->''"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again"''.
-->-- '''Multiple characters''', ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' (and '''the narrator''' of the [[OlderThanTheyThink 1953]] film ''Disney/PeterPan'')

A major and catastrophic event (normally, TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt) happens not once but on regular basis. It is not the "end" in linear sense, but rather several cycles of endless {{Reincarnation}}--or a ResetButton for the entire universe pressed ''over and over'' again.

The idea goes back to Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In Hinduism, there is the Maha Yuga concept where the universe is destroyed and recreated by Brahma every 4.32 million years. Buddhism has a similar notion of Kalachakra ("wheel of time"). This is also known as "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_return eternal return]]". Many such systems divide these periods of existence into 'Ages'. The Yuga system, for example, shows the world evolve and devolve within each cycle (see {{Gotterdammerung}}). Of course, a more ThemeParkVersion-esque view on these traditions boils down to "HistoryRepeats."

The term ''Eternal Recurrence'' was itself coined by Creator/FriedrichNietzsche, who (while never suggesting this theory was true) adopted it as a thought experiment to test one's willpower. For example, a truly virtuous, life-loving person would be able to endure reliving his ''entire'' life's experience (both triumphs and and mistakes) over and over, with ''neither bitterness nor regret''. A person capable of this degree of engagement with the world demonstrates mastery of ''amor Fati'' and the 'self-affirming Yes'. It's also to prevent Nietzschean philosophical concepts, such as the {{Ubermensch}}, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cbermensch#Relation_to_the_eternal_recurrence from becoming overly-idealistic]].

This may cause a MedievalStasis for some worlds.

Also compare GroundhogDayLoop, HistoryRepeats and the ViciousCycle. Has to happen at least ''twice'' (and the more, the better) -- if TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt only happens just once then it doesn't form a loop.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Happens in ''GallForce'', multiple times, often in silly ways.
* Given the story structure for ''HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'', one would think this is happening. Actually,[[spoiler: that's absolutely right. Though it equally falls into GroundhogDayLoop zone]].
* When the creators of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' needed to explain the opening scenes which depict events similar, but for the most part completely different from what ends up happening, it was implied that this may have been a previous, unsuccessful iteration, which failed for one reason or another.
** Most due to something similar to Lexx below, [[spoiler: the spiral nemesis is spiral power being so over used that universe collapses into a big crunch due to the extra energy created]]
* This is an important part of Enrico Pucci's plans in part 6 of Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure. [[spoiler: The trick is to make the universe reach the parallel point in the next cycle so quickly that spirits don't have time to die.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', one of the Uchiha's ultimate doujutsu, the Izanami, is based on this trope, by making its victim relive the fight with the doujutsu's user over and over. [[spoiler: Completing the trope in the Nietzsche's way, the only way to break free from that technique is to develop the "Amor Fati": accepting the fate and yourself truly and fully.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}'', it is made clear that what happens to the town has already happened, and it will happen again.
* A ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' ''Omake'' has then-Lieutenant Aizen taking a stroll with the then-much younger Gin. The stroll takes place in winter and Gin remarks that to him, winter and the cyclical seasons is like {{Hell}}, which to him is the same stuff repeating over and over again.
* ''Manga/KannazukiNoMiko'' (manga version) has a cycle of the world being destroyed by {{Orochi}}, one miko sacrificing her life to seal away Orochi, the other miko choosing one of eight possible worlds to revive, and the reincarnation of both mikos in the new world. [[spoiler:At the ending, it's suggested that the cycle is now broken… for now, at least.]]
* Happens as an result of CanonWelding between {{Devilman}}, ViolenceJack and DevilmanLady - [[spoiler: world constantly resets itself and in every new version of it Akira Fudou and Satan reincarnate to fight each other]].
** In ''AMON'' [[spoiler: the world is on an extendeed version of GroundhogDayLoop, spanning millions of years from Satan's betrayal to Akira's death, so everything that happened once will happen all over again and again.]]
* One of possible explanations of what happened at the end of ''GetterRobo Armageddon'' [[spoiler: where main characters are dragged into another dimension in which endless war between an army of horrenderous monsters and an army of Getters takes place]] is this - it may be possible that [[spoiler: they are Getter Teams from previous versions of the world]]. It doesn't help that GetterRobo has crossed over with viarous GoNagai works, including abovementioned {{Devilman}}.
