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[-[[caption-width-right:320:An approximation. [[AnachronicOrder You should see the]] ''Film/PulpFiction'' [[http://dehahs.deviantart.com/art/Pulp-Fiction-Timeline-Enhanced-245666429 timeline]].]]-]

->''"That is the heart of it. Now begin in the middle, and later learn the beginning; the end will take care of itself."''
-->-- '''Creator/HarlanEllison''', ''"Repent, Harlequin!" said the Ticktockman''

''"Into the middle of things"'' -- taken from the poet Horace, this refers to the poetic technique of beginning a narrative poem at a late point in the story, after much action has already taken place. Homer makes use of this in ''Literature/TheIliad'', making this trope OlderThanFeudalism -- and Creator/{{Aristotle}} diagnosed it in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}'', making it one of the first identified tropes.

When used in TV it's generally a preamble to a FlashBack, which falls under HowWeGotHere -- where the action starts at the middle or end of the story and quickly flashes back to the ''real'' beginning.

''In medias res'' is a quick and easy way to have an action sequence at the beginning of an episode; for this and related tricks, see ActionPrologue. Both ''in medias res'' and ActionPrologue are also quite common in VideoGames for the same reason, and to allow the player to get into the actual gameplay fairly quickly without them having to sit through long expository cut-scenes.

Frequently, the first [[ActBreak act]] of an ''in medias res'' opening will end with a situation that looks like it will lead to the death of a major character. It usually doesn't.

See LostInMediasRes for what happens when this is done badly.

Often inspires someone later on to remark: [[Music/PinkFloyd "Isn't this where we came in?"]]

''Click [[SelfDemonstrating/InMediasRes here]] for a [[SelfDemonstratingArticle self-demonstrating]] version of this page.''



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In an episode of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'', TheChessmaster Kyoya wakes up sitting on a bench at a "commoner" shopping mall, all alone, with no money, and no clue how he landed there. Half an episode is then spent on figuring that out.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}} Shippuuden'' starts the entire series off In Medias Res, the first 5 minutes of the first episode don't come until about 40 episodes later.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo Armageddon'' begins with Ryoma Nagare in prison for murder [[spoiler: He was framed as part of an EvilPlan]], two main characters already dead, various different types of Getter Robos already designed, built and mass produced; a mad scientist threatening the world with his ultimate creation, and an entire lengthy war against an alien menace that had been presumably won [[spoiler: Not]].
** Which is only fitting since the OVA is a sequel to a [[NoExportForYou Japan only]] Radio Drama. But there are still some plot points that get explained in flashbacks.
* ''Anime/GaReiZero'': OK, so supernatural monsters are rampaging through Tokyo. They're immune to bullets. So, this uber-cool elite team of anti-supernatural soldiers jump into the action and finish the monsters. And that's the end of episode 1. [[spoiler: It's not. Right at the end of the first episode, [[KillEmAll they all got killed by a katana-wielding schoolgirl]]. Who is one of the two real protagonists of this series]].... [[HowWeGotHere What the heck is going on here?]]
%%* LiarGame follows this trope from Nao's perspective
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' showed a "special preview episode" in the very first American run of the series; however, the series itself has a standard WelcomeEpisode. This would not be the only time [[Creator/FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids]] would air a mid-story episode as a preview: ''Magical [=DoReMi=]'' was previewed with the 4th episode (where Doremi [Dorie], Hazuki [Reanne] and Aiko [Mirabelle] become witch apprentices [witchlings]), and ''Winx Club'' was previewed with a episode from late in the first season, before then airing the proper premiere at the start of the regular run.
** Pokémon did it for a while in the beginning of ''Diamond and Pearl'', as well.
* ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar'' does this with the first episode, and introduces the characters and plot in the second episode. With the exception of the narrated opening sequence on the War of the Gods, the plot of the episode takes place between episodes 5 and 6.
** This really wasn't intentional. They produced the action-packed fifth episode first to convince backers to finance more, then produced the rest of the story, as the chronologically-first episode wasn't as exciting. For some reason DVD releases have kept the episodes in production order, even though all it does is confuse people.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' starts in the middle of the brothers' search for the Philosopher's Stone, with the manga occasionally having extra omake chapters that describe short events that happened during their journey before the start of the series.
** The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]] also begins in the middle of their journey, with the actual introduction happening in the third episode and several more episodes of flashback until it catches up to where they were at the end of the first two episodes.
* The American Creator/DiC dub premiere of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' was another special preview episode, which was actually the first episode of the R series. It featured all five Senshi (unlike the real first episode) but could still serve as somewhat of an introduction.
* The US dub of the ''Anime/ViewtifulJoe'' anime began airing with episode 5, which introduced Junior. The actual first episodes were aired as a special later on.
* The ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' anime starts with a crazy misadventure that doesn't introduce the characters though show how crazy the show is. The next ep starts the show proper from the beginning.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' (moreso in the manga than with the former the anime adaptation) starts after Guts already started his quest to hunt down his nemesis Griffith. It isn't until the end of the first story arc than the manga flashes back to the beginning shows everything that led to Guts' hatred for Griffith.
* ''Anime/TokyoMajin'' starts off the first episode with the team fighting off a [[ZombieApocalypse horde of zombies]]. The next few show them first meeting up and getting the powers with which to slay the demons for the rest of the series.
* The ''Manga/WanderingSon'' anime adaptation begins four volumes in, almost five since it begins at the very end of volume 4. It completely ignored the elementary portion and skipped straight to when the characters begin middle school. This creates a problem as there was a lot of character development and relationship building in the first few volumes, and the anime instead opted to drop it on new viewers heads without much explanation.
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' has the decency to give a [[BatterUp blunt heads-up]] as to the amount of MindScrew in store through the series, by opening on a full dose of [[AxCrazy improper anger management]] and [[DieChairDie furniture destruction]].
%%* The first live action ''Manga/DeathNote'' film begins in this fashion.
* An interesting DoubleSubversion (or played straight, depending on how you look at it) in Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica. The first episode begins with an exciting battle scene, but that turns out to be AllJustADream. The rest of episode 1 and the next several episodes tell the story in a linear fashion, with an occasional flashback. [[spoiler:Episode 10 explains Homura's backstory, and how and why she's looping through time. The first episode was not the start of the story; it was only the start of the current timeline. The beginning battle scene from the first episode was not a dream; it really happened in a previous timeline.]]
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'' started out this way: the first few scenes were of an exciting MS battle, then the anime takes several episodes to show how the characters got there. (Supposedly, this was due to ExecutiveMeddling: Tomino wanted to introduce the eponymous Gundam several episodes into the show, but the execs wanted it to show up in the first episode.)
* The American dub for ''Anime/CardcaptorSakura'', ''Cardcaptors'', had the series start off with episode ''8'' and Syaoran/Showron's first appearance, mostly because Nelvana wanted to cater the series to the boys and decided not to bother with the series' main focus of being a ''girl's series''.
** The manga beings in the middle of Sakura capturing the Jump Card (already having recovered Windy and Wood), and then flashes back to her discovery of the book later. It should be noted that the original Anime begins before this flashback ever takes place.
* ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'' begins when Rei is already living on his own and has already met the Kawamoto family. The early portion of the story alternates between the present and several flashbacks showing how he met the Kawamoto sisterss and how he got to where he is in life, before almost fully devoting itself to the present-day plot.
* The first episode of the ''Anime/{{Gungrave}}'' anime starts off almost at the exact middle of the series chronologically, with Brandon/Beyond the Grave protecting Mika from a few zombie hoards. After that, it suddenly goes back to the beginning and [[GenreShift turns from a sci-fi action series to a mafia drama]] as it goes into Brandon and Harry's backstories and how they became a superpowered revenant and the BigBad, respectively.
* As opposed to the [[Manga/YuGiOh manga]] and first anime, ''Anime/YuGiOh'' did this by beginning the series with Yugi already solving the Millennium Puzzle and having Yami Yugi merged with him, with later episodes filling in the gaps. Part of the reason this was done was, not unlike the case for the Fullmetal Alchemist animes, the first anime had already covered the events of the first seven volumes of the manga, and the second begun during the eighth during the Duelist Kingdom arc. As a result, the more important arcs from the early volumes were instead covered later as streamlined versions, while the story of Yugi solving the Puzzle was almost entirely skipped. In fact, that actual scene of Yugi solving it wouldn't even be shown until TheMovie.
* The insane WidgetSeries ''Ippatsu Kikimusume'' uses this to amusing effect. The protagonist Kunyan always starts off each episode in some insane predicament (such as TrappedInTheSauna, or wedged between two buildings several stories up), and part of the humor comes from going back and seeing exactly how she got there in the first place.
* ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'' drops the viewer into the action with little explanation, and then [[HowWeGotHere shows the circumstances that caused the plot to occur]] as a [[WholeEpisodeFlashback 2 part]] OriginsEpisode after the conclusion.
* The Creator/FUNimation dub of ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' originally started halfway through episode 16 with a dub-only episode called "A Grand Problem", which summed up why Goku was a child again, why they were fighting robots on another planet and other such details through a series of flashbacks.
* Episode 0 of ''LightNovel/HowToRaiseABoringGirlfriend'' does this. It briefly shows off the various characters in the show and what their relationship is like with the protagonist Tomoya. Episode 1 then starts the story at the beginning. Chronologically episode 0 takes place just before the ending of episode 12, as they took a trip to the woods and a hot springs hotel to help inspire them with ideas for the game Tomoya wants to make.
* The film of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' is reportedly set between episodes 22 and 23 of the series, and seems to be aimed at "people who want more ''Cowboy Bebop''," and not at "people who want to see what this ''Cowboy Bebop'' is all about." The plot isn't hard to follow, but we get very little backstory for the world and the characters.
* The anime adaptation of ''Manga/SchoolLive'' begins when Miki is already a part of the club. She didn't appear in the manga until six chapters in. In the anime her introduction scenes are made into flashbacks.
* ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'' begins with the Black Hammer Gang stealing a diamond from a museum. Kim's backstory is explored in other episodes.
* ''Manga/LaidBackCamp'' starts with Nadeshiko and her friends roasting marshmallows over a campfire, but subsequently deals with the events that lead Nadeshiko and Rin to meet in the first place.
* The Zou Arc in ''Manga/OnePiece'' starts in medias res ''twice'' thanks to the Straw Hats arriving on Zou in two waves. The first time we see Zou, no context is given for anything as the Curly Hats are shown pursuing a squirrel-person and fighting a strange pirate. The rest of the Straw Hats arrive a little over a week later, and not only are there flashbacks about the context of the first scene, but it turns out that [[spoiler:Sanji went missing]] in the time ''between'' when the two groups of Straw Hats got to Zou. There's so many flashbacks that there's not actually a whole lot of present-day conflict in the arc.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* It's common for comics to have a variant called the BatmanColdOpen. The difference is that the BatmanColdOpen is generally some unrelated crime that we never really get any explanation on, whereas In Medias Res revolves around getting to where we are. Then there are the issues that open with Batman fighting the Demon's Head. Which are [[spoiler: [[{{Pun}} In Medias Ra's.]]]]
