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[[caption-width-right:199:"Hey, this is just like that movie!"]]

->''"Nobody goes home. Nobody else comes through. It's just him - and me."''
-->-- '''Kyle Reese''', ''Film/TheTerminator''

Two warriors are sent [[TimeTravel back in time]]. [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong One to change history]], one to ensure [[TimePolice it takes its established course]]. Or, at least, to prevent the first one from changing things. A game of cat and mouse ensues.

Can also be thought of as EvilCounterpart [[RecycledINSPACE IN TIME!]] If it does not overlap with SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, it will instead overlap with MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight: In this case, the historical event in question goes as it originally did in the "good" timeline, and is averted in the "bad" timeline.

Occasionally also occurs with dimensional travel with both the protagonist and the antagonist TrappedInAnotherWorld.

Named, of course, for the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' movies, wherein a [[KillerRobot robotic superassassin]] that [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots looks like a normal human being]] is sent back in time to pre-emptively kill the future leader of the human resistance in a RobotWar. [[TemporalParadox Paradox schmaradox!]] Compare ScryVsScry, where it's oracles doing this with clairvoyance.



* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has a complex version of this: A WellIntentionedExtremist from the future goes back to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, bringing her to the storyline's present. Unfortunately, her goals would cause major trouble for the main characters ([[BadEnding turning into an ermine can put a crimp in anyone's plans]]), and she sends them a week forward in time to a future in which she's already won. Good thing Negi can go back in time too...
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': Cell and Trunks, although they come from different [[AlternateTimeline timelines]]. Trunks had no idea who Cell was, and Cell killed the Trunks of his timeline before going to the past. Oddly, due to the TimeyWimeyBall, between the two of them, they've killed two versions of the other each.
* In ''LightNovel/StrikeTheBlood'', [[KidFromTheFuture Reina]] arrives in the present to stop a dragon from the future.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/XMen'':
** Comicbook/{{Cable}} came back in time to prevent the future he grew up in. Stryfe, his [[EvilTwin evil clone]], then came back in time to stop him -- not so much because he was hugely enamoured of their home era, but rather because he lived to screw with Cable's life. Oh, and then Cable's evil adopted son came back as well... Later X-Men storylines have Cable jumping into the future to protect [[ComicBook/HopeSummers a girl]] he believes will become the [[MessianicArchetype saviour]], while Bishop wants to kill her because in ''his'' original timeline she becomes TheAntiChrist.
** Slightly less directly, Bishop originally came back in time hunting a group of time-traveling criminals, but then decided to use his new location to protect the X-Men and prevent his home timeline. The criminals he was hunting don't seem overly concerned with this.
** And then there was the Legionquest story, which culminated in Professor X's evil son (yes, this is something of a recurring theme for the X-Men) traveling back to the 1950s in order to kill ComicBook/{{Magneto}} before he becomes powerful. An entire ''team'' of X-Men go after him. [[ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse Between them, they screw things up even worse.]]
* Comicbook/IronMan and ComicBook/DoctorDoom for some reason do this often. They wound up in Camelot once, and another time they inverted the trope by traveling to the future (after Merlin has awaken and King Arthur has reincarnated). Often, though they end up [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]] and working together to get back. And again in Bendis' ComicBook/MightyAvengers. It helps that both Doom and Stark have ''nothing'' to gain from changing anything in the specific past periods they enter, and both would rather keep the present they have. Seeing as it's dangerous to fuck with reality and all that.
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} goes back in time to kill [[ComicBook/AntMan Hank Pym]] in order to stop the titular robot in ''ComicBook/AgeOfUltron'', while Sue Storm goes back in time to stop him. [[spoiler: He does kill him, but discovers the alternative is far worse.]]
* Hilariously, after enough of these stories and BadFuture stories have come and gone, Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} officially threw their hands up and rendered all of them ultimately pointless by establishing that time travel ''never actually changes anything'' in the time traveler's original timeline, instead creating a whole new alternate timeline running parallel to the original.
