[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/ToonHole http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/future_me.jpg]]]]

->'''Kevyn Andreyasn:''' Hey, when you want something done right, do it yourself.
->'''Captain Kevyn Andreyasn:''' And if that's not enough, go back in time and tell yourself to try it again.
-->-- ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''

Bob is sent to the future or past to help 'someone important'. When he arrives there, he finds that the person he has to help is [[MyFutureSelfAndMe him]]. After all, who else could Bob trust?

The type of 'help' given varies. It may be a rescue, it may be assisting in a battle, it may just be going back in time to tell yourself "Do NOT drink the punch!" This often plays out in reverse too, the hero is helped by an AnonymousBenefactor who he or she later realizes was [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble (or will be, or had been-- gah!)]] themselves all along.

When the Past self goes to the future, he may end up realizing [[FutureMeScaresMe he's a jerk in the future,]] and [[ScrewDestiny strive to change that]] when he returns to the past. If the Future self goes to the past, before leaving, he may impart some wisdom that will come in handy [[StableTimeLoop when the time is right,]] or be disgusted at how weak, [[TheAtoner evil]], or stupid he used to be.

Note that saving your own life, or basically doing anything that enables you to travel in the first place, causes an [[TemporalParadox ontological paradox]].

Contrast NeverTheSelvesShallMeet. Compare RetroactivePreparation. Depending on whether or not it's a BadFuture, related to FutureMeScaresMe. If while helping yourself, you get a little ''too'' friendly with yourself you may end up [[ScrewYourself Screwing Yourself]]. Compare MyOwnGrampa. In that trope, you help your present self (in that you preserve your existence) by doin' the nasty in the past-y.


* Coke Zero presents: The Do Over

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Geronimo of ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'' was a BadassNormal who admired [[SuperHero Choujins]] because he was saved by one as a child. When Geronimo was eventually given a trial that would allow him to become a Choujin if he succeeded, he was sent to the past... To both save and inspire ''himself''.
* In ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'', the boss of the time traveling Mikuru is--[[TimeyWimeyBall somehow]]--her adult self, who looks back on her time with Haruhi fondly and ends up being responsible for several {{Stable Time Loop}}s.
* ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'': "Deceiving the world is not a big deal for a MadScientist, Hououin Kyouma!" [[spoiler:After his ''even more future'' self tells him to deceive his recent-past self into thinking that Kurisu was murdered.]]
* {{Manga/Doraemon}} Movie #3 & #34, ''The Haunts of Evil'': [[Main/SmallSecludedWorld Bauwan's]] prophecy has it that 10 foreigners would come and solve the land's greatest crisis. However, the main protagonists count is only 5. [[spoiler:The rest turns out to be their future selves brought by Shizuka, using Doraemon's Loaning Phone gadget by promising that after defeating the BigBad and going home, they'd go back in time and return to support themselves.]]

* One Franchise/{{Archie|Comics}} comic has Arch reminisce about almost running away from home, except a mysterious man stopped him. He goes to the past on a magical bicycle and guess who the mysterious man was?
* In ''Comicbook/{{Flash}}'', Wally West mentioned a mysterious figure who gave him some wise advice shortly before he gained his powers (he briefly suspects it was Max Mercury, master of speedsters). In the zero issue, he bounces back through his own history, eventually finding himself at that very time and place. For a second he thinks the mysterious figure hasn't shown up, then he realises.
** In another Flash example, during the ''Crisis of Infinite Earths'', Barry Allen runs so fast that he becomes one with the speed force and dies, but not before doing so sends him back in time and he becomes the very lightning strike that knocked the chemicals onto him, giving him his super powers in the first place.
--->'''Barry''': Electricity always travels in a circuit...and lightning can strike twice in the same place. Oh, boy...can it ever.
*** [[ComicBook/FinalCrisis He got better.]]
* Inverted in ''[[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect]]'', in which the present Hulk is summoned to the future to ''kill'' his future self, the Maestro.
* In ''ComicBook/PS238'', Vashi Imperia learned magic as a child when she was kidnapped by an evil witch and managed to nab the witch's spell book when she escaped. Later, as an adult, she is sent back in time to her own childhood. Being savvy enough to realize it, she goes on to intentionally 'kidnap' her past self and letting the child version escape with her backup spell book to make sure the StableTimeLoop is maintained.
* Inverted in ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis : Legion of Three Worlds''; the character of Superboy-Prime is currently tearing through the greatest heroes of the thirty-first century, with the distant aid of a future version of himself who has become the recurring foe the Time Trapper. However, when the heroes lure the Time Trapper from his realm outside Time to the era where Superboy-Prime is currently tearing through their allies, Superboy-Prime's arrogance and anger cause him to attack his future self, this attack destroying the Time Trapper while the accompanying temporal rift sends Superboy-Prime back to his own Earth.

