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Sometimes, a writer inadvertently creates an AlternateHistory, which causes problems when referencing later events. The reason? Real life has simply progressed beyond the fictional events, meaning that the work suddenly becomes inaccurate. Adventure thrillers are especially vulnerable to this, as they are often written TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture. Sometimes, the writer will refer to later events such as 9/11, InSpiteOfANail. In other cases, what was a series of adventure novels experiences a GenreShift and becomes some kind of science-fiction or true Alternate History.

Anything that doesn't have TheInternet is prone to this, which is everything written before the mid-90s but set after. Anything vaguely similar to the 'net as we know it, tends to be limited to looking up a remote, probably centralized, database. The idea of it being a many-to-many medium doesn't seem to have occurred to many people until it actually happened.[[note]]This is mostly due to the fact that the Internet as it is today evolved, rather than being specifically developed: the ''designers'' of [=ARPAnet=] had no idea what it would become until it actually did.[[/note]] For examples of fictional not-quite-Internets, see TheAlternet.

The science-fiction version is a special case, where dates or [[ScienceMarchesOn rates of technological advance]] become invalidated by the march of time. {{Zeerust}} is an aesthetic version, where "futuristic" designs wind up dated.

The title comes from a famous newspaper headline. The Chicago Tribune printed the predicted winner of the 1948 presidential election on its front page. [[AssumedWin By morning, the headline was proven wrong]]. The example became especially infamous as a photo of the victorious UsefulNotes/HarryTruman holding up the paper in triumph became an iconic image. Ironically, this example is a downplay of the trope. The initial run of newspapers that made the claim was immediately intercepted and destroyed, but not before one of Truman's cronies got a hold of one, providing for the famous photo op. The fact that the Tribune was an arch-Republican paper hostile to Truman didn't help any matters.

See TheGreatPoliticsMessUp for a particularly frequently encountered example.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/MartianManhunter was originally from a thriving and prosperous Mars. After space probes found Mars to be barren, a RetCon was introduced to explain what had happened to J'onn's people.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' is loaded with this.
** ''[[Film/BackToTheFuturePartII Part II]]'''s version of 2015 predicted flat screen [=TVs=], hundreds of channels, and the increase in popularity and decrease in cost of plastic surgery, and TheEighties nostalgia among a few other things. Also, paper newspapers look like they're still around too, if only just. On the other hand, [[IWantMyJetpack flying fusion-powered cars, hoverboards, realistic holographic displays, and dust-repellent paper]] are either impossible or ''very'' uncommon. And it doesn't cost [[RidiculousFutureInflation $50 for a Pepsi]]. Lawyers got to keep their jobs, too.
** Also, a Cubs-Miami World Series in 2015 became impossible as long as both franchises remained in the National League. Of course, the fact these teams had the two worst records in the NL in 2013 would've made a World Series by either squad unlikely, anyway. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome (Although the Cubs did come closer than anybody thought they would]], defeating [[TheRival the St. Louis Cardinals]] to win the 2015 NLDS, only to lose to the hated Mets). Good job predicting there'd ''be'' a Miami team though (the Florida Marlins were formed in 1993 and became the Miami Marlins in 2012), even if they got the name wrong (the Cubs World Series happened in 2016, with them winning and ending the century-drought that was still very much in effect during the ''Back to the Future'' trilogy).
** In one that crosses with FunnyAneurysmMoment, "Queen Diana visits Washington". Not only did Princess Diana leave the royal family through a divorce and then die tragically long before, but UsefulNotes/HMTheQueen is still alive, well, and reigning in 2015.
** They made a close call by predicting the United States would have a female President. The Democrats could have chosen Hillary Clinton as their Presidential candidate but instead chose UsefulNotes/BarackObama.
** One of the more amusing mispredictions: The continued existence of Pontiac. Why they even decided that a Toyota dealership would switch to selling American cars in the first place is a mystery, especially since '80s futurism was heavily inspired by a JapanTakesOverTheWorld mentality; which will not likely happen after Japan's bubble economy burst during TheNineties.
** Another amusing misprediction is the existence of ''Jaws 19''. The ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' franchise ended after the [[Film/JawsTheRevenge fourth movie]] (this one may be intentionally mispredicted, seeing as how the ''Jaws 19'' poster with the "This time it's '''REALLY''' personal" tag was a TakeThat to ''Jaws: The Revenge'' after that film was ripped apart by critics and audiences and became an instant OldShame to Universal and its crew).
** The films predicted some form of sensor technology for video games (as suggested by Elijah Wood's comment remarking on the Nintendo Zapper being "like a babies toy" for using his hands). The prediction rang false however, as while such technology does exist (Xbox Kinect), it has a slim following among the industry at large at best and ridiculed at worst, resulting in people still using their hands.
* ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve'' intended to predicted TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt without success... Although one could make the case that it was just Creator/RolandEmmerich making use of the silly "Mayan prophecy" mumbo-jumbo [[RuleOfCool for the purpose of fitting as many natural disasters as he could in a single film]].
* ''Film/SplitSecond'': This dystopian sci-fi action movie predicted that London would become partially flooded by 2008 as a result of GlobalWarming, giving the monster in the film a place to hide in the mass of abandoned buildings and subway stations. Suffice it to say, this prediction was a bit off.
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'': An especially weird case. Released in 1993 (so not long after the L.A. riots, which undoubtedly informed a lot of its themes), it predicted that Los Angeles would turn into a criminal-run hellhole by 1996, so [[TakeThat it got that much right]], and California ''does'' have a reputation for being a bit of a nanny state, but turning convicts into [[HumanPopsicle human popsicles]] and subliminally programming their rehabilitation? We're still waiting on that one.
* The original ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' pentalogy eventually fell victim to this. [[Film/PlanetOfTheApes1968 The original film]] was released in 1968 and focused on a space crew that set out for an interstellar mission in the far-off year 1972. [[Film/EscapeFromThePlanetOfTheApes The third movie]], released three years later, had two talking apes arrive from the future one year after the mission from the original, which was two years away at the time. By the time the [[Film/ConquestOfThePlanetOfTheApes fourth movie]] was released, it was the same year interstellar travel was supposed to be possible according to the original, and when the [[Film/BattleForThePlanetOfTheApes fifth movie]] was released another year later, there were no talking apes from the future, obviously.

