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[[quoteright:300:[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_sam_0445_9271.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Ordered by date published, numbered by chronological order.]]

-> ''"We're in the middle of a scene you don't remember in a narrated flashback framed by a flash-forward in a prequel book. There's no way in hell you're finding your way back here."''
-->-- '''[[FourthWallObserver The Oracle]]''', ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick: Start of Darkness''

One step further than BackToFront, the [[FabulaAndSujet story order and the chronological order]] are not directly related at all. Either the storyline jumps back and forth along the timeline, or portions of the story are re-told along a period of time already covered.

This is very popular in LitFic and certain types of art film, along with any character who is UnstuckInTime.

The simplest form of this -- [[SimultaneousArcs covering the same time frame from different perspectives]] -- is equivalent to a RashomonStyle plot. One way of doing this is to have a "present" storyline going on as the "past" occasionally pops up and mixes things around as a variation of HowWeGotHere, or a character spends time using a WholeEpisodeFlashback as a FramingDevice. While they are related, there is still a dividing line as one of those storylines has still to be jumbled chronologically.

If the fact that a work uses anachronic order is a {{Reveal}}, you have a case of SequencingDeception.

According to [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]], this is professionally known as "non-linear" style. Sometimes, this is also referred to as [[Creator/QuentinTarantino Quentinuity]].

A sister trope to InMediasRes. Compare RealTime. Don't confuse it with OutOfOrder, which is where the proper order of the stories are shifted around because of a [[ExecutiveMeddling dodgy schedule]].



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'' has five or so timelines interconnected and two more which take place in virtual reality.
* ''Manga/SevenSeeds'' is told this way, although it's not always noticeable. Team Spring finds a note written by Natsu, from Team Summer B, in a bunker and only later get a chapter that has the team actually reach the bunker initially. Team Winter's story, which is revealed to take place 15 years earlier, is told and shortly after we take a trip even ''further'' back by showing the Team Summer A candidates, which takes place x-years ago, before disaster hits earth.
* ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'' starts out normally, [[spoiler:then has several episodes 1000 years in the past explaining the backstory. After that, the story starts over from the beginning, except it focuses around the ChekhovsGunman.]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': The manga starts in 845 with the fall of Shiganshina, then a TimeSkip rapidly takes us in 850 for the Battle of Trost. When it's over, we go back to 847 to follow the training of the 104th trainee corps, before switching back to 850, in the direct aftermath of the battle. The anime, however, tells the events in chronological order, which is generally considered an improvement, since we get to know the main cast ''before'' they are thrown into a deadly battle.
* A rare non-MindScrew example: ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' is a mainly yonkoma series about history that doesn't even attempt to be in chronological order. It may be World War II one strip, the Seven Years War the next, then at the height of the Roman Empire in the next. To really understand it one needs either to have paid attention in World History or be skilled at wiki-fu, but the anachronic order doesn't have much to do with that.
** The anime makes a bit more sense, since each episode is usually centered around a single time period. It's still pretty anachronistic, though.
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' has this in spades. Within each episode there are random time cuts between events in three different years (1930, 1931, and 1932), and occasionally two others (1711 and 2001).
* ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}'' is the first installment of the series, but takes place after later installments ''Kizumonogatari'' and ''Nekomonogatari Black''. The ''Bakemonogatari'' and ''Nisemonogatari'' anime seasons were in chronological order, though... unlike ''Second Season'', where the second arc is chronologically the first, the first and fourth arcs happen simultaneously, and the third and fifth arcs form one story, which is interrupted by the aforementioned fourth arc. Yeah, it's kind of a complicated series.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is the chronicle of Guts' life, though it starts with him being the Black Swordsman, than goes back to his birth and the time he spent under Gambino's care, then flashes forward to the the time he spent with the Band of the Hawks until shortly after the events of the Eclipse, then it picks up again from where the manga began and with the beginning of the new arc, we witness the period Guts spent between Gambino's mercenaries and the Hawks.
* ''Manga/BillyBat''. 1940s to [[spoiler:Biblical times to the 1950s to feudal Japan.]]
* The ''Anime/BlackRockShooter'' OVA alternates between the fight scenes and the events that led up to them.
* ''Anime/BoogiepopPhantom'' includes shifts in both timeframe and perspective.
* ''Anime/GaReiZero'' starts off with a NonindicativeFirstEpisode [[spoiler:ending with the apparent protagonists being absolutely ''butchered'' by a demonic swordswoman]], which is followed up by the second [[spoiler:and actual]] team of protagonists facing the same threat, while revealing that the main character and her were friends. The next 8 episodes build up to that point in the story. Additionally, ''Ga-Rei -Zero-'' itself [[EpisodeZeroTheBeginning is a prequel]] to ''Manga/GaRei'', which is [[AdaptationDisplacement sometimes forgotten]].
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** The novels aren't in chronological order. This was retained when the [[AnimatedAdaptation anime]] was shown in Japan [[MindScrew in meta-random order]], and helpfully had Haruhi and Kyon arguing over the number of the next episode in the [[OnTheNext previews]]. The English happens to put the episodes in chronological order, except for the first episode, but the special edition [=DVDs=] have the original order as well. The opinions about what order is "better" to watch differ. Notably, the series is paced with the anachronic order in mind, and climaxes halfway chronologically.
** The second season kicked off by inserting the new episodes into the rerun of the first season via chronological order (well, chronological except for the TimeTravel). Thus, "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", part of season 2, was inserted after the BaseballEpisode, "The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi". The second season is thus not a sequel of the first season.
* Even though it's a simple SliceOfLife series, ''Manga/HidamariSketch'''s episodes don't take place in chronological order. Luckily, each episode gives a calendar date in its title.
** The episodes that take place during Nori and Nazuna's first year are in chronological order with each other, but in different places throughout are episodes and half-episodes from the previous year and Sae and Hiro's first year.
* ''LightNovel/HumanityHasDeclined'', at least in the anime, where the arcs are out of order. It's not really a big deal, being a comedy.
* Season 1 of ''Manga/ICantUnderstandWhatMyHusbandIsSaying'' was in chronological order and ends at the last published chapter (at the time). As a result, most of Season 2's episodes take place in between season 1's episodes (The first and second episodes were numbered 7.5 and 9.5 respectively). Since the only indicator of when episodes take place is a small number on the tile cards, it left some fans asking "[[spoiler:Why aren't they following up on Kaoru being pregnant?]]"
* ''Anime/JewelpetSunshine'': Episode 38 takes place before episode 37, as they are respectively about Christmas and New Year's.
* Both the film adaptation and the original novel of ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' start the story in roughly the middle of the story, September 1998. The first four chapters jump back and forth in time, and the progression is chronological from the fifth to the final, seventh chapter. Then the [[Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} writer]] added an extra eight chapter ten years after the novel was published, which is chronologically fourth but ties up the entire story, adding an explicit happy ending. Not as confusing as other, considering that many chapters are standalone "cases."
** The film of the 5th chapter is also shown in a AnachronicOrder, with both large retellings of the same time period as well as small jumps or repetitions.
* Manga/KokounoHito's story is told in a linear fashion at first but gradually begins to jump around very frequently in its chronology, alternating between flashbacks and the present at the drop of a hat.
* Each season in ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' was released in chronological order up until ''Anime/VividStrike'' (which takes place in between ''[=ViVid=]'' and ''Force''). Though considering that ''Force'' was canceled and [[FanonDiscontinuity most of the fandom likes to pretend that it never happened]], it might as well be considered a subversion.
* ''Manga/MaidenRose'' shows the main characters' childhoods, their time in the MilitaryAcademy, and the present day, all jumping back and forth quite a lot. Even the very first scene is set up to look like the story will be told in flashback (being a TrainStationGoodbye), only to immediately jump forward six months to the present time.
* An episode of ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' was told in AnachronicOrder when half the cast was having their brains hacked through their {{nanomachines}}. Most scene cuts did feature a time-stamp to help alleviate the confusion, but the principle was there.
* ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'' has a main plotline told chronologically, but it's full of anachronically ordered flashbacks that constantly re-frame what you just think you knew about the plot so far.
* In ''Manga/MurasakiiroNoQualia'', Hatou's narration is oftentimes like this. She once even apologizes for the confusing order of the events told.
* Except for some of the few recurring characters' introductions, ''Manga/{{Mushishi}}'' can be read in any order. The anime takes chapters randomly from every volume, and it's still just as easy to follow as the manga.
* In ''Manga/NotSimple'', the story continuously jumps around in time. The beginning is set before the events that lead to the end, followed by the end, followed by the beginning, which then carries on up until near the opening scene, and then finally jumps back sometime near the middle of the story.
* The first volume of ''Manga/{{Phoenix}}'' tells the very beginning, the second the very end, in the far future. After that, it more or less alternates between the increasingly-less-distant future and past, converging on the present, [[AuthorExistenceFailure which it never reached]].
* ''LightNovel/RentalMagica'' is aired out of order, but the show's website shows where each episode is supposed to belong. The [=DVDs=] keep the anachronistic airing, though, presumably because it holds the most dramatic tension that way.
* The first volume of ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' covers only the beginning and the events near the end of the eponymous game. The second volume is a collection of short stories, taking place in the intervening period. Later volumes were more conventional sequels (Though the volume ''Early and Late'' contains another story that took place between the prologue and main story of the first volume). However, the ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnlineProgressive'' series was later started, which covers Sword Art Online from Asuna's perspective and uses a normal chronological order.
* ''Literature/TheTatamiGalaxy'' goes there within the first episode.
* ''VisualNovel/ToukaGettan'', produced mostly by the same people as ''Yamibou'', is told completely in reverse order.
* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' is somewhat out of order due to a number of reasons, including time travel. Its always in order from ''somebody's'' point of view, but an in-universe observer (such as the cast of ''Manga/XXXHolic'') would be ''incredibly'' confused (as is anyone trying to make an objective timeline). One point is when we follow two souls through reincarnation, following the events of their next life, as the parents of one of the main characters, and thus explaining something that happened before the story begain but is just happening now and oh dear [[MindScrew I've gone and got a headache again]].
* ''VisualNovel/YamiToBoushiToHonNoTabibito'' jumps back and forth in chronology but is actually quite comprehensible.
* Episodes in ''Anime/PrincessPrincipal'' aren't in chronological order, but instead have case numbers indicating where they fall on the timeline relative to each other. For example, in the first episode, Case 13, the main team is already fully assembled and has their dynamics down pat. Episode 2, Case 1, only has Ange and Dorothy on the team, and shows how the Princess joined them, and episode 3, Case 2, shows the immediate aftermath. Then they jump to Case 9...

[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'':
** The whole series is produced in severely anachronic order, due to switching perspective between five different Doctors seemingly at random. The storylines are ''usually'' in chronological order from the companions' perspectives, though... which can still be [[TimeyWimeyBall timey-wimey]] in itself, as seen when [[spoiler:Charley (previously an Eighth Doctor companion) starts travelling with Six.]]
** In addition, individual stories are often anachronic -- for instance, "The Rocket Men" has an interesting device where it starts at a single event, and then cuts between the events leading up to that event and the events resulting from that event, while telling a thematically coherent story with {{Cliffhanger}}s in all the right places. It begins with Ian, Barbara and Vicki being held hostage on a cruise spaceship by a bunch of {{Jetpack}}-equipped SpacePirates. The storytelling then flips back and forth between Ian recounting the events leading up to that event, and the events resulting from it.
** ''Random Ghosts'' is a FoundFootage drama set in a GroundhogDayLoop, with all the characters making NoteToSelf recordings to a computer system with RippleEffectProofMemory and built-in editing software that makes connections between related entries. In the version we hear, the editing software has gone wrong and is making thematic connections with no regard to chronology.
** ''Creatures of Beauty'' is a typical example of the Tarantino-non-linear style. ''Flip-Flop'' however, is bizarre in that it comes on two discs, and the story was written so that you can listen to the discs in ''either order''.
** ''Flip-Flop'' can be heard in either order because the cliffhanger at the end of the White Disc leads into the start of the Black Disc, and the cliffhanger at the end of the Black Disc leads into the start of the White Disc. It is ''bizarre'' because there are two [[spoiler: Doctors, two Mels, two of (almost) everyone else, and two overlapping timelines with bidirectional time travel in each]] which makes unraveling the order of events a mindblowing exercise.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Dr. Manhattan in ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', and, indeed, the flashback episodes of ''Watchmen'' in general.
* The ''ComicBook/SinCity'' stories were published in AnachronicOrder. A timeline of the main stories (and a few others that can be pinned down relative to them): ''That Yellow Bastard'' (with "Just Another Saturday Night" concurrent), ''A Dame To Kill For'' (with "Blue Eyes" and ''The Hard Goodbye'' concurrent), "Wrong Turn," "Wrong Track," ''Hell and Back'', ''The Big Fat Kill'', ''Family Values''.
* ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo'' frequently jumps around from the titular character's current activities with [=TeslaDyne=] and various exploits in the last 80 years, though, helpfully, we're always given dates and locations. Even if that location is "the Vampire Dimension".
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' often jumps between different periods of the city. Some story takes place in the present, while others happen in the past, from the Comic version of the Silver Age to the Dark Age usually. However, in one story, readers were taken back to the Victorian Age of England. Helped, though, by the fact that the book does not really have a main character.
* While the over all plot line in Brian Azzarello's and Eduardo Risso's crime noir series ''ComicBook/OneHundredBullets'' take place in a chronological manner, certain story lines (most notably The Counter Fifth Detective) are presented with events (pertaining to that arc) out of order and the reader left to reconstruct them. The epic back story is also peppered through out the main narrative in a series of flash backs from different points of view.
* The first year of Priest's run on ''ComicBook/BlackPanther'' made mad, passionate love to this trope. Figuring out what led to what was half the fun.