* Dennis Hopeless is fond of this trope. Both ComicBook/AvengersArena and Cable and X-Force, first and second issues released on the same days as each other, start this way.
%%* Creator/ScottLobdell ''loves'' this trope.
* The first issue of ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'' started with the title hero drowning in a different city from Gotham, having suffered a haircut (at the time, he'd had the Dread Mullet). The rest of the comic set up the reason he was there and gave him a reason to stick around in the new city.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} storyline ''Comicbook/KryptonNoMore'' starts out with Superman trying to demolish a factory. In the next page the story jumps back in time and tells what happened previously and explains his actions.
* After the One Year Jump in DC, ''everything'' started in medias res. The next year was spent catching the reader up with the weekly comic ''Comicbook/FiftyTwo''.
* In ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'', the story begins with superheroes already falling out of the sky.
* Creator/ChristopherPriestComics loves this technique, and once opened a ComicBook/BlackPanther comic this way, along with a caption that said, "in medias res: Latin for 'not boring'."
* In ''ComicBook/ReidFlemingWorldsToughestMilkman'', the story "Rogue to Riches" starts with Reid in his truck, hurtling through the air over the dairy, on the way to apparent death.
* The first issue of ''ComicBook/SpiderMan2099'' opens with Spider-Man swinging around downtown and beating up criminals; he then goes back to his apartment and reminisces about how he became Spider-Man. This does a good job of making the issue a self-contained origin story, even though two issues of plot happen between the last page and first page of the comic.
* ''ComicBook/AssassinsCreedBrahman'' open with Jot Soora kidnapped by the Assassins and put into the Brahman device to relive his ancestors memories before cutting back a week to show how he became involved in the Assassin-Templar conflict.
* ''ComicBook/WhiteSand'' starts with Kenton and Praxton arguing loudly as Kenton is about to take Mastrell's Path exam. After Kenton enters an exam arena and has a "what was I ''thinking''?" moment, we learn the backstory and reasons behind the fight.
* ''ComicBook/BatwomanRebirth'' begins six weeks into Kate Kane and Julia Pennyworth's hunt for a new bioweapon and its suppliers, without first showing their initial meeting or prior missions.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* The second Duplicator Arc in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' uses this. We see three strips of a well-groomed, well-behaved Calvin, but no explanation as to why he's acting this way until the 5th strip of the arc, which shows that the Calvin we've been seeing is actually a duplicate of Calvin's Good Side.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Strypgia started out the story In Medias Res, writing a talk between [[BigGood Daniel]] and [[BrokenBird Asuka]] because the scene would not leave him alone, and then he wrote the scenes that came before it.
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': The first chapter starts out the story in the middle, featuring Shinji and Asuka [[SecretRelationship hiding their relationship]] and happening a short while after the battle against Leliel. The next chapters start out a while before that, telling [[RelationshipUpgrade how they got to that point]] and what happened afterwards.
* Certain arcs in ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' start like this, as with the ''Forever Red'' arc in the sequel, ''Ghosts of the Past'', which has [[spoiler: Harry]] having already been captured by the Red Room, before reeling back to show how that happened.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': Since the story is told in a non-linear fashion, most of plotlines start in the middle.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': A lot happens after that last scene of End of Evangelion, but that gets revealed later on. The story starts within a couple days of the battle of the Twelfth Angel.
%%* ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'''s prologue . It's called, appropriately enough, ''In Media Res Prologue''. - ZERO CONTEXT. ADD CONTEXT BEFORE UNCOMMENTING
%%* ''Fanfic/TheTwoStep'' starts this way. - ZERO CONTEXT. ADD CONTEXT BEFORE UNCOMMENTING
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6487049/1/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_Captain_Garlock The Rise and Fall of Captain Garlock]]'''s entire point is to make an attempt at the events of the prologue of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. It starts with the famous scene and then proceeds to [[FromBadToWorse make things worse.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** ''Fanfic/TheCelestiaCode'' starts with Twilight burning books, and we don't get a full explanation until the middle of the fic.
** ''Fanfic/{{Composure}}'' starts with Princess Celestia preparing for Twilight Sparkle's arrival at Canterlot, then jumps to Princess Celestia waking up in a hospital bed, unable to remember what had happened, unable to use magic, and with severe lightning burns on her side. The rest of the story jumps between following the events after the hospitalization and showing what caused it.
** ''Fanfic/PinkPersonalHellAndAlteringFate'' happens to [[spoiler: reveal the "Pink Personal Hell" narrative to be this to "Altering Fate"]]. In fact, it lends to a little bit of FridgeBrilliance with it and its TwoLinesNoWaiting. [[spoiler: Nickel Steel mentally relives him going through his Pink Personal Hell.]]
** In ''FanFic/SophisticationAndBetrayal'', the story begins with the protagonist having already been in Equestria for over a year, with a series of flashbacks filling in the details that led up that point over the course of the chapters.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'':
** In ''[[Fanfic/LegacyTotalDrama Legacy]]'', the opening chapter is set [[FramingDevice years later]] than most of the next two chapters.
** In ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland'', the prologue and most of the GreekChorus dialogue between Brett and his mother are the "middle", and the [[FramingDevice inner story]] is the "beginning".
* ''[[http://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/3715 Mami x Touma + Charlotte]]'' begins with [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Mami Tomoe]] and [[LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex Touma Kamijou]] fighting. The fic never actually explains why they were fighting in the first place.
* The first story for the ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' fanfiction series, ''FanFic/NegaverseChronicles'', starts with the members of the Friendly Four after they lost a battle against Negaduck before going back to show the characters' origins and how they came together as a team.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic, ''FanFic/NaturalLiberated'', the story starts a few weeks after the events which will be described in the trial via the testimony.
* ''FanFic/SwingingPendulum'' starts with [[DownerBeginning Ichigo imprisoned and the Visored executed by Central 46]] then cuts to Ichigo waking up in Shin'hou Academy, late for his lunch date with his cousin, Kaien before detailing how [[[MissionFromGod he got out of prison]] and how he [[PeggySue knows]] [[DeathByOriginStory Kaien]].
* In [[Literature/HarryPotter canon]], Neville's a bumbling, timid boy with a hidden core of steel that comes out when the shit hits the fan. During his 7th year, the challenges force him to grow up, and the awesome qualities hinted at before come to the forefront. However, ''FanFic/DumbledoresArmyAndTheYearOfDarkness'' skips over this CharacterDevelopment completely: The fanfic starts with him having already grown up, and he then gains everyone's respect over the course of a single speech in the first chapter. Presumably, Thanfiction just wasn't interested in that part of the story, but it produces rather a disconnect from canon. Luckily, the fic's main story starts immediately after that {{Handwave}}.
* The MyLittlePony AbridgedSeries ''WebVideo/ScootertrixTheAbridged'' has a couple examples:
** Episode 7 opens with the Mane Six at the top of a mountain, preparing to face a dragon, having just completed a long, dangerous journey to get there. Essentially, the episode is "Dragonshy" in reverse.
** Episode 19 opens with the ponies at the library, talking about nothing in particular. Spike rushes in and announces Rarity was kidnapped. There's a flashback to show the kidnapping, then the others rush off to rescue her.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewGroove'' starts with Kuzco, as a llama, crying in a jungle as he narrates his own life. He claims it will "all make sense" if we go back to see how he got in this situation, which begins the flashback to the start of the story.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'' opens In Medias Res by first showing the confrontation between Red, Granny, the Wolf, and Kirk inside Granny's house. After the police arrive to start investigating, each character gives a RashomonStyle story told in flashback to explain HowWeGotHere.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' starts with the titular villain falling from a fatal height, then flashes back. ''Way'' back.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'' begins looking at a house in the distance with the muffled sounds of what turn out to be shotgun blasts and then with Remy jumping through a plate glass window while carrying a book significantly larger than himself. It quickly jumps back to explain how the incident occurred.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/AngelsRevenge'': The film was recut with the first half of the raid on the processing plant as an ActionPrologue, then showing most of the first few acts as a flashback before returning to the rest of the raid. Naturally this was commented upon when the flm appeared on ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'':
-->Mike: "Now that... was a long flashback."
* ''Film/AprilShowers'' begins during the immediate aftermath of the school shooting, when Sean learns of the shooter's identity.
* ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' begins with the main character frantically scribbling a cryptic sentence in his journal whilst wearing clothing from a mental hospital. The rest of the movie is spent catching up.
* ''Film/Deadpool2016'' starts out [[spoiler:with Deadpool's RoaringRampageOfRevenge on Ajax]] before cutting to the first "How We Got Here" sequence.
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' actually uses this trope very subtly. The beginning of the movie seems to be showing the first time that Joel and Clementine first met, and then fast forwards a few years where their relationship has actually gotten bitter and acrimonious. It turns out that they first met each other at a party, and their earlier meeting on the train was the first time they had seen each other *after* having their memories of each other erased. You could say that the story begins with the ending, but the plot actually progresses a little bit past that point.
* ''Film/ForrestGump'' is an interesting example. The film starts, not in the middle of action per se, but in the middle of the story chronologically. The main character proceeds to tell his life story, narrating a series of flashbacks, until his story catches up with the present.
* ''Film/TheFountain'' constantly switches between three stories of the same protagonist taking place in the 16th century, 2005, and some time in the 2500s.
* ''Film/{{Gandhi}}'' begins with Mohandas Gandhi's assassination and funeral, then cuts to him being thrown off a train in South Africa.
* Film/{{Gattaca}} begins with "Jerome Morrow" getting ready to lift off on a manned probe to one of Saturn's moons. It seems like it's going to be a space adventure, until "Jerome" reveals the truth; his real name is Vincent, and an imposter, having taken over the identity of another man after being born "genetically inferior". The rest of the film is about Vincent's life, the discrimination he faced because he was a "God-child" (conceived naturally instead of by in vitro) and his decision to assume Jerome's identity in order to have a chance, and about a murder investigation that threatens to reveal Vincent's secret. The space mission isn't launched until the final moments of the film.
* Tony Gilroy's ''Film/{{Duplicity}}'' shifts back and forth through time and ''Film/MichaelClayton'' opens with a sequence then rewinds to four days earlier [[spoiler:and then revisits the opening with more information and greater context that gives it a new meaning]].
* ''Film/{{Goodfellas}}'' starts out with three guys driving a car, subtitle 1970, who start to hear noises coming from the rear. Did we hit something? Flat tire? Better pull over and see. As they deal with what turns out to be coming from the trunk, Henry starts telling his story, flashing back to 1955.
* [[WhatCouldHaveBeen The original script for]] ''Film/GroundhogDay'' started out like this, but was changed to avoid LostInMediasRes.
* In ''Film/HeiseiRiderVsShowaRiderKamenRiderWarsFeaturingSuperSentai'', the movie starts with Kamen Riders Kabuto, Fourze and Gaim battling Kamen Riders Stronger, Skyrider and J. We spend the first half of the movie finding out how we got here.
* ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' begins with a swordfight in New York. The first half of the movie then alternates between flashbacks to Scotland and continuing the New York story.
* The 2013 Creator/{{CBC}} movie ''Film/{{Jack|2013}}'' starts with Jack Layton in his old age at close to the time of the 2011 election, then alternates between the 2011 election campaign and various moments from Jack's past.
* ''Film/JEdgar'' begins with an elderly J. Edgar Hoover dictating his autobiography, at which point he is still head of the FBI and there are still important events going on. The film flicks between these and Hoover's stories of his life.
* ''Film/JustMarried'' starring Creator/BrittanyMurphy and Ashton Kutcher starts with the two main characters getting back from their nightmare of a honeymoon, and pushing each other around and spitting gum in one another's hair.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' used this a lot. It starts in the beginning on Krypton, but then shows Kal-El as an adult. Through flashbacks, we see his childhood, then his adulthood several times.
* Most movies in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse seem to be fond of this trope:
** When considered as a narrative whole, the MCU itself begins in media res: The first film, ''Film/IronMan1'' takes place chronologically after ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' and ''Film/CaptainMarvel''.
** ''Film/IronMan1'' started off with Tony Stark riding in a Humvee with soldiers, established his amiable playboy charm, and then had the caravan attacked by [[TerroristsWithoutACause the Ten Rings people]]. Flash back 36 hours, and we learn more about him and how he got there. It's not a point in the ''middle'' of the film, though, just ''near-beginning''.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' starts off with explorers finding the HYDRA bomber that Captain America crash-landed in the Arctic, as well as his shield and ([[Film/TheAvengers2012 as it turns out]]) his frozen body. The film then begins proper after that, acting as a feature-length example of the trope.
** ''Film/{{Thor}}'' begins with Jane Foster and her crew accidentally ramming into something with their RV, which turns out to be Thor having been banished to Earth. The next half hour or so then goes back to detail Thor's life and the events that led to his banishment.
* ''Film/{{Maverick}}'' starts with Bret about to get hanged, then flashes back until you reach the same point about halfway through the film.
* ''Film/MysteryTeam'' begins with the eponymous trio in the middle of a seemingly important investigation.
* ''Film/NationalTreasure'' began with the characters digging up a sunken ship in Alaska without any explanation of how they got there.
** Well, we hear about the Templar Treasure before that, and the JumpCut lets us know one of the men digging up the ship is Ben, so we might assume it has something to do with the treasure. But you're right- there isn't any clear connection until we see that "Charlotte" is the name of the ship.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan's films tend to use this a lot:
** ''Film/{{Memento}}'' could be said to start over In Medias Res ''every three minutes''. The main character can't form new memories, and so the entire story takes place backwards so that the audience has the same kind of experience that the main character does.
** ''Film/BatmanBegins'' start the story proper [[{{Pun}} in medias Ra's]] with Bruce Wayne in prison in Bhutan, before flashbacking to explain how he got there.
** ''Film/ThePrestige'' begins with a shot of a pile of top hats scattered in some woods followed by Michael Caine performing a magic trick to a little girl, both of which only pop up in the last third of the film.
** ''Film/{{Inception}}'' begins with Cobb washing up on a beach before being dragged to meet [[spoiler:an aged Saito]]. The film spends most of its running time recounting how Cobb ended up there.
* ''Film/TheOtherGuys'' lampshades this trope.
-->'''Ershon:''' I think the best way to tell this story is by starting at the end, briefly, then going back to the beginning; then periodically returning to the end, maybe giving different characters' perspectives throughout. Just to, you know, give it a bit of dynamism . Otherwise it's just sort of a linear story. ''(makes yawning gesture)''
* ''Film/OutOfThePast'' picks up with the hero keeping a low profile and operating a gas station in a small California town. He tells his new girlfriend Ann the first part of the story (looking for Kathie, then running away with her) in a long flashback before the story continues from present day.
* ''Film/ReindeerGames'' kicks off with a montage of six dead Santa Clauses [[spoiler: except at the end it turns out one's still alive]] in various locations, before flashing back to "Six Days Before".
* ''Film/ScoobyDooCurseOfTheLakeMonster'' opens with Mystery, Inc. chasing the witch through the house. As she is unmasked, the story jumps back to the start to explain how we got here.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'' hits the ground running, as aspiring actress Eve is driving her ex-boyfriend Jonathan, who is running from the police. Jonathan then explains HowWeGotHere, with a flashback showing why he's under suspicion of murder.
* Creator/QuentinTarantino likes playing with the chronology of his plots, though only occasionally does he use an outright in media res plotline to its conclusion:
** ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' starts off just after a botched heist, then follows the resolution of the heist to its conclusion, with occasional flashbacks of the heist's planning to show how they got there.
** ''Film/PulpFiction'' is more properly categorized AnachronicOrder, beginning and ending somewhere in the chronological middle, and jumping around back and forth among several storylines.
** ''Film/KillBill: Volume One'' opens in media res, with the Bride killing victim number two before jumping back to explain how she got to that point; the film ends with the killing of victim number one, so it's not a straight example either.
* ''Film/TheThiefOfBagdad1940'' begins with a blind man named Ahmad and his dog Abu being taken in by a woman named Halima who serves the sultan of Bagdad, to whom Ahmad tells how he was once the sultan of Bagdad, how his dog Abu is actually a BalefulPolymorph boy, and how they both ended up like this.
* ''{{Film/Tron}}'' starts by showing that a video game is a literal to-the-death battle between two humanoid characters; what might be called [[IncrediblyLamePun in medias derez]].
* ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' begins with a bunch of seemingly random people shooting each other up on the subway. A well-known movie critic actually criticized the use of this trope in his review of the film, remarking that since we don't know who these people are or what their motives are, the action is disconnected and meaningless. [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Critics suffer from this issue so often it should be its own trope]].
* The narration of ''Film/UpstreamColor'' starts in the middle and jumps back and forth.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'' opens with Keaton on the deck of the ship about to blow it up. He's stopped. Soon, the police drag in Verbal to tell them [[HowWeGotHere How They Got There]].

* This is a very common trope for biographies -- specifically the author will start with a taste of some part of the subject's life that everyone's familiar with, then jump back to the mundanities of his/her heritage and upbringing. For example, Michael Korda's [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]] biography ''Ike: An American Hero'' starts out right before D-Day, chronicling the tension and uncertainty behind the scenes on the night before and quoting Ike as saying to a confidante (Kay Summersby), "I hope to God I know what I'm doing" before starting chapter two with a jump back to his childhood in Kansas.
* ''Don't Panic'', Creator/NeilGaiman's biography of Creator/DouglasAdams starts out with the inception of Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy, then jumps back to Adams' birth.
* ''Literature/DragonBlood'' starts with [[spoiler: Tisala]] on a torture bench, maybe about to spill some secrets. [[spoiler: She kills the torturer, steals his coat and escapes. Later on, she's found by the main character Ward, in ill-fitting clothes, and after taking out some bandits.]]
* Some Creator/IanFleming's novels start with Literature/JamesBond already in action, then he comes back to the mission's briefing with M. ''Literature/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' also does this, but the "flashback" doesn't feature M.
* Common in Homeric epic poems:
** ''Literature/TheIliad'' famously begins ''in medias res'' towards the end of the ninth year of Troy's ten-year siege. The rest of the ''Literature/TheTrojanCycle'' was available at the time to fill in anyone who wanted to know more about how they got there.
** ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' begins with Athena urging Telemachus to go search for his father Odysseus, who has already been missing for ten years. The story then catches up with what Odysseus has been doing for the last decade.
* ''Literature/{{Aeneid}}'' continues the Greek tradition of ''in media res'' and begins in much the same way, with Aeneas' fleet threatened by a divine storm while en route to Italy. Aeneas fills in the beginning of the story later on using a FramingDevice.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut was very fond of beginning in medias res. Starting with ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'', which jumps around in time, his preferred method of storytelling involved telling a bit from here, a bit from there, until the picture is complete. Hocus Pocus is particularly notable for beginning ''a million years'' after the main action.
%%** ''Literature/{{Galapagos}}'' did the same thing.
%%* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents''
* Underplayed in fourth book of Literature/DoraWilkSeries, which starts with Dora digging three shallow graves behind a vampire coven and Miron's good-natured mockery of her determination. Then vampire master Gajusz arrives and asks what is going on, which is Dora's clue to HowWeGotHere.
* All of Kin Platt's Steve Forrester novels began with the reluctant teen/preteen "detective" explaining the events leading up to him spending the night in jail, being involved in a satanic ritual, or behind the wheel of his Uncle's Hudson Hornet en route to killing a man.
* ''LightNovel/AllYouNeedIsKill'' by Hiroshi Sakurazaka has an interesting example of it. The book starts off [[WarIsHell in the middle of a battlefield]] where some of the would-be supporting cast [[KillEmAll are killed off]]. At the end of the first chapter, the main character dies. He then wakes up in his bed, believing it to all be a dream, but many of the events throughout the dream happening before the battle start happening in real life (such as his platoon receiving punishment for taking alcohol from storage) while other events are slightly different (a woman soldier who he met in the dream on the battlefield before he died takes part in the punishment in real life, while she simply watched in the dream). In reality, [[spoiler: the main character is stuck in a time loop due to accidental exposure to alien technology.]]
* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' The book, not the movie. Whole first chapter is an action movie sequence. Then it goes back to how we got here.
* ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach'' starts right in the middle of the Human-Covenant War, with the Spartan-[=IIs=] in the middle of a mission. Then the book goes back to several years before the war, when the SPARTAN-II program hasn't even started yet.
* ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude'' opens thus: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
%%* ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo''.
* Each book of Stephenie Meyer's ''Literature/{{Twilight}} Saga'' opens with a preface that is describing a scene that happens near the climax of the story.
* The ''Literature/RedMarsTrilogy'' opens the night of the assassination of John Boone, the first man on Mars, then jumps back about twenty-seven ''years''.
%%* A favoured trope of Isaac Asimov, who was instructed by a fellow author "to start every story as late as possible".
* [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]]' ''Literature/UseOfWeapons'' starts in the middle of the story. Chapters labelled with the words "one, two" etc. go forward in time toward the climax of the book. Chapters labelled in roman numerals go backward in time towards the start of the book. The book ended with two climaxes -- one that was the start of the story, and explained everything you didn't understand about the main character. The other ended the story properly.
* ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}''
** ''Dragon'' starts out with with Vlad participating as a soldier in a battle between two armies. The second chapter goes back to the start of what got an [[ProfessionalKiller assassin]] like him involved in something most assassins would want to avoid like the plague. The third chapter takes off where the first chapter ended, the fourth chapter takes off where the second chapter ended, and so forth. And the next-to-last chapter ends right where the first chapter starts. Vlad lampshades this in the narration, apologizing for starting his story in the middle, while explaining that that's pretty much where it starts.
** ''Jhereg'' does the same, with three timelines; one at the end of the story, one in the middle, and one starting with Vlad's childhood. The earliest timeline catches up to the middle timeline only at the ''very'' end of the book, shortly after the middle timeline catches up to the most recent.