* A crucial plot point in ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' in the form of the Dark History [[spoiler:aka all the previous ''Gundam'' series]], which highlights the seemingly endless cycle of bloodshed and conflict between Earth and Spacenoids. And the protagonists are fighting to ''prevent'' that cycle from repeating itself.
* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', every [[NumberOfTheBeast 216 years]] an Eclipse results in the creation of a new member of the God Hand. This has happened at least four times previous to the one in the story. It's also mentioned that the Incarnation Ceremony, in which one of the God Hand is given a corporeal body and reborn into the physical plane, can be performed once every thousand years. If it's happened before, there hasn't been much hinting at what the consequences were the last time it happened, but a little arithmetic (216 X 5 = 1080) [[WildMassGuessing suggests]] that it somehow results in there being ''no'' God Hand, so that [[ResetButton the cycle can start fresh]].

* In the mainstream MarvelUniverse, [[http://tinyurl.com/62ow6l Galactus is the sole survivor of the universe that existed before the Big Bang]] and also the seed for the universe that will come into being when the current one is destroyed.
** Ragnarok used to do this to Asgard in the MarvelUniverse, until Thor broke the cycle.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Lucifer}}'', the Silk Man and at least three of the Jin En Mok are the only survivors of Yahweh's previous creations (although the Jin En Mok may have existed before even those). It isn't entirely clear how many creations there have been already, but we're given the impression He's been doing this for quite a while.
** It might not have even been Yahweh's creation, considering that the comic gives us two new fully fledged Creators. Some interpret this as the Creation where Yahweh originally came from.
* In GrantMorrison's ''SevenSoldiers'' meta-project, the Sheeda ([[spoiler:the species that inherit the Earth in the far-fetched future when the sun has become a red giant]]) travel through time in their Castle Revolving to plunder humanity's technology whenever we reach a sufficiently advanced point of development - first they raided a [[JackKirby Kirby-esque]] society of Neanderthal super-scientists, then a utopian, world-wide Kingdom of Camelot as ruled by the original progenitor of the Arthur myth, and then finally our world shortly after the turn of the millennium - that's where the eponymous heroes come in.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Music/TheDecemberists ''The Hazards of Love'' fanfiction "[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/37994?view_adult=true The Certainties]]'' treats the events of the album as an Eternal Recurrence, a chain of events that Margarets and Williams are forever doomed to repeat, until [[spoiler: finally one set breaks the cycle.]]
* ''FanFic/InnerDemons'': [[MrExposition Lezard]] discusses the possibility of this when comparing [[PredecessorVillain Queen Midnight]]'s [[FallenHero fall from grace]] and defeat by [[PrecursorHeroes Bayonet]] with the similar events centering around their reincarnations [[BigBad Twilight Sparkle]] and [[spoiler: [[TheChosenOne Apple Bloom]]]].
* ''FanFic/RoyalHeights'': The main antagonist Embry reveals that the only reasons Utopias need to be recreated every four years is that [[spoiler: a witch, like herself, comes to destroy Utopia at the same time, obliterating the city and all its citizens along the way.]] Then the new Utopia comes in and all is well again until the loop repeats itself later.
* ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'': The [[ForeverWar Eternal War]] between the Demon Empire and Angel Federation always flares up periodically, decimating galaxies before both sides eventually fight each other to exhaustion and temporarily stop fighting to rebuild, before going to war again. Maledict's entire grand plan was to end the cycle of warfare by creating the "Ultimate Weapon" to permanently defeat Allysion and her Angels [[spoiler: which eventually resulted in him creating Sonic the Hedgehog]].

* TheReveal at the end of ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'' is that Neo isn't the second "One", he's the ''sixth''. Not only that, but the program in charge of the Matrix allows him and the other rebels to exist, since giving the Matrix's inhabitants an unconscious choice of realities is what keeps the system going. Each "One" is meant to find the Architect shortly before the Machines invade Zion, at which point he will be allowed to select survivors to repopulate the rebels and begin the process all over again. Neo's love for Trinity, a connection his predecessors didn't have, makes him say ScrewDestiny.
