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[[quoteright:270:[[ComicBook/WhatIf http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eafne32s.jpg]]]]

A SuperTrope to AlternateUniverse and {{Elseworld}}, "What If?" stories do to fictional {{Continuity}} what AlternateHistory does to RealLife history. The purpose of a what-if is to consider what effects might be caused if some event or invention had come about.

ForWantOfANail is a what-if where the difference is a single, tiny change, usually with an effect all out of proportion to the cause. InSpiteOfANail is the opposite; a what-if where a change results in a world almost identical to the original, albeit with a hole in it where the missing or changed element should have been.

While some viewers may scoff at the science or events in a work, others point out that even if the premise is ridiculous in RealLife, it's obviously happening to these characters in this universe, so the MST3KMantra should be invoked.

Compare ItsAWonderfulPlot, CrackFic, AlternateContinuity, AlternateHistory, MirrorUniverse.

See: ''ComicBook.WhatIf'', a Creator/MarvelComics series designed around this trope. Also ''Blog.WhatIf'', a blog on hypothetical science questions by the author of ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}''.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Old-as-dirt children's anime ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' featured a device called the What If Phonebox, a telephone booth that would transport the occupants to a dimension with the specified What If. (Do [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] and Bill and Ted know about this?)
* One chapter of ''Manga/AngelSanctuary'' featured Setsuna in a Lotus Eater machine where there was no...trouble in heaven, Sara wasn't his sister but his girlfriend and Kira was his kind and clever sempai that tutored him. He decided that the real world needed him.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** This is the basis of ''Anime/EpisodeOfChopperPlusBloomInTheWinterMiracleSakura''. Which is a retelling Drum Island arc with a few differences in the cast (No Vivi, Franky and Robin are there (they hadn't joined yet by that point in the story), the crew already having the Thousand Sunny as their ship opposed to Merry, Wapol having a brother, etc)
** Published in One Piece Magazine is "Special Episode Luff", an alternative storyline that tells what would have happened if [[spoiler:Sabo had saved Ace and Luffy]] during the battle of Marineford.
* ''Evangelion ANIMA'' is an AlternateContinuity take on ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', the point of divergence being ''End of Evangelion'', where [[spoiler:Kaji survives his canon death, informs NERV about SEELE's plan, thus preventing the JSSDF's attack and giving them enough time to fight off the Mass Production Evas, ultimately averting Third Impact]]. The story picks up three years later, where NERV, now under the command of Misato, is a much more benevolent organization, and the Eva pilots have had three years of relative peace in which to grow up and (somewhat) deal with their [[DysfunctionJunction personal issues]].
** There's a less significant variation in some Evangelion Pachinko games. for instance, Kaworu appearing in a fully-functional and stable Unit-04 to kick Ramiel's ass?
* ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' premise derives from an unnerving alternative resolution of the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam One Year War]] conflict: "What if the Spacenoids, after losing the war, opted for the TakingYouWithMe route and instead of a single ColonyDrop decided to use [[UpToEleven each and every single one of them]] against Earth?". The aftermath: 99% of the Earth's population got wiped out and civilization was almost destroyed in the process. And that's [[AfterTheEnd just the back-story to the events of this series]].
* The ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' series happens in a scenario where Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated by terrorists and, as such, his political restructuring plans never came to pass, the USSR still exists, and the world is still entrenched in the Cold War up to the present day.
* {{Invoked|Trope}} by Ragyo Kiryuin onto Ryuko in ''Anime/KillLaKill,'' MindRape-flavored. [[spoiler: While forcing her to wear Junketsu, Ragyo shows Ryuko the blissful life they could have had together as mother and daughter, leading all the way up to Ryuko's WeddingDay]] (with a [[TheFaceless faceless void]] of Life Fibers wearing a tux, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick but that's not important).]] [[ThousandYardStare Ryuko...]] [[TearsOfJoy kind]] [[HeroicBSOD of]] [[http://i.imgur.com/nlVJKje.gif breaks.]]
* ''[[Franchise/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story]]'' begins as a manga adaptation of one of the Drama [=CDs=][[note]]''Farewell Story''[[/note]], focusing on the mentor-student relationship of Mami and Kyouko, before expanding into a completely different story, where [[ForWantOfANail Mami survives the events of Episode 3 because Sayaka contracted earlier]], Homura and Kyouko form an alliance and Madoka is still agonising over what her wish should be. [[spoiler:[[YouCantFightFate Inevitably, Sayaka eventually succumbs to her despair]] and becomes a Witch ''in front of Mami'', [[FromBadToWorse and things spiral to hell from there]]]].
* When the first ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' anime was rereleased on Blu-Ray in 2014, it [[DVDBonusContent included]] a "picture drama" named "Magical Girl Lyrical IF". The premise is that Nanoha doesn't discover the [[WeaselMascot magic ferret]] and TransformationTrinket. Instead [[http://www.imagebam.com/image/63189a362597377 they're found by the character Hayate]] from the sequel, ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''. The drama is very tongue-in-cheek; at the end Hayate deals with [[DarkMagicalGirl Fate]] by [[http://www.imagebam.com/image/f5c3cd362597108 giving her]] [[ThroughHisStomach food]]. The food is apparently so delicious that Fate loses her transformation and [[http://www.imagebam.com/image/dd48e7362597348 gets rescued by Nanoha]], which suggests the actual point of divergence is Nanoha getting the Book of Darkness instead of Hayate.
* Most of the ''[[Manga/DragonBall Dragon]] [[Anime/DragonBallZ Ball]]'' movies are alternate retellings and/or continuations of story arcs from the series. The entire ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' series also retroactively became a what-if story when the canon ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' came along.
** Dragon Ball is arguably the biggest "what if" series in the world besides for Marvel and DC. A combination of the show's long running nature and popularity as well as Toriyama's forgetfulness and tendency to just make stuff up really lends itself to the what if Fandom. The videogames themselves are a huge part of this as they, especially the fighting games, often include the whole roster of characters and different endings based on who won. This lets scenarios like what if Frieza killed Goku or what if Krillin was the one forced to defeat Buu. This really paved the way for fans like MasakoX, Team Four Star, aen Qaaman to get in on the fun. Another part of this is Dragon Ball's often simple nature and tendency to "waste" characters or plot lines. A huge what if that people love is what if Raditz, Goku's brother, became good instead of dying and never being mentioned again.
* The "Katie's Yo-Kai Butler" episode of ''Anime/YokaiWatch'' is a "What if Katie had the Yo-Kai Watch instead of Nate?" episode. This also serves as a MythologyGag to [[VideoGame/YokaiWatch the games]], where Katie is the female playable character and Nate is the male one.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}} Shippuden'' had a "What if Naruto's parents hadn't died?" filler arc.

[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* The ''[[AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho Doctor Who: Unbound]]'' audio dramas sometimes take the {{Elseworld}} approach and sometimes the AlternateUniverse approach. Or, seemingly both, or neither. All except one dealt with non-{{Canon}} Doctors. They ranged from "what if the Doctor and Susan had never left Gallifrey?" (''Auld Mortality'') to "what if the Doctor had not been UNIT's scientific advisor?" (''Sympathy for the Devil'') to "what if the Doctor had escaped the justice of the Time Lords at the end of ''The War Games''?" (''Exile'', with a [[MythologyGag cameo by]] the Creator/NicholasBriggs Doctor), "what if the Valeyard had won at the end of ''The Trial of a Time Lord''?" (''"...He Jests at Scars"''), to "what if the Doctor believed that the ends justified the means? (''Full Fathom Five'') to ''Deadline'', set in a reality where Creator/TheBBC decided to make a 1960s television series called ''Series/DoctorWho''... but it failed and never got even as far as the PilotEpisode stage! (Apart from that it has [[MagicalRealism Magical Realist]] elements, too.)
* The ''[[Podcast/FilmReroll Film Reroll Podcast]]'' is built around the concept of What Ifs. Each episode they pick a different popular movie, which gets retold from scratch as a new audio story using dice and RPG rules to decide what happens. The finished stories usually go completely differently than the original movie.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The official ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' website had a "What If? Week" February 27th to March 4th, 2007; among the possibilities explored were "[[http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/space-academy-lesson-one-2007-02-26 What If Magic was a science-fiction game?]]", "[[http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/nights-round-table-2007-02-26 What If the website existed in the early days of Magic?]]", and "[[http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/serious-fun/two-years-times-eight-2007-02-27 What If multiplayer free-for-all was an official tournament format?]]".
** Which is to say nothing of the expansion set that "What If Week" was promoting. Called ''Planar Chaos'', it was about alternate dimensions/realities, both in terms of [[AlternateHistory alternate story history]] creating cards like the white "Crovax, Ascendant Hero", the black "Mirri, the Cursed", and the red "Akroma, Angel of Fury", as well as off-color versions of well-known cards, shifted into colors that share or better fit the existing stats and abilities, creating the likes of Serra Sphinx (a blue Serra Angel), Bog Serpent (a black Sea Serpent), and Fa'adiyah Seer (a green Sinbad).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The MarvelUniverse series [[TropeNamer called]] ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' told stories where the events shown in the comics happened differently.
** Various cases included "What if Gwen Stacy survived", "What if The Punisher received the Venom symbiote" and "What if every member of the Fantastic Four received the same power" to "What if Wolverine ended up in the Conan universe", "What if Aunt May was bitten by the radioactive spider", "What if Galactus was Ben and May's nephew" and, of course, "What if Magneto, Iron Man, Colossus and Dr Doom got stuck in the same elevator"?
** This series is notable in that, aware it's a one-time thing and therefore freed from the limitations of ContractualImmortality, [[KillEmAll the body count for otherwise nigh indestructible heroes and villains shoots through the roof]] and [[AnyoneCanDie even the likes of Spider-Man, The Kingpin]] and Doctor "ActuallyADoombot" Doom aren't safe.
** What if The Watcher were a stand-up comedian? [[CrackFic That.]] [[HilarityEnsues Is.]] [[CrowningMomentOfFunny All.]]
--> '''[[MakeMeWannaShout What if Black Bolt]] [[OhCrap got hiccups?]]'''
--> ''[[ForegoneConclusion (cut to a shot of Black Bolt - with hiccups - walking, with a wrecked NY behind him)]]''
** From the same issue:
--> '''Luke Cage with the power of Thor''': By the gleamin' gates of funky Asgard, you suckers are gonna '''''EAT HAMMER!'''''
** Just look at [[http://marvel.wikia.com/What_If%3F_Vol_1_34 the article for that issue]] (the cover of which illustrates this page) on the Marvel Database.
** Later ''What If?''s from Marvel have pretty much ditched the absurdist (or at least gag-inducing) settings for more plausible alternatives, for example "What if Captain America had won the Comicbook/CivilWar?" or "What if [[Comicbook/DarkReign the Siege of Asgard]] had been successful?"
** Quite a lot of them ended unhappily, leaving readers with the [[Literature/{{Candide}} Panglossian aesop]] that the mainstream Marvel timeline is the best of all possible Marvel Universes, as more often than not [[ButterflyEffect changes that at first glance seemed positive or indifferent could result in the End of the World]]. This became quite anvilicious in a ''What If?'' published concurrently with the wedding of Jean Grey and Scott Summers; it contained two stories where Jean hooked up with people other than Scott, and one where Scott and Jean got married much sooner. All these couplings had a negative impact, and one of them indeed ending with the Phoenix destroying the universe.
