Allohistorical Allusion is a form of LampshadeHanging or [[BreakingTheFourthWall nod to the Fourth Wall]] used in AlternateHistory fiction where events, people, or jokes from real history ("Original/Our Timeline", or OTL) are mentioned in the [[AlternateUniverse Alternate Timeline (ATL)]]. This is often done for the sake of tipping off the reader to the fate of someone important in OTL but insignificant in the ATL, such as taking the time to note that a [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler certain Austrian corporal]] was killed in action in this timeline.

Can be in the form of a HistoricalInJoke (in this case an Allohistorical In Joke), such as "I sure am glad that silly Rock & Roll fad ended" or "General [=MacArthur=] has been reassigned from the Philippines, but he swears he'll return". Can even be in the form of a misplaced pop culture reference: "Wow, I really didn't [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus expect the Spanish Inquisition]] to attend King Phillip's court." Though this latter is arguably a traditional HistoricalInJoke.

Another common form is more Meta: the fictional characters or fictionalized HistoricalDomainCharacter musing on WhatIf things happened the way they did in actual history, such as President Lee of the Confederate States wondering what would have happened if he'd lost at Gettysburg. When done badly this can turn into AsYouKnow.

RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman is a specific subtype where a historical figure appears in a completely different occupation, same with DifferentWorldDifferentMovies, sometimes.

Compare to FlashSideways, where there's an actual in-universe reason for the cross-universe knowledge.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In an episode from the first season of ''Anime/StrikeWitches'' (which is set in an alternate 1944 in which aliens invaded and conquered most of continental Europe in 1939), Minna comments how if the aliens hadn't invaded, their superiors (Europe's political and military leaders) would likely be [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII fighting among themselves]]. An episode from the second season (set in 1945) has the aircraft carrier Amagi supporting the Strike Witches in battle (in real life, the Amagi was a partially completed battle cruiser canceled under the conditions of the Washington Naval Treaty and was intended to be converted into a carrier, but was badly damaged in an earthquake and scrapped.)[[note]]This is all true, but there was another Amagi (Unryu class) built during World War II. It didn't have much of a war record, because the IJN was just about out of planes when it entered service.[[/note]]


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', Creator/RobertRedford running against the incumbent Richard Nixon for the Presidency is met with derision, "This is still America! People don't want [[Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid a cowboy actor]] for president!" In 1985 when it was written, the President was UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, who previously had a career as a cowboy actor. (This is actually set up beautifully, because the newspaper headline being discussed says "RR to run for President?" It's only towards the end of the conversation you find out that RR is Creator/RobertRedford and not a certain other ex-cowboy actor.)
** Celebrating victory in Vietnam (due to Dr. Manhattan), the Comedian says that defeat would have "driven us crazy, y'know, as a country."
** A more light-hearted example would be when Vice President Ford stumbles a little bit, when walking down some stairs.
** How about those [[Film/AllThePresidentsMen two Washington Post reporters]] [[StuffedInAFridge found dead in a parking garage]]?
** [[Film/{{Watchmen}} In the movie]], the Redford joke is updated to "People don't want a cowboy as president," referring to then-current President UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush.
*** Another appears in the movie: as [[TheVJDayKiss Silhouette kisses a nurse in Times Square during VDay]], a sailor passes in the background.
* In one Italian Disney comic, MickeyMouse ends up in a parallel world where the Roman Empire never fell, though a lot of other things look like the late 20th century. As this alternate Earth has a science fiction genre, Mickey sets himself up as an author by repeating basic real world history as AlternateHistory. His first story of Columbus discovering America is severely edited, because "that's too unrealistic! It could never have happened that way!" In this timeline, the Native Americans developed an empire of their own and discovered Europe first.
* Early in ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'', Mr. Yorkes uses a battle axe as a weapon and his wife refers to it as a "Samurai Axe". This seems to hint that the Yorkes have not only traveled through time, but have also visited alternate universes. Mr. Yorkes mentions that he's uncomfortable using objects from alternate pasts.