** This was hilariously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] / [[JustifiedTrope justified]] when it was explained that Everett Ross, the character doing most of the narrating, absolutely ''cannot'' tell a story straight.
* And before ''Black Panther'', Christopher Priest's writing in ''ComicBook/QuantumAndWoody'' had short clips appear in anachronistic order in every single issue.
* Done intentionally with the three separate plots in ''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'', and is essential to the overall story.
* The comic ''ComicBook/LoveAndRockets'' started as an anthology series, but soon settled into (mostly) two regular series: The ''Palomar'' series, about a small town in Central America, was told as a series of flashbacks and jumped forward and backwards in time. The other stories, referred to as the ''Locas'' series, took place in present-day Los Angeles and were told in straight sequential order. Ironically, after the ''Human Diastrophism'' storyline, the ''Palomar'' stories started being told in a linear fashion while the ''Locas'' stories started jumping around.
* ''Comicbook/EmpireState'' is ColorCodedForYourConvenience. The story alternates between sections that are monochromatic red or blue. The blue sections are arranged in chronological order (barring one flashback); the red sections aren't in any particular order, but they all occur chronologically before the first blue section. The two red sections that fall last, chronologically, have spots of blue scattered throughout to signal the transition.
* Silent Hill: Among the Damned, is in this order. Since TropesAreNotGood, this only serves to make the story more confusing.
* The ''ComicBook/UltimateThor'' miniseries was essentially three stories in one: Thor in Ancient Times, Baron Zemo -- [[spoiler: who is actually Loki in disguise]] -'s plots involving Frost Giants in the middle of World War II, and Thor shortly before joining The Ultimates. The mini jumped between all three of these very sporadically.
* A lot of stuff written by Creator/GrantMorrison. For example, the storyline of ''ComicBook/BatmanRIP'' begins with Batman triumphantly yelling "You're wrong! Batman and Robin will never die!" We don't see who he's talking to and the rest of the story is set six months before, introducing us to the character Batman was/will be talking to, [[spoiler: Le Bossu]]. Batman RIP ends with Batman [[spoiler: disappearing after being seen last in a helicopter which crashes in Gotham river and explodes. His ripped cowl is then found in the water by Dick Grayson, who's the Batman seen in the opening scene, not Bruce]]. Bruce then is in ComicBook/FinalCrisis, which begins a few hours after Batman RIP (and includes a fair amount of AnachronicOrder in itself, since the final issue is told in non-linear FlashBack.) A few months into Final Crisis (and therefore after Batman RIP was published), we got Batman RIP: The Missing Chapter, which explains how Bruce got from [[spoiler: the exploding helicopter]] to the JLA headquarters, where he is at the start of ComicBook/FinalCrisis.
* A TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} comic told three interwoven stories: the identification and indoctrination of a new recruit into a Space Marine chapter, an apparently hopeless battle by veteran Space Marines on another planet, and the awakening of a centuries-old Dreadnought for yet a third battle. In the last few pages [[spoiler: it's revealed that the three stories are about the same man. The last page of the first recruit's story has him taking the name he will use during the veteran's story, and the last pages of that has him falling in battle and being enclosed within the Dreadnought.]]
* IDW's ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW Transformers]]'' comics are told in this fashion. When the first mini-series begins the war has already been going on for sometime. Through flashbacks and other issues and mini-series we slowly shape how the war began, who's responsible, and in general learn more about the universe.
* The first issue of ''Comicbook/SexCriminals'' begins in the present, then loops back to the past, then to the present again, then the past again, and finally back to the present.
* Several issues of ''Comicbook/ThePulse'' involve heavy use of flashbacks to frame the story.
* How ''[[ComicBook/TheMultiversity Pax Americana #1]]'' is told: one plotline follows the consequences of President Harley's assassination, while the other shows HowWeGotHere in reverse-chronological order.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'': Chapters 24-26. Chapters 24 and 25 proceed in numbered acts 3, 2, 1, 5, 6, and 4; act 6 takes place in the middle of chapter 26.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' FanFic ''[[FanFic/TheJoyOfBattle The Joy of Battle: Historical Espionage Action]]'' is told non-linearly with scenes being placed next to one another because of their similarity and several story lines happening in different times. Yet... it all makes sense.
* Used in the {{fanfic|tion}} ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', in [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Anachronic Order Explanation Arc]].
* As a nod to ''Hetalia,'' this is used throughout the ''Fanfic/NineteenEightyThreeDoomsdayStories''. The time period jumps between 1983 and 2010, with a further jump to 2031.
* In the ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'' fanfic FanFic/AnEndToAllThings, Okazaki is stated to have been reborn from a man who tried to take over the world. Or rather, will try to take over the world. As a consequence, he remembers a number of things that haven't actually happened yet, principally the nuking of Hikarigana.
* The first story published in ''FanFic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse'' is ''Boast Busted'', which is actually seventh in chronological order[[note]] to be fair, when it was originally published, it was meant to be a standalone AU story, not part of a series[[/note]]. Then the series became a SharedUniverse, with the various authors publishing their own stories, some in order, some taking place before previously written works.
* Similar to the above entry, the first published entry in the ''Fanfic/{{Quiververse}}'' is ''An Act of Random Kindness'', which is third in its chronology chronologically[[note]]again, originally planned as a standalone, then later made part of an AU[[/note]]. The third entry published, ''A Light in the Dark'', is latest chronologically.
* ''FanFic/FriendshipIsMagicTheAdventuresOfSpike'': The Sneak A Peek chapter posted between the "Canterlot Wedding" and "When A Good Dragon Goes to War" sub-arcs is a preview of things to come that's set what appears to be several years after the latter arc.
* This is used throughout ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion''. The first published episode happens in 2020. The second one happens in September, 2018. The third in October, 2018. The fourth and fifth in 2016. And so on.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' fanfic ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'' is written in this manner, with the chapters alternating between the PeggySue and [[AfterTheEnd Post-Third Impact]] storylines.
** Interestingly enough the reader can actually read all the Post-Third Impact chapters first followed by the PeggySue chapters and the story will make even more sense than it already does.
* ''Tears to Shed'', one of the stories related ''FanFic/HorseshoesAndHandGrenades'' has most of its chapters (barring the last three) like this. The order goes as follows: Betrayal, Rosencrantz, Skin, Guildenstern, Friendship, Sea Salt, Prediction, Firestarter, Betwixt, Henshin.
* The myriad stories in FanFic/TheDearSweetieBelleContinuity were created/published out of chronological order, though both orders allow the MythArc to unfold well.
* As initially published, ''FanFic/PoniesOfOlympus'' includes a significant TimeSkip between ''Rolling in Beaches'' and ''Atlas Strongest Tournament'', with other stories to be posted later filling that gap, starting with ''Somebody to Love'' (and the next such story, ''Head of a Dog; Tail of a Lion'', taking place ''before'' that).
* ''Fanfic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox'': The author's story-notes on his Deviantart account are not posted in the order they would be placed in the story proper. Averted with the actual story on Website/FanfictionDotNet, however, where the chapters are in their proper order.
* The ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' and ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'' crossover fanfic ''Fanfic/SeinenKakumeiUtena'' is written in this manner.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fanfic ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'' has three storylines: the Elrics brothers balancing life in the military with their culture, Trisha's youth and courtship of Hohenheim and Trisha raising Ed and Al in their early childhood.
* In ''Fanfic/TheElementsOfFriendship, Book II: Chaoskampf'', the chapters are published in chronological order, but posted in random order, fitting in with Discord being the BigBad. Later subverted, as the author apparently decided the gag wasn't worth the effort and put the chapters in proper order.
* In "Arm Candy", part of the ''Fanfic/SorrowfulAndImmaculateHearts'' series, the second chapter is set about a year after the first, but after that each chapter is set earlier than the ones preceding it. The final scene of the story is the first chronologically, and includes a revelation that casts new light on some of the preceding-subsequent events.
* ''Fanfic/TheAlarmaverse'': ''Alarm Clock'': The penultimate chapter copies the structure from ''{{Film/Memento}}'': scenes in chronological order alternate with scenes in reverse-chronological order. The chapter ends in the chronological middle.
* ''Fanfic/GiftOfADiamond'' scrambles the events of ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' to fit the story. Here Steven encounters Blue Diamond mourning Pink Diamond when he was five ''and'' Greg received his cut of Marty's advertising fortune when Steven was barely a year old (as opposed to the show, where Steven was fourteen when these events happened).
* Since ''Fanfic/EarthsAlienHistory'' is a collaborative timeline composed by several different writers putting it together piecemeal, entries are sometimes put up that take place before older posts. Fortunately, Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom's threadmark option enables the readers to go through everything in the proper order.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' sequels ''Goes to Mars'' and ''To the Rescue''. ''To the Rescue'' is the last film in the trilogy released, but ''Goes to Mars'' is the last film story-wise.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/AprilShowers'' begins InMediasRes, and then goes on to show HowWeGotHere and the aftermath in roughly chronological order, with a large number of flashbacks throughout.
* ''Film/BadTiming'' skips around the events of the main characters' disastrous relationship and its aftermath, often to juxtapose its sweet beginnings with its grim end.
* The western ''Film/{{Brimstone}}'' is divided into four non-chronological segments. It starts off with Liz being confronted by a sinister Reverend who vows that she will receive retribution for her sins, then the next two segments work backwards to explain their history together. The fourth segment takes place after the first one and features their final confrontation.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan loves this trope:
** His first movie, ''Film/{{Following}}'', is told in flashback as the main character relates events to a detective. The flashbacks interlace scenes beginning (approximately) at the beginning, at the 1/3 point, and at the 2/3 point, and each moving forward from there.
** ''Film/{{Memento}}'' alternates between two plot streams, one told in normal chronological order, [[BackToFront the other in reverse]] to highlight the character's memory disorder. The jumps back and forth between plots enhance the disorientation caused by the reverse-order plot.
** ''Film/ThePrestige'' takes place in three timelines: after Borden has been sentenced for Angier's death, Angier's trip to the United States to see Tesla, and the rivalry between Borden and Angier before Angier's trip. This is done by having Borden (in his jail cell) read Angier's journal (from the trip), which was also when Angier was deciphering Borden's journal (which described the buildup of their rivalry).
** ''Film/BatmanBegins'', ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', ''Film/{{Inception}}'' and ''Film/{{Insomnia}}'' all use parts of non-linear narrative to an extent, just not as great an extent as the aforementioned three. The only film not to use any at all is ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
** ''Film/{{Dunkirk}}'' plays with this, cutting between three parallel timelines occurring at three different rates of time.
* ''Film/CitizenKane'' starts with the title character's death, gives us a brief newsreel outline of his life, then fills in the details of his life with a series of flashbacks. The flashbacks are not in chronological order; their order depends on the order in which a reporter interviews people.
* The ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' [[TheMovie movie]] ''The Tale of the Silver Sight'' temporarily uses the "same time frame from different perspectives" approach, without TheRashomon or flashbacks.
* ''Film/DaughtersOfTheDust'' jumps back and forth in time over the course of a day to show various events happening around the island.
* In ''Film/Deadpool2016'', the first half of the movie cuts between Deadpool's fight on the highway and Wade's time with Vanessa before he became Deadpool.
* ''Film/DistantVoicesStillLives'': about all you can say is that scenes in the first half of the film chronologically precede scenes in the second half. Otherwise, the film operates in a kind of free-associative manner, slipping backwards and forwards through the years, mimicking the mechanisms of memory.
* The film ''Film/ElevenFourteen'' shows the convergence of events around that time of night in an anachronic order, with each segment centering on one particular character's involvement in the events.
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' flips back and forth a bit, changing scenes as you go, and for part of the film you're confused about which part of the relationship is being portrayed. [[spoiler: Pay attention to Clementine's hair colour if you're confused.]]
* ''Film/{{Exotica}}'': Through the film there are various flashbacks of two scenes that take place before the story, both are completed at the end of the film.
* ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious: Tokyo Drift'' is the third film released in the ''Fast and the Furious'' franchise, but takes place chronologically after the events of ''Fast & Furious 6''.
* ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' cuts around a bit early on.
* ''Film/FiveHundredDaysOfSummer'' was presented in this way.
* ''Film/TheFountain''. Indeed, it's not clear if the three versions of the main character are in the same timeline, since at least one may be a fictional version of the real Tom, but he jumps back and forth between similar scenes in each of the three stories as if experiencing deja vu.
* The movie ''Film/{{Go}}'' follows several different groups of people during the same 24 hour period, with some interaction between the various groups.
* Documentary film ''Film/HarlanCountyUSA'' tells the story of a mining strike in 1972-73. While the strike itself is shown in roughly chronological order, those scenes are intercut with scenes that skip back and forth to an earlier 1931 strike in Harlan County, a rigged 1969 United Mine Workers election (and the murder of the challenger), and the conviction of the corrupt murderous UMW president, which took place in 1974 after the strike was over.
* The fourth film in the ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' franchise, ''Film/HellraiserBloodline'', is canonically the ''last'' entry in the story, despite a litany of DirectToVideo sequels being released after it. While the first three films followed a generally linear story pattern, ''Bloodline'' itself is set in three time periods -- 1796 (showing the creation of the Lament Configuration), 1996 and the "[[DistantFuture present day]]" of 2127, in which [[spoiler:Pinhead is canonically KilledOffForReal in the film series]].
* The Creator/AkiraKurosawa classic ''Film/{{IKIRU}}'' (Japanese for "to live") spends its first half being very straightforward and chronological with the main character learning that he has a terminal illness and trying to find a way to make some kind of meaning out of his life. When he lands on the idea of spear heading a movement to turn a hazardous landfill into a play ground the movie shifts narrative style. [[spoiler:The latter half takes place at his funeral as various people recount stories about the man's last days and how he badgered other departments into working on the idea and cutting through the usual bureaucratic system to get the job done.]]