* ''Comicbook/RoboCopVersusTheTerminator'' written by Creator/FrankMiller had a human sent back to kill the former Alex Murphy before he could grant Skynet sentience, and a Terminator sent back to protect [=RoboCop=] by any means necessary -- whether he wanted it or not.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* During one [[BonusMaterial Omake]] in ''FanFic/WhiteDevilOfTheMoon'', Chibi-Usa attempts to prevent Nanoha and Fate from meeting, with Vivio trying to stop her.
* A variation shows up in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' [[BadFuture Dark World Series]] in that the twosome are [[spoiler:from two different potential futures. [[BigBad The Nameless Passenger]] is revealed to be Twilight's [[FutureMeScaresMe potential Nightmare self]] Nightmare Eclipse trying to make Twilight become her and continue her GroundhogDayLoop plan while [[BigGood the Benevolent Interloper]] is her potential Alicorn self Princess Amicitia who's trying to help Twilight defeat Eclipse, becoming her instead. Amicitia wins and Twilight then performs her actions to close the StableTimeLoop and locking Eclipse's defeat in stone]].
* ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'' has an interesting, all-evil version of this pop up in one chapter -- Drago comes back in time to kill [[VillainProtagonist Queen Jade]] for no other reason than to secure his own chance at ruling the world in the future. Karasu, meanwhile, is sent back by the Matriarch (Jade's future self) in order to preserve the timeline. Ultimately, [[spoiler: Drago is banished back to the future and imprisoned by the Matriarch, while Karasu is trapped in the past and imprisoned by Section 13]].
* The ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanfic [[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/2570231/1/Fusion_of_Destinies Fusion of Destinies]] features a spell that can pull a deadly weapon from the future, but in a form of EquivalentExchange, also brings a person who can defeat it. A long time ago, a Goblin rebellion used the spell and got a nuclear bomb along with a technician who gave his life to disable it. When Voldemort casts it, it brings back [[Videogame/MetroidFusion the X Parasite and Samus Aran]].

* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'', [[TropeNamers obviously.]] Basically, the entire franchise is a [[BigBad Skynet]] and the adult John Connor repeatedly sending their agents back in time to subvert each other.
** In ''Film/TheTerminator'', a robot is sent back to kill Sarah Connor before she even gives birth to John Connor, and a BadassNormal human is sent back to protect her.
** In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting]] robot is sent back to kill John Connor as a child. A reprogrammed robot like the evil one in the first movie is sent back to protect him.
** In ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', because John Connor cannot be located, the T-X is instead sent after who will become John Connor's top lieutenants [[spoiler:and wife]]. Finding John Connor was just a bonus.
** In ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'', things get thrown out of whack. First two terminators are sent after Sarah Connor as a child, one to protect and the other to kill her. Then, the T-800 is sent as planned by Skynet to kill Sarah Connor ala the first movie, with Kyle Reese sent back to stop it, and the T-1000 sent back to stop ''him'', who is in turn foiled by Sarah Connor and the first T-800 sent back to protect her. After which the three go ''forward'' in time to Skynet's creation to destroy ''it'' before it can cause judgement day in the first place, with the T-3000 in turn sent to protect Skynet.
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'' inverts the trope, sending two people from the present into the future. One is a criminal "mistakenly" unfrozen from [[HumanPopsicle Cryogenic Sleep]], the other is a present-day cop also in cryogenic sleep for a crime he was framed for, unfrozen to deal with someone simply too evil and dangerous for the wimpified future cops to handle.
* In one of the ''Film/AustinPowers'' movies, when Doctor Evil returns, Austin Powers himself is unfrozen to deal with him. The first sequel plays it straight, with Austin following Evil into the past.
* ''Film/TimeAfterTime'' has Creator/HGWells traveling into the future in pursuit of Jack the Ripper.
* ''Film/{{Timecop}}'' features Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme as, well, a Timecop who travels to the past to apprehend criminals who threaten to change the timeline.
* ''Film/{{Trancers}}'': When an evil psychic goes back in time to present day Los Angeles, Jack Deth is sent back to stop him.
* ''Film/CaptainAmerica1990'' with Captain America and the Red Skull being revived in the future.
* A Terminator ''Threesome'' happens in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', when Marty and Doc travel back to 1955 to undo Old Biff's tampering with the timeline.
