Ridiculous Future Sequelisation
Now XXX would be an interesting sight.*
A work set in the future will often take elements of the present day and refer to them as a way to show that it is our future and not a fictional place. One form this can take is for there to be a reference to a contemporary Long Runner
, and show that it is still going strong.
The chosen long runner is usually one that is well known for having several Numbered Sequels
, which means all you need do is bump the number up by a few dozen.
Usually a throwaway gag, or incidental background detail
for the eagle eyed.
But as nothing dates quite as fast as science fiction, the reference might pass a later audience by altogether.
This trope was popularised in The Eighties
, and the two most common film franchises joked about in the earliest examples were Rocky
, the former because it had already produced an unusually large number of Numbered Sequels
, and the latter because it was often regarded as a Cash Cow Franchise
remaking the same film over and over again, so conceivably they could carry on doing it forever.
Distinct from Oddly Named Sequel
, which is where the work itself
has a title which plays with the Numbered Sequels
trope. Compare Sequel Snark
Anime & Manga
- 35th anniversary chapter of Kochikame had Ryotsu time travel 35 years into the future. One panel has future video game cases which include Dragon Quest XXII and Final Fantasy LI.
- DC One Million is set in the 853rd Century, on the date that Action Comics #1000000 (their oldest property) would have been published before DC decided to begin "Volume 2" of that title as part of the New 52. Despite being the source of the title of the series this fact never comes up in the story line.
- Back to the Future II had a holographic advertisement for Jaws 19, directed by Max Spielberg (Steven's son, who was four years old when BTTF 2 came out), with the tagline: "This time it's really, REALLY personal." All Marty has to say is, "The shark still looks fake."
- Spaceballs features a reference to "Rocky Five... Thousand". This is a subtle Brick Joke; earlier, several Rocky sequels are visible on the shelf at the start of the "You're looking at ''now'', sir" bit.
- In Robot Wars, there was a background gag where a group of people are walking through an abandoned city, and you can see a theater marquee with something like Puppet Master 57.
- In Airplane II: The Sequel, as Sonny Bono buys the bomb in the spaceport gift shop, a poster for Rocky XXXVIII is shown behind him.
- In Real Steel there is a promo for the Xbox 720
- As it was probably supposed to be the next Xbox after the Xbox 360, it ended up being an underestimate if anything: the movie is set in 2020 but the Xbox One is supposed to come out in Fall 2013. By 2020 it may well be at the end of its lifespan.
- Robot Wars had a movie theater marquee showing Puppet Master 54. Also counts as a Shout-Out, since David Allen did special effects work on both movie series.
- In Woody Allen's Sleeper, which takes place two centuries into the future, a McDonald's sign shows the number of hamburgers served as 1 followed by a hundred zeroes (a googol). In real life, the chain ended the count at 100 million in 1994, replacing it with "billions and billions served".
- The Company Novels have an anglophilic character a few centuries in the future who's memorized the names of all three-hundred-and-some actors to play the Doctor.
- In a German novel called 2049, set in that year, the protagonists see an ad for Star Wars - the fourth trilogy.
- Now that the franchise has been sold to Disney and trilogy #3 is in the works, with further installments hinted at, this may become a reality...or even an underestimate.
- "Ridiculous" isn't quite the word here given the low number and the actual franchise's reach, but one story of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers mentions an old (mid-21st century) film: Rocky VIII: The Clone Factor!
- Don't have the book anymore to check the exact number, but an early Shadowrun supplement with mock advertisements in its margins included one for "Ramboid X__", an apparent continuation of the Rambo franchise in which he's long since become a Brain in a Jar controlling a war machine.
- Deus Ex: In Versalife, you can find an email from Austin Grossman to William Gibson bragging he finally beat NetHack v54.3.1 with v54.3.3 coming out next week.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution, set in 2027, has a poster for a Final Fantasy XXVII, a nod to Eidos' then-recent acquisition by Square Enix. Though given when the game takes place, and the actual rate at which the games have come out (14 as of 2011, with a 15th in development), the number isn't really "ridiculous", and if it keeps up the pace it's held, Square Enix might very well be putting out a 27th game around that time.
- The poster also crops up at the ultra-secret Omega Ranch, twice, in the sleeping rooms of soldiers. One can only hope the game is co-op.
- A PDA message in Doom 3 says "The new Quake-43 game blows my mind."
- The Last of Us You can find a newspaper ad for Uncharted 13...with Justin Bieber as Drake.
- Mega Man Legends 2 has the "Game Cartridge" item. According to the item description, it's "Resident Evil 43".
- The Pink Panther: Passport to Peril: Although the exact year in which the game is set is not revealed, the in-flight movie in all the private jets is "Sister Act 16".
- This early PlayStation 2 commercial predicts that the PlayStation 9 will be coming in 2078.
- Space Quest IV, with its Time Travel theme, labelled its various time periods using sequel numbers. The post-apocalyptic future into which Roger was initially thrown is identified as Space Quest XII; the galactic mall in the Space Quest X period also tosses a reference to King's Quest XXXXVIII: The Quest For More Disk Space (back in the days before CD-ROM drives), which clocks in at a whole 12 gigabytes! It's also stated to be by Roberta Williams III.
- Implied in Starcraft II with an ad for "Level 800 Elite Tauren Chieftain"note .
- Decline Of Video Gaming did this with about everything. Though a real Devil May Cry 4 has come out since the first video was made, the same fortunately does not apply to Metal Gear Solid 7: Sons of Daughters of Mothers of Best Friends of Cousins of Dogs of Fathers of Liberty or a Final Fantasy title with an endless jumble of Roman numerals.
- Yahtzee invokes it in his Peggle review:
"Once your budget hits seven digits you're supposed to make Gun Battle Slap Fight Thirty-Seven for the Playstation
- The spacemen watched Weekend at Bernie's 27 in the pod, while James Bond has been on the decline since movie 200, and still hasn't cast an alien in the lead role.
Truth in Television
- On an episode of The Jetsons George watches a clip from Rocky 912.
- The Simpsons brought us Star Trek XII: So Very Tired a couple years before Star Trek: Generations was released, which was the seventh in the franchise.
- But that movie featured the casts of both the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, signaling that the franchise was moving in a radically different direction. The joke presumes that they were just going to continue releasing Star Trek sequels with the actors from the original 1966 series (it should be noted that they did revert to the original characters by the 11th movie).
- And another Rocky joke in "Lemon of Troy" (though another Rocky movie would come true, but it would just be called Rocky Balboa, and even if it did have a number next to it, it would be the sixth movie, not the seventh):
- Family Guy: in Rocky VI (which came out before Rocky Balboa did) Rocky goes to Mars for a fight.
Adrian: Rocky, please don't go to Mars and fight the Martian.
Rocky: I gotta do what I gotta do.
Adrian: But there's no oxygen on Mars.
Rocky: Yeah? That means there's no oxygen for him either. That Martian wants a fight, he'll get a fight.
- In an episode of Godzilla: The Series, the characters find themselves in the future, and come across a cinema that was showing Ghostbusters 10.
- On Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Lilo ends up in the future in her own adult body and is excited that she is finally old enough to go see a movie by herself. Sure enough, the theater's playing Wasp Mummies IX: Return of Another Final Chapter Part 2.
"I guess we missed a few sequels."
- Inverted in Futurama, when the PlanEx crew meet the Beastie Boys. The Boys' later albums are all separated by several years, but this takes it further.
Fry: I love you guys! Back in the 20th century, I had all five of your albums.
Ad-Rock: That was a thousand years ago. Now we got seven.