* The storylines of the ''Film/{{Juon}}'' series, as well as the US remake series, ''Film/TheGrudge'', are told in this fashion.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' starts out with the destruction of Krypton, then jumps ahead to Clark in his thirties, followed by various flashbacks of his life. Of course, the Superman mythos has become so ingrained in pop culture that audience members will probably understand the flashbacks easily. The flashbacks also help the film's overall pacing since the audience isn't treated to a big info dump at the beginning of the movie.
* Most of the films in Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse take place in chronological round. However, ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' takes place a few months after [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy the first movie]] and thus is still set in 2014 and ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'' takes place a few months after ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' and thus is also set in 2016. Both are released in 2017.
* The first ''Film/MonsterVerse'' movie, ''Film/Godzilla2014'', takes place in... well, [[CaptainObvious 2014]]. The second movie, ''Film/KongSkullIsland'', takes place in 1973.
* ''Film/MrNobody'' -- Not only does it jump backwards and forwards at different ages of the main character, but it also jumps sideways to alternate timelines.
* ''Film/MulhollandDrive'': In the real life sequence later in the movie, several scenes are stitched together in an anachronistic order.
* This dates at least as far back as 1933 and ''Film/ThePowerAndTheGlory''. The film jumps back and forth between three different time periods. There's the present-day setting of the StartsWithTheirFuneral FramingDevice, there are the flashbacks of his early life and his romance with Sally, and there are the flashbacks of his later life as a railroad magnate with a TrophyWife. And the film alternates between the two flashback timelines, cutting back and forth from Tom as a young man to Tom as an older man to Tom as a dead man in the framing device.
* ''Film/{{Premonition}}'' with Sandra Bullock scrambles a week out of order for the viewers and the main character.
* ''Film/{{Primer}}'' -- made even more confusing because the plot itself is about time travel, so it's a chronological mess.
* Used with great success in several of Creator/QuentinTarantino's films.
** ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' jumps back and forth between before the robbery and after it, but never shows the robbery in progress.
** ''Film/PulpFiction'' begins and ends in the same scene, and [[spoiler: we see one character ''die'' in a scene before he plays his role in the climax.]] ''Pulp Fiction'''s proper chronological order of events: [[spoiler: The prologue to the Gold Watch, the prologue to Vincent Vega and Marcellus Wallace's Wife, The Bonnie Incident, the Restaurant, Vincent Vega and Marcellus Wallace's Wife, the Gold Watch]].
** ''Film/JackieBrown'' is told in a linear fashion, except for the sequence with the money drop, which is told from three perspectives in a manner similar to ''Reservoir Dogs'' and ''Pulp Fiction''.
** ''Film/KillBill'' helps us track the timeline by the Bride's list of people to kill. Notably, we see one name crossed off her list in the beginning of the first film who doesn't die until the climax.
** ''Film/TheHatefulEight'' has events that happen before the film's start shown close to the end of the film. [[spoiler:This scene reveals who's working with Daisy Domergue.]]
* ''Film/{{ROTOR}}'' starts with Coldyron emerging from the woods after having destroyed R.O.T.O.R., and the main story is recounted in an extended flashback while he is being interrogated at police headquarters.
* The Holocaust documentary ''Film/{{Shoah}}'' is largely composed of a series of interviews, which are arranged thematically rather than in any particular chronological order.
* The movie version of ''Film/SpeedRacer'' jumps back and forth in time constantly.
* The movie ''Film/{{Shorts}}'' is so named because the larger story is broken up into five shorter stories, which follow a normal causal sequence, but are shown out of order.
* Creator/StevenSoderbergh uses this trope occasionally
** ''Film/TheLimey'' uses it within some scenes, shifting back and forth between moments, often with the sound from the next moment taking over just before the jump.
** ''Film/TheGirlfriendExperience'' cuts back and forth between a number of storylines within the life of the two main characters. Some of the storylines are single conversations, while others span days or weeks
** ''Film/OutOfSight'' did this, in a divergence from the novel by Creator/ElmoreLeonard. It generally considered to have improved the story.
* ''Toto the Hero'' is set in the current day, but jumps back and forth in flashbacks.
* The opening scene of ''Film/TrickRTreat'' is, chronologically, the very last event in the film. After this scene, it tells three stories that are more or less set simultaneously, before backing up to the beginning with another story, set during a time skip. It ends just before the opening scene.
* ''Film/TwentyOneGrams'', which takes huge leaps in chronology, with no framing device and no discernible pattern, more or less scene-to-scene. It takes about half an hour and a carefully-made flowchart of the plot points presented thus far to orient yourself enough to know what's going on in any given scene.
* ''Film/TwoForTheRoad'' intercuts five different timelines to show a couple (Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney) as they first meet, get married, drift apart, and reconcile. The juxtapositions produced by this juggling make the story quite poignant.
* ''Film/VantagePoint'' shows the same 20 minutes over and over from a different perspective.
* ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' jumps between time periods in order to establish character backstories and relationships, much like the comic book it's based on.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'': Applies ever since ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'' made it easier to go with prequels. ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' preceded the original trilogy, then ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' preceded that (while also following the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII opening flashback of the first movie), ''Film/TheWolverine'' was a sequel to ''The Last Stand'' (with the opening being set in WWII as well), and then ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' acted as a sequel to both ''The Wolverine'' and ''First Class'' simultaneously due to TimeTravel. ''Film/XMenApocalypse'' follows the "past" timeline as well, albeit in an AlternateTimeline.

* OlderThanFeudalism: Literature/TheBible is in a few different anachronic orders, depending on the tradition in which they were set. One of the major principles of Judaism is ''Ein Mukdam Umeuchar Batorah'', which means don't assume things happen in the order they're written. This provides some very easy answers to some of the most famous challenges to the text.
** The Chronological Bible at least ''attempts'' to put the stories in chroniological order; as you might expect if you've read enough of the regular order, this results in a lot of jumping back and forth between passages as they describe the same events, as well as the Psalms being scattered throughout, having been written by people such as Moses, the sons of Korah, David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, and, according to some traditions, Hezekiah!
* ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'': Thanks to the fact that the stories have since branched out into numerous independent plot threads taking place all over an entire continent, any attempt to read the novels in chronological order of events would involve reading a handful of chapters in one book, setting it down, and then opening another book to read a few more chapters before going to yet another book, and so on. Adding in the side stories would complicate it to the point of near impossibility (especially since they get published at a truly prodigious rate, with no guarantee that any recent stories will take place concurrently with recently published books). It is fairly common for a book to start before a volume that was written earlier, end after the events of that book, and for the two to have nothing to do with each other apart from one or two pages in which the primary characters of book A talk about a key event that took place in book B when they find out about it. Going by the year in the title will not help, as that generally refers to the year in which the book ends, which is frequently not the year in which most of the book takes place in (A book that ends in January of year X will have X in the title even though the story as a whole took place in year X-1).
* Maurice Leblanc's ''Literature/ArseneLupin'' stories are published in no particular order, so one tale might take place when he is a well-established thief, and another will be about him during his early years, perhaps even before he has settled on the Lupin name.
* ''Literature/AtlantaNights'' seems to feature this, but given all the continuity errors it's really hard to say.
* Creator/ConnieWillis's two-part World War II novel ''{{Literature/Blackout}} / All Clear'' makes extensive use of this trope, to an extreme level even for a time travel story. The three main protagonists, plus a few other characters, have each traveled to the same general time period and region from separate points in both chronological time and their personal timelines. Successive chapters in the first half are not necessarily in order either by absolute chronology or any particular character's personal timeline, and even once the main plotline settles into a more-or-less linear order in terms of the characters' personal timelines, there continue to be out-of-chronology chapters interspersed here and there. If the chapters didn't all begin with a datestamp, the reader would be hard pressed to tell where they figure into the chronology. There are several chapters for which the reader doesn't even know who the viewpoint character is until much later in the story, and many of these take place later in real time than most of the story; these are eventually revealed to be [[spoiler:one of Polly's earlier trips to a later point in the war]] and [[spoiler:Michael's activities between the point when he leaves the main story and when Polly sees him die]]. One sequence actually takes place '''during''' Willis's first time-travel story "Fire Watch", but from the point of view of one of this novel's main characters. Fortunately, it really does all make sense by the end.

* Used, abused, and made sweet love to by Hal Duncan's ''Literature/TheBookOfAllHours'' duology, entirely justified by the main characters all being "unkin" (people with time- and space-bending magical powers) in a multiverse where spacetime is described not-inaccurately as being like [[TimeyWimeyBall a crumpled-up piece of vellum]], each crinkle and fold being a new reality. The characters (and thus the story) ignore the general order of causality as they will.
* Joseph Heller uses this extensively in the novel ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo''. There was never an official time line and any made by someone else would have taken lots of work and still wouldn't have been accurate. Heller reportedly tried to make a time line after he had written the book "to make sure everything was in order" and found he had made a significant contradiction at one point, but decided to leave it in since fixing it would be a hassle, nobody would notice it unless they tried to create a time line for everything, and "it added a little something".
* ''Ceremony'' by Leslie Marmon Silko jumps between the main character before WWII, the main character as a child, the main character's mother, and current time.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' are each linear stories, but are written in non-chronological order, and many fans of the book insist that they can only be appreciated that way because of the setup and payoffs; for instance, there are frequently allusions to past and future events that happened from earlier to later books, and ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', the second-to-last, is a {{prequel}}. Huge gaps of NarniaTime transpire between each and every book.
* Creator/SandyMitchell's ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' (THE HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) novels are presented as edited pieces of his rambles about his history, ordered thematically rather than chronologically. The first three books are in chronological order, the fourth is a prequel, the fifth takes place between books two and three, and the sixth takes place in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe's "present day" long after the events of the rest. Book seven is between books four and one, eight is between three and six, nine is between eight and six, and the short stories and audio dramas range in time from Cain's first ever act of alleged heroism to a few years before book six, with several of them lacking sufficient information to be possible to reliably date them at all beyond "sometime in a twenty year period starting around the end of book 5". According to the in-universe editor of the books (Inquisitor Amberly Veil), this is because Cain's way of telling the stories was to cram all of it in a spectacularly disorganized datapad with no regard for what order things should go in, and she's publishing them in the order in which she can get the individual stories compiled into a coherent narrative. That said, each "trilogy" is in internal order following a common thread.
* ''Will of the Empress'' is the first book in the third subseries of ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'', ''The Circle Reforged''. It takes place concurrently with the second book, ''Melting Stones''. Both frequently reference events that are only depicted in the third book, ''Battle Magic''.
* Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian stories are not in sequence. It starts with him on the throne, when most are of adventures in his wilder youth.
* Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''Franchise/TheCosmere'' is a massive universe spanning a dozen worlds, numerous seemingly unconnected stories, and thousands of years. The first book Sanderson ever released, ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'', takes place roughly in the middle of the overarching MythArc, and "far earlier but not thousands of years" than his second series, ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}''. ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', his third series, takes places later still, but it's not clear by how much, and ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'' is a continuation of ''Mistborn'', a few hundred years later but unclear in relation to ''The Stormlight Archive'', though later books in ''Wax and Wayne'' imply it's taking place at about the same time as ''Stormlight''. Chronologically, the first series will be ''Dragonsteel'', taking place around the time Adonalsium was shattered and the Shards taken up by their Holders, but it has an undetermined publication date.
* Creator/KimNewman's ''Literature/DarkFuture'' series the ''Demon Download'' cycle are all separate stories and the order in which they were published (''Route 666'' (short story), ''Demon Download'', ''Krokodil Tears'', ''Comeback Tour'') is out of the internal chronological order. By internal chronology, they should be read ''Route 666'', ''Krokodil Tears'', ''Demon Download'' and then ''Comeback Tour.'' WordOfGod in the afterword to ''Comeback Tour'' states that although this is the correct chronological order, it doesn't matter so long as you read the first three before ''Comeback Tour.''
* Katherine Kerr's Literature/{{Deverry}} series. The date of each section in order, is, 1045, 1052, 643, 1058, 698, 1062, 773, 1063, 790-797, 1063, 833-845, 1063, 1096, 718-915, 918, 980, 1096, 843, 1098, 1112, 1116, 1063, 1116 -- and that's just the first half of the series.
* This trope and {{Neologism}}s are the reason why many people give up to the Brazilian you-must-read-book ''Literature/TheDevilToPayInTheBacklands'', in which the first person narrator tells his own history in the way it comes to mind, and justifies himself, because "to tell anything right and straight, it must be a thing of little value".
* Creator/DianaWynneJones is fond of this trope:
** ''Literature/{{Hexwood}}'' starts off by telling the very beginning and part of the very end of the story. Then it jumps right to the beginning... [[spoiler: which we find out later was AllJustADream, after being shown the ''real'' beginning of the story about halfway through.]] We are also informed that events [[spoiler:have been run through a few times just to get what the ending the RealityWarper desires, and it is actually implied that the rest of the characters are themselves experiencing things in anachronic order for a good part of the novel.]]
** Chronologically, the third book in ''Literature/TheDalemarkQuartet'' comes first.
** ''Literature/FireAndHemlock'' begins with Polly at 19 getting ready to return to uni, then flashes back through her memories from age ten to age fifteen before coming back round to nineteen again.
* ''Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant'' by Anne Tyler jumps back and forth between the childhood and adult lives of the family of the story.