** An actually quite nice one was "What if Dr. Strange had been a disciple of Dormammu?" It goes into great detail about Dr. Strange's self-centeredness ("No more patients today, I'm reviewing my stock portfolio!") leading to a career in evil, but shows that ultimately he would have chosen goodness and become just about like he is today.
** And then there was a tragic one after ''Comicbook/AvengersDisassembled'' containing a What If? within a What If? -- where Captain America and Wanda were insane but in love, and if the Avengers had not interfered they would have both regained their sanity and made a much better world. (As it actually happened, they killed themselves.)
** One primary criticism regarding the series is that it often relies on NonSequiturCausality to drive home the point that any change to the official continuity would be bad; the initial "what if?" change may be good, but the bad thing that happens and kills everyone will often have no relation whatsoever to the initial change.
* The famous ''ComicBook/XMen'' crossover "ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse" is an AlternateUniverse saga that essentially begins with the question "What if Charles Xavier had died before he had a chance to form the X-Men?". The answer? ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}} seizes his chance to strike and conquer most of North America with Mister Sinister as his [[TheDragon Dragon]], knowing that [[DividedWeFall Xavier and Magneto could easily have driven him back with their combined forces]]. Meanwhile, a benevolent Magneto founds the X-Men instead, [[ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} Scott Summers]] and his brother [[ComicBook/{{Havok}} Alex]] grow up as "Prefects" leading Mister Sinister's [[PraetorianGuard elite forces]], [[ComicBook/{{Beast}} Hank McCoy]] becomes a MadScientist working for Apocalypse, ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} loses his hand and ends up shacking up with ComicBook/JeanGrey, Moira [=MacTaggert=] and Bolivar Trask end up married and serving on a "Human High Council" alongside [[ComicBook/{{Psylocke}} Betsy]] and [[ComicBook/CaptainBritain Brian Braddock]], and Mister Sinister successfully breeds an "Ultimate Mutant" from Scott and Jean's DNA--who grows up as Nate Grey, known as "X-Man".
* ''Franchise/StarWars: Infinities'' is a series of one-shot comic issues built around this concept. Two examples include Luke dying on Hoth and Leia having to take up his mantle as well as her own, and C-3PO getting blown to bits in Jabba's palace... which somehow results in Darth Vader getting returned to the Light Side of the Force without dying.
** The 'what if?' for ''A New Hope'' is the craziest. The linchpin for the change is Luke failing to destroy the original Death Star, with the rest of the story switching between bizarre events such as Leia becoming an obvious visual reference to an SS officer after falling to the dark side and the Death Star being renamed the "Justice Star," to "alternate" scenes that are really just copies of actual canon scenes from the movies with characters switched around, one of which even has Luke learning Vader is his father and ''saying the exact same line in response.'' The story ends with what one review describes as "[[ColonyDrop Cosmic 9/11]];" seriously, you have to [[http://whygodwhy.forumotion.com/t1298-anh-infinities-genocide-i-will-commit-yes see it to believe it]].
** And the ''Return of the Jedi'' Infinities book, where Leia goes to the Death Star too, Han ends up permanently blind, the Emperor escapes despite Vader's redemption, and [[AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame the scene everyone remembers]]--''redeemed Vader in white armor''. Which proved popular enough to get official toys, too!
* Creator/DCComics was doing these type of stories years before Marvel, but they called them "Imaginary Stories." In later years, the name "Imaginary Story" came to viewed as corny, so DC took to calling them "[[{{Elseworld}} Elseworlds]]" stories, instead. The Elseworlds tales more frequently focused on plunking the characters into a different setting, rather than changing a historical incident, but some like Alan Davis's ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Nail]]'' do take the classic, well, ForWantOfANail approach.
** ''ComicBook/BatmanVampire'' is a three-part series exploring what would happen if Batman became a vampire.
** ''In Darkest Knight'' is another straight example that asks "What if Bruce Wayne became Green Lantern instead of Hal Jordan?" Unfortunately the writer wasn't very creative with it; Bruce still wears the cape and cowl (minus the bat ears), Selina Kyle and Harvey Dent still become villains[[note]]Star Sapphire and a version of Evil Star called "Binary Star"[[/note]], and Sinestro becomes an ersatz Joker after absorbing Joe Chill's mind. Notably, this version of Bruce showed up in ''[[ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis Countdown: Arena]]''...as a Green Lantern, meaning there were four Batmen total.
* A couple of comics in ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'' had taken a few nods at WhatCouldHaveBeen for the series:
** Issue 50 had the idea of "What if Will never accepted the Heart of Kandrakar?" [[spoiler:They'd gotten it later on. The damn thing's persistant.]]
** There was a one-shot focusing on the once-budding relationship of Cornelia and Caleb, though some think it was a TakeThat to the fans who were displeased with them ShipSinking Cornelia/Caleb:
*** The first story had Cornelia giving up being a Guardian and staying in Meridian with Caleb. [[spoiler:We find out that Orube takes Cornelia's spot, but she and Will trade powers. However, the team finally convinces Cornelia to come home.]]
*** The second story had Cornelia convincing Caleb to come back to Earth. [[spoiler:Everything goes completely pear-shaped as Caleb, unaware of normal Earth customs, that starts a set of DisasterDominoes that ends up getting Irma shot ''by her own father'' and the girl's identities revealed.]]
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures''':
** The last issue of the first series, which is in fact titled "If..." Using [[spoiler:Everett with a magic book]] as a DeusExMachina, it explores the consequences of the events of #1, 2 and 3 had things gone differently.
*** ...the Evrons managed to kidnap Angus? [[spoiler:Evron/Angus hybrids. Really]].
*** ...PK still trusted One despite [[EvilTwin Two]]'s meddling? [[spoiler:PK goes in the Cyberspace, but Two attempts a GrandTheftMe on him]].
*** ...the Cold Sun experiment ''was'' allowed to happen? [[spoiler:Duckburg gets destroyed, PK [[FaceHeelTurn becomes evil]], TearJerker ensues]].
** The miniseries ''PK Universe'' answers the question: "What if Paperinik had to fight the Evronians without One's assistance?"
* The Series/{{ALF}} comic book (incidentally published by Marvel) had the "Wotif simulator," a device/camera in Alf's spaceship that would show movies where hypothetical situations were played out, such as "Wotif Willie Tanner crash landed on Melmac" and "Wotif Alf lived with the Ochmonecks."
* ''ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass'' asks "What if the Decepticons were the good guys, and the Autobots the villains?"
* ComicBook/TwoThousandAD:
** They did a gag comic for ''ComicBook/AndersonPsiDivision'' imagining what Cassandra Anderson would be doing if she had failed her Judge exams at the Academy of Law. She's married with a family and lives a dreary life in a City Block, unable to use her psychic powers for much of anything lest the Judges arrest her and fry her brain.
** There's a ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' short story that explores what would have happened if Judge Dredd ''hadn't'' been cured of his lycanthropy after he hunted down a pack of werewolves in "Cry of the Werewolf". He manages to regain control over his now permanently wolf-ified form through sheer HeroicWillpower, but because he can't patrol the streets looking like that anymore he takes the Long Walk back into the UnderCity to bring the law down there.
* Creator/IDWPublishing's "Deviations" oneshots:
** ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'': "What if Prince Blueblood was Celestia's pupil instead of Twilight Sparkle?" [[spoiler:Nightmare Moon bonds with the "Remane 5" over their hatred for Prince Blueblood and reforms on her own thanks to ThePowerOfFriendship, then banishes Blueblood to the moon.]]
** ''Comicbook/StarTrekIDW'': "What if First Contact had been with the Romulans, not the Vulcans?" [[spoiler: Will Riker leads a RagtagBunchOfMisfits to locate Jean-Luc Picard and, with his help, Kirk's ''Enterprise''.]]
** ''Comicbook/TheXFilesSeason10'': "What if Fox Mulder had been abducted instead of Samantha?" [[spoiler: Sam becomes Scully's conspiracy-theorist partner, while Fox becomes an agent of the Conspiracy working directly for the Cigarette Smoking Man.]]
** ''Series/OrphanBlack'': "What if Sarah saved Beth's life?" (a 6-issue miniseries rather than a one-shot).
** ''[[WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie Transformers]]'': "What if Optimus Prime Didn't Die?" [[spoiler: Kup prevents Hot Rod from attempting to interfere with the big duel, giving Optimus the opening to finish Megatron off. [[PlanetEater Unicron]] still shows up, but powers [[TheStarscream Starscream]] up since Megatron's already dead. All the new Autobots save Hot Rod, Kup, and Blurr get killed off, and Hot Rod still manages to use the Matrix to destroy Unicron and [[CombiningMecha Megascream]], [[HeroicSacrifice at the cost of his own life]].]]
* ''ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen'': Dr Manhattan's arc is composed almost entirely of WhatIfs as he explores the ramifications of his every action, [[TimeyWimeyBall starting with and culminating in]] [[spoiler:causing the accident that caused him to become a RealityWarper in the first place]].

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* For January 2012, ''ComicStrip/{{Sally Forth|Howard}}'' did a storyline where Ted uses the 2012 Mayan prophecy as a reason to look back on their lives, which lead to a two-week bit where they show what life would be like if Sally and Ted had never met.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12086351/1/Kanashī-Wütend-Desolato Kanashī, Wütend, Desolato]]'' is basically a What If? for ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'': [[spoiler:instead of supporting [[{{Polyamory}} Germany's, Italy's, and Japan's relationship]], what if most of the countries scorned and tormented them upon finding out? Things ''do not'' [[DrivenToSuicide turn out well]].]]
* ''Fanfic/AForceOfFour'': What if Earth-Two survived the ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and ComicBook/PowerGirl became the Earth's main protector after [[Franchise/{{Superman}} her cousin]]'s demise?
* ''FanFic/{{Bird}}'' poses the question "What if Taylor's first experiences after becoming a parahuman took place in an insane asylum for parahumans." The premise is taken further, with a host of additional AU elements mixed in.
* ''FanFic/ChildOfTheStorm'': What if Thor is Harry Potter's father? [[BetterThanItSounds The results are more awesome than it sounds.]]
* ''FanFic/{{Downfall}}'' works on this premise, messing freely with everything, while explicitly keeping everyone within their canon character constraints. Aizen is a plotter. Unohana is TeamMom... [[spoiler: and she kills people with her bare hands]]
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3460966/1/Difficult_to_Fight_Against_Anger Difficult To Fight Against Anger]]'' is a what if story where Warren Mears doesn't kill Tara Maclay, but instead sexually assaults her.
* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' fanfic series ''FanFic/JediPadmeTrilogy'' is based on the idea of Padmé as a Jedi, as well as a few other things.
* John Biles' ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf: Elseworlds'' (sadly on extended hiatus) explored variations such as "what if Ukyo stayed together with Ranma from the start?" to "what if Akane went to Jyusenkyo instead of Ranma?" to "what if the story takes place in the ''TabletopGame/WorldOfDarkness''?"
* There had been a few fics in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' asking what would have happened if the Americans didn't win the American Revolution.
* The ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' fanfic "Eyes of the Cat" is solely dependent on the premise that Kyo, as the cat of the zodiac, may be able to see ghosts.
* There are a few ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfics out there that ask the question: "What if Rainbow Dash failed to/didn't pull off her first Sonic Rainboom?" [[FanFic/AWorldWithoutRainbows Here's such an example.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' fanfiction, ''Fanfic/TotalAlternateIsland'', is a retelling of the first season, but with six additional campers joining the game at the start. This also alters some couplings as well.
* ''Fanfic/TheVampireOfSteel'': What if ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} didn't get killed by the [[ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Anti-Monitor]] and met Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer?
