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[[quoteright:340:[[WesternAnimation/KimPossible http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/future_badass12.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:340:[[LampshadeHanging Why is everybody in the future so ripped]]?!]]

->''"So never kick a dog because it's just a pup --''\\
''You'd better run for cover when the pup grows up!"''
-->-- ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', "Little People"

The BadFuture has happened, meaning the EvilOverlord has won, it's TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt and ''they'' [[VillainWorld are unquestionably in charge]] and making [[SpaceClothes questionable fashion choices.]] There is hope in this bleak {{Dystopia}} however; some brave people have formed LaResistance.

Notably, these include most of the former {{Sidekick}}s, the PluckyComicRelief, and even TheScrappy, with an occasional "main" character survivor; basically everyone you'd expect to be a [[FutureLoser loser in the future]]. But they're not the same characters we knew and loved [[CreatorsPet (or hated)]], they're DarkerAndEdgier.

It seems living under an [[PresidentEvil iron fisted despot]] is a great personal motivator to [[TookALevelInBadAss get buff]], and all those bombed out [=HotTopic=] stores are just ''begging'' to be used by actual punk freedom fighters. Effectively everyone's gotten a badass [[EvilCostumeSwitch Makeover]] and turned into [[GoodScarsEvilScars fashionably scarred]], [[GoodHairEvilHair goatee-sporting]], [[BadassLongcoat longcoat-wearing]], {{Shell Shocked Veteran}}s and {{Genius Bruiser}}s. [[EyepatchAfterTimeSkip Eyepatches]] are popular too.

Even the [[ShrinkingViolet mousiest]], [[TheDitz ditzyiest]], flabbiest, [[TheStoner slacker-iest]] characters straighten out and become [[HunterOfMonsters deadly serious professionals.]] Even if we grow to like these new interpretations of the same characters more than the originals, [[StatusQuoIsGod the status quo]] and [[WeWantOurJerkBack attachment]] for the originals is sure to undo this harsh future.

At the very least it becomes somewhat ominous to know that, under the right (or wrong) circumstances the lovable [[TheWoobie Woobie]] or [[PluckyComicRelief Goofball]] can become a cold killing machine. They might make a future reappearance (if the future gets unfixed again) or return in the much more disturbing event that the character suffers a HeroicBSOD, or worse, gets [[BewareTheNiceOnes pushed too far]].

If they're lucky, the reappearance of the hero can [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong set things right]] before the BigBad is too entrenched to be removed. In some cases it can be AllJustADream, a TimeTravel made AlternateUniverse, or a MirrorUniverse with a [[ForWantOfANail tiny difference.]]

A subtrope of FutureFoil. See also FutureMeScaresMe, BadFuture and AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome. Compare with RidiculouslySuccessfulFutureSelf.

Subtrope of TookALevelInBadass.



[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' seems to begin with Simon leading the Dai-Gurren Brigade through a war with all the stars in the heavens which is theorized to be what would have happened if [[spoiler:the Anti-Spirals were right and the Spiral races went on to abuse Spiral power]]. This Simon, while similar in appearance, is a lot cockier and violent then his kinder canon self.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'': According to several released small stories, in the future Tohno[/Nanaya] Shiki will become the Dead Apostle-slaying assassin Satsujinki, who has surpassed his past limits. One such story begins with him wiping out one of the 27 Dead Apostles, ''without him even noticing he was dead until it was far too late''.
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'': Most notably Lambo, going from crybaby incompetent toddler to crybaby slightly more-competent bishonen in 10 years, and turning into an overpowered beefy stud in 20 years.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' has the whiny, sniveling Gil become the raw testosterone canon of [[spoiler: Raven]].
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'''s Android Saga features Future Trunks, who was the second Super Saiyan to appear in the manga and who wiped out Freeza, his father King Cold, and all of their minions single-handedly in his first appearance. Because he grew up in a BadFuture where every day is a fight to survive, he's strong and pragmatic, but also well-mannered; this contrasts with his mainline counterpart, who turns out to be a cocky SpoiledBrat as a result of being pampered. That said, when [[MyFutureSelfAndMe the two finally get to meet]] in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper''[[note]]Present Trunks was a newborn during the Android Saga, so his only real interaction with his future self was pulling his hair[[/note]], they end up developing a brotherly respect for one another.
** Future Gohan, who grew up in the same BadFuture but also had to shoulder the burden of protecting the planet after Androids 17 and 18 killed off all of his friends. However, he's also a subversion in that while he's a more focused warrior than the mainline Gohan, he is less powerful since he didn't have anyone to help him train.
* ''{{Anime/Noein}}'' had the Dragon Knights Karasu and Fukuro as [[FutureBadass Future Badasses]] for Yuu and Isami respectively. Karasu got into fights with almost all the other Dragon Knights, and became a Determinator, singlehandidly invading Shangri'la the timespace that had nearly destroyed La'Cryma to rescue Yuu(then Haruka) from Noein.
* ''{{Franchise/Nasuverse}}'':
** ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': Shirou Emiya, who starts as nothing but a high school student with a tiny bit of magical power, will eventually become [[spoiler:Archer, a man who fights gods and becomes the last line of defense for the world itself]].
** Waver Velvet, the NaiveNewcomer in ''LightNovel/FateZero'', who eventually grows up to become Lord El-Melloi II, the man who dismantled the Fuyuki Grail after ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. [[spoiler:Also, a dead ringer for Waver appears inside [[BadassArmy Ionioi Hetairoi]], heavily implying he became a Heroic Spirit after his death.]]
* ''Anime/TekkamanBlade'' has Aki Kisaragi, who for the first season serves as the supportive figure of Takaya aka D-Boy, and eventually his LoveInterest, who sometimes DO help him fight in piloting the not-quite-so-powerful ship. In the second season, after several years of TimeSkip, [[spoiler:she became a Tekkaman herself, and while lacking natural Tekkaman powers like flight or Voltekka, she still manages to be a badass fighter on her own, and goes on tutoring Tekkamen blessed with natural Tekkaman powers.]]
* ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi]]'' has Asahina Mikuru's future self. She's clearly more self-confident, [[OlderAndWiser wiser]] (and [[BreastExpansion bustier]]) than her present self, and [[spoiler: she's actually her own superior]].
* The [[GainaxEnding ending]] of ''Manga/{{Mahoromatic}}'' has the main character become this, much to the consternation of many fans.
* Reversed, somewhat, in ''Manga/ViolinistOfHameln'' with Clari Net. Clari has yet to demonstrate any real prowess--only talk--when Trom and Flute come across a mirror that shows the past, and a scene with a pathetic-looking crying boy. The end of the flashback reveals the boy to be Clari. Cue adult!Clari [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome taking out an army of dragons. Singlehandedly.]]
* While the cast of ''Manga/GetterRobo'' were already supreme badasses, the AfterTheEnd {{OVA}} ''Armageddon'' has the characters appear older and more rugged than before and ditch the old SpaceClothes in favour of something more badass. Most notable is Ryoma, who gains a huge red ScarfOfAssKicking, a BadassLongcoat, chain belt and hand wrappings, and his [[HotbloodedSideburns sideburns]] go from "huge" to "have their own gravitational field."
** TagalongKid Genki Saotome not only grows up to be a badass sufficiently capable of piloting Shin Getter 2 [[spoiler:(and later, Shin Liger)]], but turns out to have been a [[spoiler: very, very, very, very, VERY tomboyish girl, and only now shows how hard she got hit by the pretty stick. It also helps that she's gotten military training of some kind as well.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Psyren}}'', the [[spoiler:Elmore Wood kids, after dying repeatedly in the future]], come back with a vengeance, all kicking ass and taking names [[spoiler: except Kyle.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'', after the [[spoiler: TimeSkip,]] a previously useless and weak character, [[spoiler: Raki,]] [[TookALevelInBadass takes several hundred levels in badass.]]
