Cross DistantFinale with ImprobableAge, sprinkle a little FutureBadass and leave to simmer.

When a series involving young characters skips ahead to the future it will rarely be more than a few years into the future (unless TimeTravel is involved of course), which keeps the characters fairly close to the people we know, and saves on the age makeup. Such is the temptation to show where the character ends up however, that many writers show the character already well established and very successful in their chosen career, even if only a few short years have passed and logic would suggest they should still be somewhere at the bottom, working their way up.

In extreme cases the character, who has barely started out a particular path before the time skip is at the very pinnacle of their profession when we rejoin him four years later. Compare AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome. It can be [[JustifiedTrope justified]] if the future self was using TimeTravelForFunAndProfit.

Contrast FutureMeScaresMe and FutureLoser.

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!!Examples

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Kind of approached from the other direction in ''Discworld/NightWatch''. Vimes, a happily married man awaiting the birth of his first child, an alcoholic who has very successfully quit drinking, one of the richest people in Ankh-Morpork, a duke, at the top of his profession and one of the most powerful people in the city, goes back in time thirty years, meets his eighteen-year-old self and realises what an idiot he was.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Brooke Davis of ''OneTreeHill'' has become a millionaire leader in the fashion world by four years after graduating high school. She runs her ultra successful clothing line, magazine and tv channel at the ripe old age of twenty two.
* Dawson Leary of ''Series/DawsonsCreek'' is the creator of a hit television series based on his life by the age of twenty-four or twenty-five.
* Nathan Petrelli of ''{{Series/Heroes}}'' will make it from newly elected Congressman to President in less than five years. Even given the example of the [[BarackObama current holder of the office]] that rapid a rise seems a little bit of a stretch, no matter how many (pot) pies Linderman has his fingers in. But perhaps not so much of a stretch as:
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' (episode 2 season 2), the sisters travel 10 years to their future selves for a day, and Prue finds herself the super rich owner of numerous big successful auction houses over the word. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] because they change that future from happening, and later made impossible because of [[spoiler:Prue's early death]].
* One episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' had a FlashForward to seven years in the future in which Jack has become a "captain of industry" despite the fact that he would only be 27 or 28 at that point. However, this sequence is not canon and is implied to be an extended ImagineSpot in Eric's head.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' is extremely successful without time travel, but at her high school reunion she just can't do her usual thing of casually bringing up the fact that she's very sexually attractive/intelligent/wealthy/famous despite (or perhaps because of) Booth's coaching.
* The GrandFinale of ''DesperateHousewives'' gives this type of ending to each of the main characters (except Susan, whose fate is left unstated): Lynette becomes CEO of a multimillion-dollar company in New York and buys an apartment overlooking Central Park, Bree moves to Kentucky and is elected to the state legislature, and Gabrielle starts her own fashion website and TV show, moves to California with Carlos, and buys a mansion.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Done twice with the {{player character}} in ''GrimFandango''. First, Manny arrives in the port town of Rubacava and takes a job sweeping up in a nightclub, which he owns a year later. Then he leaves and begins washing decks on a ship. After another year, he's the ship's captain. We have no idea how he managed to accomplish both, apart from a missable line near the beginning of the game:
-->'''Manny''': I wonder if I would be happier on a ship? Then again, I'm so competitive I wouldn't rest until I became captain.