[[folder: Fan Fic ]]

* In ''Fanfic/QueenOfAllOni'', there are numerous allusions by the characters to the canon plot.
* This happens routinely in James Ryan's [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] {{fanfic}}s on ''Rooftop Sessions'':
** "Carry That Weight" is about if Apple Corp. merged with Apple Computer. Apple Computer manages to become a monopoly in the early '80s because of this. At one point, John Lennon manages to drive some programmers, including Bill Gates, out of the Apple programming system. The narrator tells us than ''none of them'' were ever heard from again...
** In "For Want of a Nail," in which Stu Sutcliffe never joined the Beatles, he is still alive and painting in 1966. Pattie Boyd is his artist's model on the day the story happens.
* In the universe of the My Little Pony fanfic ''Fanfic/TheSonOfTheEmperor'', Caligula placed his most trusted pony in the position of Consul. Because ponies are intelligent and sentient creatures capable of speech, his decision might have actually been a sensible one.
* ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'' is becoming quite fond of using variants of this; often subverting things, for instance when a member of the Weasley family suspected their pet rat was really Peter Pettigrew, but he turned out not to be. The best example was Quirrell telling Harry a falsely accused person was in Azkaban, and Harry guessed they were called Black. Sirius, right? not this time! Bellatrix.
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' / ''ComicBook/PowerGirl'' crossover ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several characters discuss ''[[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]]'' and wonder what the show would have been like had it "run for more than just the two seasons."
* Near the ending of ''FanFic/TheVow'', the VillainousBSOD of [[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2 Lord Shen]] is given weight by having him skip the canon gloating he gives the [[BadassInDistress Furious Five]] about [[spoiler:Po's apparent death]] and his upcoming conquest. The fact that Shen himself acknowledges that he'd have relished in it otherwise shows how heartbroken he is after he [[spoiler:released his newlywed wife Lianne]].