* Literature/TheDresdenFiles:
** The opening line for one of the books is this, "The building was on fire [[RunningGag and it wasn't my fault...]]
** ''Literature/GravePeril'' starts a few days after Dresden's battle with a sorcerer and his summoned demon, but not describing this encounter until he re-lives it in a nightmare several chapters into the book.
* Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Blaze}}'' starts off in the present and flashes back throughout the novel to explain how the characters got there.
* Roland Deschain from ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' started his journey many years before the beginning of the [[Literature/TheGunslinger first book]], and when taking into account how many years that actually ''was'', some would say the series itself only chronicles the end of the quest.
* Creator/MargaretAtwood is fond of this trope. ''Literature/TheHandmaidsTale'' is a prime example, the current situation of the world visited in flashback. This is extended in ''The Year of the Flood'', where characters and situations touched on in flashbacks in ''Literature/OryxAndCrake'' are given their own story.
* Roger Zelazny's ''Literature/LordOfLight'' begins with Sam’s return from Nirvana (“recovering from the peace which passeth understanding takes time”, p. 15) to which he is exiled after the Battle of Keenset at the end of chapter six.
* Zelazny also made use of this trope in ''Literature/DoorwaysInTheSand'' where the reader is treated to a new ''medias res'' at the beginning of ''every chapter''.
* ''Literature/ForeverGate'': The book begins with Hoodwink awaiting execution. The reader finds out why he's there while he's on the run.
* ''Literature/TheyShootHorsesDontThey'' opens with would-be director Robert Syverten being sentenced for the assisted suicide/murder of his friend, Gloria Beatty. The rest of the book cuts back and forth between a HowWeGotHere flashback and the words of the judge passing sentence on Robert.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's Literature/{{Warlock}} series:
** ''Literature/StormOverWarlock'' begins with the Throg attack, with backfill to explain why Shann is out of the camp at the time, how he came to work there, the whole Throg/human conflict, and the earlier surveys of Warlock.
** ''Literature/OrdealInOtherwhere'' opens with Charis fleeing the fanatics on Demeter, and remembering the plague that had so selectively wiped out the non-fanatics.
** ''Literature/ForerunnerForay'' opens with Ziantha in the middle of a burglary.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/TheZeroStone'', Jern is fleeing from his life from a LotteryOfDoom, and HumanSacrifice, through a dark city that he has been in only ten days -- Vondar having succumbed to MentorOccupationalHazard just prior to it.
%%* ''Literature/TheUltraViolets'' book 2: ''Power to the Purple!'' starts so far into the action, the first page is actually chapter 2.
* ''Gifts'', the first book of the ''Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore''. Orrec begins the story after his voluntary blinding and the death of his mother, then goes back to his early childhood, returns to the point where the story began and explains the how and why of those first two facts, and goes on to the end.
* Discussed and averted in ''Literature/IClaudius''. Claudius (the narrator) says that he prefers "the thorough Roman method, which misses nothing, to that of Homer and the Greeks generally, who love to jump into the middle of things and then work backwards or forwards as they feel inclined."
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': [[Literature/AMagesPower The first book begins]] with Eric in an underground room and fighting an orc. As he wonders as how got himself into this mess, the story shifts to the day he met Tasio The Trickster.
* ''Show Boat'' by Edna Ferber begins with Kim Ravenal commenting on her own name, then spends the rest of the first chapter at the scene of her birth. The second chapter then skips back to before her maternal grandmother's marriage.
* In ''Literature/GunsOfTheDawn'', the story starts with the protagonist seeing one of her comrades/friends killed in battle; it then goes back to her life before being conscripted and gradually works its way up to that point before continuing. (As such, we know that Elise's death is a ForegoneConclusion when Emily first befriends her.)
* ''Literature/{{Run}}'' begins with Bo getting Agnes and the two running away. It then goes back and forth between Bo narrating their escape while Agnes flashes back to the two meeting and becoming friends.
* [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/scarab-25-4/ Chapter 25.4]] of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' opens with Taylor (the [[TookALevelInBadass at-this-point]] [[NotSoStoic normally-unflappable]] protagonist) desperately dialing [[spoiler:Glenn]]; the reason only being revealed after she gets off the phone and [[spoiler:joins the rest of her superhero team -- the Chicago Wards -- walking onto the set of a morning chat show]].
* The first number to appear in ''Literature/AMillionRandomDigitsWithOneHundredThousandNormalDeviates'' is the second digit in sequence, "1," but immediately after 1, the book switches back to the first part of the sequence, the digit "0."
* ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' begins not just in the middle of the story, but in the middle of life as a whole. Dante is 30 as the poem begins, and the readers will learn much about his past and future from the ghosts of the afterlife and their visions of things yet to be.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Tends also to be used on ''Series/{{Alias}}''. Hell, it would be easier to list the episodes that *don't* use this trope. That might be about 10% of them.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' begins in this fashion as the original pilot was aired as a backdoor pilot well over a year before the series actually began. When released on DVD the pilot episode was also released separately from the first season. Some attempt at a WelcomeEpisode is still made, but events from the pilot are still referred to by characters and are assumed to be known. Further many relevant events leading to the current state of the universe that would be known to any person actually residing in it are withheld until later in the series. This was done on purpose since the creator didn't want to tell the story of a world, but only a 5 year slice of a much bigger story.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' likes this trope, but a notable example is in the Season 2 episode "Scar." It starts off with a dogfight involving Starbuck, Kat, and the titular Cylon Raider. The episode then details the [[HowWeGotHere days leading up to this dogfight]], highlighting [[spoiler:the deaths of several Nuggets]], Starbuck's downward spiral and Kat's rapidly rising badass quotient, and the growing conflict between them. This is intercut with further scenes of the dogfight, building the tension each time as we go back to the main story, with the battle finally resolved in the end. [[spoiler:Kat kills Scar, leading to Starbuck acknowledging her rival and delivering a [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming moving tribute]] to the fallen pilots.]]
** ''Caprica'' seems to be going the same direction, with the episode "End of Line" beginning with [[spoiler:Zoe driving a car while chased by police cars and helicopters]].
* ''Series/{{Better Off Ted}}'''s episode "Jabberwocky". Starts with the main character about to do a presentation on [[spoiler:a product that doesn't exists]], literally says "So how did I get here?" and then jumps to explaining precisely that.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' for the first season and some of the second. Also the last half-season, which starts with Walt alone in a diner on his 52nd birthday before flashing back several months, not catching up to that point again until the very last episode.
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' Musical Episode "Once More, With Feeling" started with the spell that was causing everyone to burst into song and dance already in effect.
%%* ''Series/{{Castle}}'' is in love with this trope and does it frequently. How well it does it tends to vary from episode to episode.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' does this once, where it starts with the sisters running away from the Cleaners, get their memories of yesterday erased and Wyatt wiped from existence, [[spoiler: but they cast a spell tuning back the day]] and find out why the Cleaners are after Wyatt: [[spoiler: he conjures a DRAGON out of a TV show, after magically switching channels to the dragon movie]].
* The "death lead-in" version was done particularly badly in one episode of ''Series/CSIMiami'', where it was patently obvious Calleigh hadn't actually been shot.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E4TheGirlInTheFireplace "The Girl in the Fireplace"]] begins with all of the people at Versailles running and screaming, and Reinette shouting for the Doctor through the fireplace. After the opening credits, the story is begun again, from the Doctor landing on the spaceship.
** Cleverly lampshaded in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E10LoveAndMonsters "Love & Monsters"]], where Elton, who narrates the story, begins the episode with his encounter with the doctor and a hostile alien creature. He then admits that what we just saw wasn't the start of the story. "I just put that bit at the beginning 'cause it's a brilliant opening." Later, once he gets to the point in the story where the beginning action takes place he says, "don't get too excited, that's the point where you came in", and the sequence gets a bit fast-forwarded.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature "Human Nature"]] opens with the Doctor and Martha fleeing an alien attack, then cuts into the middle of the Doctor's life as a human before revealing [[HowWeGotHere how he got there]], by way of explaining the alien attack.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary "Silence in the Library"]] begins with Charlotte explaining the Library to her father and Dr. Moon, when all of a sudden the Doctor and Donna run through the door, sealing it shut. The Doctor then says, "Oh, hello! Sorry to burst in on you like this. OK if we stop here for a bit?" The girl is shown as upset, and the opening credits then start, after which the story starts back from where Donna and the Doctor first land in the Library.
** And then we have series 6, which starts off with an older version of the Doctor [[spoiler: being killed, except not really]], which doesn't happen in ''his'' timeline until the series finale.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E11TheCrimsonHorror "The Crimson Horror"]] begins with the Paternoster Gang being called in to investigate some mysterious deaths in Yorkshire, and they discover that the Doctor and Clara are involved. The part of the story that would normally be shown at the beginning is instead told via {{Flashback}}.
* The pilot for ''Series/DontTrustTheBInApartment23'' begins with June catching Chloe making out with the former's boyfriend, before going back a week to her arrival in New York. When the story gets to that point again, it fast-forwards to June catching them in the act.
** The season 2 premiere does this as well beginning with Chloe and June at James' VikingFuneral after June's [[PreviouslyOn "The Story So Far"]]. [[spoiler: It turns out this was just a funeral for James' ''Dawson's Creek'' past.]]
* Many episodes of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' start this way, and the pilot episode even invokes it on the main character, who is just as confused as the rest of us when he's suddenly thrown into a huge battle between spaceships and then is pulled into one of them with a bunch of weird aliens shouting all around him until finally one of them knocks him out.
* The pilot episode of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', "Serenity", ''twice'' -- first beginning in the middle of the Battle of Serenity Valley, and then flashing forward to the middle of a heist. See also the episode "Trash" which combines this with NakedPeopleAreFunny as it explains why Mal is naked and what lead up to that point before continuing on to the real end.
** ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' was intended to start with a WelcomeEpisode, but [[ExecutiveMeddling the network]] thought it was too complicated to use as an introduction, so the screenwriters hastily concocted a OneWePreparedEarlier (in this case a misnomer), "The Train Job", to run as the actual broadcast premiere.
** The most notable case is probably "Out of Gas". It starts with a deserted Serenity, except for a badly hurt Mal, without telling us how things went this way. Then it jumps back to the day Mal showed Serenity to Zoe for the first time, '''then''' shows us how the trouble started, and then keeps jumping back and forth between the "pre-crisis" and the "post-crisis" scenes, mixed with scenes showing us the day Mal bought Serenity and how every single member of the crew happened to join. It's a masterclass in how to use this literary device without losing focus or characterisation, as well as a compelling piece of drama in it's own right.
* Nearly every episode of ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' begins this way (the moment being the titular the flashpoint). However, the beginning intro is often cut in such a way that it makes the situation seem much simpler than it turns out to be when the full scene is played out in context.
