->''"Year 33 -- The Malkavians claim that their greatest practical joke happens during this year, when they perform a bit of graverobbing in Jerusalem."''
-->-- ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' timeline

Happens when a show references a historical event, and provides additional information about the event, relating it to the show. This either changes the meaning of the event, or shows what really caused it, as opposed to what everyone thinks really happened.

Creator/DonaldPBellisario, the producer/creator of ''Series/QuantumLeap'', called these "kisses with history".

Given the [[CriticalResearchFailure painful lack of research]] that most writers perform before writing, it should come as no surprise that many Historical In-Jokes are [[AnachronismStew painfully inaccurate anachronisms.]] Or they may be [[AluminumChristmasTrees taken for being fiction]] by the audience.

The most common variation is that the characters are responsible for some famous bit of damage: Venus de Milo's arms, Art/TheSphinx's nose, etc. Usually these are shown to occur when the artifacts are new, even if the real damage occurred much later.

Naturally will involve a HistoricalDomainCharacter or two.

When this occurs in an AlternateHistory setting it's a case of AllohistoricalAllusion.

Compare ItWillNeverCatchOn and ThisIsGoingToBeHuge. A character who does a lot of these becomes BeenThereShapedHistory. If the protagonists blunder into a famous event instead of interfering deliberately, this can also be evidence that InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous. For jokes which [[DontExplainTheJoke now need to be explained]] to be found funny, see UnintentionalPeriodPiece. Naturally, this is a form of InJoke.

'''Subtropes include:'''
* BeenThereShapedHistory
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy
* ExternallyValidatedProphecy
* ETGaveUsWiFi
* HistoricalPersonPunchline
* HistoricalRapSheet
* MoonLandingHoax
* RoswellThatEndsWell
* PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs
* TheTunguskaEvent
* WhoShotJFK
* YoungFutureFamousPeople

Compare with HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct, which frequently inverts this.


%%% Zero Context Example entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out.
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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the ''Manga/InuYasha'' movie, we find out that the storm that thwarted the 1281 Mongol invasion of Japan was caused by a battle between Manga/InuYasha's father and a Chinese demon lord.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', the murder of Japanese minister of the interior Okubo Toshimichi in 1878 is {{retcon}}ned to have been executed by fictional character Seta Sojiro, rather than a group of sympathizers of Takamori Saigo. They just show up and take credit for it.
* All of ''Anime/LeChevalierDEon'' is an elaborately staged historical in-joke told in the context of an 18th Century spy adventure. It covers the rise of Catherine the Great and Robespierre, among others....
* An omake in ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'' reveals that it was BABEL's {{Tsundere}} director who proposed a day where "girls give presents".
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', the original visual novel version has soldiers from Hinamizawa being responsible for the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo_Bridge_Incident Marco Polo Bridge Incident]]. [[spoiler:It was the first outbreak of the HatePlague Hinamizawa Syndrome.]]
* Half the point of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia.''
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', mentions of violent insurrections in Amestris across the centuries include the Wellesley Incident of 1811. No hint of what it is, but depending on how alternate the show's world is, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Wellington Arthur Wellesley]] may have been involved.
** In TheMovie of [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]], ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'', we find out that the Beer Hall Putsch failed because of our protagonists' activities.
* ''Manga/DanceInTheVampireBund'' explains the disappearance of 19th century American author Creator/AmbroseBierce by having him appear as a vampire.
* The ''Franchise/LupinIII'' feature film ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'' briefly features a scene explaining how the title nation's currency counterfeiting was responsible for the 1929 Stockmarket Crash and UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* As a historic fantasy, ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'' has a lot. Most of it is explanations of who certain people were, or how certain things happened. For example, the [[spoiler:death of Prince Zannanza]] was caused by [[spoiler:his scheming stepmother]] and that [[spoiler:Nefertiti's bust had one eye unfinished because the onyx used was from an earring she gave the artist, and she didn't have the other earring for him to use]].
* In ''Anime/FlintTheTimeDetective'' many historic people and events happened because of the [[{{Mon}} Time Shifters]] who's powers were responsible or had influenced them in history.
* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' is filled with these, both as obvious as Oscar leading the mass desertion and mutiny of a grenadier company of the French Guards to Pierre-Augustin Hulin (the historical character on which Oscar is loosely based) being one of her soldiers and, after the Guards' mutiny, her de-facto second in command.
* This is less a joke and more a plot point, but in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' Part one, Phantom Blood, Jack The Ripper was a vampire created by Dio Brando to take out Jonathan, who, with the help of his mentor, destroyed him using the Ripple. FridgeBrilliance kicks in where we find out why Jack the Ripper was never caught or even identified: He was destroyed by Jonathan's [[ThePowerOfTheSun ripple attack]] before anyone even began to suspect him, and even if they did, they'd never find the remaining pile of ashes.

* Done a lot in the French comic ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}''. To name just a few examples:
** In ''Asterix Meets Cleopatra'', Obelix is revealed to be responsible for the Sphinx's missing nose.
** In ''Asterix in Britain'', Asterix introduces tea to the British and Obelix suggests introducing rugby to the folks back in Gaul ([[RugbyIsSlaughter rugby]] is quite popular in several European countries, including both France and Great Britain). One of the Britons mentions that they've started digging a tunnel between Gaul and Britain, "but it looks like taking a jolly long time, what!"
*** This pun was [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp even funnier]] when the comic came out in 1966, because the tunnel had been planned for decades at that point but construction always was delayed in the last moment. Back then it seemed as if it would never occur at all.
** In ''Recap/AsterixInSpain'', when Asterix and Obelix ask if Unhygienix the fishmonger will rent his fishing boat to them, he mentions in passing that he'll take his payment in menhirs (stone monoliths), as he's looking to develop some land he owns in Britain (which a footnote explains is on Salisbury Plain, i.e. the location of Stonehenge). The original French version of this same book used Carnac instead of Stonehenge, a French town in the southern coast of Brittany, home to another big megalithic site.
*** Later in the book, Asterix accidentally invents bullfighting when he gets captured by the Romans and, instead of being thrown to the lions, is forced to fight a wild aurochs (a sort of now-extinct bull). Which might not sound very terrible, unless you know aurochs were twice the size of modern bovines. Kind of like having to fight a [[VideoGame/Left4Dead tank made of meat]].
** A RunningGag in ''Asterix And The Chieftain's Shield'' is whenever someone mentions Alesia (the last stand of the Gauls) to a Gaul, said Gaul will respond (usually enraged) that "''I don't know where Alesia is! '''No one''' knows where Alesia is!"'' This is a reference to archeologists' [[DatedHistory then current]] doubts about the city's location.
*** Could also be a reference to the way people don't like to remember defeats and other shameful episodes, often to the point of denial (in fact after yet another enraged rant, a footnote claims said denial is the ''cause'' of the aforementioned doubts about Alesia's location). It is probably not irrelevant that the story is set in the part of France that includes [[LesCollaborateurs the little spa town of Vichy]].
*** Also in that album, they visit the town that is now Clermont-Ferrand to see a former Roman Legionary who owns a wagon-wheel manufacturing firm (Clermont-Ferrand is home to the Michelin tyre company). In the city they see a big statue of Caesar standing at the exact spot where today stands a big statue of Vercingetorix, so French readers know who turned out to be the moral victor in the end!
** In ''Asterix in Corsica'', the Corsican leader tells Caesar that Corsicans will never accept being part of an Empire unless it was ruled by [[UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte one of their own]].
** In ''The Big Fight'', Asterix and Obelix visit the druid Psychoanalytix, who specialises in diseases of the mind. The nurse is telling them about the patients as they go along, with the last one [[UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte standing in the classic Napoleon pose]]. The nurse says "No one knows who this man [[NapoleonDelusion thinks he is]]."
** Caesar is [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter oblivious]] to Brutus' [[ObviouslyEvil treacherous]] nature [[RunningGag through the series]]. One memorable scene has a furious Brutus draw his sword and Caesar [[DramaticIrony telling him to sheath it before he hurts someone]]. In another scene, Caesar, enjoying the adulation of the crowds, orders Brutus to join in the applause with the words: "Et tu, Brute."
** In the animated film ''WesternAnimation/AsterixVersusCaesar'', Obelix is [[DistractedByTheSexy distracted by Panacea]] and accidentally bumps into a pillar at the Rome Colosseum, causing a segment of it to collapse.
** Caesar's characterisation is based on the books about himself he wrote when he was alive, especially his ''Literature/CommentariesOnTheGallicWar''. For instance, he is always a ThirdPersonPerson when bragging about his accomplishments, as he wrote the books in the third person. Some of his more BunnyEarsLawyer traits in the comics are strongly implied by his own text.
* Creator/DonRosa's ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'' features quite a few historical in-jokes. Apparently, during his rise to fame and fortune, Scrooge has met such personalities as Wyatt Earp, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt, and [[TheBarnum P.T. Barnum]]. And, as Rosa explains in the collected edition, all of the scenarios are somewhat plausible, as the people in question were, more or less, where Rosa has them. (All except Geronimo, that is. Rosa just {{handwave}}d that it would be just like Geronimo to sneak out of a reservation for awhile without anyone noticing.) He [[ShownTheirWork prides himself on his research.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' has several, though "jokes" may not be the correct description. For a prominent example, Creator/WilliamShakespeare's talent comes as a results of a proto-DealWithTheDevil with Morpheus (he gets his talent, but Morpheus essentially becomes his patron in return).
** There's also a very meta-example. Wesley Dodds (the original Sandman in comics) was inspired by Morpheus through his dreams.
** The Literature/ArabianNights as Morpheus' deal with Harun al-Rashid, anyone?
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' does this with John Constantine's ancestors, usually Johanna Constantine. One ancestor disrupted the dream that became "Kublai Khan" because [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Angels]] are describing how awesome [[FluffyCloudHeaven Heaven]] is, which isn't kosher.
* This trope is also featured in the ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' comics, after it was already implied in the movies that these {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s had been visiting Earth for a veeeery long time.
** In ''VideoGame/PredatorConcreteJungle'', Major Phillips (the one that sent Dutch's team to the jungle in the first movie) claims the Predators [[PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs exterminated the dinosaurs]] and [[AncientAstronauts gave birth to Ancient religions]]. Both claims were ignored in later comics and even denied by some fans till they were (partially) confirmed in the ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'' movies.
** In ''ComicBook/PredatorTheBloodySandsOfTime'', the main character discovers that Predators were responsible for the fall of Fort Douamont to the Germans in February 1916, thus triggering the Battle of Verdun as the French attempted to recover the position.
* ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' has quite a few of these, although most connect events in several other works of fiction -- several of those are analogues for real-world events, like UsefulNotes/{{W|orldWarII}}W2 and UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper murders. One of the funniest examples might be Orlando having posed for Leonardo Da Vinci -- while [[GenderBender changing her sex]].
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' has Tobias Muldoon, a young engineer, demonstrate his new invention, a 'sub-marine', to an audience that includes Creator/JulesVerne. In-story, this happens a couple of years before Verne wrote ''20,000 Leagues Under The Sea''.
* ''Comicbook/TheUltimates'' had a whole storyline about a race of aliens called the Chitauri who, as Nick Fury revealed, were the real Nazis trying to take over the world to subvert the people of Earth to their will if not for the actions of Comicbook/CaptainAmerica. They end up coming back to try again in the present day by infiltrating SHIELD, led by the very same Herr Kleiser who tormented the Allies in the past, which eventually leads to the resurrected Cap yelling the now famous quote, [[Awesome/TheUltimates "Surrender?! You think this "A" on my head stands for FRANCE?"]]
* Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} has revealed, among other things, that the San Francisco earthquake was caused by a time traveling X-Club; Hitler's rise to power was backed by a cabal of sorcerers in an attempt to summon Dormammu, who had previously caused the Great Fire of London in battle with the Ancient One; the Hindenburg crashed in an attempt to prevent the unleashing of demonic entities onto Earth; Hitler was killed by the Human Torch when he tried to blow up Berlin; and Deep Throat was really the alien who crashed at Roswell.
** This can cause problems as some events are explained in obscure stories leading to multiple explanations - the Salem Witch trials, for example, have been explained to have been due to the influence of Dracula, the influence of an ancient sorcerer who wanted to feed on the victims, a manipulative time traveler and many genuine witches (both good and evil).
* A Creator/{{Dark Horse|Comics}} comic involved the Hindenburg, Franchise/DocSavage, and Prof. Reinstein (the inventor) of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's super-soldier formula.
* The ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' graphic novels had Mindy Sprague accidentally causing the 1978 blizzard over the Northeastern United States in an attempt to avert a meltdown at Three Mile Island.
** Also, apparently Benjamin Franklin survived his kite experiment because he had electrical superpowers.
** And the Egyptians apparently used superpowers to build the Pyramids.
* Creator/AlanMoore's [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/comics/2000adstrips/drandquinch/drandquinch01.shtml first]] ''ComicBook/DRAndQuinch'' comic strip for ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'' is almost entirely based on this trope.
* Want to know how Amelia Earhart disappeared? According to ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'', Imperial Pimpotron Alpha abducted her for a cosmic emperor's harem.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' has the character of The Big Topper, a man who butts in on conversations and pretends like he did bigger and better things. Usually, his boastings include him introducing things to famous people. Dilbert calls him out on it once. The response?
--> Gandhi said that too, and I said "I'm not eating until you take that back!"
* In one ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' Elseworlds title set in the Old West, Batman is an agent of UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln who repeatedly asks Lincoln if he can come back to Washington, as he has reservations regarding the President's security precautions...
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'', the Buffy ally. A black and white tie-in comic had the UsefulNotes/WorldWarI-era Angel deciding that vampire reports from Europe needed looking into. He stabbed a lot of vampires, saving some Germans from being eaten/turned. One of them, of course, had his entire worldview altered. Corporal Hitler went back to the front lines a changed man. Oops.
* One ''WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit'' comic had the duo traveling through time to find Wallace's missing slipper. At one point, Wallace attempts to prevent primitive roller-skates from causing too much havoc by providing a far more angular design to his caveman counterpart, Ug-Wallace, who proceeds to get the design completely wrong and invent Stonehenge.
* ComicBook/LuckyLuke has been involved in pretty much every major event in the history of TheWildWest.
* Franchise/ArchieComics' run of ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' revealed that Hitler killed himself because of the time-travelling Turtles spooking the hell out of him.
* ''ComicBook/ExMachina'': In 2004, NYC mayor Mitchell Hundred's staff member quips that Elliot Spitzer is a shoo-in to be the next New York governor unless he's "caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy," an old political joke. At the time of the comic's writing, Spitzer had already been elected to the post and resigned amid a sex scandal (with ''live'' girls).