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In one of Creator/KeithLaumer's ''Imperium'' novels, a mild-mannered fellow named Hermann Göring is delighted to learn that in the hero's home timeline he is instantly recognizable and has the dashing title of Reichsmarschall. The hero mercifully doesn't explain the context.
* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/{{Timeline 191}}'' series where the South wins the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar and the USA ends up in the Central Powers in UsefulNotes/WW1, characters have a run-in with [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler a certain German sergeant]] who just seems to ''hate'' the Jewish character for no obvious reason.
** Also in the series after the US Navy devastates the British Pacific Fleet in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the British [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Sandwich Islands]], a Confederate character calls the incident a "Day that will live in infamy".
** There are almost uncountably many in Timeline-191; in a single scene in Return Engagement alone, there's a Jewish Congresswoman saying that Germany is too civilized to kill off its Jews, FDR saying that President Blackford was unfairly blamed for the Depression because he was unlucky enough to be in office at the time, and the characters discussing an Italian politician who "promised to make the trains run on time," but was never elected. On the humorous side, a young Ronald Reagan ("Dutch") is a popular football announcer, with his catchphrase, "There they go again!"
** Toward the end of the timeline's version of World War II, a straggling Confederate Army unit ends up being cornered by US troops in a certain Virginia town named Appomattox, where they are forced to surrender. One of the Confederate soldiers takes note of the town's courthouse as he's led away.
** A pair of government spooks are named Nixon and Bernstein. Strictly a joke, given that it's the '40s.
** Early in 1914, two white characters attend a black boxing match. After watching one of the fighters absolutely destroy his opponent, one of them ponders how the winner would fare against a white boxer, before dismissing the idea of a mixed boxing league as ridiculous, both in the CSA and the USA. It's a very subtle way to inform the reader that Jack Johnson (who probably wasn't even born in this timeline) never had the chance to win the heavyweight championship.
* Turtledove loves this. In one of the "Tosev Timeline" stories ''(Literature/WorldWar)'' he has an alien invasion craft's nuclear reactor get blown up and contaminate the surrounding area.... that area being Chernobyl. And then, later, a captured member of The Race is being interrogated by the Japanese and wishes that a nuke would fall on him. He is being interrogated in Nagasaki.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', also by Turtledove; after losing the Civil War, Lincoln contemplates writing a book about what would have happened if "it hadn't been for Bobbie Lee".
* One ''Literature/WildCards'' novel had a throwaway reference of Music/TheBeatles either suspected of or having mind powers. This was probably a ShoutOut to this [[ real-life scare pamphlet.]]
** And Fidel Castro being pitching coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
** Buddy Holly never got on the same flight as The Big Bopper, and ended up a washed-up, nearly forgotten rocker. [[spoiler: At least, until a comeback concert, when he draws the ace and becomes the shaman for a new age.]]
* The historian Arnold Toynbee wrote an essay speculating on what would have happened if Heron's [[ aeolipile]] and the Corinthian [[ Diolkos]] were combined to give steam-powered rail travel in the second century BC. A brief mention is made of a failed prophet living at 4 Railway Cuttings, Nazareth.
* One of the earlier AlternateHistory works, UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill's "If Lee Had Not Won The Battle of Gettysburg" in J.C. Squire's AlternateHistory collection ''If It Had Happened Otherwise'' (1929), used this as a framing device. Among the results if the Union had won, [[UsefulNotes/BenjaminDisraeli Disraeli]] might have become a Conservative and [[UsefulNotes/WilliamGladstone Gladstone]] a Liberal, Robert E. Lee might not have abolished slavery but [[ValuesDissonance prevented Negro enfranchisement]], and a [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI world war involving all the great powers]] might not have been averted.
* The difference between the 'verse of the book ''Literature/{{Fatherland}}'' and that of [[Film/{{Fatherland}} the film of the book]] can be marked by a pair of references. The book includes a conversation that suggests that the Mersey Beat never left Merseyside. The movie has a Beatles poster up in Nazi Berlin. ...Which may not be that relevant given that the book mentions a German critic blasting a Beatles performance in Hamburg.
* Occasionally used in the ''Literature/LordDarcy'' stories. Once, it's lampshaded when a character remarks that such an AlternateHistory might make a good sorcerous-fiction story.
* There are several in Creator/KimNewman and Eugene Byrne's ''Literature/BackInTheUSSA'' series of short stories. Including one where a character comments that something was as strange as finding London Bridge in the Arizona desert.
* In "How I Lost the Second World War and Helped Turn Back the German Invasion" by Creator/GeneWolfe, the Second World War only happens as a board game some of the characters are playing. The progress of the game includes several strange turns that the players remark would never have happened in real life, all of which are things that actually did.
* Used in several of the stories in the ''The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories'': for instance Creator/FrederikPohl's "Waiting For The Olympians" in which a science-romance author in a world where [[UsefulNotes/AncientRome Rome]] never fell imagines what the world would be like if Tiberius had been Emperor; and Paul [=McAuley=]'s "A Very British History", in which a review of a book about the Britain-dominated space program criticises the historian for wasting a chapter speculating on what would have happened if the UK hadn't got all the [[HerrDoktor German rocket scientists]] after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
** The story "His Powder'd Wig, His Crown Of Thorns" by Marc Laidlaw takes it a step further; the alternate history depicted is ''wrong'', and {{Magical Native American}}s know how the universe ''should'' be (i.e. ours).
* Creator/RobertSilverberg's "A Hero of the Empire" has the Roman main character speculating what the world would be like if he doesn't [[spoiler:assassinate Mohammed before Islam takes off.]] He does.
* ''Resurrection Day'' by Brendan [=DuBois=] takes place in a United States turned into a Third World-type dictatorship after the Cuban Missile Crisis started WorldWarIII. A journalist talks of reading an alternate history novel in which the war didn't happen and JFK (reviled for supposedly starting the war) became a much beloved President. Needless to say there is no mention of Oswald. Other events include the protagonist reading a letter from his dead sister saying she was going to join a wonderful group that was going to change the world called the [[ Students for a Democratic Society]].
* ''Literature/TheMirage'', by Creator/MattRuff, features a version of the War on Terror where the roles of the Arabs and USA are reversed, so there are plenty of these. Perhaps the most entertaining is that UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein, a gangster, also published several successful romance novels after ''[[ Zabibah and the King]]'' (which here has a completely different plot).
* In ''Literature/TheManInTheHighCastle'', the [[ShowWithinAShow novel-within-a-novel]] ''The Grasshopper Lies Heavy'' is alternate history about a world in which FDR wasn't assassinated. It turns out completely differently than in our timeline, but still with an Allied victory. There are references to our version of history within the novel, such as the Nazis landing on the moon, naming their airports after leaders within the German-American Bund, and commercializing Concorde jets (which hadn't even been completely built when Literature/PhilipKDick wrote the novel!).
* The Timeline Wars trilogy by Creator/JohnBarnes is full of these. Just look at the titles of the three volumes; Patton's Spaceship, Washington's Dirigible, and Caesar's Bicycle.
* ''Brilliance'' by Marcus Sakey takes place in an alternate timeline that split off around 1980 when about 1% of all children mysteriously started being born geniuses. One of its between-chapter EncyclopediaExposita entries is an ad for a book about what would happened if the gifted hadn't been born. It's all dead accurate, FromACertainPointOfView; it's also written to suggest that our timeline is incredibly grim (in contrast to the rest of the book, which is mostly about how horrible the timeline ''with'' the gifted is).
* In the ''Literature/AnnoDracula'' sequence, the novel ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' exists exactly as it does in our universe, but it's wishful-thinking AlternateHistory about how the Count could have been stopped before he took the throne. ''Literature/ADanceToTheMusicOfTime'' also exists exactly as it does in our universe; it's wishful-thinking AlternateHistory about there not being any vampires at all. In ''The Bloody Red Baron'', someone speculates that if it weren't for all these vampires, maybe UsefulNotes/WorldWarI wouldn't have happened.
* ''Literature/TheHammerAndTheCross'' is full of these, both subtle and large, from the English shouldering 'bows and bills' to the King of all England questing for the Holy Grail.
* In the short story "The Best and the Rest of Creator/JamesJoyce" by Ian [=McDonald=], the liner notes for the eponymous wax cylinder invites the listener to imagine a world where Joyce isn't a ''sarif'' music star or, even weirder, where the British Isles lie off the coast of France rather than North Africa.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The Alternate Universe in ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' is home to a thousand and one of these. 20 dollar bills are called "Juniors" because [[MartinLutherKingJr of who's on them]], and likewise Nixon is on the 50 cent piece and JFK is still alive, suggesting Kennedy's and Nixon's presidential wins might have been reversed.
** A reference to the Lindbergh baby draws a blank stare (as, on the Other Side, the appropriate parallel is Peter).
** Comic book history is starkly different, as well. Superman died in ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', the defining DarkerAndEdgier comic of the 1980s was ''[[ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns The Man Of Steel Returns]]'', the earth shattering comic book event of the early nineties was ''[[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman The Death Of Batman]]'', and one of the most socially conscious books of its day was ''[[HilariousInHindsight Red Arrow and Red Lantern]]''.
** TheOtherMarty starred in ''Film/BackToTheFuture''.
** The Empire State Building still serves [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld its original function.]]
** And, in the moment that [[WhamEpisode ended the first season,]] [[TheWarOnTerror the White House has just finished reconstruction from the 9-11 attacks, and the World Trade Center still stands.]]
** Aruba war vets.
** Penn Station is now "[[Music/BruceSpringsteen Springsteen Station]]", suggesting that The Boss was just as popular over there, but had probably died.
** And a hit musical ''[[Theatre/{{Cats}} Dogs]]''.
** And the Star Wars defense system is real thanks to the "Defense Czar" Walter Bishop.
** Fauxlivia has no idea who Literature/SherlockHolmes was, indicating the series either wasn't written or wasn't as popular.
* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'', which depicts an alternate history where the Axis won World War II and conquered the US. While keeping the allusions of [[Literature/TheManInTheHighCastle the novel]], the show introduces a few new ones:
** While facing the realization that his actions have made nuclear war between Germany and Japan more likely instead of less, Tagomi asks his aide where he's from and learns he's from Nagasaki. [[spoiler: It turns out that his aide is from our timeline where [[UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed]], and he suffers from burns from the attacks. Later, the show introduces a Resistance member who suffered burns and scars from the Nazis having dropped an atomic bomb on Washington DC]].
** The show includes a reference to Operation Anthropoid, the successful plan to kill Reinhard Heydrich. Except, in our timeline, [[spoiler: the irony is that Heydrich ''orchestrates'' the assassination attempt, and the intended target is Obergruppenfuhrer Smith]].