[[folder: Fan Fic ]]
* In [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5213946/1/It_Never_Works It Never Works]], Alphonse goes back in time to stop Ed from attempting to get Al's body back (and therefore saving Ed's life). [[spoiler:It [[YouCantFightFate doesn't work]].]]
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Kyon's future self sends him helpful texts, but is consistently [[FutureMeScaresMe rude and derogatory toward him]]. Of course, that's only because his past self [[IHatePastMe is incompetent]].
* In the first story of the ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'', Future Danny and Sam come to the help recapture Dark Danny while at the same time, inspire Sam to become Danny's new partner.

* In ''Film/{{Zathura}}'', the Astronaut turns out to be the [[spoiler:older brother]], brought back by the titular board game. He tries to keep his younger self from wishing his brother didn't exist, which got him in that mess in the first place.
* The ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' trilogy:
** In the original ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', you can see the "future" Doc Brown (wearing the hat and pushing the bike) departing off screen, just before the 1955 Doc bribes the cop, with his "permit" (a $50 bill).
** ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'':
*** Doc Brown pulls Marty from 1985 to help his future son in 2015. He also helps his unsuspecting 1955 counterpart set up the "weather experiment" from the end of Part I.
*** A sinister counterpart occurs when Biff Tannen gives a discarded TimelineAlteringMacGuffin to his past self, resulting in a perfect betting win record, and he becomes an EvilOverlord CorruptCorporateExecutive ruler of America in an alternate 1985.
* This is the whole plot of ''Film/TheKid2000'', where through unexplained means, Bruce Willis' character, Russ, finds his ten-year-old self in his house. Naturally, they don't get along at first, but they both end up helping each other. [[spoiler:Then it turns out both were being helped by Russ' future self.]]
* This is the villain's plan in ''Film/MenInBlack3'': Boris the Animal steals a time machine and goes back to the 1960's to help himself with his mission to prevent a powerful defensive shield from being deployed around the Earth.