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Bat and Lin are [[TagalongKid Tagalong Kids]]. After the time skip following the final battle with Raoh, they both grow up to be leaders of the [[BadassArmy Hokuto Army]] and strong allies for Kenshiro.
* Otcho from ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'' goes from an average Joe to an enlightened mercenary to a BareFistedMonk who goes by the name of [[spoiler:Shogun.]]
** And Yoshitsune goes from a timid, ineffectual {{Woobie}} to a competent resistance leader, though he's still plagued with self-doubt and his major character development is learning his own worth.
** EVERYONE becomes a future badass, good or bad - Kenji started out as a loser who run a store, and by the epilogue, he had became a symbol for hope, a rock star, and ultimately Messiah.
* Invoked in ''Manhua/RavagesOfTime'' the moment that Liaoyuan Huo first uses the alias [[spoiler:Zhao Yun]], but used a ''lot'' in the series. For example, [[spoiler:the little squirt who appears in the Wu camp as a raving Taishi Ci fanboy? He's going to grow up to be the general whose army brings down the kingdom of Shu.]]
* [[spoiler:Rogue]] from ''Manga/FairyTail'', having come from a future where [[TheDreaded Acnologia]] decided to take over the world and has killed of 90% of the population, as well as having succumbed to his SuperpoweredEvilSide. When he turns up in the present, he has murdered and stolen the powers of his former friend, giving him the dual element power-up that, until that point, only Natsu had been shown to use reliably. He also ''invented'' a spell to control dragons, and manipulates the royal family into summoning as many as possible before turning on everyone. It's only thanks to another time travel based DeusExMachina that he isn't responsible for the most deaths of named characters in the series (including a main character). And that's ''with'' another member of the cast having a tendency to kill people by standing too close to them.
* [[spoiler: Homura]] from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' is technically only from the very near future, but [[spoiler: has lived through countless time loops thanks to her time control powers and thus has turned from a shy, bookish girl into the most experienced magical girl of the cast as she tries to create a timeline where Madoka doesn't become a MagicalGirl and survives Walpurgisnacht's attack.]]
* ''Manga/TheSevenDeadlySins'' series has an example that involves reincarnation. Present-day [[spoiler:Elizabeth]] is sixteen years old and just as scatterbrained as that implies. Her first incarnation was a lot more elegant, [[spoiler:in part due to the experience that comes with being an immortal angel ("goddess")]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''Comicbook/XMen'' story "ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast" had several of these, starting with Kitty Pryde--who is now called "Katherine", thank you.
** The same future has Franklin Richards as a mutant freedom fighter, even though in comics set in the present day he's been 8 years old (or so) for decades.
* In a 2004 arc in the ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' comic, the Titans get warped to a BadFuture where the Justice League have all died and been replaced by their sidekicks, who are now uniformly deadly vigilantes: Robin has become Franchise/{{Batman}} (and now uses a gun), Superboy has become Franchise/{{Superman}} (and has no compunctions about ripping peoples' arms off), Beast Boy is the feral Animal Man, and so on. And they're all working for Lex Luthor. Overlaps with FutureMeScaresMe.
* Three ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel''-examples: In a X-Men/FF crossover, future Cyclops lost his powers, but is still badass enough to be the new, 616-esque Captain America. Future Shadowcat (still called Kitty though) develops the ability to become super-dense in addition to her intangibility, which allows her to bitch-slap [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Ben Grimm]] around; also, she has a copy of Spiderman's web-shooters. In another, earlier UXM-arc, future Wolverine lost his HealingFactor and an arm, no less, which forced him to become ''even more'' badass as a result--cue Ultimate ''Cable''.
* Seemingly normal high school student Victor joined the cast of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' after Gert came back from the future to warn the kids that he would someday kill ''every super hero on the planet''. And not only was Future!Gert leading the Avengers, but she looked so different that the fifteen-year-old Gert didn't recognize herself.
* A late arc of ''[[ComicBook/TheFlash Impulse]]'' called "Dark Tomorrow" had Bart and his [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble present-day then-girlfriend]] Carol transported to the 30th century after Bart's mentor Max Mercury "died." They discover that their future selves, living in a very BadFuture run by Bart's evil grampa, are quite Badass... and also fighting on opposite sides, with Carol working for [[PresidentEvil President Thawne]]. Even though he's on the good side, Future!Bart is much [[DarkerAndEdgier more savage]] than the kid we all know and love.
* [[Comicbook/{{Starman}} Jack Knight]] went to the future and saw that Stargirl will eventually be a great hero.
** Her younger sister is also destined to become a Starwoman in the future.
* Bratty Damian Wayne from Franchise/{{Batman}} becomes one of these in ''Batman 666'', taking place in the future (or perhaps a possible future). He stretches the no-kill rule to the limits, more than willing to brutally injure and kill his opponents, although he does mention that he promised his father not to kill. He "cheats" by rigging the entire city of Gotham with booby traps and bombs, acknowledging that he won't match his predecessors. And he has made a DealWithTheDevil, able to survive and heal immediately when he was shot with bullets, his soul in exchange for his need to protect Gotham.
* Sort of example in ''ComicBook/HackSlash''; in the ''Murder Messiah'' Annual, it's revealed the previously thought dead Liberty Lochs cast a spell at the last minute that saved her from dying, but flung her into a post-apocalyptic future, where she was forced to become a badass, complete with [[CoolBike cool]] [[BikerBabe hoverbike]].
* Pretty much every character to survive to ''ComicBook/DCOneMillion'' becomes this at bare minimum, having to survive over 80,000 years. The biggest upgrade is that of ComicBook/ResurrectionMan, who goes from having a quirky form of ResurrectiveImmortality that gives him random (often useless) powers to being able to kill himself for an instant to gain almost any power at will, on top of gaining the prestige and experience that comes with millennia of heroism. The most famous, though, is Franchise/{{Superman}}, who only shows up near the very end, having spent the entire period at work inside the sun to keep it burning, and absorbed a great deal of solar energy and the SuperpowerfulGenetics of his entire line of descent. Though he's only briefly seen, his current heir possesses a fraction of his power, and is strong enough to hold back an entire ''galaxy''.
* Billy Kaplan. In the present, he's a powerful but fairly inexperienced reality warper who's poor judgment tends to cause disaster. In the future, he's a dimension spawning deity worshipped under the name ''Demiurge''.
* DoubleSubverted in the French comic ''{{Raghnarok}}'', about a young dragon who just can't fly in spite of his mother's insistence (her teaching methods consisting her throwing him off a cliff until he learns) and whose FairyCompanion is a StepfordSmiler who's only allowed to use a kiddie wand. Fed up one day, he asks a witch to be sent forward in time to see if he ever grows up to be someone useful. He then sees a {{Mordor}}-esque CrapsackWorld dominated by a gargantuan, city-destroying black dragon who ceaselessly screeches "Raghnarok!!!", and his fairy has become an evil sorceress. It turns out that it's not him but his mother, since in this timeline he's been missing for a decade, sending his mother insane with grief until she can't do anything but torch the world calling for him, and the fairy went WellIntentionedExtremist to help her. Further subverted in that the whole thing was real but didn't actually happen--the witch showed him the consequences of running away from his problems but closed the timeline by bringing him back (since her house was one of the first to burn).
* Uatu the Watcher shows Hank [=McCoy=] a vision of possible futures, and in one, [[ComicBook/IllyanaRasputin Magik]] became the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, likely as his successor, since he retrained her.
* Irey West, the daughter of the third ''Franchise/{{Flash}}'', Wally West. As a child, she had an incomplete connection to the Speed Force, and could only vibrate through objects. However, every future we see her in, she's the Flash and has her father's speed.
* ''ComicBook/TheAvengers:'' The ''ComicBook/UltronForever'' storyline shows a future where Danielle Cage, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' daughter, becomes Captain America. The conclusion of the storyline shows she's on a team with a future Teddy Altman, with the following [[ComicBook/NewAvengers2015 New Avengers]] claiming he's now "King of Space".