* The ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' episode "Daphne Does Dinner", opening in the middle of what appeared to be the climax of a tongue-in-cheek "typical" episode, featuring as many ''Frasier''-specific tropes as was possible to cram into a minute — furious guests storming out of a disastrous dinner party of Frasier and Niles's that had obviously gone ridiculously awry, blown up in their faces a few seconds before the episode began, and apparently involved lots of lying, mishaps, and mix-ups ([[NoodleImplements Frasier pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, goats in the kitchen, something about flaming kababs, and Martin having to pretend he was an Italian count]]). The chain of events that led to this incident were [[NoodleIncident never explained]], and the ''actual'' episode dealt with the backlash from the hypothetical "episode" glimpsed in the opening, with Daphne banning Frasier and Niles from helping her with her own dinner party.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Nearly everything that happens in the series has its roots in the events of the twenty years prior to the beginning of the series.
* The ''Series/{{Haven}}'' episode "The Trouble With Troubles" begins with the heroes helping people evacuate the town when a volcano erupts. There is no flashback, but there is brief dialogue explaining that a woman accidentally manifested the volcano with her Trouble.
* The first episode of ''Series/HogansHeroes'' features the group already in place at Stalag 13 with everything already in place. We're introduced to the operation only through Hogan giving a new prisoner [[spoiler: who is actually a German spy]] a tour, and there's never a flashback episode showing how they set up their organization in the first place. Some of the elements in the pilot (most notably one of the characters, a few sections of the tunnels, and the use of black-and-white rather than color) differ from the rest of the show.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'': The second instalment of this miniseries has two parts "Mutiny" and "Retribution". "Mutiny" starts with Commodore Sir Edward Pellew visiting Lieutenant Hornblower in prison, telling him and the audience that he's going to be tried for his life. The whole episode is told in one long FlashBack and explains HowWeGotHere, though not entirely from Hornblower's point of view. Importantly, we heard only half of the account of the mission. The episode ends in prison when Pellew and Hornblower finish their conversation. The next part, "Retribution", resumes the story where it was left, but this time it's more like In Medias Res with telling scenes of badly injured Lieutenants Bush and Kennedy who are being treated in the prison infirmary. The lieutenants face a trial and they continue to give a full account of what happened during the rest of their mission. It's being constantly interrupted with court testimonies and the judges' private discussion happening in the present. "Retribution" mixes this trope with AnachronicOrder.
%%* Happens in the start of every episode of ''Series/IDidntDoIt''.
* The ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' episode "The Gang Gets Trapped" starts out with Dennis, Dee and Frank trapped inside a family home, in the midst of a plan to steal an expensive vase. Rather than flash back to show how they got there, the gang just reminds each other in dialogue.
* ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' does this within its first episode. It basically starts with a fight against a MonsterOfTheWeek, throws a lot of characters at the viewer after the fight, but it does not explain who the characters are, how they got their powers and what the monsters are. This is learned through flashbacks and exposition during the rest of the show.
* The cold opening ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'' episode "Gone" (based on the Natalee Holloway case) starts at the typical midpoint of the show, with the suspects being arrested and arraigned on murder charges. The next 15 minutes fill in the blanks as to the investigation that led the cops and DA to this point.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' usually falls more into HowWeGotHere, but one use of In Medias Res was "Greatest Hits." It begins with Karl frantically running and getting into a canoe for reasons we don't yet understand, then cuts to the Losties, being led across the island by Jack for a dynamite demonstration. This allows an episode which is mostly a lead-up to the action of the finale to begin with a chase and an explosion.
%%* ''Series/MadAboutYou''
* The ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode "Mr. Monk goes to the Bank" opens with the main characters locked in a bank vault, with the next 20-30 minutes showing [[HowWeGotHere how they got there]].
* The individual segments of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' begin with a black and white freeze-frame, and then go through the segment as usual, leading up to the events that culminate in the same image, which then switches to black and white again.
** There was also a very effective "death lead-in" version of this done in season 5, opening with Tony performing CPR on Gibbs and a young woman.
* ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' premiered with episode 3.The first two episodes originally titled "Call of the Red Ranger" were retitled "Origins" and aired near the end of the first season.
* ''Series/RadioFreeRoscoe'' doesn't explain just how exactly they got a radio station until the end of season 1.
* Used as the opening to each successive season of ''Series/{{Revenge}}'', the reveal typically taking place mid-season.
*** The first starts with a man, presumably Daniel, being shot on the beach the night of Emily and his engagement party.
*** The second starts with a salvage team discovering the sunken remains of sailboat "The Amanda" along with a dead body.
*** The third starts with Emily in a wedding dress being shot by an unknown assailant and falling off a yacht.
** Also done for the episodes "Duress" and "Sabotage".
%%* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''
* ''Series/TheShield'' did this, with the actual [[EveryoneMeetsEveryone introduction episode]] "Day One", showing the events of the first day at the then newly-opened Police Station, not appearing until the second season. It also contains the StartOfDarkness for some of the main characters.
* ''Series/ShowMeAHero'' very cleverly subverts the trope: it starts off with a dramatic scene, then flashes back to several years ago. A scene in the middle of the show's timeline is made to look like a continuation of the first scene, implying that it's an example of this trope. However, the very last scene is revealed to be the ''true'' continuation of the first scene, making it a case of BookEnds.
* Several ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episodes feature a ColdOpen where people [[NotHimself act strangely]] followed by an explanation of HowWeGotHere to provide context.
%%* ''Series/StargateSG1'' and its spinoffs loved this trope, so much so that it was a relief when an episode ''wasn't'' told in this manner.
%%** Even one of the Series/StargateAtlantis ExpandedUniverse novels was told this way.
%%* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': ''Both'' pilots.
* In a ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode T'Pol is screaming and thrashing in sickbay. After the intro, we see the events that led to this.
%%* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. It used this trope so often the trope could easily be called "Voyager-Style Teaser."
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** "Cause and Effect" starts off with the ''Enterprise'' exploding. It's eventually revealed that [[GroundhogDayLoop the Enterprise was trapped in a time loop along with a 23rd century Starfleet ship]].
** "First Contact" ([[SimilarlyNamedWorks unrelated to]] [[Film/StarTrekFirstContact the film]]) starts out in an alien hospital -- the doctors are puzzling over Riker's odd physiology. It later turns out that Riker was conducting surface reconnaissance on a planet that had just become warp-capable, as the Federation was about to make first contact with them. He'd been injured in an accident and was brought unconscious to a hospital.
* The Creator/DiscoveryChannel series ''Series/StormChasers'' has started a couple of seasons thus far in this manner:
** In season 4 (documenting the 2010 tornado chase season), the first few minutes of the season's first episode shows the immediate aftermath of the tornado that destroyed Yazoo City, Mississippi, on April 24, 2010. The rest of the episode moves back to cover events from a few days prior to that storm.
** In season 5 (documenting the 2011 tornado chase season), the ''entire'' first episode of that season covers the devastating tornado outbreak that tore through Mississippi and Alabama, on April 27, 2011. The next two episodes cover events from a week prior to that disaster, with the rest of the season following afterward.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Season 1, "Skin". It begins with the cops breaking into a house where someone has a girl tied to a chair and is about to kill her. When the cops confront the killer, it's a smirking Dean Winchester. The episode then shows HowWeGotHere. It also does an In Medias Res with the "Nightshifter" episode in Season 2... and HowWeGotHere reveals it's for almost the same exact reason. Also season 7's "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie," with Sam fighting a clown. It then flashes back 56 hours earlier, and keeps doing this until the story catches up to the present.
%% * ''Series/TheThinBlueLine''
* "What Kind Of Day Has It Been?", the season one finale of ''Series/TheWestWing'', did this very well.
%%* ''Series/WithoutATrace''
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** "Unrequited" starts with a scene that is later shown again. The story goes back to 12 hours ago. It was speculated that In Medias Res was done just to prolong the footage which is evidenced by many shots of flying flags and marching bands. The second scene might have been written as a teaser originally.
** "Colony" starts in media res as well, and Mulder [[FlatLine flat-lines]]. Scully appears and knows how he must be treated to be saved.
** GroundhogDayLoop episode "Monday" - the pre-titles teaser shows Mulder dying of gunshot wounds before he and Scully get blown up in a bank heist.
** "S.R. 819" starts with a man being rushed to the hospital. He's from the FBI and Scully is his emergency contact. Surprisinly, it's not Mulder, but Skinner. The episode then goes back to show what lead to his complete break-down.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' does this expertly by starting with Snow and Charming's wedding and their 28 year old daughter in the real world. While the real time stuff passes in order, the flashbacks go here there and everywhere and back again.

* Rarer in music but can be found in some concept-based albums (although this isn't a general rule).
* Music/LosCampesinos's album ''Romance is Boring'' opens with a song called "In Medias Res" The first line '...But let's talk about you for a minute' suggests that the song itself begins in medias res.
* Music/TheDecemberists's album 'The Crane Wife' opens with 'Crane Wife 3'; later on in the album comes 'Crane Wife 1 &2 ' which gives the listener the beginning of the story.
* The first three parts of the Music/{{Rush}} saga "Fear", which was split across four albums, were released in reverse order (i.e. Part 3 first).
* The Joel Plaskett Emergency's concept album 'Ashtray Rock' begins with a track entitled "Introduction," which is (a form of) the opening lines of the last track, "Soundtrack For The Night."
* Music/SonataArctica's "Caleb" story is split into four songs; in chronological order it is "Caleb", "The End of This Chapter", "Don't Say a Word", and "Juliet". However, the actual songs were released in this order: "Don't Say a Word", "The End of This Chapter", "Caleb", "Juliet".
* Music/{{Nits}}' double-CD retrospective album ''Nits Hits'' does this - the first CD begins in the middle of their career and moves forwards from that point. Then the second CD starts from the middle again, and goes backwards to their oldest material.
* [[Music/DeathCabForCutie "... And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time."]]
* The {{Music/Genesis}} song "One For the Vine" starts off with a charismatic warlord about to lead his men into battle. The whole song has a Möbius-loop structure, so it loops back to the beginning of the story ''twice''.

* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' audio drama ''No More Lies'', the first episode starts with the Doctor and Lucie on the heels of a time traveling criminal named Zimmerman. They throw you right into the action making you wonder if you missed an episode. The actual story however deals with his attempt to escape leaving him trapped for years and eventually settling down and starting a family before the Doctor and his companion catch up with him to bring him to justice.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Microscope}}'' makes frequent use of this type of storytelling. The purpose of scenes in Microscope is to answer questions about important events in a dynamic fashion, so scenes often begin--or end--in the middle.
* Most ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' adventures spend their time providing context and set up, but ''The Warlord of the Gravitic Portal'' starts in the middle of the heroes' first confrontation with the villain. There is a brief blurb on who he is and who sent you after him, but it's still quite a change after every other adventure opening with, well, the opening.

%%* TheMusical adaptation of ''Theatre/LittleWomen''.
* ''Theatre/GreyGardens: The Musical'' opens in 1973 in the [[TrashOfTheTitans run-down]] [[CrazyCatLady cat-infested]] mansion of the same name, before flashing back to 1941 for the rest of the first act. The second act returns to 1973, [[BookEnds leading back to the opening scene]].