* ''Fanfic/YourBestShot'' is another [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic MLP:FiM]] What If, asking "What if Rainbow Dash had been present when [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E2TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 Discord gave the Mane Cast their first shot at him?]]" The result: [[FreakyFridayFlip Twilight and Discord swap powers, and part of their physical appearance.]]
* The in-progress ''Comicbook/XMen'' fic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7730502/3/The_Wraith_Saga The Wraith Saga]]'' explores how the story might have continued if ComicBook/JeanGrey had survived her infamous "death" in ''ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga''.
* This WesternAnimation/YinYangYo [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5626292/1 fanfic]] is where the SeriesFinale takes a sinister turn for the worse.
* Yet another ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship is Magic]]'' fiction, ''FanFic/PartyOfNone'', explores what would happen if Pinkie Pie overpowered Rainbow Dash when the latter [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E25PartyOfOne tried to take her to her surprise birthday party during her]] SanitySlippage. Let's just say it's not pleasant...
* In the ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' fic ''Fanfic/TheJoinery'', the entire premise is what if Ned Stark became king instead of Robert Baratheon and married Cersei Lannister.
** The AlternateUniverseFic ''FanFic/NedStarkLives'', which is about Eddard Stark being allowed by Cersei to take the black instead of being executed by her insane son. Despite the War of the Five Kings being more or less averted by this change, the story is just as violent as the original series.
* ''FanFic/{{Respect}}'' explores what would happen if [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Yayoi Kise]] became a [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Puella Magi]] instead of a [[Anime/PrettyCure Precure]]. [[spoiler:[[StartOfDarkness The results aren't pretty.]]]]
* ''Fanfic/APosseAdEsse'': What if [[VideoGame/DieAnstalt Dr Wood]]'s powers were real and tangible? What would happen if, by a fluke, they spread to every toy in the building?
* This trope is the driving force for the premise behind ''Where There's Life, There's Hope'', a Disney/TheLionKing fanfic. What if Simba had actually taken Kovu when Zira "offered" him, but to protect him and give him a better life? Needless to say, ''everything'' changes.
* ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'': What if [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Precia]] wasn't quite as crazy? It's rather astonishing how spectacularly the story goes OffTheRails from canon due to that small change.
* The Fanfic ''FanFic/TheDimensionHoppers'' covers this from various power rangers/sentai (and a few others)
* The ''Manga/OnePiece'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ThoughABirdCantFlyThatDoesntMeanItNeverWill'' asks the question "What if Kuina had been blinded instead of killed in her accident?"
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3025869/1/The-Grim-EDventures-of-Ed-Edd-n-Eddy The Grim EDventures of Ed, Edd, n Eddy]]'' asks the question "What if [[TheGrimReaper Grim]] never met [[WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy Billy and Mandy]] but WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy instead?"
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'': What if no BigDamnHero had come to turn the tides of the case [[DarkestHour when all seemed lost]]? A contest held by the author encouraged fans [[RecursiveFanfiction to answer this themselves]] by creating their own DownerEnding, the winner becoming the "official" alternate outcome.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' story, ''[[Fanfic/LegacyTotalDrama Legacy]]'', the climactic encounter with the chainsaw psycho [[note]]Episode 19, "Hook, Line and Screamer"[[/note]] turns out differently than the canon version. That [[ForWantOfANail single change]] drives the entire story, with consequences that are still felt a decade later.
* The premise of ''FanFic/TotalDramaIslandByGilbertAndSullivan'' is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just what the title implies]], to wit: "What if Creator/GilbertAndSullivan [[TheMusical had written]] ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Island''?"
* WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons fanfiction ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8452944/1/The-Thompsons The Thompsons]]'' answers the question "What if Homer and Marge were not the parents of Bart, Lisa and Maggie?"
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7145922 As This Train Goes]]'', a RecursiveFanfiction of ''Fanfic/EdventureOfTheThousandYearDoor'', answers the questions "What if Sarah was the legendary hero? What if Edd and the others weren't charged with collecting the crystal stars?"
* ''Fanfic/AnUnexpectedChild'', a ''WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}}'' fanfic, basically answers the question "What if the Mistress had gotten pregnant with the Warden's child after the Lockdown of Love?"
* The ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' addresses multiple what if scenarios whenever someone looks into [[GateOfTruth the Truth]] and glimpses TheMultiverse. These vary from relatively minor changes ("What if Celestia turned [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Nightmare]] instead of Luna?") to more major changes ("What if Applejack was a different Element of Harmony?"). Many [[RecursiveFanfiction recursive fanfics]] have been written based on these scenarios.
** There's also the canonical [[BadFuture Dark World Series]], which addresses what would have happened if [[TheBadGuyWins Discord had won]] [[spoiler: and if Twilight became a Nightmare as a result]].
* A central conceit of ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland'' is, "What if ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Island'' had been played for drama instead of laughs?" The result is one of the [[DarkFic darkest Season 1 remakes]] in the fandom.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6117094/1/Ghoul-Instructor-Naruto Ghoul Instructor Naruto]]'' asks "What if Manga/{{Naruto}} was the gym teacher at [[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheGhoulSchool Grimwood Academy]] instead of [[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo Shaggy]]?"
* ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' has two "what if" scenarios, explored by Empath's great-grandson Traveler who has the power to explore the alternate timelines of those that he comes in contact with (similar to Waverider's ability from ''{{ComicBook/Armageddon 2001}}''). In Smurfette's alternate timeline, she falls in love with and marries Papa Smurf, having a child through him and causing the entire Smurf Village to rebel against Papa Smurf and throw him and his new family out of the village. In Hefty's alternate timeline, Empath returns to Psychelia and in time becomes the next Psyche Master while Smurfette falls in love with and marries Hefty, resulting in Empath-as-Psyche Master abducting Hefty and torturing him out of spite for not being able to marry Smurfette.
* The plot of ''FanFic/DirtySympathy'' is "What if ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' was a StrangersOnATrainPlotMurder" in which Klavier and Apollo, trapped in abusive relationships, agree to take down the other's abuser. Daryan Crescend [[spoiler: didn't kill Romain [=LeTouse=]]] and Kristoph [[spoiler: didn't kill Shadi Enigmar]], they were both [[FrameUp framed]].
* Quite popular for fanfics of Literature/{{Worm}} - unsurprising, since it is about superheroes. One of the most popular concepts is to swap main character Taylor's insect control power for something much more potent, but sometimes they play off of more ForWantOfANail type changes.
** ''[[FanFic/{{Bird}} Bird]]'' poses the question of how Taylor's development would have played out if her earliest experiences as a cape took place in and insane asylum for parahumans.
* ''Fanfic/AChildShallLeadThem'' basically asks, "What if [[WesternAnimation/TransformersGenerationOne Swoop]] became the next Prime instead of Hot Rod?"
* [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3933373/1/Sent-Home-Tied-Up-in-a-Sack Sent Home Tied Up in a Sack]], asks "What if [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Elrond]] DID send Pippin home from Rivendell?" The answer...[[DownerEnding Well, let's just say]] NiceJobBreakingItHero [[DownerEnding is putting it mildly]].
* ''Fanfic/CardinalKing'' asks, "What if the [[Anime/SailorMoon Senshi]] had been corrupted during the Silver Millennium instead of the Shitennou?".
* Prompt #3 for the ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' forums' [[http://perfectworld.vanillaforums.com/discussion/1177554/unofficial-literary-challenge-7-skippys-list-starfleet-edition Unofficial Literary Challenge #7]] asked for the writers to do this with their cast of characters. The results:
** Marcusdkane's [[http://perfectworld.vanillaforums.com/discussion/comment/12324408/#Comment_12324408 "Turn a Different Corner"]] had Marcus Kane stay on Vulcan and marry his friend T'Reya in 2363, rather than rejoining Starfleet to command the USS ''Akira''.
** Worffan101's [[http://perfectworld.vanillaforums.com/discussion/comment/12329619/#Comment_12329619 untitled entry]] changed a major detail of his prime universe Romulan character D'trel's backstory. Instead of D'trel's lover Adani being captured and tortured to death by the Tal'Shiar when they raided a Unificationist cell, D'trel died instead of Adani. The story then proceeds to the present to analyze the results of the less-bloody-minded Adani being the one to face Hakeev instead of D'trel.
** Tropers/StarSword's "Fanfic/TheRoadNotTaken" decided that rather than transferring to Starfleet when the Bajoran Militia disbanded its SpaceNavy, Kanril Eleya stayed in the Militia and became SpacePolice. In the present Eleya is now a captain (O-3 rather than O-6) in the Militia and the security chief of Deep Space 9. Results are mixed: while it's mentioned briefly that the Borg attack at Vega Colony resulted in the complete destruction of Starfleet's forces without Eleya having been there, Eleya herself is actually happier.
* The fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5273034/1/The_Goddess_and_the_Sky The Goddess and the Sky]]'', asks "What if [[Manga/AhMyGoddess Sora was the one who was visited by Belldandy]]?" Answer: after tasting [[SupremeChef Belldandy's]] cooking, she [[AccidentalMarriage accidentally wishes that Belldandy would marry her]].
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9264139/1/Urusei-Yatsura-Love-to-Skate Urusei Yatsura: Love to Skate!]]'', asks "what if [[Manga/UruseiYatsura Ataru]] WASN'T the one chosen to be Lum's opponent in that fateful game of tag?". Among other things, there's no DefeatByModesty (Lum lets the OriginalCharacter who replaces Ataru win after he saves her from a nasty fall), and the AccidentalProposal occurs when his rhetorical question about proposing is taken out of context.
* The Franchise/{{Digimon}} fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4712913/1/A-Girl-and-Her-Bat A Girl and her Bat]]'' asks "what if Demidevimon was Kari's partner instead of Gatomon" (as well as [[spoiler: "what if Puppetmon made a HeelFaceTurn?"]]).
* The ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' / ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'' story ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11144592/1/Lum-Sum-Purple Lum Sum Purple]]'' is basically "what if Shampoo was Lum's opponent in the tag game, and ended up accidentally marrying her?". Since Shampoo isn't a pervert, she defeats Lum using her own fighting skills, and the AccidentalProposal occurs when she gives Lum the Kiss of Death, and it's misinterpreted as the Kiss of Marriage. Also, since Ataru isn't around to wake Kurama up, that honor falls to Perfume (an OriginalCharacter who happens to be Shampoo's cousin).
* At least 90% of ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' fanfics have the same concept -- "What if Louise summoned someone (or something) OTHER than Saito to be her familiar?" It's a good excuse to write a CrossOver. Of course, it doesn't necessarily ''have'' to be a crossover - many stories have her summoning a more badass version of Saito, or an OriginalCharacter.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6041027/1/Ah-My-Valkyrie Ah! My Valkyrie]]'' is an ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' fanfic that asks "what if Lind was the one who granted Keiichi's wish instead of Belldandy?". If you're wondering why Lind's the one granting wishes, she was asked to fill in for Belldandy.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8502429/1/Ah-my-goddess-What-if Ah! My Goddess: What If?]]'' is pretty much dedicated to this trope. From Keiichi's wish being granted by a different mystical being to Keiichi gaining an angel, the world of ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' is changed with each question.
* Several ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' fanfics revolve around the question "what if someone OTHER than Tsukune entered Yokai Academy?". Like the Familiar of Zero example above, it's usually an excuse for a crossover, ''FanFic/RosarioToKiva'' being a notable example.