* Vimes assumes the identity of his mentor, John Keel, in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/NightWatch''. The novel implies that a parallel history has been created (That is, the Vimes that went back in time was mentored by the real John Keel). Back in the present, Vetinari further confuses the matter by revealing he knows John Keel was really Vimes.
** IIRC, this is because the History Monks (whose job it is, of course, to see that history actually happens) worked it to combine the two time lines into the prime time line, so that Young Vimes was trained both by Keel, and by his elder self posing as Keel, with Vimes' only responsibility being to ensure that the new timeline ends up in basically the same position as the history he remembers.
* Tiffany Aching is aided by her older self in ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''. Slightly subverted however in that she tells her younger self that each iteration is slightly different.
* In ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban}}'', one hundred Dementors circle upon Harry trying to suck out his soul. He tries to summon a Patronus to ward them away but as usual fails. Then a wizard summons one and saves them, and Harry thinks it was his deceased father, going by family resemblance. Later, Harry and Hermione travel back in time, and Harry decides to see who it was who saved them. where Harry realizes it was he that summoned the Patronus and saved himself. He realizes that he mistook himself for his father, and immediately acts, finding that he is able to do so because he knows that he has done it. So, in effect a SelfFulfillingProphecy.
* ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'': The grown-up main character teaches his younger self to pick locks and steal wallets.
** [[TimeParadox Ontological Paradox!!!]]
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein ''loves'' this trope, though his protagonists sometimes have [[UnwantedAssistance such a warped definition of "help"]] that it probably qualifies as an inversion. (See: ''Literature/AllYouZombies''.)
* One Creator/SpiderRobinson story involves a researcher trying to invent time-travel; when her duplicate shows up, she assumes it's this trope. [[spoiler:It's actually her resentful [[SeparatedAtBirth previously-unknown twin]], intending to screw up her sister's happy life.]]
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' ExpandedUniverse novel ''Imzadi'', Admiral Riker from the future seeks out his present-day self for help [[spoiler:preventing Troi from being murdered]].
** In the last book of the ''Literature/StarTrekMillennium'' trilogy, the [=DS9=] cast is thrown first into the future, then (after the universe explodes) back to the Day of Withdrawal. Garak hatches a complex plan to save the universe from utter destruction without getting anyone he likes killed in the process. But one Cardassian is a bit too small of a team for such an operation, so he recruits his past self to help out, even arranging for a memory inhibitor to prevent past Garak from remembering the incident, because future Garak doesn't remember it. [[spoiler:The novel eventually ends with Garak and the crew of the ''Defiant'' arranging things so that history is intact and unchanged up to the moment when they are sent into the future, but enough details have been changed to avert the future timeline they witnessed after that jump.]]
* In ''Time Twister'' by Ged Maybury, one of the protagonist's early time-travels lands him in the future, where he meets a man who introduces himself as "Yos" and gives him some hints about what he will be needing to do later. He eventually realises that "Yos" is not a name but an acronym: Your Older Self.
* ''Literature/AwakeInTheNightLand'' has a variation of it. One of the heroes, Powell, has to team up with several reincarnations of himself, from different ages of the history.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Hell's Bells", Xander is accosted by his future self, [[spoiler:who turns out to be not his future self, but in fact a demon trying to disrupt Anya's wedding.]]
* In several episodes of ''Series/TheDeadZone'', John Smith is "haunted" by a mysterious figure in a cloak and hood, who, it is later revealed, is John Smith himself, in some possible future, disfigured by fire (or radiation burns) and communicating by way of touching the handle of John's cane. The "present" John Smith finally breaks the communication link by throwing away the cane, and apparently walks without the cane from that point forward.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** This is the plot of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E1TheThreeDoctors "The Three Doctors"]]. The Time Lords decide the Doctor is the only one who can save Gallifrey, and they decide to send someone to help him: himself (his second incarnation).
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut "The Impossible Astronaut"]] has the Eleventh Doctor [[spoiler:send an anonymous letter to his past self summoning him, along with Amy, Rory, and River, to where he dies a couple scenes before]] to investigate.
** Inverted in [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], where the Moment summons the War Doctor's future incarnations, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, in order to help him make the decision [[spoiler:about whether or not to end the Time War by destroying Gallifrey]].
** At the end of "Deep Breath", Clara is still having difficulty accepting the new Twelfth Doctor... Until the Eleventh calls her from the past. He helps her come to terms with losing him, while at the same time helping her understand that she ''hasn't'' lost him. He's still right there in front of her, at least as frightened as she is and needing her friendship more than ever.
* In the [[Series/KamenRiderDenO Den-O Trilogy: Episode Yellow]], [[Series/KamenRiderDecade Kamen Rider Diend]] travels back in time to correct a [[PhantomThief theft]] gone sour. In the process he runs into his past self, and after a brief confrontation they work together to fight off an enemy before past-Diend takes the stolen object and sneaks off with it. Present-Diend remarks to himself "Just what I'd expect from the past me."
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** In the episode "Stasis Leak", the crew attempt to go back in time so that Lister/Rimmer can save Kochanski/Rimmer's younger self from the imminent radiation leak, but Rimmer's past self believes that his future self is just a hallucination caused by the younger Lister feeding him hallucinogenic mushrooms.
** In the episode "The Inquisitor", Lister and Kryten are about to be erased from existence by the deranged Inquisitor when Kryten's future self appears and distracts the Inquisitor, although he is subsequently killed as he is telling Lister and his past self what to do (this sacrifice is undone at the end of the episode).
* ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' played with this a little. There was an episode where the gang landed on an Earth that rotated at a slightly slower speed than their Earth (the year is 1996, but the events going on in that world are consistent with the year 1984 for them). Quinn meets himself as a boy, shortly after the death of his father. Young Quinn is being bullied at school, and Quinn teaches him how to fight.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': In "Homecoming", Clark travels forward several years to the Daily Planet, and meets with his future self (who at this point is already Superman). Future Clark then tells him to go to the roof to save Lois while he prevents a nuclear reactor meltdown across town. The catch here was that Future Clark [[StableTimeLoop was already expecting his past self, because he himself had already gone through it.]]
* O'Brien manages to save his own life a couple of times in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'''s "Visionary". Then it gets [[YouWillBeBeethoven complicated]].