* ''Theatre/{{Company}}'' opens during Bobby's 35th birthday party. The story itself is presented as vignettes of the lives of Bobby's married friends (with his birthday party also being a frequent link in between). The vignettes themselves are not presented in any chronological order as such (although they take place before the day of the birthday party). The final scene again takes place at the party.
* ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing'' starts at the beginning of the end (Oedipus's final day as king, unbeknownst to him), showing a single day in his life and in that day his whole life is revealed via backstory.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' opens with Max on the rooftop of a building, having landed a successful sniper shot. The entire rest of the game reveals [[HowWeGotHere How He Got There]] via FlashBack.
** ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2TheFallOfMaxPayne'' begins with an injured Max and Mona laying on the floor of a mansion with police outside. The rest of the game shows [[HowWeGotHere How They Got There]] in FlashBack... which, in turn, starts with a bloodied Max attempting to escape from a hospital. The two Parts that follow reveal [[HowWeGotHere How He Got There]] via FlashBack.
** ''VideoGame/MaxPayne3'' begins with Max standing over a man who has an arm missing and most of his body badly burned. It is implied that Max did this as he laments what he has become. The rest of the game explain why he did this and who this person is.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' often embraces this trope:
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' starts off in the middle of a civil war between an empire and a resistance force.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', the player joins a captain who is returning from a slaughter, about which he and his men feel deep regret.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' opens with two soldiers and an amnesiac attacking a town. You're provided some exposition, but the background of this scene is unclear. It's made all the more baffling because '''''you control the bad guys'''''.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' starts with Cloud and AVALANCHE leaping off a train, beating up guards, and infiltrating a power plant to blow it up. You get some tidbits of information in the elevator, but you don't know what's going on or why until the mission is over.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' begins this way, with the heroes gathered around a fire near the end of Yuna's pilgrimage. The first words are "Listen to my story," and playing the game then proceeds to tell us HowWeGotHere.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' begins in the middle of a mission to recover Yuna's stolen Songstress dressphere. We never actually see her joining the Gullwings, though they do explain ''why'' she joined them.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has this in spades. The game drops you right into the middle of its world, starting off with a large-scale action scene. It fills in exactly what is happening later ([[AllThereInTheManual if the player does the assigned reading]]).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' follows suit by starting Noel's side of the story in the middle and filling the beginning in at the beginning of the game. DLC expansions also serve as the beginning to the stories well underway parallel to the main story's progression.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' opens up with an older-looking Noctis and his party, in regal gear, fighting a mysterious fire-wielding figure on a throne before the game fades to the real opening and start of the game proper as a HowWeGotHere setup.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' starts after the hero has already agreed to help the cursed king and princess, and even after he's already recruited his first companion, and with very little exposition as to how things got this way. It's not until you recruit your next companion that she asks about the situation, and you're treated to Yangus and Trode's interpretation of [[HowWeGotHere How They Got There]].
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' begins with the warship ''Pillar of Autumn'' [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved emerging from faster than light travel after fleeing]] from the most recent defeat in a war against aliens that humanity has been losing for decades. Of course, all the stuff that happened before this scene [[AllThereInTheManual isn't really covered in the games]] (with the exception of ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' and ''VideoGame/HaloWars'').
* ''VideoGame/{{killer7}}'' begins with the Smith syndicate storming Kun Lan's headquarters, and only after poking around the building does it become clear what it is you're there for, where the enemies are coming from and who the hell you even are.
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground'' starts putting you [[ATasteOfPower right behind the wheel]] of a bonus car equipped with nitrous. It was [[AllJustADream All Just A Daydream]]. Similarly, ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted'' also gives you ATasteOfPower, where the car is sabotaged and you lose the race, then it has you play through several events leading up to it.
* ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi'' starts in medias res, with Orochi having already devastated the various factions and forced them into the positions from which they will begin their counter-attack. HowWeGotHere is only briefly glossed over; it isn't explored in depth until the ''sequel''.
* The first ''[[VideoGame/MetalGear1 Metal Gear]]'' game introduces the characters Solid Snake and Big Boss, and later games explore their backstories and incorporate it into an epic MythArc that has been in play for decades.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' opens with Marcus Fenix busting out of prison, with no explanation given as to what's happening or who or what the strange Orc people shooting at you are. The game actually does have an intro movie that briefly explains the whole COG vs Locust war, but it oddly DOESN'T play when you start a new game, only if you idle on the main menu for a couple minutes.
* ''[[Franchise/TombRaider Tomb Raider: Underworld]]'' does this - the player makes their way through [[spoiler:a burning Croft Manor]] until Lara is shot at by [[spoiler:Zip]]. We then go back to one week earlier, and then play through a few levels until we are made to play through the intro sequence again, only this time we are shown why [[spoiler:Zip]] was firing at Lara...
* ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter3'' opens with the continuation from the cliffhanger of 2, skip to Logan being questioned in a hearing, and cut to a flashback of [[spoiler: Logan (allegedly) murdering a "world leader" with a sniper rifle]]. Your first mission is spent on how and in what context [[spoiler: Logan was shooting]], and the entire game is [[spoiler: a buildup to the climactic questioning scene, which is about 2 levels from the end]].
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'': After naming the main character, you're thrust into a sequence where he, Kid, and a random potential party member are going after Lynx. Eventually some strange events occur, and.. Serge wakes up in his bed at home. Naturally he was DreamingOfThingsToCome.
* ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'' opens with VKP agent Ashley Riot infiltrating Duke Bardorba's manor, during an event that the narration dubs "[[FramingDevice The Graylands Incident]]," in which Ashley supposedly murdered the Duke. Want to know why Ashley is there, who sent him, and what is at stake? Watch the AttractMode. Want to know whether he really murdered a bedridden, old nobleman with a kidnapped son? Finish the game.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' does this, overlapped with a FramingDevice, although instead of being during an action sequence, it's instead very near the end of the plot, as he's telling his story to Farah. When you select "Save and Quit," the Prince even says, "Very well. I'll continue my story from here later." Note that the storyline-as-narration leads to some funny FridgeLogic when you realize, based on the Prince's lines when you have to continue, his story to Farah must have included lines like, "[[UndeadAuthor And then I was killed by the sand monster!]] ...No, wait a second..." The Prince himself lampshades this. When you die for real he says "No, wait. That's not how it happened. Let me start again." Lampshaded again when he concedes that he might actually be mad after all. And he was killed by the sand monster anyway (temporarily), so it makes sense that he's a little confused.
* The intro movie to ''The Punisher'' ends with Frank Castle being arrested, and subsequent pre-level cinematics show him being interrogated by two cops; most of the game's levels take place prior to this questioning.
* ''Sly Cooper 3'' begins with a level where Sly infiltrates the island fortress of one [[BigBad Dr. M.]] He communicates with various allies via videophone, though their faces are blacked out. When you reach a certain point in the level, Sly has to fight a giant boss, [[spoiler: which knocks his staff away and captures him, slowly crushing him to death.]] He takes this time to recall HowWeGotHere, and the subsequent chapters deal with him recruiting the allies who'll help with the final level's grand heist.
* The first chapter of ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'' begins with a confrontation between Guybrush and [[BigBad LeChuck]] after a NoodleIncident of an adventure.
* ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'' starts in a fair bit of time after its predecessor's MindScrew ending; what happened in between is never revealed, but hinted at by having it ''happen again'' in the game's last two chapters.
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'' starts with Guybrush hanging on a rope over a huge chasm. The better part of the game is spent on him recounting the events that led to this predicament. [[spoiler:After he finishes the rope almost immediately snaps.]]
* ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' begins with Nathan Drake having survived a train crash in the middle of a snowstorm, with the game's earlier chapters showing all the events that led to that moment.
* ''VideoGame/FarCryInstincts: Evolution'' opens with a rail gun sequence atop a fleeing Humvee. As the Humvee is surrounded, main character Jack muses "...how the hell did I get here?" The game then cuts to Jack at a tropical bar, where the storyline kicks off.
* ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDuty Call of Duty: Big Red One]]'' begins in September or October of 1944 as the player, a sergeant in command of TheSquad, helps attack a small town during the tutorial. After being wounded in the end, [[HowWeGotHere the story flashes back]] to November 1942 when the player character was a lowly private. After playing the mission which ends with your squad leader being wounded and you taking over, the game essentially skips the events of the tutorial and continues from October or November 1944 until crossing the Sigfried Line in 1945 at the end of the game.
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' begins with a team of [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships SAS]] operatives discussing an ongoing civil war in Russia and the [[CrapsackWorld badly destabilizing effects]] it is having on the rest of the world. As of yet, the causes of the civil war have never been revealed in-game, with the war being used as a springboard for the [[FromBadToWorse primary plot of the series]].
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: [[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps Black Ops]]'' starts with Mason being interrogated, flashing back to events leading to it.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkCloud 2'', immediately after starting a new game you're thrown into the middle of an invasion of King Raybrandt's castle by Emperor Griffon's forces, the latest coup in a long-running war between the future world and the timeline-erasing BigBad. You only have a very brief explanation of how the controls work before you, as Princess Monica Raybrandt, have to fend off the attackers with sword and magic. It's only after [[YouKilledMyFather the final fate of the combatants is decided]] that the narrative calms down and introduces you to the main protagonist, Max, in the present time.
* KnightsOfTheOldRepublic begins with a Sith attack on the Endor Spire, the ship you're serving aboard. You'll only get a reasonable grasp of what's going on after you escape the ship and talk with the other survivor, Carth. Almost certainly a homage to the original StarWars.
* ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'' is like this, but rather than start in the middle, it starts minutes from the ending. This leads to a HowWeGotHere.
* The very first cutscene of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'' shows a part near the end of the game with [[spoiler: Ezio confronting Cesare in person]], then the first playable bit rewinds years to [[spoiler: Ezio escaping from the Vault and Vatican immediately after ''2''.]]
* ''VideoGame/BrothersInArms'': Hill 30 begins with the player and his squad about to get overrun. The player character is knocked off his feet by a scripted shell and loses conciousness. The screen then goes black and it takes you back eight days to D-Day where the narrative begins.
* The first ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' begins with Kratos standing on a cliff, stating "The Gods of Olympus have abandoned me... now, there is no hope..." before he simply falls off. [[spoiler: Gaia]] spouts some babble while the camera shows him falling down the mountain, and when he finally hits the ocean... the screen blacks out and the game flashes back a couple weeks to when Kratos was sailing the Aegean Sea. Also, as the adventure moves forward, Kratos' backstory is revealed in media res. So the first God of War starts at the end, goes to the middle, and visits the beginning multiple times through the story.
* While the ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' dark side story is told in chronological order, the hero side story begins In Medias Res. This is probably because if it didn't, [[TheLancer Knuckles]] would have had the first stage over [[TheHero Sonic]].
* The intro to ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' explains ''why'' [[TimeTravel things are different]], but not really ''how'' things are different (enigmatic comments about time telling the consequences, cut to unexplained CGI war scenes with one side using hammers and sickles as symbols). When the actual campaigns start, it is clear the war has been going on for some time.