* At the end of ''Film/TwoThousandAndNineLostMemories'', Saigo and Sakamoto end up in the past struggling to avoid or ensure the assassination of Ito Hirobumi.
* ''Film/MenInBlack3''. Boris the Animal goes back in time to 1969 to kill Agent K. Agent J goes back to stop him. J deliberately arrives a day earlier than Boris in order to give himself time to stop Boris.
* Cassie and Millie in ''Film/FrequentlyAskedQuestionsAboutTimeTravel''. The former travels back in time to [[TimePolice repair time leaks]] while the latter is a time terrorist (they call themselves "editors") who comes to kill our heroes.
* A non-TimeTravel example in ''Film/TheSorcerersApprentice''. Dave's first encounter with Balthazar and [[EvilSorcerer Horvath]] in 2000 results in both wizards being trapped in an ancient Chinese urn for 10 years (to the day). Oh, and both are [[AndIMustScream fully awake all this time]]. In 2010, Horvath ends up coming out of the urn about a minute before Balthazar and throws the urn from a window in an attempt to stop Balthazar.
* Alisa follows space pirates in the ''Series/GuestFromTheFuture'', who in their turn chase Kolya Gerasimov escaping via the time machine in order to save Mielofon from them.
* ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' mixes up this trope by having the twosome be ''ships''. A [[AssimilationPlot Borg Sphere]] and the ''[[CoolShip Enterprise-E]]'' travel from the 24th century to a post-WorldWarIII mid-21st century Earth. The former to prevent mankind's first contact with the Vulcan race (which will result in the Federation being formed that would stop the Borg repeatedly from conquering the Alpha Quadrant) and the latter to ensure that first contact proceeds as it's meant to.
* In the 2009 ''StarTrek'' movie, Nero and Spock are both accidentally sent back in time due to an UnrealisticBlackHole. Nero takes advantage of this by using futuristic mining technology to destroy Federation planets while Spock recruits past Kirk to stop him.
* In ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'', Rufus follows the robot Bill and Ted into the past to try and stop them killing the originals.

* In ''Literature/TheApocalypseTroll'' by Creator/DavidWeber (of ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' fame), an alien-created [[OmnicidalManiac cyborg-modified human]] is sent back in time to destroy humanity before they develop FTL space travel. A human space-naval officer also goes back in time to stop it. Unusually gor the trope, it started as two entire StandardSciFiFleet battle groups fighting both before and after the actual time travel, but each side only had a single survivor left after all the nukes finished flying so this trope still applies.
* In ''[[Literature/TheDraka Drakon]]'' by Creator/SMStirling, a [[StrawNihilist genetically engineered superhuman]] [[DarkActionGirl woman]] accidentally travels through a wormhole from an alternate future back to a world resembling our own present time, and promptly begins trying to find a way to re-open the wormhole and bring through a conquering army of more genetic supermen. A lone {{Cyborg}} human is also sent back through a similar wormhole to stop her.
* In the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' by Eric Flint and Creator/DavidDrake, two artificial intelligences from opposite sides of a far-future war get sent back to the early middle ages, one to try and alter the timeline so the evil side wins the future war, the other to try and stop the first one, via recruiting local BadassNormal allies. A semi-subversion, since both sides are attempting to change the timeline. Indeed, both ''rely'' on massively altering the cultural and technological evolution of the world; they just each want history to evolve in a different direction. This is because, after the changes already made by the "bad" AI, the timeline has already been irrevocably changed, so the "good" AI needs to insure that the right culture comes out on top.
* The {{Literature/Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/NightWatch'' features Sam Vimes and a criminal both [[LightningCanDoAnything accidentally going back in time]], and Sam Vimes has to stop him from changing history for the worse - while wondering whether he can morally allow history to run its course when it means innocent people dying that could be saved if he used his knowledge from the future to make a few changes of his own. [[spoiler: He finally decides to make the changes, though these turn out to be entirely necessary to counteract those of his nemesis and arrive at broadly the same present they left.]]