* The ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' fandom has a common AU called "Momswap", which is basically "what if Steven was being raised by the Homeworld Gems instead of the Crystal Gems?". [[http://momswapverse.tumblr.com/tagged/fake_cartoon_reviews/chrono Here]] is one of the better versions.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2306129/1/Lisa-%3C!--C2--%3EBD Lisa ½]]'' is basically "what if [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Bart and Lisa Simpson]] visited [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf the Jusenkyo springs]] and fell in?".
* ''Fanfic/OpalSapphireRubyAndSteven'' asks "what if [[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse Opal]] [[spoiler: was the permafusion]] instead of [[spoiler: Garnet]]?".
* Both ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3810709/chapters/8492101 Connie Parallel]]'' and ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3743083/chapters/8299711 Buck Dewniverse]]'' ask "what if [[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse Steven]] WASN'T the human-Gem hybrid?".
* [[Fanfic/ShenVsKai Shen vs. Kai]] asks what ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' would've been like had the BigBad of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3'' also been involved.
* The ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' [=/=] ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' crossover ''FanFic/AGoddessComesToCall'' asks what would've happened if Keiichi DIDN'T wish for Belldandy to stay with him. He instead wishes for the girl who would be perfect for him, and ends up with Chihiro. Belldandy, meanwhile, is accidentally summoned fifty years later by Linna, who makes the wish for Belldandy to stay with her, and the goddesses (and Mara) get involved with the Knight Sabers and boomers (and GirlsLove).
* The Manga/DeathNote fanfic ''FanFic/ConstantTemptation'' can be summed up as "What if L and Light fell in love with each other, and had to deal with [[spoiler: Beyond Birthday]]?".
* ''FanFic/RanmaClub'' asks "What if [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Ranma Saotome]] was the reincarnation of the Specialists (yes, all of them), and moved to Magix, where the entire WesternAnimation/WinxClub fell in love with him?".
* ''Manga/LoveHina'' has several. Notable ones include ''FanFic/ContractLabor'' (what if Keitaro WASN'T an ExtremeDoormat?), ''FanFic/AnAlternateKeitaroUrashima'' (What if Keitaro DIDN'T take the promise so seriously?) and ''FanFic/ForHisOwnSake'' (What if Keitaro ''finally'' wised up to the abuse he was suffering?).
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5548075/1/10-ton-adventure 10 ton adventure]]'' asks "What if WesternAnimation/BenTen had been there for Disney/{{Dumbo}} instead of Timothy Mouse?".
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5913083/1/Tom-and-Jerry-The-Harry-Potter-Days Tom and Jerry: The Harry Potter Days]]'' can be boiled down to "what if WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry became the pets of Literature/HarryPotter, and were assigned to protect him by Dumbledore?".
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': In several bonus scenes the author described several alternate scenarios where Asuka became ''ComicBook/TheSpectre'', ''Comicbook/{{Raven}}'', ''Comicbook/{{Etrigan}}'', a [[Franchise/GreenLantern Red Lantern]]... rather being ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}''.
** In fact, the ENTIRE concept behind the ''Fanfic/SuperwomenOfEva'' series is "What if (insert female Eva character here) gained the powers of a Marvel or [=DC=] superheroine?".
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'' is an alternate universe where Shinji kissed Asuka back when she kissed him. Some of the consequences caused by that change are: Shinji and Asuka getting together and befriending Rei, Rei falling for both teens, [[spoiler:Hikari]] becoming an Eva pilot instead of Touji, Shinji [[spoiler:never merging with Unit-01]]...
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'' features a scenario where Shinji and Asuka's lives got worse [[AfterTheEnd after Third Impact]] until someone from another dimension took an interest in them.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'' is an AlternateUniverse fic where Asuka had sex with Shinji and got pregnant, and that situation forced both teenagers to get their act together, fix their relationship and learn to be parents.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'' replaces the canonical {{Eldritch Abomination}}s with the Great Old Ones of the Franchise/CthulhuMythos. As a result the main characters look saner but they become {{Humanoid Abomination}}s, and their world is ''more'' insane, darker and bleaker.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': What if Second Impact never happened, the Children were adult soldiers who pilot experimental jet fighters instead of mechas, and SEELE was a terrorist organization?
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': SEELE fails to take over NERV in 2015. SEELE is exposed, NERV becomes an UN anti-Evangelion proliferation organization, and the main characters spend the next decade getting over their psychological issues and thwarting SEELE's plans.
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': What if [[AfterTheEnd after Third Impact]], [[spoiler:Shinji and Asuka's grandson]] went back in time and became their teacher to help them with their psychological issues and so averting the end of the world?
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': What if Shinji Ikari was Franchise/{{Superman}}?
* ''FanFic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'' features an alternate universe where NERV manages through political maneuvering to avert SEELE's attack for a time, which further results in the seclude for the Human Instrumentally Project being pushed dramatically back. Shinji gets time to recover somewhat from his latest traumas and tries to fix his relationship with his family while his father and SEELE make plans for their imminent confrontation, using new puppets and tools.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8387617/1/Fluttershy-and-the-Iron-Giant Fluttershy and the Iron Giant]]'': what if WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant landed in [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]] and befriended Fluttershy?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7681912/1/The-Beast-That-I-Am The Beast That I Am]]'': What if [[Manga/LoveHina Shinobu Maehara]] became the ComicBook/SheHulk?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5362570/1/KK1-Kid-Keitaro Kid Keitaro]]'': What if Keitaro was 8 years old when he came to the Hinata Inn?
* ''Fanfic/LoveHinaDoubleTrouble'': What if Keitaro was [[Series/KamenRiderDouble Philip's]] partner instead of Shotaro?
* ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/711875/chapters/1967882 Episodes from Middle Earth]]'' consists entirely of one-shots asking this question. Some of them are light-hearted (e.g. "what if Bilbo and Thorin got turned into children?"), while some are dark and depressing (e.g. "what if half of the company died in the Thunder Battle?").
* ''FanFic/WaltDisneyPresentsTheLordOfTheRings'': What if Walt Disney made Literature/TheLordOfTheRings into an animated movie?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10744007/1/Beyond-Death Beyond Death]]'': What if ComicBook/{{Thanos}} crash-landed on Earth and ended up falling in love with a human woman?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2929032/1/GarfBob-SquareField GarfBob SquareField]]'': What if WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants ended up at a pet shop and was bought by [[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} Jon Arbuckle]]?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9745034/1/Suddenly Suddenly]]'' - What if [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime June Darby]] was raised by the Shattered Glass version of the Decepticons?.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3522356/1/Take-the-Green-and-Go Take the Green and Go]]'' - What if [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Shego]] went back in time and drowned at [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Jusenkyo]]? And what if Ranma fell into the same spring she drowned in?
* The FukuFic subgenre revolves around one simple question - What if [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Ranma Saotome]] became a [[Anime/SailorMoon Sailor Senshi]] (or at least a MagicalGirl)?
* ''FanFic/RevengeOfTheEnergyVampire'' - What if [[WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand Nos-4-A2]] survived his apparent destruction on Planet Z, and went after XR for revenge?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1338658/1/Onegai-Megami-Sama Onegai, Megami-Sama!]]'' asks "What if [[Anime/PleaseTeacher Matagu]] [[Anime/PleaseTwins Shido]] accidentally summoned [[Manga/AhMyGoddess Peorth]] and wished for her to be his girlfriend?".
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4596176/1/A-Clean-Slate A Clean Slate]]'' - what if [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Ranma]] lost the food challenge to Shampoo?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6370510/1/Spike-the-Sparkling Spike the Sparkling]]'' - what if [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Spike]] was [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin turned into a sparkling?]].
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5517700/1/Reversed-Destines Reversed Destines]]'' - what if [[Franchise/StarWars Luke Skywalker]] was Prince Luke Organa while his sister was Leia Amidala Skywalker and brought up by her aunt and uncle?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12028680/1/No-Place-Like-Home No Place Like Home]]'' - what if [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002 Orko's]] uncle found a way to retrieve him from Eternia, and Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms were accidentally dragged along as well?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5092359/1/The-Brat-Prince-of-Vos The Brat Prince of Vos]]'' - what if [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Megatron]] had to agree to bond with TheStarscream in order to gain the alliance of the city of Vos?
* ''Fanfic/InheritanceOfCardsAndDemons'' - what if [[Manga/BlueExorcist Rin]] became the Card Captor after [[Manga/CardCaptorSakura Sakura]]?
* Explored in the alternate universes created in ''[[Fanfic/MyLoveHAsTwoLives Between the Mountain and the River]]'':
** What if Vulcan never joined the Federation?
** What if Nero succeeded in destroying Earth?
** What if Nero never left Spock on Delta Vega?
* ''Fanfic/LikeFatherLikeDaughter'' - what if [[WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil Marco and Hekapoo]] had a daughter during those sixteen years Marco spent chasing Hekapoo?
* A few chapters following a battle with an Idol or Sycophanta in ''Fanfic/InTheEyeOfTheBeholder'' have an alternate scenario where things didn't quite go the same way, ranging from a NewGamePlus version of the same fight to outright {{Bad Ending}}s with a TotalPartyKill.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4711754/1/The-Turning-Point The Turning Point]]'' - what if [[WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries Malcho]] escaped from his volcanic prison, and befriended a young mage?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2625069/1/Prince-of-PolPol Prince of PolPol]]'' - what if [[Manga/LoveHina Keitaro]] was the heir of an island kingdom, and ended up married to [[MarryThemAll ALL of the Hinata girls]] (and [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg Nyamo]])?
* ''Fanfic/SonOfTheSannin'' - what if Naruto had been raised by Jiraiya and Tsunade, and the sannin had been around Konoha during those years he grew up?
** In a more specific example in-story, what if [[spoiler: the Uchiha clan had pulled off their planned coup d'etat?]]
* ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/2271171/chapters/4989945 Transformation]]'' - what if Franchise/{{Tintin}} was really a woman?
* Many ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' fanfics take advantage of the series premise (the government revealed the existence of monsters to the world and created cultural exchange programs, with some humans being sent to live with monsters and monsters being sent to live with humans) to ask "What if my OriginalCharacter joined the program and had to live with several monsters?" Both the gender and the species of the monsters depend on the author's preferences.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1988140/1/Ranma_the_Second_Time_Around Ranma the Second time Around]]'' - “WhatIf Ranma had a chance to [[PeggySue go back in time, and fix the problems with his life?]]”
* Fanfic/LegacyOfTheRedSun: What if Luke Skywalker died, and Baby Kal-El landed on Tatooine? [[spoiler: Also what if Han Solo remained an Imperial agent?]]
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4890669/1/Symphony_of_Angels Symphony of Angels]]'' - What if [[WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}} Demona]] DIDN'T betray Macbeth in 1057 A.D?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2649455/1/I-ll-Be-Seeing-You I'll Be Seeing You]]'' - what if [[Manga/LoveHina Keitaro]] was blind?

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/CinderellaIIIATwistInTime'': What if the glass slipper fit Anastasia instead of Cinderella?

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The main plot of ''Film/DonnieDarko'' is essentially a few days of a "What If" scenario for a handful of people, eventually ending by returning where the tangential universe started in the first place and avoiding the "What If".
* ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica'', a mockumentary about what might have happened if the South won the American Civil War.
* ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'', "What if I'd never been born?"
* ''Film/DeathOfAPresident'' is a mockumentary about if George W. Bush had been assassinated.
* ''Film/YoungEinstein'': What if UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein had been Tasmanian? And consequently, history as we know it had gone ''totally nuts''.
