wishes it, or, that if anyone else (e.g: Kyon or a time traveler) want's to speak with someone from the same time period as them they can do it
    • The Vocaloid Songs Kokoro And Kokoro - Kiseki - Do it, Rin send's herself the Kokoro Program, and a song for Len(Rin had never singed in all time since len made her)

    i remember more than one ocation being used by psychic users/Oracles, but i can't recall any specific examples right now

  • September 21, 2011
  • September 21, 2011
    • The central premise of Thrice Upon a Time by James Hogan is the invention and consequences of a way of sending messages into the past.
  • September 21, 2011
    I think it's being weirdly specific when it doesn't have to be-- why just an email/text/video? Why can't you send a handwritten message?
  • September 21, 2011
    • Lots of this in Primer, including but not limited to the phone call that is the narrative "backbone" of the film, and Alternate!Granger, the intended message of which, interestingly, is not deciphered.
    • A variation occurs in Star Trek: The Next Generation; Data sends a message from the end of one cycle of the current temporal loop in which the U.S.S. Enterprise is caught. It is received towards the start of the next cycle of the loop, although just what its significance is is not realized until just before the time analogous to its sending in that next cycle.
  • September 21, 2011
    Dexters Laboretory had an early episode the Pilot I think.
  • September 21, 2011
  • September 21, 2011
    Write Back To The Future has some examples of this already, including two way communication.
    • Frequency: a man talks to his father 30 years in the past via ham radio.
    • The Lake House: two people who own the same house several years apart send letters back and forth to each other via the mailbox.
  • September 21, 2011
  • September 22, 2011
    also like Chrono Mail
    • Parodied on Drawn Together, captain hero is able to contact to himself in the past... and then proceed to ruin his (own life), it end up being an Stable Time Loop as when he was younger he remembers an idiot ruined his life and decide that when he could have the opportunity he would en up doing the same
  • September 22, 2011
    • John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. The experimenters have Recurring Dreams every time they go to sleep, with a voice speaking and a view of the church they're in. The dreams turn out to be messages sent back in time using tachyon technology to warn them of evil future events.

    The Prince of Darkness page has this as "Fling A Light Into The Past", with a Pot Hole to Fling A Light Into The Future .
  • September 22, 2011
    • In the Stargate SG 1 episode "2010," an older SG-1 uses the 'Gate to send a handwritten message back in time to prevent a potential apocalypse.
  • February 16, 2012
    • Artemis Fowl : In the time Paradox "How do you spell 'Stupendous'?"