* ''Literature/TheDispossessed'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin starts at the midpoint of the story, with the protagonist Shevek boarding a spaceship. The odd-numbered chapters follow Shevek from that point onwards, while the even-numbered chapters fill in his life before that point, in order, with the last even-numbered chapter covering the events just before chapter one. This structure reflects Shevek's calling as a theoretical physicist trying to reconcile his culture's contradictory sequential and cyclic views of time.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' short story collection ''Short Trips: Time Signature''. While all the ''Short Trips'' books jump from Doctor to Doctor, ''Time Signature'' has an over-reaching {{Arc}} running through the stories, and isn't assembled in ''that'' order either. In the opening story, the Third Doctor meets an elderly composer who was once the companion to a future incarnation, and we then jump to the First Doctor finding the music that will haunt the composer's life, the Sixth meeting him for the first time, the Eighth dealing with his death, and so on.
* Steven Brust's Literature/{{Dragaera}} novels about Vlad Taltos are written out of chronological order, with the original intention that they should each be able to stand alone. Some individual novels are told out of order. ''Literature/{{Jhereg}}'' alternates between two timelines, while ''Literature/{{Tiassa}}'' has three timelines that have whole books in between them. Brust wrote ''Tiassa'' with the specific intention of making it impossible to place the novels in chronological order.
* In publication order, Creator/DavidGemmell's ''Literature/{{Drenai}}'' saga jumps back and forth over several centuries of the history of the Drenai Empire; the first novel written and published, ''Legend'', ended up being about halfway through in chronological order. There is, however, a single novel which comes last and concludes the series in either order: ''The Swords of Night and Day'', published not long before Gemmell's death.
* Creator/SamuelRDelany's short novel ''Literature/EmpireStar'' (1966) uses/abuses this trope to an amazing degree. The story involves several different time travelers, and, while it follows one character, at the end, you realize that there is no "proper" order for the whole story. Any ordering would have been arbitrary, and you have to put the events together for yourself.
* ''Literature/TheEnglishPatient'' is more or less set at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but devotes many chapters and extended flashbacks to the characters' backstories.
* The various threads of Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Eternal Champion'' series appear to take place in separate time streams. For instance, the ''Literature/{{Elric}}'' and ''Literature/{{Corum}}'' series have two {{Intercontinuity Crossover}}s where Elric and Corum meet each other, but time is apparently moving in opposite directions from their point of view, meaning that in each instance one is familiar with the other while the other is not.
** Erekose is the most obvious example of this trope, as not only do his stories jump around between different time streams; but he himself has lived anachronically since leaving his John Daker incarnation.
** Elric is particularly prone to anachronic crossovers with other Eternal Champion incarnations; and they other incarnations are more likely to recall him, than he is to recall them. It's strongly implied that Elric is, if not the first incarnation of the Champion (that appears to be Erekose) at least the earliest in "real-world" chronology.
** All the Literature/JerryCornelius stories (except the first, ''The Final Programme'') are anachronic.
* The ''Literature/{{Fallocaust}}'' series is split into the main series and companion novels. While each book in the main series occurs in order, so far beginning within moments of each other, the companion novels each explore a specific character's past.
** ''Breaking Jade'' follows Jade, and takes place a couple of years before the main series.
** ''Severing Sanguine'' follows Sanguine, and takes place between roughly fifty and thirty years before the main series.
** ''Garden of Spiders'' follows Elish, and takes place between seventy and forty years before the main series. [[spoiler:Apart from the DistantFinale, at any rate.]]
* ''Literature/FriedGreenTomatoesAtTheWhistleStopCafe'' works this way. Often, there will be a present-day chapter in which Ninnie tells a story, as she knows it, then a chapter with the entire story.
* Likewise, the book ''Literature/{{Galapagos}}'', also by Creator/KurtVonnegut. The plot moves forward through time, but only on average. A large part of the book consists of flashbacks and flashforwards ranging from a couple months to a million years.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''First & Only'', flashbacks are interspaced throughout the novel -- and the flashbacks are not in chronological order, either. [[spoiler: It ends on a flashback, with a Chaos witch revealing to Gaunt information that caused him to take an action that determined much of the plot of the book.]]
* ''Literature/TheGirlOnTheTrain'': The chapters are told from one of three character's points of view: Rachel, Anna and Megan. Whilst Rachel and Anna's stories are told in the present, Megan's chapters are in the past, and slowly reveal what happened to her.
* ''The Good Negress'' by A.J. Verdelle is told somewhat like this. The events are more or less in chronological order(i.e. it may go to something that happened in October, then skip back to July, then back to November), but there are frequent flashbacks to when Denise was back in the South with her grandmother, and there are frequent time skips.
* One of the key reasons that John Dowell is such an UnreliableNarrator in Ford Madox Ford's ''The Good Soldier.'' Dowell narrates events out of order, drops in TheReveal as an afterthought, and supplies key backstories long after the actions they would explain.
* In the infamous ''Literature/GravitysRainbow'' chapters can begin anywhere in time, and always cut to dreams sequences, flashbacks, flashforwards and other tangents before returning to where they started.
* The ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' series. The first published books depict Horatio in the middle of his career, from ordinary captain (''The Happy Return'' / ''Beat to Quarters'') to titled nobility (''Lord Hornblower''). Then it jumps back to the very start with ''Mr. Midshipman Hornblower'' and ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', to the very end with ''Admiral'', returns to the middle with ''Atropos,'' and back to the early days ''again'' with ''Hotspur'' and ''Crisis''. And that's not counting the short stories.
* While the individual ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels are mostly chronological in and of themselves, they don't necessarily follow a linear path when taken as a whole. Specifically, ''Horus Rising, False Gods, Galaxy in Flames,'' and ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'' narrate a sequence of months at the start of the 31st millennium. ''Fulgrim'' takes place around the same time as ''False Gods'', then ''Descent of Angels'' and ''Legion'' are both prequels, taking place 50 and two years respectively before ''Horus Rising''. The start of ''Battle for the Abyss'' overlaps with the the end of ''Galaxy in Flames''. ''Mechanicum'' takes place in the early part of the Heresy, some time around ''False Gods'' or ''Galaxy in Flames''. ''Fallen Angels'' starts when ''Descent of Angels'' ended, but soon jumps forward to the time of ''False Gods''. ''A Thousand Sons'' is another prequel which begins with Magnus receiving a vision of the events of ''False Gods'' and attempting to warn the Emperor via forbidden sorcery, which ends up wrecking a vital experiment the Emperor was conducting around the start of ''Horus Rising''. ''Nemesis'' then advances the story, taking place two years after ''Fulgrim'', then ''The First Heretic'' starts 43 years before ''Fulgrim'' and ends not long after ''Nemesis''. The FramingDevice of ''Prospero Burns'' is contemporaneous with ''Galaxy in Flames'', while the primary plot takes place about a century before ''Horus Rising'', exploring the machinations of Chaos. The first part of ''The Outcast Dead'' overlaps the end of ''The First Heretic'', and then the second half takes place over the next few months. ''Deliverance Lost'' starts two months after ''Fulgrim'' and follows events for about a year afterwards. ''Know No Fear'' moves the story forward, starting at the [[SimultaneousArcs mutual conclusion]] of ''Battle for the Abyss'' and ''The First Heretic''. ''Fear to Tread'' takes place around the same time as ''Fulgrim'' and the end overlaps with ''Know No Fear''. ''Angel Exterminatus'' also takes place around this time, and then ''Betrayer'' continues the plot of ''Know no Fear'' while overlapping with ''Fear to Tread''. ''Vulkan Lives'' then takes place around the same time as ''The Unremembered Empire'', which itself directly follows from both ''Know no Fear'' and ''Nemesis''. And that's not even getting into the story collections, which take place all across the timeline.
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'' is an annotation on an analysis of a fictional documentary, so of course a large part of the text was written a good deal before Johnny's notes on it. But the analysis, although mostly chronologically telling the story of the documentary, also refers to various other people's interpretations of the documentary that occur long after the events within are finished. And then some of Johnny's later notes mess with the order they're shown a bit, especially if you aren't paying attention to the dates. Then all of the appendixes were created at various points before and after every other part of the story... [[JigsawPuzzlePlot a large part of the fun is keeping track of everything in your head, and how they all relate.]]
* The main story of ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'' takes place in a pretty linear fashion, across a few months in [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture the spring of 197X]], but takes detours along the way to a few years in the future, ancient {{Atlantis}}, and everywhere in between.
* Creator/DavidFosterWallace's ''Literature/InfiniteJest'' starts at the end and then moves forward, ish. The years are named after products, so it's initially very difficult to figure out which time the characters are in, and there are many other brilliantly clever devices which take the reader all over the place.
* Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Literature/{{IT}}'' jumps back-and-forth between two time periods (the '50s and the '80s), but follows each of these two periods chronologically. (That is, if we don't count ''normal'' flashbacks which also appear within ''each'' of the two narrative threads.) Not so in the {{Film}}.
* Creator/RudyardKipling does this in ''Literature/{{The Jungle Book}}s''. "Kaa's Hunting" (second story in ''The Jungle Book'') takes place between the first and second halves of "Mowgli's Brothers" (the first story). The third story, "Tiger! Tiger!" picks up from the end of "Mowgli's Brothers", and the remaining stories in the book are unconnected. In ''The Second Jungle Book'' the first story "How Fear Came" seems to take place after "Kaa's Hunting" and before the end of "Mowgli's Brothers" from the first book. The remaining Mowgli stories follow on chronologically from the end of "Tiger! Tiger!", but all except the last two are sandwiched between non-series stories. Just to complicate things further, "In the Rukh", the first Mowgli story to be written, which is the last chronologically, doesn't even appear in ''The Jungle Books'', and is so [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness different from the rest]] that many readers regard it as [[CanonDiscontinuity non-canonic]]. However, they are all assembled in chronological order in ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin All the Mowgli Stories]]''.
* ''Lanark'' by Alastair Gray starts with Book Three, then One, Two, and Four. The book numbers are in chronological order (i.e. Book One takes places first chronologically), but the sequence is not.
* The chapters of ''Literature/LastDragon'' are in chronological order, but the events within the chapters are rather jumbled up.
* One of the oldest debates in American literature: should one read ''Literature/TheLeatherstockingTales'' in chronological order (''The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers, The Prairie'') or in the order in which James Fenimore Cooper wrote and published them (''The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie, The Pathfinder, The Deerslayer'')? Both options have their pros and cons.
* ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' skips around before and after Zach's death.
* ''Literature/AMillionRandomDigitsWithOneHundredThousandNormalDeviates'' doesn't follow any type of set structure, it just randomly switches focus from character to character almost randomly thousands of times. Did we mention the book has more than ten different characters to switch between?
* Common in the later entries of the Literature/{{Mithgar}} series -- the first chapter will feature the heroes in the middle of a quest, then a lot of chapters jumping back and forth between what they're doing "now", how they met, what they were like as children, and relevant world events throughout the whole era, before finally settling in a time period and continuing forward towards the climax. Each chapter comes with a time-and-place heading to help you keep track of how it all fits together.
* ''The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'', the third Literature/HerculePoirot novel, is set after Poirot has retired to the country to grow vegetable marrows, ''The Big Four'', the fourth, is the huge case that convinces him to do so. Most, but not all, of the subsequent novels are set somewhere before this. (This combines with ComicBookTime to suggest that ''Roger Ackroyd'' must be set around 20 years ''after'' its publication date, since ''The Labours of Hercules'' refer both to the upcoming retirement and the SecondWorldWar.) It should also be noted that Agatha Christie wrote the final Hercule Poirot novel over thirty years and a dozen novels before it was published, because she wanted to have a finale for the series in place should she die during the Blitz, and similarly for Miss Marple.
* ''Literature/MySistersKeeper'' jumps between time-lines according to whose point of view the chapter follows.
* Creator/OrsonScottCard's ''Literature/PastwatchTheRedemptionOfChristopherColumbus'' is told with chapters alternating between historical fiction of Christopher Columbus and far future science fiction about the Pastwatch project. Eventually the two plot lines merge due to TimeTravel.
* Abused to no end by P. Howard, especially in his more lighthearted novels. more often than not, the first thing we find out about the protagonist's actions, is the impact they had on the whole plot, or the impressions they left on the witnesses. And I don't mean they are told through flashbacks. Several chapters will end with secondary or tertiary characters discovering that their current most pressing issue was mysteriously solved, under very unusual circumstances, followed by several chapters retelling everything from the hero's point of view. Then the next plot twist comes in, and events seem to be told in chronological order again, until the situations is resolved again, in a seemingly anticlimactic fashion.
* ''Literature/APrayerForOwenMeany'' is in chronological order of chapter topics, but the lengthy digressions can go years forward or backward in the timeline. At times the author seems to expect the reader to be confused, providing the same information over again when it's necessary to understand two different events.
* A lot of big influential Hispanic writers were fond of using this one, probably ever since Creator/JulioCortazar wrote his book ''[[Literature/{{Hopscotch}} Rayuela]]'', which has effectively two stories in one book: one which is found reading the book from front to back, another reading the book in the order given by the author. Creator/GabrielGarciaMarquez also used Anachronic Order in quite a few of his stories.
* While the main stories in ''Literature/{{Relativity}}'' are in chronological order, the side stories are ''not''. Also, several of the main stories contain multiple flashbacks, which may or may not follow their own chronological sequence, depending on the story.
* The novels in Creator/AlastairReynolds's ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' universe mostly do this to some degree -- the catch is that, because of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_of_simultaneity the way relativity works]], it's actually unavoidable.
* ''Film/ARiverRunsThroughIt'' by Norman Maclean is a elegiac mishmash of memories, one scene leading to another by the way they are connected in the narrator's mind, not in chronological order. It's a deft rendering of how memory works in reality, but it makes for tough reading until you understand the trick. The movie chose not to try to replicate the effect, perhaps wisely.
* Robert Masello uses this in many of his novels; ''Blood and Ice'', ''The Medusa Mask'', and ''The Romanov Cross'' all feature a storyline set in the present while also looking at events in the past, such as the ''Blood and Ice'' flashbacks looking at the events that led to Sinclair and Eleanor becoming vampires in the Crimean War or ''Medusa Amulet'' exploring the history of the titular amulet.
