An event taking place in the present triggers a {{Flashback}} of a very similar event that happened in the past. Resembles an IronicEcho or MeaningfulEcho except that the viewer often sees the current event first and the meaningful or ironic past event is only shown through the flashback.

Common types of Flashback Echoes include:

* '''Type 1.''' If a character sees a large fire and starts having a FreakOut because it triggers a traumatic flashback of when they were a kid and almost got trapped and killed in a fire. Flashbacks of forgotten or repressed traumas may be incomplete, mysterious and foreboding.
* '''Type 2.''' As above, but with nostalgic or otherwise meaningful events.
* '''Type 3.''' A person reminds someone of a different person they used to know, and they flashback to memories of that person, sometimes represented by visually superimposing the old person's image over the new person's.
* '''Type 4.''' A flashback to ThatOneCase or an event that was [[MyGreatestFailure someone's Greatest Failure]] brought on by a similar event, may lead to MyGreatestSecondChance.
* '''Type 5.''' Any flashback to an event because HistoryRepeats.

And so on.

Compare VisionsOfAnotherSelf, where the "Echo" part can be conveyed through a dream, an alternate reality side trip, a holodeck or other such literary device, usually in a way that teaches the character or the audience some lesson relevant to the present.

If you're thinking of the stereotypical echoey sound effect that often acompanies flashbacks, you should be looking at FlashbackBackBack.

Could be considered having some TruthInTelevision, because people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) have this type of flashback activated by a trigger. For instance, if a war veteran with PTSD heard gunfire, he could have a flashback to a traumatic event with the same weapon.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In the first chapter of ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'', Koro-sensei notices a fragment of charred, sizzling gunpowder from Nagisa's failed assassination attempt, triggering a cryptic Type 2 flashback involving what looks like the remains of a destroyed, burning laboratory, a woman with a bleeding stomach, and a tentacled, human-like figure cradling her in its arms. Type 1 and Type 4 occur when [[spoiler: the sight of Itona's tentacles]] sends Koro-sensei into a very brief but terrifying fit of anger. The scene then cuts to a quick flashback of [[spoiler: a hand turning into tentacles and impaling the woman in the gut]].
* During the Conviction arc of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', Guts has a combination of Type 1, Type 3 and Type 4 when [[spoiler:the horse that he kidnapped Farnese on gets possessed by one of the demons after him and tries to rape her]], reminding him strongly of [[spoiler:the rape of his lover Casca at Griffith-turned-Femto's hands during the Eclipse]]. This proceeds to [[BerserkButton set Guts off]] in a ''[[UnstoppableRage serious]]'' way, [[spoiler:[[OffWithHisHead with ugly results for the once-helpful steed]]]].
** During Guts and Casca's first time, Guts ends up having a Type 1 flashback to [[spoiler:his traumatic childhood rape at the hands of Donovan]], which almost leads to [[spoiler:Casca getting strangled to death]] before Guts comes back to his senses. The rest of the scene sees the two more than making up for this.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'': When trying to stop Lucy from fighting Nana at Maple House, Mayu pleads to Lucy "No more! Stop it!" Lucy has a flashback to the day she killed Kouta's father and sister, during which a young Kouta tearfully said the exact same thing to her, and has an attack that leads to Nyu [[SplitPersonalityTakeover resurfacing]].
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Winry gets a type 2 in episode 22: as she hears rumors of the Elrics fighting Scar, she suddenly flashes back to her parents' retreating backs [[spoiler:the last time she saw them alive]], which is then superimposed with an image of Ed and Al walking the same way.
** Also happens to Mustang in the manga: after Hawkeye drops the phone to engage in combat with Gluttony, a single panel shows [[spoiler:Hughes' dead body lying in a phone booth]], showing Mustang's fear of being unable to save someone again.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' had Rakan going into a (one panel) flashback to show how closely [[GenerationXerox Negi's group of friends paralleled his father's group]].
* Type 3 is repeatedly used in the Search for Tsunade arc of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', comparing the titular character to Tsunade's old flame and younger brother, both of whom Naruto echoed by saying that becoming Hokage was his dream. For bonus points the arc showed the old flame echoing the brother and the brother bore a great physical resemblance to Naruto to amplify the comparison.
* In ''Anime/RODTheTV'', the youngest of the Paper Sisters has a breakdown during a book-burning, since it gives her a very keen flashback to the incident that gave her a phobia against books in general -- being trapped in a burning library.
* ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'' has a Type 1. While Rei is treating Momo's arm for some bruises she received from falling down, he recalls the sight of the injuries and internal bleeding of the arm of his deceased sister's corpse and begins crying in response.
* During the first half of ''Anime/SpacePirateMito'', Aoi keeps having fractured flashbacks (maybe that should be a trope) from 11 years ago, when his mother took him into space and they were attacked by [[BigBad Ranban]]. The flashback is finally shown in full when he witnesses Mito and Ranban fighting in a similar fashion, and ends up subconsciously wounding Mito, due to not recognizing her true form all those years ago.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' combines this one with IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight. Yugi tries to get through to a possessed Jounouchi by giving him Yugi's Millennium Puzzle, and Marik immediately commands him to throw it into the sea to keep it away from Yugi. Jounouchi promptly flashes back to the beginning of his friendship with Yugi, when Yugi defended him from a bully even after Jounouchi stole a piece of the Puzzle and threw it in a pool. Even the possession can't get Jounouchi to do that again.
* When [[spoiler: Five successfully hacks into Nine's computer]] in ''Anime/TerrorInResonance'', Nine has a somewhat traumatic flashback of Five playing hide-and-seek with him in the institution. For a friendly game of hide-and-seek, Nine seems to be running away rather desperately, as if his life were in danger.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': During Episode 3, Homura arrives to help Mami defeat a Witch, resulting in Mami -- who had previously told her they'd fight if they ever met again -- tying Homura up with her ribbons. [[NotSoStoic Homura's reaction is the first time she ever shows emotion in the series]]. In Episode 10 we learn that Homura was tied up once before, [[spoiler:in an AlternateTimeline by Mami, who was about to pull off a [[MurderSuicide triple murder suicide]] after learning the AwfulTruth]].