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* An unusual example in ''[[Fanfic/TheWritingOnTheWall The Writing On The Wall]]'': the alleged AncientTomb that [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Daring Do]] is exploring is [[spoiler: actually a proposal for [[http://www.damninteresting.com/this-place-is-not-a-place-of-honor/ a real building which hasn't been constructed yet]]. TheReveal of the true nature of the building changes the story from an AdventurerArchaeologist adventure to a horror story. Includes a modified and retranslated version of the warning proposed to grace the inside of the building]]:
--> [[spoiler: This is not a place of honor. No great deed is commemorated here. Nothing of value is here.]]
* In ''FanFic/RhythmicPrettyCure'', Tsumugi's mother Kazuko (birth name Cassandra Logan) is stated to have competed as a rhythmic gymnast at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
* In Northumbrian's Harry Potter fanfic ''Research and Development'', which is set in 2000, George and Ron invent a magical cell phone, inspired by Hermione's new Muggle cell phone. Their first prototype turns out to be quite similar to Hermione's phone, but Ginny thinks it's impractical, so Ron and George try to improve it. Their fifth prototype looks like a pocket mirror and is "about two-and-a-half inches wide, four-and-a-half long and no more than one-third of an inch thick". The mirror is "set into this solid block of wood". The corners are "smoothly rounded". You operate the phone by touching the mirror. Hermione complains that it doesn't look like cell phone because it lacks buttons and it is "too thin, too long and too wide". Ginny says that "perhaps in ten years Muggle phones will look like this".
* Some of the author's notes for ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'' reveal several examples. Many of them relate to the Bible and Koran.
** Most notable is the biblical Massacre of the Innocents; King Herod was planning on sacrificing the souls of the murdered babies to speak to Maledict. He succeeded - and Maledict was [[EvenEvilHasStandards so offended by Herod's hubris]] that [[ShaggyDogStory he killed Herod instantly with a glance]]. In a similar vein, the HumanSacrifice practiced by the Aztecs and other ancient civilizations were attempts to speak to Maledict too (with little success).
** The presence of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad as characters is pretty much due to an ''entire series'' of this trope.
** Beelzebub invented rock n' roll music. By accident, [[NoodleIncident during the mother of all drug trips]].
* ''Fanfic/ZeroNoTsukaimaSaitoTheOnmyoji'' implies that the Mongol invasions of Japan were foiled by large groups of Onmyoji joining together to create typhoons that wrecked their fleets.
* In ''Fanfic/CodeGeassThePreparedRebellion'', Urabe compares Zero's oratory with that of an EU demagogue who would've taken over an entire member state if there weren't safeguards in place to stop him. It's implied that this demagogue was either UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin, UsefulNotes/BenitoMussolini, or UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler.

* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' and ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'' show the "real" origin of rock-and-roll music, skateboarding, and Frisbee discs.
* ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' involves the introduction of masked avengers into a "normal" earth, and quite a lot of these result -- amongst them, JFK's assassination is shown to be performed by The Comedian (unlike in the original comic, where it was only implied). Nite Owl punches out a mugger in front of a young [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] and his parents. Silhouette and her lesbian lover enact the VJ Day Parade embrace photo. Nite Owl II meets Creator/AndyWarhol who has made a painting of him. Ozymandias is greeted by Music/MickJagger and Music/DavidBowie outside Studio54. More obscurely, the movie also shows Neil Armstrong saying, [[http://www.snopes.com/quotes/mrgorsky.asp "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!"]].
* ''Film/{{Dick}}'' explains the identity of the mysterious "Deep Throat" (the movie was made years before it was revealed in RealLife to be someone else), and the 18-minute gap in UsefulNotes/RichardNixon's private tapes.
* ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII'' {{RetCon}}s the death of Pope John Paul I and the murder of the Vatican's chief banker into part of a Mafia vs. Vatican conspiracy. Assuming they ''weren't'' in the first place.
* Recurring joke in ''Film/ForrestGump'' ([[BeenThereShapedHistory as Forrest inadvertently invents jogging and the smiley face, teaches Elvis to dance, etc.]]) The DVD includes a deleted scene of Forrest playing fetch with those nice police doggies playing with Mr. King and his sign-carrying friends.
* In ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'', Tim Robbins supposedly invents the Hula Hoop and Frisbee. Presumably, the elevator boy eventually made good with his bendy-straw idea.
* ''Film/MenInBlack'': The franchise runs on them.
** The depletion of the ozone layer was caused by aliens siphoning it off to sell on the galactic black market. The well-propagated vicious rumors that fluorocarbons dissolve the ozone layer are just PlausibleDeniability.
** The great New York City blackout of 1977 was the result of a practical joke by an alien ambassador known as "the Great Attractor" when he released a HyperDestructiveBouncingBall. He thought it was funny as hell.
** MIB also shows that many of the famous celebrities and historical figures are/were aliens. Late in the movie, Agent K outright states that Music/ElvisPresley's mysterious death was really him just returning to his own world. There's also a screen showing numerous celebrities that are really aliens, like Creator/SylvesterStallone, Creator/DannyDeVito, Music/MichaelJackson, Oprah and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJOVUF-HaDw Dennis Rodman (although that wasn't much of a disguise)]]. Two are SelfDeprecation: producer Creator/StevenSpielberg and director Barry Sonnenfeld. In 3 Creator/AndyWarhol is an undercover MIB agent who's so low on ideas on his art that he's painting soup cans and bananas as part of his cover.
* ''Film/ShakespeareInLove'' is another movie that lives and breathes this trope. It's subverted when Creator/ChristopherMarlowe is killed in suspicious circumstances as he was real life, and the implication is that he was murdered because Shakespeare used his name as a pseudonym to Wessex. Then Shakespeare learns in relief that Marlowe's death was a coincidence, and had nothing to do with the plot.
* ''Film/ShanghaiNoon'' and ''Shanghai Knights'' both had this. The end of the first movie revealed that Roy O'Bannon's real name was Wyatt Earp (a famous [[TheWildWest Western]] lawman from the 19th century). The second film was loaded with the things, from Roy's defense of losing Chon's money investing in dead-end airship research ("Chon, you're lucky I didn't invest in that ridiculous 'auto-mobile' idea.") to the appearance of a (very) young Creator/CharlieChaplin. The UsefulNotes/ScotlandYard detective accompanying O'Bannon and Chon turns out to be Sir Creator/ArthurConanDoyle. We also learn why UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper stopped killing.
* From ''Film/WalkTheLine'': When Music/JohnnyCash wakes up on the tour bus, he walks past a passed out Luther Perkins (his guitarist) with a lit cigarette in his mouth and he casually put it out. Luther Perkins died months after the ''Music/AtFolsomPrison'' recording/performance when he fell asleep in his Tennessee home with a lit cigarette in his mouth, and died from injuries sustained in the resulting fire.
* ''Film/YoungEinstein'' starring Yahoo Serious is basically a 91-minute long collection of historical in-jokes, although the end result is not quite an elaborated version of history as we know it. UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein is from Tasmania, invents foamy beer by splitting the beer atom and ends up romantically with Marie Curie... oh, and he also comes up with Rock & Roll.
* In ''Theatre/{{Oscar}}'', mob boss Angelo Provolone asks his accountant Little Anthony why he doesn't remember something, to which Anthony replies, "You were in Chicago. It was St. Valentines Day?"
* A scene from ''Film/WalkHard'' implies that Dewey invented Punk music.
* ''Film/XMen'':
** In ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', [[spoiler: Wolverine and Sabretooth fight Weapon XI atop the cooling tower at Three Mile Island, destroying it in the process]].
** In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', we see that the Cuban Missile Crisis was apparently set up by the Hellfire Club, who bullied the Russians and Americans into that position.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'':
*** Nixon is shown deactivating a tape recorder prior to his discussion with Trask, both referencing the recording system that would eventually lead to his downfall and providing an explanation for those recordings missing 18 minutes.
*** Magneto is held prisoner deep inside the Pentagon due to his involvement in JFK's assassination ("who else could cause a bullet to curve in mid-air?") [[spoiler: When he's busted out he claims that he was actually trying to ''save'' JFK since the latter was also a mutant. The film gives no reason to suspect he was lying.]]
* Rose, in ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'', is fascinated by the paintings of Picasso and purchases several while in Europe, despite her fiance Cal's assertion that they'll never be worth anything.
* In ''Film/TheRocketeer'', the Hollywoodland sign was shortened to Hollywood [[spoiler:after the primary antagonist Neville Sinclair crashes into the 'LAND' portion of the famous sign]].
* The trailer for ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'' implies that the real purpose of the Apollo 11 moon landings was to investigate Decepticon wreckage on the Moon.
** Also the [[UsefulNotes/{{Chernobyl}} Chernobyl disaster]] was a result of the Soviets attempt of reverse engineering Cybertronian tech.
* ''Film/TheMask'': In a deleted scene, Leif Erikson sailed to America not out of any desire to find new lands, but ''just to get rid of the [[ArtifactOfDoom mask]]''. When pressed by his colleagues to name the new world, he said, "Leave that to [[AmerigoVespucci the Italians]]. This land is now ''cursed''."
* No ''direct'' changes, but in ''Film/TimeBandits'', the Mona Lisa is unintentionally transferred from Napoleon to Robin Hood (and possibly to before it was painted).
* There are a few in ''Film/AKnightsTale'', mostly centered around the fact that [[Literature/TheCanterburyTales Geoffry Chaucer]] is a member of the group. At one point, Chaucer falls into the debt of and is humiliated by two men, who are identified as a pardoner and a summoner. He tells them "I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity." The Pardoner and the Summoner are the most disgusting characters in ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales''. At the end of the movie, Chaucer comments that he wants to write everything down, implying that the plot served as inspiration for ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales''. Finally, WordOfGod is that the movie was deliberately set up to take place during a period of time when Chaucer really did go missing in real life, suggesting that the events in the film were adventures he might have had during that time.
* In ''Film/{{Elf}}'', an actual Macy's store was digitally altered to become a Gimbels. In RealLife, Macy's and Gimbels were longtime rivals, with Macy's ultimately buying them out in 1986.
* ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'' is informed by a former hand model how national affairs have been controlled for ages by the fashion industry, showing the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations being carried out by male-model hit men.
* ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'': the Predators are the ones who taught the earliest human civilizations to build pyramids and temples, and in turn the humans would offer human sacrifices to give birth to new xenomorphs for the Predators to hunt. When the hunt goes wrong the Predators blow themselves up and everything in a hundred mile radius to prevent the xenomorphs from spreading, which explains how older civilizations disappeared.
* UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan's return to basketball? [[Film/SpaceJam Because he helped rescue the]] Franchise/LooneyTunes.
* ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'': The various nuclear tests conducted in the Pacific Proving Grounds during TheFifties. It's revealed that rather than testing atomic weaponry for potential use against other nations, the ''real'' objective was to try and kill Franchise/{{Godzilla}} with increasingly [[TheWorfBarrage more powerful bombs]].
* In the 1931 film ''Film/WaterlooBridge'', the setting is around 1917. The characters joke about Americans, and the idea of prohibition. They laugh and say it never will happen. Well, guess what was still ravaging on in American in 1931?

* This is half the attraction of ''{{Literature/Flashman}}'', which views the Victorian Age from its seedy underbelly.
* Many in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell''. Just a few:
** After meeting (and disliking) the eponymous [[SquishyWizard Jonathan Strange]] for the first time, Creator/LordByron went and wrote ''Manfred'' to create a wizard he liked better.
** After Strange and Byron become friends and Strange goes a bit off the dramatically inclined deep end, [[ByronicHero Byron starts taking notes.]]
** Strange's use of black magic during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars is suggested to have inspired Francisco Goya's hellish depictions of war and witchcraft.
* OlderThanRadio: Creator/VictorHugo loved these. ''Literature/LesMiserables'' and ''Ninety-Three'' have so many that it is necessary to take several encyclopedias out of the library and maybe a history and mythology degree in order to know what he is talking about sometimes.
* ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' by Creator/DouglasAdams ties together the origins of life on earth, Creator/SamuelTaylorColeridge's epic poem ''Kubla Khan'', the extinction of the dodo and dozens of other epochal or trivial events into an excellent approximation of a coherent plot. It also explains how a couch can get impossibly stuck in a stairwell!
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' series by Creator/RickRiordan:
** UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar (1861-1865) was at least partially a war between Roman half-bloods and Greek half-bloods. (You should see Hazel's reaction when she finds out the Romans were in the Confederate side).
** The last child of Hephaestus that could create fire before Leo was Thomas Faynor, who may or may not have started the Great Fire of London in 1666.
** Frank's ancestor was blamed for the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, though it turns out he didn't do it.
** Jack London was a son of Mercury whose Wolf House burned down because it was built on sacred ground.
** Amazon.com Inc. was apparently founded or taken over by actual Amazon warriors and used to ship goods to Amazons worldwide.
** Johnny Weissmuller, US National Championship and Olympian (the sport version) swimmer, was apparently a merman trained by the ichthyocentaurs).
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's short story "The Message" (1955), a {{time travel}}er goes back to observe UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, ancient history to him. Desperate to leave some kind of mark that signified his presence and yet wouldn't change the outcome of any major events, he carves a message on a wooden fence somewhere on a North African beach. [[spoiler: The traveler is named Dr. George Kilroy, and the message he leaves is the first-ever KILROY WAS HERE graffito.]]
%%%* ''Creator/DaveBarry Slept Here'' makes excellent use of this.
* In Creator/AvramDavidson's ''Full Chicken Richness'', a {{time travel}}ling cook kills off the dodo to use in his soup. (In RealLife, according to the sailors who discovered them, dodos tasted terrible.)
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in Creator/AlexandreDumas's ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' (1844). John Felton is so seduced by a captive Milady De Winter that not only does he set her free but also goes as far as assassinate her captor, George Villiers, the First Duke of Buckingham. Felton did, indeed, assassinate the Duke, but more likely for political reasons, probably due to discontent regarding the state of the English navy.
* Umberto Eco's ''Literature/{{Baudolino}}'', being a historical novel about an influential liar, is full of these. Among other things, it gives an alternate explanation for the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and reveals the "true" origin of the works of the Archpoet and the letter of Prester John, as well as the correspondence attributed to Abelard and Heloise.
** As well as the inspiration for Wolfram von Eschenbach's ''Parzival'' and Robert de Boron's ''Merlin'' and ''Joseph d'Arimathe,'' the founding of Alessandria and its salvation from Barbarossa's wrath and the assassination of Emperor Alexios II Komnenos of Byzantium.
* This is the entire premise of Creator/JasperFforde's ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' series, extended to all fictional events from written literature as well.
** In ''The Eyre Affair'', for example, it is established early on that Nextiverse!''Jane Eyre'' ends differently from how it does in real life. Toward the end of the book, however, [[spoiler: Thursday goes into the novel]] in order to put things back to normal... but[[spoiler:, in her effort to catch Jane Eyre's attention without becoming mentioned in the first-person narrative, she ends up becoming the mysterious disembodied voice that is an integral part of real world ''Literature/JaneEyre'']].
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', [[ThoseTwoBadGuys Croup and Vandemar]] were responsible for burning Troy and spreading [[ThePlague the Black Death]]. It is also hinted that they were the men who crucified {{Jesus}}.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** Erek is more than five thousand years old, was UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt's butler, and apparently coined the phrase "New Deal" during a card game. Going back even further, he personally helped build the pyramids (No, he did not design them, he helped carry bricks) and then cut and styled Cleopatra's hair several centuries later.
** Broccoli tastes bad to humans because it was brought to Earth by alien colonizers during the time of the dinosaurs. These aliens were then wiped out by the impact that killed off the dinosaurs, which was brought down by refugees of another race that had lost a war to the first mentioned race. A handful of survivors from one of those alien races apparently evolved into ants.
** Elfangor (an alien in human form) was once friends with two guys named Bill and Steve, to whom he explained computers. They were unable to grasp the more complex concepts, so he had to simplify matters and explain it to Bill with the term "Windows."
** Also, Mr. King was the one who suggested heat to Pasteur as a means to kill bacteria. Also, remember that painting of Washington crossing the Delaware? The kids go back in time and find out the river and the night were freezing. So not only did the kids see first-hand that Washington never posed like that, they directly state that if he posed like that in the middle of the night on the front of a boat crossing an ice-cold river, his soldiers would have thought he was a loon.
* In ''Behold the Man'' by Creator/MichaelMoorcock, a man goes back in time in an attempt to meet {{Jesus}}. However, he finds that [[spoiler: Jesus' life is a total myth. He then takes it upon himself to become Jesus, preaching the teachings he learned in the future, until he is finally crucified by the Romans]].
* ''Grim Tuesday'', the second book of Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'' series, reveals that TheGreatDepression was caused by Grim Tuesday's greedy meddling. This also counts as ParentalBonus as it's not outright stated and most of the 9-12 year old kids that the books are marketed towards probably wouldn't know enough to make the connection.
* ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'', by John Hodgman, is filled to the brim with them. Its sequel, ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'', has one on ''every page''.
* The novel series about Literature/ErastFandorin ''revels'' in {{Historical In Joke}}s. [[AncientConspiracy What caused the rapid scientific advancement of late 19th century?]] [[SpyDrama Why did the Siege of Pleven take place?]] [[ProfessionalKiller Who murdered General Skobelev?]] Who was UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper ''really''? [[DiabolicalMastermind Who was behind the Khodynka Tragedy?..]]
* The two-part ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh'' is an attempt to reconcile real world history with the fact that, in the ''Star Trek'' time line, the Eugenics Wars occurred in the 1990s.
* Jonathan Stroud's ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is filled with this, mostly in footnotes, where the titular demon often refers to his previous masters, most of them being real famous (along with a few more obscure) historical figures.
* In the [[Literature/SongOfSusannah sixth book]] of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'', the protagonists are trying to get rid of Black Thirteen, a cosmic artifact that continually brings bad luck and catastrophe to whomever holds it. As part of a plot necessity, they travel to New York City in 1999, and get a brilliant idea to stash the trouble-making object in a storage locker under the World Trade Center towers. As they leave the scene, Jake looks up at the towers, and wonders idly whether the object might be destroyed if say, the towers just ''happened'' to crumble on top of it somehow. It's further intimated that due to its evil nature, the presence of Black Thirteen may have ''caused'' the WTC attacks.
* The sequel of ''Series/IClaudius'', ''Claudius the God,'' features the Emperor Claudius' lifelong friend, King Herod Agrippa of Judea, the grandson of [[MagnificentBastard Herod the Great.]] Herod Agrippa sends Claudius a letter warning him about a cult that believed that the now-deceased [[{{Jesus}} Joshua ben Joseph]] was the Messiah and asking for permission to do something about their current leader, Simon-called-Peter. Claudius barely cares. Interestingly, the book has Herod Agrippa meeting the same fate that both Josephus and the New Testament's Book of Acts gives him, being eaten alive from the inside by worms after proclaiming himself a god, which feels a bit out of place in the realism the rest of the novel promotes.
* ''Literature/{{Dracula}}: The Un-Dead'' -- UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper is actually [[spoiler: Countess Elizabeth Bathory]].
* YA novel ''Kruistocht In Spijkerbroek'' (''Crusade In Jeans'') by Thea Beckman has a number of these. Most notably, the time-travelling hero meets a medieval guy named Leonardo da Pisa, who becomes his best friend during the story. He teaches Leonardo modern math. The guy turns out to be Fibonacci.
* In the first ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' novel - ''The Lightning Thief'' - when Grover is explaining to Percy about demi-gods, he mentions some famous demigods who successfully ventured to the Underworld and returned.
--> '''Grover:'''' ...Orpheus, Hercules, Houdini...
** There are more Historical In Jokes like this in the series, since one of the plot points is that the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) are not supposed to have any more half-mortal children, because the powers of their children keep leading to history being screwed up. World War II is mentioned as a battle between the children of Zeus and Poseidon, against the children of Hades.
** And two volcano eruptions in ''The Battle of the Labyrinth'' and ''The Last Olympian'' make one thing clear: Mount St. Helens' infamous May 1980 eruption that killed 57 people was in fact the result of Typhon awakening.
* ''TheSquiresTales'' has Geoffrey of Monmouth as a scholar at Myth/KingArthur's court.
* Brazilian novel ''O Vampiro que Descobriu O Brasil'' has a Portuguese vampire coming after the body snatching one that bit him, leading both to Brazil. Among the many facts caused by them, the protagonist invents sunglasses, and the decapitation of a vampire mare leads to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headless_Mule Headless Mule myth]].
* Several times in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Most notably, the White Court of vampires had ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' written as an all-purpose how-to guide for killing the rival Black Court, a godlike necromancer named Kemmler was responsible for UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, and Ebenezar [=McCoy=] caused Krakatoa and TheTunguskaEvent. There's plenty of others, though-- for instance, Bob's offhand mention of the last time a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent loup-garou]] got loose.
** The last time prior to the series that lead Denarian Nicodemus and his rival Tessa teamed up, the result was the Black Death.
* In Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/ElementalMasters'' series, two mages discuss some magical NoodleIncident which will probably make Loch Ness infamous. On the darker side, in another novel an evil Earth Master engineers and sends out the flu strain of 1918 in order to prolong the War. Then there was backlash after that earthquake when the Fire Master was killed in California... Throw a stone, you'll catch one such reference in the books.
* Creator/JRRTolkien
** Tolkien couldn't resist slipping at least one of these into ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', which claims that the nursery rhyme "The Cat and the Fiddle" is derived from an old hobbits' pub song written by Bilbo.
** Earlier, in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', the narrator claims that Bilbo's great grand-uncle, Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took, knocked the head off of the goblin leader Golfimbul with a club in the Battle of Greenfields; the head sailed one hundred yards through the air before landing in a rabbit hole, winning the battle and inventing the game of golf at the same time.
** Then there is Numenor, an island civilization far in advance of any other part of Middle-Earth, whose people fall out of divine grace, worship evil, and provoke the gods so much that their island kingdom is eventually thrown down and sunk beneath the waves. In very small letters, once, in a footnote, Tolkien slips in the detail that it was also known as ''[[{{Atlantis}} Atalante]]''.
*** Tolkien ''probably'' did not intend that reference as this trope: the Akallabêth (included in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'') is a reimagining of the Atlantis story, which (as also happened to ''Literature/TheHobbit'' / ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'') [[CanonWelding got dragged]] into the same canon as ''The Silmarillion''. The name ''Atalantë'' ([[ConLang actual Quenya]] for "The Downfallen") is far from the first linguistic pun in Tolkien's work.
* In ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'', escapees from the island formed the Egyptian civilization, and it's suggested that Poseidos was the source of both the Atlantis myth and the sea-god's name.
* The finale of ''Literature/BrideOfTheRatGod'' is the cause of the [[http://www.westland.net/venicehistory/articles/pickpier.htm 1924 Lick Pier fire]].
* The entire ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series is full of these.
** One of the more brutally ironic ones comes in ''1635: The Dreeson Incident''. Don Francisco Nasi (a Jew) names the ruthless purge of all organized anti-Semitic and witch-hunting activity in the USE "Operation [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht Kristallnacht]]".
** ''The Kremlin Games'' deals with an up-timer hired by the Russian royal family to help modernize the nation. Among other things he insists on designating the newly designed rifles the AK series. [[labelnote: *]] By a lucky coincidence the lead gunsmith involved in the design is named Andrei Korsonov. [[/labelnote]] By the end of the book the most high tech model available is a modified version of the fourth production series designated the AK 4.7
* ''[[Literature/HoratioHornblower Hornblower and the Hotspur]]'' has the ''Hotspur'' drop anchor in the neutral Spanish port of Cadiz, near an American frigate, the USS ''Constitution''. The narration mentions in passing that the ship's captain, Commodore Preble, is the latest in a [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption long series of American officers]] tasked with fighting a war against Tripoli. Historically, Preble is famous for successfully drawing the [[UsefulNotes/BarbaryCoastWars First Barbary War]] to a conclusion after besieging and shelling the city.
** ''Flying Colours'' also has Hornblower see another American ship and speculate that the Americans are going to be drawn into the Napoleonic conflict sooner or later. He's just not sure if they'll fight France or [[UsefulNotes/TheWarOf1812 have another go at England]].
* Several at the end of the ''Literature/TideLords'' series. For example [[spoiler: Cayal was Jesus, Crystal skulls were made to hide the key, and the asteroid belt is the leftover remains of Amyrantha]].
* ''[[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Sasquatch]]'', a 1998 novel by Creator/RolandSmith, features a character named Buckley Johnson, who eventually admits he is D. B. Cooper (who hijacked a Boeing 727 in November of 1971 and demanded a ransom of 200,000 dollars) to the novel's protagonist, a boy named Dylan Hickock. Sadly, after jumping out of the plane with the ransom money, Johnson broke his leg when he landed, and so was unable to use his ill-gotten gain for its intended purpose: paying for cancer treatments for his son, who died before his father could return home.
* In ''Literature/NecessaryEvil'' by Ian Tregillis, the third book in ''The Milkweed Triptych'', the Germans' slow response to the Dunkirk evacuation is due to Gretel giving the generals really bad advice (after having already established her precognitive abilities to them, so they'll take her seriously). The first two books in the trilogy show what happens if she gives them good advice instead: [[spoiler: TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt occurs sometime in the 1960s]].
* In ''The Hour of the Donkey'' by Creator/AnthonyPrice, the Germans' slow response to the Dunkirk evacuation is explained as being the result of a convoluted British false flag operation.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr.'' has historical in-jokes in virtually every episode, as Brisco encounters some gizmo which is sure to be the next "coming thing".
* ''Series/AshesToAshes'' had a scene in season 3 which made Gene Hunt responsible for the vandalism to the ''Series/BluePeter'' garden in the 80s.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': The episode "Comes the Inquisitor" revealed at the end that the titular character was [[spoiler:UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper]].
* ''All'' of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''.
* TheRoaringTwenties set ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' has a few. The pilot features Arnold Rothstein cheating at poker, when eight years later he would be killed thanks to welching on a lost poker hand.
** One of Nucky's friends brags about finding a great new Italian investor in Boston. A few episodes later he's broke, and we learn that the investor's name was Charles Ponzi.
** Annoyed because of Masseria's demands to put a tax on their profits, Lucky Luciano tells Meyer Lansky that their business is "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Mafia#.22Cosa_Nostra.22_and_other_names our thing]], not his!"
* ''Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}'':
** ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Spike's a font of this type of joke.
*** Spike inspired Music/BillyIdol.
*** He also lampshades the trope in his first line, mocking a low-ranking vampire claiming to have been at the crucifixion of Jesus.
---> '''Spike:''' If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there it would've been like Woodstock. I was actually at Woodstock... that was a ''weird'' gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move.
*** Spike knows Dracula (Dracula owes him money), and is rather annoyed at the latter for writing a book about his exploits, [[NiceJobFixingItVillain thus making it so that most mortals know how to kill vampires.]]
** ''Series/{{Angel}}'' had at least one of its own, with Angel saying he crashed Elvis and Priscilla's wedding.
* A character from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' called "The Angel Of Destiny" was the reason Music/BritneySpears got famous.
* The [[ShortRunners single-season]] SciFi series ''Series/DarkSkies'' centered around this trope, "revealing" that aliens or the GovernmentConspiracy to fight them have been involved in almost every major event over the course of the mid-60s, from the Kennedy assassination on down.
* Naturally, ''Series/DoctorWho'', being a show centered around time travel, has plenty of these.
** The Doctor himself, for instance, wrote ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' down for Creator/WilliamShakespeare after the latter had sprained his wrist writing sonnets, and the Great Fire of London was [[Recap/DoctorWhoS19E4TheVisitation started by a dying alien]].
** The Fourth Doctor explains how he helped Newton discover gravity:
-->'''Romana:''' Newton? Who was Newton?\\
'''The Doctor:''' Old Isaac? Friend of mine on Earth. Discovered gravity. Well, I say he discovered gravity, I had to give him a bit of a prod.\\
'''Romana:''' What did you do?\\
'''The Doctor:''' Climbed up a tree.\\
'''Romana:''' And?\\
'''The Doctor:''' [[CoconutMeetsCranium Dropped an apple on his head.]]\\
'''Romana:''' Ah, and so he discovered gravity.\\
'''The Doctor:''' No, no, he told me to clear off out of his tree. I explained it to him afterwards at dinner.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E8FathersDay "Father's Day"]], the whole of [[TemporalParadox time itself begins screwing up due to interference with someone's death]], causing such stuff as a phone ringing which when picked up treats the listener to "Watson, come quickly, I need you...", [[spoiler: the first words ever spoken through a phone, by Alexander Graham Bell]].
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode "The Shakespeare Code"]], the Tenth Doctor accidentally suggested a good many of his most famous lines to the Bard, including "to be or not to be". The Doctor even gives him Creator/DylanThomas's "Rage, rage against the dying of the light", but tells Shakespeare that "it's been used." Also, Shakespeare wrote the sonnet beginning with "Shall I compare thee...?" to the Doctor's companion, who also happened to be the Dark Lady mentioned in some of his other poems. (Although that particular sonnet is ''not'' believed to be about the Dark Lady.)
** Similar to the way the Doctor name drops the famous historical figures he's met, Jack Harkness has a tendency to drop the names of famous historical figures he's ''dated'' in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''.
*** The Doctor does the same at least once, in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], when Ten informs Ood Sigma (who seems completely unimpressed, and probably has no idea what he's talking about anyway) that he married Queen Elizabeth I and that one of her nicknames is no longer accurate. We get to see the wedding later on, in [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]].
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii "The Fires of Pompeii"]]: [[spoiler: The Doctor and Donna]] were responsible for the eruption of Vesuvius. Earlier in the episode, we get both a historical in-joke and a ContinuityNod, as the Tenth Doctor very quickly tells Donna that "Before you ask, that fire had nothing to do with me. Well, a little bit..." referring to the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, which in a ''very'' [[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E4TheRomans early episode]] was shown to have been inadvertently inspired by the First Doctor accidentally setting a map on fire with the light through his spectacles.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E7TheUnicornAndTheWasp "The Unicorn and the Wasp"]]: Donna, being unaware of the exact point of Creator/AgathaChristie's career at the point where she meets her, tries to sell the author several of her own ideas, like ''Literature/MissMarple,'' or ''Literature/MurderOnTheOrientExpress''.
*** That same episode also deals with Creator/AgathaChristie's infamous disappearance. According to ''Doctor Who,'' a [[spoiler:giant alien wasp started killing people in the same way as in her books, due to being linked to her. So when the alien died, she in turn fell into a deep sleep and then turned up in the hotel that was was historically tied to her disappearance]].
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E10VincentAndTheDoctor "Vincent and the Doctor"]], the Doctor and Amy visit van Gogh; Amy greets the artist with lots and ''lots'' of sunflowers. Very subtle. (The Doctor also reveals in the same episode that apparently Creator/MichelangeloBuonarroti had a fear of heights.)
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E2DayOfTheMoon "Day of the Moon"]]: The Eleventh Doctor gave UsefulNotes/RichardNixon the idea of taping everything in his office . . . so he'd know if he had his mind wiped by aliens.
*** The same episode also explains why there is a two second gap between the words "That's one small step for Man" and "One Giant Leap for Mankind".
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E2DinosaursOnASpaceship "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"]] explains why Queen Nefertiti mysteriously vanished from Egyptian records fourteen years into her husband's reign: Thanks to the Doctor, she met British [[GreatWhiteHunter big-game hunter]] John Riddell, from 1902, and ran off with him.
** Seriously, when you start watching a lot of ''Doctor Who'', this trope starts to look like the summary of the show.
* ''Series/ForeverKnight'' had a UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper episode, with the secret being that he was a strange, beastly vampire that [[TooSpicyForYogSothoth Lacroix couldn't fully drain]]. He also was responsible for the crimes of a few other serial killers later on. There was also a flashback encounter between Lacroix and a young German soldier/artist who turned out to be Hitler, as well as UsefulkNotes/RasputinTheMadMonk being a vampire sired by Lacroix.
* From the ''Series/{{Glee}}'' episode "The Rhodes Not Taken":
-->'''Emma''': A couple of years ago I started an online flirtation with an old high school flame, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Cunanan Andy]]. Things got weird and I called it off. And two months later (DramaticPause) Versace was dead. (DramaticPause) Dead.
* Sophia Petrillo, an immigrant from Sicily and a woman in her 80s by the time of the show, in ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' made a lot of these. It's usually unclear if she's lying or joking, her memories have ''really'' been twisted by old age, or both. Among other things, she's claimed to have had affairs with Pablo Picasso (she ended it when she was offended by his portrait of her) and Sigmund Freud (Sophia recalls that he loved to drive through tunnels), to have been friends and business partners with Mama Celeste until they fought over a man, to have been a contestant on a game show called ''Torture'' that was hosted by Mussolini, and to have been present at the Valentine's Day Massacre with her husband and father when their car broke down in Chicago (although she does concede that it might have just been ''a'' Valentine's Day Massacre.)
** Since the entire main cast is over 50, the others all engage in this to a lesser extent. For example, Andy Rooney wanted to have an affair with Blanche but she turned him down, and Rose's high school history teacher may or may not have been Adolf Hitler after he faked his death and was hiding under an alias. The main evidence for this is that [[RefugeInAudacity Rose's high school gym teacher openly identified as Eva Braun]].
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}'': According to Gaugin's accounts, the reason why Creator/VincentVanGogh went mad and cut off his ear was because of a [[TheMuse muse (the mythical kind).]]
* ''{{Series/Highlander}}'' has a couple of these, most notably Methos and his three buddies inspiring the legend of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Then there's the immortal who was UsefulNotes/CleopatraVII's handmaiden, and Duncan taking part in Operation Valkyrie and the Battle of Culloden...
** One of the novels references Music/ElvisPresley dying because he was an immortal and was getting too famous, only he kept popping up in different places, explaining the Elvis sightings.
* ''Series/IClaudius'' has UsefulNotes/{{Nero}} proclaim, "What a pretty thing a fire is..." Uh-oh.
* In ''Series/LostGirl'', the Sudanese genocide is thought to be partially attributable to the Djieiene, a mystical spider whose bite causes HatePlague[=s=].
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', the court historian is none other than Geoffrey of Monmouth, the man who wrote the King Arthur legends. Of course, that's a bit of ArtisticLicense (at best) and CriticalResearchFailure (at worst); the historical Geoffrey of Monmouth lived about 500 years after when King Arthur would have been alive (were he real-no one knows for sure). Given that the Kingdom of Camelot does not appear to even be ''on an island'', that caveat is somewhat beside the point. No one is pretending these people are English ''or'' anywhere in actual history.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' got some nice examples. Like in e.g. 'The Funniest Joke In The World': "It was a fantastic success, over 60.000 times as powerful as Britain's great pre-war joke ''(cue PM UsefulNotes/NevilleChamberlain waving around a ''certain'' piece of paper in public ''[[note]] The Munich Agreement.[[/note]]'')''!".
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries''
** A season 3 episode has Creator/HGWells in Toronto to speak at a meeting of the "Eugenics Society", a group dedicated to the improvement of humanity by scientific means. The event and the discovery that a local scientist is experimenting on animals give Wells an idea for a story about human experimentation, "...perhaps on a [[Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau remote island]]."
** A different episode had Creator/ArthurConanDoyle visiting the police station, where he finds Inspector Brackenreid is a great fan of his work. All through the episode, Brackenreid keeps telling him about an idea for a new Literature/SherlockHolmes book he had, and had thought of calling it "Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles". Doyle walks away at the end of the episode repeating the title to himself.
*** Doyle returns in a later episode, when they call him in to try and break through the delusion of a man who believes himself to be Sherlock. Doyle tries pointing out that Holmes died at Reichenbach Falls, and is taken aback when "Holmes" has a perfectly coherent explanation for both how he survived and where he's been since - the same one Doyle uses in "The Adventure of the Empty House". The episode also features a real criminal, who "Holmes" believes to be one of Moriarty's henchmen, called Sebastian Moran. Doyle mentions he likes the name.
** The episode "All That Glitters" has two: in the main story, Murdoch's investigation of the murder of an Ontario surveyor leads to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt_Silver_Rush Cobalt Silver Rush]]. In the B-plot, the painting Inspector Brakenreid did during his TenMinuteRetirement at the beginning of the season has been entered into a competition, and a young man is very impressed by it. The man, who particularly likes the way Brakenreid paints foliage with non-representative colours to make it stand out more (he ran out of green), eventually buys the painting for $15 to inspire his own work, at which point we learn his name is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Thomson Tom Thomson]].
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' had a story arc where Pearl, Observer, and Bobo travel back to ancient Rome. As they leave for their own time, Bobo steals a wheel of cheese, knocking down a candle in the hay-filled room and starting a fire that can be heard throughout the end credits. It's implied that this is the great fire that burned down the city.
* Mr. Jimmy James on ''Series/NewsRadio'' has claimed to be the Watergate informant Deep Throat on more than one occasion. It's also strongly implied that he is D.B. Cooper [[note]]who hijacked a plane in 1971 to demand a ransom and two parachutes, then jumped when the plane was back in the air and was never seen again[[/note]] (explaining how he came to be rich).
* ''Series/PanAm'' is prone to a few of these, as it is set in the 1960's. Examples include:
** "It's Castro's country. He'll never keep it."
** "That Music/BobDylan will be famous, mark my words."
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'' had at least one every episode, including (among other things) Sam teaching a five-year-old Music/MichaelJackson to moonwalk.
** Other notable figures Sam meets (or Leaps into!) include: Creator/MarilynMonroe, Music/ElvisPresley, Music/BuddyHolly, Creator/StephenKing, and Lee Harvey Oswald.
** Sam also suggests that a young would-be boxer who worked in a meatpacking factory train by sparring with the frozen beef carcasses hanging around his workplace, mentioning that it was "something I saw in a movie." The grateful young boxer thanks Sam and closes his locker, upon which is his name: "[[Creator/SylvesterStallone S. Stallone]]".
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' did a double in-joke by having an alternate dimension President UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy assassinate ''[[ItMakesSenseInContext himself]]'' -- from behind the grassy knoll.
** "Timeslides" has a few for UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Using the titular 'timeslides', Lister travels back to a Hitler-led rally and attempts to persuade the crowd not to believe him because he's 'a complete nutter - and he's only got one testicle.' Lister returns from the past with a suitcase from Claus von Stauffenberg, which triggers a predictable panic if you know [[Film/{{Valkyrie}} who he was]].
* Vorenus and Pullo from ''Series/{{Rome}}'' have been called the Film/{{Forrest Gump}}s of Ancient Rome. During the course of the show they witness, cause or partake in pretty much every single important event during the end of the Roman republic. Caesar finally {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this in a later episode.
** One good example is the second episode, where the attack on Marc Antony by Pompey's men when he's heading for the senate is actually an attack on Pullo by a random thug Pullo gambled and argued with (and killed his friend). This attack on Antony is believed to be Pompeius's thugs trying to prevent Antony from wielding his lawful power of veto, and becoming the key incident that led to Caesar crossing the Rubicon. The episode is even titled "How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic".
** Pullo is the real father of Caesarion, the historical son of Caesar and Cleopatra.
** Vorenus believing himself responsible for Caesar's death, as he was to accompany Caesar the day of his assassination, but was stopped by a woman who told him that his daughter's child was actually his wife's child by another man, causing him to leave and confront Niobe, while Caesar goes and gets killed on his own.
** Pullo uncovering the stash of gold and silver from the treasury looted by the Optimates, stealing it all for himself before handing it back over to Caesar when he's caught. Historically, it's said that none of Pompey's supporters, nor Pompey himself, managed to empty out the treasury, allowing Caesar to claim it for his war effort, seriously hampering the optimates' finances for the civil war, causing them to heavily tax the provinces of the east, drawing heavy resentment from them.
* Hilda's and Zelda's exploits in ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' are liberally sprinkled with historical in-jokes. "And that was how Aunt Hilda started something called the American Revolution."
-->"Oh, so ''that's'' why [the Parthenon is] in ruins!"\\
"Yes! Luckily, History blamed the Turks."
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'' does this with explaining several historical figures as being abnormals. Several of them are important characters.
* In a ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch in which Kevin Spacey played the "inventor" of sarcasm and [[SarcasmBlind no one understood he meant the opposite of what he said]]:
-->'''Lord Sarc''': If it's not too much trouble, do you think we could make this roof leak a little ''more''?\\
'''Vassal''': Why, yes. Yes, we could.\\
'''Lord Sarc''': That's wonderful! Here's an idea: maybe in the next house I have, maybe you can all go out and you can just throw together a collection of random stone blocks in the middle of nowhere and I'll live there! You think you can handle ''that''?!\\
'''Vassal''': At once, my Lord.\\
'''Narrator''': And so Stonehenge was built.
* ''Series/{{Sharpe}}'' comments on the effectiveness of his recently used and very lethal Napoleonic rocket technology:
-->'''[=Sharpe=]''': Well, Mr Giliand, I wouldn't be surprised if one day we reach the moon with one of your rockets.
* In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "1969", the team accidentally goes back to the titular year and are apprehended under suspicions of being Soviet spies. [[DeadpanSnarker Jack]] is taken to be interrogated, and proceeds to [[HilarityEnsues take advantage of the situation]] by answering in almost nothing but future pop-culture references. Naturally, the interrogator doesn't realize that he's being messed with.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' [[Recap/StarTrekS2E14WolfInTheFold "Wolf in the Fold"]] revealed the secret truth behind UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper: He was Redjac, a PuppeteerParasite which has been a serial killer on several planets, including Earth.
** The two-part episode ''Time's Arrow'' in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has Data accidentally sent back to 1893 San Francisco where he meets the author Creator/MarkTwain and a young bellhop named Jack London, who has an inexplicable desire to visit Alaska.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** In the episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", they actually did this to a bit of ''Star Trek'''s own history -- in something much more than a simple ContinuityNod, the episode revealed that there was much more going on in the background of the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries original series]] episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" than was initially seen by viewers in the 1960s. Also, the scene of Tribbles continuing to fall down on Kirk's head, one every ten seconds or so, long after the storage compartment had been opened and most of the tribbles had fallen out proves to be the [=DS9=] team's tossing Tribbles aside once scanned.
*** In the episode "LittleGreenMen", where the [[RoswellThatEndsWell Roswell aliens]] turn out to be Ferengi.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** In the episode "Flashback", Tuvok [[FlashBack flashes back]] to his service aboard the ''Excelsior''... during the time of ''Film/{{Star Trek VI|The Undiscovered Country}}''. He's even the one who gave Sulu the tea that we see knocked over at the beginning of the movie. Interestingly, since the original ''Trek'' actors had aged a good bit, many scenes that happened exactly as seen in ''Star Trek VI'' had to be redone (or else, Sulu ages ten years once original footage kicks in). Watch 'em back to back and you'll notice the tiniest differences, like the way Valtane's hand moves when he puts it on the railing, or Sulu saying "Shields! Shields!" a bit more loudly, or a few camera angles being different. Also, the ''Excelsior'''s warp engines only glow in original (i.e., "shot for the show") footage, as a new model's being used -- although the nacelles of the movie model were wired to glow, they didn't.
*** An incident occurred during the filming of the above episode that is either the greatest historical in-joke, or the luckiest accident, of ''Star Trek'' history. During the flashback sequences, we see Dimitri Valtane die, despite his chronologically later appearance at the end of ''Star Trek VI''. [[WordOfGod The writers]] jokingly suggested he had a twin brother serving on the same ship, but the general {{fanon}} response was that he had been successfully resuscitated off screen. The former is now accepted as correct, however, because in the opening scenes of ''Star Trek VI'', because of a poor editing job, Valtane is seen to be manning two separate consoles on opposite sides of the bridge. Only one of him appears at the end, so the twin theory is actually the best solution.
*** In the two-parter "Future's End" the Digital Revolution only happens because of a crashed timeship.
** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' pulled a cute one in the episode "Carbon Creek". ''Star Trek'' {{canon}} states that humanity met the Vulcans in the late 21st century after Cochrane's warp flight. Apparently, a little-known fact is that a Vulcan survey ship crashed in Pennsylvania in the '50s. A Vulcan woman raises money for a boy to go to college by introducing the bank owner to a strangely adhesive fabric, [[ETGaveUsWiFi better known as Velcro]], invented in the real world by "George" de Mestral. (The name of one of the Vulcans? Mestral.)
* ''Series/That70sShow'' did this a few times. One instance had Jackie being annoyed because a regular television program she watched wasn't airing as usual because it was bumped by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis some hostage crisis]] being on the news. In another case involving wrestling, wrestler Rocky Johnson talks with Red and Eric about his own son, and his belief that he'd grow up to be the most [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson electrifying man in all of wrestling.]] Red wishes him sarcastic good luck with that.
* ''Series/{{Tracker}}'' had Cole reference Cirronians building ancient monuments like Stonehenge and the Pyramids.
* Perhaps a bit early to count as "historical", but the 2013 UsefulNotes/ComicRelief ''Series/TheVicarOfDibley'' skit is set during the 2012 vote by the Church of England laity as to whether to allow woman bishops. Dibley parish is inexplicably represented by Jim Trott, who's "[[VerbalTic No ... no ... no ... no ... no ... no ... yes!]]" is interpreted as meaning most of the parish council is against it. Which is why the motion was lost [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20415689 by six votes]].
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'' loves these. Expect to hear at least two per episode. Usually in a one-line throw away gag, or even just items sitting innocently on shelves in the background.
* Happens in ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace''. While in 1957, Harper manages to invent both the poodle skirt and the sock hop. Max invents the high-five, but twenty years too early, so it ends up being called a "max" instead, which Alex considers a CloseEnoughTimeline.
* A quote attributed to the historical UsefulNotes/LouisXIV is, "I am the State." In fact, he said the opposite: "I depart, but the State shall always remain." In the ''Series/YoungBlades'' episode "The Girl from Upper Gaborski," [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Louis]] utters a similar quote "I am the mighty state of France!" — while flexing shirtless in the mirror and fantasizing about how to impress women. Putting the quote in the mouth of a 15-year-old SpoiledBrat / CloudCuckoolander someone who's just discovered women and the fact that he has royal power explains how the same person could say both quotes.
* It's something of a RunningGag in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' for Xena and Gabrielle to inadvertently stumble across historical or mythological events or people. Among other things, Xena is revealed to have led the pirates that kidnapped Julius Caesar, Gabrielle attended a bard competition with a young Homer (no, not [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons that one]]), Xena's experience with healing inspired Hypocrites's famous Hippocratic oath, ''and'' they both fought at Troy (although between this show and Hercules the Trojan war happened at least 4 times, once against fish people). [[AnachronismStew Never mind that said events occurred and people lived many centuries apart.]] [[MST3KMantra It's all part of the fun.]]
* ''Series/TheXFiles'', "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", shows the CSM writing a fictionalized account of a mysterious government operative (himself) assassinating JFK and MLK. However, it is strongly implied that much of the story is made up to make him seem more important. He also gives a standing order for the Bills to never win a Super Bowl, which explains a lot.[[note]]CSM's operatives have been following his order a little too zealously. Since the episode aired in 1996, the Bills haven't even won a playoff game.[[/note]] He also apparently drugged the Russian goalie during the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" when the US men's hockey team beat the far superior Russian squad.
* ''Series/YoungIndianaJones'' sees Indy meeting virtually every major historical figure of the early 20th century before his 21st birthday.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness had a number of these; for example, the Malkavian clan claim to have done [[{{Jesus}} a bit of grave-robbery in Judea in the first century AD]]. If you're wondering, think ComicBook/TheJoker as a vampire, and then make them thousands strong (though, as might be imagined, rarely united). Another, borderline example is ''Dark Ages: Werewolf'', which linked the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood to a young werewolf's First Change -- Red ''is'' the werewolf, and in the throes of her First Change, kills her grandmother and is found (and implied to be killed, or at least grievously wounded) by a lumberjack who finds her grieving.
** In fact, in the old World of Darkness, the one thing [[WordOfGod the supernaturals never had an active hand in]] was [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct the Third Reich and the Holocaust]]. This itself proved to be a pretty funny, if unintentional, historical joke in the context of the game. The ''intent'' was to avoid cheapening the full inhumanity of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany by ascribing it to supernatural influence; the ''effect'' was to make readers scratch their heads wondering how, in a game overflowing with BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy, none of the countless supernatural groups had anything to do with the largest war and most notorious genocide in history.
*** Then again, none of the supernatural factions had a great deal of interest in the Third Reich. Even the most callous vampires aren't messed up enough to waste that much food (and even the freaks following the Path of Night want mortals to fear them, not some twat with a silly mustache), for the Werewolves it's just another sign that the Wyrm is winning, the fairies are the ray of hope that wants nothing to do with this mess, the war seriously fucks with the Shadowlands and leaves the Wraiths in a sad state, and the last thing the Technocracy wants is to display the wonders of technology as soulless forces of destruction. The Traditions are the only ones who might benefit, and they're on the run. Well, and maybe the Antediluvians, but their machinations are so subtle and far reaching that the war is a footnote to them at best. The real question becomes why none of these groups stopped Hitler before things got out of hand.
*** The sourcebooks only say that the supernatural elements were not responsible for the war, it never says they didn't participate in it. Most of the major factions were subjected to division in the ranks of a greater or lesser extent as their members chose one side or the other.
*** Something of a running gag was that about half the Vampire clans and several other supernatural beings claimed Rasputin as a member.
* Due to heavy cross-marketing between the TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}} and TabletopGame/{{Earthdawn}} games, a number of early Shadowrun products indulged in this trope with immortal-elf references. If the spinoff novels are to be credited, Queen UsefulNotes/ElizabethI was a usurping immortal elf in disguise, as was Creator/LeonardoDaVinci and (implied) the Apostle Thomas.
* In one of the {{Sourcebook}}s for ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', it states that the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_explosion Halifax explosion]] was actually caused by a battle between Pentacle mages and ChurchMilitant members of the [[AncientConspiracy Seers of the Throne]]. Mages are said to refer to the explosion as the "Battle of the Maritime".
* ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' claims that TheTunguskaEvent was the result of an attempt to summon a arch-''qashmallim''. [[TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil The Knights of St. George]] failed to stop it in time.
** Also, a ''qashmallim'' inspired Creator/SamuelTaylorColeridge to write ''Kubla Khan''. A Promethean, in turn, was the "Person from Porlock" who interrupted him and caused him to forget the ending.
* Unsurprisingly, given its premise as a TimeTravel game, TabletopGame/{{Continuum}} has its fair share of these- of particular note is the usual answer when asking members of the Thespian Fraternity how many times they've had to impersonate [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct Adolf Hitler]] is a cold "[[ArcWords Further Information is not available here]]".
* TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness sourcebook ''Chicago'' has quite a few of these. As just one example, Chicago's vampires are implied to be responsible for the murder of Illinois Senator Charles H. Percy's daughter (the local Prince favored Percy's opponent, and was offended when he wouldn't step down).

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Plenty of such jokes in ''The Time Machine'' ride at the Ride/{{Futuroscope}}. The VideoGame/RavingRabbids happen to be responsible for the Lascaux paintings, the Venus of Milo losing her arms, the invention of the Olympic games, Beethoven's composition of the Fifth Symphony, etc.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Many of the major characters that Altaïr is sent to assassinate in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' were real historical figures who died around the time the game is set, with any inaccuracies explained as the Templars having re-written the history books.
** The [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII sequel]] takes this up to 11 by making the times of death much more accurate.
** ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Brotherhood]]'' has Machiavelli at one point say that he intends to write a book about Ezio. Given that Cesare's on the other side, it seems obvious who ''The Prince'' was ''really'' based on.
** ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations Revelations]]'' had more Historical In-Jokes compared to the first few games.
*** Set in the Ottoman Empire, particularly in Constantinople. [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Constantinople/Istanbul]] Jokes fly around.
--->'''Ezio:''' "Istanbul? No doubt one of the many names for this city?"\\
'''Yusuf:''' "Yes! It's quickly becoming the local favourite!"
** On mention of The New World's name (Continent of Amerigo), Ezio smiles and remarks "poor Colombo..."
** Piri Reis, a legendary Ottoman Admiral, was not an admiral by the time of the game, but the Assassins of Constantinople do jokingly call him "Reis" (Ottoman for "Admiral").
** Prince-Governor Suleiman keeps on talking to Ezio about tolerance between the Ottoman Empire's subject peoples and a standard and written state law, things he will work on and accomplish as ''Sultan'' Suleiman the Magnificent.
** Upon Sofia mentioning that she posed for a certain Albrecht Dürer, Ezio asks if he's an artist of some renown.
*** Even better, the painting that Sofia has that Dürer painted of her is an ACTUAL Dürer painting, "Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman".
** The tie-in comics also reveal that the Assassins and ''UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla'' were responsible for the Tunguska event in 1908 when they attempted to obtain [[MagicStaff The Staff of Eden]] while blowing up the facility where the Templars were keeping it, but they weren't able to remove it in time so it wound up getting blown up as well, with only one member of the Assassin team surviving.
** A series of missions in ''Unity'' has Arno protecting Désirée Clary, then Napoleon's fiancée, with the help of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who ends up falling for her over the course of the missions. In later years, Bernadotte became a massive thorn in Napoleon's side and Désirée's influence was probably one of the reasons why he was never disgraced or even imprisoned.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', the Cuban missile crisis was actually resolved by handing over a Soviet scientist who'd defected to the West, and the Turkish nukes were outdated and going to be removed anyway.
** Later, Snake makes a joke that the prototypical Russian helicopter which is smaller than the Hip should be called a Hind. His [[BunnyEarsLawyer support team]] agree to use Hind as the code for the kind of helicopter from now on. Also a ContinuityNod, since a Hind helicopter was a boss fight in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''.
*** In fact, [=MGS3=] is ''rife'' with instances of this, including Snake being the first to perform a HALO jump (which ''was'' actually first performed in 1964), as well as Snake finding an [=XM16E1=] and making suggestions for how it would be a better rifle, echoing complaints from soldiers in Vietnam who made the same suggestions that were ultimately incorporated into the rifle's design.
* There are several examples in the VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlertSeries.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'':
*** It plays the Cuban missile crisis too, in an alternate history: to achieve the best results, the Chronosphere had to be built in a specific place in the Earth's magnetosphere or the Allies can't use it to invade Moscow from across the globe. Problem is, said place is in the Florida Keys, well inside the range of the Soviet nukes in Cuba. Since the US and the USSR are already at war and Romanov won't negotiate as Khrushchev did in real life, the Allies say "screw negotiations" and instead chronoshift some troops into Cuba to blow the missiles sky-high before they could be launched. Cue the VillainousBreakdown from Romanov.
*** And the invasion of Pearl Harbor too, this time with Soviets as aggressors and the US anticipating the attack via U-2 spy planes. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Arizona_Memorial USS Arizona Memorial]] is even present, even though the Japanese attack that sunk the ''Arizona'' never took place in this timeline. It can be played from both sides, interestingly; though the Soviet version has a South Korean fleet moving in to assist the defenders.
*** In the briefing for one of the Soviet missions the player is shown a [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060622235058/cnc/images/b/be/Yuri_and_Stalin.jpg picture]] of [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]], with Yuri edited in on his right. This picture [[http://www.harrymcfee.com/StalinGorki1922.jpg really exists]] and is famous for being doctored, the real life version showing Stalin sat next to [[UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin Lenin]], who bears a fairly strong resemblance to Yuri. This version of the picture, created at the behest of Stalin, is a forgery to try and give him more credibility as one of Lenin's closest collaborators. Since the creators of ''Red Alert 2'' also edited Yuri into the picture, neither of the two persons shown on the photograph actually appeared in it.
*** The iconic acknowledgment "We will bury them!" from the Soviet tanks paraphrases a famous (and [[BeamMeUpScotty misinterpreted]]) quote by UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev.[[note]]Originally, it was referred right to the enemy: "We will bury you!"[[/note]]
*** In the final Soviet video, the Soviets have taken over the entire world. One of the locations shown celebrating the foundation of the Global Soviet Union is of Soviet tanks driving down the streets of Paris in a victory parade. The newscaster comments that "it has been decades since we've seen anything quite like this", referring to the German occupation of Paris in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, which in the altered timeline ''never even took place''.
*** Then came ''Yuri's Revenge'', taking this trope to the logical extreme by making an in-joke ''on it's own history'': one Soviet mission had the player re-doing - via time travel - one of the vanilla game's Allied missions... from the other side. Bonus points because said mission enabled the Allies to win the war with the aforementioned re-take of the Cuban missile crisis... which this re-take mission, appropriately named "Operation Deja Vu", retcons into the Chronosphere prototype being destroyed and the Allies surrendering.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'':
*** It also has a defense of Pearl Harbor -- ''by'' the Empire of the Rising Sun, ''against'' an Allied naval fleet.
*** As a call back, the penultimate Allied mission is a take on the Cuban missile crisis, with another historical in joke: the blimps carrying the missiles launch out of hangars disguised as sports stadiums. In real life, one of the things that tipped the US off to the Soviet presence was the building of soccer fields (Russians play soccer; Cubans, at that point, preferred baseball).
*** Another joke in its in-universe history: in the first Allied mission of the second game, several Soviet Dreadnoughts are bombarding the Statue of Liberty until Tanya destroys them with explosive charges. A similar scene appears in the opening cutscene of ''Soviet'' Mission 9 in the third.
--->'''Tanya''': Just like old times, you commie scum!
* Bram Stoker's novel ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' is canon in ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' chronology. John Morris and Johnathan Morris, protagonists from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' respectively, are descendants of Quincey Morris.
** So, not terribly canon- Quincey Morris dies without children in ''Dracula''.
** On the subject of ''Portrait of Ruin'', which has Drac's ol' castle come to life due to an abundance of souls following World War II, the villain of the game is a vampire painter known as Brauner. He is in fact, a real life Jewish surrealist painter, explaining his motives quite clearly.
* ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'' has you perform several Acts of Infamy based on real-life Cold War events, most notably staging the Cuban missile crisis.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' has a special encounter in which the player can return to Vault 13 in the past. The player cannot leave until they break the water chip, thus setting up the basis of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''. It's not canon, though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' mostly just messes with mythology, but some actual history does get involved. Among other things, Apollo 13's failure was apparently caused by Eirin, and Futo burned down Japan's first Buddhist temple.
* The ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' series. Many of the catastrophes that occurred around World War I was all because of Lovecraftian hellspawn.
* ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'': Funny Valentine insults Josuke's hair by saying that he will not allow his people to have that style. Elvis would prove Funny wrong, though.
* In ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateOfAtlantis'', Indy wonders why the Minoan civilization had this obsession with bull-headed figures (like the tale of the Minotaur living in a labyrinth underneath Knossos); the game heavily implies that the RealLife Minoans tried to imitate the aesthetic style of Atlantis and [[spoiler: also the Atlanteans built a god-creating machine, which its first failed tests created mutants ''with horns'', providing the origin for the myth of the Minotaur]].
* The ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series has one in the third game, where Berlin falls to the Russians. ''[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Again.]]''
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: World at War'' has one to its own series - in the first game, the final level has you playing a Soviet soldier in the battle at Berlin, ending with you watching another soldier wave the Soviet flag over the Reichstag. The final level of ''World at War'' has the same setting, except now ''you'' plant the flag over the Reichstag.
* ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'' has one in a rather ironic parallel of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Nazis won the war on the Eastern Front when the Russian people revolted against the Soviet government following large numbers of casualties and military defeats.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' is set in [[TheNineties 1992]]. The primary antagonists of the game are police officers, Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski. Late in the game, their many, many crimes catch up with them and Tenpenny[[note]]Pulaski dies in an earlier mission[[/note]] is arrested, put to trial... and acquitted. The city of Los Santos riots in response. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots Sound familiar?]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Yakuza 0}}'' takes place during Japan's "Bubble Economy", a period of economic prosperity. One of Goro Majima's sidequests involves rescuing a politician being attacked by store owners for wanting to implement a sales tax. Afterwards, Majima talks with the politician and makes some suggestions which, in retrospect, would be implemented only a few years later and result in the "Lost Decade", a severe economic recession that Japan is still recovering from to this day.
* In ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'', it's heavily implied that [[OneManArmy Jimmy Patterson]] and [[MissionControl Manon]] settled down together after the war, by ''Heroes''' post-credits narration and the fact that the main character of the 2010 reboot is Jimmy's grandson. The in-joke is that Manon's character is based on a real life woman named Helene Deschamps Adams, a French OSS operator who worked closely with an American Army Lieutenant during the war and ended up marrying him. [[EarnYourHappyEnding Aww.]]
* The Bakumatsu chapter of ''VideoGame/LiveALive'' sees the ninja Oboro-maru set out to stop a man named Ode Iou from throwing Japan into war by infiltrating his castle, rescuing a man he has prisoner, and killing him. The man turns out to be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakamoto_Ry%C5%8Dma Ryoma Sakamoto]], and you have the option of joining him at the end of the chapter. If you choose to, Oboro-maru becomes Sakamoto's bodyguard, and is seen stopping an assassination attempt. In real life, Ryoma Sakamoto was assassinated.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* This is more or less the raison d'être of ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant''.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDreamer'', Bea has dreams that she is in the American Revolution, and meets some very important people along the way.
* ''Webcomic/TimesLikeThis'' has generous amounts of this trope.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': The universe of Earth was created by the trolls, and so they had some influence on some things that eventually happened, like the Zodiac signs and possibly the existence of the Music/InsaneClownPosse. A particularly amusing example comes from a trans-timeline bulletin board conversation involving a future instance of [[{{Jerkass}} Vriska]], aka [=arachnidsGrip=] (AG)...
-->[[color:gray: [[TheHero CCG]]: LATER, FAG.]]