* Creator/RogerZelazny's time travel novel ''Literature/{{Roadmarks}}'' alternates chapters that follow the protagonist, Red Dorakeen, through the main plot line with with vignettes involving a variety of characters scattered throughout human history, all of which eventually feed in to the resolution of the main plot. The vignettes are in no particular order; for instance, the first shows a young man named Randy having an encounter while time traveling, while a later one shows him learning the secret of time travel for the first time. Zelazny reportedly wrote them out on separate pieces of paper and shuffled them into a random order before interleaving them with the Red chapters.
* In the novel and film ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'', events from a man's life are shown out of order, ranging from imprisonment in a German POW camp, through the fifties, and into being the guest of aliens towards the end of time. The main character has become UnstuckInTime, allowing him to live all the moments of his life at the same time.
* ''Literature/TheSouthernReachTrilogy'':
** In ''Authority'', Control's point of view, while linear in general, tends to jump around the way his thoughts do. One scene would happen, followed by another, only for the narration to skip back and retell elements from the previous scene that had not been told yet, again and again, revealing new layers and information each time.
** In ''Acceptance'', several points in time are used to tell what is happening and what has happened in the past by way of the time and point of view changing each chapter. The lighthouse keeper serves as the point of view of pre-Area X times, the director's chapters reveal how the twelfth expedition came to be, and Ghost Bird and Control relate what is currently happening.
* The Franchise/StarTrek novel ''Imzadi'' combines multiple nested flashbacks with time travel, then lampshades it with section titles, starting with "The End" and progressing at random.
* The Creator/DianeDuane ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'' novel ''Literature/SpocksWorld'' does this, with chapters alternating between the main story (our favorite PowerTrio trying to keep Vulcan from seceding from the Federation) and another story that's the history of the planet Vulcan since cave-Vulcans first emerged.
* The protagonist in Creator/ChuckPalahniuk's ''Literature/{{Survivor}}'' is speaking the entire story into the flight recorder of the plane he has hijacked. His narration unfolds two time lines. One is his time after being one of the few survivors of a suicide cult while the other time line covers his indoctrination. The disjointed narrative is highlighted be the page and chapter count of the book running backwards running down to the point when the plane will run out of fuel.
* The story of the novella ''Literature/ATasteOfHoney'' is told in chunks skipping back and forth between the ten days Aqib and Lucrio spend together after their first meeting, and Aqib's future life in Olorum, ending with his death at the age of 89. Or so it seems, and there's another piece at the end with a forty-year-old Aqib in Terra-de-Luce, showing that he made an entirely different choice than originally presented in the book.
* Most of the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' novel ''Literature/TestOfMetal'' is told through Tezzeret's flashbacks, mixed in with chapters that take place in the present. Some chapters even swap the perspective of the flashbacks and tell the story from Jace or Baltrice's perspective. Mix in a lot of weirdness with characters who can manipulate time, and here we are.
* ''Literature/TheTigersWife'' covers three storylines -- one taking place in the early twentieth century, one throughout the twentieth century, and one in the present day -- and jumps between them at random. In addition, there are detailed backstories given for many minor characters, which often take the story even further back in time, and the present-day storyline is itself told in anachronic order.
* Seen in ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife''. It would be hard to make the scenes strictly chronological anyway, since the two protagonists are living them in different orders. (And Henry lives a number of them ''twice''.)
* ''LightNovel/TheUnexploredSummonBloodSign'':
** The third chapter of the first volume is told in reverse chronological order. To avoid confusion, the time is mentioned at the beginning of each part.
** The fourth volume has two timelines, past and present. The present begins with Kyousuke [[WhatDidIDoLastNight waking up with no memory of recent events]], and [[spoiler:in bed with the White Queen, his personal nemesis]]. The story alternates between the present and past, the latter representing Kyousuke gradually recovering his memories.
* ''Literature/UseOfWeapons'' by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]] alternates chapters between "past" and "present" events, with the "past" chapters being told in reverse order, so that the story diverges rapidly in space and time as a rather unorthodox form of backstory exposition. And then there's the flashbacks in ''both'' plot threads to complicate matters. It also has a prologue and epilogue that are quite difficult to pin down in the timeline at all. (Possibly the first "Culture" novel written, Banks notes that he shelved it for decades because its original incarnation was lumbered with an impenetrable multi-thread storyline which required the reader to think in higher dimensions.)
* ''Literature/WeAreLegionWeAreBob'': Due to long travel times, the stories are sorted by what is dramatically appropriate rather than real time. Most of Riker's story in Sol is over before Bob's story in Alpha Centauri even starts, for example.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series does this out of necessity in order to cover the journeys of its [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many characters]], most of whom are in different places at any given time. While a given event is never shown twice, it is not uncommon to have a character do something in one book, to have another character react to that event several books later. And occasionally you'll see people reacting to something secondhand, to have a chapter come along later from the point of view of someone who was there, describing the event as it happened. Book Ten, ''Crossroads of Twilight'', takes place almost entirely over the span of time covered by Book Nine, ''Winter's Heart''.
* ''Wolf In White Van'' by [[Music/TheMountainGoats John Darnielle]] is mainly told in flashbacks, and is roughly in reverse chronological order. One interesting effect of this is that it feels like it has a DownerEnding because the last chapter details a particular dark moment in the narrator's life, but the first chapter is chronologically the last thing to happen in the story, and once you know the context, it's really a case of EarnYourHappyEnding.
* ''Literature/ArmadilloFists'' jumps around quite a lot, mostly by describing an outcome in one chapter and then going back and filling in the details of how it came about in the following chapters. It also skips back frequently to fill in the backstory of the characters and to reveal that certain past events didn't happen quite as we were led to believe.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' has two ongoing timelines: one in the present, and one made of up flashbacks to the island to show how Oliver Queen became a badass.
* ''Series/{{Damages}}'' has entire seasons in anachronic order.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Doctor's encounters with the Daleks during the black-and-white era are out-of-order -- the Doctor's first meeting with them ([[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E2TheDaleks "The Daleks"]]) is supposed to be his last meeting with them chronologically (although this began as a HandWave to explain how he can meet them again before they were all wiped out). Other meetings are more ambiguous in order but can be {{Fan Wank}}ed enjoyably -- for instance, the dead Dalek shell in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E7TheSpaceMuseum "The Space Museum"]] perhaps originated from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan "The Daleks' Master Plan"]], at the end of which the Doctor made all Daleks on the planet evacuate their shells, leaving them standing.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]], written by Creator/StevenMoffat. Most of the episode is told in the present, alongside events that happened in the twenties (Kathy Nightingale), sixties (the Doctor, Martha and DI Shipton) and (offscreen) eighties (Kathy again), warning about things in the present, all inside of a StableTimeLoop. From the viewpoint of the main character (the Tenth Doctor), he doesn't meet the episode's guest lead (Sally) until a year after the main action, despite relaying a message from the late 1960s.
** Another Moffat episode, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]], features the Doctor travelling back in time through his personal timeline three times. The ColdOpening is also set several minutes (from the audience's perspective, really it's [[spoiler:1900 years]] after the opening titles. Similar cold openings occurred in "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Love & Monsters" and "Silence in the Library".
** We see River Song as [[spoiler:a month-old baby]] in her fifth appearance, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar "A Good Man Goes to War"]] (2011), and dying in her first appearance [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary "Silence in the Library"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead "Forest of the Dead"]] (2008). In simple terms, her timeline is opposite to the Doctor's. Except when it isn't. [[spoiler:In fact, "The Impossible Astronaut" has three Rivers at once, with one of them witnessing the other's actions, which is seen from the other River's POV in "The Wedding of River Song"]].
** A less heavily timey-wimey example: [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy "A Town Called Mercy"]] (2012) is implied to take place right at the end of the seven-week-anniversary vacation the Doctor took Amy and Rory on at one point in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E4ThePowerOfThree "The Power of Three"]].
** The debut of the Ninth Doctor in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose "Rose"]] skips past the Eighth Doctor [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie introduced in 1996]]. Audiences do not see Eight regenerate until [[Recap/DoctorWho50thPrequelTheNightOfTheDoctor 17 years later]], during the show's 50th anniversary. But his regeneration introduces a War Doctor fitting in between the Eighth and Ninth Doctors, and his story focuses on the Time War that had been a past event first mentioned in 2005. The [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor one story]] with the War Doctor is at the end of his life, when he's quite old. He regenerates near the end into the Ninth Doctor, who will eventually end up where he was during "Rose", knotting together all loose ends.
** The ExpandedUniverse book ''The Eye of Heaven'' starts with the chronologically earliest event in the book, then skips around in order to obscure details to the reader -- in particular, one passenger on the ship is mentioned by Leela and the Doctor both before and after she executes her plan, but not shown to us until the end.
* ''Series/TheEvent'': Not only does the series continually switch among the main characters to tell the story from their perspectives, but it often shows events in reverse order before making its way back to the present.
* The ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Out of Gas" is told in anachronic order, flashing between Mal and Zoe gathering Serenity's crew, a badly wounded Mal all alone on the ship, and the ship being badly damaged.
* ''Series/TheGoodGuys'' uses this purely as a story telling device with no pretensions toward being ''avant-garde''.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'', "Mutiny"/"Retribution": The second installment can be considered a true two-parter. "Mutiny" is fully told in HowWeGotHere mode, but "Retribution" resumes the story where it was left, showing us some InMediasRes scenes with badly injured lieutenants Bush and Kennedy who lie in a prison infirmary. The other lieutenants are tried for life, and the narrative keeps jumping back and forth. The lieutenants continue giving an account of their mission which is shown in {{Flash Back}}s, and it's interspersed with their questioning at the court, the testimonies of the crew and the judges' private discussions.
* While episodes are always broadcast in chronological order, individual episodes of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' make such extensive use of flashbacks and flashforwards that all of the episodes invoke this trope to varying degrees.
* ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' keeps switching from 2008 to 1986.
* The flashbacks and flashforwards of ''Series/{{Lost}}''. The order we see them in has nothing to do with when they actually happened; it's up to the audience to slowly piece together what happened to everyone before they got to the Island (and, from the fourth season on, what's going to happen to those who leave).
* ''The Nine'' was based on revealing the whole season out of order. The main characters start the pilot just after being held hostage together. What happened during their captivity is revealed as they moved forward and during brief flashbacks in each episode.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', the story is told by interspersing scenes set in present day [[TownWithADarkSecret Storybrooke]] with {{Flashback}}s to the fairy tale world from which it came. Moreover, the flashbacks are not in any particular order, but rather relate to which character is [[ADayInTheLimelight in the limelight for that episode]].
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "White Hole" uses this to great comedic effect. A white hole is screwing with time every which way imaginable, creating a conversation with repeated sections, the ending placed in the middle, [[ForTheLulz Cat repeating his opening question just to mess with the group,]] and the whole thing starting over again once they’re done.
** Another episode, "Thanks for the Memory," opens with the guys on a planetoid celebrating Rimmer’s "death-day." After a brief conversation between Rimmer and Lister, we cut to the next morning: Lister and Cat both have a broken foot, they’ve lost almost a whole week of memory, and the ship’s black box is missing. They spend the rest of the episode piecing together what happened.
* ''Franchise/StargateVerse'':
** ''Series/StargateSG1'' used this in [[Recap/StargateSG1S8E5Icon "Icon"]], starting with Daniel trapped on a planet and then looking back at how he ended up in that situation.
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has the episodes [[Recap/StargateAtlantisS3E17Sunday "Sunday"]], which features the events leading up to an explosion in Atlantis as experiencedby the main characters from different perspectives, and [[Recap/StargateAtlantisS4E6TabulaRasa "Tabula Rasa"]], which starts with the characters all suffering from amnesia and then shows them finding records to explain what happened to them.
** The pilot of ''Series/StargateUniverse'' also does this to a highly confusing degree, with no cinematographic or auditory hints -- [[ViewersAreGeniuses relying instead on viewers to pick up the context]], which might take a few seconds or more.
* The GrandFinale of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' uses this, with the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien omnipotent Q]] forcing Picard to jump three different time frames, the modern period, a point just before the beginning of the series and a point about 25 years in the future. Picard had to examine a NegativeSpaceWedgie from three different perspectives and utilize the different time frames to his advantage in order to solve the problem. Almost lampshaded this trope by Q, it was a test done to see if Picard could open his mind enough to follow the story.

* The ''Franchise/EvilliousChronicles'' by Music/{{Mothy}}. No one knew this until [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKdTGZIlSm8 Chrono Story]] was released. He began with the Story of Evil, which took place roughly in the middle of the saga, and expanded outward (the Seven Deadly Sins Series taking place over the entire story, and the Original Sin Story and Clockwork Lullaby Series taking place respectively at the beginning and end.)
* The story of Music/BlueOysterCult's ConceptAlbum ''Imaginos'' is told in this manner due to ExecutiveMeddling; the album was not released with the intended track order. It would be confusing enough if it were in something approaching a sensible order, since it already contains time travel and a number of other sci-fi elements; the disjointed track order just pushes it into MindScrew territory.
* Music/DavidBowie's RockOpera ''1. Outside'' uses anachronic order for both the short story in the liner notes and the songs/spoken transitions on the album.
* Music/FuneralForAFriend's concept album Tales Don't Tell Themselves tells the story of a man named David who travels off to sea, runs into difficulty for a while and eventually returns home to his family, who may have thought him dead. Singer Matt Davies-Kreye noted in interviews his intent to make the album a grandiose concept album. However, after recording demos, the band decided on a truncated version of the album concept, which was partly due to Executive Meddling and partly because the album didn't flow very well in its correct order. Whilst we don't know the story entirely, the band have noted that the first track on the album "Into Oblivion (Reunion)" was written as the last part of the story, but was included as the opening track because the record company wanted it as lead single. The story isn't presented in order, instead being arranged for flow, and is also missing some of the songs that would have told the complete story ("Africa", "In A Manner Of Sleep", "Crash And Burn", "Rise And Fall" and "Colossus", which have all been released in demo form).