[[folder: {{Comics}}]]
* Chapter Two of ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'' revolves around heroes (and Sophie) remembering the last time the Pantheon was truly heroic, involving a mission on the moon.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}} Confidential'' storyline "The First League", various events trigger Bruce Wayne having flashbacks to a meeting with a Chinese superhero group when he was travelling the world before taking the Batman identity. His first encounter with the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica leads to a LetsYouAndHimFight situation that exactly parallels a training exercise with the Chinese team.

[[folder: FanWorks]]
* In ''FanFic/{{Mutant}}'', this is combined with HappyFlashback to wrench all the pain she feels out for the reader.
* ''Fanfic/WaitingIsWorthIt'': Type 4. During Bakugo and Izuku's fight in the Tournament Arc, Bakugo accidentally hits Izuku in the head too hard. This leads to Izuku losing partial consciousness and briefly cancels out the gravity in the entire stadium. This reminds Bakugo of the first time he saw this - [[MyGreatestFailure when they were kids at the moment when Izuku's quirk first manifests and when he became disabled]] - and has a minor freakout, trying to comfort Izuku and get him to regain control. He then spends the awards ceremony chained to a post, not because he had an easy victory like in the source material, but because he feels like he needs to be there for Izuku.

[[folder: {{Film}}]]
* After Kal-El's ship lands in Smallville, ''Film/ManOfSteel'' skips ahead to an adult Clark, so these are used several times to show his growing years.
* The killings start in ''Film/{{Pieces}}'' when the killer witnesses a girl crashing through a mirror, as it reminds him of his mother breaking a mirror in the past before he killed her.
* ''Film/FatalInstinct'', in a parody of ''Film/SleepingWithTheEnemy''. Twice when Laura Lincolnberry sees some disarranged towels, she has a flashback to her [[DomesticAbuse abusive husband]] getting angry at her because of his obsessive need for everything to be perfectly arranged, including towels.
* Played Straight in ''Film/AFistfulOfDynamite''. John witnesses [[spoiler: Dr. Villega betraying the resistance and pointing out members for the firing squad. He instantly recalls a similar event involving his friend Sean Nolan betraying him in Dublin]].
* In ''Film/WeAreWhatWeAre'', Iris reads from the family diary (see also: PosthumousCharacter). Like Iris, the diary's author is the oldest daughter of the Parker family's pioneer ancestors. The girl's mother dies early on (similar to Mrs. Parker), and the father slowly loses his mind (similar to Mr. Parker gradually succumbing to Kuru). The father ultimately forces the eldest daughter to butcher her mother's body for food (similar to Mr. Parker forcing Iris to carry on the "family tradition" of cannibalism). The flashbacks are interspersed with present-day events: the pioneer family eating their "lost" uncle cuts to bacon frying in a present-day diner, and both fathers stumble around unsettlingly.