* Deliberately spoofed in ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'', which is apparently set in some kind of AlternateHistory where, among other things, Dewey Defeats Truman, and in the follow-up volume, ''Literature/ThatIsAll'', we learn that Hitler drowned while on vacation during the 1930s. Roosevelt was right there and he ''allowed it to happen''.
* Creator/TomClancy's ''Literature/JackRyan'' series gradually developed from a series of "Well, it ''could'' have happened in real life" techno-thrillers into a full-blown Alternate History.
* ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies'' features a nuclear war breaking out sometime in the late 1950s, making it this trope if you block out all the heavy-handed symbolism.
* ''Literature/SometimeNeverAFableForSupermen'' has a nuclear war where there shouldn't have been, though Creator/RoaldDahl is just looking for a convenient time to kill humanity.
* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''. All of the ''Space Odyssey'' series have already been invalidated this way, one way or another. For example, the first three books all feature a still-existing USSR; the backstory of 2061 involves a revolution in UsefulNotes/SouthAfrica in the 2030s which overthrows the apartheid regime; then of course there's the invention of HAL. Creator/ArthurCClarke went on record to state that the 'sequels' were actually stories taking place in [[AlternateUniverse alternate universes]] when current events surpassed his stories.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's novels have RidiculouslyHumanRobots, but no personal computers and (in most novels) even no television. His short story ''History'', published in 1941, mentions that Hitler died on Madagaskar.
* ''Literature/RobotsAndEmpire'' claims nuclear fission power fell into disuse following the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. Chernobyl is conspicuously not mentioned, despite having been far worse, since it occurred shortly after the book was published.
* Averted in a Creator/MarkTwain [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18846_6-eerily-specific-inventions-predicted-in-science-fiction.html short story.]]
* Creator/LarryNiven's Literature/KnownSpace has humanity midway through colonizing the solar system and beginning to get slowboats to nearby habitable systems ready by this point in its history, as well as widespread death penalties to force organ donation.
* ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' predicts a decidedly dystopian '84 that did not come to pass. Not that we wanted it to anyway. Although it did predict iPods and flatscreen [=TVs=]. And the NSA's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A warrant-less surveillance of everything on the internet]]. Of course, it wasn't specifically said that the book takes place in 1984 (Winston explicitly says he's ''not sure'' what year it ''really'' is) -- Orwell simply flipped the last two digits of the year it was published (1948). The book was originally going to be called "The Last Man in Britain"; a trace of this remains when O'Brien tells Winston that "if you are a man, then you are the last man". And given Big Brother's ability to lie about ''everything'' to the point of altering the definition of "truth," [[FridgeBrilliance there's no way for anyone in-story to be sure what year it is, either.]]
* ''Literature/DreamPark'' by Niven & Barnes has California decimated by an earthquake and associated tsunami in 1985. The second sequel bumped this to 1995, after which the authors threw up their hands and let it stand as an alternate-history Verse.
* Creator/RobertHeinlein is often credited with inventing the idea of an author linking his works into a single timeline and coining the term "future history." Nonetheless, he eventually had to declare his Future History to be an alternate universe (and he then introduced inter-universal travel so those characters could visit worlds more like our own).
* Averted in Creator/GKChesterton's ''Literature/TheNapoleonOfNottingHill.'' After an introduction in which he pokes fun at authors and pundits who make authoritative-sounding predictions about the future only to ''inevitably'' run afoul of this trope, he announces that he is setting his story the better part of a century in the future, and that apart from [[OneBigLie one major, and deliberately silly, change to the operation of the British government,]] he is assuming that the future will be exactly like the present. The marvelous thing is that, a hundred years later, his book actually ''does'' stand up to this trope ''far'' better than most of his contemporaries. Make of that what you will.
* ''Literature/TheManWhoBroughtTheDodgersBackToBrooklyn'' was written in 1981, but largely takes place in 1985-88. A few of the changes are necessary for the story to work; for instance, the LA Dodgers' mid-Eighties stats ended up being pretty good in RealLife, but had to be abysmal in the book to help the characters buy out the team.
** A minor aversion occurs with the 1988 World Series; the Dodgers make it to the Series in the book, just like they made it to the actual '88 Series.
** Played straight with the book's central premise, though. As of 2014, the Dodgers are still in Los Angeles.
* ''The Literature/ChaletSchool in Exile'' (1940) has the Chalet School relocate from Austria to Guernsey to escape the Nazis. Shortly after it was published, the Nazis invaded Guernsey. ''The Chalet School Goes to It'' (1941) establishes that they almost immediately ''re''-relocate to Wales.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour''. Season 1 was written and filmed pre-9/11 but was set in 2004. By the second season, 9/11 had happened, and the Department of Homeland Security suddenly existed when it hadn't before.
* ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'', like Arthur C. Clarke, was covered later by stating it had taken place in an AlternateUniverse.
* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' franchise initially had the Eugenics Wars occurring in the 1990s. There were a couple attempts to fix this one. ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'''s [[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS05E16DrBashirIPresume "Dr. Bashir, I Presume"]] claims that it actually happened later sometime, while a series of books suggests that they were "secret wars" where the actual historical events were being manipulated from behind the scenes. One series of comics just says "screw it, we're going all in" and has Khan ''destroying Washington D.C. and Moscow'' in 1992.
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' spoofed the famous ''Dewey Defeats Truman'' moment when Jenny won the race for Class President against [[AlphaBitch the popular cheerleader, Libby]].
* In the LiveEpisode of ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'', the dad (John) insists that the family eat out to celebrate the son's (Ivan) victory at the Anytown little league tournament, which was to happen the next day. When Ivan corrects John, the latter states that "tomorrow, Anytown will beat Rivaltown just like we've done for the past 30 years. Don't you read the papers?" He then whips out a newspaper where the top headline is "Anytown Defeats Rivaltown". Ivan goes, "Hey, why did they print that already?!?" to which John replies that they'll have something to shred for the ticket day parade. Bonus points for the newspaper having the trope name as the second headline.
* With frightening accuracy, ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' averted this. In their "News Of The Future" segment they mentioned that in 1988, twenty years from the time the episode was telecast, Ronald Reagan would be the U.S. President and the Berlin Wall would come down. (Okay, the Berlin Wall came down in November of 1989, but still close enough for jazz.)