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' doesn't do this, but [[Theatre/TheSilmarillion its operatic adaptation]] does, with the first act of part IV happening chronologically between parts I and II, and the second half of part III overlapping chronologically with the rest of part IV. A handful of individual scenes are also presented out of strict chronological order. The reason for this is that the four parts are really four separate stories.
* The second stanza of "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Music/SufjanStevens (about the Love Interest's father committing suicide) chronologically belongs at the end of the song.
* ''Music/KidsPraise'': This is perhaps the most bizarre example of this trope in existence, and applies simultaneously on a meta level ''and'' PlayedForDrama in-universe. Hold on to your hats, folks:
** In real life, the tenth Kid's Praise album was released before the ninth, and this was intentional.
** The ninth album was actually a prop and a plot point in the tenth album: Risky Rat stole every copy of the ninth album, and this even happened ''in'' the tenth album as a cliffhanger. It was stated during the tenth album that the aesops in the ninth album were about helping kids grow as Christians.
** When the ninth album was released, the overall plot of the ninth album was chasing Risky Rat to recover...[[MindScrew the ninth album]]. During this adventure, there are songs and lessons about how to grow as a Christian.
** [[spoiler: Risky Rat succeeded in destroying every copy of the ninth album [[MindScrew during the ninth album]]. However, it turns out Rhythm was using a tape recorder to record the whole adventure, including the songs and lessons about growing as a Christian that happened during tha adventure, and everything that Rhythm recorded functioned as a ''replacement for'' the ninth album!]]

* Paula Vogel's controversial play ''How I Learned To Drive''. This trope is common with "memory plays."
* In the play ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'' the past and the present are jumbled together (and frequently overlap) in order to illustrate Willie Loman's crumbling sanity.
* ''Deus Ex Quanta'' by Gene Doucette uses this technique to add further twists to its {{MindScrew}}y plot.
* ''Stop Kiss'' by Diana Son revolves around a kiss between two women. Every other scene shows the events leading up to the kiss, while the rest show its aftermath, so that the kiss itself is the very last thing the audience sees.
* Jason Robert Brown's ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' follows two characters who fall in love, get married and divorce. The man and woman alternate solos; Cathy's songs move BackToFront, while Jamie's are in normal (chronological) order. The only time they interact directly is right in the middle, when they get married.
* The musical Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong is told ''backwards'', starting in 1981 and ending in 1958. It can be pretty hard to get your bearings at first.
* ''Theatre/ExtraPulp'' is structured as episodic scenes performed out of chronological order.
* As always, Creator/WilliamShakespeare did it first: his histories were written completely out of their chronological order. Even the three parts of ''Theatre/HenryVI'' weren't written in order (he wrote 2, then 3, then 1).
* Creator/TomStoppard's ''Theatre/{{Arcadia}}'' cuts back and forth between 1809 and the 1990s, with the present day characters discussing the events of the past and props being passed back and forth from era to era.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* It took until the 25th anniversary of ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' franchise for [[WordOfGod an official timeline]] (contained in ''Literature/HyruleHistoria'') to be released, accompanying 2011's ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''. It ended up confirming two aspects of one of the more popular fan theories: that the timeline split after ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and that the original games are at the end of one of these split. But it also revealed a piece of information that no one saw coming: the timeline split ''THREE'' ways after ''Ocarina Of Time'', with the third timeline being that Link fell to Ganon. To wit, following the ''Hyrule Historia'' timeline in chronological order up through the end of the "Fallen Hero" branch, we have (as of 2017): ''Skyward Sword'' (released in 2011), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]'' (released in 2004), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]]'' (released in 2002), ''Ocarina of Time'' (released in 1998), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'' (released in 1991), the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle]]'' [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo games]] (released in 2002), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'' (released in 1993), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]'' (released in 2013), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTriForceHeroes Tri Force Heroes]]'' (released in 2015), the original ''VideoGame/{{The Legend of Zelda|I}}'' (released in 1986), and ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' (released in 1987). Oh, and ''maybe'' ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]'' (released in 2017) somewhere in there.
** What makes this perhaps the ultimate example is that use of time travel has created three parallel timelines, and Creator/{{Nintendo}} has felt free to alternate between timelines when releasing new games. ''Skyward Sword'' takes place at the earliest point in the timeline, before the split happens.
** The 2017 ''Hyrule Encyclopedia'' timeline is mostly the same, but it moved the ''Oracle'' games to being set in between ''Link's Awakening'' and ''A Link Between Worlds''.
* The ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' campaign starts in the middle of the story, then suddenly goes to the beginning of the war after a cliffhanger, then returns to the time after the cliffhanger to wrap it all up.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' chronologically starts with ''[[VideoGame/SuikodenIV IV]]'' (IS 302-07 of the in-universe calendar), the first game of the series with ''VideoGame/SuikodenTactics'' occurring during ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV'', followed by ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' (IS 449), ''[[VideoGame/{{Suikoden}} Suikoden I]]'' (IS 455-57), Suikoden Card Stories (IS 459), ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' (IS 460) and then ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'' (IS 475).
* The continuity of the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series was straightforward in the first four games (including ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion''). Then came the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'', which is set between the first two games. There's also ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters'', a DS game set after the original ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', but before ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes''. Finally, ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' takes place between ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' and ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', with flashbacks to events prior to the first game.
* The ''Videogame/FireEmblem'' series currently has six different canons, which can sometimes play this trope straight:
** The ''VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe'' canon, consisting of the sixth and seventh games, goes back-to-front -- ''Videogame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'' ([=FE7=]) followed by ''Videogame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'' ([=FE6=]).
** The ''Jugdral'' canon takes place earliest, on the Jugdral continent, with ''Videogame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'' ([=FE4=]) spanning decades and generations. ''Videogame/FireEmblemThracia776'' ([=FE5=]) is an {{Interquel}} to ''Genealogy,'' and takes place near the end the time skip between chapters five and six.
** The ''Archanea'' canon (the original) takes place centuries later on the continent of Archanea, distant from Jugdral but occupying the same world. The ''Archanea War Chronicles'', a game broadcast by Satellaview (and thus not counted as part of the overall series) takes place earliest, along with the four bonus chapters in ''New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Darkness'' ([=FE12=]). Then comes ''Videogame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight'' ([=FE1=]), ''Videogame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem'' Book 1 (the first half of [=FE3=]) and ''Shadow Dragon'' ([=FE11=]), which all tell the same story.
** While this is going on, ''Videogame/FireEmblemGaiden'' ([=FE2=]) is occurring during the three years between ''Shadow Dragon'' and ''Mystery'' on the distant continent of Valentia, which shares the same world as Archanea and Jugdral.
** After this, Book 2 of ''Videogame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem'' and the main story of ''Heroes of Light and Darkness'' occurs, which tells the same story.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' ([=FE13=]) takes place on Archanea and Valentia in the distant future, the respective continents now renamed Ylisse and Valm.
** It was implied in the ''Before Awakening'' DLC of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' that the game takes place many years before Awakening, altough the games don't take place on the same continents.
* The timeline of the ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' series jumps around quite a bit. It's easy to tell that in chronological order it would be ''3''-''1''-''4''-''[[FanonDiscontinuity 2]].'' As for the manga and [[Anime/DevilMayCryTheAnimatedSeries anime]]...
** ''[[Anime/DevilMayCryTheAnimatedSeries The Animated Series]]'' is pretty easy; that's set between the events of ''[=DMC1=]'' and ''[=DMC4=]''. The various manga/light novels are a bit trickier: ''Devil May Cry 3'' (the manga) takes place before the third game and also kicks ''Devil May Cry Vol. 1'' (an intended prequel to the first game) [[CanonDiscontinuity right out of canon]]. Meanwhile, as ''Devil May Cry Vol. 2'' occurs before the second game, it follows the events of the fourth game (though it would've originally taken place after ''[=DMC1=]'' before ''TAS'' and ''4'' were inserted between it and ''2'').
* The game ''Magical VideoGame/{{Tetris}} Challenge'' had WesternAnimation/Mickey Mouse's story going last and WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck's going first, with Goofy and Minnie's stories occurring near-simultaneously with Donald's (specifically, Goofy's story starts some time before he meets Donald (the dialogue shared between those two is exactly the same as in Donald's story, even when you defeat Donald as Goofy), while Minnie's starts after meeting Donald).
* The timeline of the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' series currently goes like this: ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterI SFI]]'' > ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Alpha]]''/''Alpha 2'' > ''Alpha 3'' > the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' series > the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' series > ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'' > ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''/''III: 2nd Impact'' > ''III: 3rd Strike''. The events of the first ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' is set sometime after the events of ''SFI'', but before the ''Alpha'' series.
* ''[[VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope The Last Hope]]'', is, chronologically, the ''first'' ''Star Ocean'' game. After the poorly received twist ending of ''[[VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime Till the End of Time]]'' (currently the last chronologically), they couldn't easily go forward, so they had to go back.
** The fifth title in the series, ''Integrity and Faithlessness'', continues this, being set after ''[[VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory The Second Story]]'' and ''Blue Sphere'' but before ''Till the End of Time''. Essentially, [[Creator/TriAce tri-Ace]] doesn't want to touch ''Till the End of Time'' in the same way Creator/{{Capcom}} doesn't want to touch ''Devil May Cry 2''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Lufia}}'' series' chronological order is ''[[VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals 2]]'', ''[[VideoGame/LufiaTheRuinsOfLore 4]]'', ''[[VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom 1]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns 3]]'', although the fourth is a [[GaidenGame sidestory]].
* ''VideoGame/TribesVengeance'' jumps between "The Past" and "The Present" levels arbitrarily, with the former detailing the story of Victoria and Daniel's [[StarcrossedLovers doomed love]] and the latter, the story of their daughter Julia, set some 20 years apart.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'': OK so, Alex is in [[LateToTheTragedy the year 2000]] exploring a mansion, [[ApocalypticLog discovering stories]] about the adventures of a lot of other people. So we start playing Alex, then switch to someone she's reading about, then back again and so on until Alex's own 'chapter' at the end. The stories she reads are out of chronological order too, although for each location in the game, we play the characters who visited that location in order. The whole structure allows for mostly conventional storytelling (e.g., the Amiens chapters are seen in order: 814AD, 1485AD, 1916AD) and passing on items optionally obtained in one chapter to the next in the arc, while also mixing up styles by moving back and forth in time (the Amiens chapters are broken up with other locations in other times). The mansion itself is an exception, as Alex finds things in the present that hint at events we'll be seeing later in the past. \\
Which adds to the overall MindScrew aspect of ''Eternal Darkness'' when you realize (for example) that Paul (1485AD) and Roberto (1450AD) both acquired spells that were first discovered by Edwin (1983AD). By [[FridgeLogic reading about Edwin]] in the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Tome of Eternal Darkness]].
** This becomes FridgeBrilliance when, in the secret ending, it's revealed that [[spoiler:Mantorok has been messing around with time]].
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games [[NonLinearSequel are like this]]. A [[WordOfGod Twitter post]] by Creator/GameFreak member Toshinobu Matsumiya explained that ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' are first, followed by ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' three years later. ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' takes place an unspecified amount of time after those game, with ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' occurring two years after ''B/W''. The latest entry in the series, ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', is also the latest entry chronologically, roughly a decade after the events of Generations I/III [[note]]WordOfGod states [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Red]] to be in his [[VagueAge "early twenties"]] in these games and remarks made by [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Looker]] about [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Anabel]]]] indicate they first met 10 years earlier[[/note]] and two years after Generation VI [[note]]concept art for [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Grimsley]] notes he's that many years older than he was in ''[=B2/W2=]''[[/note]]. However, the Gen VI remakes of ''Ruby/Sapphire'', ''Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire'', heavily imply that any game featuring [[SuperMode Mega Evolution]] is set in [[AlternateUniverse a different timeline]] from the Gen I-Gen V titles [[ForWantOfANail as a result of]] [[spoiler:AZ activating his ultimate weapon 3,000 years prior to ''X/Y'']].
* Each game in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' franchise has a very specific date, ranging from [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence the late 11th century]] to [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow the early 21st century]], and, after [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest the first sequel]], there has yet to be two consecutive games closer to each other than a century. For reference, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI the first game]] took place in 1691. And, although we have [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow two games]] that serve as an epilogue to the overall plot, with a hint to a new storyline starting, ''we still don't have the climax''.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'' starts you off on Stage 3, then after that you have the option to go to Stage 2 (events prior to Stage 3) or Stage 4 (in chronological order). Then the game continues to Stages 5 and 6, culminating with what is numbered as the [[spoiler:''first'']] stage in the game.
* The chronological order of the ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' series is: ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' (set in 1964), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' (1970), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' (1974), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVGroundZeroes'' (1975), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' (1984), ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear|1}}'' (1995), ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' (1999), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (2005), ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' (2007 [[TimeSkip and]] 2009), followed by ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' (2014), and then ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' (2018).
* The ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' chronology follows this order: ''V'', ''I'', ''III'', ''IV'', ''II'', ''64'', ''Warriors Rage'' (arcade [[note]]specifically the short-lived Hyper UsefulNotes/NeoGeo 64 arcade system[[/note]]), ''Sen/Edge of Destiny'', and ''[[RecycledTitle Warriors Rage]]'' ([[UsefulNotes/PlayStation PS]]). ''VI'', on the other hand, is officially a [[DreamMatchGame "festival game"]] set in an AlternateContinuity that generally follows the events of the main timeline. Going by the original Japanese titles clears up the confusion ever so slightly, as ''Samurai Shodown V'' is actually ''Samurai Spirits [[EpisodeZeroTheBeginning Zero]]''.