[[folder: {{Literature}}]]
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'', Dumbledore asks Harry, "Is there something you wish to tell me?" in such a way that it's suggested he knows whatever the "something" is and is trying to give Harry the opportunity to come clean himself. Later on he asks Tom Riddle the same thing in the diary flashback.
** Both Harry and Tom respond with the same "No, sir, nothing."
** [[Film/HarryPotter The film]] takes this further and makes the exchanges word-for-word identical:
--->'''Dumbledore''': Is there something you wish to tell me?\\
'''Harry/Riddle''': No, sir. Nothing.\\
'''Dumbledore''': Very well, then. Off you go.
* In ''Literature/HeartOfSteel'', Julia's blonde hair triggers the first of Alistair's flashbacks to another blonde woman he knew pre-amnesia. He doesn't realize they were separate women until much later.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Kallen Selios will occasionally flashback to her mana mutation and that of her sister when seeing someone else mutate. The new monster will inevitably attack her and thus forcing her to kill it.

[[folder: LiveActionTV]]
* In a season 4 episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', "Ground State", electro-girl Gwen Raiden electrocutes and kills Charles Gunn. She immediately flashes back to an event in her childhood in which she accidentally kills a boy she was making friends with. [[IncrediblyLamePun Shocked]] with herself, she revives Gunn within twenty seconds or so.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' flash-cuts back to the moment Harry found Dexter more than once - most notably, at the end of season four.
* Used often in ''Series/{{Homeland}}'' to contrast Brody's time in captivity against his life at home. Since he's a ShellShockedVeteran, everyday events can trigger some very dark memories.
* ''Series/ForeverKnight'' does this OnceAnEpisode (or more) with Nick flashing back to a situation earlier in his life which paralleled his current predicament.
* ''Series/GeneralHospital'': When he sees his then-lover Abby get nearly raped by her abusive ex Brandon, Michael has a Type 1 flashback to when he was [[PrisonRape raped in prison]] by an inmate and responds violently, nearly strangling Brandon to death until Jason shows up and pulls him off.
* ''[[Series/{{Highlander}} Highlander: The Series]]'' uses this every episode. Immortals have centuries of memories to draw upon, and will invariably flash back to an event similar to the present.
* ''Series/KungFu'' used it in almost every episode, with Caine remembering an incident or lesson from his time at the Shaolin temple.
** As did its successor series, ''Series/KungFuTheLegendContinues''.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' loves to do this. Nearly every episode of the first three seasons contains a flashback that usually has some relevance to what is currently going on in the episode, focusing on the central character for that episode.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' did this in the first episode where an odd looking knife sparks Gwen's memory and overrides the amnesia drug she was slipped earlier.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''. A female doctor is doing a pelvic exam on Echo, causing her to flashback to kissing [[spoiler:that same doctor when she was also one of the 'dolls']] for the [[GirlOnGirlIsHot amusement of a client]]. Echo is understandably startled by the flashback, as all memories of what the girls do as a doll are (supposed to be) wiped from their memory after every session.
* ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'': At the end of the two-part episode "Really Big Shrimp", Drake and Josh fight over a piece of shrimp. Then, rather than flashing to a previous episode, the scene fades to Creator/DrakeBell and Creator/JoshPeck's first appearance on ''Series/TheAmandaShow'', where they ''also'' fought over shrimp.
* In ''Series/StrangerThings'', Eleven and Hooper's [[TroubledBackstoryFlashback dark backstories]] are gradually revealed through flashbacks triggered by events similar to their traumatic experiences.

[[folder: Theatre]]
* The ''Theatre/{{Mrs Hawking}}'' play series: In part IV: ''Gilded Cages'', a combination of Type 3 and Type 4.
** Nathaniel's resemblance to his uncle the Colonel means the former often makes Mrs. Hawking think of the latter, who is dead in the present but features in the flashback.
** The failure of Mrs. Hawking's efforts in the past as detailed by the flashback is significant to how the case she's working on in the present time of part IV turns out.