* ''Music/KidsPraise'': In the seventh album where they travel through time, the last stop Psalty and the kids make before getting back to the present is in the 1950s when Psalty was himself young. The adult Psalty helps to inspire him, and they share a duet.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Inverted in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' background: Traveling through the Warp occasionally ends up in getting out before you left. This was demonstrated by an Ork Waaaagh, who ran into each other as the first was preparing to go into the Warp. Despite realizing he was essentially fighting himself, the warboss attacks anyway, as he wished to have two sets of his favorite gun, killing his past self. In the resulting confusion, the Waaaagh loses steam and disbands.
* Played with in ''TabletopGame/{{Betrayal at House on the Hill}}'' with a pair of Event cards, where your character recognizes their reflection in a mirror as their past or future self. In one case, you give an item to your past self, while your future self gives you an item.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Achron}}'' sending your units from the future to reinforce themselves in the past is actually a fairly basic and common strategy.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'', you meet an NPC who has an aged up sprite of the Hero during the prologue, who asks to briefly see the McGuffin you just acquired. This relic is later destroyed by TheDragon. Much later in the game, you go back in time with a mundane look alike of said McGuffin and swap it with your younger self, since you need the relic in the future, meaning TheDragon destroyed the fake, without anybody realizing it, yourself included.
* In ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'', Guybrush travels through the marshes of time, and eventually meets his future self, who gives him a bunch of useful items -- which he winds up having to give to his past self before he actually gets to use any of them. And when he does, failure to say the right thing or give the items in the right order naturally causes a TemporalParadox.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': People in Valhalla, a world outside of proper history, are able to reach out to people across the timeline in their dreams. Caius Ballad abuses this by communicating with his OWN PAST SELVES from his vantage point in Valhalla. And since Caius has been immortal for a couple thousand years, there's a lot of past selves to contact.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Gradius V]]'', one level has you flying alongside another Vic Viper; at the end of the game, you're catapulted back in time, and it turns out you were the other Vic Viper (your past doppelganger will even do exactly what you did the first time!).
* What your future self does in ''TheJourneymanProject 2: Buried In Time'', since he was framed [[spoiler:by a rogue TSA agent]], and the only way out was his past self from 2319. He gives you his Jumpsuit and sends you 9 years forward in time, while he himself goes to jail without protest. Since the Jumpsuit has a cloaking device, nobody else noticed you were there.
* [[VideoGame/NoTimeToExplain "I am you from the future. There's"]] '''[[TitleDrop No Time To Explain]]''', [[MindScrew follow me to the- OH CHRIST]]!!!
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' pulls off both the past and future version of this - Amaterasu shows up in the past to fulfill a legend and defeat {{Orochi}} in place of your more powerful earlier incarnation, Shiranui, who at the time is off helping you fight [[OminousOwl Nechku]] some time later in the game. After defeating Nechku, Shiranui travels back in time to where you are and saves the hero Nagi by throwing herself in front of a falling rock. Amaterasu then returns to the present to fight Nechku with Shiranui. Confused yet?
* ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheLostFuture'' has you setting out to help future Luke Triton defeat [[spoiler:future Herschel Layton]]. But this is Professor Layton of course, so if you weren't expecting some sort of [[TwistEnding plot twist]], then...
* {{Inverted}} in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', where you have to ''doom'' your past-self as the Sand Wraith.
** Though played straight, albeit indirectly, at one point: an early encounter with the Sand Wraith has him nearly kill the Prince with a well-thrown axe. Later, [[OnceMoreWithClarity the scene is re-done from the Sand Wraith's perspective]], and we find out that he actually ''saved'' the Prince from a backstab with a ''very'' well-thrown axe.
* Every level in ''VideoGame/TimeSplittersFuturePerfect'' has a point where you're helped out by your future self, after which you complete the loop by going back and helping your past self. There's even a section where there are four of you working together to open a door, and the player has to keep time traveling to play out all four roles.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsDreamDropDistance'': [[spoiler:Xehanort took advantage of his body-less state as a Heartless to slip into the past and recruit his own boyhood self for his latest scheme involving Sora and Riku's journey through dreams. And it doesn't stop there; Young Xehanort was tasked with gathering other Xehanorts from across time; the end result was TWELVE Xehanorts, including the final bosses of the first two proper games, all gathering to fulfill the present Xehanort's desire for "thirteen Seekers of Darkness"... with Sora as the thirteenth and final vessel. Yen Sid's jaw dropped when he realized what Xehanort was capable of pulling off.]]
* In two quests from the Bronze Dragonflight in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', you Help Yourself. In the first, A 'Future You' is brought to help defend the Hourglass of Eternity. In the second, You help you from the past fight off the Infinite, who are after you from the past because you helped the you from the future...
** Also, both time-displaced 'you's are ''dicks''. The Future version makes comments such as, "I fought like this? No wonder I turned to drinking..." while the Past one makes fun of your equipment.
*** Not to mention that both 'you's are ''IDIOTS''. Future/Past Hunter? MELEE. Future/Past Druid? Melee in unshifted caster form!

