->''"What? You want to know'' my ''secret origins? Well... maybe another time..."''
-->-- '''[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]]'''

When you are writing a work of fiction you often want the audience to know how a particular character came to be. Often this is achieved in the first episodes or issues, but almost as often, for whatever reason, this can't happen. Perhaps the character was originally meant to be mysterious, a figure robed in secrets and mystique, and now their past has emerged. Alternatively the writers might not have had an origin laid out for them, perhaps due to the fact that they were [[EnsembleDarkHorse meant as a minor character and gained a fanbase]] or were simply a MonsterOfTheWeek that happened to come back once or twice. Or it could be that the thing without the background is more than just a character; perhaps the entire universe has a history that the author wants to get across, and there is no way of doing that at the same time that a first episode finds its audience.

An origins episode is an episode, issue, chapter, or a multi-part story arc that exists primarily to examine the origin of a character or setting after the work has been going for a while. Many prequels qualify, but not all. Likewise whilst many things have had extended flashbacks it does not necessarily count. However the episode or issue need not be all set in the universe's past to qualify, so long as exploring that past is the point. Done well, these works help build the universe's mythos and continuity; done badly, they just feel like the author trying to show how clever they are. Worse still are the origins episodes where the writer does not bother to check their own continuity and creates a mess of plot holes and poor characterization.

Compare with a PilotEpisode, which usually sets up the origins of the main characters and setting in the first episode. Television characters can have an Origin Episode of sorts if they receive ADayInTheLimelight or a LowerDeckEpisode. See also StartOfDarkness, for when the Origin Story shows the rise of a villain.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* It's not until near the end of ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'' that Urhi's TearJerker of a backstory is revealed, along with why he's so loyal to Nakia.
* ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'' has ''The Second Renaissance'', a two-part short that details the events leading up to the war between man and machine, and machine's subjugation of man which led to the creation of the Matrix.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' anime:
** Episode 32 "Stars and the Stray" told the story of Rukia Kuchiki's origin, as remembered by Renji Abarai.
** Episode 97 explains how the Bount were created. Soul Reapers were carrying out a project to create immortal souls and an experiment got away from them, causing a number of human beings to become the Bount.
** During the ''Zanpakutō: The Alternate Tale'' arc, Koga's origin story was told in episodes 250 and 251.
* During ''Anime/BurstAngel'', after many episodes of fighting the [[MonsterOfTheWeek villain of the week]], the final four episodes are dedicated to Jo's origins, mainly episode 23.
* The animated film ''Arcadia of My Youth'' provided a canon origin story for Anime/CaptainHarlock, albeit with a liberal dose of RetCon. ''Maetel Legend'' OVA, meanwhile, was an origin story for both Maetel from ''Manga/GalaxyExpress999'' and Emeraldas from ''Anime/QueenEmeraldas'' (and other assorted Anime/{{Leijiverse}} media), as well as a FullyAbsorbedFinale for Yayoi Yukino from ''Anime/QueenMillennia'': Yayoi becomes La Andromeda Promethium, the evil mechanoid queen, and sends her non-identical twin daughters Maetel and Emeraldas into exile on a secret quest to find a way to defeat her.
* The "Teresa of the Faint Smile" arc of ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' tells Clare's origin.
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'': Episode 5 and 6 of Season 2, are an origin story for how Kiritsugu became the way he is.
* Pretty much every character in ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' has at least one flashback showing a significant moment that lead to them being the way they are. Most notable are the flashbacks of how Kyoko ended up meeting and marrying Katsyua and how [[spoiler:Akito's mother got married to her father and manipulated him into raising Akito as a boy.]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** There was quite a big arc in the manga that explained Hohenheim's and the Homunculus' origins.
** Not long after the starting chapters, the story also flashes back to how Ed and Al ended up in their situation.
* The last chapter in the fourth volume of ''Manga/HidamariSketch''--one of the few not in {{yonkoma}} format--was spent on explaining the origins of Natsume's {{tsundere}} attitude towards Sae.
* ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' is a weird case. It starts InMediasRes and then jumps back in time twice: part 2 is chronologically the earliest chapter and is an origins episode for Mikiya and Shiki's ''relationship'', of all things; while part 4 is the origins episode for the Shiki we see throughout most of the series--the composite personality built from the remains of her original split personalities that were shattered at the end of part 2.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'', in possession of NegativeContinuity, has a weird relationship with introduction episodes, prequels, and CharacterDevelopment.
** Anime/LupinIIIGreenJacket was the first series adapted from the manga. It explains where the ''Zantetsuken'' comes from, as well as why Goemon joins the gang.
** ''Anime/LupinIIITheWomanCalledFujikoMine'' is the origin story for Fujiko Mine specifically, but also tells the story of how Lupin and Jigen meet. Inside the series is also an Origins Episode for Oscar, telling how Zenigata found him, and took care of him.
** ''Anime/LupinIIIEpisode0FirstContact'' is yet ''another'' Origins episode, telling the story of how EveryoneMeetsEveryone, and how Goemon finds the ''Zantetsuken''.
* The second [[AudioAdaptation Sound Stage]] for the original ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' series is set two years before the series and delves into the origins of its antagonists, the DarkMagicalGirl Fate, her familiar Arf, and their late mentor Rynith. It is also the chronologically earliest canon installment of the series, being set in the year 0063 by Midchildan reckoning, whereas the main time frame of the franchise starts in 0065.
* In ''Manga/MagicOfStella'', the second half of Episode 7 is about how Tamaki and Yumine became ChildhoodFriends, and how Tamaki got an interest in games (in the general sense) in the first place.
* ''Anime/MekakucityActors'': Episodes 6 and 7 serve as joint-origin episodes for Ene and Konoha (episode 6 focusing more on the former, episode 7 on the latter), who used to be [[spoiler:Takane Enomoto]] and [[spoiler:Haruka Kokonose]], respectively, how they ended up in their current bodes and their ties to Shintaro and Ayano.
* In ''{{Manga/Mushishi}}'', the story "One-Eyed Fish" explains how Ginko got his unusual appearance of silvery-white hair and green eyes. Oh, and also his name.
* ''[[{{Anime/Pokemon}} Pokémon]]'':
** The episode "Go West, Young Meowth" explores Meowth's origins, in particular the fact that he taught himself to speak human language in an attempt to impress a female Meowth named Meowzy. However, this backfired when Meowzy told him he was a "freak".
** The ''XY'' Episode "A Trip Down Memory Train" explains how Clemont first met and caught Bunnelby.
* The tenth episode of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' is dedicated to [[DarkMagicalGirl Homura]]'s backstory, finally explicitly explaining her mysterious powers, behavior, and motivations.
** The first volume of the spin-off manga ''The Different Story'' functions as one for both Mami and Kyoko - specifically focusing on how they drifted apart after [[spoiler: Mr. Sakura's PaterFamilicide]].
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has a rather odd one starting how Luffy got his powers and his inspiration to be a pirate in the first chapter. A couple of story arcs down the line and a flashback arc fleshes it out a bit more showcasing further motivation to why he does what he does. The rest of the crew stories are told individually as we either first meet then or they're on the verge of joining soon.
* The final two episodes of ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'' are {{whole episode flashback}}s that detail the lead-up to the events of the preceding episodes.
* The entirety of ''Anime/SpacePatrolLuluco'' is revealed to be one for [[spoiler: The Creator/StudioTrigger mascot "Trigger-chan".]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* [[ComicBook/WonderGirl Donna Troy]] sets the record for the sheer number of these. A character created by author miscommunication (someone put Wonder Girl in ComicBook/TeenTitans not realizing her earlier appearances were ''teenage Franchise/WonderWoman in the past''), she had to have her origin told after the fact. But no two writers seem to agree on what it should be, and by now she is nigh unusable; [[ContinuitySnarl the question "who the hell is she?" is now]] [[ContinuitySnarl/DonnaTroy unanswerable]]. Every attempt to fix it just tosses another {{Retcon}} on the already-enormous pile. However, the last CosmicRetcon has left the slate blank for a single origin to be established, and stick. We haven't re-met her to know which one it'll be.
* ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' T.O.S. #13: [[http://www.elfquest.com/gallery/OnlineComics/OQ/OQ13/DisplayOQ13.html "The Secret of the Wolfriders."]]
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' has had two very well-received ones:
** First was ''Judge Death: Boyhood of a Superfiend'', commissioned for the launch of the ''Judge Dredd Megazine''. In it Judge Death employs a journalist to interview him and spread his message, to explain to the people of the world why they are better off dead. Death was a creepy little boy.
** Later there was ''Origins'' to mark the 30th anniversary of Judge Dredd where Dredd explains the secrets and history of the Dredd universe (straightening up the continuity along the way) whilst on a mission to recover something that might unravel those secrets.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'': The ''Wolverine Origin'' comic. And TheMovie, for that matter.
* Creator/DCComics had an entire series, ''Secret Origins'', in which each issue was an OriginsIssue for a different character (either one who had never been given a proper origin in their own series, or an established character for whom DC wanted to establish a new baseline origin following a ContinuitySnarl or similar problem).
** Likewise, Marvel's ''Uncanny Origins''.
* ComicBook/ThePhantomStranger had four of these in the same issue, [[MultipleChoicePast all contradicting each other]].
* ''ComicBook/StrontiumDog'' had two long-running stories in this vein: "Portrait of a Mutant" examined Johnny's early life, his time in the mutant resistance, and how he eventually took up bounty hunting; it was framed as Johnny telling Wulf and the Gronk why he's so eager to claim the small bounty on Nelson Bunker Kreelman. "Max Bubba", framed as Wulf's reminiscenses, told the story of how Johnny and Wulf first met and teamed up.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' book ''How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion''.
* The focus of "Zero Month" in [[ComicBook/{{New52}} The New 52]].
* Issue 7 of ''Comicbook/TheSuperiorFoesOfSpiderMan'' deals with Beetle's origins as [[spoiler:Tombstone]]'s daughter and how she went from a highly-educated woman with steep criminal ambitions to an up-and-coming supervillain. Issue 14 dealt with Overdrive's origins as a racecar driver who dreamed of becoming a superhero.
* ''[[Comicbook/{{Serenity}} Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale]]'' tells Book's origin story.
* ComicBook/TheYesterdayQuest was the origin story of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
* ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' has a few such episodes, most of them published in the "Il Grande Diabolik" series:
** "Diabolik, Who Are You?" is Diabolik's ''first''. Yes, first, because in here Diabolik only explained where he came from, glossing on the period between him leaving King's Island and arriving to Clerville and refusing to tell some parts. It's also the only one in general published in the regular series;
** "Diabolik and Ginko: Storm of Memories" is the story of the first encounter between the titular VillainProtagonist and [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist his greatest opponent]];
** "Eva Kant: When Diabolik Wasn't There" is Eva's;
** "Ginko: Before Diabolik" is Ginko's;
** "The Years Lost in Blood" is Diabolik's second, showing how he aquired some of his skills, his trademark suit and Walter Dorian's identity;
** "The Mysteries of Vallenberg" includes a sequence that provides Altea's;
** "I Am Diabolik" is Diabolik's third, about his arrival in Clerville;
** "The Shadow of the Moon" includes sequences that complete Diabolik's (about his time at King's Island), Ginko's and Eva's;
** "The True Story of King's Island" provides one for King, Diabolik's father figure. [[spoiler: It also shows that it wasn't by chance that King's men saved the infant Diabolik from a shipwreck... And that was before he found out Diabolik's real identity, unknown even to the King of Terror himself.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has several of these in it's [[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW comic series]]
** A lot of them were specifically toward the villains. Sunset Shimmer's (the antagonist of the first ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls Equestria Girls]]'' movie) origins are told in the first annual and a five issue mini-series called ''[[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFiendshipIsMagic Fiendship is Magic]]'' went into the backstory of Tirek, King Sombra, The Dazzlings (the antagonists of the second ''Equestria Girls'' movie, ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks Rainbow Rocks]]''), Nightmare Moon (after she was banished), and Queen Chrysalis.
** A two part arc showing how Shining Armor and Princess Cadence first met.
** A comic showing how Twilight first came to take care of Spike after he was born.
* There was an issue of the UK G1 ''ComicBook/MyLittlePony'' comics that showcased the origins of the Twinkle-eyed ponies. They were kept by a wizard as slaves and forced to live underground mining gems. They end up becoming blind due to the lack of light. Applejack saves them and they begin to use gems as replacements for their eyes.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': Several characters from the main series have been given their origin story albums, namely [[LoveableRogue Pilou]], [[BoisterousBruiser Ghorghor Bey]], and [[ThePaladin Lord Parsifal]].
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' has the "Genesis of a Hero" storyline (Issues 288-291), which shows how Sonic and the other Freedom Fighters came together as a team in the new backstory of the [[CosmicRetcon post-Super Genesis Wave]] continuity.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Futurama}}'' comics give Zapp Brannigan a backstory in "Captain Brannigan: The Windbag Soldier". [[spoiler:Fry, Leela, Bender, and Amy learn from Kif that Zapp actually used to be an outstanding soldier (both as [[FatherToHisMen a person]] and as a fighter), so the government decided to replace their army with Zapp clones, turning to a younger Dr. Wernstrom to clone Zapp. However, a jealous Professor Farnsworth interfered with the process, turning the clones into deformed freaks, and the backlash damaged Zapp's DNA, turning him into the egotistical, incompetent, perverted, gluttonous idiot he is today. The government tried to cover up the disaster by sending Zapp and the clones on suicide missions, but Zapp survived with his dumb luck. Zapp then blackmailed them into making him supreme commander of the Earthican army and "Captain for Life", threatening to let the failures known if he didn't. Kif also explains that Zapp designed his uniform and befriended Kif when he offered to train him, hence why Kif doesn't leave Zapp's side.]]
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo'':
** Issue #45 features Beast Boy's and Cyborg's origins.
** Issue #47 features Robin's origin.
* ''ComicBook/DoomsdayClock''[='=]s fourth chapter, "Walk on Water" is about the second Rorschach, A.K.A. [[spoiler:Reggie Long, the son of the psychologist who attempted to rehabilitate the original Rorschach during the latter's ''own'' origin chapter in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'']].

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* In the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' fic ''FanFic/AHistoryOfMagic'', Chapter 12 gives one for [[spoiler: Walpurgisnacht.]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'': Chapter 20 of the sequel, ''Ghosts of the Past'', serves as one for Doctor Strange, with him finally explaining just who he really is, and why he is the way he is, doing what he does.
* ''FanFic/FutariWaPrettyCureBlueMoon'': Though the plot moves on as the episodes go, there are episodes centered around the backstory of various characters and how they affect the present.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho''/''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesInAnAdventureWithScientists'' fanfic ''[[FanFic/ThePiratesverse An Adventure With Aliens]]'' also functions as the story of how [[spoiler:Strax and the Doctor first met.]]
* The ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' has the fittingly-titled Origins Arc, which goes into detail the previously hinted at backstory of Discord and the Princesses, where they came from, and how they came to be in Equestria.
** And this was immediately preceded by the Generational Transitions Arc, which explained why Pinkie Pie is so different by revealing that she's [[spoiler: the SoleSurvivor of the G3 universe, which the Alicorns and Draconnequi [[CosmicRetcon erased]].]]
** "[[AscendedFanon A Fading Future]]" serves retroactively as one for [[spoiler: [[FutureMeScaresMe Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox]]]].
** Shining Armor 16.5 explains the backstory of [[BigBad General-Admiral Makarov]] [[spoiler: or rather, the one the [[EldritchAbomination Shadow of Chernobull]] created for him]].
** "Origins: Queen Chrysalis" naturally serves as one for Chrysalis.
** After finally watching Season 3, Alex Warlorn wrote one for [[EvilOverlord King Sombra]], depicting him as the [[AnthropomorphicPersonification living embodiment]] of the crystal ponies' collective fears, brought into existence by one of [[EldritchAbomination Discord's cousins]].
** "The Rise of Tirek" covers Lord Tirek's origins and how he became the monster he's known as.
** Queen Majesty's origins story details her first fight with evil forces and how she got her golden horseshoes.
* ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'': Chapter 11 is primarily [[BiggerBad The Phantom]]'s StartOfDarkness -- showing how he [[FromNobodyToNightmare went from an ordinary warrior to leader of the Shadowkhan to the vengeance filled shade he is now]] -- shows how Tarakudo took over the Shadowkhan from him, and even reveals how Shendu got his claws on the Ninja Khan mask.
* Chapter 22 of ''[[Fanfic/PokemonMysteryDungeonReflectingBalance Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance]]'' revealed the backstory of one of the three main characters, namely Blitz the Shinx, and why he left his old home.
** Chapters 34-40 reveal some backstory about the town and the main villain.
* There's one for Count Logan in Chapter 11 of ''FanFic/TheEndOfEnds''.
* The ''FanFic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' 'episode' "Confessions of a Prank-Loving Tiger" shows how Socrates came to meet Calvin and Hobbes.
* The ''Toys/RockRaiders'' fanfic ''[[FanFic/{{LMS}} The Engineer]]'' is an origins story for Sparks.
* The ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' TrollFic ''[[FanFic/MarrissaTheWriterCompleteAnthology Post-SCrash Session 2: The Belorussian Aliens]]'' acts as one to ''Post-[=SCrash=] Session 1''.
* ''[[FanFic/MegaManRecut MegaMan Recut: Origins]]'' is one for Duo, Ra Thor, and Dr. Cossack.
* The ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Midnight}}'' serves as one, focusing on Midnight, the author's OriginalCharacter.
* The Interludes in the ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer''[=/=]''{{Manga/Saki}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/NecessaryToWin'' function as this, with the characters in question telling their stories to others in the present, as well as flashbacks. Paths Toward Victory is this for several characters.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' fanfic ''[[FanFic/NegaverseChronicles Negaverse Chronicles: Nightfall in the Negaverse]]'' serves as one for Negaduck and the Friendly Four, including Quackerjack whose counterpart in the "other" universe lacked one.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fanfic ''FanFic/OsanaReimu'' is one for Reimu, her mother and Rumia.
* In the ''FanFic/PowerRangersGPX'' series, ''Power Rangers [=GPX=] [=SIU=]: Start Your Engines'' is one for ''Power Ranges [=GPX=] [=SIU=]''.
* Chapter 4 of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' fanfic ''Fanfic/{{PSHAW}}'' explains how the PPG changed from their original look (as they hadn't aged a day until what happened in that chapter.
* Chapter 14 of the ''Anime/GuiltyCrown'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ShacklesOfGuilt'' gives us Funeral Parlor's history.
* ''Secret Files of OWCA'' describes the formation of FanFic/TheMUSHUVerse's equivalent of the [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Organisation Without a Cool Acronym]].
* In ''Fanfic/TimeFixersNicktoonsOfTheFuture'', "Nicktoon Genesis" is one for the Nicktoons, and "Nicktoon Genesis 2" is one for the Nicktoon Cadets.
* In the ''Franchise/LiloAndStitch'' fanfic ''[[FanFic/StarlightSeries Alpha and Omega]]'', the origins of {{Original Character}} 419 is explored, as well as some of the other experiments.
* ''Snowflake Shoe-Hare'' provides one for a recurring character of the ''FanFic/TriptychContinuum'' series, making his wings into the results of a birth defect injury. (In this continuity, nearly all pegasi foals have hard shells of translucent tissue called ''caps'' covering the wings at birth, protecting fragile bones from damage caused by the pressure of contractions. Snowflake was a capless birth who survived.) His unusual build is explained as a [[{{Determinator}} deliberate effort]] to substitute for missing wing surface area with [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower raw power]].
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Chapter 89 deals with the origins of Bass and Quadirium, while Chapter 153 deals with Duo and the Stardroids' backstory.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Blog/AskKingSombra''. After several characters told their backstories, Coffee Talk attempts to tell hers, but Sombra demands he be inserted into the story so as to not blow his cover (the others think the two are dating, after all), resulting in him flat out changing the story. Coffee Talk gets so sick of it that she kicks him out of the story [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome by chopping his representation in the story]] [[http://40.media.tumblr.com/abae5d789473ab4378a3db13640ea1ee/tumblr_n0apsorVIq1rj4ht7o9_1280.jpg out of it]].
* Two of the ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' forum's literary challenges have had origin story prompts. Prompt #2 of [[http://perfectworld.vanillaforums.com/discussion/1160746/literary-challenge-66-the-xindi-paradox Literary Challenge #66: "The Xindi Paradox"]] asked you to write your captain's origin story (one entry with its own page is ''Fanfic/FromBajorToTheBlack'', for Captain Kanril Eleya), while prompt #3 of [[http://www.arcgames.com/en/forums#/discussion/1192827/unofficial-literary-challenge-13-in-a-d-2410-war-was-beginning Unofficial Literary Challenge #13: "In A.D. 2410, War Was Beginning"]] asked for the origin story of a bridge officer (entries included ''Fanfic/EmaelMosekhesailho'', for Sahuel t'Khnialmnae).
* ''FanFic/QueenOfShadows'': Chapter 8 is a partial example, as one long scene features [[ActionGirl Yasashi]], [[BadassPacifist Nonki]], and [[ImmortalitySeeker Himitsu]] sharing backstories and reasons for joining [[HeroAntagonist Rokutaro's]] cause.
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' has many "Gaiden" tie-in oneshots that focus on the past of many characters. These include [[VillainEpisode even villains]], with some of them featuring their StartOfDarkness.
* ''Blog/TheRoyalSketchbook'''s side-comic ''Ascension'' is an origin story for Celestia and Luna from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. They were born 2000 years ago as Earth Ponies.

[[folder: Film -- Animated ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'' shows how [[WesternAnimation/MonstersInc Mike and Sully]] became a scaring duo.

[[folder: Film -- Live-Action ]]
* An unusual case: The first ten minutes of ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' depict a young Boy Scout Indy trying to save a relic from a gang of bandits, which ends up demonstrating the source of his [[WeaponOfChoice interest in the bullwhip,]] [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes his fear of snakes,]] [[IndyPloy his gift for improvising action,]] [[ContrivedCoincidence and finally]] where he got his [[NiceHat famous hat.]] Then George Lucas realized how much fun he had making the sequence, and managed to turn it into a full-on television series: ''Series/TheYoungIndianaJonesChronicles''.
* The Daniel Craig ''Film/JamesBond'' films explain both the origins of Bond, as well as a {{reboot}} of the film franchise.
* ''Film/KongSkullIsland'' will serve as this to ''Film/KingKong'', though it hasn't been specified which version (the original [[Film/KingKong1933 1933 film]], or Creator/PeterJackson's [[Film/KingKong2005 2005 remake]]).
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'', in possession of NegativeContinuity, has a weird relationship with introduction episodes, prequels, and CharacterDevelopment.
** ''Film/Lupin2014'' features the reason why the Lupin gang (including Zenigata!) gets together in the first place, with Lupin dragging them all into one big heist against an AssholeVictim.
** ''Film/StrangePsychokineticStrategy'' is the tale of Jigen finding Lupin III after Lupin II died, and Lupin discovering the beautiful Fujiko.
* ''Film/TheMuppetMovie'' was written as the explanation for ''Series/TheMuppetShow.'' During a FramingDevice (the muppets in a theater), Kermit makes clear that [[HandWave some artistic liberties have been taken,]] [[ContinuitySnarl especially since early episodes of the show contradict what's shown in the film.]]
-->'''Robin:''' Uncle Kermit, is this how the Muppets really got started?\\
'''Kermit:''' Well, it's sort of approximately how it happened.
* The first ten minutes of ''Film/OurMissBrooks'', the [[TheMovie cinematic]] [[GrandFinale series finale]] of the series of the same name, begins by retelling Miss Brooks's initial arrival in Madison.
* ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' was originally going to be this for ''Film/{{Alien}}'' but has since evolved into something else, although there are still connections with the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' franchise (such as the presence of the Weyland Corporation and androids).
** [[spoiler:''Prometheus'' directly deals with the history and purpose of the Space Jockeys]].
* Part of the reason for the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy was to give specific accounts for how Anakin Skywalker became a Jedi and how he ended up becoming Darth Vader.
* As evident by the titles, ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' and ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' (although both works had MASSIVE amounts of ContinuitySnarl, especially with each other!)

[[folder: Literature ]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel ''Business Unusual'' by Gary Russell told the story of Mel's first meeting with the Doctor, which her introductory TV season had neglected to depict due to TimeyWimeyBall shenanigans.
* ''Literature/TheQContinuum'' shows where a few of the enemies the crew of the original starship ''Enterprise'' faced came from. They were summoned through the Guardian of Forever by 0.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'': ''[[Literature/StarWarsThrawn Thrawn]]'' gives the new-canon backstory of the titular Grand Admiral, including how he attained the rank. It ends shortly before his formal introduction into new canon in the third season of ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels Rebels]]''.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': ''Literature/OutboundFlight'' deals with the origin of Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn, and ties ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' with the prequel film trilogy and the ''Literature/NewJediOrder''.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** ''Literature/WarriorCatsPrequelSuperEditions'' each star a different important cat from the original series, one from each clan. Bluestar, Tallstar, Crookedstar, and Yellowfang each get their own novel that starts when they are very young kits and typically ends sometime during the events of series one.
** BigBad Scourge gets his own manga: ''Manga/WarriorCatsTheRiseOfScourge''.
** ''Literature/WarriorCatsDawnOfTheClans'' is an origins arc for the clans as a whole.
** ''Manga/WarriorCatsSkyClanSaga'' tells of the origins of [[spoiler:Sol.]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** Angel's origin was first showed in both parts of "Becoming" but ''Series/{{Angel}}'' elaborated on it in "Somnamublist".
*** ''Becoming'' also gave some more of Buffy's origin story (at least, within the TV show, given the movie is largely considered discontinuity by the TV series) showing her first meeting with her Watcher, Merrick, and her first patrol and slaying.
** The episode "Fool For Love" was Spike's official origin episode. 'Lies My Parents Told Me' gave more details about that origin. And the cross-over episode with ''Series/{{Angel}}'' that "Fool For Love" was a part of, called "Darla", was the origin episode for, well, Darla.
*** Related - Drusilla's origin and siring are described on ''Buffy'' in season 2 episode ''Lie To Me'', and shown in flashbacks in the ''Angel'' season 2 episode ''Dear Boy''.
* Notably averted in ''Series/BurnNotice'': the made-for-TV-movie "The Fall of Sam Axe" pointedly showed how Sam managed to get his honorable discharge from the Navy [=SEALs=] despite his womanizing attitude, but in the timeline of the movie, he already knows SuperSpy Michael Westen, seeking advice with his personal problems. Throughout the entire series, it's never been revealed exactly how a CIA spy and a Navy SEAL met and became best friends.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' eventually showed us the backstory as to how Sara became a CIA operative, starting as a young teen when she was a grifter with her father.
** [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming "Chuck Versus the Tic Tac"]] reveals Casey's origins: [[spoiler: A Marine Corps sniper in Honduras named Alexander Coburn who faked his death to join a special forces unit]]. Unfortunately, it's left ''quite'' a ContinuitySnarl that has never really been addressed.
* ''{{Series/Community}}'' had the aptly titled [[Recap/CommunityS4E12HeroicOrigins "Heroic Origins"]], in which Abed charts the group's connection through random interactions before they all started at Greendale, eventually leading to reveal how they all came to choose the school.
* On ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Second Doctor story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E7TheWarGames "The War Games"]] finally revealed Gallifrey and the Time Lords, after six years of the Doctor's species being unknown.
** It only took 11 years and four Doctors battling the Daleks before we finally got to see [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks how they were created by Davros]], after which point he became a recurring villain in Dalek stories.
** Between the Doctor Who TV series and audio adventures, we've had the [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoTLSS4E3LordsOfTheRedPlanet Ice Warriors']] origin story with the Second Doctor, the [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks Daleks']] origin story with the Fourth Doctor, the [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho034SpareParts Cybermen's]] origin story with the Fifth Doctor, the [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoTLSS3E6TheFirstSontarans Sontarans']] origin story with the Sixth Doctor.
** '''Averted''' with the Doctor himself. Even after 50+ years and 36 seasons (as of 2017), there has '''never''' been a formal, canonical revelation of who he was before he ran away from Gallifrey and became the Doctor, not even his real name. His granddaughter Susan remains the only relative of his depicted onscreen or even named, even though he had to have had a wife and children. Occasionally hints are dropped about his past -- recently the Doctor confessed in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "Heaven Sent"]] he fled Gallifrey out of fear of ''something'' rather than the boredom he usually claims -- but nothing more, leaving the title of the show a never-to-be-answered question. The one attempt at this trope for the Doctor, the novel ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoNewAdventuresLungbarrow Lungbarrow]]'', was way back in TheNineties' ExpandedUniverse, provoked very mixed fan reactions at the time, and cannot be reconciled with the depiction of Gallifrey in later televised canon.
* The ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Out of Gas" features flashbacks showing how each of the main characters ended up on Serenity (except for Book, Simon and River, who came aboard in the pilot episode).
* ''Series/ForeverKnight'': Nick's vampire origin was shown in the pilot, "Dark Knight".
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' had this in episode "You Can Go Home Again" which is also the season 3 finale. In this episode, Frasier celebrates his show's three years anniversary and Roz offers him a videotape which contains his first broadcast. As he goes home, Frasier listens the tape and we see what happened when he arrived to Seattle, met Roz for the first time and reconciled with Niles and later Martin.
* The ''Series/{{Greek}}'' episode "Freshman Daze" gave the background stories for Casey, Cappie and Evan (with more information on Ashleigh and Frannie) through flashbacks to their freshman year, including the origins of the love triangle that drove most of their storylines.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' had "Family Tree" for Duncan, and for recurring characters, there was "Legacy" for Amanda, "Comes A Horseman" showed Cassandra's origin and there was one for Fitz ("Star Crossed"?).
* "Three Stories", a Season One episode of ''Series/{{House}}'', reveals how House's leg turned out in such a bad state: he suffered an aneurysm while playing golf. His drug-seeking behavior caused the other doctors to brush off his pain as a withdrawal symptom. Soon, however, the aneurysm caused an infarction and muscle tissue to die. House refused to have the leg amputated, even though the bypass he demands and ultimately undergoes causes such severe pain that it gives him a heart attack. While in a medically-induced coma, his girlfriend and proxy authorized him to undergo a partial amputation that would only remove the necrotic tissue while leaving the rest of his leg intact, but it leaves his leg's mobility compromised on top of leaving him in chronic pain.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has the episode "How I Met Everyone Else", which showcases how the core group (except Robin, who joined the group in the pilot) met and became friends[[note]]Marshall and Ted met as roommates in college, Lily and Marshall met when she was "inexplicably drawn" to his dorm room one morning, Barney and Ted met in the bathroom at a bar, and Barney and Marshall met at the same bar some time later. They all met Robin at the same bar as well.[[/note]].
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has nearly half their riders be given Origins Episodes, mostly as part of a movie (or in the case of [[FallenHero Kamen Rider Eternal]], a whole movie).
* ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' has Snipe Episode Zero. It depicts events leading to the Zero Day and StartOfDarkness of [[DoctorJerk Taiga]] [[HiddenHeartOfGold Hanaya]].
* One of the main gimmicks of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', was that each episode had a flashback plot delivering information about a specific character's past. Many of the major characters ended up having several.
* S1 E4 of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has a bit of this, in that it expands on how some of the characters ended up with community service.
* The Season 8 ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Baltimore" depicts how [=DiNozzo=] and Gibbs met while the former was a detective with the Baltimore police department.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers:''
** ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' even went so far as to have its Origins episodes ''titled'' "Origins". It probably has something to do with the fact that said episodes were delayed until midseason, instead of being shown at the beginning as usual.
** ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' had origin episodes for the Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green Rangers as well as for Dr. K. All ended with them going to or arriving at Corinth (except Green, who had to leave) and don't include how they were selected as Rangers (again, except Green who we already saw acquire his powers.
* ''Series/{{Suits}}'' episode "Rewind" shows Mike starting using his PhotographicMemory to earn money cheating at tests, his friend Trevor start dealing marijuana and Harvey blackmailing Hardman into resignation. Also doubles as a StartOfDarkness episode.
* The ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' episode "Lower Berth'' provides the odd origin of [[spoiler:The Crypt Keeper.]] An unholy product of the love between a (literal) two-face freakshow attraction, and a 4000 year old mummy.
* In ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', "Today Is the Day"[=/=]"The Last Voyage of the ''Jimmy Carter''" is a two-part origin episode for [[spoiler:Jesse Flores, and possibly also Weaver]].
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' has the episode "Fragments", giving the back-story of how the main team members [[note]]other than Gwen, whose origin was revealed in [[Recap/TorchwoodS1E1EverythingChanges "Everything Changes"]][[/note]] were recruited to Torchwood Three.
* ''Series/TheTribe'' had two of these in the second season; one focused on Zoot and Ebony; the other focused on Lex and Ryan (though the latter example was submerged as a very long flashback).
* ''Series/UchuuSentaiKyuranger'' has the origins of Stinger/Sasori Orange and Champ/Oushi Black in ''Episode of Stinger''.
* ''Series/WhiteCollar'' episode "[[DoubleMeaningTitle Forging Bonds]]" dedicated to how Neal started his ConMan career with Mozzie, how he met Kate, how Peter started pursuing Neal and how Peter and Neal first met.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' had several over the course of the show, showing how she developed from a village girl into an evil Warrior Princess. (She had a HeelFaceTurn during her guest appearances on ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' before she got her own show.)
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' had several origin episodes, including one for the BigBad ("Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man") and the Lone Gunmen trio ("Unusual Suspects").

[[folder: Radio ]]
* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'':
** The first episode, appropriately enough titled "First Day", relates Mr. Conklin's arrival as newly appointed principal.
** In "Borrowing Money To Fly", it's Miss Brooks' arrival in Madison that's explained. [[{{Retcon}} In this version]], Mr. Conklin has already long been comfortable ensconced as principal of Madison High School.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' explains the origin of the Master Sword; more specifically, how the Master Sword used to be a sentient being and originated as the Goddess Sword. It also explains where Zelda's magical power comes from ([[spoiler:she's the reincarnation of the goddess Hylia]]), and why Link is always reincarnated ([[spoiler:he's Hylia's chosen hero]])
** Prior to that, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' showed the StartOfDarkness for Ganon, the series BigBad; and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'' had the creation of the Four Sword from the, well, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'' games, and like the Master Sword originally went by a different name (in this case, the Picori Blade), and although it's part of the backstory, ''The Minish Cap'' also explains Vaati's StartOfDarkness (and shows that he wasn't always a floating FacelessEye).
* Pretty much [[StockSubtitle anything with the subtitle "Origins"]].
** Subverted with ''VideoGame/RaymanOrigins''. It was [[WhatCouldHaveBeen originally]] intended to be the origin of Franchise/{{Rayman}}. Its plot changed but its title did not.
** ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'' is this for Alessa/Cheryl/Heather.
** ''[[VideoGame/{{Ys}} Ys: Origin]]'' explores the history of the Ys civilization, its six priests and twin goddesses, the Fact family, and the Black Pearl.
** Oddly enough, excluding ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins.'' The "origins" in question are the first act of the game and cover how the main character became a Grey Warden. They have nothing to do with the origin of the setting, any other characters (except possibly [[TheWoobie Jowan]]), or the Blight.
** ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' doesn't cover the origins of Batman, but it does show [[spoiler:the origins of the Batman-Joker feud and Harley Quinn]] in this canon, as well as the re-opening of Arkham Asylum due to the events of the game. Downloadable content also shows the origin of Mr. Freeze.
* Speaking of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the DLC campaign ''Leliana's Song'' provides an origin story for the eponymous character, which is only alluded to in the game proper.
* Jack's loyalty mission in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' reveals a lot of details on her origin, including ones she wasn't aware of herself.
** The ''Leviathan'' DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' turns out to be an OriginsEpisode for the Reapers.
* Episode 3 of ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth 2'' has this, as the player switches between controlling Miles Edgeworth in the present day situation, and Gregory Edgewroth in his final case, which also happens to be that one where Manfred Von Karma got his first penalty.
* Chapter 4 of ''Cage in Lunatic Runagate'', a side-story VideoGame/{{Touhou}} book, tells the story of how [[WhoWantsToLiveForever Fujiwara no Mokou]] became immortal.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' revealed the tragic backstory of Big Boss, and showed how he went from an idealistic, [[AdorKable somewhat silly]] hero to the [[AntiVillain villain]] of the [[{{Retcon}} first game]]... though the process didn't really finish up until around [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker the fifth game.]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', chronologically the first game in the series, mainly delves into the [[StartOfDarkness origins of Xehanort and other villains such as Maleficent, Pete, and Organization XIII]], but it also briefly shows how Sora, Riku, and Kairi came to be the people they were by the start of the original game.
* The [[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 2013 reboot]] of ''Franchise/TombRaider'' serves as this for Lara Croft.
* Despite the major characters of the ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsGaiden Masou Kishin]]'' series appearing sporadically through the "Classic Timeline" of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', ''The Lord of Elemental'' effectively serves as the {{prequel}} detailing how each character arrived in the subterranean world of "La Gias" and earned the right to become a Herald of the Elemental Lords.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' has ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Lament of Innocence]]'', which explains the origins of Dracula and the Belmont clan's feud with him.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' serves as the Origins Episode for [[spoiler:Erdrick/Loto, the legendary ancestor of the heroes of the prior two games]].
* ''VideoGame/TheNightmareBeforeChristmasThePumpkinKing'' serves as a {{Prequel}} to ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'', explaining Jack Skellington's first encounter with Oogie Boogie as well as the first time he met Sally.

[[folder: Web Animation ]]
* Season 14 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has two examples; the first (Episodes 2-4) shows how the members of the two teams met and ended up in Blood Gulch, while the second (Episodes 9-11) shows what Felix and Locus were up to prior to Chorus [[spoiler: as well as the beginnings of their slide towards full villainy]].
* The ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' short [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/hremail7.html "Hremail 7"]] explains the origin of Strong Bad Email. And, in the process, [[http://hrwiki.org/wiki/Hremail_7#Remarks messes up]] what little continuity the HR-verse has.
** Then again, it was ''[[CloudCuckoolander Homestar]]'' who was [[UnreliableNarrator the one explaining the SBemail origins]].
* The WebAnimation/ShutUpCartoons segment ''Oishi High School Battle'' has ''Oishi Orgins,'' or, as the title says, ''Oishi High School Battle Orgins.'' ''Oishi Orgins'' explains several things, such as [[spoiler: how Oishi's father got fired (like the intro song says) and how Oishi got her dog Noodles. (Which was due to the creature transporter machine going haywire after a demon attack, thus resulting in this event.)]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', MediumAwareness means [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000408c they know that 8-bits means an origin story.]]
* The Cocoon Academy arc of ''Webcomic/BrawlInTheFamily'' is one for Dedede and [[spoiler: Meta Knight]].
* ''Webcomic/EverydayHeroes'': Oddly, Mr. Mighty's wife, Jane, got to tell her [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/comics/1990812/janes-story-begins/ origin story]] before Mr. Mighty did. Then again, maybe the author just enjoyed drawing all those {{Stripperiffic}} outfits.
** We also got to see the origin of Mr. Mighty's daughter, Summer. [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/comics/2133672/ch13-32/ Kinda traumatic for her.]]
* ''On the Origin of PC's'' and ''StartOfDarkness'' for ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''.
* ''Webcomic/TimesLikeThis'' tells the origin of Cassie's time machine [[http://www.timeslikethis.com/index.php?id=505 starting here.]]
* The Shaker Woods story arc in ''Webcomic/YehudaMoonAndTheKickstandCyclery'', which makes everything look HarsherInHindsight.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Linkara has his on his DVD of ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'', [[TheMerch available NOW]].
* WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob has his BigDamnMovie (''Film/TheCinemaSnobMovie'') about his origin, which changes his character from CharacterAsHimself Creator/BradJones into Craig Golightly under the guise of Vincent Dawn. Since then Brad has had a MilestoneCelebration and since then a FlipFlopOfGod whether or not this is the "true" Cinema Snob (Meanwhile Brad Jones doesn't really care, [[RuleOfFunny he's just doing what's funny]].) ... [[TheMerch ALSO available now]]!
* Episode III of ''WebVideo/TheTimeGuys'' reveals that Caveman is the same Caveman from Episode I, who was seen inventing fire, and explains how he came to be Doc's intern.
* Parodied in the live show "Condos" of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' where the [[TheBlank Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home]] begins telling a story that sounds like it might be her origin, only for her to reveal that the person she was talking about was actually just another woman she watched while she secretly lived in her home. [[{{Troll}} She's just telling you because she found the story interesting.]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'':
** The origin novel for Phase didn't come out until about four years after the started.
** [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/original-timeline/823-absinthe Absinthe's]] has a {{One Word|Title}} ProtagonistTitle.
** Ribbon's is called [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/content-menu/stories/274-steel-ribbon Steel Ribbon]]]...
** Almost every POV Character gets one.
* Most of the [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-001 SCP-001]] proposals either explain the origin of the Wiki/SCPFoundation or explain why the world is full of paranormal things [[ArtifactCollectionAgency the Foundation has to contain]], with a few doing both. As for which of the proposals is true: the main SCP-001 page says that maybe none of them are true. [[MultipleChoicePast Or maybe ALL of them are true]]. As with all things in the Foundation universe, [[UnreliableCanon there is no canon]].

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'':
** While the episode "Holly Jolly Secrets" doesn't reveal Ice King's origin until the end, the episode is about Finn and Jake trying to figure out the Ice King's "evil secret" by watching his video diary.
** "Orgalorg" tells the origin of [[spoiler:Gunter the penguin]], of all characters. Specifically, he's actually the [[spoiler:itular EldritchAbomination, and he was trapped on Earth in the form of a penguin for trying to harness the power of a comet]].
* This was the plot point of the ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' episode "Seems Like Old Crimes", which focused on Aladdin telling everyone the story of how he and Abu first met, long before the events of the first movie.
* The first episode of ''WesternAnimation/AllHailKingJulien'' serves as this for the ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'' franchise, as it explains how Julien the lemur became king, and how he made partying the norm in his kingdom.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'':
** The MultiPartEpisode simply titled "The Origins" details how Darwin came to live with the Wattersons.
** "The Choices" shows, along with other parts of Nicole's past (and alternate presents), how she met her future husband Richard.
** "The Rival" is about Anais' birth, and [[EnfantTerrible the trouble she caused]] for her older brothers.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheStorm The Storm]]" gives the backstories of [[TheHero Aang]] and [[AntiVillain Zuko]] via FlashBack.
** Its SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', has one in ''Beginnings'', a two part FlashBack that explains how the Avatar Cycle began, as well as [[UltimateEvil what]] is causing the spirits to go berserk and start attacking humans once again.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanMaskOfThePhantasm'' was the direct-to-movie origin episode of the Bat in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' canon.
* The 1993 ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' series had a three-part episode called "Once Upon a Time on Mars", which explained in full detail how Modo got his robotic arm and lost his eye, why Vinnie wears a metal plate over half of his face, and what the Biker Mice went through during the Plutarkian invasion of Mars before they left their home planet and ended up on Earth. The 2006 revival also had a three-part episode called "Once Upon a Time on Earth", which explained how the Catatonians started their war with the Martian mice and how Ronaldo Rump became rich.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' had a special double-episode prequel titled ''XANA's Awakening'' that narrate how everything started.
* ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'' had an hour-long special titled "Where's Lazlo", which explained how Lazlo, Clam, and Raj met.
* The final episode of ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'', "Dan vs. Summer Camp", consisted of a flash back to how Dan and Chris met at summer camp, and Chris helped Dan with his very first vendetta against the cruel, favorites-playing camp director.
* WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck received ''[[MultipleChoicePast several]]'' origin stories throughout the run of his series, many of which were contradictory, though the origin given in "Clash Reunion", which also establishes the origins of his enemy Megavolt, appears to be the true origin.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'' episode "The Adoption of Kshin" is another example, using flashbacks to explore how Kshin came to lose his real parents and how he and Mandrake first met.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''
** The MusicalEpisode "[=LABretto=]" serves as this for Dexter, explaining the circumstances of his birth as well as why he created his secret laboratory.
** "A Boy Named Sue" explains the backstory of Mandark and why he became rivals with Dexter, though it contradicts the events of his debut episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/DocMcStuffins'' has "Bringing Home Baby," which features several flashbacks to Doc's early life, showing how she got each of her main toy friends, how she got her magic stethoscope and learned of its power to bring toys to life, and how she came to be a toy doctor.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'':
** The five-part series opener sets up the show's scenario. Known collectively as the "Treasure of the Golden Suns", the individual episodes are as follows; "Don't Give Up The Ship", "Wrongway in Ronguay", "Three Ducks of the Condor", "Cold Ducks" and "Too Much of a Gold Thing".
** "Launchpad's First Class" explains how Scrooge and Launchpad met.
** "Once Upon A Dime" relates much of Scrooge's early life.
** ''Recap/DuckTalesS1E44TheCurseOfCastleMcDuck'' tells about Scrooge's family background living in Scotland before he came to Duckburg, including his ancestral homes of both Cottage and Castle [=McDuck=]. It also tells of how his family fell on hard times despite originally having a castle to its name.
* The ''WesternAnimation/EvilConCarne'' episode "Bring Me the Face of Hector Con Carne" explains the circumstances under which Hector Con Carne's body was destroyed, how he survived as a disembodied brain, and how Major Dr. Ghastly became employed by him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFantasticFour1967'', the episode "How It All Began" featured flashbacks to how Reed Richards met Ben Grimm and Victor Von Doom, the circumstances that led Victor Von Doom to become Dr. Doom, and the space voyage that resulted in the Fantastic Four gaining their powers.
* The DarkerAndEdgier ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' 1-hour special "Good Wilt Hunting" which reveals Wilt's backstory. [[spoiler: He was created by a Michael Jordan {{Expy}} to teach the kid basketball. In a big game against rival imaginary friend, Foul Larry, Wilt lost to save his creator's life from a falling Larry. His arm and eye were crushed by the weight of the massive Larry (who's as tall as Wilt but with more muscle) falling. Wilt was so ashamed (hence his [[ApologizesALot apologetic manner]]) that he ran away, amputating his mangled arm too. Unbeknownst to him, the kid was quite grateful and became a professional basketball player too.]] Eduardo is also revealed to be created by a little girl who needed a scary-looking imaginary friend to protect her from bad guys yet be sweet enough to play with her baby brother while Coco was found on a desert island by two biology students [[note]] WordOfGod is that Coco's creator was a little girl who survived a plane crash, taking inspiration from her surroundings for Coco's bizarre appearance.[[/note]] in the same episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' has a two-parter episode that explains how Dexter Douglas became Freakazoid. You can even see a man fighting a bear.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has both this and a conventional first episode origins set up. The first five episodes established the main characters (heroes and villains) and their situation. Later [=MacBeth=] was introduced, and they then combined a multi-episode arc with telling the origin of [=MacBeth=] (he really ''is'' Theatre/{{Macbeth}}) and his history with Demona.
** {{Five Episode Pilot}}s were a staple of Disney television animation in the 80s and 90s, with the pilot movies showing how all of the characters came together. Some characters (such as [[WesternAnimation/DuckTales GizmoDuck]]) would be introduced and receive their specific origin stories later in their respective series.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoldieAndBear'''s season finale of the first season introduces Goldie's father Mr. Locks and flashes back to the time when Goldie and Bear were not the best of friends because of the notorious "porridge incident".
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "A Tale of Two Stans" shows how the Author came to Gravity Falls and wrote the Journals, and why Stan started the Mystery Shack.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibleHulk1982'' revealed the circumstances under which Bruce Banner first became the Hulk in the episode "Origin of the Hulk".
* ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' had two origin episodes.
** "The Origin of the Mandarin" revealed the backstory of Iron Man's archenemy the Mandarin.
** The two-part episode "The Origin of Iron Man" revealed the circumstances under which Tony Stark became Iron Man.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' episode "Out of the Past" explains in flashbacks how Jerrica Benton's deceased father Emmett created Synergy, the artificial intelligence who controls the holograms used by Jerrica's alter ego Jem and her band the Holograms.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'':
** "A Sitch In Time" shows the backstory of how Kim and Ron met and the first mission that started their careers as crimefighters. Ironically, their first mission was because of a typo, so you might say it was destiny that led to them becoming heroes.
** "Go Team Go" gives the backstory of how Shego and her brothers were empowered by a [[MagicMeteor falling comet fragment]] and how she [[HeelFaceTurn became a villain]] after becoming [[EvilIsCool fascinated by villainy]] and [[SurroundedByIdiots exasperated by her brothers]].
* ''WesternAnimation/LoonaticsUnleashed'' had two origin episodes.
** "The Comet Cometh" reveals in flashback what the Loonatics were like before they got their powers and where they were when the meteor that gave them their powers came to Acmetropolis.
** The first season's two-part finale "Acmegeddon" explains the backstories of the Loonatics' benefactor Zadavia as well as her evil brother Optimatus.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'': ''WesternAnimation/TheOldGreyHare'': In a flashback we learn that WesternAnimation/BugsBunny and Elmer Fudd have been chasing one another since they were babies! And even then Bugs outsmarted him!
* ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'': Episode 25 and 26 reveal how Marinette and Adrien received their Miraculouses and became Ladybug and Cat Noir.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** The season four premiere serves as one for the Elements of Harmony.
** In season one, there was "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", which explains how all of the mane six got their cutie marks (and how Spike was hatched).
** The season two episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" has a winter pageant about the founding of Equestria.
* The 1986 ''[[WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies1980s Pound Puppies]]'' cartoon had the episode "How to Found a Pound", which established how the Puppy Pound was founded, how Cooler and the other Pound Puppies met each other, and how Holly became in charge of the Puppy Pound.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls Movie'' didn't originally set out for this--the first story pitch was to have been all of the show's main villains fighting with each other over who will rule Townsville. Creator Craig [=McCracken=] found it left little screen time for the girls themselves, so it became an origin story and their haphazard first adventure.
* The third ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' movie (And second DirectToVideo movie), ''Recess: All Growed Down'' featured an origins story of how the gang all met.
* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' has "Skips' Story" which explains how Skips gained immortality.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' had the hour-long {{prequel}} episode "Birth of Evil", which detailed Aku's origin, and the original battle between him and Jack's father, along with how Jack's sword was forged, ending with Jack's actual birth and his father deciding they needed "a plan". (Which was used to train Jack as an adult when Aku escaped in the first episode.)
* ''WesternAnimation/SheriffCalliesWildWest'' has the book release ''The Cat Who Tamed the West'', which explains how Callie came to the town of Mean and Messy Corners and took on all the bandits that were terrorizing the town, then lassoed a star for her badge and became sheriff of the renamed Nice and Friendly Corners.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has five of these presented as {{Whole Episode Flashback}}s -- "The Way We Was" (showing how Homer and Marge first met and began dating), "I Married Marge" (which details the circumstances behind their marriage, how Homer came to work at the nuclear power plant, and culminates with the birth of Bart), "Lisa's First Word" (which had the family move to 742 Evergreen Terrace, Lisa's birth, and how Bart dealt with having a younger sibling), "And Maggie Makes Three" (which is about how Homer had to deal with Marge's pregnancy with Maggie), and "The Way We Weren't" (which reveals Homer and Marge's ForgottenFirstMeeting).
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967'' had two consecutive origin episodes.
** "The Origin of Spider-Man", which revealed the circumstances under which Peter Parker got his powers from the radioactive spider biting him as well as the death of his Uncle Ben at the hands of a burglar that motivated him into using his powers to fight crime.
** "King Pinned", which explained how Peter Parker came to work as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends''
** "The Origin of the Iceman" explains how Iceman started developing his powers as well as his first encounters with Professor X and Spider-Man, the framing device consisting of Iceman inexplicably losing his powers while he, Spider-Man, and Firestar are battling Videoman.
** "A Fire-Star is Born" reveals the origins of Firestar and how she was first recruited by the X-Men, the framing device consisting of the Spider-Friends having to stop the Juggernaut from killing the X-Men.
** "Along Came Spidey" reveals the circumstances of both the radioactive spider bite that gave Spider-Man his powers and the death of his uncle Ben that motivated him to become a crime fighter when the [[WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1981 concurrently airing solo cartoon]] only ever revealed the details of the latter, the framing device consisting of the Spider-Friends having to stop the Shocker after he hurts Aunt May.
** "The Origin of the Spider-Friends" divulges how Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar first became a team.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'':
** [[Recap/StevenUniverseS2E25TheAnswer "The Answer"]] serves as an origin story for Garnet. It details in a WholeEpisodeFlashback how [[spoiler: Ruby and Sapphire first met and came to fall in love with each other through fusing into Garnet.]]
** One before that, [[Recap/StevenUniverseS2E5StoryForSteven "Story for Steven"]], details how Greg and Steven's mother, Rose, first met. It gets a SequelEpisode showing more of the origin in [[Recap/StevenUniverseS2E12WeNeedToTalk "We Need to Talk"]]. Another episode, [[Recap/StevenUniverseS3E16GregTheBabysitter "Greg the Babysitter"]], shows how Greg came to work at the car wash.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' starts with the team already established. While the origin stories of each individual character are alluded to and explained to varying degrees throughout the series, it isn't until the final season (with the episode "Go!") that the first meeting of these characters is explained.
** ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'' parodies this in the fourth season episode "Orangins". The episode has Robin attempt to tell his actual origin story about growing up in the circus before being interrupted by the others, who proceed to make-up false origin stories for themselves, much to Robin's exasperation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012''
** "Tale of the Yokai" gives an in-depth look at the circumstances under which Hamato Yoshi fought Oroku Saki and reveals the cause of the fire that killed Tang Shen and scarred Saki.
** "Tale of Tiger Claw" finally reveals how Tiger Claw became a tiger mutant and how he lost his tail.
** "Lone Rat and Cubs" shows Splinter looking after the Turtles when they were infants and explains why he gave them their specific weapons as well as why they live in the sewers.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''' "The Invisible Hand of Fate" revealed the start of Billy and Pete's friendship and Phantom Limb becoming a supervillain, as well as explain how Brock became the Ventures' bodyguard.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'' had this happen in the episode "Gift of Gab" and the TV movie "The Origin of Donnie". The former explained how the Thornberrys encountered Eliza's chimpanzee friend Darwin and gave a more detailed explanation for how she gained the ability to talk to animals, while the latter explained the backstory of Donnie and how he came to live with the Thornberrys.
* ''WesternAnimation/WonderPets'' has "How it All Began!", which explains exactly that - showing how Linny was joined by Tuck and Ming-Ming, how they came up with the show's trademark songs, and their first two rescues.
* The ''WesternAnimation/WorldOfQuest'' episode "The Fall of Odyssia" explores how the eponymous Quest came to the service of the royal court -- specifically, becoming Nestor's nanny for life.
* ''WesternAnimation/PeppermintRose'''s first and only special starts with showing how life in the magic land is now, then showing how it got there.