* Guy Maddin's ''Film/BrandUponTheBrain'' features the odd quote, "Everything that happens will happen again. Twice."
* In ''Film/TheFifthElement'', the evil planet reappears every 5,000 years.
* ''Film/CloudAtlas'' shows slavery as a recurring theme across different times:
** Colonial slavery in America of 1859.
** Backstreet sweatshops in 1973.
** Engineered fabricants in 2144.

* RickRiordan's ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'':
** How many times do you think the Titans and giants will keep going after the Olympians?
** Invoked with Monsters, which regenerate to be fought again, and with immortals, as they don't change (much). Addressed further in TheKaneChronicles, which share a universe.
* In Creator/MichaelEnde's ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', it is implied that Fantasia is destroyed on regular basis whenever the balance between worlds gets bad enough, so someone has to be sent a book and travel there to create everything anew.
* The world of ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series has a cyclic system of time. The seven spokes of the Wheel represent the seven eras, and the turning of the Wheel is the course of history repeating over and over again. [[{{Satan}} The Dark One's]] foremost human minion, Ishamael, was a philospher who thought too deep into how meaningless human life is in the grand scheme of things, and wants to help his master undo creation because of it.
* The Golems in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' believe that the universe is circular, and one (Anghammarad, in ''Discworld/GoingPostal'') has been carrying a message to a long since deceased king with him for '''over nine thousand''' years, reasoning he'll get it right the next time.
** [[AC: I Remember When All This Will Be Again]] - the last words of Discworld/ReaperMan, delivered by the Death of Universes.
* One of the many computer generated worlds in ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' is based on ''[[Literature/AliceInWonderland Through the Looking Glass]]''. Every time one king or the other dies, the world is reset to how it was at the beginning of the game.
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/{{The Belgariad}}'' and the sequels and prequels, this is used to explain why the same situation tends to reoccur over and over again. This was used partially as a wry acknowledgement of, and excuse for, Creator/DavidEddings' lack of creativity, as he himself admits that he basically wrote it as an attempt to make the most generic fantasy plot of all good. The cycle ''is'' supposed to be broken by the end of the sequel series (the explanation they get for the recurrence is that history can't properly progress so long as there are two Prophecies, so in the meantime patterns recur while the two Prophecies fight it out about which vision of the future should happen. The events of the end of the sequel results in there being only one Prophecy, so now things can start progressing as they should again), but since the only thing that takes place after that is the framing for the prequels this doesn't really matter to the story.
* In ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'', one of Haruhi's first truly chilling manipulations of reality has to do with this phenomenon. Not wanting to go back to school before experiencing a truly full summer, she forces the cast to repeat the last two weeks of summer vacation. More than 15,000 times. Kyon eventually pieces together his sense of deja vu, and asks Yuki what is going on. Yuki, who retains full memory of the situation, tells him that they have repeated the summer over and over again. And how many times have they realized they're stuck in a time loop? Over 8000.
** This was portrayed in the anime by animating the same episode 8 times, but showing different parts of the same day and from different camera angles.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's short story ''Nightfall'', a well-known cult claims that all civilization is destroyed every 2049 years when the Stars come out and cover the planet (which never experiences true darkness) in fire. At the beginning of the story, an archaeologist discovers this has indeed happened several times already. [[spoiler:Turns out, every 2049 years all 6 of its suns experience solar eclipse, and the planet is covered in fires from all the people going crazy and looking for a new source of light.]]
* A major theme of ''Literature/ACanticleForLeibowitz''. The novel chronicles humanity's recovery from a nuclear apocalypse [[spoiler:and ends with a second nuclear apocalypse which, it's pretty strongly implied, will kill everyone on Earth. The church has sent out colonists to other worlds, though, so it's possible that humanity may survive]].
* Creator/PercyShelley's poem ''[[http://www.bartleby.com/101/607.html Hellas]]'' imagines the recurrence of classical Greece. (The choice of subject is quite appropriate, since cyclical time was a popular hypothesis with ancient Greek philosophers.)
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, there is the concept of Ka. Ka is often stated to be like a wheel, eternally rolling, with events constantly recurring. Same places, different faces. The biggest of which is the "[[JusticeWillPrevail Coming of the]] [[BigGood White]]" and the "[[TheBadGuyWins Rising of the]] [[BigBad Red]]". While mostly limited to ''The Dark Tower'' series, the basic concept tends to occur throughout several of [[Creator/StephenKing King's works]].
