Created By: Astromatech on November 3, 2012

Time-Displaced Clones

A character travels through time and finds a character almost (or literally) identical to themselves.

Name Space:
Page Type:
I don't know how to spin that out much more and I'm sure it's probably already a thing, because I'm sure we can all think of a good few examples, so I'll just list a few:

  • The old sonic cartoon had multiple Dr. Robotnik TD Cs
  • Ash from Pokemon bares a striking resemblance to many many historical figures
  • The result of any scratch in Homestuck is literally this
  • I want to say inspector gadget probably did this

It was pretty big in early-nineties kid's programming and a few modern things too, is what I'm getting at here. Pretty sure we can all agree this is totally a trope, but has it been covered before?
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • November 3, 2012
    We've got this already. Identical Grandson is when the two characters are related, Identical Stranger is when they aren't.
  • November 3, 2012
    And I guess the whole time travel aspect in particular isn't enough? Like, they wouldn't have met normally, but that's how it happens. idk, you guys' call.
  • November 4, 2012
    Actually, on second thought, neither of those tropes specifically requires time travel. IDK either, honestly.
  • November 4, 2012
    Not sure if this is what you're going for, but Family Guy had an episode where Stewie and Brian use a time machine, then go back in time to try to stop themselves from doing it, and then more and more Stewies and Brians begin to pile up in the same area, all trying to stop each other.
  • November 4, 2012
    Wait, why would time travel cause multiple copies of someone?

    If Alice goes back in time (in person, or in flashback) and meets an ancestor who is identical (drawn the same or played by the same actress) it's Identical Grandson.

    If Alice and Bob tell a story about, say, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert where those characters are basically playing the historical figures its Universal Adaptor Cast.

    If Alice time travels to a point where she exists and meets herself from last week/last year/childhood its My Future Self And Me with a possible side order of Future Me Scares Me or I Hate Past Me.

    There's also Which Me and Alternate Self.
  • November 6, 2012
    The story Double Indemnity by Robert Sheckley explores the concept. First, there's a phenomenon caused by Time Travel that can duplicate a character. Second, the protagonist is travelling through time to find his identical zillion-times-great-grandfather and pull off an insurance scam by simulating the above phenomenon. He actually finds a suitably identical ancestor in the Dark Ages, but by traveling there, he violates the law and finds himself on the run from the Time Police. To further complicate things, the actual duplication phenomenon happens to him.
  • November 6, 2012

    • Darklord from Savage Dragon had time travel abilities which resulted in time-clones who often worked with him.
  • November 6, 2012
  • November 6, 2012
    I was meaning more Time-Travel-Fuelled identical stranger, yeah. Although, is there a thing for that stewie and brian thing? You Fail Time Travel Forever, maybe?
  • November 6, 2012
    If they aren't quite clones they could be members of a Similar Squad.
  • August 13, 2016
    HeartOfAnAstronaut encapsulated perfectly why Yes We Do Have This One Already. Throwing in a bomb.