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' predicted a civil war in Russia by 2011 which obviously did not come to pass.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' predicted that David Petraeus would be Secretary of Defense in 2025. Given the fact that Petraeus was caught up in [[YourCheatingHeart an extramarital affair]] in late 2012 and ended up resigning as Director of the CIA just three days before the game came out, that seems really unlikely.
* The original ''VideoGame/GhostRecon'' predicted an ultranationalist party gaining power in Russia and launching an invasion of the Republic of Georgia to annex it in 2008, which quickly escalates into essentially WorldWarIII as NATO intervenes in their subsequent attempts to do the same to other former Soviet satellites like Lithuania; while Georgia and Russia did get into a war in 2008, it did not escalate into the larger conflict that is the focus of the game. Its expansions likewise predicted the death of UsefulNotes/FidelCastro in 2006 and a second Eritrean/Ethiopean War in 2009. While the first has since come to pass (ten years late) there has still been no new war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
** ''{{VideoGame/Endwar}}'' has '''another''' World War Three, kicked off by a preceding [[NukeEm nuclear]] war in the Middle East in 2014.
* The background history of the ''VideoGame/StarControl'' franchise has the ''Small War of 2015'', in which a small nuclear exchange took place between Middle East countries [[CaptainObvious that year]], killing several million people. That never happened in the real world.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Website/{{Fenspace}} has made it an official editorial policy that no real-world elected officials from after 2006 will appear to avoid bringing partisan political squabbles into the process of creating a shared universe. One story does mention Edward Snowden in passing though, and establishes that he did basically the same thing as in RealLife except for seeking asylum in near-Earth orbit instead of Russia.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Zig-zag on ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'': When Freakazoid goes back in time and averts World War II, he returns to the present and sees things have changed: Creator/SharonStone can act, Rush Limbaugh is a bleeding-heart liberal, and thumbing through a newspaper: "Cold fusion works... Euro Disney packed... No more Creator/ChevyChase movies!"
* The original last few episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s season 20 StoryArc described Hillary Clinton defeating Mr. Garrison in the presidential election, an obvious parellel to her expected win over Donald Trump. When Trump won, the 7th episode had to be entirely rewritten between the time it was announced (1 AM of the day after the election took place) and the premier of the episode that same day specifically to avert this.