* ''ComicBook/{{Royals}}:'' The flash-forward sections show Flint will one day become "The Moon King", with his powers far stronger than they are know, but at the cost of no longer being remotely human anymore, rather a skeleton suspended upside-down in a crystalline body. [[spoiler:And it's still not enough to save him from [[AbusivePrecursors the Progenitors]].]]
* [[ComicBook/MsMarvel2014 Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan]] is pretty badass in her own right as a [[KidHero teenage superhero]], but three adult versions of her from various {{Alternate Universe}}s have also appeared:
** [[http://wondygirl.tumblr.com/post/173978009973/older-kamala-khan-with-cosmic-awareness-rocking Kamala as an older woman]] and veritable cosmic powerhouse whom even Kang the Conqueror dreads.
** [[http://boundingintocomics.com/2018/03/15/kamala-khan-is-the-new-leader-of-the-inhumans/ Khan of the Exiles]], a ComicBook/{{Cable}}-esque leader of an Inhuman resistance.
** And [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers U.S. President Kamala Khan]] from the [[ComicBook/AllNewWolverine Old Woman Laura]] timeline.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse FanFic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4633912/1/Love_Ignites_the_Galaxy_Star_by_Star Love Ignites the Galaxy: Star by Star]]'' by polgarawolf, the Tahiri Veila from ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce'' uses Darth ''Caedus' '' [[TimeTravel flow-walking]] technique to travel back to the events of ''[[Literature/NewJediOrder Star by Star]]'' and [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong save the Jedi strike force from the disaster ahead]]. She proceeds to rig the Yuuzhan Vong's voxyn grove to explode, get the drop on the entire Myrkr strike force, neutralize Lomi Plo and Welk, all the while evading the Yuuzhan Vong, and generally makes it clear that she's seen [[BadFuture the future of this timeline]], and '''[[{{Determinator}} nothing]]''' [[{{Determinator}} is going to stop her]] from insuring [[BadFuture that future does. Not. Happen]].
* In the Star Fox fanfiction ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1287617/1/Star_Fox_Adventures_Krazoa_Legends Krazoa Legends]]'' by Wolf E. Urameshi, more than one character is an example of this: [[spoiler:Falco Lombardi's life is shown when he has to escape with his sister after his parents are killed. '''Both of them.''']] [[spoiler:Also, Wolf O'Donnell goes through the same thing, though his story is more [[MommasBoy mommy dearest]] fare. But the original character Janus is probably the most accurate example of this. I mean, the guy starts his life abandoned by his own father, General Scales because he was apparently not muscled enough in the non-literal sense. The events that followed traumatized him- plus Scales killed Janus's mom a year after the latter was born.]] [[spoiler:He was rescued by an obligatory [[TheSmartGuy smart guy]], turned into a [[GeniusBruiser genius badass]] NiceGuy, and is even a [[HeroicBuild hot, muscled Sharpclaw]] with a [[SculptedPhysique toned bod]], avenges his family and guards ancient ruins with just a spear. He even scores. Yeah.]]
* [[http://engineermk2004.deviantart.com/art/Doctor-Whooves-Comic-1-214657166 This story]] shows an alternate timeline where [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Nightmare Moon]] conquered the world (apparently [[ForWantOfANail because Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash never met and]] the [[spoiler:Sonic Rainboom]] never happened). While Rainbow Dash is TheDragon and Rarity ended up making statues instead of fashion designs, [[ShrinkingViolet Fluttershy]] of all ponies is [[http://engineermk2004.deviantart.com/art/DW-Eternal-Night-Fluttershy-252667651 leading the mythical creatures of Everfree Forest against Nightmare Moon's forces]]. And ''winning''.
** [[http://fav.me/d4jjnqx Applejack]] is also a complete badass
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** Twilight Sparkle is revealed to be this is the BadFuture [[VillainWorld ruled by Discord]] [[spoiler:and at least possible future]]. In this BadFuture, she's Discord's brainwashed TheDragon, Twilight Tragedy. [[spoiler:However, Applejack's view of that future implies she actually manages to {{Out Gambit|ted}} Discord during one of the moments [[HoistByHisOwnPetard he unbrainwashes her for his own amusement by hiding a letter to herself]], which allows her to restore her memories without his knowledge and plan his downfall. Which is arguably ''more'' badass. In another possible future, she's an extremely powerful magician who fights tirelessly to defend Equestria. It's even hinted she's the one to defeat ''death''. Oh, and she's [[{{Immortality}} immortal]] as well.]]
** Thus far, most ponies we've seen future versions of qualify. Living in Discord's BadFuture probably has this affect on ponies.
** The Dark World ''Queen'' Cadence is probably the biggest example. While the modern Cadence is no push over by any stretch, her future self defeated Queen Chrysalis in a battle [[spoiler:and [[FusionDance regained the power and experience of the original Cadenza in the process]]]] to take over the Changelings, which she lead as LaResistance against Discord. She also, according to LooseCanon, managed to fight King Sombra (who was ''more'' powerful than his prime self due to all the fear and hatred he's absorbed) and ultimately managed to kill him. It says a lot that in the end, Discord is only able to finish her off by literally stabbing her in the back.
** In the Shining Armor arc, at one point items from the human world start coming out of portals. According to some documents and ID cards, Megan Williams' little sister Molly grew up to be a Special Forces agent. The Doctor comments on how unlikely it is that sweet little Molly would choose such a career path, and speculates it was an alternate universe version of her.
* In FanFic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum, all the ponies of the [[LaResistance PHL]] (or Ponies for Human Life) have become this-Sweetie Belle has become an ActionSurvivor capable of living in the Everfree on her own, Trixie is a deadly [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting]] spy, Cheerilee is a [[BadassTeacher high-ranking resistance commander,]] and Vinyl Scratch is now a soldier capable of carrying a minigun and using weaponized wubs.
* The ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'' shows us the version of [[WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom Danny]] that replaced his [[EvilMeScaresMe evil future version]], and he's downright badass enough to stand toe to toe with Dark Danny, even able to control Danny's deadly SuperMode. [[spoiler: Even better, Sam's his partner, a revelation that began the entire series]].
* Ditzy Doo from ''FanFic/FalloutEquestria''. In [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic present-day Equestria]], she was a happy-go-lucky mail carrier with an affinity for muffins. Two hundred years and a [[SugarApocalypse balefire apocalypse]] later, she's an {{Undead}} ex-slave IntrepidMerchant who pretty much runs the town of New Appleoossa despite [[TheSpeechless being mute]]. [[spoiler: And is capable of pulling off a [[FantasticNuke Sonic Radboom,]] and is the new [[ChosenOne bearer of the Element of Laughter.]]]]
* The ''Fanfic/MegsFamilySeries'' features a few appearances from an adult Maddie from the future; the first time around she came back to prevent [[ItMakesSenseInContext turkeys taking over the world and almost destroying humanity]]. Even after that was prevented, according to Stewie's future self she went on to be trained by [[WesternAnimation/AmericanDad Stan Smith]] after seeing how much of a badass she was, and became a CIA agent.
* ''FanFic/HarmonyTheory'': It's revealed that Spike grew into GeniusBruiser and MightyGlacier, who's now capable of ripping ponies in two, while shrugging off gunfire. This however puts extra tension on his interaction with [[spoiler:Rarity, who's woken up in the future]] and isn't used to the violence of the AfterTheEnd Equestria.
* In PeggySue fanfic ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', both Shinji and Asuka retain their combat experience, and given how they've lost most of their mental issues, are infinitely better at piloting and fighting.
* Later on in ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', we're introduced to [[spoiler: Empress Flurry Heart]], who has come back from a horrible BadFuture -- where [[OmnicidalManiac Bagan]] and [[GodOfEvil Grogar]] both escaped their [[SealedEvilInACan prisons]] and devastated both worlds, claiming countless lives (including [[spoiler: her parents]]) -- with the intention of [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong subtly manipulating events to prevent this from happening]]. Given the battle wounds they sport, and the fact that they survived said devastation, they clearly count for this trope.
* Spike the dragon in ''Webcomic/RecallTheTimeOfNoReturn'' is a tall, muscular badass leader of LaResistance.

* ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. Bruce Wayne has a nightmare (implied to be a vision of a potential BadFuture) in which Superman has turned evil and Batman is working with LaResistance. Having already shown at the very least indifference to his previous ThouShaltNotKill policy during the course of the movie, the BadFuture Batman carries an assault rifle and sidearm, using them without hesitation on Superman's soldiers.
* This happened in ''Film/ItsAVeryMerryMuppetChristmasMovie''. During their ItsAWonderfulPlot segment, ''Beaker'' -- normally Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's hapless assistant -- is a buffed bouncer. With a tattoo.
* In ''Film/Sharknado5GlobalSwarming'', Fin Shepard's young son Little Gil is seemingly killed. At the end of the movie, Fin runs into a grown up version of Little Gil, now played by Creator/DolphLundgren, who explains that after fighting and surviving on his own for years, he's found a way to time travel to assist Fin.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise:
** Future [[SignificantMonogram John Connor]] is referred to as a brilliant, badass military leader of the [[LaResistance human resistance]]. The [[Film/TheTerminator first film]] shows him in action, as part of Kyle's description of him to Sarah, then we see him as a child in the [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay second movie]] and TV show.
** Kyle Reese himself. Among other things, he makes pipe bombs out of mothballs and a few other sundry household items. What makes it apply to this trope is that then ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' shows us him as a young child before the war.
** Reese also spends a lot of the first film telling Sarah Connor she's one of these, much to her disbelief, bewilderment and frustration, and his eventual disappointment. She is by the second film, though.
* ''Film/TimeChasers'' gives us a [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]] version of this with Nick, who is certainly hardened by his experiences throughout the film compared to his former self. He's still kind of a NonActionGuy, though.
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', the future Sentinels are a serious improvement over the 1970s versions.

* One of the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books concerned Jake waking up in the future, where all his friends were battle-scarred screw-ups. Jake himself has a huge RatedMForManly body "a Yeerk would give up three ranks for".
* Paul Carpenter encounters a badass swordsman version of himself in Creator/TomHolt's ''[[Literature/JWWellsAndCo Earth, Fire, Air and Custard]]''--the end of the plot of that book was so convoluted it's hard to tell, and he never finds out for sure, but there's a good chance said version of Paul existed because a Canadian bank tried to change history to make Canada a major world power.
* In the final book of ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'' Mark and Courtney, formerly fairly average high school students, have become grizzled leaders of the surviving human population on Earth.
* In the ending of ''[[Literature/TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel The Enchantress]]'' [[spoiler: Marethyu turns out to be a far older and more powerful version of Josh]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheWeaknessOfBeatriceTheLevelCapHolySwordswoman'', the Sage is a mysterious figure who invented the system of magic used by humans. It's revealed that she's the future version of [[spoiler:Beatrice, the main character... except then it turns out that this was a lie. She is a time traveler from the future, but she merely changed her appearance to pretend that she was Beatrice's future self]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Trance from ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' actually switched places with her future badass self in one episode. The change was permanent, but we also got a brief look at badass future Becca.
* ''Series/{{Arrowverse}}'':
** ''Series/TheFlash2014'':
*** Played with in that we meet the badass version first. Reverse Flash is a villain from the future who is much more powerful than Flash and curb-stomps him every time they fight unless he has help. Eventually, a younger, less experienced version of him arrives in the present who is easily defeated by Flash.
*** Savitar is revealed to be [[spoiler:a psychotic, future version of Barry who is much more powerful than his present self.]]
** In ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', a recurring villain introduced in episode 1 is Chronos, a [[MysteriousMercenaryPursuer temporal bounty hunter]]. He's well-armed and well-trained. He's strategic. He's ruthless. [[spoiler:He's Mick Rory, aka the PyroManiac thief "Heatwave" and one of the Legends. In episode 9, Rory betrays the Legends and is left for dead, but the Time Masters find him, train him as their bounty hunter and send him to stop Rip Hunter after the latter goes rogue and recruits the Legends in episode 1.]]
* When Cordelia wished an AlternateUniverse into being in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', random classmates and Giles are forced to [[LaResistance fight the vampires sans Slayer]]. Xander and Willow get a GothicPunk makeover as CoDragons of the BigBad. Buffy is an amoral killer in combat boots with a scar across her lip.
** Willow's creepy alternate was also alluded to when she [[spoiler:[[BewareTheNiceOnes snapped]] following Tara's death, using the alternate's creepy "Bored now" line, with the same delivery, right before using her powers to flay Warren, Tara's killer, alive.]]
** In the novel ''The Lost Slayer'', Giles becomes a vampire king, and the Scoobies become a battle-hardened almost military group trying to fight him. Younger!Buffy-in-Older!Buffy's-body is surprised when she breaks out of where Giles was holding her and sees how they've all changed.
** Sideways example: the Slayer's Handbook supplement to the RPG describes an alternate setting called Hellworld, in which Glory's portal wasn't closed, unleashing a demonic apocalypse on Earth. One of the last remaining enclaves of humanity is defended by a group of grizzled demon fighters led by a horrifically scarred, nearly psychotic Alexander 'Call me Xander and die' Harris.
*** In the same scenario, there are rumors filtering in from the wasteland about someone called "Ripper" who hunts down demons with a combination of magic and mundane weapons....
* In Season 2 ''Series/{{Danger 5}}'' are stuck with ValleyGirl Holly as TheLoad. After time-traveling back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, they return to TheEighties only to find history has changed and Hitler has taken over the world. Then they're rescued by Danger One, a badass Holly raised and trained by the Colonel to help them [[SeriesGoal kill Hitler]]. Right after she explains this, [[NegatedMomentOfAwesome the trope gets subverted when normal Holly blows her head off]] with her EvilHand that's being controlled by Hitler.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E10TheGirlWhoWaited "The Girl Who Waited"]], [[spoiler:Amy gets trapped in an alternate timeline. When Rory manages to find her, she's 36 years older, dressed in armour made out of the robots she's killed, and armed with a sword and a home-made sonic screwdriver. Oh, and she's kind of pissed off.]]
* Inverted in the DistantFinale of ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}''. We follow badass [[ActionSurvivor Action Survivors]] Zone and Mag through two episodes of apocalyptic madness, during which they survive all kinds of crazy madness, only to finally decide to part ways after their side has finally won. The two of them, having until then been too busy surviving to dwell on the past, decide to tell each other what they were doing before the end.
-->'''Zone:''' Mag... what did you do... you know, before?
-->'''Mag:''' I was... at Brooklyn College. Sociology. You?
-->'''Zone:''' ... Landscape Architect.
-->'''Mag:''' [Cracks up] ... I wouldn't have called that one.
-->'''Zone:''' [raises an eyebrow and swaggers off] ''People are such a mystery!''
* In ''Series/TheFlash1990'', Nicolas Pike is just a corrupt cop turned leader of a biker gang. In "Flash Forward", when Barry Allen is brought forward ten years, [[GoneToTheFuture in Flash's absence]], Pike has somehow [[BadFuture taken over the town and rules with an iron fist]].
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has its own alternate future, with various side-switching and bad-ass-ifications. The most jarring one is Hiro, who goes from scruffy-looking, broken-English-speaking comicbook nerd to BadassLongcoat-wearing, hair-slicked-back, contemplative-yet-badass street samurai. And is pissed about it.
** What's really amusing about Badass!Hiro is that he's so exactly what Original!Hiro would have thought of as a Badass--it's unclear that he did it consciously, but he's the perfect incarnation of what Original!Hiro ''wanted'' to be. And is pissed about it nonetheless. This was actually requested by the actor as a nod to Future Trunks from ''DBZ.''
** Mild mannered Peter Petrelli either, who turns into a jaded, bitter BadassLongcoat with a [[GoodScarsEvilScars huge scary scar]] and "hasn't had a good fight in years."
** Matt Parkman goes from an unlucky police officer who Bennett is easily able to screw over into a badass FBI Agent who takes out both Bennett and Future!Hiro.
** Claire Bennett gets this in Season 3, with a large helping of [[spoiler: FaceHeelTurn or [[UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar Knight Templar]]]].
** Humorously inverted in Season 3 with Sylar, who ends up the ''only'' person in the Dark Future version 2.0 who's pleasant, well-adjusted, and not wearing black leather.
*** [[spoiler: At least until his son gets killed, at which point he promptly and quite literally [[SuperPowerMeltdown goes nuclear]].]]
* A less extreme example to be sure, but Sun, of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', in the [[spoiler: flashforwards]] is shown to essentially perform a stock market based hostile takeover of her father's company before he can ''blink''.
* Played with in ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. Merlin is destined to be the most powerful sorcerer who ever lived and unite the old and the new worlds. However, just when this will happen is kept ambiguous, so it's not going to be clear whether or not he's already become this until the series ends.
* In ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', Superhoodie, who has been helping out the heroes, is revealed to be [[spoiler:Simon]].
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'': In "Pavor Nocturnus", a confused Magnus encounters a battle-scarred and extremely jaded Will. That's what happens when you're one of very few survivors of a zombie-type epidemic.
** In this way, he is reminiscent of his UsefulNotes/WorldWarII [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Grandfather]], who gave his life to save Magnus.
** Later seasons show Will slowly losing his {{Woobie}}-ness.
* An interesting twist on this in ''Series/StargateSG1'', the episode Moebius. Although it was really an alternate timeline, when the [=DifferentTimeline=]!SG-1 encounters [=RegularTimeline=]!Daniel, it's implied that they see him sort of as a FutureBadass, since in their world, SG-1 had never existed and Daniel was somewhat of a wimp. But for the audience, that's Daniel as we know him, so we're not surprised.
--> '''Original Daniel:''' Where am I?\\
'''Alt O'Neill (of course):''' Ancient Egypt.\\
'''Original Daniel:''' No I mean the other me.\\
'''Alt Teal'c:''' I killed him.\\
'''Original Daniel:''' Why????
* A lot of people couldn't stand Captain Kathryn Janeway's moralistic hand-wringing and rule stickling in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.[[note]]Though the most frustrating part of all was that [[{{Hypocrite}} she wasn't actually as consistent about following the rules as she claimed to be]].[[/note]] Her alternate future counterpart, ''Admiral'' Kathryn Janeway stomped the rule book and then blasted it with a transphasic torpedo for good measure. She willingly violated all kind of regulations and swindled the Klingons, and then laughed it off.
** Also [[EnsignNewbie Harry Kim]] in Season 5 Episode 6 "Timeless" is a terse, ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight outlaw suffering from SurvivorGuilt, willing to break Federation law to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In the Season 5 episode "The End," which is one giant homage to ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'' (though also a great episode in its own right), [[spoiler:Dean has become even ''more'' badass and left all of his {{Woobie}}-ness behind (and he's highly reminiscent of Major Henry West, Creator/ChristopherEccleston's character in 28DL), and Sam is possessed by [[BigBad Lucifer]]]]. Slightly inverted in that Castiel [[spoiler:has become a relaxed, stoned hippie/love guru]], but even that is [[spoiler:just a cover for his transformation into a NietzscheWannabe]].
* John Connor in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' is a {{Deconstruction}} of this. He knows, and has always known that he's going to become one of these, like his movie incarnations, and a TV series allows for more time to deconstruct that and show him living with that knowledge and suffering the traumas that would turn someone into that. He's even shown asking people from the future who've met him what his future self would do in certain situations.
* Albeit not involving time travel, when the previously idealistic Blake comes BackForTheFinale of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' he now has the requisite cynical demeanor, facial scar and eye damage, though without the obligatory eyepatch (he was originally to have one [[NotSoDifferent just like his former arch-enemy Travis]], but the actor believed that a scar would be more subtle).
* The second-season finale of ''{{Series/Timeless}}'' ends with battle-hardened duplicates of main characters Lucy and Wyatt emerging from an upgraded version of the team's time machine, offering to help save Rufus, a team member who was just killed in the past. Wyatt and Lucy are both certifiable badasses already, with Wyatt a professional soldier and history-professor Lucy having developed nerves of steel over the course of the show, even killing when needed. But the new versions are grizzled, dirty, and wearing action gear, in contrast with their typical well-kempt fashion show of period attire.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Critical Shifts brought about by bad guys in ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' are the game's version of the BadFuture. Usually, people who the characters have met do much the same thing they did in the original timeline, but sometimes, the people go through changes as a result of the timeline. In one fan-written TabletopGame/FengShui adventure, a DistressedDamsel that the [=PCs=] rescued from a SerialKiller in a previous adventure [[FutureBadass goes Sarah Connor]] as a result of a Critical Shift where the demons of the Underworld have overrun the mortal world and leads LaResistance against the demons.
* One ''Magazine/{{Dragon}} Magazine'' Forum letter came from a DM who'd cured his players of wanting to switch to an Evil campaign with this trope. Sent to a parallel world, the [=PCs=] found that the goblinoids had taken over the planet using sci-fi technology, the good-guy demihumans were virtually extinct, and the FutureBadass versions of the players' own retired [=PCs=] were practically the only heroes left outside of a graveyard. A few sessions of living like fugitives (and fleeing from monster-race adventurers!) convinced them ''that's'' what they were really looking for in a campaign, not Evil player characters per se.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''Franchise/FireEmblem: Genealogy of the Holy War'', a tragedy occurs in the first half of the game. Fast forward 17 years later, two former [[TagalongKid Tagalong Kids]] eventually evolve into two badasses:
** Shanan, who was formerly Ayra's MoralityPet and started out as a DistressedDude, evolved into an ass-kicking Sword Master, and when combined with the Balmunk Sword, which grants him crazy dodge rates... he's one of the game's GameBreaker.
** Fin can also count, After the time skip he's much more competent and experianced then his younger self.
** Oifaye, though his significance wasn't as big as Shanan and seemed to be a CrutchCharacter but proved not to be. He manages to hold on his own, protecting Celice through years of hardships. Within the ''Fire Emblem'' community Oifaye is synonymous with initially powerful characters that remain useful.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has a few examples. The final goal of Operation: DESTINY is [[spoiler:to ''prevent'' your villain from turning into a Future Badass capable of taking down both the [[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Freedom Phalanx]] and [[EvilVersusEvil Arachnos]] single-handedly (as killing Lord Recluse in this future costs your right arm)]]. Mender Silos may be another example, what violating the underlying laws governing time travel and generally being an mysterious benefactor with [[ThePlan hidden, layered plots]], and certainly commanding a more impressive set of capabilities and army than that modern-day brozned poser Lord Nemesis.
** [[spoiler:The players themselves]] as of Issue 19. [[spoiler:You are shown a glimpse of a possible future version of you effortlessly defeating groups of the strongest bosses in the game, before breaking the laws of the universe to send Mender Ramiel further back in time than should be possible. Possibly not applicable, since you're already a superhero, but your future, fully powered incarnate version is to a superhero what a superhero is to a normal person. And then some.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', the mysterious Sheik turns out to be the future badass self of the princess Zelda, having disguised herself to evade Ganondorf and to aid Link.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' inverts this with Magus ([[spoiler:also known as Janus back in his own past]]). A full arc after crossing blades with the Fiendlord, you come upon a CreepyChild who informs you that one of your own will die. [[spoiler:It's after the Kingdom of Zeal crumbles that Magus lets them know of his past, and the party makes the connection at that point; a savvy player should see this much sooner.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' has [[spoiler:Servant Archer]], who [[spoiler:is nominally of the Archer Class and focused on ranged attacks, but is also very good at swordsmanship, and has the power to summon any sword he can think of, with his ultimate attack being a Reality Marble by the name of "[[TitleDrop Unlimited Blade Works.]]" He is the future incarnation of Emiya Shirou, the protagonist of the series, who also has the ability to summon swords. Archer, however, [[IHatePastMe is nowhere near the idealist that Shirou is, and his reason for coming to Shirou's time is to kill him]]]].
* Edward, yes ''[[SpoonyBard that]]'' Edward, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears''.
* From ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'': "[[BadassCreed I am the white void. I am the cold steel. I Am the just sword. With blade in hand shall I reap the sins of this world, and cleanse it in the fires of destruction!]] [[VideoGame/BlazBlue I am Hakumen!]] [[BadassBoast The end has come!]]" -- A major improvement over his previous life as the AmbiguouslyGay {{Yandere}} Jin Kisaragi.
* In ''VideoGame/InFamous'', [[spoiler:all-powerful BigBad Kessler is revealed at the end to be an AlternateUniverse version of Cole who traveled back in time to prepare his past self to deal with a monster destined to destroy the world. Depending on the KarmaMeter, he either succeeds or he becomes something worse.]]
** Its also made clear that the actions of the first game only would have changed the timeline to make him far, far stronger. [[spoiler: Or it would have if he didn't die in the second one]]
* There's an interesting variation in the ''VideoGame/JakIIRenegade'': [[spoiler:our gun-toting AntiHero Jak meets his adorable [[ChekhovsGunman younger self]] in the future before [[StableTimeLoop he's sent back into the past to grow up safe from harm]].]]
* Not a story-based example, but ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' has an example in an early bonus mission, where you're tasked by [[Myth/NorseMythology three Disir to calm down the rampaging Yggdrassil]]. This doesn't turn out so well, as not only does he outstrip your team at that point stat-wise, he can also stop time. Before he can kill you, though, the hero blacks out and is saved by a mysterious figure. [[spoiler: A few Sectors later, it turns out that figure was his own future self, sent back in time by the Norns the Disir would become after he defeated Yggdrasil. Bam. Textbook TemporalParadox.]]
* In the fan created game ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'', [[spoiler: Cirno is [[GoldfishPoopGang a laughably easy recurring boss]] for the first half of the game. Then you're sent forward in time and you encounter her again, and she puts up a fight.]]
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' has Isaac, hero from the previous game that saved the world 30 years ago. He is now 47 years old, but is more buff, boasts a BadassBeard AND a BadassLongcoat, and he ''still kicks major ass'' as he helps his son, Matthew, (the player) and Karis find their friend as he uses a {{BFS}} and retains most of the powerful Djinn and summons he used on his last adventure. It helps that being exposed to the Golden Sun in the previous game drastically reduced his aging, meaning he's still as spry now as he was as a teenager.
** In the same game, there's Eoleo, who is the son of the famous pirate, Briggs. In the previous game, he was just a baby with some powers. 30 years later? He's now pirate like his dad before him with a mastery of [[KillItWithFire Fire Pysnergy]] [[spoiler: and he joins your party later on!]]
* ''[[VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days]]'' has [[TokenMiniMoe Hanako]], [[TheHero Adell's]] younger, nine year old sister. Ten years later, as the [[DownloadableContent DLC]] reveals, she becomes ''Demon Lord'' Hanako, evidently fulfilling her dream of becoming as "sexy and powerful" as her idol, [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness Etna]].
** Though, to her dismay, [[spoiler: her future self is still [[ACupAngst as flat as a board.]] Exactly as Etna!]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' one similar to the ''Jak and Daxter'' example: [[spoiler:Cereza turns out to be Bayonetta as a child who by the end is sent back in time.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' there is a quest you can get at level 72 in which you have to protect a magical hourglass from the Infinite Dragonflight. Before they attack you find yourself with "Future You" who is level 80 and will assist you in the battle. When you hit Level 80 you can take the next quest in which you have to protect "Past You" in the same battle.
* ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' has more of an AlternateUniverse Badass in the character of Clayton Griswold. In the normal universe he's simply an ordinary citizen with a bit of a helpful streak (and a bit of a homage to ''Film/NationalLampoonsVacation''). But when the heroes travel to [[AlternateUniverse Multifaria]], they meet up with "The Grizz", the muscle-bound leader of LaResistance against the forces of [[EvilOverlord Citizen]] [[EvilTwin Harmon]].
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', by 9:40 Dragon when the FramingDevice is set, Hawke is known throughout Thedas as a certified badass and one of the individuals responsible for the outbreak of the Mage-Templar War, currently poised to throw the entire world in anarchy. The game itself takes place over the ten years leading up to that point, as Varric explains to Cassandra exactly HowWeGotHere--and Hawke starts off as a homeless refugee desperate to take on any job that brings some cash.
* In the ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' comic "Death of a Sales-Bot", the Engineer travels to the present from 1999 (the game takes place in the 1960s), and he now has an entirely robotic right arm instead of just his hand, a glowing bionic left eye, a BadassBeard, a [[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} Pip-Boy]], and a robotic Teddy Roosebelt, along with the Pyro, whose head is now preserved in a glass dome on a floating platform. He gives the RED team a warning about some vaguely-explained "Hat Wars" (also telling them that in the future, the President of the US will be a cybernetically-enhanced Pomeranian in a sweater), and to prevent that from happening they must not open the robotic crates full of hats that Grey Mann's robots were trying to sell them. Naturally, the Soldier hears him saying the exact opposite.
* In several endings of ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'', we get to see a flash-forward of Zoey--the little girl whom Jodie helped deliver earlier in the game--and, possibly, Jodie herself in futuristic combat gear, seemingly humanity's last hope against [[spoiler:an apocalyptic invasion from the Infraworld]].
* Remember Henry Oldry, that helpless little kid you rescue during your first playthrough of ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}}''? Eight years later he comes back as a [[TheGunslinger gun-toting]] [[ThePaladin Holy Knight]] out to save some more hostages in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegacyOfDarkness''.
* A minor character in WebAnimation/HomestarRunner is a little green alien named Nebulon who is most know for being an object of ridicule in a "Powered By The Cheat" cartoon: "Get out of here, Nebulon! No one likes your style!" In ''VideoGame/{{Stinkoman20x6}}'', Nebulon is now several hundreds times larger, able to shoot energy balls, and is the king of the moon. But after beating him in a boss battle, 1-Up still takes the time to mock him. Due to [[RealityBleed the fluid nature of the Homestar Runner universe]], he is both an alternate version and a future version, with the manual even saying that he's been working out, making it clear he is the same character.
* In ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', Bradford is a neat, clean cut, by the book man in tie and sweeter. By the events of ''VideoGame/XCOM2'', he's become a grizzled, cynical, hard-drinking CoolOldGuy with CoolScars. Not to say he wasn't tough in the first game, but in the second he seriously TookALevelInBadass.
* ''{{VideoGame/Touhou}}'': Maribel Hearn is a young girl with the ability to see boundaries, that is, the limits between two objects or concepts (such as parallel dimensions). It is very strongly hinted that she's a younger version of Yukari Yakumo, one of the most obscenely overpowered {{Reality Warper}}s in the series, who can not only see boundaries [[SemanticSuperpower but do whatever the hell she wants with them]]. Said hints consist of her similar physical appearance, dress style, and when ZUN was asked for clarification, only answered "There was a man named Lafcadio Hearn". Who, for those who don't follow obscure 19th century poets, was an Irishman who later changed his name to Koizumi ''Yakumo''...

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' revealed that Sarda is the FutureBadass version of [[spoiler:Onion Kid, Black Mage's serial victim.]]
* ''Webcomic/HarryPotterComics'' did this with Deputy Bart and Rosie Weasley travelling back from an apocalyptic future to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. Afterwards they stuck around as displaced time clones.
* ''Webcomig/{{Narbonic}}'', during the Unstuck in Time arc. The world sucks, [[spoiler:Helen]] is a BrainInAJar, [[spoiler:Mell]] IS Vice President and is planning to become President, and [[spoiler:Dave]] is in charge of Narbonic Labs.
* The many time travel shennaigans from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' provide a few strange examples:
** Dave Strider, which is pretty impressive considering that his present self is ''already'' one of the most badass characters of the series. He's also a bit more emotional than his present counterpart (thanks to being stuck in an UnwinnableByMistake situation with two of your closest friends ''dead'' for months on end) and gets pissed off if you refer to him as "Other Dave".
** Karkat uses a futuristic chat client to contact John 24 hours after the comic's present and finds John with all types of futuristic gear and fancy abilities.
** Alternate timelines give us adult Dave and Rose, who formed LaResistance together and are heavily admired by tye alternate version of their brother and mother, respectively.
** Lord English, the mob boss of the [[Characters/HomestuckTheFelt The Felt]], is a monster who cannot be killed by anything within space-time. When the protagonists meet his past self, he turns out to be an obnoxious, over-confident moron with none of his future self's menace.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/TheWayOfTheMetagamer'', in which everyone from the future is badass, no matter ''how far'' from the future they are. Even characters from five minutes in the future are incredibly badass.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Dark Smoke Puncher. Battling jetpacking dinosaurs with his ninja wizard skills. The main thing thats different about him is the trademark FutureBadass scar. He was already a ninja in the present working on his technomage gear.
* [[http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/2012/12/21/457-luigis-holiday-vacation/ Strip 457]] of ''WebComic/BrawlInTheFamily'' had [[spoiler:[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Luigi]]]] accidentally taking Link's role in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. When he pulls out the Master Sword, his future self is shown to have a HeroicBuild complete with BadassBeard and BarbarianLongHair. He eventually becomes the legendary Hero of Time by [[CurbStompBattle one-shotting Ganon]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied by ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner''; in the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail168.html your funeral]], a FlashForward EasterEgg depicts [[EmoTeen emo-ish]], {{nerd}}y Strong Sad as a grizzled, scarred fighter in a ZombieApocalypse. Pom Pom is also even cooler than usual.
* Fissure, from ''ComicBook/LessThanThreeComics''' Brat Pack. Comes from a dystopian future to warn the Brats, and to make things better.
* WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation's ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' review ended with a BadFuture in which the expressionless man used as a stock photo has become "Captain Bland", complete with EyepatchOfPower.
* The peaceful and pleasant pilgrim, Lorenzo, from ''Roleplay/NanQuest'' becomes [[spoiler:the DarkMessiah in an [[EldritchLocation Eldritch]]-[[HellHotel Hotel]]]]
* Subverted for laughs in [[https://twitter.com/bransonreese/status/917963091073294338 this]] Branson Reese comic.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock''. Static becomes one of the most powerful DC heroes, as glimpsed in an episode where he meets his future self working alongside Terry [=McGinnis=] (the Batman of the future from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'') and in a two-part episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' where the present-day League travels to the WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond-era future and interact with the remaining future League members, including an [[CoolOldGuy older version of Static, who remains in top fighting condition thanks to future medicine ("65 is the new 30").]] Adult Static also alludes to Richie/Gear--who in the present usually functions as the PluckyComicRelief--having become a major FutureBadass in his own right as well, and we're very briefly given a glimpse of this (though he has also become somewhat overweight, hence Static telling Gear when he returns to the past to "lay off the fries."
* Interesting variation in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' series -- in the episode "How Long is Forever?" Starfire is pulled into a future where the Titans broke up after she vanished. While Cyborg is reduced to living in the ruins of Titan tower attached to a crude power generator, Beast Boy has locked himself into a cage at a freak show and Raven appears to have lost her mind, Robin on the other hand has become Nightwing.
* Invoked in the MadeForTVMovie of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', ''Ego Trip'', wherein Dexter travels to the future for the primary purpose of seeing what kind of badass he is. In the dystopian future version of himself, he comes to resemble his hero Action Hank: big, brawny, and [[BadassBeard bearded]] (and unlike Hank, [[BaldOfAwesome he goes bald]]), and his MadScientist pseudo-Germanic accent is replaced by an Arnold impression.
** This trope is also averted in Dexter's other two future versions, a wimpy office drone and a hilarious old man. The FutureBadass version of Dexter exists between the two chronologically.
*** However, we eventually see the former [[TookALevelInBadass take a level in badass]].
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'''s three-parter "A Sitch in Time": When [[spoiler:Shego]] uses the ''Tempus Simia'' (Time Monkey) to take over the world, Kim's little brothers, Wade, Monique, and a gaggle of ripped Rufus clones, become buff freedom fighters and Doctor Drakken becomes a huge musclebound hulk. Ron even [[LampshadeHanging references the trope]] throughout the episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'' had this happen twice to Enzo. First in the episode where Dot is given a "ItsAWonderfulPlot" vision of what the future would be like without her, and Enzo is a bitter, scarred, leather wearing teen badass, and then later in season 3 when the show went DarkerAndEdgier, they had Enzo develop into the fully grown, bitter, scarred, leather wearing badass Matrix.
** ''ReBoot'' also put this trope wonderfully in its place when they brought Young Enzo back to exist alongside Matrix (the system got rebooted, okay?) -- at first Enzo is extremely envious of his older self, who is indeed a leather wearing badass with a hot girlfriend. He tries to act more like Matrix, only to discover that the horrors Matrix went through that drove him to become that way have left him emotionally wrecked and fairly miserable. The episode ends not only with Enzo resolving to just stick with being a happy-go-lucky innocent, but with ''Matrix'' deciding that he needs to be more like ''Enzo''.
** It bothered even Hexidecimal to the point she actually benignly altered Enzo's code so he COULDN'T become like Matrix!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' MadeForTVMovie "''WesternAnimation/ChannelChasers''", the beginning shows Timmy's geeky friends Chester and AJ as buff adults, fighting against a bunch of {{Mooks}}. Later, Timmy's badass future self also shows up.
* ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'' had part of H.E.A.T. travel to a BadFuture, meeting (among others) a badass Mendel and his war-N.I.G.E.L. in the episode "Future Shock".
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' has Ben and Gwen meet their future, adult selves. In the future, Ben has mastered the [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Omnitrix]] and become a {{Jerkass}} who dislikes receiving help from others (well, moreso), and Gwen has become proficient in magic spells.
** A follow-up episode shows the future, adult version of Ben's EvilCounterpart nemesis Kevin 11, who has grown up from what was essentially a short-tempered, mutated bully into a truly deadly DNA-absorbing sociopath somewhat akin to a cross between [[Series/{{Heroes}} Sylar]] and [[Manga/InuYasha Naraku]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' ended with a guardian who had just spared Jack's life looking into a time portal, seeing [[http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g314/Elijah_Baley/SamuraiJack.jpg Jack's future self]] and saying "Not yet Samurai. Not yet." Jack is already a Badass dwelling in the future. Alas the image never came to fruition, as the series was cancelled.
** [[spoiler: The series has been officially renewed for another season, so the image may in fact come to pass.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' applied this trope in the episode "Future Tense," with Brooklyn and Alexander "Fox" Xanatos as the Future Badasses (Brooklyn even managed to hook up with Demona), and [[spoiler: Lexington]] as the secret BigBad. Though it turns out it was [[spoiler: AllJustADream, induced to con Goliath out of a time-travelling device]].
* ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' had a rare villainous exemple, by having Omi travel to the future via self-imposed [[HumanPopsicle cryogenics]], only to discover that [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Jack Spicer]], [[NotSoHarmlessVillain of all people]], had [[TookALevelInBadass conquered the world]], imprisonned the rest of the Xiaolin monks, enslaved his rival villains, and now ruled with an iron fist[[spoiler:, and even eventually ''killed'' Future Raimundo, Kimiko, and Clay]]. And all it took was for Omi to be missing.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' had [[ButtMonkey Dib]] [[TookALevelInBadass receive superpowers]], after which he proceeded to expose all the paranormal beings he wanted to expose, becoming a world-wide celebrity over the next twenty years, saving the entire Earth from an Irken invasion and was awarded the "Greatest Person Ever To Live" award, all with an ImprobableHairstyle. A subversion however, as [[spoiler:it was only a LotusEaterMachine concocted by Zim who wanted Dib to admit he [[MinorInjuryOverreaction threw a muffin at his head]]]].