* In ''Li'l Mell'', Sergio purposely travels back in time to influence his own childhood development. However, since he lives in a universe where changing the timestream leaves his memories intact, he doesn't actually have any memories of the mysterious substitute teacher who took an interest in him as a child.
* Done with Dave and Future Dave in ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}''. Be sure to fill up the swimming pool!
* Done in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', with [[spoiler:Sarda and the Onion Kid]]
** And [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] with [[spoiler:Thief]] who stole [[spoiler:his class change]] from his own future self. While paying so little attention to the situation his future self will be in at the time that not only does he not realize it's a situation where he ''really needs'' the powers granted to him by [[spoiler:his class change,]] but his future self doesn't realize he's about to get [[spoiler:his class change]] stolen.
-->'''Thief:''' Well, I deserve this.
* This created the StableTimeLoop that eventually led to the 'Surreptious Machinations' arc of ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault''. BadFuture Empress Trudy first communicates anonymously with her past self to help set up her world conquest, and eventually just drops all pretense, traveling back in time to give her younger self step-by-step instructions on how to become empress.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'', Static "accidentally" travels to [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond the future]] and is roped into rescuing one of Earth's greatest heroes (it's none other than [[FutureBadass Static]]).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' movie ''WesternAnimation/ChannelChasers'', Older Timmy comes back in time to help stop Vicky before she takes over the world. He doesn't remember his fairies, but is far more mature, and imparts some wisdom to himself.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'', Ben is sent to the future to help himself (Ben 10,000), although his future self thinks he'll only get in the way. Despite the fact that he should really remember ''being'' his younger self on that trip...
** In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'', Ben accidentally brings his 10 year old self to the future, resulting in the two teaming up.
*** Notable in this second one, its explained that the first time it was an alternate dimension version of older Ben, and that's why he didn't remember being the younger self on that trip. The second older Ben explicitly does remember this meeting as his younger self but doesn't remember all the specifics.
** However in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'', it is confirmed that the first Ben 10,000 from the Original Series is still canon to the Main Timeline and he comes to the present toward the end of the episode ''Ben Again'' to caution present Ben about the Time War.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Stewie traveling to the future to help his loser, socially inept future self.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures episode'' "J2: Revisited" Jade ends up in the future and runs into her future self, who had just been demoted from an agent to an office job. Through the course of the episode present-day Jade at first helps future Jade get fired from Section 13 before building up her confidence and reminding her of who she once was, which helps to get her old office job back.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'': David Xanatos, Chessmaster and {{Fiction 500}} CorruptCorporateExecutive, comes from a very poor family, but he received a rare and valuable medieval coin from an AnonymousBenefactor on his 18th birthday, which was the seed money for the corporate empire. His father Petros is still the same humble fisherman he was when David was a child, and is contemptuous of David's fortune having come from absolutely nowhere in the form of that coin. At his own wedding, David -- and several other characters -- are thrown back in time to medieval times, where he obtains a coin... and then uses his Illuminati contacts to ensure that it'll be sent to him anonymously on his 18th birthday. He also [[WriteBackToTheFuture wrote a second letter, to be delivered to himself a week before his wedding]], explaining just where that coin came from and [[StableTimeLoop what he had to do to ensure that it happened again.]] When David gloats that he is in effect a "SelfMadeMan", his father points out that David sent a rather lengthy letter along with that coin - [[TimeTravelForFunAndProfit future investment advice]] - meaning he's even ''more'' of a lazy cheat than Petros originally thought he was.
* The Planeteers of ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|and the Planeteers}}'' do this one pretty straight in one of their episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'': Parodied in "Lost in Time", in which Quinn and Stormy are repeatedly sent back in time by a freak explosion, repeatedly try (and fail) to warn their past selves about the danger, and repeatedly get thrown in the brig.
* The [[WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries Star Trek animated episode]] "Yesteryear" involves Spock realizing that his "distant cousin" that helped him in the past was, in fact, himself.
** In a subversion of the trope, however, he fails to accomplish everything he remembers his "distant cousin" doing, leading to a 'present' that's slightly worse than he remembers it. [[spoiler:His childhood pet is fatally injured in the attack he saved himself from.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode 'Paraducks' leaves us with the implication that Darkwing was his own inspiration to become a superhero.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' special "Ego Trip" features Dexter travelling to the future and assisting his future selves in battle against Mandark and his future selves.
* The three-part ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' story "A Sitch in Time" is ultimately driven by Shego using the [[TimeMachine Tempus Simia]] to carry out the plan given to her by her future self.