* VideoGame/ZenoClash begins with [[PlayerCharacter Ghat]] running from his hometown after killing Father-Mother. As he flees his angered brothers and sisters, he explains to [[TheWatson Deadra]] the first half of the plot through flashbacks.
* ''VideoGame/ChaosRingsII'' begins with [[PlayerCharacter Darwin]] facing off against the FinalBoss,[[spoiler: the Destroyer/Neron]]. He proceeds to get one hit killed in a CurbStompBattle. Cue the flashback, beginning with time first being frozen by Bachs.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonRanger: Guardian Signs'' begins with you, as a veteran Rangner, and TheLancer in high speed aerial pursuit of several Pincher goons, in stark contrast to the prior two games which had you as a beginner. Minor backstory tidbits are displayed as flashbacks when they become relevant throughout the game.
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' begins with a helicopter chase over Dubai that ends in a sandstorm and fiery crash before going back to "earlier" when Walker, Adams and Lugo first arrived in the city. When you reach the part of the plot where the helicopter chase happens, Walker, [[spoiler: who is crazy and going crazier,]] apparently gets a huge sense of Déjà Vu and says [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall "This isn't right, we've already done this..."]] [[spoiler:According to the game's writer, a possible interpretation is this is because he ''did'': Walker, Adams and Lugo actually died in the helicopter crash at the start of the game and the rest of the game is Walker's DyingDream.]]
* VideoGame/BrothersInArms Hell's Highway starts with the protagonist, Baker and his friend, Hartsock, navigating through an abandoned hospital in the midst of a German attack. Baker gets knocked on the ground by a falling bomb, and Hartsock watches as Baker is seemingly executed in front of him. Cut to the beginning, when they first landed. [[spoiler: Turns out that the gunshots of Baker's "execution" were actually him shooting at hallucinations.]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** The wedding scene that plays during the AttractMode of ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario''. Chronologically, that scene occurs during the span of time when Mario is blacked out, after Count Bleck captures Bowser, the Koopa Troop and Luigi partway through the introduction.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' begins with Mario in the middle of a battle against Bowser on one of his airships above Princess Peach's Castle. Both Bowser and Peach are dressed in white wedding clothes, with the latter also sporting what seems to be a sentient tiara with eyes. It isn't until Mario gets knocked down into the Cap Kingdom and meets Cappy that he get the whole story about Bowser's planned "royal wedding" with Peach. You also gradually see more and more of how Bowser and the Broodals brought havoc to the various kingdoms as they stole various items for the wedding.
* A couple of the episodes in Telltale Games' ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam and Max]]'' series start out like this. "Night of the Raving Dead" from the second season opens with the duo caught in the antagonists' death trap, following them reminiscing [[HowWeGotHere How They Got There]]. "The Penal Zone" from season three opens with the two already confronting the BigBad of the episode. In a twist [[spoiler: this is not taking place at the present leading into a flashback, but rather a flashforward the present day Sam and Max are watching, leading the two to eventually do their best to bring themselves to the future that was previously being played at the beginning. However, the villain sees the future as well and manages to avert it, meaning the duo must now do things differently to defeat him than in the future vision they originally viewed.]]
* Unlike most previous ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games with a story, ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' doesn't have a proper opening cutscene; the game throws you into the first two acts of the game, and a cutscene afterwards tells you how Sonic and Tails got to Eggman's amusement park. Heck, this even extends to the gameplay as well, since you don't get to give your file a name and profile until after you complete the first two levels.
* ''VideoGame/SonicBoom'' ''Rise of Lyric'' starts off with Sonic being encircled by Lyric's robots and seemingly dying as they open fire - before cutting to yesterday. It then does this a second time by immediately throwing Sonic and friends into a chase for Eggman as the first gameplay segment. [[spoiler: Notably, when the scene from the opening occurs proper, Sonic's perfectly fine afterwards and thus renders the drama from the start of the game as a pointless attention bait.]]
* The first level of ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' takes place near the end of the game, so it is simultaneously this and a TasteOfPower.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II: Retribution'' starts with the FinalBattle as it unfolds from the point of view of side characters.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' starts with Varric being interrogated by Cassandra Pentaghast as she tries to find out about Hawke. The rest of the game is a case of HowWeGotHere with the Varric-Cassandra interrogation forming a framing device for each new act of the game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Transistor}}'' begins abruptly with Red pulling the titular weapon out of her friend's body and fending off some Processes. Just before the boss fight with Sybil, the game finally flashes back to the attempt on Red's life, the event that kicked off the game's plot just a few minutes before the game actually began.
* ''The Ghosts of Maple Creek'', in the ''VideoGame/{{Enigmatis}}'' series begins with the main character running through the woods in a stormy night, presumably pursued by someone or something. [[EasyAmnesia As she loses her memory shortly afterwards]], much of the plot is about figuring out how she got there.
* ''VideoGame/DiabloII'': More like "In Ultimas Res." All of the cinematics in the original game take place after Diablo's defeat.
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'': The game opens with Lewton ''buried'', having been fatally stabbed in a cinematic. The first half of the game is his story of how he got into this situation, the second is how he deals with its aftermath.
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'': The game begins after your entire BadassCrew has assembled and you're seemingly robbing a Casino. After a DownerBeginning sequence where the Protagonist is captured by police, the game flashes back over 6 months earlier, as the Protagonist recounts his HowWeGotHere tale to a public prosecutor.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' begins with an [[AmnesiacHero amnesiac]] Link awakening in the Shrine of Resurrection one hundred years after the Kingdom of Hyrule was destroyed by Calamity Ganon. Link must gradually figure out how that happened, why he was in the Shrine of Resurrection, and who he is both by recovering his memories from the past and by getting extra exposition from other characters who know what happened back then.
* The Reservoir Dogs heist in ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'', like the movie it gets its name from, starts out after a botched heist. The crew meets Mr. Blonde in a warehouse to discuss how to proceed after Bain disappears. After completing the day, you go back to play the heist itself, and see firsthand how the heist went wrong and what happened to Bain.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Each route of ''VisualNovel/QueensGambit'' opens with [[PlayerCharacter Shield]] and her love interest of choice in the middle of some kind of inflammatory situation, ending on a cliffhanger. The story then skips back to the initial mission briefing and shows the full story of how they ended up there.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Of the currently existent ''Webcomic/AgnesQuill'' stories, all but ''one'' use this, starting in the middle of the action late in one case, before wrapping it up and segueing to the one that will be the primary focus of the story. And the overall story ''also'' starts [[OneWePreparedEarlier in medias res]], with Agnes already fairly well-established in her new career -- the most important points of how she got there were covered in the Cast page, and further expanded on in [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials included in the book collection]].
* ''Webcomic/AHDotComTheSeries'' first season begins with the characters assembled on the ship, the CF.netters their blood enemies and no explanation for how all of this came to be. This was explained in a series of flashback episodes later on, beginning with the end of season 1 when the PlanetEater that caused the rift between Dr. What and Ward returns.
%%* Played for laughs in [[http://www.beaverandsteve.com/index.php?comic=10 Beaver and Steve]].
* Most strips of ''Webcomic/BobTheAngryFlower'' are like this.
** This is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic!'' in [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1102.html its BTAF parody strip]].
* The opening scene of '''Webcomic/CwynhildsLoom'' involves the title character being stabbed in the chest while asleep on a train.
* Played with in ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' "[[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001279.html Literary Technique Comics: In Medias Res]]", where T-Rex explains the trope, but we only see the very end of the explanation.
* In ''Erfworld'', we join the story only after the Plaid have lost 10 out of their 11 cites, and there is a slight subversion [[spoiler:the very first panel of the very first page shows Erfworld ''being created''.]] You really can't start a story much earlier then that.
* ''{{Webcomic/Girly}}'' [[http://girlyyy.com/go/504 Part 4 starts]] in Media Res, with the protagonists trapped in an alien-looking landscape.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'':
** Chapter 7, [[Recap/GunnerkriggCourtChapter7OfNewAndOld "Of New and Old"]], starts off with Annie on the bridge, thinking she shouldn't be there, then goes back to that morning, before showing why she's on the bridge.
** Chapter 44, "Crash Course", starts off with Annie and Smitty running from the forest in a hurry, before cutting back and showing what happened to cause it.
* Although ''Webcomic/NextTownOver'' starts off with a brief flashback and features snippets of flashbacks every so often later on, readers only get a concrete plot In Medias Res with Vane Black hunting down John Henry Hunter for reasons only vaguely hinted at.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0551.html This strip]] of ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. Additionally, the comic series itself started ''In Medias Res''.
-->'''Elan:''' Awww, man! I hate it when a scene begins "in medias res"! I never know what's going on until like two strips later!
* ''Webcomic/TheOverture'' starts in the middle of the story when Richard has already been enslaved by Sophie. It is only after seeing his hopeless situation that the series jumps back to the beginning.
* In ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'' [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level3/level-3-title/ level 3]] and [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level-5-title/ level 5]] begin in medias res -- already in TheLostWoods and with Prestige fleeing the illithids (before her name is known, even), respectively.
* Used in [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20060817.html this]] ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' plot arc. Also [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2011-12-19 this strip]]:
--> '''Kevin:''' As long as it's not in medias Res. That would be really annoying.
* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', after a brief diversion from the main story, the reader sees Quentyn in a predicament with no explanation as to what's going on. The author writes "Um, hold on, maybe I should start at the beginning...", and the next strip begins a few days before.
* [[http://xkcd.com/254/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip is ''entirely'' In Medias Res. It's presented as the single panel of a comic that Randall Munroe drew before he went missing, consisting of a piece of an adventure where Janeane Garofalo is riding a motorcycle on a space station falling through the atmosphere, while a volcano looms, and she only has enough darts in her tranquillizer pistol for one tyrannosaur. No further context is given.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/WormtoothNation'' opens with Sam in the middle of a mission of some sort, but he's just been [[EasyAmnesia nixed]] and has no more idea of what's going on than the audience does.
* Discussed In Webisode 1 of ''VideoGame/BravoMan'': Alpha Man mentions this writing technique by name as a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall fourth wall joke]] during a subversion of DeathByFlashback.
* WebVideo/DemoReel, "The Blair Witch Hangover", starts off with Tacoma's apology to Donnie. Fans are left thinking he's apologizing for finding out that Donnie doesn't technically exist, but "Blue Patches" reveals it was done much later, [[spoiler: after they find out Donnie's mom killed herself.]]
* In ''Podcast/AliceIsntDead,'' the story begins well after the truck driver {{Narrator}} has begun a search for her once-presumed-dead wife Alice, and in the midst of fleeing from a recently acquired HumanoidAbomination stalker. The Narrator spends the bulk of the first episode recounting her first meeting with the stalker, and portions of the second recalling how she began the quest to find her wife.