* The Moties in TheMoteInGodsEye die if they don't reproduce regularly, so their population grows uncontrollably. Throughout their history they've repeatedly built up advanced civilisations only to collapse due to the inevitable wars due to overpopulation and competition for resources. Unlike Nightfall, they know this happens and have built many museums to store examples of technology so that civilisation can be rebuilt faster the next time, in the hope that eventually they will have some breakthrough and break the cycle. Unfortunately for them, by the time humanity discovers them they've used up most of the natural resources in their system, and one of the Moties notes that each fall takes them further back because of this.
** Part of their problem is that although they've developed FTL travel many times, in this universe it's only possible between pairs of wormholes and the only one they have access to ends inside a star. One of the big fears by the humans, which leads to a permanent blockade to the end of their wormhole to ensure they never get out in sequels, is that if they ever did manage to escape their solar system, they would still be unable to control their population and eventually cause their growth/collapse cycle to take place on a galactic level.
* While the nature of time in Creator/MichaelMoorcock's Multiverse proves a bit more complex, Erekosë muses on this concept, and the possibility that in a previous (and future) iteration he led the very force he was then fighting against.
* In Creator/BrianAldiss' ''Literature/{{Helliconia}}'' trilogy, the eponymous planet undergoes a regular climactic cycle many centuries in length known as the "Great Year", as a result of its sun being part of a binary star system. When the star it orbits around (Batalix) is furthest from the brighter companion star Freyr, Helliconia experiences an ice age (typically destroying civilization) and when it's close to Freyr, it experiences a warmer climate in which civilization thrives, with the different climactic periods made analogous to "seasons" such as summer and winter.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' is an example. The Colonial scriptures talk about the cycle of time as a story told again and again throughout eternity, though with different players. Similar "death, exodus, and rebirth" events have occurred on Kobol, the Thirteenth Colony, and the Twelve Colonies, and could still happen in the future.
** [[WordOfDante According to half-joking speculation by Olmos,]] it does happen again. It's called ''Film/BladeRunner.'' [[spoiler: The end of the series actually renders this completely plausible.]]
* In ''{{Lexx}}'', the Time Prophet tells the future by looking into the previous "cycle of time." Events in each cycle are absolutely identical.
* Discussed and [[DefiedTrope defied]] on ''{{Lost}}''. [[spoiler:Jacob's enemy]] says that a series of events repeats itself because of the actions of humans, and it always ends the same. [[spoiler:Jacob]] replies "It only ends once. Anything before that is just progress." Not that we have any idea what they're talking about yet.
** Revealed as of season 6. [[{{God}} Jacob]] summons [[spoiler: people to the island to prove that RousseauWasRight (no, not [[TheAloner that]] [[AxCrazy one]])]] while the [[{{Satan}} Man in Black]] is set to prove [[spoiler: that HumansAreBastards]]. But so far there's just [[GreyAndGrayMorality shades and shades of gray]].
** But that was revealed to be just a tiny fraction of the actual recurrence: [[spoiler: the island itself, or perhaps the protector, summons people to the island. Always have and always will]].
* The classic series and expanded universe of ''Series/DoctorWho'' imply that the Guardians and/ or the Eternals are the last survivors of the Universe before the Whoniverse. The new series also has the Beast from "The Impossible Planet", who is said to come from before time and matter itself.
** The Expanded Universe confirms that there was a universe before the present one, from which some things still survive, and there will be another one after it ends.
** Spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures includes one story in which the BigBad is the Ancient Lights, a force surviving from the previous universe which is responsible for the belief in astrology in the current universe.
* It's pretty much stated in ''{{Eureka}}'' that the Artifact is older than the universe itself, having been created in the universe before this one, and managed to survive the Big Crunch and another Big Bang.
** Of course, this is just one of [[EpilepticTrees many in-universe theories]] as to what it is.

* EternalRecurrence is a very common element of SoundHorizon albums, starting with their very first (Chronicle).