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'', during the final phase of Chapter Smile, Garcian can stop by each floor of the Union Hotel and see bloodstains at the same places where [[spoiler:he, as Emir Parkeriner, killed (and assimilated as alternate personalities) the six people of the Smith Syndicate, who all happened to be staying there at the time]], bringing back painful memories.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', around 85% through the main storyline, after [[spoiler:Snake attempted to chase down the Peace Walker whilst riding the Boss's horse, said horse breaks it's back after being thrown off an extremely steep hill, Snake (i.e. The Player) is then forced to euthanize said horse, before (or after, depending on how long the player takes to pull the trigger) Snake has flashbacks to the climax of Operation: Snake Eater, in which he was forced to finish off the Boss, whom was helplessly suffering from wounds attained in her previous battle with Snake, with a single round from her Patriot]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' has Snake dream about his mission in Shadow Moses from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', which is not only playable, but the sequence also doubles as a NostalgiaLevel with gameplay elements and graphics directly used from the Playstation version!
* In ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'', Artyom has incidents of hearing voices and seeing things that are not actually there. At some point while walking through the ruins of the surface, he comes across an old and rusty playground where he experiences a freaky flashback echo. After a couple of seconds, the vision vanishes as quickly as it came and Artyom notices a Dark One who was stalking him for a while who was likely behind all that crazy stuff.
** He runs into several more of these in ''[[VideoGame/MetroLastLight Last Light]]'', but without the presence of the Dark Ones. The first is the vision of the crashing plane that he and Pavel get sucked into in "Echoes", and he has a bunch more in "The Dead City" that are triggered by seeing ghosts.
* After [[spoiler: the three year timeskip]] in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', the first thing Lucas does is his morning routine of looking in the mirror, changing his clothes, and fixing his hair, which triggers a flashback of Hinawa brushing his hair when he was younger. Trying to [[ButThouMust leave the house before doing so]] will trigger the scene at the beginning of the game where Hinawa catches Lucas trying to leave the house in his pajamas.
* VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog has had numerous Flashback Echoes, both in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', and his own game, in which one triggered a Flashback Level. Both Amy and Rouge have triggered them, as did once a blaring alarm, and seeing Prison Island again.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', Elly is speaking to a mob of mutated humans, offering to sacrifice her body to them in order to ease their pain. In the middle of her speech, the game flashes back to Sophia[[spoiler:, her previous incarnation,]] saying the same words.
* Type 2 is how Link gradually recovers his memories of the events prior to his suspended animation in ''VideoGame/ThelegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild''. Most of them are triggered by visiting a location that Zelda had captured in a picture on the [[{{Magitek}} Sheikah Slate]], which has Link recall events that happened in those places from while he was acting as Zelda's bodyguard in her journey across the land of Hyrule (to recruit the Champions, and pray at the sacred springs to try and unlock her divine power). Others (largely relating to the Champions themselves) were not chronicled on the Sheikah Slate, so Link remembers them after focusing on something that was in some way related specifically to them.

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' likes playing with this one. In ''PastTense'', there was even a fight scene that flashback echoed to a fight scene that played out in the exact same way (the [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown winner]] was Brock in both fights; the other four characters involved were different).

* During the third episode of WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} Season 4, Yang accidentally drops a glass and ends up flashbacking to [[spoiler:the horrible battle with Adam Taurus when she lost her arm]], which leaves her hyperventilating and visibly struggling to calm herself down.

[[folder: WebComics]]
* In Webcomic/GiftsOfWanderingIce the memories in Elie's head can be triggered by the sight of ice gifts from the old world, and sometimes by discussions of ancient events. The sight of [[spoiler: a child's body retrieved from an escape pod in the ice]] pulls her into a vivid flashback [[spoiler: really Ash's memory]] of a tsunami that destroyed much of the old world.
* Kid Katydid from Webcomic/TheBugPond. While she was on a mission to save a silk worm from a blue jay, she has a flashback of her first rescue in which she meets her to-be sidekick, Totter Tate.
* In ''Webcomic/ComplicatedNess'' Type 1 and Type 2. In the novel the four notes have significant meaning to Ness' early life.
* A staple of Webcomic/LastRes0rt:
** Veled has a [[ flashback to Cypress's mother]], which (apprently) convinces Veled to spare Cypress.
** Cypress [[ has one herself]] ([[ explained here]]), but backfires given that instead of jumping into a pool of ''water'' ([[WrongGenreSavvy ala the flashback]])... [[spoiler: she jumps into some flesh-dissolving nanotech!]]
** Jason ends up [[ having one to his own mother]], with similar structure to Veled's earlier flashback.

* ''Franchise/KagerouProject'': During the PV for ''Moon-Viewing Recital'', mixes Types 3 and 4. First, when [[CuteClumsyGirl Momo]] accidentally steps on a cat's tail, she crouches down to try and comfort it - leading Hibiya to remember [[KindheartedCatLover Hiyori doing the same thing]]. It happens again later when he sees some girls playing on the swings, which triggers a flashback of Hiyori sitting in the same place - triggering ''another'' flashback to later that day, [[TearJerker when she died in a freak accident]].
** A comedic and heartwarming example at the end of the same video; when Momo turns away from Hibiya, he grabs her hand. His reaction when he realises seems to imply that (due to the similarity of Momo and Hiyori's clothes) he forgot himself and grabbed her hand because he thought it was Hiyori.
** Mary has a traumatic variant near the end of ''Imagination Forest'' when Kousouke opens the door to her house; it causes her to remember the day she has [[TeensAreMonsters attacked by teenage boys]], and her mother turned one of them to stone - [[HeroicRROD which in turn killed her]].

[[folder: Other]]
* A common symptom in dramatic portrayals depicting war veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
** Really, anyone with PTSD could suffer the first and third points.