* ''Toys/TheGrosseryGang Movie'' starts in the middle of the climactic battle between the Grossery Gang and the Clean Team, thanks to how Doc Broc is telling the story. The others listening to the story angrily interrupt him and call him out for starting the story with no setup, forcing him to start from the beginning.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A few ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episodes begin with Finn and Jake in the middle of some adventure of theirs, most notably the season 3 episode "From Bad To Worse" which opens with them, Lady Rainicorn and Lumpy Space Princess escaping from [[ZombieApocalypse a horde of zombified candy people]]. From there, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin well...]]
* Several episodes of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' open in the middle or even at the end, as Arthur gives his usual opening statement to the viewers, then flash back after the title card to establish HowWeGotHere.
** The episode "Double Dare" opens with Arthur and Buster in the school bathroom, trying to pull Francine in through the window, with absolutely no context whatsoever beyond Arthur's narration. It eventually catches up with itself about two-thirds of the way in.
** Another episode starts at the very end, with Arthur being hoisted aloft and cheered by his classmates, clutching a handful of chocolate sticks. He cryptically asks the viewers, "When is it better to lose than to win?" Cue episode-long flashback.[[note]]The answer is: when you could potentially keep on winning and winning and winning ''forever''.[[/note]]
%%* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' used this to kick off "The Runaway".
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' begins by skipping over the origin stories of ComicBook/IronMan, the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk, ComicBook/AntMan, and ComicBook/TheWasp, as well as the stories of how ComicBook/TheMightyThor and ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} became crimefighters. WordOfGod says the writers assumed that viewers would already know Iron Man's and the Hulk's origins from their respective movies, that Thor's heroic training didn't seem as important to depict as his arrogance and leave from Asgard did, and that detailing how Ant-Man and Wasp got their powers so early on in the series would leave the two of them with less time to impress viewers who never read their comics.
** Comicbook/CaptainAmerica's introductory episode begins after he became an American icon. However, it does open with a newsreel recounting his origin story, for the convenience of viewers who did not know it.
** This trope is averted for ComicBook/BlackPanther and Comicbook/MsMarvel, whose origin stories occur during the first season instead of before it, and ComicBook/TheVision, whose birth occurs during season two.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' began with Batman having already been active for years, which makes sense since by now, you'd have to be living under a rock to not know his origin story. This was especially helpful in introducing the younger, more diverse crop of [[AffirmativeActionLegacy legacy heroes]], since this meant the writers could start with Jaime Reyes as the ComicBook/BlueBeetle and Ryan Choi as ComicBook/TheAtom without having to worry too much about their predecessors (though the prior Blue Beetle and Atom were eventually explained via [[{{Flashback}} Flashbacks]]).
%%* ''Birdman'', and even more subtly, ''The Galaxy Trio''.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' counts as this -- the FiveEpisodePilot, "To the Rescue", is episodes #28-32 in production order.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'': Many episodes begin in the middle of the action on Lyoko. This strongly implies that not all of XANA's attacks are shown, several happening off-screen. There is even one HowWeGotHere in "Bragging Rights". The show itself starts without a {{Pilot}} or {{Premiere}} episode; there was no explanation of how Team Lyoko discovered the Supercomputer, programmed their virtual avatar appearances and abilities, or came to meet Aelita, until a two-part prequel in Season 3.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cro}}'' had an interesting hybrid for its premiere: the FramingDevice, a mammoth talking about the good old days before he was frozen, was of the OneWePreparedEarlier type, while the main story started with the WelcomeEpisode type with Cro meeting up with the mammoths for the first time.
* Many cartoons like ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'' (which [[ExpositoryThemeTune use the title sequence to explain the premise]] of the show). ''Thornberrys'' did have a sort of belated WelcomeEpisode with "Gift of Gab", explaining how Eliza got said gift. As did ''Danny Phantom'' with the episode "Memory Blank".
* Franchise/{{DCAU}}:
** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' began similarly. Interestingly, the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics also had the character introduced fully-fledged without backstory. Notably, Batman's origin (i.e., his parents getting killed) wasn't given any direct screen time until the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' episode "ComicBook/ForTheManWhoHasEverything", though episodes of the Animated Series (e.g. "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne") and ''[[TheMovie Mask of the Phantasm]]'' regularly hinted at it.
** ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' itself also qualifies. Aside from Superman, who had an origin story built into ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', and the ComicBook/MartianManhunter, whose origin is worked into the plot of the first episode, the cast is introduced without backstory and they already know each other (except ComicBook/WonderWoman). Several episodes within the DCAU have this as well: In Batman's "Dreams in Darkness," we open with Batman suddenly being locked up in Arkham Asylum while "Over the Edge" began with Commissioner Gordon storming the Batcave with Batman and Robin on the run and their identities compromised. Superman had "The Late Mr. Kent", which began with people attending Clark Kent's funeral and its GrandFinale "Legacy" opened with Superman already a BrainwashedAndCrazy minion of Darkseid's.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFantasticFour1967'' kicks off some time after the Fantastic Four first became superheroes, and after Reed and Sue got married.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'': "The Soft Touchables" starts with Fred and Barney already running a detective agency.
* The "US Acres" shorts in ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' begun with all the main players already in their place. While a few episodes showed Orson's life on his old home farm, there's no episode explaining how he came to live in his new home. Likewise, Booker and Sheldon got their origin story made into an episode, but no episode explaining how Orson and friends met Bo and Lanolin was produced.
* The very first episode of ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' begins with Dipper and Mabel escaping from a giant monster in a golf cart. Then, we get a flashback to explain how the kids get there.
* Some stories on ''WesternAnimation/GuessWithJess'', such as "What Do We Need To Grow Beans?" open with something having already happened and Jess narrating in the form of a story how a question was answered. For example, in "What Do We Need To Grow Beans?", Jess explains how the group grew a beanstalk as a surprise for Mimi, but first they had to figure out how to do it.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/HulkVs Hulk vs. Wolverine]]'' begins with {{Wolverine}} waking up after getting punched by the Hulk. The short then shows a lengthy flashback of Wolverine getting sent on a mission by Department H to hunt the Hulk, encountering Bruce Banner while searching, and causing Banner to HulkOut.
* The ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' episode "The Day The Earth Didn't Move Around Very Much" has Johnny in court explaining in flashbacks why he behaved the way he did with everyone seemingly frozen in time but him.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E13MagicalMysteryCure Magical Mystery Cure]]" plays like this. The ponies all start with their cutie marks already switched and Twilight has to do some investigating before knowing how they got switched.
* ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall'' begins with [[FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling Wirt and Greg]] wandering around in a forest, with Wirt suddenly questioning what they're doing there and how they're supposed to get home. It becomes clear that they're [[TrappedInAnotherWorld from a more modern, normal world]] despite their odd outfits, and Wirt alludes to events that happened just before they came to Unknown, but it's only in the ninth and penultimate episode that we get a WholeEpisodeFlashback about what happened. (Which reveals, most notably, that [[spoiler:they were drowning in a river]] just before finding themselves in the forest.)
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbTheMovieAcrossThe2ndDimension'' begins with Phineas, Ferb and Doctor Doofenzmirtz (characters who normally ''never'' meet) in chains and about to be killed, while Phineas remarks that he's "having trouble putting a positive spin on this". Then they cut back to earlier that day, explaining how the boys and Doof happened to meet, and the wacky hijinks, emotional upheaval and bad-ass fight sequences that ensued. Once they finally catch up to the start, [[NoFourthWall Phineas just fast forwards through his dialog]] while Ferb notices a sense of deja vu. Also kicks off the episode "Remains of the Platypus"; you'll definitely want to work out how we got to Karl-The-Squirrel-Man, Perry the Butler, Doofenshmirtz partying in his underwear, and the dancing Royal guards.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', although the short that creator Craig [=McCracken=] initially submitted to Creator/CartoonNetwork was an origin story that wasn't used due to an inappropriate title ("The Whoop-Ass Girls") and was pretty much the same as the opening. While the opening sequence does introduce the characters quickly, a real origin story doesn't occur until TheMovie.
** This also happens with the episode "Him Diddle Riddle", as the Girls are already in the middle of solving Him's series of trials.
* It isn't until four episodes into ''WesternAnimation/RainbowBrite'' that we get a backstory.
* The ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Exit 9B" starts with the park already destroyed and everyone other than Mordecai and Rigby brainwashed.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Look Who's Purging Now", a man wrote a screenplay using this trope, and [[DiscussedTrope asks Morty for feedback]]:
-->'''Morty:''' I Feel, you know, we should start our stories where they begin, not start them when they get interesting.
* ''Robin Hood: Mischief in Sherwood'' doesn't explain how the characters met until the final episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom''. Especially noteworthy: Most of the story is told in flashback, and it involves three characters thinking that Ruby is moving out of the house and two others thinking that she's ''dying''. One heck of a first episode for any show!
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' had a "proper" origin episode, but there was a special preview episode on Kid's WB before it debuted on Cartoon Network; it would later air as the fourth episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' does this regularly. Though the original pilot did feature an opening scene of the family eating breakfast where we get a feel for all their personalities. This was toned down when the episode was turned into the first season finale. In terms of actual ''stories'' where this applies, there's "The Telltale Head" which begins with Bart and Homer walking down the street with the head of the statue of Jebediah Springfield, before an angry mob chases them. Cue episode-length flashback.
%%* ''[[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM Sonic the Hedgehog]]''
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'':
** ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' started out just assuming that everyone knew who Spider-Man was and his backstory. Later we did get a couple things about his past fleshed out, but it wasn't until the third season that we actually saw the entire story of how he got his powers and decided to become a hero.
** The 1967 ''[[WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967 Spider-Man]]'' cartoon began similarly. The second season premiere, on the other hand, specifically kicked off with "The Origin of Spider-Man".
** ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends'' went a full season without origins for the titular trio, either individually or as a group; their personal origins were the focus of the three-episode second season, and "The Origin of the Spider-Friends" appeared midway through season three.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderman'' saved its origin episode for the second-to-last episode of the first season.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E04BreakingRanks "Breaking Ranks"]] begins with Ezra having been undercover as an Imperial cadet for several weeks. The tie-in novel series ''Literature/ServantsOfTheEmpire'' shows him initially going undercover, but from the POV of someone who doesn't know this.
* The first two episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SwatKats'' cut straight to the action. It isn't until the introduction of Dark Kat in episode 3 that we learn about the history of the two vigilantes through flashback.
* For its first five seasons, the traditional episode of the second ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' series began like this, showing events from later in the episode alongside a narration explaining the character's thoughts on the situation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' began this way, a surprising rarity for a superhero series. We didn't see a "proper" origin until the ''fifth'' season.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' opens with Wheeljack and Bumblebee collecting the last few energy sources on their planet, fighting Starscream, and then the Autobots' and Decepticons' voyage to Earth. It took many episodes until some of the backstory was explained.
* ''WesternAnimation/WorldOfWinx'', [[Creator/{{Netflix}} Netflix' s]] spinoff of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' begins with the Winx in [[SpyCatsuit spy catsuits]] in pursuit of a mysterious figure who's been abducting talented young people. They have been on earth for a few months.
%%* ''[[WesternAnimation/YogiBear Yo Yogi!]]'' had its origin episode aired as #12.