* Literature/TheBible. ([[Literature/BookOfEcclesiastes Ecclesiastes 1:9-14]] NIV)
--> What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. {10} Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. {11} There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow. {12} I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. {13} I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! {14} I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The dream plane of Dal Quor in the ''{{Eberron}}'' cosmology is said to work like this; aside from mortals' dreams, there's also the Quor Tarai, the big dream of the plane itself. When that changes, so does the nature of ''every single native of the plane!''
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' and EarthDawn, magic flows and ebbs. At its peak, the nature of reality becomes thin enough for the Horrors to come through, and they do. The indigenous population of Earth must then hide, if they do not want to be eaten. Several supplementary sources suggest that if metahumanity can develop its technology level to be as powerful as its magic at its peak, then the Horrors could be defeated once and for all.
* "Tome of Decay", the SourceBook focusing on [[PlagueMaster Nurgle]] for ''TabletopGame/BlackCrusade'' expands upon the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' deity's character to tie him into this. Specifically, Nurgle represents -- or at least believes he represents, rightly or wrongly -- the natural cycle of the universe. Life grows and develops to a certain point, and then it starts to stagnate and decay, its moral corruption empowering the resurgence of the Chaos Gods, which sweep forth from the warp and [[ChaoticEvil destroy or defile all life]] until they have nothing left to do but turn upon one another, with Nurgle consuming them all and then consuming himself, as the avatar of decay and despair made manifest. Then, with the warp stilled and calmed by their dwindling, life arises again from the ruins of the old, making the progression to the point where it calls forth Chaos again to cleanse it in turn. This, then, is why Nurgle is the most AffablyEvil of the Chaos Gods; he just thinks he's doing his job of putting the old, corrupt universe to the torch and rendering it down to fertile soil from which new life can go. Given [[CrapsackWorld the nature of the 40kverse]], it's [[VillainHasAPoint kind of hard to disagree that euthanizing it and letting something new be born from its ruins is really a bad thing]].
* In the CD&D supplement "Tall Tales of the Wee Folk", a centaur relates an account of how the current CD&D cosmology, in which the Spheres of Energy, Matter, Time and Thought oppose the Sphere of Entropy, is a temporary phenomenon: in the distant past, the four Spheres were a single Sphere of Life, and ''Entropy'' was divided into four. The unaging Faeries of the present are former Immortals from this era, who'd protected the Sphere of Life during the previous iteration, and will do so again when their full powers return as the Spheres shift once again, in a neverending trade-off between Life's dominion and Entropy's.

* While DwarfFortress generates a new world each time you play, the overarching framing device of the game is that Armok, God of Blood, destroys and recreates the world anew every time it grows too peaceful, so that conflict should always exist. On a meta level, this refers to the probable behavior of the player, who is likely to [[VictoryIsBoring create a new world once all the enemies are dead]].
* In ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', [[spoiler: Chip is in fact Light Gaia, and his job is to recreate the world after Dark Gaia has finished destroying it]].
* The whole point of ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' games.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', [[spoiler: a hyper-advanced race of machines called the Reapers exterminate all sentient life in the Milky Way once they have reached the Citadel and established themselves throughout the galaxy. The last time this happened was 50,000 years ago, but is implied to have gone on for far longer - millions, or even ''billions'' of years.]]
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[spoiler: evidence of resistance from a previous cycle is found. 37-million-year-old evidence.]] More overlooked is the "Leviathan of Dis" which is a ship estimated to be a billion years old. [[spoiler:It's an inactive Reaper that the accidental activation of which causes the batarians to be the first victims in ''this'' Cycle of Reaping.]]
** Furthermore, in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', direct parallels are drawn between the events of the current cycle and the previous, Prothean one: namely, [[spoiler:the extremely late discovery of the Crucible blueprints, the hasty construction, the frantic search for the Catalyst, and, finally, an indoctrinated splinter faction believing they can control the Reapers and sabotaging the Crucible]]. It is further implied that [[spoiler:the Crucible was built in each cycle but much too late to stop the Reapers; the species of the current cycle are the first ones who actually manage to complete the Crucible (sans Catalyst) while preserving most of their forces for the FinalBattle]].
*** The climax of the trilogy states that [[spoiler: the actions of the Reapers are in response to ''another'' EternalRecurrence that they have observed throughout history: the inevitable RobotWar that results when civilizations [[AIIsACrapshoot create AI and it rebels against them]]. To prevent artifical intelligence from wiping out organic life the Catalyst created the Reapers to "preserve" organic races by converting into Reapers as soon as they had the capacity to create AI]].