* WordOfGod spins ''Film/{{Lucy}}'' as a RealLife What If: what if the "NinetyPercentOfYourBrain" myth (among other things) was actually true?
* Two separate ''Franchise/KamenRider'' movies, ''Film/OOODenOAllRidersLetsGoKamenRiders'', the 40th anniversary MilestoneCelebration, and ''Film/SuperHeroTaisenGPKamenRider3'', which revived an idea for a [[CanonImmigrant character]] dropped 40 plus years ago, both depict an [[AlternateTimeline altered history]] where, under different circumstances, the original Series/{{Kamen Rider}}s were defeated and [[LegionOfDoom Shocker]] [[TheBadGuyWins succeeded in taking over the world]]. Of course as they both involve TimeTravel, characters from ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' feature in both movies.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' asks this question: "What if the people of Israel got the wrong guy as the Messiah?"

* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book ''Back to Before'' has a battle-weary Jake ask "What if we never walked through the abandoned construction site?" Some of the results are amusing, such as Marco and Rachel going out on a date, but others... Well, just because you don't become the Animorphs [[LiteralGenie that doesn't mean]] the war doesn't happen.
** Also: What if the kids give up? Earth becomes a Yeerk-infested hell, as you might expect, with the kids themselves becoming Controllers.
** What if Jake became too ruthless and cocky? In #41, Jake, in the heat of battle, leaves Marco and Rachel to fend for themselves, in order to save the rest of the team. The continuation of this mindset is shown in the far future: Tom suspected Jake of being an "Andalite bandit", and turned him into a Controller. Ax, Marco, and Cassie are taken, Rachel is gravely wounded in the ensuing battle, and Tobias escapes. Marco becomes host to Visser Two, and Ax becomes a key player in the attack on his homeworld. Cassie's Yeerk, Niss, joins the Evolutionist Front, a terrorist group dedicated to the creation of artificial hosts, led by Tobias, who permanently morphs Ax. But even Cassie and Tobias aren't good guys: Cassie becomes ruthless, cynical and practically evil ("In a war, Jake, anything is justified."), and Tobias is completely willing to let Cassie die to score a victory ("Save one, or save many? The choice wasn't so hard at the Ragskin building, when you left Marco and Rachel to save themselves.")
* Older tropers and ones who frequent used bookstores may be aware of a SciFi pulp magazine titled "if: Worlds of Science Fiction".
* Naomi Novik's ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' saga can be best summed up as "The Napoleonic Wars [-[[RecycledInSPACE WITH DRAGONS!]]-]".
* ''Literature/TheTripods'' series of novels by Creator/JohnChristopher are a What If for Creator/HGWells' ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'': What if the aliens won, and instituted VichyEarth?
* Creator/EricFlint works:
** ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' and its sequels very seriously ask, what if a town of West Virginia coal miner hillbillies got magically transported back to 1632 in Southern Germany in the middle of the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar.
** The ''Literature/TrailOfGlory'' series, posits an AlternateHistory of the "ForWantOfANail" variety, with Ensign Sam Houston not taking an arrow [[GroinAttack between the goalposts]] in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Horseshoe_Bend Battle of Horseshoe Bend]], unlike what happened in RealLife. One of the changes annoyed Francis Scott Key to no end.
* ''Literature/WorldWar'' by Creator/HarryTurtledove asks "What if UsefulNotes/WorldWarII was interrupted by an AlienInvasion?" His other main series, Literature/Timeline191, is based on the more conventional question, "What if the south won the American Civil War?" while his earlier novel ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'' poses, [[spoiler: "What if a racist group from South Africa in the near future travelled back in time to supply the Confederacy with AK-47s?"]]
* "What if"s are basically José Saramago's source of inspiration. "What if people suddenly went blind?", "What if nobody died?", "What if everyone cast blank ballots?", etc. He mostly uses these to make comments on society and politics.
* A series of essays by eminent historians is entitled simply "What If". It includes topics like "What If the Americans lost the Revolution?" and "What if Pontius Pilate spared Jesus?"
* Discussed in the ''Film/IronMan 2'' novelisation, where Tony suspects that being brought up by an alcohol-and-rage-fuelled father in Siberia would have caused him to turn out like Ivan Vanko.
* Creator/VladimirVasilyev's novel ''Literature/WolfishNature'' and its sequel ''The Beach in Each of Us'' explores a world where humans have descended from dogs instead of apes. For simplicity, the author keeps many geographical names (e.g. continents, cities, countries) from RealLife, and many character names are also similar to RealLife names. Unlike us, the species ''canus sapiens sapiens'' have made incredible advances in bioengineering, culminating in the Bio-Correction during the 18th century, which removed the "Wolf Gene" (which allows one to kill another person) from the entire species. As such, wars are replaced with spy games on a grand scale. Murder is such a rarity that ordinary cops aren't trained to catch killers (all of whom are psychopaths anyway). Special agents can be trained to kill, but have to spend months in psychological recovery after the fact. Biotechnology is everywhere, although "dead" technology is slowly starting to replace it. The first novel kicks off with the discovery of an isolated enclave of unmodified people (i.e. they still have the Wolf Gene) in Siberia. The wolves immediately kill the person who exposes them and go after anyone in his address book, as he made a call shortly before being killed. However, the world governments quickly find out about their existence and send agents to Siberia. After all, any country can use the active Wolf Gene to breed an army of merciless soldiers. Instead of the concept of race, the dog-humans' "morphemes" (i.e. breeds) are often mentioned in descriptions.
* Martin Cruz Smith's ''The Indians Won'' postulates that after gathering together to fight and win the Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn) battle, the Great Plains nations decide not to split up and go home. Instead, they stay together and draw the attention of European investors, who provide them with the supplies they need to withstand Manifest Destiny. This attracts other tribes to join them, at last forming the United Indian Nations. The U.S. is finally forced to capitulate and cede to them what would have become the Midwestern and Great Plains states from Canada to Mexico. So now you have EastUSA and WestUSA and a nice big Indian Nation at the center.
* A whole genre of books deals with [=WW2=] and what might have happened if key moments had gone differently, vital players in our universe had been indisposed or absent, or if vital decisions had gone the other way. Germany did not have to declare war on the USA in December 1941; if they hadn't, the likeliest outcome is that the US would have stayed neutral in the European war and focused everything on defeating Japan. Britain alone could not have broken the stalemate in the West - the English Channel precluded movement in either direction and British strength alone could not have retaken France. The Soviet Union might still have won in the end but this meant a Communist Europe...
** And if the Valkyrie plot had taken place a year earlier, just after Kursk, and a more rational German government taken over while the outcome of the war was still in doubt - who knows?

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** ChristmasEpisode "Lexmas": What If Lex Luthor decides to drop out of the senator race and let Jonathan Kent become senator? He would be HappilyMarried to Lana, not rich but very happy with one boy and expecting one girl, [[FanPreferredCouple Clark would be married to Chloe instead]], Lex receives the Kansas Humanitarian Award for work for the homeless, Jonathan says he is the finest man he ever met and would be proud to have him as a son. Lex is simply on perfect terms with every single person except Lionel, but who cares? [[spoiler: Only for imaginary-Lana to die for that...]] ForWantOfANail indeed.
** BadFuture episode "Pandora": What If Zod manages to complete his Solar Towers?
* ''Film/{{Fatherland}}'', a 1994 TV movie on HBO (based on [[Literature/{{Fatherland}} the novel by Robert Harris]]), set in a 1960s Germany in a timeline in which Nazi Germany more or less won World War II and got into a Cold War with the US while fighting a guerrilla war with a remnant of the Soviet Union.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Turn Left" presented a world where [[spoiler:Donna never met the Doctor, and humanity was more or less screwed]].
* ''Doctor Who'' spinoff ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' has a storyline asking "What if Sarah, rather than her best friend, had died in an accident as a teenage girl?"
* ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'': Members of the Midnight Society frequently included a "What if" question when introducing their story, i.e. "What if you found out the future held something incredibly evil, and there was nothing you could do to change it?"
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy'': The Season 8 episode "If/Then" - As Meredith puts Zola to bed and falls asleep, she begins to wonder -- what if her mother had never had Alzheimer's and she'd had loving, supportive parents? The reverberations of a happy Meredith Grey change the world of Seattle Grace as we know it. What if she had never met Derek in that bar and he had never separated from Addison? What if Callie and Owen had become a couple long before she met Arizona? And what if Bailey never evolved from the meek intern she once was?
* ''Series/{{Austin and Ally}}'' has the episode [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "What Ifs & Where's Austin"]] where Ally Trish and Dez imagine how their lives would have like if they never met Austin.
* ''Series/NewsRadio'' had two of these episodes, both with an opening introduction by Phil Hartman:
** What if the show took place on a space station and reported the "space news"? ("Space")
** What if the show took place on the luxury liner called ''Titanic''? ("Sinking Ship")
* Creator/TheBBC-made series ''[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/if/default.stm If...]]'' was a serious docu-drama take on What If,'documenting' what might happen in Britain should some issue of the time become reality e.g. oil running out, blackouts or legalising drugs.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "The Wish": what if Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale? The answer: a lot of really bad stuff.
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Mirror, Mirror" formed the basis of episodes from all of the subsequent series except ''Next Generation'' and ''Voyager''... but they got theirs in a novel (''A Mirror Darkly''). The "What if?" question being answered by that episode was, of course, "What if Spock had a goatee?"
* ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' used this trope as its main premise: "What if antibiotics had never been invented?" "What if America had lost the Cold War?" "What if traditional gender roles were swapped?" and so on.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** One episode ends on a What If note. Joey, Chandler, and Monica imagine what would Joey and Monica's lives be like if Monica married Joey instead of Chandler. It shows a very obese Joey in Monica's apartment sitting down to a really huge dinner prepared by Monica, who was more than happy to make all the food for him. The episode ends with the fat Joey saying his famous "How you doing?" catchphrase to a piece of fried chicken before he eats it.
** The two-part episode fittingly titled "[[TheOneWith The One]] That Could Have Been" showed an alternative history for the group. We learn what could have been if Rachel hadn't walked out on her marriage and had got married to Barry; Ross hadn't discovered his wife was a lesbian and hadn't divorced her; Monica never had lost her weight; Joey hadn't got fired from ''Days of Our Lives''; Chandler pursued a career as a comic-book writer and Phoebe had worked as a stock broker.
* Trance of ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' has this as her superpower, basically seeing future possibilities and trying to steer the present toward the "best" one. She also [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic prunes a bonsai]] quite often.
** An episode explores what would happen if Rhade killed Dylan at the start of the [[NietzscheWannabe Nietzschean]] rebellion instead of the other way around. While Rhade would still try to re-create the [[TheFederation Commonwealth]], his efforts would be futile, costing him many allies. At the end, he realizes that Dylan is a better candidate for this, goes back in time, kills his past self, and throws the fight with Dylan, leading to the series' timeline.
* ''Series/PartyOfFive'''s 100th episode entitled "What If" had Bailey in a coma where he imagined an alternate reality where his parents had never been killed in the car crash.
** Among the alternate stuff: Julia's kind of a bookworm while Claudia is kind of a slut.
* Likewise, ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'''s 100th episode imagined a different world for the characters: Steve's dad survives and Steve goes to see him in Hawaii to meet a Danny who's embraced the Hawaiian life style and a rule-breaking cop. Chin is the police captain, Kono a champion surfer, Grover still with the Chicago P.D. and Jerry a homeless bum.
* Various alternate realities presented in ''Series/StargateSG1'' tend to have major changes resulting from Sam Carter not being in the military, among other things.