** Earlier on in the strip, it was also hinted that certain words like "bathtub" are derived from troll highblood vocabulary for the troll equivalents of those items.
* ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' provides a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2368.html different explanation]] for the start of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' suggests that UsefulNotes/WorldWarI was started due to a badly worded sexual innuendo about someone wanting to "invade her Alsace", and things spiraling out of control from there. Whether they were joking or not seems to be unknown.
* ''Webcomic/{{Consolers}}'' is this with video game history and recent events.
* ''Webcomic/DeadDuck'' has a bit since D.D's job involves going into the past to make sure historical figures died. Let's just say there are some things history overlooked.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://crossover.bureau42.com/timeshredder1.html The Unified Field Crossover History of the Universe]] is a website pratically dedicated to this trope.
* The Wiki/SCPFoundation documents will often list dates when artifacts first came to their attention or notable containment breaches occurred. With some investigation, it's possible to link these dates and associated locations to major catastrophes. These include everything from TheTunguskaEvent to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1857_Basilicata_earthquake Great Neapolitan Earthquake]]. Also, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloop the Bloop]] was a sound caused by [[KrakenAndLeviathan a continent sized underwater creature]].
* Jeffy from ''WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan'' apparently and indirectly caused the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Harambe killing of Harambe the gorilla]] while visiting a zoo.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Pretty much the entire premise of "Peabody's Improbable History" segment on ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle''. The legend of the Kerwood Derby, which reportedly made its wearer the smartest person in the world. Newton wore it when he discovered his theory of Gravity, Archimedes wore it in the bath when he discovered his theory of water displacement (or at least remembered where he left the soap) and Einstein wore it when he discovered his Theory of Relativity. Reportedly the Kerwood Derby was worn by UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat when he conquered the world, by Ghengis Khan when he conquered the world, by Philip of Macedonia when he conquered the world, and by Music/ElvisPresley [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking when he...]] well, you get the idea.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is fond of this, in [[CutawayGag flashbacks which sometimes don't even relate to the show in any way]]. For example, when Peter was arguing that Stewie might be too young for potty-training, a flashback suggested that the Lindbergh baby was accidentally flushed down a toilet. And that Amelia Earhart was done away with for witnessing it.
** John Wilkes Booth killed UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln for talking on his cellphone.
** Peter killed Nicole and Ronald. OJ was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Another incident showed a drunken Stewie telling OJ to kill his wife.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' had the main character shooting UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, because, well: [[spoiler:He originally wanted to kill Jane Fonda because he blamed her for the war on Christmas, then he found out that she was really influenced by Donald Sutherland. Stan is prevented from killing Sutherland, but by chance runs into Martin Scorsese. He convinces Scorsese to give up drugs, which in turn causes him to lose his edge. As a result, ''Film/TaxiDriver'' is never made, so there's no star vehicle for Creator/JodieFoster, and no one for John Hinckley to become obsessed with. As a result of ''that'', UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan is never shot, which means there was no incident to bolster public support; so [[ForWantOfANail Mondale won, and practically "handed over the country to the Commies".]] Thus, Stan Smith shoots Reagan. Also, in the same episode, Roger "invents" the genre of disco. Whew]].
** In "The Phantom of the Telethon", Roger is enraged that Stan stole his idea for a telethon, as he had similarly been robbed of a telethon idea by Creator/JerryLewis.
* ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh'' being what it is, it's rife with these. In it, Marie Curie is a giant, misshapen mutant of a girl because of her irradiated DNA. People such as the clones of Ritchie Valens, Music/BuddyHolly, and half of Music/LynyrdSkynyrd go up in a plane made of junk.
* ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' did this almost every episode, as the entire premise of the show was that they went back in time to make sure that history happens correctly. The main characters are singlehandedly responsible for such things as The Boston Tea Party, the Battle at the Alamo, and the invention of peanut butter.
** Another episode had Betsy Ross and the rest of Washington's army become hippies only to regain their fighting spirit by coffee. One of the hippies likes the coffee so much that he vows to "spread it throughout this great land". His name as a hippie? Starbuck.
** After a whole episode dealing with putting UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln's presidency back on track, the time travelers return to the future just as Abraham suggests to his wife that he feels like visiting Ford's Theater...
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}: Bender's Big Score'', the titular robot travels back to the year 2000, where his virus-induced homicidal rampage accidentally destroys a large number of ballots in Florida. This virus was used by a group of greedy, nudist, and narcissistic alien scammers to make Bender to go back in time and steal treasures, and as a result, he is seen with several artifacts that have gone missing, like the Sphinx's nose and the Holy Grail.
** His time-traveling also causes several in-show historical in-jokes as well. For example, one episode revolved around Fry finding his pet dog Seymour as a fossil in a museum and his attempts to resurrect it. In the movie, while the scammers are forcing Bender to assassinate Fry in 2012, the year Seymour died at a "healthy old age", one of Bender's futuristic weapons misses him and encases the poor dog in stone. [[spoiler:This quickly goes from a joke to a happy when one recalls that Fry decided not to bring Seymour back because he thought he died of old age, but now we find out he died of old age after spending an entire life with Fry's time-clone.]]
** Time-travel is also how Zoidberg became the [[RoswellThatEndsWell Roswell alien]].
** One of the Brainspawn also killed the dinosaurs.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''
** A blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to an alternate past comes near the end of the special "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker". Right after '70s-Jorgen shows up to erase everyone's memories of the fairies being revealed, present-Jorgen shows up to take Timmy back to his own era and says that Timmy is forbidden from returning to March of 1972, but can still travel to any of the other months "so long as you don't interfere with the election of President [=McGovern=]". This implies that either ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' takes place in an alternate continuity where [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]] was never re-elected, Timmy didn't listen and is somehow responsible for Nixon's re-election, or Timmy's interference already made [=McGovern=] the president without Jorgen realizing it.
** There was the one where Timmy released three godkids from Cosmo and Wanda's "Hall of Infamy". One of them "took out" Archduke Franz Ferdinand, triggering UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, and most conflicts that followed, including UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. [[EpilepticTrees Maybe that's why the rule that you can't wish for someone to be killed exists.]]
** In "Father Time!", present Cosmo and Wanda inspire a young boy to "connect every computer in the world together". 70's Wanda's response? "That Billy Gates and his CRAZY ideas," Of course, thanks to Cosmo, he gets the name wrong...
--->'''Billy Gates:''' I'll call it the Internet.
--->'''Cosmo:''' That's silly, you should call it "The Timmy"!
*** And at the end of the episode we find out that "The Timmy" apparently stuck, and his mother calls out "Oh Internet, breakfast is ready!" Although, thanks to NegativeContinuity, that doesn't catch on.
** It's also been mentioned several times that Cosmo is responsible for having destroyed the city of Pompeii, and even sunk Atlantis nine times.
* In the Disney film ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', it's indicated that the reason the ''Venus de Milo'' has no arms is because Hercules accidentally broke them off. This is similar to a joke from ''WesternAnimation/TheTwelveTasksOfAsterix'' where Obelix also accidentally does this.
* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', the crack in the Sphinx's nose happens during the flyby in [[FallingInLoveMontage "A Whole New World"]].
* Whereas ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'' posits that it's Moses' fault, when he crashes his chariot, setting in motion DisasterDominoes.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** A Halloween episode suggests that Wiggum's ancestor's insult to Creator/OrsonWelles inspired ''Film/CitizenKane''.
** At the end of the Myth/PaulBunyan tall tale segment, Paul saves the town from a meteor. He throws the meteor towards Chicago, starting the Great Chicago Fire. This is, of course, standard for Paul Bunyan stories.
** Krusty the Clown was the reason why the attempted assassination of UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein failed, as Saddam provided most of his joke material, and he had stopped the woman who was going to hit him with a bazooka.
* ''WesternAnimation/AaahhRealMonsters''
** Ickis' father was the one responsible for causing the crack on the Liberty Bell when the humans he scared dropped it.
** When the Beatles performed on ''The Ed Sullivan Show,'' the reason why everyone in the audience was screaming was because of a monster scaring them, not because of hysteria over The Beatles' music.
** A monster inspired UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt to include "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" in his inaugural address. A monster was also the reason UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus discovered America.
** An old monster the trio had to escort home told stories of himself of scaring UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington (which motivates him in crossing the Delaware River) and UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein (which is why his hair is what he's known for).
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' revealed that ancient hawkmen were responsible for the rise of Egypt as a civilization.
* ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' showed that Heffer's past lives were responsible for why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans and the Hindenburg disaster.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. Chef gave Music/MeatLoaf his nickname and he introduced Music/EltonJohn to the songwriter which gave him his first hit. He also told Music/OzzyOsbourne to [[CompletelyMissingThePoint buy a pompadour hat...]]
* In ''Disney/RobinHood'', one scene had [[UsefulNotes/{{John}} Prince John]] crying and sucking his thumb, lamenting how his mother always liked his brother over him. In real life, Prince John's mother was UsefulNotes/EleanorOfAquitaine, who really did favour her oldest son King UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionheart over John.
* In ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'', the characters pass by Old Faithful and Stonehenge. As they pass Stonehenge, Manny comments, [[ItWillNeverCatchOn "Modern architecture... it'll never last."]]
** In ''[[WesternAnimation/IceAge4ContinentalDrift Continental Drift]]'', Scrat falls into the earth's core and causes Pangea to break into separate continents, as well as the creation of the Sphinx, Easter Island statues, and Mount Rushmore. Breaking of the continents caused certain mammals to evolve into giraffes as they stretched their necks out to reach the other side of the chasm, and the Western Interior Seaway was drained to make a desert when Scrat pulled the acorn plug in the civilization of Scratlantis.
** In a previously released short, Sid causes a chain reaction upon picking a flower and creates the Grand Canyon.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'': Arthur tries to justify his breaking of a window to his sister DW that kids have done important things in history. He tells of how [[UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamun}} King Tut]] broke his dad's new sphinx with a baseball, the roman 'Arthurius' playing with his discus and cutting off the arms of the Venus de Milo, and an American kid hitting the Liberty bell and cracking it, with braying horses in the background.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'' many events in history happened because of ghosts, a gremlin was responsible for sinking the Titanic, and the disappearances of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle were the cause of a giant fog EldritchAbomination.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'': Mallory Archer has been involved in Operations [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio Gladio]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_ajax Ajax]] and ''Woodhouse'' of all people is revealed to have been the one who performed the botched William Tell routine that led to the death of Creator/WilliamSBurroughs' wife as part of a bet for drugs.
* An in-universe example in the ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}'' episode "SB-129", where Squidward goes back to the age of the trilobites and teaches primitive sponges and starfish how to catch jellyfish.