*** During the climax, [[spoiler:the Catalyst acknowledges that Shepard actually reaching it is a sign that the Reaper Cycle is breaking down. An organic actually meeting the Catalyst in the heart of the Citadel is the one event that never occurred in any previous Cycle.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is an example that's less TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt and more 'a bunch of people die and there's some colorful explosions' thing. SIN arrives, spreads terror, Summoner gets Final Summon and spectacularly fights it, defeats it, dies in the process, several years of Calm follows, then SIN resurfaces and it all repeats again. [[spoiler:So it goes until Tidus comes along and along with Auron convinces Yuna and the rest of the group to break the cycle.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', it turns out that there have been numerous repetitions (or cycles) of the war between the Gods Cosmos and Chaos. This shows up in the title of the sequel, where the 012 specifically refers to the 12th cycle.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'', [[spoiler:it turns out that the catastrophe that is occasionally alluded to is actually the work of Mega Man Juno who periodically activates a machine called EDEN to wipe out life on the island.]]
** A more global version serves as TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt in the sequel.
* In ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra'', all life is annihilated every four thousand years so the Gods can reseed the world with a new dominant race. The current race is Humanity, and there are only sixteen days left before their time runs out. [[spoiler: It turns out that all along, the Gods were hoping to create a race strong enough to break the cycle by killing them.]]
* ''{{Anachronox}}'' builds on the "Big Crunch" theory (see below) with a notable exception: a ''previous'' universe, i.e. one from ''before'' the most recent Big Bang, is trying to prevent ''their'' Big Crunch by teleporting a lot of matter through some kind of time hole into ''our'' universe, in order to prevent the ''next'' universe (which they are at war with) from ever existing. So our Big Crunch gets accelerated, while their is prolonged indefintely. Of course, they didn't count on the teleported matter granting magic powers, ''and'' the ending leaves the whole thing on a Cliffhanger, due to ExecutiveMeddling.
* In ''VideoGame/NexusWar'', the current iteration of the universe is ending. The eponymous war was to see which of the [[PowersThatBe Elder Powers]] will shape the next one. This served as a convenient SequelHook for ''[[NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'', which takes it to the next step and actually shows the world rebooting from time to time.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' implies billions of parallel worlds have been created and destroyed over and over by the power of the Conception. If you get the True Demon ending though you break the cycle, which [[ItsPersonal pisses off YHVH something fierce.]]
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'', states outright that the [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Schwarzwelt]] has [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt consumed sinful civilizations]] innumerable times, and humanity is simply experiencing its latest iteration. This is demonstrated when the crew of the Red Sprite finds evidence of those previous civilizations, different from our own but with the same failings. However, it subverts its predecessor's example by having the [[OrderVersusChaos Chaos faction]] instigate and perpetuate the Schwarzwelt and the "punishment" of failed civilizations, while Lawful and Neutral paths seek to break the cycle (with vastly different motivations and results.)
* This is EXACTLY what happens in the popular online RPG series, ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' and ''VideoGame/MechQuest'', where an event called 'the Reset' causes the Lorian people to revert back to magic in order to compensate for their ''LostTechnology'' and reincarnate... TWICE. Ironically only the [=NPCs=] just don't [[FridgeLogic realize this situation]], so it'll happen again in the future.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles]]'', the Daedric Prince Sheogorath is cursed to have his Oblivion realm destroyed [[spoiler:by himself]] at the end of every age. [[spoiler:The Champion of Cyrodill's victory over Jygalagg breaks the cycle and actually works out in the Daedric Prince's favor. He is free to wander Oblivion once more, while the Champion is left with the mantle of Mad God.]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', mythic echoes of the moment of creation between the primal entities Anu, Padomay, and Nir occur over and over again throughout history; this phenomenon is referred to as the Enantiomorph. Such instances of echoes include but are not limited to the sundering of Lorkhan from his divine spark, the betrayal of Nerevar by the Tribunal, the triad of Tiber Septim, Zurin Arctus, and Ysmir Wulfharth, and possibly even the Dragonborn, General Tullius, and Ulfric Stormcloak. The roles and players are interchangeable, even in the midst of an enantiomorphic event.