* The series ''Series/SwitchedAtBirth'' actually did two:
** In one, Regina comes clean when she learns of the switch in 1998 but loses custody of both girls who are raised together. Daphne gets an implant to hear but becomes a conniving bitch with Bay in her shadow, Toby still gambling and John and Katherine on the outs.
** A Christmas episode has the girls off-hand wishing the switch had never happened. The next morning, Daphne wakes up as Bay, able to hear, a star soccer player and Toby an Emo musician. Bay wakes up as Daphne, deaf with a younger brother, Regina never having quit drinking and Emmett just a friend. It's all set right with the fun touch of each girl assuming they alone had this "weird dream."
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' John gets to view a bunch of "What if?" realities in the episode "Unrealized Reality", then has to figure out how to navigate his way back to the right one to avoid any of the "ifs" becoming permanent. (He also encounters a "Bizarro Moya" during this misadventure where all the characters' actors are scrambled, e.g. Anthony Simcoe [D'Argo] playing Jool instead, [[ChekhovsGun which turns out to be important later]].) When the gang goes to Earth in the past in "Kansas", John tells his friends that they have to save his father so he will be inspired to become an astronaut and go on to meet all of them.
* During a production meeting for ''Series/{{Felicity}}'', Creator/JJAbrams off-handedly asked "What if Felicity was a secret agent?" to try and develop a plot with relatively higher stakes. It was a joke, but he'd eventually answer the question with ''Series/{{Alias}}''.
* Both ''Series/{{JAG}}'' and its spinoff ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' did episodes that revolved around the main characters making different decisions (or events that occurred one way in the "prime" timeline happening the other way). The ''JAG'' episode was even titled "What If?".
* ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' once explored the possible consequences if Samantha had admitted her powers to Darrin before he asked her to marry him.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': The fates once showed Xena how things would be if she never killed anyone. They did by placing her in such a timeline on the proviso that, if she ever kills anyone in that new reality, she'll return to the original. In the new reality, she was still living in her home village, her younger brother was still alive, her engagement was still on. The first downside was her mother no longer being alive. Then she learns of the consequences of her not doing the good things she did as TheAtoner in the original timeline. The last drop was Gabrielle becoming a ruthless killer to escape a life of slavery. That was the BerserkButton that made Xena decide to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the original timeline]].
* ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': The episode "Perfect Circles" begins with the embolism in Nate's brain rupturing and shows us the three possible outcomes. Either he dies, lives with severe impairment, or makes a full recovery. The series then continues the storyline with the least likely of these (the full recovery).
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', before Christmas, Sheldon heads home to Texas, and his friends throw a Christmas party as he would object. They start wondering what would have been if none of them had met Sheldon.
* In the finale of old ''Series/{{Dallas}}'', J.R. Ewing feels DrivenToSuicide. He is visited by Adam who takes him to see what would have been with the people he knows, mostly his family, had he never existed.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** In the episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E20WhatIsAndWhatShouldNeverBe "What Is And What Should Never Be"]], we find out what the world would be like if Mary Winchester was still alive.
** In a season six episode, we find out what the characters' lives would be like if the Titanic had never sank. Naturally, this means they've never heard of the Titanic. [[spoiler:Also, the apocalypse and everything happened, but Jo and Ellen survived and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking instead of the Impala, the Winchesters drove a classic Mustang!]]]]
* At around the halfway point of ''Series/NightAndDay'', an alternate reality episode imagined how the lives of Thornton Street's residents might be different had Jane Harper kept her baby. In which Django Doyle murders dad Charlie, Jane's mum Natalie plots to sell Jane's baby to Rachel Culgrin, Steph [=McKenzie=] randomly turns demonic, and Jane jilts Sam Armstrong at the altar - then disappears, of course. The whole scenario is Natalie's daydream; and on its conclusion she decides that there's no point wishing for what might have been, as it all seems pretty horrific.

* ''[[Music/{{Hero}} !HERO: The Rock Opera]]'' for Literature/TheBible: What if Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania? And moreover, what if Jesus wasn't born until the modern times?

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* An ongoing project related to ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is the [[http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=200543 Dornian Heresy.]] The trope is somewhat subverted, since rather than one point of divergence, there's actually several, but the spirit of the trope is still there. The premise: What if Warmaster Horus had not fallen to the powers of Chaos? Though rather miffed, the gods turn to Plan B: turn Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists instead. What then happens is a very odd mixture of BizarroUniverse and MirrorUniverse (while some things stay the same, adding to the oddities). Here's just a few of the changes:
** The World Eaters under Angron become the paragons of martial honor and virtue, and are by far some of the most well regarded of the Emperor's SpaceMarine Legions (yes, legions).
** The Emperor's Children are still stuck up snobs, but they're perfectionists whose hearts are on the Imperials' side.
** The Space Wolves have dedicated themselves to Khorne, and are now both figuratively and literally AxCrazy.
** The White Scars are so obsessed with speed and thrills while worshipping Slaanesh. The Speed Freakz of the Orkz would be envious.
** The Word Bearers are the priesthood of the Imperium and use their knowledge of the Warp to exorcise daemons instead of summoning them.
** The Thousand Sons have renounced sorcery and become one of the most loyal Legions of the Imperium, and Magnus is the advocate and spokesperson for psykers everywhere.
** Abbadon STILL hates Horus for being weak and a fool, and reorganizes the Sons of Horus into the Black Templars.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'':
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIf'' was purely about "What If... a school were thrown into the [[TheLegionsOfHell demon world]]?"
*** It also presents another question: "What If... people were already aware of demons before the start of ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei''?" The answer isn't provided until the ''Devil Summoner'' [[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy prequel]] [[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon games]]: "Thor would have been killed before he launched the nuclear missiles, instead of after, averting the main-series apocalypse and leading to a very different world." The ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'' series may or may not take place in the continuity spawned by ''If'' and ''VideoGame/DevilSummoner'', although it's heavily implied to be so with [[spoiler:the presence of both Tamaki (the female protagonist of ''If'') ''and'' Kuzunoha devil summoners in the early Persona games]].
*** It's worth noting that the What If in ''Shin Megami Tensei If...'' had the interesting effect of leading to the creation of an AlternateContinuity that has been ''far'' more financially successful than the "main" SMT franchise, with ''eleven'' games (and that's not including the multitude of [[UpdatedRerelease Updated Rereleases]]!) currently released in the ''If''/''Devil Summoner''/''Persona'' line compared to ''six'' in the "main" line, making it one of the rare What Ifs to actually ''overshadow'' its parent franchise.
** The ''Devil Summoner'' prequel games also provide an Alternate History What If, hinging on the Taisho period lasting longer than it did in our world. Basically, Raidou's antics in the time stream stopped the main ''Shin Megami Tensei'' series from ever happening (In fact, most of the [=MegaTen=] games brought to America weren't actually released under the ''Shin Megami Tensei'' name in Japan, but the localizers wanted to use the main series's title, thus we have ''Shin Megami Tensei: VideoGame/Persona3'' and whatnot).
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' is based on a What If scenario after Einstein uses a Time Machine to [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct erase Hitler from history]]. Turns out this leads to the Soviets starting the second World War instead. It is also implied to lead up to the first game, which starts out with another What If, a meteorite spreading a strange new material named Tiberium.
* ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict''. In this what if, Russia invades USA during the cold war.
* The obscure FirstPersonShooter called ''VideoGame/IronStorm'' is set in a 1964 where World War I never ended and is entering its 50th year. In a subsequent re-release, it was retitled "World War Zero".
* FirstPersonShooter game ''VideoGame/TurningPointFallOfLiberty'' features a world where Winston Churchill died in 1931, and the lack of his leadership was the cause of Germans winning WWII... And invading the USA in 1953, when the game starts.
* ''VideoGame/FreedomFighters'' by IO Interactive (better known for the Hitman series) put the players in the shoes of a plumber becoming a resistance leader, in an alternate reality where USA are invaded by an USSR that not only never collapsed, but was the real winner of WWII by dropping the first atomic bomb on Berlin.
* ''VideoGame/WarFrontTurningPoint'' has Hitler assassinated in the early days of WWII and, under his successor, Britain occupied by the Nazi. After the Allies defeat them, the Russian take the chance to invade Western Europe, leading to the merging of the Allies' troops with reinforcements from the recently dismantled Nazi army. All this, with some science-fiction weaponry thrown in.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' video games absolutely love using What If storylines in order to expand on the well-established storyline.
** The ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai'' games have always a set of What If stories in Story mode which are usually unlocked when you win a battle that the original storyline has you losing. Some of the more memorable ones include: Vegeta defeating the Z-Fighters and achieving Super Saiyan on Earth, Raditz undergoing an AmnesiacDissonance HeelFaceTurn just like Goku did as a child, and Cell accidentally absorbing Krillin instead of 18, turning him into a weakened, miniature form dubbed "Cellin".
*** ''Shin Budokai: Another Road'' is all about this, as the game's main storyline starts with the question "What If the Buu Saga happened in Future Trunks' timeline?" and goes from there.
** The story mode of ''Dragon Ball: Supersonic Warriors'' gives each playable character an "IF" story, in addition to having a story mode for the canonical events. For example, for Piccolo, Planet Namek is ''not'' destroyed and Goku and Piccolo defeat Cell using the same [[HeroicSacrifice method]] they used to beat Raditz, and Piccolo revives and merges with Demon King Piccolo to defeat Buu. [[OvershadowedByAwesome Krillin]]'s storyline in ''Supersonic Warriors 2'' has him becoming Earth's champion after Goku is KilledOffForReal, and ends up learning the Kaioken and Spirit Bomb, which likewise results in his being the one to take down Cell and Buu. Even Goku himself has a What If despite being the star of the original show.
** ''VideoGame/DragonballXenoverse'' has What If scenarios that come about as a result of time-travelling villains [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight Making Wrong What Once Went Right]], usually by giving other villains power-ups at the worst possible time. For instance: What if Raditz evaded Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon (but Goku didn't)? What if Ginyu succeeded in taking Vegeta's body? What if Gohan wasn't able to reach Super Saiyan 2 when fighting Cell?
** Several games also explore the concept of transformations and fusions not witnessed or possible within the events of the ''DBZ'' or ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' anime. ''Budokai'' famously featured Yamhan[=/=]Tiencha (the result of Yamcha and Ten Shinhan performing the FusionDance), Gotan[=/=]Gokule (the Potara fusion of Goku and Mr. Satan[=/=]Hercule that almost happened in the Buu Saga) and Super Buu after absorbing Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, or (to his great distress) Yamcha and Tien. The arcade card game ''Dragon Ball Heroes'' showed us what Gotenks would look like as an adult[[note]]Goten and Trunks considered fusing several times during ''GT'' but never got the chance[[/note]], gave higher levels of Super Saiyan to more characters, and showed some truly terrifying villain scenarios like Majin versions of all the movie villains and, perhaps most frightening of all, '''Super Saiyan 4 Broly'''.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' games tend to have these in nearly every installment at some point or another. Most notable is Dynasty Warriors 8 where each force's story mode has a Hypothetical Ending where they unite China successfully. (Even Jin, who already unites China in the Historical Ending, simply unites the land even better.)
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors Chronicles 3'' allows the player to alter events in the history of Warring States era Japan, posing such hypothetical scenarios such as "What if Yoshimoto Imagawa defeated Nobunaga Oda at the Battle of Okehazama", or "What if Shingen Takeda lived to reach the capital?", or "What if Tokugawa Ieyasu fought Nobunaga at Honnouji?"