* The ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' franchise has a somewhat loose continuity between its various incarnations beginning with ''Ninja Gaiden Shadow'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy, followed by the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} version of ''Ninja Gaiden'', ''Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword'' for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS, the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}} version of ''Ninja Gaiden 2'', the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] ''Ninja Gaiden'', ''Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom'' for the NES, and ''Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos'' for the NES (where Ryu loses the Dragon Sword at the end, establishing ''III'' as a prequel). It is unknown where the original arcade game fits in the canon (if it does) or the Sega games for that matter.
* The ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfMana Seiken Densetsu]]'' timeline seems to be, from earliest to latest: ''VideoGame/DawnOfMana'' > ''VideoGame/ChildrenOfMana'' > ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMana'' > ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'' > ''VideoGame/SwordOfMana[=/=]VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'' > ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' > ''VideoGame/LegendOfMana''. ''Friends of Mana'' takes place in Mi'Diel instead of Fa'Diehl, so it might not fit in the timeline anywhere...
* The final level of ''VideoGame/{{Braid}}'' (being the first chronologically) progresses from future to present, and then you rewind time and it flows forward. The game hinges on manipulating time in various ways.
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' episode "The Tomb of Sammun-Mak" takes place in a (centuries-old) film the characters are watching, with 4 reels. You start out in Reel 3, and have to constantly take information from each reel to solve puzzles in earlier reels. A walkthrough puts the optimum timeline at [[spoiler:3, 1, 3, 2, 3, 1, 4]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' games do this in a very interesting way, across two games, no less. ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', a fully fledged game built around the flashbacks of the main character(so already in anachronic order) turns out to be the [[spoiler:ending of the third level of ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'', the fourth installment of the series.]]
%%* The trailer for ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'' does this.
* The first 3 games in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series are in chronological order. Then we got [[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 an interquel]] (that starts near the end of [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI the first game]] and ends at the start of [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII the third]]) and [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep a prequel set 10 years before the series began]]. Things only became harder to keep track of after that. The order goes like this: ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' > ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts02BirthBySleepAFragmentaryPassage Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep]]''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Kingdom Hearts|I}}'' (''0.2'' picks off from the end of the Secret Episode in ''Birth by Sleep'' but also runs concurrently with ''KHI'') > ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2[=/=]VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' (which happen more or less simultaneously, ''Days'' beginning slightly before ''Chain of Memories'' does, and ending long after it) > ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' > ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'' (which leads into the epilogue of ''KHII'') > ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' > ''Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep'' (due to the FramingDevice of Mickey narrating the events of the story following ''3D'') > ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII''. ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX Kingdom Hearts χ]]'' serves as a ''very'' distant prequel, detailing the events leading up to the Keyblade War mentioned in ''Birth by Sleep''.
* It can happen unintentionally in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Quest lines force players to do them in order, but some quest lines are follow-ups to quest lines in lower level areas; due to the freedom in the game, there is nothing to stop players from doing the follow-up quest line first.
** Why is John J. Keeshan impressed that you're still alive in the Burning Steppes? You obviously skipped the Redridge Mountains.
** Why is the Lich King suddenly interested in turning you to the Scourge in Zul'Drak? You would've known if you did Grizzly Hills.
** It's made worse with ''Cataclysm'', as most of Azeroth was updated in the world-changing event, but Outland and Northrend are time-locked to ''The Burning Crusade'' and ''Lich King'' events; so new players start in a world ravaged by Deathwing, and go back in time when visiting Outland or Northrend. And draenei and blood elves, despite the updates to their starting monologues, start at the beginning of the Burning Crusade story -- then emigrate to post-Cataclysm Azeroth before returning to the conflicts in Outlands and Northrend later on. [[MindScrew It could be said that players visiting the Exodar and Silvermoon City are also time travelling]]. Better not to think about it too much. This lampshaded in ''Warlords of Draenor'' -- Outland is now only accessible by traveling into the past.
** Death Knights get the most confusing treatment. Their starting area takes place just before the events of ''Lich King'', then they leave to gain allegiance to their respective faction, emerging into a post-''Cataclysm'' Azeroth (the allegiance quest still acts as if ''Lich King'' is just starting up) then they go to Outland (which takes place BEFORE their starting area), then to Northrend for the ''Lich King'' story, and that's where it starts to make sense.
*** Death Knights and their starting experience are bound to get a bit more confusing once ''Warlords of Draenor'' is released later in 2014. While the Alliance DK experience is mostly unchanged it seems like the Horde are going to get hit with this hard. As noted above the events of the starting area are suppose to be just prior to the start of the Northrend war in ''[=WotLK=]''. At the end of the intro Horde players must report to the Warchief. Originally it would have been Thrall. Post-''Cataclysm'' it's Garrosh, post-''Pandaria'' it's Vol'jin. In all three cases the timeline for a DK is pre-''Wrath'' > ''Burning Crusade'' > ''Wrath''. This doesn't include the brief stops in what's supposed to be post-''Cata'' (and soon to be post-''Pandaria'') Azeroth prior to the events of ''Burning Crusade'' (which is suppose to be BEFORE ''Wrath/Cata''). Just try not to think about it too much.
* ''VideoGame/{{Calling}}'' is played this way. Shin dies in the first chapter and then Rin meets him in the next one.
* The first ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' works on the principle of [[TwoLinesNoWaiting "many stories happening at once" principle]]. The game starts with Sonic as the playable character, then as other characters are met, their story lines can be played out, some of which start before the start of Sonic's. To add to the MindScrew, some battles are fought in the same location but use a different character, including one situation where you were beaten (possibly) twice before! Oh, and character upgrades earned for a character show on the model after they had been earned, which may or may not fit the chronological order.
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' has shades of this. The two concurrent plots (Knuckles could be considered a third) have overlaps but don't begin simultaneously -- for starters, the opening of the Hero Story is set after the fourth mission on the Dark Story.
*** Though this does actually result in at least one case of something being out of order. In both the Hero and Dark Stories, Knuckles and Rouge's confrontation over the Master Emerald which ends up with Knuckles shattering it to keep it away from Eggman occurs immediately before Stage 2 -- yet, as mentioned above, Sonic's first meeting with Shadow happens right after Stage 1 of the Hero Story (there's a boss fight in between Stages 1 and 2 which separate these two events), while in the Dark Story the same cutscene occurs after Stage 4. Beyond that, the overlaps all occur in chronological order, though there's definitely some skipping involved -- the boss fight right after Dark Stage 9 mirrors the one following Hero Stage 4, but then Dark Stage 10 itself is pretty much happening simultaneously to Hero Stage 9.
** ''VideoGame/SonicBattle'' does this as well. Although Rouge's story is chronologically first, it's the third one played.
** Sonic games tend to come out in chronological order, but there are notable exceptions:
*** As a result of delays, ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' (1993) came out between ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Sonic 2]]'' (1992) and ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic 3]]'' (1994), but it takes place either before ''Sonic 2'' or after ''Sonic & Knuckles'' (1994).
*** ''VideoGame/TailsAdventure'' (1995): While rarely considered canon, it was clearly meant to be a prequel to ''Sonic 2'' (1992).
*** ''VideoGame/SonicBattle'' was released concurrently with ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' (2004), but can only possibly take place after ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' (2005).
*** By extension Sonic Advance 3 (2004), which is a sequel of sorts to Sonic Battle, can only take place after Shadow the Hedgehog as well.
*** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4'': Its two parts came out in 2010 and 2012 respectively, but it takes place right after ''Sonic & Knuckles'' (1994).
* The ''VideoGame/QuestFantasy'' games jump all over the timeline. Hell, more of the games take place before the first one than otherwise.
* ''VideoGame/MonumentValley'' uses this. The original game ends with the main character finishing her quest to return all the [[MacGuffin Sacred Geometries]] she stole; the ''Forgotten Shores'' DLC, which came out after the original game did, is set during the quest. There's also the possibility that pretty much the entire game is this: the levels don't connect much. The last level of the original game clearly comes last chronologically, [[spoiler:and nothing involving Totem can take place during the period of time that he's dead,]] but other than that the levels can pretty much take place at any time relative to each other.
* ''VideoGame/HotlineMiami2WrongNumber'' jumps between 1985 (which explains Jacket and Beard's past in the military, fending off [[AlternateHistory the Soviet invasion of Hawaii]]), 1989 (events happening around the same time as and clearing up the first game), and 1991 (looking at the results of Jacket's one-man decimation of TheMafiya and the events leading to [[spoiler:full-scale nuclear war between the Soviets and Americans]]).
* The order for the ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' tetraology is ''2'' and ''4'' simultaneously, ''1'', ''3''. Finding out the second game came first was a WhamEpisode as it didn't even ''hint'' at it until the fifth night where the check Jeremy Fitzgerald received [[spoiler:listed the date as November 12, 1987]] and sixth night [[spoiler:which confirms the murders happened earlier that week, and the infamous Bite of '87 was happening the next day]]. The fourth game, to be fair, had long been hinted to have something to do with the Bite of '87 but it's only confirmed at the end [[spoiler:that the protagonist is the victim who was bitten, unless you subscribe to the [[EpilepticTrees slightly out-there theory]] that the protagonist of the main game is in fact his brother]]. Even then there's some debate: there's evidence to suggest ''4'' is actually even earlier than ''2'', and the previously-mentioned theory would place ''4'' just after ''2''.
* ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheUnwoundFuture'', the third game in the Franchise/ProfessorLayton series, concludes Layton's and Luke's personal stories, meaning every game made after that about them have to be set earlier than ''Unwound Future''. Most notably, the end of [[spoiler:''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheAzranLegacy'']], the [[spoiler:6th]] game released chronologically, leads directly to ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage'', the 1st game released chronologically.
* As of the eighth ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' game, the order in which the events of the games occurred is: Origin (0), I, II, Memories of Celceta (IV), Oath in Felghana (III), Kingdom of Sand (V), Lacrimosa of Dana (VIII), Ark of Napishtim (VI), Seven (VII).
* ''{{VideoGame/PAYDAY 2}}'': The Reservoir Dogs Heist is played in reverse order (which is mirroring [[Film/ReservoirDogs the movie it's based on]]), meaning you play the second day of the heist first, and then you play the first day. That second day has Locke guiding the gang instead of Bain, who not that long ago appeared to have been double-crossing the Payday Gang, and the reasons why are not fully explained until the very end of the first day.
* The chronological order of the ''Divinity'' games in absolutely no way matches the order of their release. The first game, ''VideoGame/DivineDivinity'' was released in 2002, but it takes place somewhere in the middle of the timeline. ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'' (2013) happens an untold number of millennia before it, and ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSin'' (2014) takes place about 1200 years before the events of ''Divine Divinity''. Then ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSinII'' (2017) happens, it's followed by ''VideoGame/BeyondDivinity'' (2004), which in turn leads to ''[[VideoGame/DivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga Divinity II]]'' (2009).

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The first week of ''VisualNovel/CrossChannel'' plays a trick on the reader. In order to give the illusion that everything is normal, it mixes up backstory between scenes happening in the present. For example, Taichi greeting Tomoki at the door wearing a kimono with an internal monologue that despite what he tells Tomoki, it's only the second time he's worn it. The next scene has a scene with his neighbor Yuusa while Taichi is apparently still wearing the kimono, but that was actually the ''first'' time he wore it. This is only in the first week, however. After, these flashbacks always have different lighting and coloring. The also show more detail [[spoiler:such as how Taichi accidentally ruins every one of these relationships.]]
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'':
** The series is in chronological order until the second case of the second game, ''Justice for All'', which is set a few months before the first case of that game. The series takes anachronology a step further in the third game, ''Trials and Tribulations'': the first and fourth cases are set five and six years before the second, respectively.
** ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' goes completely crazy with the concept. [[spoiler:After the first day of trials in the fourth case of the game, you are taken seven years back to the trial that got Phoenix disbarred. Then, you play a game in which you investigate witnesses and locations from both seven years ago and the present day from Phoenix's point of view, requiring you to jump back and forth between both time periods several times.]]
** ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'' has, so far, the biggest anachronic order yet. The chronological order of cases is [[spoiler:4th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 5th. Admittedly, the 4th case is a flashback case that takes place years ago, but it gets weird with the others; at the end of case 3, for instance, both the murderer and the victim of case 1 show up.]]
** The third case of ''Ace Attorney Investigations 2'', The Inherited Turnabout, has you jumping between playing as [[spoiler:Gregory Edgeworth]] in 2000 and playing as Miles Edgeworth in 2019. You'll be making an eighteen year time jump now and then.
** ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' takes it even further by having [[spoiler: one case take place ''in the middle of another''.]] ItMakesSenseInContext. The actual order of the cases is [[spoiler: 2, DLC Case, 3, First part of 4, 1, Second part of 4, 5.]]
** Because of how prevalent it is throughout the series, it's worth noting that ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice'' marks the first time since the very first game that this trope is completely averted, with even the DLC case taking place after the events of the main game.
* ''VisualNovel/ZeroEscape'':
** The true ending of ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' loves this as [[spoiler:the entire story is simultaneously taking place both in the present and 9 years ago. In fact, everything that happens on the bottom screen is in the past, including the narration of the present day events. To add to the MindScrew, the events of the present are only possible because they were perceived in the past, [[GainaxEnding which in turn is only possible because of how the past is perceived by the central character in the present]]]].
** ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' also makes use of this. Not only does it take place before the [[VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward second game]] chronologically [[spoiler:(though thanks to time travel some of the characters experienced the second game "first")]], but the game is also divided into 90-minute fragments, which aren't always shown in chronological order either. You only learn each fragment's place on the overall timeline after the fragment has played out.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/PorkchopNFlatscreen'' has Episodes 3 and 4 set between Episodes 1 and 2. This mainly serves to show the origins of Bobby's crush on Mina Kim.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* PlayedForLaughs in [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/2675/ this]]'' Webcomic/{{Cyanide And Happiness}}'' strip.