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* Many in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge''. Many. Leon Trotsky is still assassinated in Mexico City on Stalin's orders for example, but for slightly different reasons. The Eagle was piloted to Mars by a barnstormer pilot named Ray Armstrong.
* Averted or very special variant: ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' is an alternate history game but surprisingly this trope is completely absent, unless you count Otto Strabisnäs. He is a nutcase who doesn't believe in the ether theory and instead has developed his own wave-particle duality theory in the adventure Canal Priests of Mars. Since Otto Strabisnäs is ahistorical but his theory is the correct on in our world, this is more like allo-science allusion. The reason for the absence of allo-historical allusion in what is obviously a piece of alternate history could be that this is alternate history very close to real history.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlertSeries'':
** In the first ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', the Allies are suffering heavy losses and are being pushed farther West by the advancing Soviet forces. Then a new tactic is introduced by a German general that helps slow the Soviet advance and, eventually, pushes them back. The news report calls this new tactic "Lightning War" (''Blitzkrieg'' in German). For those not familiar, the first game starts with Einstein violating HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct and things kind of snowball from there.
** Several other allusions in the series take the form of missions, including two separate "unheard of" attacks on Pearl Harbor (in 2 and 3) and a mission involving [[CubanMissileCrisis doomsday weapons in Cuba]].
** One interesting example from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' involves an Allohistorical Allusion as DramaticIrony: the unspecified "technology" the player is sent to recover in Soviet Mission 5, Mykonos, is pretty clearly nuclear fission, which hasn't been developed yet in this timeline. [[MadScientist Dr. Zelinsky]] tries to warn the player that this technology "should" exist already, but doesn't due to their meddling, only to be very pointedly cut off by [[BigBad Cherdenko]].
* If you complete an assassination plot in ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', you may receive the news that the target was killed in the crossfire between [[WhoShotJFK a scroll depository and a grassy knoll, while the official story is that a "lone bowman" killed him]].
* In spite of the world being dominated by the Nazis in ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'', the 60s still sees the rise of a [[Music/TheBeatles particular 4-man band from occupied Britain]], even if they're forced to sing in German by the regime. Their name? "Die Käfer". Go ahead and look up what that translates to.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', there are Troll versions of several actors like Creator/JohnCusack and Creator/WillSmith (star of ''[[Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir The Thresh Prince of Bel-Air]]''), who are described as a "universal constant".