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'': Question: What if Tin Pin Slammer was the biggest thing in Shibuya? Answer: [[spoiler: ''TWEWY'' would be a great ''Anime/{{Beyblade}}''-parody and Neku a Tyson with "Emo-urges". (As seen in Another Day)]]
* ''VideoGame/LordOfTheRings: Conquest'' has a campaign where you fight as the forces of evil, with the question: "What if Frodo failed to destroy the One Ring?" Answer: The world goes to hell.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' could be seen as "What if [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Dr. Light]] worked in networking technology instead of robotics?" There was even a part where there is a debate whether to fund Light's (Hikari's in this case) project instead of Dr. Wily's robots.
* ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'': The DownloadableContent of the game explores various "What if?" scenarios of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe; one of them is, for instance, "What if Vader died and was replaced by Galen?" (using the non-canon Dark Side ending as a starting point).
* The Hall of Memories in ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'' is made specifically for this; it allows people to revisit past events and explore what possibilities might occur without impacting the real world.
* The ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' [[DownloadableContent DLC]] story "The Darkspawn Chronicles" asks "What would happen if the player's Grey Warden died during the Joining ceremony, and the Wardens were led by Alistair?" [[spoiler:Answer: Ferelden is wiped out by the Darkspawn.]]
* Several ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' video games give the player the opportunity to explore alternate versions of the Universal Century. ''[[VideoGame/GundamVsSeries Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam]]'''s extensive UC Mode offers a few distinct ideas (like "What if Kamille[=/=]Amuro[=/=]Char joined the Titans?" or "What if Zeon won the One Year War?"), but the most famous is the strategy game ''Gihren's Greed'', which lets the player take any faction from the original series up through ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' (and a few original ones like an all-women faction or a scientist faction lead by Amuro's dad) and lead them to victory or defeat. The most recent version even included updated, ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]''-era versions of several characters who died in the original series like Garma Zabi and Sleggar Law.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny Gundam SEED Destiny]]'' had ''[[VideoGame/SDGundamGGeneration Generation of C.E.]]'', which released 3/4 of the way through the anime's run. At the time of the game's release, the producers claimed that one of the game's four endings was the original ending of the anime before ExecutiveMeddling changed things. While WordOfGod remained vague, most fans believe the ending in question is "The Awakened Sword", in which ZAFT wins and Shinn Asuka kills Kira Yamato and company during the final battle.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'' "Off The Record" explores what would happen if Frank West was the hero of the game instead of Chuck Greene. Frank became very popular, having ran his popularity in the ground before showing up in Terror Is Reality, wrestling zombies, before the game takes off. [[spoiler: Also, Chuck Greene is a psychopath (a non-psychopathic version is Frank's co-op partner), and Stacy is this game's main villain.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Brink}}'' has a handful of ''What-If'' missions, which follow on from the 'prison break' level if the canonical outcome didn't happen. In the Resistance levels, their attempt to free Nechayev ended in failure, so they resorted to more extreme methods, launching missiles at Founder's Tower and attempting to sabotage Ark's nuclear reactors. In the Security levels, because Nechayev was freed, Security are forced to deal with the Resistance's continued attempts to escape Ark on a hijacked plane.
* ''VideoGame/SilentStorm'' starts as a straightforward UsefulNotes/WorldWarII game, until the "What If" portion comes into play. What if a powerful secret organization bent on world domination was playing both sides against each other and supplying them with equivalent advanced weaponry in order to cause sufficient damage for the organization to take over after the war? While this would be interesting in itself, the game then had to bring in {{Energy Weapon}}s and PoweredArmor. ''Hammer & Sickle'' takes place in the same 'verse but during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar era with both THO and the Sentinels playing their shadow games. If the player (a Soviet spy) fails, WorldWarThree is unavoidable.
* The Survival Pack DLC for ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' within The Last Stand map explores the idea of what would happen to the survivors if they took a wrong turn and tried to hold out in being rescued. As the tagline says for the poster that shows the whole point of survival mode,[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin It Doesn't End Well.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' asks, "What if the sociopolitical aesthetic of the 1950s had endured for the next hundred years or so?" The results are [[NuclearOption not]] [[CrapsackWorld pretty]], though the progression of the games shows that conditions are slowly improving again... after 120-200 years.
* According to the official ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' timeline depicted in the [[UniverseCompendium series manual]] ''Hyrule Historia'' the split timeline currently hinges on a What If scenario. In one scenario, Link is sent back in time by Zelda at the end of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', preventing Ganondorf from gaining power in the first place. Link leaves Hyrule, and becomes embroiled in the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'', and Ganondorf is executed, leading to the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]''. In another scenario, Link retains the Master Sword and seals away Ganondorf at the height of his power. He eventually breaks free, and Hyrule is flooded by the gods, leading to the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]''. In the third and final scenario, Link dies while trying to defeat Ganondorf, leading to the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]''.
** From the opposite perspective Ocarina of Time could itself be seen as a What If to the original games: "What if the imprisoning war in the backstory of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'' could be averted?"
* The DLC for ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' titled "The Tyranny of King Washington" is based around the idea that George Washington found a piece of LostTechnology and used its power to declare himself an absolute monarch instead of a democratically-elected president.
** At the climax of the main game, Desmond in the present-day is given two choices: unleash [[spoiler:Juno]], an even greater threat than the Templars in order to prevent a solar flare from destroying civilization as they know it, or allow the disaster to take place and lead the world into a new Golden Age, being remembered as a saint and eventually as a god, which leads to more violence. [[spoiler:He chooses to release Juno, and dies in the process.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarKensRage'', this is what the Dream Mode is all about. Every character gets a specific divergence from canon, and you get to play through this imaginary situation.
* The [=PS1=] ''VideoGame/SpiderMan'' video game has ''an entire mode'' based around this. This changes various elements of the game, such as changing water into lava [[AbsurdlySpaciousSewer in the sewer levels]] and replacing lids of pipes with lids that feature [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic giant bananas]].
* The DS version of ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' includes a hidden "Etna Mode", which gives you an alternate storyline that shows what would've happened if Etna had actually succeeded in killing Laharl at the start of the game, making Etna the protagonist. It manages to be even weirder than the main game.
* The video game based on ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' called ''Sword Art Online Infinity Moment'' starts off with [[spoiler: a glitch that interrupts Kirito and Heathcliff's DuelToTheDeath in floor 75 and must go on to floor 76 and beyond. Dragging them along are ALO players, including Leafa/Suguha, Kirito's [[NotBloodSiblings younger sister]].]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity'', while plays like a generic (and pretty flawed) third person shooter, it is a big "what if" game taking place during ''Resident Evil 2'' and ''3''. What if Umbrella had a special forces unit sent in to erase the evidence and eventually have to assassinate Leon S Kennedy [[spoiler: and choose to follow through with it or oppose their order]]. What if there is a military special forces unit sent in to investigate the situation and eventually assist Jill Valentine? What if both Umbrella and the U.S. Army enter into skirmishes in attempt for one to erase the evidence and the other to preserve it?
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' has DLC that pits iconic Fire Emblem characters against each other, with the characters of Awakening getting in the fun. Each DLC pack that features this concept has three variations of it. One where the Awakening cast allies themselves with one faction. Another which pits them with another faction. And a third that has both factions working together against them. It has the effect of a "what if" scenario, but the game explains it by having the past characters actually be magical copies of the originals, summoned by cards.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' makes the player choose which kingdom--Hoshido or Nohr--that he/she wishes to side with. The storyline changes depending on the chosen side, creating a series of "what if" scenarios. And when you choose one side over the other, you will often be repeatedly told by other characters what would have happened if you have done something differently to avoid a worst outcome (in other words, choose the other path). You are not reminded of this so much when you TakeAThirdOption, although some bad stuff happens there anyway. The games are even called ''Fire Emblem If" in Japan, driving the "What if" motif further.
* The premise of ''VideoGame/EvilDeadRegeneration'' is that Ash never got sucked into the past (therefore, no ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'', and by extension, [[{{Retcon}} the other]] ''Franchise/EvilDead'' games), gets put in a mental institute having [[spoiler: been blamed for the murder of the other characters from ''Film/EvilDead2'']], and fight against a mad scientist hell bent on releasing deadites in the world.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaFighter'', a fan game with the current plot being what if Adrian (aka Alucard) got killed along with his mother, and Dracula killed Trevor Belmont. The only people able to stop them are others from [[AlternateUniverse their old dimensions.]]
* ''Terminator 3 Redemption'' has a major deviation from the film that involved the Terminator getting stuck on a prototype time machine and gets sent back to the future where John and Kathryn are dead, the machines take over the world, and it's no one else but one reprogrammed machine who will [[{{Determinator}} stop at nothing to go back in time and complete its mission!]] Also, the thermal scan gets damaged at the start of the game and becomes incredibly useful via upgrades (such as increased damage).
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes'': The SecretCharacter known as Shadow Lady is [[VideoGame/StreetFighter Chun-Li]] from an AlternateUniverse where she was [[ReforgedIntoAMinion forcibly turned into a]] [[UnwillingRoboticization brainwashed cybernetic minion]] for Shadaloo. Before she was forcibly roboticized, Chun-Li routinely foiled Shadaloo's plans at every turn, and in retaliation, Shadaloo kidnapped, experimented and [[{{Cyborg}} cyborgized]] her for the sake of turning her into a pawn against Interpol. When the task was completed, they turned her into a living weapon, complete with a new name and transformed her into M. Bison's [[TheDragon top operative]]. Unlike Shadow--a roboticized Charlie Nash, who escaped shortly after being transformed--Shadaloo added a RestrainingBolt to Shadow Lady's programming and internal systems so the cyborg would [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul remain fully obedient and loyal to Bison]], and complete her missions by having her body be remotely controlled, essentially making her a [[DarkActionGirl Dark Action]] RobotGirl. As Shadow Lady, [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul Chun-Li's formerly cheerful personality was obliterated, and her body's physiology altered so it]] [[EmotionlessGirl experienced no emotion apart from being a ruthless but highly effective killing machine]] and assassin for Shadaloo - in essence, she is essentially a completely different person inhabiting her body and mind (being more machine than human), and serves as nothing but a weapon against her former allies and Interpol. It's also been implied that deep down, [[AndIMustScream the old Chun-Li is still there on some level]], and is at least partially aware of what she has done. Even if her allies ever managed to revive her, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone Chun-Li would have to deal with the]] [[HeelRealization guilt of being a tool for Shadaloo]], not to mention the fact that [[RealityEnsues being a brainwashed robotic minion wouldn't go away overnight]] should she become a good person again. Aside from retaining a few moves from her non-cyborgified variant, she has built-in high tech weaponry, and all of this was augmented to her robotic body, like the T-X from the ''{{Franchise/Terminator}}'' series, thus making her more faster and stronger than Shadow, but at the cost of becoming a brainwashed minion for Shadaloo. She shoots [[HomingProjectile homing]]/[[MissileLockOn heat-seeking missiles]] from [[BackpackCannon her back]], thrusts forward with [[ThisIsADrill a drill]], encases herself in a [[ShockAndAwe electric barrier]] (that also [[DeflectorShield deflects attacks]] and stuns opponents), miniaturized Vernier thrusters in her feet that enable her to jump much higher (and allow her to kick more rapidly) and fires a large beam ([[ArmCannon Big Bang Laser]]) from [[HandBlast her palms]]. [[spoiler:In her ending however, she manages to [[HeroicWillpower overcome Shadaloo's brainwashing,]] [[HeelFaceTurn regain her original memories as Chun-Li]], and join forces with Shadow in taking down Shadaloo. Despite this, she retains her robotic parts even after the brainwashing broke.]]
