->''"I don't know if that was a flashback, or a flash-forwards, or a flash-sideways...but I think I was flashed."''
-->--'''WebVideo/NerdCubed''', ''VideoGame/RideToHellRetribution''

Also known as "Inception Flashback", a flashback within a flashback occurs when a character recounts an event in which he/she also flashbacks into an ''even earlier'' event within the flashback. Yep, it's confusing.

These types of flashbacks are used primarily in popular anime/manga to build suspense or burn episode time. ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', in particular, uses this trope almost religiously. Do this a lot of times in a row, and you have a NestedStory.

Can be used in {{Whole Episode Flashback}}s, as a character may recount an earlier episode in which he had an EpiphanyComeback or HeelRealization, usually leading to a scene of FridgeHorror. Can also be used to clarify certain instances of OffscreenInertia scenes that were skipped in previous episodes.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Chapter 48 of ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'' is a WholeEpisodeFlashback, taking place before the beginning of the series. During that chapter, Sakura recalls her first meeting with Nozaki about a year before that.
* Invoked in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', which had flashbacks happen every so often between characters. Occasionally, the characters will overlap flashbacks, causing this to occur.
* Episode 4 of ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'' starts the second half with Kobayashi viewing the aftermath of an incredibly violent dodgeball game before she flashes back to how they got to that point. During the flashback Kanna tells everybody how Saikawa had challenged a group of boys to a game of dodgeball even earlier in the day.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Issue three of ''ComicBook/BadGuys'' revisits the team's training period. During then, Hunter has several flashbacks to her own past. The artist uses a different style for Hunter's flashbacks to indicate which flashback is which.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/{{Julia}}'', which is based on a memoir by Creator/LillianHellman, thus making it a WholeEpisodeFlashback, has used flashbacks to illustrate the long friendship between Lillian and Julia.
* In ''Film/LastOrders'', Ray frequently remembers a conversation with Amy while they sat on a bench. During this flashback, the two would have flashbacks of their own during their conversation.
* In the remake of ''Film/TheAnthropophagusBeast'', Nikos, in his journal recalled being lost at sea with his wife, and his dead daughter.
* ''Film/GhostsOfMars'': The movie opens with the lone survivor of a mission to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining colony being found by Mars authorities, then [[HowWeGotHere she tells what happened]] to the government council in flashback. During the mission, after splitting up to investigate, one of her comrades suddenly shows up with three survivors from the colony, and he explains how he found them in another flashback. When he asks them what happened to the colony, this triggers ''another'' flashback where they explain how they inadvertently dug up the Martian ghosts.
* ''Film/{{Homecoming}}'' is structures as a WholeEpisodeFlashback from Lee's perspective as his troop transport approaches New York harbor after returning from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Yet somehow we still get a flashback-within-a-flashback from his wife Penny, as she remembers how they first met.
* ''Film/ThePhantomCarriage'' has three narrative layers. The main story surrounding Sister Edit and David Holm, the story David Holm tells his two follow drunkards in the cemetery about Georges and within that frame there's Georges' tale about TheGrimReaper.
* In ''Film/TheRevenant'', the hero's DarkAndTroubledPast of his wife being killed by military officers and his son being badly burned during the raid, is explored in flashbacks and dream sequences.
* In the first ''Film/{{Saw}}'', a flashback occurs when Dr. Gordon recalls being taken in for questioning by the police. While in the station, he watches Amanda, the only survivor of one of Jigsaw's traps, tell the police about her kidnapping and torture. This in turn leads to a flashback from ''her'' perspective, after which we return to Dr. Gordon in the present.


[[folder: Fanfics ]]