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Also very favorite in timelines from Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom, like the Literature/ChaosTimeline and others.
** The {{Literature/Reds}}! TL plays with this trope extensively.
** An AllohistoricalAllusion that goes far enough to hurt suspension of disbelief is referred to as a [[ Citroën DS incident]], in reference to said car appearing in ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''.
** In ''Literature/AGiantSuckingSound'', ''Congressman Jon Stewart'' discusses all the comedians who have become politicians and jokes about "Senator Creator/AlFranken''.
* One storyline from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' featured a throwaway bit wherein Freddy Mercury made a series of "Don't Be Ashamed of AIDS/There is a Cure" Public Service Announcements in which the singer confesses that "I had AIDS. I found help. You can too."
** In universe, Osama bin Laden and other al-Queda leaders were captured by superheroes within days of the 9/11 attacks. One hero wonders, "Imagine the climate of fear this country would have suffered under had that monster not been brought to justice as swiftly as they were."
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, The Necromancer once mused on his past, thinking about how Adolf Hitler appreciated all the macabre things he did for the Third Reich (including working on a zombie army). It's part of TheVerse's backstory that during the Second World War there was a superhero war going on behind the scenes, as well as some sort of magical war with Thule Gemeinschaft facing off against a number of white wizards.
** There are a number of minor changes in the timeline, as well, the most significant (so far as we know) being that after the failure of [[ Operation Eagle Claw]], a mercenary unit led by Lord Paramount successfully extracted most of the hostages; this actually made things ''worse'' for Carter, though, as the Reagan election campaign slammed him for being unable to get the job done without the help of foreign mercs.