* Used with a ridiculously complex plot in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}[[ColonCancer : Megamorphs 3: Elfangor's Secret.]]'' In brief, a human (John Berryman) who is mind-controlled by an {{Alien Inva|sion}}der (Visser 4) gets a time machine, and the heroes (4 human teenagers, a human-brained hawk, and an alien, each of whom can change into animals) follow him through time. As part of some elaborate treaty involving [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien god-like beings]], the heroes become [[IWillFightSomeMoreForever immortal]] after [[spoiler: Jake is shot with a musket while Washington is crossing the Delaware. Washington dies as well, thanks to Berryman/Visser 4 tipping off the British]]. Because of Visser 4's influence on time, the course of history is changed, to the point that in World War II, [[spoiler:Nazis are the good guys and the British still hold slaves. The heroes were not aware of this while at Normandy, and neither was Visser 4. The protagonists' fighting for the British at Normandy brings a British victory, dooming the world to slavery]]. After much debate about the ethics of changing the course of time once more, the heroes decide to [[spoiler:go back in time and prevent John Berryman's birth, stopping the entire sorry situation in the first place and saving Jake]].
* ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'':
** In the novel ''Imzadi'' has an aging Riker trying to change the past [[spoiler:back to what it was]], with Data trying to keep it as it was [[spoiler:not knowing that it was changed in the first place]]. When the characters realize this at the end and ask the Guardian of Forever why it didn't say so sooner (potentially saving them all a lot of trouble and/or {{Angst}}), it replies (literally) "YouDidntAsk."
** In the ''Strange New Worlds'' story "God, Fate or Fractals"'' it's Wesley Crusher versus a pair of Temporal Investigations agents.
* ''Dies Irae'' - Heljanita wants to change the past, and Darkscar wants to unchange it.
* ''Rebel in Time'' by Harry Harrison. A racist colonel steals the design of the Sten submachine gun and travels back in time to change the course of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar. He is pursued by another officer, whose task isn't made easier by the fact that he's black.
* In Creator/TimPowers' ''Literature/TheAnubisGates'', a millionaire discovers the existence of time portals and uses them to visit the past. A scholar brought along for his historical know-how discovers the millionaire's nasty ulterior motives, and must stop both him ''and'' the villains who'd opened the time portals in the first place. Subverted twice, in that 1) the millionaire isn't looking to change ''documented'' history, but to become a power behind the throne; and 2) the historian isn't sent back to preserve anything, and initially is only looking for a way to get back home.
* ''For King And Country'', by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans, features [[spoiler: what seems to be]] an example of an IRA agent traveling back to Arthurian times to change history in Ireland's favor or simply punish England, and a British soldier trying to stop it. They go all the way back to around 500 AD or so and share the bodies of people close to King Arthur. It seems like a StableTimeLoop and/or TrickedOutTime, but the ending is a little ambiguous. MeanwhileInTheFuture, their bodies remain in a comatose state while they are in the past.
* An unintentional example in a Russian novel, where two Russian cosmonauts somehow end up in the past during the decline of the Roman Empire. One of them gets captured by barbarians, while the other one ends up becoming a Roman legionnaire. Eventually, the latter becomes the primus pilus (senior centurion) of a Roman Legion and is determined not to let the Empire fall, while the other manages to become the chieftain of the Germanic barbarians who captured him. You can see where this is heading.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Creator/HarlanEllison's ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' episode "Demon with a Glass Hand" may have created this trope. In fact, the producers of the first ''{{Franchise/Terminator}}'' movie had to pay a settlement to him following a lawsuit.
* In ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', another evil robot is sent back to kill John Connor as a teenager, and a reprogrammed robot who [[RobotGirl looks like a cute waif of a girl]] is sent back to protect him. Over the course of the series, other robots and human resistance fighters are also sent back. They even have conflicts between the many terminators sent back, if their tasks conflict with one another. For example, a terminator is sent to kill and replace Special Agent James Ellison. The attempt is interrupted when Cromartie, a terminator sent to find and kill John Connor, saves Ellison and destroys the other robot. When asked why by Ellison, Cromartie simply says that Ellison will lead it to the Connors. Not under duress but because Ellison is looking for them himself.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'', in later seasons, features an [[EvilCounterpart Evil Leaper]] who tries to undo the positive changes in the past wrought by Sam Beckett.