* The creation and destruction of Dark and Light Gaia in ''{{Terranigma}}''. The two worlds exist in a cyclic existence where one world exists, the other is resurrected, the older one is destroyed, the new one lives on for an unknown period of time, the other one is resurrected again and the older one destroyed. Each world has its own TheChosenOne, who is responsible for resurrecting the other world and destroying their own (and will therefore die along with their own world), and the protagonist Ark is the Dark Gaia version.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}} 64: The Second Attack'', in one of the endings Bomberman has to face off against the "Angel of Light and Shadow," the being that is responsible for the creation and destruction of the universe in its lifecycle.
* The events in the KingdomOfLoathing. You beat [[BigBad The Naughty Sorceress]], free the king and AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence, and peace returns to the Kingdom. Then you check the news: The NS is back, she has recaptured King Ralph, The Cyrpt has been redefiled, ect. It's an in-world excuse for a NewGamePlus.
* ''RadiantSilvergun''. [[spoiler:The entire plot of the game is one of these, thanks to the "big bad" (if it can be considered that) warping you back to 100,000 BC at the end of the game. The clones of the player characters - the originals of both having died in the Stone-Like's penultimate onslaught - are the genesis of humanity.]]
* ''[[http://www.captainforever.com/captainforever.php Captain Forever]]'' opens up with you being a survivor of a sector-wide explosion, and every time you die [[spoiler: you cause ANOTHER sector-wide explosion, and the game starts all over again]]. The [[AllThereInTheManual readme]] confirms the eternal nature of this predicament.
* In ''TheLegendOfSpyro'' trilogy, it turns out that [[spoiler: purple dragons]] are supposed to destroy and rebuild the world periodically. The problem is, the last one appointed to the position, [[spoiler: Malefor,]] didn't exactly do his job properly...
* The basic premise of ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' canon. Every so many generations a great evil (usually Ganondorf/Ganon) will consume Hyrule, and reincarnations of Link and Zelda will defeat it. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' reveals that this is due to [[spoiler:the curse [[GodOfEvil Demise]] placed on Link and Zelda. An incarnation of his hatred -- Ganon -- will hound Link and Zelda's reincarnated selves until the end of time.]] In the ''Wind Waker'' timeline, [[spoiler:the cycle is broken when everything related to the cycle -- Ganondorf, the Master Sword, and even Hyrule itself -- is returned to the bottom of the ocean forever.]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' canon is similar, with BigBad Dracula destined to be reborn (at least) once every hundred years and defeated by some iteration of the Belmont clan and their allies. Worth noting is the fact that Dracula himself is canonically DeaderThanDead as of 1999, but the cycle seems to be going on even without him. That is explained in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]'' by Genya Arikado (none other than [[spoiler:Alucard, the Dark Lord's prodigal son]]), who states his belief that even if Soma ([[LateArrivalSpoiler Dracula's reincarnation]]) {{refus|AlOfTheCall}}es to become the next Dark Lord, if nature wills for a being to counterbalance God, then ''someone'' out there will eventually take up the mantle. This ideology is shared by Celia Fortner (the BigBad of ''Dawn'') and her {{cult}}, With Light. Additionally, ''Aria of Sorrow'' reveals that there's a de-facto main antagonist of the series known as Chaos, who is the source of all of Dracula's powers. In short, it's a mix of AsLongAsThereIsEvil and BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil. Genya however also believes that free will means that no specific person ''has'' to be the Dark Lord.
* The Fae in ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'' do not truly die like mortals. They are fated to repeat their lives endlessly in the "Great Cycle". The appearance of the Tuatha Deohn, Winter Fae who have managed to break their own Cycle thanks to the power of their new god Tirnoch, is taken as a sign by other Fae that the Cycle is ending.
* Despite having almost nothing to do with this trope, Richter in [[VideoGame/{{TalesofSymphonia}} Tales of Symphonia:Dawn of the New World]] has a Mystic Arte counter (to Ain Soph Aur) called Eternal Recurrence. We, however, aren't exactly told the what Ain Soph Aur is, and can only speculate what it has to do with this.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW'', one of the driving forces of the plot is that the peoples of the universe preceding the last Big Crunch sent various machines and technologies ahead to the present universe to keep a record of their existence.