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Subverted in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' when Torg starts acting all smart and educated after some information a [[TimeTravel Time Traveler]] left behind indicates he becomes a world famous professor in the future.
-->'''Riff:''' Actually he's destined to ''play'' "The Professor" in a musical version of ''GilligansIsland'' and the Demon is going to force the world to watch. ''(shudder)'' I just didn't have the heart to tell him.
* Rayne from ''Webcomic/LeastICouldDo'' witnesses a great future for himself during a hallucination - he takes over the company after Marcy, has a mansion shaped like Minas Tirith, lives with his favorite niece, still has all his friends, and grows a beard worthy of SeanConnery. It's a justifiable exaggeration as it's his fantasy.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Ben of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' runs into two version of his future self, Ben 10,000, from different timelines, one in the original series and one in ''Ben10UltimateAlien''. Both versions have a BadassBeard, are quite buff and good-looking, respected as heroes throughout the universe and can wield their shape-changing devices to their full potential. Justified in that Ben is already working towards achieving such a future even before meeting his future self.
** One of his future self also hints that his cousin Gwen became President of the United States.
* Lisa Simpson was President of the US at the age of 38 in a glimpse of the future in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Okay, she is a genius, but that is still five years younger than Kennedy, the youngest person ever elected President, and he was a war hero. Lisa is also an unmarried, vegetarian Buddhist. She must have had one heck of a campaign manager... Then again, it's mentioned in the same episode that she is the first ''heterosexual'' female President. Subverted however as some of the stuff she did turned out badly, and under her administration, the country is knee deep in debt.
** Bart's future career path in the several flashfoward episodes goes from a garage band member to unemployed stoner to demolition man to law school student to (down the road) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Apparently the Simpsons become the next Kennedy family.
* This can happen to bad guys, too. In the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "The Ultimate Enemy", we learn that--at the age of about twenty-four--Danny is now an evil half-Vlad, half-Danny mutant who has taken over Amity Park and rules it with an iron fist. And by "rules," of course, we mean "punches."
** Hell, as the movie starts, it's heavily implied that Amity Park is the only place he ''hasn't'' taken over. Managing ''that'' is merely his EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* Similarly, in "A Sitch in Time", ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' villain Shego has taken over the entire world at the ripe young age of about thirty-five or forty ([[VagueAge possibly]]). It helped that [[TimeTravelForFunAndProfit she used time travel to amass a fortune and break up Team Possible]].
* Accidentally subverted by Cartman himself in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. A successful and healthy man appears, claiming to be the future Cartman, and tells his younger self that he's just started on the path to wealth, success, and happiness as long as he becomes nicer, goes on a diet, works hard, and stays away from drugs. However, because the episode focused on parents trying to scare their kids with actors posing as FutureLoser versions of themselves, Cartman doesn't believe a word of it and says he'll start acting even ''worse'' just to spite him. The instant Cartman walks away, the future Cartman transforms into a poor, fat slob.
* Nicely averted in ''FamilyGuy'' where Stewie meets his 30-odd year old self and is appalled at what he finds.
* In ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'', Reggie flashed ahead about ten years and was a publishing mogul living on top of a skyscraper- at about 22.
** Which becomes HilariousInHindsight as, judging by the original air date, her imagined success coincides with the decline of the magazine industry.
* Subverted once again in ''[[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron Jimmy Neutron]]'' where Jimmy screws up the future by giving a megalomaniac complex to Libby, which twists the futures of Carl, Sheen, and Jimmy into a fashion outcast, a Dumpster diver, and a dimwitted loser who's married to Cindy, respectively.
** Although, the original futures they viewed for themselves (before they screw it up) are this trope played straight: Jimmy's won the Nobel Prize in ''every'' category, Carl's a professional llama breeder whose llamas can ''breathe underwater'' and ''talk'', and Sheen's a fashion model so popular that (according to Jimmy) it's headline news whenever he ''changes his socks''.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' DistantFinale (with {{Flashback}}s) revealed that Number 4 -- BookDumb during the present, his stupidity a constant RunningGag -- graduated from ''Harvard'' with honors and became a doctor. And {{The Ditz}}y {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Number 3 ([[spoiler:whom he married]]) took over the Rainbow Monkey corporation and became a successful businesswoman.
* In ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', HeartwarmingOrphan and [[BunglingInventor unsuccessful inventor]] Lewis actually travels to the future, which has become a Utopian place thanks to the inventions of scientific genius Cornelius Robinson. Later we find out that [[spoiler:Cornelius is actually Lewis' future self.]]
* The title characters of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' don't actually meet their counterparts when they go twenty years into the future, because Phineas is in Sweden "for the awards ceremony"[[note]]The Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm[[/note]] while Ferb is at Camp David[[note]]The President's country retreat. (Note that Ferb is a naturalized Briton, so part of the Constitution might have changed.)[[/note]] Given what the pair can accomplish in an afternoon, [[JustifiedTrope this is hardly surprising.]]
** Also, [[AsianAirhead Stacy]] is President of Uruguay. Interestingly, WordOfGod says they came up with an explanation for how this happened when somebody at the studio asked them about it, but didn't reveal what.
** Ferb could be a presidential adviser rather than the president himself.
* The ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' episode "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom" has Dib, after [[TouchedByVorlons receiving superpowers from alien shoes]], defeat and imprison his ArchEnemy, expose every single secret supernatural creature, single-handedly repel an alien invasion, and receive the "Greatest Person Ever To Live" award, all within ten years of his childhood. Subverted when [[spoiler:it's revealed this is nothing more than an illusion crafted by Zim's LotusEaterMachine.]]

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[[folder: Other ]]

* In ''Ferpect Crime'', the main antagonist becomes a rich designer in just enough time for the main character to grow his beard. He unbelievably falls for her then.

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