* ''Series/TimeTrax'' is a variation. The hero was sent back into the past to retrieve several escaped criminals who escaped to the past with the help of a MadScientist. This trope applies since the MadScientist himself also escaped into the past, and several times his schemes in the past threaten to change the timeline, and the hero must stop him. Unfortunately, the show can't decide on whether the 20th century shown is actually the main character's past or merely a time-shifted alternate universe. The main character's main problem with them is that they're escaped criminals, not that they're a danger to his timeline. He does, however, have a personal score to settle with the MadScientist for killing his {{Love Interest|s}} in the pilot.
* This was the central idea of ''Series/TruCalling'', though by the time it was revealed that this was the case and the conflict between Tru (change the past to save people) and her counterpart (keep this past the same and let people die) properly introduced the show was on the verge of being cancelled, so the idea was never fully developed.
* A major plot in the first seasons of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' was the Temporal Cold War, in which various future factions used agents (some of them sent from other eras, others natives of the 22nd) to try to manipulate "historical" events in their favor.
* The plot of the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". The villain of the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]] episode "'The Trouble With Tribbles" attempts to assassinate Captain Kirk in order to alter the outcome of that episode, and our heroes need to stop him.
* ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'' and its adaptation ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' are about mutant criminals coming back from the year 3000, and the TimePolice right behind to stop them.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' features Imagin going into the past to wreak havoc with Kamen Rider Den-O time travelling to stop them.
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode 4 season 3 "All Halliwell's Eve", the sisters are sent back in time to save one of their ancestors; at the same time, team evil is sending back their main agent to prevent their birth.
* The whole concept of the oft-mentioned Time War in the new series of ''Series/DoctorWho'', with the Time Lords themselves waging war against a galaxy-spanning Imperial Dalek fleet. The war was so big, most other species were too technologically underdeveloped to even notice.
* Series two of ''Series/AshesToAshes'' becomes this, with [[BigBad Martin Summers]] trying to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong from his perspective, but would actually MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight for everyone else. Alex decides that acting as the TimePolice will enable her to [[TrappedInThePast get home.]]
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'' were abducted by people from the future and returned to the present to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, while members of the anti-promicin conspiracy known as The Marked were sent back by a different future faction to thwart them.
* The ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Song Remains The Same" ultimately turns out to be a Terminator Threesome. First, Anna goes back in time with the intention of averting the apocalypse by killing John and Mary Winchester before Dean and Sam can be born. Sam and Dean, with Castiel's help, follow her in order to save their parents from Anna ''and'' [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong from their fates in the original timeline]]. Finally, [[spoiler: ArchangelMichael]] goes back to ensure that history takes its established course.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' has a complicated case in the two-part episode "Armageddon Now". Callisto is sent back in time by Hope to kill Hercules's mother to prevent his being born. Iolaus is sent back in time by Ares to prevent this. While killing Hercules's mother is clearly an example of MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight, Callisto agrees to commit the heinous act in exchange for the chance to [[spoiler: [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong prevent her parents from being killed by Xena's army]]. That doesn't go well for her, when it turns out to be a StableTimeLoop with her killing her own family by accident]].
* An episode of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperboy'' might as well be called "Terminator: The Episode". An android arrives from a distant future to kill Clark, as Clark's descendants will have ensured that the future is a utopia. To stop the android, a woman is sent to save Clark, who turns out to be quite strong herself, causing Clark to wonder if she's one of his descendants. At the end, after the android is destroyed (actually, it self-destructs after Clark fakes his death), the girl turns out to be an android herself, who explains that now that her own mission is complete, she must self-destruct as well to prevent any changes to the timeline. She only asks that Clark bury a certain component of her in a specific place [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture for her future creator to find]] (i.e. an indicator that she succeeded).