* The ''Anime/BloodPlus'' fic ''Fanfic/SympathyForTheDiva'' uses this and standard {{flashback}}s to explore major events in the characters' backstory.
%% * In ''Film/TheMatrix'' SlashFic ''Fanfic/BringingMeToLife'', this occurs in the later chapters.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* "[[Literature/OctopussyAndTheLivingDaylights Octopussy]]", the Creator/IanFleming ''Literature/JamesBond'' short story, opens with the central character reflecting on events earlier that day, when Bond came to his Jamaica home to arrest him for murder, where he recalls the circumstances in the last days of WWII where he did the deed.
* Most of ''Literature/BlackLegion'' is Khayon telling the tale of the eponymous warband to his captors, so when he dwells on what happened earlier, this is the result.
* In ''[[Literature/SpaceMarineBattles Malodrax]]'', Lysander's flashbacks about his first time on the eponymous planet are interwined with accounts of Inquisitor Corvin, who's been there even earlier.
* In ''Literature/HaloNewBlood'', Buck spends most of the novella telling stories of past events. He occasionally goes off on tangents; in one case, he recalls meeting Spartan-[=IVs=] led by Sarah Palmer at the end of one chapter, while the very next chapter begins with another flashback to an even earlier mission where he met Palmer when she was still an ODST.
* ''Literature/{{It}}'' alternates between scenes of the protagonists as adults in 1985 and flashbacks to their childhoods in 1958, but these flashbacks contain many additional flashbacks to earlier events. For instance, Ben recalls being attacked by a trio of bullies on the last day of school, and during that memory the younger Ben recalls the first time he encountered Pennywise the Clown months before.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the ''Series/HouseOfFools'' episode "The Wig Affair", Beef mentions how a "rat beaver thing" that stole Bob's wig has lived in the house since their fathers lived there. The show then flashbacks to the seventies, where the "rat beaver thing" steals Bob's father's caramel wafer. Then it flashbacks again to the fifties, with [[FlashbackEcho almost identical dialogue]], and the rodent steals Vic's grandfather's brisket.
* In the ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' episode "Many Happy Returns", a flashback scene of John watching videos of Jessica and Peter flashes back to Peter's encounter with Jessica at the airport in 2006. Because John did not ask her to wait for him, she ends up marrying Peter instead.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Flashback", Tuvok's first flashback to the Excelsior occurs in the middle of the battle with the Klingons and Valtane's death. It then flashes back further to show how the whole mess started.
* ''Series/TheFollowing'' used flashbacks constantly during the first season. In an episode from that season, "The Fall", Debra's past is revealed in this manner.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' featured a flashback within a flashback in Season 4 episode [[spoiler: Heart of Gold]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' is full of these. The whole series is a flashback to begin with, so any episode containing a flashback is this.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* A variant occurs in a ''ComicStrip/{{Crankshaft}}'' arc: A flash-''forward'' shows Crankshaft as catatonic, confined to a wheelchair, and living in a nursing home. His nurse takes him to see a ballgame, though it was rained out. A flashback occurs within the flash-forward and showed a much younger Crankshaft watching a ballgame, suggesting that he retreated to memories of happy times and was unaware of what is going on now. Later on, the creator would reveal future!Crankshaft to be someone else entirely, leaving readers wondering whether there was misdirection or a retcon.


[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* After Wrestling/CodyRhodes played Wrestling/TheBigShow's embarrassing Wrestling/{{WrestleMania}} moments on the Titantron for weeks, Big Show defeats Rhodes at [=WrestleMania=] XXVIII. On a subsequent RAW, Big Show, comes out to play a highlight of that match. The next week, he shows ''a clip of himself showing that clip from last week''.


%%[[folder: Radio ]]

%% * In the ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' episode "Doctor Who and the Pirates, Dr. Evelyn Smythe tells Sally a story about pirates. As it goes on, Sally recalls an uncomfortable memory in which someone dear to her was killed in a car crash, and she was driving.
%% May need to be checked.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/AlwaysSometimesMonsters'', flashbacks fill in what happened in the past. If the MysteriousStranger relates to these, this trope occurs.
* In ''VideoGame/WhatRemainsOfEdithFinch'', the main story is a flashback to Edith exploring her family's old house, framed as [[spoiler: her son]] reading her journal about it. While she's in there, she picks up multiple documents that initiate flashbacks into the lives of her other family members, showing how they died.


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* The events of VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth all take place in little more than a day: I-1 and I-5 are the only ones happening [[InMediasRes story wise]]. Cases I-2 and I-3 are flashbacks, but case I-4 takes place in a flashback within I-3's flashback.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/OnePieceGrandLine3Point5'', Cory makes a quick recap of the comic's "Island of Rare Animals" arc. It occurs twice: the first time, Cory summarizes Phil's recap of everything he missed, and the second time, it turns out a friend is retelling the whole story to [[spoiler:Johnny and Yosaku's future players]].
* In chapter 7 of ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'', which is a WholeEpisodeFlashback, a FlashbackCut is used to show Duane's NoHoldsBarredBeatdown.
* In ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'', when [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1270.html Luke asks Bobba Fett]] why he seeks revenge on Han Solo, Fett has a flashback to meeting Solo on Cloud City, at which time he had a flashback to his father's death in Episode 2.
-->'''Luke''': Oh, lord, it's one of these. I'm getting outta here.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' episode "Dan Vs. Summer Camp", Chris and Dan recall their time spent in [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Camp Atrocious]], run by the corrupt Mr. Tedesco. During that WholeEpisodeFlashback, another occurs as Mr. Tedesco explains the camp traditions.
%%* In the ''WesternAnimation/MarthaSpeaks'' episode "The Case of the Shattered Vase".
* During the main flashback of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'''s episode "Out of the Past", a flashback to the one from "Predatory" plays, in which [[spoiler:Airachnid kills Tailgate]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'' episode "Shower Party", Mr. Gus and Pizza Steve flashback to a previous flashback they had of Uncle Grandpa making a bunch of partygoers leave by accidentally exposing himself in front of them.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E10TheSaddleRowReview The Saddle Row Review]]" is an WholeEpisodeFlashback of each of the main characters being interviewed for a newspaper article, and the events they describe during the interview are also shown as flashbacks.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' turns it {{Up To Eleven}} in one episode; each flashback eventually starts yet another flashback, until the Eds themselves are wondering just where they started.