* In the game VideoGame/SoulSacrifice Delta, Eternal Recurrence or as it's known in the game Eternal Recursion, It is the central ideology in [[spoiler:the Order of Grim]] in which the world has died and remade time and time again through the use of a magical chalice and one man's sacrifice to the chalice. Only one man and some words have lived through the death and rebirth cycle of Eternal Recursion.[[spoiler: The nameless Sorcerer, who soon spreads the ideology of Eternal Recursion and the words "This is where your story beings."]] Ironically, [[spoiler: It is the nameless sorcerer years later who breaks the cycle.]]


%% * [[http://www.pbfcomics.com/111/ This]] is likely the single best illustration of this concept you'll ever find. %% Weblinks are not examples. Please flesh out before uncommenting.
* ''UnicornJelly'': both [[spoiler:a select few of the human race fleeing the destructive "Stormfall" to colonize a new world and guide it towards being able to construct more arks when the stormfall catches up to them]] and [[spoiler:the discovery of a weapon that creates such a "stormfall", which destroys everything in the universe only for life to eventually return when the "hyperspace raindrops" phenomenon transports species from another cosmos once again]]--though the latter isn't apparent until the [[DistantFinale final arc]] of the strip.
* [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2138 This strip]] from SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal combines it with LensmanArmsRace.
* Universes in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' are eventually destroyed [[spoiler: due to Lord English, but universes are also created constantly due to Skaia. This process of Sburb has no known beginning or end, though the sessions shown in the comic are instrumental to certain conditions perpetuating it. It is implied all universes and reality itself is merely the shape of another, higher being / force known only as Paradox Space, implicitly responsible for the settings [[YouCantFightFate immutable fate]].]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A prominent theory for [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos the Slender Man story]] [[WebVideo/EverymanHYBRID Everyman HYBRID]] is that the events of the story have happened before through some form of reincarnation. Over and over.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', when Bender, Fry, and Farnsworth travel to the end of the universe in a forwards-only time machine, they witness a new Big Bang, allowing them to return to the year 3010.
** Then they go too far and have to "bring her around again" and witness ''another'' Big Bang. But this time the new universe is about ten feet lower than their old one.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' has the ArcWords, "This has all happened before," and these words do come to pass when the secret of the [[MacGuffin Planospheric Disc]] is revealed to be that [[spoiler:it keeps the Ultimate Evil sealed away in an alternate dimension, and every so often a team of four detectives and their TeamPet seeks the pieces out, with the animal always being the first to be corrupted by the promise of power and riches beyond their wildest dreams.]]
** The end of the series reveals that the cycle [[spoiler:is part of an even ''bigger'' cycle the Ultimate Evil doesn't control, consisting of ''[[CosmicRetcon reality itself]]'' being re-written over and over again.]] [[StealthSequel In other words]], the entire [[spoiler:''franchise'']] is part of the same cycle.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Many versions of the RealLife "Big Crunch" hypothesis of how the universe will end postulate that our own universe started with a Big Bang an indeterminate amount of time after a previous universe's Big Crunch. Other cosmological theories include:
** That our cosmos is one of an unknown number of universes which emerge from an eternal quantum vacuum independently of each other.
** That, since the Universe is accelerating its expansion, space will eventually expand so quickly that it will repeat the conditions of the Big Bang and start the whole thing all over again.
** That what we call a void really isn't, but is filled with quantum energy, and particles that come and go in picoseconds. In untold trillions of years it will form conditions somewhere, which will produce another universe. When there's an infinity of time, even the utterly improbable will become a certainty.
** One variant of the original theory above is a subversion, however, in that while there may be an unknown number of universes, it's a ''finite'' number. Meaning that even if one puts into account quantum theory, it all ends eventually.
** According to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poincar%C3%A9_recurrence_theorem Poincaré recurrence theorem]], any finite system will eventually return to its original state. This includes the universe, if it is finite; however, this will take [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future 10^10^10^10^10^1.1 years]], so an exceedingly long time.
* One of the schisms from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos_hypothesis Last Thursdayist religion]] believes that this happens every week.
* Hegel famously said that everything in history happens twice. Karl Marx in "The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" said that Hegel forgot to add: "the first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce".