[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/823567dadd94e241e66a685bd8776420.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Above: Porky Pig in high school.\\
Below: Porky Pig now.\\
The years haven't been kind.]]

->''"Doing manual labor for a geek we used to make fun of? This isn't supposed to happen until we're, like, 30!"''
-->-- '''Dash''', ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' -- "King Tuck".

The JerkJock and all-around popular guy who makes the hero's life impossible (while idolizing his SecretIdentity) presumes that his popularity and success in the academic world will translate into [[CorruptCorporateExecutive success in business]], sports, and politics, and the protagonist will be there to lick his boots. [[IronicInversion Irony says otherwise.]] Through the magical agency of TimeTravel, [[AllJustADream prophetic dreams]], or a nearby example of {{Retirony}}, we (and occasionally he) find out they'll become [[ICouldaBeenAContender a broken shell of a man]] whose life has been reduced to menial jobs and is the target of constant derision or, worse, ''being forgotten''. Often he endlessly laments his GloryDays because, for once, high school really was the BestYearsOfYourLife.

If this leads to an epiphany, expect it to be [[StatusQuoIsGod short-lived]], since WeWantOurJerkBack, regardless of how doomed it will make his future. If it sticks, expect a gradual shift into JerkWithAHeartOfGold. Usually the Hero will be the one to get the epiphany, and try to sympathize with or treat the JerkJock better (this doesn't last long either, but may lead to an OddFriendship or understanding). If any CharacterDevelopment happens, expect it to be subtle and far-reaching.

Sometimes given [[DumbIsGood a twist]] with the character who seems to have it all made and be on the fast track academically becoming the loser. (This is an InvertedTrope, NotASubversion.)

If taken to extremes, [[CreatorBreakdown the writer may be working out issues]] or giving a TakeThat against DumbIsGood.

See also FallenPrincess, HumiliationConga, JadedWashout, OddFriendship, and {{Retirony}}. Contrast FutureBadass.
----

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* CodeBreaker: #6 is a total badass... and a mass murderer whose motto is "making the world a better place, one purge at a time!" His past self calls him a loser for justifying his superpowers with selfish and shallow motives.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' has this in a kind of ImagineSpot, where kid Emp meets her future superheroine self.
--> Kid Emp: "Why do I have such a big butt as a grownup...? How did I wind up so old and f-fat...?"
--> Current Emp: "Thanks a lot, younger version of me."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* Central in ''FanFic/SarumanOfTheManyDevices'' shows Saruman the future where he ends up as this - his army destroyed and he himself stabbed by his former minion while attempting to take over the Shire out of vengeance - as a means to get him to go along with his plans for progress.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'':
** In the [[Film/BackToTheFuture first movie]], Biff in has gone from George [=McFly=]'s bullying supervisor to waxing George's car, after Marty goes back in time and teaches his dad to stand up to Biff. It sort of works out for everyone, since Biff now has a little humility ''and'' runs his own detailing business. Of course he isn't fantastically rich, but at least he doesn't own the world.
** Biff is still hiding some deep resentment for George and his family, though, because his elderly future self in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuturePartII Part II]]'' steals the [=DeLorean=] and [[BadFuture changes history]] much to George's detriment. Though, by WordOfGod, not as much as he would have thought. The FutureLoser Biff was also a much better person, while the Perfect Future he created for himself also created a Biff who was cruel and vindictive.
** They also mention in the ''Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy'' featurette that the chest pains and collapse he goes through after returning to 2015 are possibly [[DelayedRippleEffect the result]] of Lorraine shooting him dead sometime in the early '90s - either because she was sick of his abuse or she found out that he murdered George. In any event, regular Biff may be a loser by 2015, but rich Biff, for all his money and power, ended up ''dead'' by then.
** Marty actually showed some GenreSavvy about this trope. His first fear when Doc appears at the end of the first film, insisting that he come to the future and fix things? That he and Jennifer will grow up to be, if not losers, then at least "assholes". That turns out to be the truth (at least until they fix things). Marty agreed to a car race which resulted in him hitting another car. The owner sued, Marty broke his hand, he had to give up on his music and Jennifer only married him out of pity. By 2015 he either ends up with both kids in jail or he gets fired.
* Disney's ''Film/TheKid2000'' has a young boy encounter his future self. After running through everything his future self got wrong, the boy shouts, "I grow up to be ''a loser!''" Played for irony, since the future self is wealthy, successful and respected (and a huge asshole), while the kid is chubby and unpopular with low self-esteem. The joke is that his priorities as an adult were very different from what they were as a child.
* Played with in the film ''Film/AngerManagement''. The schoolyard bully that made Creator/AdamSandler's character's life miserable grew up to be... a Buddhist monk. Who, despite being a monk, still thinks that Adam Sandler's childhood humiliation was hilarious. Adam Sandler ends up getting his revenge the old fashioned way - by beating the crap out of the former schoolyard bully.
* ''Film/ThirteenGoingOnThirty'': After she body-switches to the future, the 13-year-old main character discovers that the super hunky jock she desperately wanted to date in the past is now a fat, balding taxi driver. "Call me!"
* In ''Fucking Åmål'' aka ''[[ExecutiveMeddling Show me love]]'', Agnes' father tries to comfort her in this way. He tells her he recently went to a class reunion, and all the bullies had turned into nobodies, while the former nobodies had quite decent lives and careers.
* At the end of ''Film/CantHardlyWait'' it is revealed Mike Dexter's future includes losing his football scholarship after drinking too much, being forty pounds overweight, and losing his job at a car wash when incriminating Polaroids surface.
* Happens repeatedly in ''RomyAndMichelesHighSchoolReunion'':
** Billy Christiansen takes the gold: going from popular hunky jock dating the popular girl in school, to a slobby failure who nails drywall for a living and whose wife is pregnant with (he suspects) another man's kid. And he still thinks he can bed Romy since she had a thing for him back in the day, even though the last time they saw each other he publicly humiliated her for a laugh.
** His wife Christie deserves a mention too. She carried on her spiteful AlphaBitch ways 10 years beyond highschool, retaining her GirlPosse who copy her every move, so she never grew out of her teenage bullying- but the reunion reveals her life is a pathetic shell of her past glories. She's an unfulfilled housewife with an unhappy marriage to an unfaithful sleazy loser, her only outlet in life is having baby after baby (which she pretends to be [[StepfordSmiler thrilled about]]) she never got the career she wanted, and to add insult to injury, all the people she tormented in highschool are happy and fulfilled, and the minion she used to boss around has a high flying career in fashion.
* In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'', Gary King, the self-professed king of his hometown, grew up into an aimless alcoholic whom his friends find irritating. Unusually for this trope, he's the protagonist of the film.
* In ''Film/IAmNumberFour'', Sam comments that Mark is in "the third year of the best four years of his life".
* ''Film/YoungAdult'': Former prom queen Mavis doesn't seem like a loser in the present: she's got a nice job as a writer of YoungAdult fiction, she lives in New York, has a cute Pomeranian, and has all the HelloKitty gear [[TheAlcoholic and booze]] she could ever want but actually she can only [[WriteWhatYouKnow write what she knows]] and all she knows is [[ManChild being in high school]]. Then she loses the writing gig and her ex-high school boyfriend announces the birth of his child, so the obvious thing to do is [[LoveMakesYouStupid go back home and steal him from his wife and child]].
* ''[[Film/{{Neighbors2014}} Neighbors]]'': [[spoiler:Teddy is well aware of the fact that he's on the road to becoming this.]]
* In ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons,'' [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Bowler Hat Guy]] is set up as a StrawLoser without his HypercompetentSidekick, [[UnnecessarilyCreepyRobot Dor-15]]. He turns out to be [[spoiler:Lewis' roommate, Goob, who let his life fall apart because he wouldn't let go of his grudge]].
* ''Film/GrossePointeBlank'': Blank's high school bully tries to reignite their bully-victim relationship at their 10 year reunion. Blank brushes him off and finds the attempt to be a pathetic indication of what the bully has going on in his life. Later, the bully returns and tries to read his sad, terrible poetry to Blank.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' is all about this.
* The title character's liberal use of time travel to prevent this trope in his own life are what fuel the plot of Creator/WilliamSleator's ''Literature/TheGreenFuturesOfTycho''.
* In ''Literature/WokenFuries'', Literature/TakeshiKovacs encounters an earlier BrainUploading of himself; this sociopathic thug who'd just gotten out of the military (from his perspective) is not impressed that his future self isn't a BigBad in the criminal underworld.
* The John Grisham novel ''Bleachers'' has this end up with the former hot girl that the protagonist dumped his previous girlfriend for. It turns out that despite her being hot and desirable in high school, she now works in Vegas as a waitress at a brothel.
* Ace, the town bully and criminal thug from StephenKing's ''The Body'', is shown as a fat, pathetic shred of his former self as an adult when the main character returns to his hometown as an adult. This scene is not included in the movie version, StandByMe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell'':
** Had the dream version happen to Slater (not a jerk, but definitely a jock), seeing himself as a beer bellied drunk in a class reunion, forcing him to rethink his life and his "comfort zone" as a jock.
** At one point, Screech even points out the trope in a tape intended for future students at Bayside:
---> '''Screech''': And remember, be nice to us nerds; in twenty years, we'll be the ones with all the money!
** The [[ReverseFunnyAneurysm irony]] is not lost.
* On ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' [[http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Tapestry_%28episode%29 Picard dies during an operation due to an old injury from an incident from his rebellious youth of counter-cheating in sports ending in a stab to the heart]]. [[JerkassGods Q]] offers him a second chance if he can avoid said incident by reliving that period of his life. After he succeeds (backing out or whatever of cheating at sports and fighting, and having alienating sex with one of his friends) Q sends him back to the point in his life where the injury would have killed him only to discover that [[spoiler:he is a Lieutenant junior grade (between Ensign and Lieutenant) instead of a famous starship captain. Q explains that the injury gave Picard a sense of his own mortality which, possibly unknown to Picard himself, motivated him to make his mark on the Universe. The alternate Picard never lived that experience, and as such drifted thought his career, never getting noticed by anyone. Picard then begs Q that [[BeYourself he has learned his lesson]], is given a second second chance, condemns himself to death after a worthy life... and awakens from his death to discover that Q was just jerking his chain again (or might have actually saved his life)]]. With Q, you never know if it was really AllJustADream or if he actually sent you back in time.
** Somewhat of a FridgeBrilliance is at work here since the older Picard, though a famous captain he might be, is stuck as a captain seemingly forever without any prospect of becoming an admiral now that he is a morality-bound goody two-shoes. Starfleet admirals, on the other hand, are rarely shown to be moral characters in the StarTrek franchise.
* Lindsay Lohan's recent character on ''Series/UglyBetty'' is a down-on-her-luck former AlphaBitch whom Betty knew in HighSchool.
* Used with relish in nearly every episode of ''Series/ColdCase'', the usual example being the former HighSchool Mean Girl who's been married twice and extremely bitter.
** In the episode "Spiders", this is both played straight and subverted. A gorgeous blond girl who was devoted to a white supremacist leader, who was seen years later as overweight in the present; on the other hand, she's overcome her racism (admitting that she had done "stupid things" and has had children with a black man
* In episode of ''Series/GhostWhisperer'', the ghost is the former captain of a football team that after leaving High School became an utter loser - he dropped College after two years, was unable to forge a solid relationship with any woman and switched a low-paid job for another each three or six months. Eventually he committed suicide a few days before a reunion of former students because he was too ashamed to attend... and it became even more pathetic when ''another'' ghost stole his body and decided to go to the party as a zombie. Yikes.
* On ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Robin's ex-boyfriend comes to town (played by JamesVanDerBeek). Instead of the teen heartthrob she remembers, he's balding and pot-bellied, still lives with his parents, and works a menial job. Good luck getting ''her'' to see that, though....
** Robin herself used to be a (Canadian) rock star; she is now a early morning news reporter. [[HotScoop She does later end up a reporter for 24 hour network WWN however.]]
* The renewed ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' series - In the episode "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", an angry middle-aged man named Gus finds himself transported back in time where he meets his child self. After an incident with a bully, Gus tries to get his past life together by convincing his younger self (who doesn't know he is his older self) to have a better relationship with his father (who died as he grew up). Gus then returns to his own time, and hails a cab where driver happens to be one of the kids that used to bully him.
* A similar case in ''Series/{{Friends}}'', where FormerlyFat Monica got a chance to date [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys a bad boy]] she had known from high school who was a jerk to her. When she does date him, she realizes that he is immature, lives with his parents and never grew up from his high school days.
* Jimmy and Christine, two of the main characters from ''YesDear'' are this -- very popular in high school, attended college but dropped out soon afterward, and, for the most of the series' run, lived (along with their children) in a guest house belonging to Christine's sister and her successful husband.
* The short-lived ''Series/MyGeneration'' had this as one of its premises. Ten years after the class of 2000 graduated their lives are not where they expected them to be.
** The popular 'Overachiever' who once could not decide whether he would become a lawyer or a doctor, had to drop out of college when his father went to jail for fraud and they lost their money. He is now a bartender.
** The nice 'Rich Kid' who was deeply in love with the 'Smart Girl' ended up taking over his father's business and married the 'Beauty Queen'. They live a shallow, unfulfilled existence. Their marriage looks awkward and forced and they seem desperate to recapture the passion they felt in high school.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Sam returns to an old school where, after multiple encounters, he laid a beat down on the school bully. Years later, Sam discovers how lousy his life was and how after being beaten, he was bullied even worse, eventually dying from drug addiction. Sam feels guilty, although most wouldn't, as the bully made life for one student so hard that he committed suicide.
** In "The End" Dean encounters a future Castiel who has been [[BroughtDownToNormal stripped of his powers]], and is now a [[TheHedonist junkie, an alcoholic, and running a cult of the enlightenment-through-sex variety]].
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Warren, after gaining incredible powers, runs into an old school bully and beats the crap out of him. It also provides insight into what made Warren so horrible ("Remember how I couldn't stop crying?")
* Kurt predicts this in the second episode of ''Series/{{Glee}}'', when a bunch of [[JerkJock jocks]] are about to toss him into a dumpster:
-->'''Kurt:''' ''(Glaring)'' Someday, you will all work for me.
** See also the {{Music}} section below.
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'': Al Bundy, whose proudest moment in his life is scoring four touchdowns in a single game while in high school.
** Played straight AND subverted with the Darcy's. Both Marcy and Steve have become fairly successfull white collar workers in adulthood, but are are shown several times as never having moved on from their loserish personalities from their high school years, they merely disguise them with a veener of professionality. Both are completely psychologically dominated by the various torments they endured as teenagers.
* In an episode of ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' Doug is bullied by a kid while undercover as a nerd prompting all the detectives to each tell a story of a bully they had when they were younger. Doug recalls painful memories of a bully who made his life hell throughout high school culminating in ruining his prom night with his dream girl when the bully drove off with her in Doug's new car the minute they arrive. Even though he's an adult now Doug can't get over it and decides to finally get some closure by going to where the bully now lives and punching him when he comes to the door. However when the guy opens the door he doesn't recognize him and Doug realizes he's become a poor and bitter loser, unhappily married to a nagging "cow". Doug leaves without taking his revenge on the guy, because life already did.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': [[spoiler: Season 5 opens with a flash forward to Walt's fifty-second birthday. He's clearly suffering, completely out of it when he talks, living under a different name and alone on his birthday, eating breakfast at Denny's.]]
* On ''Series/{{Unforgettable}}'' Carrie reluctantly goes to her high school reunion since back in high school she was "Scary Carrie" and did not have any friends. The trope seems initially averted since most of her classmates have done well for themselves. The quarterback is a successful real estate developer and the class stoner actually became a rock star. However, the trope is played straight when she encounters the quarterback's popular best friend who touts himself as a successful family man but Carrie easily sees through the BlatantLies. After the guy is murdered she discovers that he is divorced, completely broke and trying to blackmail one of his former classmates. As she digs deeper, she discovers that not all of her classmates had happy lives after graduation. She even exploits the trope by making it look like another classmate was also lying about his success and thus is a prime suspect. The killer then tries to frame the guy for the crime not realizing that it is a trap.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/{{Gorillaz}}, Murdoc Niccals used to be bullied by a large boy named Tony Chopper (No, not ''[[OnePiece that]]'' one!) when they were kids. Eventually, Murdoc learned to fight back with words and from then on, he had no trouble. Tony Chopper now works at a grocery store and regrets being mean to Murdoc because of his present world-wide rock star fame.
* Music/TobyKeith's "How Do You Like Me Now?" plays with this trope, as he's grown up to be a famous musician while the girl he idolized in high school who never gave him the time of day and married mostly for money is unhappy with her adult life. The video drives it home even harder than the song alone.
* The protagonist of Music/JohnMayer's ''No Such Thing'' just can't wait to confront the {{Future Loser}}s with his anticipated success.
* In Music/AvrilLavigne's ''Sk8er Boi'', the main character was popular in high school but five years down the line is a lonely single mother, while the boy she rejected for being too "punk" is now a world-famous rock star who's apparently dating the singer.
* Music/LilyAllen's ''22'' is about a woman whose future looked promising when she was 22; but by the time she's pushing 30, she is miserable, stuck in a dead-end job and desperate for a boyfriend. The video plays with this by showing Allen in the toilets at a nightclub, with her haggard-looking older self reflected back at her from the mirror.
* One of the ''Series/{{Glee}}'' cast's original songs, ''Loser Like Me'' is about how the Glee kids, who are considered losers now, will become successful in the future, while the bullies won't. Finn's verse fits this trope especially well:
-->'''Finn:'''
-->Push me up against the locker\\
And hey, all I do is shake it off,\\
I'll get you back when I'm your boss.\\
I'm not thinkin' 'bout you haters,\\
'cause hey, I could be a superstar!\\
I'll see you when you wash my car.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* [[Series/TheDailyShow Jon Stewart]] used this in his standup in response to school shootings. He figures the best way to convince kids not to shoot up high schools is to convince them that it ''ends''. So what he proposes is taking them on a time travel field trip to their twenty anniversary high school reunion.
-->"See that fat, balding, alcoholic guy in the ill-fitting suit crying in the corner? Captain of the football team."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Biff in ''DeathOfASalesman'' as well. He was a football player, "built like Adonis", and his father believed Biff would be a successful salesman because he was well liked, while his bookish neighbor Bernard would not be successful because he wasn't as gorgeous or popular. Instead, Bernard ended up a successful lawyer, and Biff became a farm hand out west who made next to no money.
** An important part of the play is that Biff could have had a successful life as well if he did not sabotage his future as an [[HeroicBSOD overreaction]] to finding out what a JerkAss his father was. He could have still flamed out later in life but he never even tried.
** Willy is a non-school example. In the beginning he treated Charlie and Bernard with disdain but in the end they ended up highly successful and Willy ended up broke and his sons as failures.
* Less harsh example in form of Jim O'Connor in TheGlassMenagerie--a successful high school football player now stuck in a dead end job as a clerk at a shoe factory. He's a nice guy and he is trying to get out of the rut but he seems to be going nowhere fast, though. Plus, he winds up being an InnocentlyInsensitive jerk to Laura towards the end of the play.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' some information from the future convinces Torg that he goes on to become a world famous professor. Turns out he actually ''plays'' the Professor in a theatrical rendition of ''GilligansIsland'' that a demon forces people to watch as a form of torture. Riff just didn't have the heart to tell him the truth.
* Subverted in ''LeastICouldDo'', Rayne is actually rather happy with the future that is shown him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* When [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] is briefly hurled into the year 2039, he discovers that his future self still lives in his parents' house, [[ScheduleSlip still hasn't published issue 3 of his comic]], and doesn't even have his [[NiceHat trademark brown fedora]] anymore. Seeing this, Linkara resolves to buckle down and change his life for the better. After he returns to the present and the DelayedRippleEffect kicks in, Future Linkara is exactly the same as he was before - except now he has his hat back.
** For extra amusement, the Future Linkara was played by his father.
* In the WhateleyUniverse, Phase calls out a group of Alpha flunkies, telling them that they've attached themselves to a group of thugs and losers who'll be nothing in a few years, and that their future prospects aren't looking good: all the devisers and gadgeteers will have filed for patents and thus become rich; the Capes will have real superhero jobs; and the Golden Kids will inherit their parents' wealth and go into their businesses. He tells the flunkies to start seriously reconsidering their lives, because their future prospects are ''very'' grim. None of them really have a response.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Luthor Lex]], a fairy that bullied Cosmo, in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''. He was a jock and ended up being a ballet dancer.
** Timmy actually ''causes'' Crocker to become the nerd version of this, and turn into an AgentMulder who's fairy obsessed.
*** To be precise, Cosmo was going to be the one to mess up Crocker's life, but [[YouCantFightFate Timmy ended up doing it anyway]].
* A non jock example: Stewie, in "Stewie Griffin, the Untold Story" from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', is 35 years old and still a virgin, lives in a dirty run-down apartment, and actually ''cried'' after having sex for the first time with his "girlfriend."
** There's to say that, probably, he will not end like that anymore: he resolved the problem at the end of the episode, so he should have changed his future.
* Every future ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' episode has Bart as an aimless but upbeat Future Loser, though Lisa's Wedding (which looks furthest into the future[[note]]August 1, 2010...wait a minute!![[/note]]) intentionally subvert this by portraying Bart as a wrecking ball operator working his way through law school. According to an episode, the Simpsons are plagued with a "Simpsons Gene" that doom the men of the family to become pathetic losers in the future (though it doesn't stop the show from depicting Bart as crafty).
** This could have also been a ContinuityNod to the episode "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie" which ended with a FlashForward that revealed that Bart will eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
* There's a ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode where Stan meets his future self: a lazy stoner. They're forced to live together to the tune of a fake sitcom theme. [[spoiler: It turns out to be just an actor hired by Stan's parents to scare him out of doing drugs.]]
** Even more hilariously parodied at the end of the episode. [[spoiler:After Cartman helps Stan get revenge on the company that hired the actor, the former states that he learned from the experience, and vows to turn over a new leaf and start acting more responsibly. He is then confronted by a man claiming to be Cartman's future self, a successful time-traveling businessman, who congratulates him on reaching the turning point in his life. Naturally Cartman doesn't believe him, vows to act EVEN WORSE than he did before and storms off. The guy transforms into a fat mechanic. Turns out it *was* Cartman's future self after all.]]
* The MadeForTVMovie ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory: Ego Trip'' has Dexter traveling to the future, and discovering he became a craven man who is also submissive to his former rival/current boss Mandark. Although as the duo travels forward in time, a FutureBadass Dexter recalls it happened because Mandark gained power in their company by stealing Dexter's ideas.
* Inverted in the ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Generation Hex," where all-around RichBitch Gem Stone grows up to be the head of a corporation while Sabrina is her lackey who had to sell her magic powers as part of a merger. Played straight in the same episode with Pi, Harvey, and Salem the cat. Pi becomes a monorail driver whose monorails are outdated, Harvey gets a job curling pigtails (on real pigs) after failing the entrance exam to his dream school (a hospital-cum-law school where the students study to be doctor-lawyers), and Salem is still a cat (due to an incident in which he used the Witches' Council's favorite golf course as a public toilet after Sabrina spent all of his kitty litter allowance money), only he's now homeless and walking dogs to pay off his debts.
** There was also a ''Christmas Carol'' style episode in which Sabrina tried to get Gem to reform her selfish ways by showing Gem's future. Gem ends up dying unloved and alone, with her servant actually kicking Gem's tomb and cheering in glee. Subverted in that present Gem couldn't see the problem with this.
* JerkJock Brick Flagg from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' really let himself go during the time traveling movie ''[[TheMovie A Sitch in Time]]''. But that future [[MemeticMutation got]] [[ResetButton reset'd]] away.
** For the record, he wasn't exactly a jerk, just a little more fool-hearty than even Ron Stoppable. A PostScriptSeason episode proves that after going to college (after trying for seven years) his future apparently might be looking good.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', this is the defining character trait of Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, the former naive TagalongKid for his super-scientist GentlemanAdventurer father ([[CaptainErsatz much like one]] ''JonnyQuest'') who grew up into a bitter fraud trying to fill his dad's shoes while exploiting his legacy -- badly. It's revealed later that many of Rusty's hang-ups can be traced back to the horrible lifestyle his father forced him to lead, and the expectations others placed upon him.
** Subverted by sorta-brother Jonas Venture Jr... Well, he would possibly be a subversion, as he is ridiculously successful; but being as he didn't even EXIST for a significant period of time, a case could be made that he's just LikeFatherLikeSon and not a subversion.
** In a later episode, Orpheus' Master implies that this is what Dean will inevitably become if he and Triana Orpheus get together (at least at that point in their lives). Then again he might also be messing with her like he does with her father. They might fare better if they got together later (after they both grow up some), but Dean may have totally blown that in the following season finale.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode "How Long Is Forever?", Starfire is sent into a future timeline, so she ceases to exist for 20 years. Cyborg is broken down and forced to stay connected to the Titan Tower's power grid, Raven is institutionalized, Beast Boy is a balding, paunchy circus attraction, and Robin has become Nightwing, and now works alone. Though with his all-black suit, gruffer voice, and long hair, Robin's unquestionably a FutureBadass.
* Inverted and PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'': Beast Boy and Cyborg have a ten-year staring contest, after which they discover (to their horror) that all of the other Teen Titans have gone onto bigger and better things (Robin became Nightwing and married Batgirl, Starfire became queen of her home planet, and Raven ascended to godhood). They build a time machine and change things to a BadFuture instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'': Jimmy accidentally screws up the future by giving the local JiveTurkey a megalomania complex. When Jimmy, Carl and Sheen travel to the future and find out, they find that Carl's a convicted felon, Sheen's a garbage diver and Jimmy's become a dumbed-down idiot who has to constantly do work on his mother-in-law's feet (as he'd married Cindy), instead of the [[RidiculouslySuccessfulFutureSelf ridiculously successful future selves that they should have turned into]].
* Dash Baxter of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' seems to know what the future has in store for him and has even lampshaded it a few times. Who knew a guy with poor grades could be so GenreSavvy?
* Bill Dauterive from ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''. He was once a tall, muscular athlete with long, flowing hair and was popular with both the guys and the girls. However, getting cheated on and dumped by his wife Lenore pretty much destroyed his self-esteem, turning poor Bill into a fat, balding SadSack. A few episodes show that his rut is self-inflicted, and he could get out of it if he only had the willpower to stick with it.
* Extremely sad version in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''. Simon Petrikov was a certified badass when he was human, but centuries of being mentally warped by an ArtifactOfDoom have left him a pathetic, crazy old man who barely even knows how to function anymore. It's pretty obviously meant to parallel the effects of dementia. Which makes for a pair of relatively [[TearJerker heart breaking]] episodes where its revealed (and then flashed back to) how he basically had an adopted daughter, [[spoiler: Marceline]], but doesn't remember their time together because he sacrificed his sanity bit by bit using the ArtifactOfDoom to keep her safe.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheOldGreyHare'': Even in the year 2000 Elmer Fudd is still easily fooled by WesternAnimation/BugsBunny.
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