'''Basic Trope''': The hero(es) travel(s) to the future and discover [[CrapsackWorld it sucks]].
* '''Straight''': The hero skips a couple of decades, [[HumanPopsicle one way]] [[TimeTravel or another]]. He emerges in an [[BigBrotherIsWatching oppressive]], [[FascistButInefficient badly run]] {{Dystopia}}.
* '''Exaggerated''': The hero skips a couple of decades, and emerges to see the galaxy taken over by [[ReligionOfEvil Satanist]] CommieNazis.
* '''Downplayed''': The hero's absence didn't lead to the villains [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]], but their attempt at world domination resulted in a massive war in which many people died.
* '''Justified''':
** The dystopia in question is a VillainWorld, brought about due to protagonist's absence.
** The CrapsackWorld is the result of a secretive villain or organization, which the heroes had no idea existed.
* '''Inverted''':
** The villain skips a couple of decades, and discovers that a {{Utopia}} has been built in his absence.
** The hero goes back in time a couple of decades and ends up [[TheDarkTimes in a dystopian past.]]
* '''Subverted''':
** The hero arrives and sees that [[TheBadGuyWins the bad guy has won]]. However, the villain in question is a WellIntentionedExtremist, and the world he had created [[TheExtremistWasRight is actually a utopia]].
** The future only [[ValuesDissonance seems bad to the people of the present]] because they never experienced the social, economic, political, and scientific progress that brought it about. To the people of the future, their world is better off even if it is different because it is the future they chose for themselves. Example: {{Transhumanism}} considers the future to contain such massive leaps in technology and human evolution that our species would be [[HumansAreCthulhu virtually unrecognizable in both appearance and psychology]], so it only makes sense that a modern day human would be horrified at first.
* '''Double Subverted''':
** Upon closer examination, the villain's "utopia" turns out to be [[Literature/BraveNewWorld shallow and hedonistic]].
** The "utopia" is comfortable and runs like clockwork, but most people [[StepfordSmiler are troubled psychologically]].
* '''Parodied''':
** The so-called "bad future" is actually perfectly normal... wait a minute, where are all of the cheesy snacks?! [[BigNo NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!]]
** The hero travels an hour into the future, and in his brief absence, the entire world has been conquered by an army of cyborg lawn gnomes.
* '''Zig Zagged''': The heroes travel into the future to find themselves in a city of ominous dark buildings covered in propaganda. Turns out, all the inhabitants enjoy material luxury, year round free heating and freedom. Then it turns out, the heating is provided by giant baby ovens.
* '''Averted''': The future turns out to be PostCyberpunk - lots of fancy new technology, but nothing dystopian.
* '''Enforced''': This is a good way for the work to go DarkerAndEdgier for a limited time - or even permanently, if the writers are so inclined.
* '''Lampshaded''': "I leave for mere twenty years, and they screw everything up. [[DeadpanSnarker Great]]."
* '''Invoked''': [[SamuraiJack The villain deliberately sends the hero into a future where he has conquered the world to try and break his will.]]
* '''Exploited''': The TokenEvilTeammate hitches a ride to the future along with TheHero because he knows there are going to be new, super-deadly weapons to arm himself with if the future turns bad.
* '''Defied''': The hero goes back in time and [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong sets right what once went wrong]].
* '''Discussed''': "Ten bucks says the future is bollocks."
* '''Conversed''': "What did this guy expect from the future, exactly? Freedom, truth and beauty just like in his own time?"
* '''Deconstructed''':
** The hero(es) could only be on even terms with the villain in their present because they had the government on their side. With all of this government's resources turned ''against'' them, they all end up killed [[FateWorseThanDeath or worse]] in a very short time.
** It turns out that even {{Black Shirt}}s and the BigBad aren't really enjoying the situation, because DystopiaIsHard to maintain.
* '''Reconstructed''':
** However, the dystopian future has also spawned a secret [[LaResistance resistance force]] that is more than willing to give the hero the help he needs to fight back. Seeing what's at stake if they lose to the villain strengthens their resolve to defeat him/her/it for good.
** The BigBad has an idea that DystopiaJustifiesTheMeans, and some of his {{Black Shirt}}s follow suit, so the hardness of maintaining a dystopia is seen by them as a challenge.
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%% Optional items, added after Conversed, at your discretion:
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%%* '''Implied''': ???
%%* '''Plotted A Good Waste''': ???
%%* '''Played For Laughs''': ???
%%* '''Played For Drama''': ???