Paradox Person

aka: Extra Existential Entity
"Your very existence is... cheating. Yes, that is the word. Simply by walking this earth, by living and breathing and acting, you warp the rules of the universe and bring them to their knees."
Huey Laforet, Baccano!

There are certain people who have been brought into the world that seem to defy it by their existence alone. They don't exist within the natural order and often weren't planned by any of the Powers That Be that keep cosmic order. This might be because they weren't meant to be here in the first place or aren't truly here. Their otherness is a characteristic trait, but not holding a right to this world doesn't necessarily make them harmful.

For the more dangerous variants that are of the grotesque and harmful kind, see Eldritch Abomination or Eldritch Location. Compare Ret Gone, which might be the state these characters enter. They're almost guaranteed to be Immune to Fate.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • At the end of the 1st Bleach movie Rukia tells Ichigo about Senna their friend who was really just a person called Memory Rosary holding different memories of "Blanks" and was only created because so many blanks lost their memories.
    Rukia: One can't remember something that shouldn't have existed in the first place.
  • Jack Rakan in Mahou Sensei Negima! is a character of this type, (thought it's explained he just did ridiculous amounts of hard work)even coming back from the "dead" with WILLPOWER ALONE.
    Chisame: Weren't you meant to be a freaking broken character with infinite cheats...? this being said after Rakan disappears completely to Cosmo Entelecheia.
  • Homura Akemi in the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. By the nature of her success, everything that motivated her or developed her character never happened, which changes the nature of her magic. However, she still remembers the original circumstances even if no one else does.
  • By definition, Servants in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. They are the souls of heroes of mythical past given body to exist in this world. Since dead people are supposed to stay dead, the world will try to crush this contradiction, which means that Servants disappear if they aren't channeled with Mana. Except those who get doused by the corrupted Grail's mud and consequentially gain a physical body, like Gilgamesh (who, atypically, has enough of a colossal ego to resist the actual corruptive effects of such a transformation).
    • Doubly so with Assassin, a Servant summoned by a Servant from a spirit who never existed.
  • Ao Fukai at the end of Eureka Seven AO due to the final use of the Quartz Gun possibly erasing him from history.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and its sister series Xxx Holic have one of the most convoluted examples in manga, with both Original!Syaoran and Watanuki, his time travel duplicate who were born out of a wish to keep a certain person alive. Much of Xxx Holic is eventually revealed to be an attempt to anchor that character to reality so they won't disappear when the paradox eventually catches up. Watanuki's ability to attract spirits is eventually revealed to be a subconscious wish to die because of their nature.

     Comic Books  

  • Adam Warlock has become something akin to this, a being who stands outside and is not affected by otherwise universal forces of chaos and order or life and death. His sometime enemy the In-Betweener was similarly described in his first appearance, but has since been treated as a creation and servant of the Anthropomorphic Personifications of chaos and order. Adam's ally Gamora was plucked from the timeline to make her into such a being, but it didn't take.
    • Another Marvel Comics cosmic being, the Anomaly, is essentially the embodiment of Things That Should Not Be.
  • The Anti-Hero version of the DC Comics character Chronos, Gabriel Walker, erased his own history to protect his mother from time-traveling enemies. Technically, he should not exist and has no "real" history to alter.
  • In Flashpoint, it had been established that Professor Zoom cannot kill Barry Allen, because due to their relationship to the Speed Force, Zoom would cease to exist if Barry died. So what does Zoom do? Make Barry save his mother back when Zoom tried to kill her. The resulting Alternate Timeline would make Barry into a living paradox, thus allowing Zoom to kill him.
  • X-Man from the X-Men franchise is one of the few survivors from the Age of Apocalypse timeline which no longer exists.
    • So are Dark Beast and Blink. However, the AOA exists again. Don't ask.
  • The Samaritan from Astro City. Came back through time from the future in order to prevent an Apocalypse, and in successfully doing so managed to erase the timeline from which he came... meaning technically he's never going to be born.
  • Thorgal Aegirsson.
  • The 3rd Loki tried to do a Heel-Face Turn and failed, becoming King Loki, but their turning back to evil came too late to do the damage they wished for so they travelled to the past to put their younger self on the right path sooner. Unfortunately said younger self would rather burn virtually everything that belonged to their past selves (which may or may not count as dying, cats and boxes and all) so instead of King Loki they became Loki the God of Stories... making that future an alternate timeline and both of them this trope by virtue of temporal paradox and being goddamn confusing.


  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • Becoming a Paradox Person by abusing Time Travel is the basic membership qualification in the Doctor Who spinoff group Faction Paradox.
    • Over in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, there's Samantha Jones. Her timeline had been rewritten, so when she encountered a temporal anomaly, she got 'restored' to her original timeline... where she'd never met the Doctor. The original Sam ended up jumping into the anomaly again to save the Doctor, rewriting her timeline so she became the Sam who'd met the Doctor, and making her the person who rewrote her timeline in the first place.
  • The protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein's short story "All You Zombies" who is his/her own mother, his/her own father, and the person who recruited him/her into the Time Police.
  • In Tolkien's mythology: dwarves were not created with the world and therefore should not exist. They were created when Aulë, the smith god, grew impatient for the first of Ilúvatar's children (the elves) to awaken; he decided to create creatures for himself. However, because he didn't have the power of true creation, they were originally little more than automatons, with no free will. Ilúvatar was initially angry at Aulë for stepping outside the plans for the universe as well as for creating such a mockery of real life. Aulë repented and was sorrowfully preparing to destroy the first dwarves when Ilúvatar, seeing Aulë's grief, relented and gave the dwarves free will. As a result, the dwarves exist in Tolkien's world, but they occupy a strange place in it: they are like the Children of Ilúvatar (elves and humans), and yet separate from them.
  • In David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself, the eponymous time traveler also manages to erase his own birth at least once...but by then he's created so many alternate timelines that there's thousands of him lurking around, all of whom are outside of the timeline and thus should not exist.
  • Cassie is described as something like this in one of the Megamorphs books.
  • Young Wizards has the Transcendent Pig, an immortal being whose existence transcends space and time. He counts as a Paradox Person because none of the Powers That Be, who collectively created Reality itself, can remember creating him (a fact about which the Powers are rather embarrassed).

     Live Action TV  

  • This seems to be the current state of Peter Bishop on the series Fringe, if the dialog of the Observers is any indication.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's reference to 'The Could-Have-Been-King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres' suggest that some of these were fighting as part of the Last Great Time War.
    • There are plenty of time headaches in the main cast. To wit:
      • Clara exists in multiple places and times, due to dispersing herself along the Doctor's timeline.
      • Amy grew up in close proximity to a crack in time, and can remember things erased from time: Rory and later the Doctor himself were restored from her memory. Amy's own parents were also among those erased pre-series, and yet Amy still exists.
      • Jack Harkness is a 'fact' of time and space; he's immortal due to the fact that his body will always reboot itself to the way it was when he became that way. The TARDIS ran to the end of the universe rather than let him inside.
      • Rose saved the world by following the clues that were left by... herself, when she saved the world. Her two minutes or so of absolute power are felt throughout history.

    Radio and Audio 

  • This was already being done in Big Finish Doctor Who before the TV revival. Charlotte Pollard is a literal Paradox Person. When the Doctor saves her from the R101 where she was supposed to die, she becomes a living paradox and gateway for anti-time, meaning history starts breaking down.

     Tabletop Games  

  • This is the whole point of Promethean: The Created. Reality itself rejects your existence and staying in one place for too long causes the location to decay.
    • For other World of Darkness examples, there's the Cult of the Doomsday Clock from Mage: The Awakening. A Left-Handed Legacy, they were born when a fight between two mage factions in a sensitive location ended up completely disrupting the time stream. They should have been wiped out of existence... but weren't. And now, they're not planning on leaving the timestream unless they can take everyone else with them...
  • In Continuum, the players (as well as enemy time travelers) can become Paradox People through the accumulation of Frag, representing how out-of-sync their recollections are with history. It's not a pretty sight: the symptoms start with nausea and disorientation, leading up to gradual physical disintegration, after which the unfortunate time traveler becomes a barely sentient ghost. Doing this on purpose is called "Time Combat".
  • All characters are Paradox People in the card game Chrononauts, and un-paradoxing yourself (by changing history so that your birth happened) is one of the ways a player can win. Other players may come from different incompatible versions of history though, so they'll try to stop you, in order to prevent them becoming an even more impossible Paradox Person.
  • In Exalted, there is the Yozi Oramus. The first of the Primordials to awaken was Cytherea—yet when she did, Oramus asked what took her so long, because Oramus is the embodiment of paradox and the impossible. Unable to hold him in any lesser prison, the gods stitched Oramus' wings together and bound him within himself.

     Video Games  

  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts II: Specifically, the more human-like Nobodies in game, going so far as to say that Nobodies should not even exist with the more monster-like being Eldritch Abominations.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days went even further with the should-not-be aspect with Xion, her being just a puppet holding and absorbing memories of Sora.
  • Ciel from Tsukihime is a walking, talking paradox because she cannot live and cannot die at the same time, making her effectively a perfect immortal.
  • In BlazBlue Noel Vermillion never existed in previous timelines (as the result of being an Artificial Human Attack Animal of some sort). Terumi is able to use this knowledge (combined with the fact that that Tsubaki would have Jin to herself and withholding the fact that in the prime universe, she'd be dead and Jin would become Hakuman) to More Than Mind Control Tsubaki, Noel's best friend into a Face-Heel Turn.
  • Serge of Chrono Cross, at least after falling into an alternate timeline where his counterpart died ten years ago. While this naturally disturbs everyone in that timeline's version of his hometown and leads to interesting conversations with a fortune teller ("You're not dead or anything are you? [...] You just might be the key to the destruction of this entire planet"), it also renders Serge vital to the plans of numerous forces hoping to use him to their advantage.
  • Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, being born of another universe and split between the two, can access virtually any conceivable universe.
  • In Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker, Miyako Hotsuin, aka Cor Caroli, was created by the divine being Canopus as a replacement for Yamato Hotsuin after his data in the Akashic Records went missing. However, he is eventually brought back into the world, making Miyako this. Just trying to process the paradox of their simultaneous existence is enough to make the supposedly-invincible Canopus freak out so hard it becomes vulnerable.
    • The Player Character is himself a paradox in storyline of Record Breaker as his data was erased in the second world, and in the current third world there are moments where he will still temporarily flicker out of existence while his data is being simultaneously repaired by Yamato and attacked by Canopus.

     Web Comics  

  • In Blip, the protagonist K is someone whose existence Heaven never predicted, so there's no place for her in the divine plan.

     Web Original  

  • In the multiverse of Global Guardians PBEM Universe, one being in each universe is unique to that dimension. These beings are indestructible, immortal, and "stand apart" from the world they were born in.
  • Every human(ish) SCP of the SCP Foundation, by dint of not complying to how reality (as we know it) works.

     Western Animation  

  • Ben 10: Alien Force: A monster from 50 years in the past that accelerates time is destroying a town, and Ben and the gang is told the creature does not hold order in the time stream.
  • Futurama: Fry became his own grandfather, thanks to some mixups sending the crew to 1947. Because he is a paradox himself, he lacks a delta brainwave, which becomes a plot point later on.

Alternative Title(s):

Extra Existential Entity