->''"I know where I came from, but where did all you zombies come from?"''

"--All You Zombies--" (1959) is a short story by Creator/RobertAHeinlein that presents to the reader an interesting time paradox. "The Unwed Mother", as a bar patron calls himself, unloads his life story onto a willing barman. The barman, however, knows more about The Unwed Mother than he could ever guess.

At roughly a dozen pages, "--All You Zombies--" provides a provocative story and incorporates many of Heinlein's favorite themes.

'''As the story contains a twist ending, it is recommended you read it for yourself before reading the associated tropes.'''

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!!This short story provides examples of:

* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep - The narrator is only referred to as "the barman" until the end of the story [[spoiler: when he reveals his real name: ''Jane.'']]
* {{Foreshadowing}} - The barman becomes ''very'' annoyed at the song "My Own Grandpa."
* FunWithAcronyms - The same "elite military service corps" is referred to at various points in history as the '''W'''omen's '''E'''mergency '''N'''ational '''C'''orps, '''H'''ospitality & '''E'''ntertainment '''S'''ection, the "Space Angels" or '''A'''uxiliary '''N'''ursing '''G'''roup, '''E'''xtraterrestrial '''L'''egions, and the '''W'''omen's '''H'''ospitality '''O'''rder '''R'''efortifying & '''E'''ncouraging '''S'''pacemen.
** No doubt inspired by the RealLife Women Airforce Service Pilots and their naval counterparts, Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service.
* HelpYourSelfInTheFuture
* {{Hermaphrodite}}
* IncestIsRelative - See also OneDegreeOfSeparation below.
* LukeYouAreMyFather / LukeIAmYourFather - [[spoiler: and mother.]]
* MostWritersAreWriters - The Unmarried Mother writes short stories for magazines.
* MyFutureSelfAndMe
* MyOwnGrandpa - In possibly the most convoluted, mind screwing way possible.
* NoodleIncident - The Mistake of '72.
* OneDegreeOfSeparation - The various characters are connected by [[spoiler:''[[MyOwnGrandpa zero]]'']] degrees of separation.
* {{Ouroboros}} - The bartender, quite understandably, wears an Ourboros ring.
* ParentalIncest - Again, all part of the story's TimeyWimeyBall.
* ScrewYourself - [[spoiler: After the protagonist has his one night stand with his female past self, the barman comments that the idea of seducing yourself is irresistible.]]
* StableTimeLoop - The barman already knows the recruitment will work. [[spoiler: After all, he remembers the other side of it.]]
* TangledFamilyTree - It's a very tangled family tree, considering that [[spoiler:there's only one person in it]].
* TakeThat: JackChalker claimed he wrote ''Literature/DowntimingTheNightside'' to address the questions this story raised but failed to answer.
* TimeParadox
* TimeTravel
* TimeTravelTenseTrouble - "The By-Laws Of Time" read as such:
-->''Never Do Yesterday What Should Be Done Tomorrow.\\
If at Last You Do Succeed, Never Try Again.\\
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine Billion.\\
A Paradox May be Paradoctored.\\
It is Earlier When You Think.\\
Ancestors Are Just People.\\
Even Jove Nods.''
* TimeyWimeyBall - Don't think too hard on the paradox of the story. You ''will'' start bleeding from the nose.
* TitleDrop - In the closing lines.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture - As with all Heinlein's works. The latest date given in the story is 1993.
* WrongGeneticSex: The protagonist starts out as an intersex female and...it gets complicated. Her actual degree of intersexualization approaches true [[{{Hermaphrodite}} hermaphrodism]] and isn't biologically possible, at least for normal humans. [[spoiler: But of course the protagonist isn't related to any other humans.]]
* YouAlreadyChangedThePast - The barman remembers all the parts of the story from when they happened to him in his original timeline. He's just acting out his part now to complete the loop.
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