* ''Series/{{Continuum}}'':
** In the pilot, 8 members of [=Liber8=] (a terrorist movement fighting the corporate government) are sent back in time from the year 2077 to present day Vancouver, along with corporate police officer Keira Cameron. The [=Liber8=] members, with all their skills, knowledge and [[SuperSoldier futuristic upgrades]], decide to topple the corrupt corporations who will eventually take control of the government, so Cameron allies with the Vancouver police to take down what temporal locals see as an emerging terrorist cell.
** ''Continuum'' gets downright recursive with this; the initial conflict between Kiera and [=Liber8=] generates a whole new timeline, [[CrapsackWorld even worse]] [[CrapsaccharineWorld than the original 2077]], and another character arrives from this timeline to prevent both Kiera and [=Liber8=] from screwing things up further. There's also yet ''another'' time traveler, from some indeterminate point in the future, who goes to the past and founds an organization of TimePolice who are trying to stop all of the above.
* ''Series/{{Timeless}}'' is built around this. A terrorist and his henchmen steal an experimental time ship and set out to [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight completely alter American history]] [[spoiler: [[WellIntentionedExtremist in order to rout out]] the AncientConspiracy controlling the country]]. To stop him, the government and the private company that built the time ship gather a group of experts to go back on a prototype of the ship and prevent him from making any changes. Another twist is that [[spoiler:Flynn, the main "terrorist", is being guided by a diary that one of the protagonists is supposed to write a few years later]]. In Season 2, [[spoiler:Flynn has been imprisoned, and his time machine is now under the control of [[AncientConspiracy Rittenhouse]], the very organization Flynn wanted to destroy]].

* This is the premise of ''Pinball/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', with the player in the role of the T-850. Symbolized in-game by the two Terminator heads on the playfield.

* The AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho episode [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho046FlipFlop "Flip-Flop"]] had two storylines, each taking place before the other -- with the same characters from each reality crossing over into the other one at the halfway point after going back in time, then going back in time to try and undo what they've done, causing the events in the other reality in the process.

* In ''[[Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical A Very Potter Sequel]]'', Lucius Malfoy travels back in time to kill Harry and prevent Voldemort's defeat. [[spoiler:Draco]] hitches a ride in order to stop him.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In the now-defunct ''Ride/BackToTheFutureTheRide'' formerly at Ride/UniversalStudios, Doc Brown sent YOU back (and forward) in time to prevent Biff from messing up the timeline.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'', hero and villain players do this as they try to mess with or prevent the opposing faction from messing with the origins of iconic characters.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Achron}}'', this is what happens in a standard two-player game.
* In ''VideoGame/TimeShift'', the BigBad is a disgruntled scientist who uses a time-traveling suit to travel to the past and use his [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist vast scientific knowledge]] to TakeOverTheWorld and establish a fascist dystopia. The player is a second scientist, also equipped with a time-traveling suit, who follows the first scientist through time in order to stop him.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'': [[spoiler:The Black Beast and Hakumen are both pulled into the past by the same incident, setting up the GroundhogDayLoop that plays out repeatedly in the game]].
* ''VideoGame/RescueRaiders'' does this with whole armies: one fighting to [[StupidJetpackHitler change the outcome of World War II]], the other to stop them.
* Inverted like ''crazy'' by ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend''. [[spoiler: The evil "Emperor" (actually Empress, but demons don't differentiate apparently) Succoria is sent forwards in time, along with humanity's greatest warrior Riggnarok, who has sworn to slay her and is effectively her time-travel stowaway. When she reaches the future, she suffers a VillainousBSOD when she realises that humanity wins. Instead of slaying her, Riggnarok begins to feel the inklings of pity, and, well, the road gets lonely...]]
* Played with both ways in ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle'': Emperor Griffon, who resides [[spoiler:10 thousand]] years into the past, is doing battle with LaResistance 100 years into the ''future.'' In order to eliminate them, he sends out his [[TheDragon agent]] into the ''present'', to destroy his enemies' settlements and erase them from existence. Enter [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Monica]], from 100 years in the future, whose CosmicKeystone allows her to travel back to the present. With the help of the present-day protagonist, Max, she restores her allies' "Origin Points" and preserves future history (and, in one notable case, improves upon it.) Of course, Griffon's agent Gaspard will try to thwart their efforts....
* ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages]]'' has Veran, Nayru, Link, and Ralph, in a bizarre time-traveling quadrangle of BigBad, LivingMacGuffin, the hero, and TheScrappy.
** Also happens in towards the very end of [[spoiler:''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'']], where [[spoiler:Link and Groose follow Ghirahim back in time in order to both save Zelda and prevent the resurrection of the Demon King Demise]].
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' displays this right at the beginning of the game. [[NoNonsenseNemesis Giygas chose to stop Ness while he was still weak by sending a Starman Jr. back in time to kill him directly]]. Luckily for Ness, a time-travelling alien named Buzz Buzz found him first to protect him. Unfortunately, Buzz Buzz dies shortly afterward. In true Terminator fashion, it is this time-travel attack that kicks off the plot and sets Ness on the path to defeat Giygas. Happens in the endgame too: Giygas is launching his main assault in the past, so the heroes have to go there to fight him.
* The central premise of ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject''. In fact, the purpose of the [[TimePolice Temporal Security Annex]] (later Temporal Security Agency) to ensure that this trope is in effect in case someone else gets ahold of a TimeMachine. The sequels deal with other issues, with a temporal smuggling and [[spoiler:looking for an ancient {{Precursor|s}} relic in the past]].
* In the InteractiveFiction game ''{{VideoGame/Jigsaw}}'' by Creator/GrahamNelson, the player character (known as "White") is attempting to stop "Black" from changing the past, although neither side is really in the wrong.
* In ''VideoGame/MillenniaAlteredDestinies'', the player is given a timeship by a hooded alien to guide four races in the Echelon Galaxy in order to stop the expansion of the evil Microids. One of the major obstacles is an [[EvilCounterpart alternate version of the player]] recruited by the Microids to sabotage the player's work. Like the player, he cannot be killed. While the game is normally played in a TakeYourTime manner, since you're not required to immediately rush to resolve such and such crisis, your EvilCounterpart is on SanDimasTime with you and can alter the past whenever he feels like it.
* ''VisualNovel/TimeHollow'' plays a variation of this. Upon learning that the past has changed, the protagonist tries to undo the antagonist's interferences in time through time portals. The biggest conflict is [[spoiler: trying to save the antagonist's mother, who sent herself a letter in time to commit a form of suicide]].
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'' has WellIntentionedExtremist Kyrie Florian jumping back in time to retrieve an artifact that could help her scientist father save their dying planet. IdiotHero Amitie Florian then jumps back in time to stop her, since as said father mentioned, interfering with the time stream could lead to even worse consequences than the destruction of their evacuatable planet. [[spoiler:In addition, the both of them are also RidiculouslyHumanRobots]].
* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'': Has [[spoiler: Dusknoir and Grovyle. One is there to stop the other from [[BadFuture plunging the world into a dark, frozen hellscape]]. However, the established course of the timeline ''is'' that hellscape, thus the game plays with the trope with a VillainWithGoodPublicity trying to stop the HeroWithBadPublicity from changing anything]].
* An ongoing, [[TheChessmaster chessmaster-y]] form of this is half the plot of ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'', with the BigBad making [[ForWantOfANail minor changes]] to MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight and Stocke making similar changes to counteract them.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' features "Marth" [[spoiler:or Lucina, as she's actually named, as well as any other child characters]], sent back to prevent the BadFuture, and [[spoiler:the ''actual PlayerCharacter'', or at least an alternate thereof]] sent to enforce it.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonBallXenoverse'', Towa and Mira are out to MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight. Time Patrol Trunks, along with [[PlayerCharacter you]], are out to stop them and fix history. [[spoiler:Then after you defeat Mira, [[DiscOneFinalBoss Towa retreats]] and [[SealedEvilInACan Demon God Demigra]] takes their place.]]