* Chapter 15 of ''Webcomic/{{Evil Plan}}'' switches between two modern day timelines and a childhood one.
* ''Webcomic/GuildedAge'': Each of the first six chapters is divided in two parts: The first one follows the party in one of their many adventures, the other one forms a regular story arc showing the party's meeting and eventual banding together.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', Chapter 11, [[Recap/GunnerkriggCourtChapter11DobranocGamma "Dobranoc, Gamma"]] begins near the chronological end. [[HowWeGotHere The scenes leading up to that point]] are interspersed with {{Flash Back}}s to Zimmy and Gamma before the start of the story. Fortunately, there are narration boxes to help the reader figure out the chronological order of events.
* ''Webcomic/{{Harbourmaster}}'' jumps back and forth in time to tell stories about the various members of the ensemble cast.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' is made of this stuff. Flashbacks, flashforwards, flashforwards inside flashbacks, different timelines, timeline-jumping shenanigans that are [[MindScrew Mind Screws]] when seen from either perspective, [[OverlyLongGag timeline-jumping shenanigans containing flashforwards containing cuts to different timelines...]]
** The main characters are introduced out of order, going backward in time for each character after Rose, and the perspectives jump around every few pages to progress each character and give the readers information. For example, time was skipped chronologically [[spoiler:to Act 1 when John opens Dave's present and reads the letter, which makes him reconsider following gC's commands]].
** The trolls [[spoiler:have their Pesterchum chats with the main characters in a different order chronologically. This confuses both parties at times and creates miniature time loops.]]
*** The troll intermission especially -- Hussie was frequently skipping over large tracts of time just to speed things along, but just as frequently revisiting things that happened during those time periods -- such that we're still experiencing parts of the troll's adventures.
** The MC Intermission is full of these because of the fact that each of the Felt can use a different time-based power.
** Dream bubbles complicate things even further. Long story short, anyone who is dead (or just has a dead dreamself) can enter one, including people from alternate timelines or universes. They also seem to have no regard for ''when'' the people come from, allowing characters travelling through space in a meteor at one point in time, people living on earth at another point in time, and a couple of ghosts who came into existence either millennia ago or just a few hours ago all to exist within the same dreambubble at the same time and interact.
* ''Webcomic/JustAnotherEscape'', Almost the basis of the comic, to the point of the past, present and future being colored and drawn in different ways to better differentiate them. All of the story arcs are events shown in a non-chronological order, over what seems to be a (mostly) 3 year span.
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces'' has A few climactic fight sequences (Mega Man Vs. Dr. Wily, Mega Man Vs. Spike Man, [[spoiler: Atlas VS. Crash Man]]) that are skipped over to be recapped later.
* ''Webcomic/OHumanStar'' starts with Al's death, jumps forward 16 years, and then goes back and forth between the present day and flashbacks to when Al and Brendan first met.
* As mentioned in the quote above, [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the {{Troperiffic}} ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin and aptly titled]]) ''Recap/StartOfDarkness'' prequel book for ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. The scene in question is part of [[GrumpyOldMan Eugene Greenhilt's]] complicated explanation of his BloodOath against [[BigBad Xykon]] to his son, [[TheHero Roy]].
* ''Webcomic/SweetBroAndHellaJeff''[='s=] first and second pages are reversed, because the memetic "I warned you about stairs" makes for a better first impression than the "IBangedYourMom" one.
* ''Webcomic/WeAreTheWyrecats'' slips between the past and present nearly every chapter.
* The first chapter of ''Webcomic/UndyingHappiness'' details how Naomi and Keisuke met (and how Naomi discovered his HealingFactor powers). The second chapter takes place thirteen years after the first, and later chapters jump back and forth through time to show how Keisuke and Naomi's relationship developed.
* ''Webcomic/YumeHime''. The first storyline starts in 2010, with a second beginning in 2002.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/SailorNothing'' does this with chapters 8 and 9, both centering around the same event. Chapter 8 is a stream-of-consciousness recollection of the previous few days, while chapter 9 is a more organized series of flashbacks with a FramingDevice set after-the-fact.
* Due to the format of the RP (and LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters) ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' fits this trope. There are simply so many individuals and intersecting storylines that the only logical way to follow it is to pick a single character and read every thread they feature in. Then go back and pick another character, and so on and so forth...
* The ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' featured the stories of [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters hundreds of characters]], set from about 1922 to the present day, all being told simultaneously. Without a scorecard it was impossible to tell what order in which to read the stories. On top of it, there was the Legacy Campaign (about the sidekicks and children of heroes who were active in the 1960s and 1970s), where the action bounced between the 60s/70s and modern day without warning.
* Similar to above examples, ''Script/AHDotComTheSeries'' premiered with its cast of LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters with no explanation or backstory for how the eclectic crew had come together aboard the ship. Starting from the end of Season 1, occasional episodes go on to tell the cast's origin stories in flashback -- particularly anachronic because sometimes episodes about crewmen who joined chronologically later on are premiered before those about those who joined earlier.
* Since the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' is written by over a dozen different authors, it's not really surprising the stories aren't all in chronological order.
* ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' uses this (via ScrapbookStory) to ''terrifying'' effect. The first season is split between the events surrounding the original student film (which are themselves out of order) and the way these events begin to creep into Jay's life in the present. Season two is split between the present and the events of the seven month real-time gap between seasons, [[spoiler: with at least one jump back to the student film]].
* ''WebVideo/OneHundredYardStare'' appears to use this due to the short clips it appears as though some of the events in the series are given out of order
* ''Literature/FineStructure'' jumps back and forth by entire eras from time to time.
* ''WebVideo/MindMyGap'' has two stories working in tandem with each other. "The Open Horizon" set in the past and "Diddybob's Travels" in the present". You need to switch constantly between the two to get a coherent idea of events and even then there's so much overlap and time jump around that it's difficult to determine what happened when and with who and at the same time as which. For a series with a clearly numbered chapter list, it certainly is difficult to order its events.
* ''WebOriginal/VoxAndKingBeau'' switches back and forth between Vox relating current present-day updates, giving background on her and Beau's relationship when she was a child, and re-telling the stories that Beau told her about himself that happened long before any of that.
* ''WebVideo/HPlus'' jumps back and forth anywhere from seven years before to four years after the virus, using the back and forth to build on the main mystery of the series.
* Blog/TheComicsCurmudgeon has [[WildMassGuessing proposed this]] as an explanation [[http://joshreads.com/?p=12352 for minor inconsistencies]] in the storyline of ''ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible''. By this interpretation, it's not really a RunningGag that Hagar and Lucky Eddie keep ending up stranded on a DesertIsland -- we're just seeing different snippets of a single desert island incident, spaced out along with snippets of the bungled-castle-raid incident, the coming-home-drunk incident, etc.
* The ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'' film their playthroughs in one long sitting, and the footage is cut up into bits and uploaded onto Website/YouTube, and thus there are minor inconsistencies (usually when Jon suggests they play a game of which footage has already been uploaded).
* In ''Podcast/AliceIsntDead,'' the {{Narrator}}'s audio diary entries appear disorganized and recorded over in places, with each switch signaled by the static of her CB radio. This results in MoodWhiplash when the recording abruptly shifts from her fearful recounting of terrible events to pleasant, philosophical musings on the scenery, then back again.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. Both the airdate order and production order have the episodes in an anachronistic order. Even worse, two-parters are separated by various episodes in between in both cases. Not even the [=DVDs=] offer a "proper" order, though they at least put two-parters together.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeatBugs'' has "Hey Bulldog", in which the characters meet Bulldog, as one of the last installments. Earlier episodes, however, already show Bulldog as an established character, one that the Beat Bugs have met and can even directly talk to using a device that Crick invented. "Hey Bulldog" also shows the invention of this device, the crickterpreter.
* Though most of the show is episodic in nature, ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' had many episodes early on that featured characters such as Morganna, Liquidator, Neptunia and and so forth before any introduction episodes were given to those characters. To feature a character before introducing them isn't inherently anachronic order, but virtually all of those characters were given introduction episodes later. Morganna, in particular, had several episodes devoted to how her character began as a villain, then gradually became a hero, which confused some viewers, who'd seen the hero version of her first. This perplexing broadcast and production order also carried over to the show's DVD release. This is due to the show's dual weekly/syndication nature, with the weekly episodes later folded into syndication schedules.
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'':
** The second season was the longest one of the series, and with the MythArc concluded half-way the remaining episodes were either {{filler}} fluff or set in between episodes of the first season. In particular, one episode establishes a previously unknown confrontation in acquiring the Snake Talisman.
** Also, while the dialogue in the first season would naturally lead to the next episode chronologically, this trope ran wild in JCA's first season by having the episodes' '''production numbers''' out of order. ''The Dog And Piggy Show'' has Tohru mention that only two talismans, the Tiger and the Pig, are left undiscovered, and the plotline should lead into the two-part season finale, but the next episode in the production order, ''The Jade Monkey'', features the Monkey Talisman instead. THEN the season finale comes up.
* Watching ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' by episode order does show aspects of this but given the episodic nature of the series it has little to do with any overall plot. The most noticeable example being Shego and Drakken getting an introductory episode after their debut appearance though there are other examples like Ron becoming the team mascot and Kim learning to drive.
* The first ten episodes of the third season of ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' all took place either before or during the events of the second season finale, "Nature." Only at the tenth episode's conclusion we finally learn events post-"Nature". And even in those first ten episodes of the third season, events before "Nature" are still being shown out of chronological order; for instance, the third episode of the third season, "Innocence" follows Orel as he gathers friends to [[BloodBath provide blood for Orel to take a bath in]], the outcome of which was already seen in the season premiere episode "Grounded".
* Some ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episodes only make sense if they take place before later episodes[=/=]after earlier episodes. At least WordOfGod confirmed that the fall episode "Fall Weather Friends" takes place before the spring episode "Winter Wrap Up" despite the latter being broadcasted first. It doesn't get noticeable until later seasons, where [[SevenYearRule annual events happen again]], does this implication become more and more obvious. Given that a year passes between episode one and Twilight becoming an alicorn, season one episodes 'Winter Wrap Up', and 'The Best Night Ever' (which by AllThereInTheManual explanations takes place after Hearth's Warming Eve during spring) have to have occurred after much of the second and third season, most notably 'Hearth's Warming Eve' (naturally) and 'Luna Eclipsed'.
* WordOfGod says that ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' is this, and given its episodic format, they get away with it most of the time. However, with one exception ("The Baljeatles"), there is little evidence of it. Bearing this in mind, and with its ContinuityPorn nature, making a timeline for episodes is almost impossible.
** The episode "The Remains of the Platypus" is a more direct example: [[BackToFront it starts the episode near the end of the story, works its way backwards to the beginning]], then goes back to the end to wrap everything up.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': Though the show has multi-episode story arcs, stand-alone episodes and arcs as a whole are aired anachronistically. By making each episode mostly self-contained, you are able to discover additional elements that surround a story you had already seen. Even the official episode guides are chipping in, helping with the identification and leading to some AllThereInTheManual moments. For a full chronological listing of episodes, see [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsFullChronologicalOrder here]].
** Chronologically the story order surrounding the planet Christophis is [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E16CatAndMouse "Cat and Mouse"]], [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E16TheHiddenEnemy "The Hidden Enemy"]] and then TheMovie.
** The story around the planet Ryloth seems to go: [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E3SupplyLines "Supply Lines"]] (3:03), [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E1Ambush "Ambush"]] (1:1), and then the Ryloth Trilogy (1:19-21).
** [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E1CloneCadets "Clone Cadets"]] (3:1) takes place before [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E5Rookies "Rookies"]]. [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E2ARCTroopers "ARC Troopers"]] (3:2) then continues the story of a particular pair of clone troopers.
** [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E1HolocronHeist "Holocron Heist"]]/[[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E2CargoOfDoom "Cargo of Doom"]]/[[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E3ChildrenOfTheForce "Children of the Force"]] take place before [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E8EvilPlans "Evil Plans"]], [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E22HostageCrisis "Hostage Crisis"]] and [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E9HuntForZiro "Hunt for Ziro"]], which form their own arc in that order.
** [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E10HeroesOnBothSides "Heroes on Both Sides"]]/[[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E11PursuitOfPeace "Pursuit of Peace"]] (3.10-11) take place before [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E15SenateMurders "Senate Murders"]].
** The anachronic order is mainly in the first two-and-a-half seasons, with [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS3E12Nightsisters "Nightsisters"]] marking the beginning of chronological order, with one exception, described below.
** In season 5, the Onderon and Young Jedi arcs take place prior to events with Darth Maul which open the season, since Adi Gallia is around in the former and Hondo's base on Florrum is still intact (at least until the end of the latter). Averted on the Season 5 DVD/Blu-Ray release, where [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS5E1Revival "Revival"]] is in its correct chronological placement and grouped with the arc it was part of.
* The season 4 premiere for ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' does this. The episode covers a period of over 8 months with the various scenes shuffled completely out of order until the post-credits scene which is the final in both the episode and chronologically. There's a method to it. The scenes at the Venture compound are shown BackToFront, while scenes with Brock are shown in chronological order. The constant switching of scenes is what makes it confusing. The order is marked by the price of a comic book shown at the top of the screen at the beginning of each scene.
* ''WesternAnimation/PJMasks'': In Season 2, the episodes "PJ Robot/PJ Powerup" come after "Wacky Floats/Romeo's Disguise" by both production order and airdate, but chronologically the former 2 are set before the latter since they introduce the PJ Mask's new RobotBuddy and powers, which were already present in the latter 2.