* Like ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' example above, the [[WesternAnimation/TheUltimateEnemy Timeline-based]] ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' TV movie has several Future Badasses. The biggest is [[PsychoForHire Dark Danny]], who is now the most powerful ghost on the planet, or as Sam puts it "...okay, you're ''really'' a [[UnderStatement jerk]]." Well, that is certainly a mild way to put it-he becomes a rampaging [[PsychoForHire Sociopath]] who kills people and destroys things [[ForTheEvulz apparently just for kicks]]. The episode in which Danny sees what he [[BadFuture would become]] and is [[FutureMeScaresMe extremely horrified]] is one of the darkest, yet most highly acclaimed episodes of the series.
** ''The Box Ghost'', who is the epitome of a [[HarmlessVillain comically inept villain]] in the present day (except for that one time he stole Pandora's Box), can now generate powerful boxes of energy to throw at people, went from being fat to being very muscular, now has [[EyepatchAfterTimeSkip an eyepatch]] and a HookHand, and traded in his high-pitched voice to become a GutturalGrowler.
--->'''Box Ghost:''' ''[[IronicEcho Beware...]]''
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', with Irwin being the leader of LaResistance after Mandy takes over the world and is a ripped mercenary, too. Hilariously, he still has his teetering-on-the-edge-of-puberty voice.
** The ''Bleedman'' fan-comic beautifully applies this trope to Mandy(not that she really needed to be anymore bad-ass).
* In ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'', when Coop visits an alternate future he's become an evil overlord, lost his gut and become ripped, Kiva is his emotionless cybernetic [[TheDragon lieutenant]], and Jamie is a badass leader of LaResistance.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}}'' has an interesting varition of this trope. After being apprehended by the Time Police, the Warden is shown a Bad Future where the Earth becomes a barren, bloodsoaked wasteland that has been enslaved by a vicious, cold-blooded dictator. Who is this dictator? ''The Warden himself''. Present-Day Warden doesn't seem to mind, though.
--> Warden: "Oh, ''wow!'' Where can I get a bootleg of this, this is ''great!''
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' featured future badass Numbuh 4 in a two-part episode that had a time traveling villainess succeed in committing wholesale {{gendercide}} and [[BadFuture conquering the world]]. The second half of the story picks up several decades later: former BoisterousBruiser Numbuh 4 is now a grim, battle-hardened old man leading the [[LaResistance Boys Next Door]], while using a custom mecha/wheelchair to get around.
* The [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Ninja Turtles]]' [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 incarnation]] gets a BadFuture episode - "Same as it Never Was." Donatello is sent 30+ years into the future to find that without him, the Turtles fell apart as a team, Splinter was killed [[TakingTheBullet saving his remaining sons]], and [[EvilOverlord Shredder]] not only took over the world but is poised to [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt take over the universe]].
** First encountered and least recognizable is [[PluckyComicRelief Michelangelo]] - who within the first couple minutes not only takes out a patrol on his own (with [[DarkerAndEdgier spiked nunchaku]], no less), but destroys several tanks and a helicopter with one of the goons' own guns. He is then found to be missing an arm, disturbingly accepting of the fact that the world sucks, and thoroughly willing to bawl Don out for "abandoning" them. This contrasted with the bubbly, hyperactive, superhero-idealizing version of Mike present throughout the rest of the show. It's a little jarring and yet completely Awesome.
** April O'Neil is actually in charge of LaResistance... and during the course of the episode gets to fire a bazooka.
** Raphael is [[EyepatchOfPower missing an eye]] and wears a bomber jacket.
** Leonardo gets a cool [[BadassLongcoat trenchcoat]] and might even be [[DisabilitySuperpower blind]].
*** Future Leo's attire is strikingly similar to that of the Guardians, earlier in the series, implying he may have become one or at least helped himself to a spare...
*** But for all that, [[InvertedTrope present Donatello]] manages to be the biggest badass, ultimately ending the war that they were fighting in the course of about a day.
* In an unusual case to not involve time travel ([[TimeTravelTenseTrouble kind of]]), Ravage from ''{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars''. In the centuries since we saw him last, he became bipedal, decided to speak up more, and proved himself ''incredibly'' Badass. Maybe he was before, but he was too quiet to show it verbally back in the day, was too subservient to show it by personality, and was too kitty-shaped to show it with action. Then he took TheSlowPath.
** He also speaks with a classy Russian accent.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' did this. It jumps into a future where TheRapture happens, and Stan is left behind. Him and UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} team up to fight {{Satan}}. He's already a reasonably bad-ass CIA agent, but in the future he's a full on ripped FutureBadass with an [[EyepatchOfPower eyepatch]]. Strangely, there is nothing to suggest it's not the real, canon future. In fact, that episode's BigBad later appears (albeit much younger) in another episode.
** Another episode has a cyborg Stan from a thousand years in the future coming back in time.
** Another episode had Steve and his friends hold a party for "unincluded" people which had the future versions of him and Snot travel back in time and tell them how great their future is, though they warn them not to become cool with the unpopular kids as it will destroy their promising future. Steve falsely thinks Snot broke their promise and went to become cool, but he didn't, and Steve accidentally becomes the cool one of the party. However, while he ruined their friendship with Snot in the future and made said version of him fall from grace (becoming even worse as the episode went on), Steve's future version gets much better to the point he has daily sex and is ripped.
* In the Disney series ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', the trope applies in an unusual way, to the ''lead character''. In the BadFuture episode "Time and Punishment", we see that the lovable, goofy-yet-competent Darkwing was transformed by the apparent loss of his daughter into Dark''warrior'' Duck, a KnightTemplar to the extreme who rules the city with an iron fist and an AllCrimesAreEqual mentality.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Played with in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E20ItsAboutTime "It's About Time"]] when Twilight meets a scarred, eyepatch wearing, future version of herself in a black catsuit. [[spoiler:It turns out she's from next Tuesday morning, and her entire look is not from an epic war in the distant future, but from simple mishaps that happen to her in the next few days, which were, ironically, all caused by her trying to find out what could've forced her to go back in time - the very same thing she wanted to prevent her past self from doing in the first place.]]
** The alternate timeline versions of [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E25TheCutieRemarkPart1 Cutie Remark]] feature several. [[spoiler: In the first timeline, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Maud Pie are frontline soldiers in a brutal war of attrition with the scars to show for it. In the second timeline, Zecora leads whats left of pony-kind, including Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, in a hopeless LastStand against the changelings. In yet another timeline, the Flim-Flam brothers go from annoying con artists to conquerors of Equestria.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow'' had the episode "Days, Nights, and Weekends of Future Past" where Falcon and H.E.R.B.I.E. are dropped in a dystopian Super Hero City forty years in the future (and in another dimension) where ComicBook/ScarletWitch has become a dictator and full-fledged supervillain, and [[KidAppealCharacter Reptil]] has grown up to succeed his mentor, Wolverine, complete with a DuelingScar.
* In the [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack Tri-State Area]] alternate universe of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbTheMovieAcrossThe2ndDimension'', almost all of Phineas and Ferb's friends are badasses in LaResistance. (Candace-2 is the BadassInCharge.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', Jade becomes head of Section 13 who travels back in time to stop Drago.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': In "Running With Scissors", Marco is stuck in another dimension where time flows much faster than on Earth. By the time Star retrieves him, 16 years have passed and he's now a tall, handsome, buff warrior riding a dragon/motorcycle. Sadly, when he returns to Earth, his body reverts to his 14 year old self, though he remembers everything.