* The "Burial at Sea" DLC for ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'' starts seemingly as "What if [=BioShock=]: Infinite took place in [[VideoGame/BioShock1 Rapture]] instead of [[VideoGame/BioShockInfinite Columbia]]?". That is, until the end of the DLC, when [[spoiler:it's revealed that the "Booker" you were playing as was actually [[Main/{{Multiverse}} one universe's Comstock]] who accidentally killed another universe's Anna/Elizabeth, and [[TheAtoner had his memory wiped and moved to Rapture to repent]]. And that the Elizabeth may be the one from the main storyline, who has tasked her life with hunting down the rest of the remaining Comstocks (including you). ''And'' that this Rapture is the same one from [=BioShock=] 1, and that Elizabeth's actions set in motion the events of the first game. '''AND''' it's all entirely canon because of the multiverses that the main storyline set up. It's quite a mind screw from what was initially supposed to be an innocent "What If?" situation.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The {{Romance Game}}s of Creator/VoltageInc take a couple of different approaches to the concept:
** ''VisualNovel/InYourArmsTonight'' offers "Another Story" routes as {{Expansion Pack}}s for each available character, showing how the protagonist's relationship with the selected character would play out if her decision whether or not to divorce her husband at the start of the main route were reversed.
** The "Another Story" mechanic makes a return in ''VisualNovel/KissOfRevenge'', this time branching off from the middle of each character's main route to show what would have happened if, for example, the protagonist chose to answer a phone call instead of ignoring it.
** ''VisualNovel/LoveLetterFromThiefX'' has several "What If..." side stories for its main characters. Unlike the Another Stories, these don't depict an alternate continuity, but flirt with the trope by having the spotlighted character go undercover to provide a taste of what it would be like if Hiro was an IdolSinger, Takuto worked at a HostClub, or Riki was a doctor.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Karzahni of ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' actually has "What If" as a ''superpower''; he can give people visions of possible past or future outcomes. He tends to use this as a psychological attack, showing "What if you didn't survive that situation?" or "What if you couldn't save that guy at that crucial moment?" It's rarely pretty... and when it ''is'' pretty, it becomes a LotusEaterMachine. One character then manages to use it against him, by daring him to show them what would happen if the Great Spirit dies. When he does so, he finds out that the answer is "the end of the universe," and that he's not nearly as important as he likes to think. This revelation causes him to go [[HeroicBSOD BSOD]].
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Church tries to take advantage of this trope to change the future (What if Donut didn't kill Tex? What if Captain Flowers hadn't died?). Unfortunately... it didn't work out so well. In fact, trying to change the past ended up [[spoiler:causing all the things he was hoping to avoid to happen anyway, including ''his own death'']].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': The basis of all the other universes, sans Universe 18.
* ''Webcomic/DraculaRulerOfTheNight'' ask "What If Dracula did things differently when he originally came to London?" For one he allows his Brides to come with him and has them infiltrate the Westenra's household, learning of Helsing's involvement earlier. After he turns Lucy, he retrieves her before the others can kill her and later [[spoiler: kidnaps Lucy's mother, granting him two new brides. Likewise thanks to his brides having overhead Helsing's conversation about his personal life. Dracula tracks down his wife, Milly, who was put into a mental institution after the death of their son and likewise turns her as well, giving him a total of six brides. Three from olden times and three from modern era]] Soon he sets about a trap for the hunters, allowing him to kidnap Mina. [[spoiler: He and his initial brides still dies at the end, but Mina becomes a damphyr after everything, Lucy and her mother survive staking and flee into the night. And Quincy, thought truly dead once Dracula was killed, turns and rises after his body is shipped home to Texas to be buried, creating his own equivalent of Dracula's castle via a ranch and ensuring that vamprisim will continue in the modern world. However Milly reconciles with her husband and goes into a deep sleep, the remaining hunters vow to continue fighting and make sure future generations will have the knowledge to do so as well.]]
* ''Webcomic/SailorMoonCS'' asks "What if Franchise/SailorMoon was {{Shonen}} instead of {{Shoujo}}?"

[[folder:Web Original]]
* On the NFL's website, there is Dave Damashek's video series, [[http://www.nfl.com/videos/n-if-l "N-if-L"]], which shows what happens if the NFL's most memorable/controversial moments didn't happen, whether if it's during the playoffs (e.g., Joe Montana's "The Catch", The Tuck Rule Game) or the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl (Scott Norwood's "Wide Right" miss in SBXXV, David Tyree's helmet grab in SBXLII).
* Website/{{WrestleCrap}}'s Rewriting The Book section is all about What Ifs, exploring historic events in ProfessionalWrestling and looking at what would have happened had things went differently, such as "What If The Wrestling/MontrealScrewjob Never Happened?"
* There was a "What if the characters have just met each other?" arc in ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars''.
* ''Fanfic/WhatIfRaditzTurnedGood'': Part of Creator/MasakoX series of Dragon Ball Discussion videos and a fairly popular subject. As it says, it looks into what would happened if Raditz survived his initial fight against Goku and Piccolo and how his involvement in the series would go.
** ''WebVideo/MasakoXDragonBallWhatIf'': The series of videos that followed after the success of the Raditz one, only now focusing on other possibilities of the Dragon Ball series. Such as "What If Nappa Turned Good?", "What If Goku Married Bluma?" or "What If Gine went with Goku to Earth while he was still a baby?" to name a few.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' "Anthology of Interest" episodes had the characters view, via one of the Professor's inventions, various "What if" scenarios. In the first one, it reveals that the entire framing sequence is itself such a scenario (For those curious, it was "What If the Professor had invented the Finglonger[[note]]a glove with an extended index finger[[/note]]?").
** What If Bender Was 500 Feet Tall? [[spoiler:He fights a giant Zoidberg and dies.]]
** What If Leela Was More Impulsive? [[spoiler:She kills everyone except for Fry, whom she sleeps with.]]
** Parodied when Fry's What If is "What If Bender Was 500 Feet Tall?", because he liked it and wanted to see it again.
** What If Fry Never Fell In The Freezer-Doodle And Came To The Future-Jiggy?[[note]]What if Fry never came to the future?[[/note]] [[spoiler:[[RealityBreakingParadox Reality falls apart]]. Eventually revealed to be less ridiculous than it seems because Fry's existence is a StableTimeLoop.]]
** What If Bender Were Human? [[spoiler:He stuffs himself on food, booze and smoke, and dies of morbid obesity.]]
** What If Life Were More Like A Video Game? [[spoiler:Video game characters invade Earth demanding quarters.]]
** What If Leela Found Her True Home? [[spoiler:She winds up in Oz and becomes the new Wicked Witch of the West. Unlike the others, though, this was just Leela's dream after she was knocked out and not an actual projection of the What If? machine. Indeed, Leela discovers her true home (Earth) later on. ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'':
** One episode springs this on you at the end. Ben finds himself back on the day he finds the Omnitrix. He remembers everything that happened but Max and Gwen don't, and while trying to get the Omnitrix once again, ''Gwen'' gets the watch instead of him. Her natural learning abilities lead to her mastering the Omnitrix fully by the next day, but has the side effect of automatically attracting Vilgax to their location. By the end of the episode, Grandpa Max ends up with the Omnitrix, and the episode is revealed to be a What If.
** The final episode "Goodbye and Good Riddance" asks "What if Vilgax attacks Ben in his hometown after the roadtrip ended?" The result is pretty much another fight, though has the interesting effect of Ben's house getting destroyed, his father finding out his and Max's secrets, and Gwen moving to Bellwood to help combat future threats.
* The ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Meet the Quagmires" shows what would happen if Peter was married to Creator/MollyRingwald instead of Lois. Al Gore would be president and Chevy Chase would host the ''Series/TheTonightShow''. As soon as Brian finds out that this world is a paradise compared to ours, he insists that Peter leave things be. [[StatusQuoIsGod Of course]], Peter can't do that.
** The 100th episode two-parter "Stewie Kills Lois" and "Lois Kills Stewie" turns out to be a computer simulation of what would happen if [[AntagonisticOffspring Stewie actually succeeded in killing Lois]]. [[spoiler:He would nearly frame Peter for her murder, but Lois would turn out to be NotQuiteDead and oust Stewie as the [[EnfantTerrible evil, matricidal child]] he is. With his secret exposed, however, Stewie would have no trouble succeeding in his other goal of [[TakeOverTheWorld world domination]] by force, leading to a bloody death match between him and Lois that ends with [[BigDamnHeroes Peter shooting Stewie dead]]]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episodes "Phineas And Ferb Get Busted" and "Phineas And Ferb's Quantam Boogaloo" are about what would happen if Candace succeeded in busting her brothers. [[spoiler:The results weren't pretty in either case.]]
* This is the entire point of ''WesternAnimation/WildKratts'' -- what if we had the technology to really get inside the minds of the creatures by effectively transforming into them?
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' did a time travel story where the hero ends up preventing World War II. He suddenly realizes the possible consequences of his actions ("What hatch Freak wrought?!") and returns to the present... to find changes include that Rush Limbaugh is now a kind-hearted charity worker, Sharon Stone is a Shakespearean actress, cold fusion works, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Euro Disneyland is packed]], [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and there are no Chevy Chase movies.]] He decides he's made the world a better place, though hasn't yet noticed that [[WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain Brain]] is now the president.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'': In the episode "Oops I Did It Again!", the Professor has a dream about what it would have been like if he actually had created the perfect little girls he intended to make, without the accidental addition of Chemical X.
* This is Scarecrow's CatchPhrase in WesternAnimation/TheMagicAdventuresOfMumfie. He always wonders what would happen if things go wrong, leading him to be called a "What-iffer" by Mumfie.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has a canon variation in the episodes "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog", in which we see how the world would have turned out if the bomb that resulted in the series' mystical post-apocalypse landscape didn't detonate.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' season five finale, "The Cutie Re-Mark" is pretty much a canon take to "What If Rainbow Dash never did her Sonic Rainboom?". We the get the answer when Starlight Glimmer, vengeful over what happened at the start of the season, finds a spell to go back in time, finds out about the Mane 6's cutie mark connection stemming from that moment and prevents Dash from doing it. What follows is a myriad of Bad Futures where previous Big Bads turn Equestria into a CrapsackWorld. Because without the Rainboom, the Mane Six don't get their cutie marks at the same time, meet each other later as adults, and be around to stop them. To wit: [[spoiler: Sombra re-claims the Crystal Empire, makes slaves out of the inhabitants and wages a never-ending war on Equestria that constantly depletes the world's resources just to fight him. Queen Chrysalis and the Changlings force the ponies to flee into the Everfree where the survivors are under constant paranoia and ultimately she finds their last stronghold. Nightmare Moon banishes Celestia to the moon as she did to her and blankets the world in never-ending night (though at least rules somewhat fairly). Tirek goes about destroying Equestria, Discord turns the world into chaos torturing Celestia and Luna all the while, Film and Flam of all ponies turn Equestria into an industrial nightmare, and finally the last future sees Equestria as a barren wasteland devoid of any life ''at all''.]]
[[folder:Real Life]]
* In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the San Antonio Express-News newspaper postulated [[https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/harvey-rain-look-like-new-york-los-angeles-florida-seattle-houston-charleston what would happen if Harvey hit other areas]]. In a frightening show, it would have had at least three states and most of two others effectively flooded out.