* The final cutscene in ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada'' has the timeship USS ''Premonition'' from the BadFuture follow a Borg sphere into the past to save the USS ''Enterprise''-D. Luckily, the sphere is damaged and is blown up by a single torpedo volley. The ''Premonition'' then jumps into its own time, with Past!Picard simply noting the strange battle in the log and moving on.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The "Surreptitious Machinations" arc of ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'' draws heavily from ''The Terminator'', taking place in a future where Empress Trudy has conquered the world, and where [[spoiler:Nick and Ki's son]] Todd goes back in time to prevent the future from coming about, while the Empress herself goes back to stop him. Interestingly enough, it's revealed at the end that [[spoiler:only by the Empress' informing her past self could the bad future come to be (which would only happen if the bad future already exists, creating a time paradox), which reverses their roles]]. A Terminator comes back to the present to deal with Todd, but fails early on and serves as a way to [[spoiler:frame Fooker for murder]].
* ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' has this with two factions, the Anarchists who are trying to orchestrate the past to result in an economic collapse leading to their rise in power, and Dr. Cook's people who are trying to avert that. Cook's group has one cybernetically-enhanced SuperSoldier (Tessa), while the Anarchists send a series of robots and clones.
* ''Webcomic/BadMachinery'''s "Case of the Forked Road" has two different {{Power Trio}}s taking these roles. It's made slightly more complicated by the fact that Calvin Goater has been time-travelling before them for as-yet-unspecified reasons.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* From the '90s ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' cartoon:
** A two-episode arc involved Bishop traveling from the BadFuture to the present day, attempting to prevent the outbreak of a mutant plague. He succeeds. But his actions backfire, however, and result in the deaths of the X-Men and the complete extinction (rather than just decimation) of mutants. Specifically, the vaccine that was created to counter the plague was also needed by future mutants to survive and due to Bishops actions, it was never created--so Cable comes from an ''even further'' future to stop Bishop. Cause the mutant plague or stop the mutant plague? [[spoiler:Nah, Cable [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]]: Infect Wolverine with the plague, letting his healing factor develop the vaccine, ''then'' destroy the plague.]]
** You've also got the more basic variety in most TimeTravel episodes. First it's Bishop and Nimrod, then it's the Cable and Bishop thing, then it's Bishop and Fitzroy, then it's Shard and the various agents of Apocalypse (though they're from the present, Apocalypse is the version from Cable's future.) [[spoiler: In the end, the BadFuture is NOT prevented, but at least they always managed to stop those who'd make it any worse.]]
* Replace individual with faction and this was the plot of the third season of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', when it turns out Megatron's plan to go back in time to destroy Optimus Prime didn't go as completely off the rails as initially thought.
* The second series of ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'', "Gadget Boy's Adventures in history": Heroic trio versus four villains.
* In a variant on ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Warp from the far future is followed through a time-gate by Starfire from the present, and she winds up hunting for him {{Twenty Minutes Into The|Future}} BadFuture.
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'':
** One episode revolves around Gorrath's second-in-command's plan to kill a current-day ancestor of Kiva, as Kiva and Jamie try to protect her.
** The show's main plot has shades of this as well: Kiva and MEGAS are sent back in time (further back than expected) and the Glorft commander followed her.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' has a crossover with the ''Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' where Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Chameleon Boy protect a young Clark Kent from a time-travelling ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}. Clark winds up [[HurlItIntoTheSun teleporting Brainiac into the sun.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' did this with a FutureBadass version of Jade and [[BigBad Shendu's]] KidFromTheFuture, Drago, in "J2". Future Jade's arrival was even accompanied by Terminator-style music.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In the fifth season finale, "The Cutie Re-Mark", Starlight Glimmer travels back in time to prevent Rainbow Dash from performing a Sonic Rainboom as a child, which would alter the fates of the main characters and prevent them from stopping various dangers in the future. Twilight and Spike follow her into the past to make sure that the Rainboom goes off like it was supposed to.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'' uses the interdimensional travel variety: Sunset Shimmer wants to retrieve the MacGuffin from the [[HighSchoolAU human high school]] so that she can, [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic you guessed it,]] TakeOverTheWorld.[[note]][[Film/StreetFighter Of course!]][[/note]] Twilight Sparkle is trying to bring the MacGuffin back to Equestria.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'': In "Return of the Phantoms", three Kryptonian criminals travel back in time to kill Superboy so his older self Superman will not exist and he would have never trapped them in the PhantomZone. Superman and Green Lantern travel back to stop them.