[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/futurerefusedtochange.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: And you're ''still'' hungry.]]

->''"It is written."''
-->-- '''Tamil Proverb'''

A prophecy that tells the future, or in TimeTravel, something that is known to have happened in the past comes true despite all attempts to prevent it. ([[SelfFulfillingProphecy Often it happens]] ''[[SelfFulfillingProphecy because of]]'' [[SelfFulfillingProphecy those attempts]]).

This can involve a ProphecyTwist on the language used in the prophecy. It's as old as ''[[Theatre/OedipusTheKing Oedipus Rex]]'', used by Shakespeare and Tolkien, and [[UndeadHorseTrope still fresh at least as recently as the mid-80s sitcom]]!

Depending on the mood of the series, the final fulfillment of the prophecy may or may not be a DownerEnding. Sometimes, the heroes still manage to put right the wrong the prophecy promises. In such situations, they usually conclude that fate only said something bad would happen, not that they couldn't eventually right it. AnAesop usually follows about free will being stronger than destiny.

One technical term for the TimeTravel version of this trope is the ''predestination paradox'', a concept very popular with the Ancient Greeks, who believed YouCannotChangeTheFuture. There is only one possible future, and if you think otherwise, it's because you were [[BecauseDestinySaysSo destined]] to take a different path.

Sometimes this can turn out to be odd in certain {{Freaky Friday|Flip}} type TimeTravel stories. There can be a gazillion outcomes for everyone...except the one thing that the Time Traveller wants to change (saving one particular loved one, hometown, etc.) So everyone else in the cast may have good or bad results in different Alternate Timelines; but Fate is saving all of its energy to prevent a positive outcome for ''just one person,'' because [[JerkassGenie Fate don't take kindly to having its hand forced.]]

Note that this is the exact inverse of the common Western portrayal of fate as an [[ScrewDestiny outside force]] of some sort, acting to "guide" outcomes in real time as they progress -- both of these opposite notions fall under the concept of "You Can't Fight Fate".

If the prophecy comes true because of being made (in the most common scenario, because of everyone's attempts to prevent it), it's a case of a SelfFulfillingProphecy. If the universe appears to self-correct any attempt at change, then OntologicalInertia is in play. In any case, on the SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate, stories where You Can't Fight Fate register as Type 1 on the scale.

Since it's OlderThanDirt, most examples rely on a ProphecyTwist. If time travel is involved, YouAlreadyChangedThePast. See also StableTimeLoop and PrescienceIsPredictable.

TheFatalist is characterized by their strong belief in fate.

Compare with BecauseDestinySaysSo, ButThouMust, PropheciesAreAlwaysRight. Contrast with ScrewDestiny and ImmuneToFate.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Literature/HalfPrince'' a different kind of fate takes place when it comes to [=NPCs=] in Second Life. The game is programmed for things to happen, which is explored in a rather sad tale when Prince meets two [=NPCs=] on the Eastern Continent. Prince has to complete a quest by taking Kenshin the demon lord to see his game-programmed lover, but they find her grave. Even though the game was programmed for this to happen, because Kenshin developed a conscience it made it a very sad experience for him, because to kenshin it was as if she really did exist and she'd waited for him until the end of her days.
* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', fate is described as an unbreakable law of nature. Several people and Stands predicting the future are always correct, at least technically because ProphecyTwist still applies. However, the series presents it in a better light because: 1. the heroes' struggle still has a meaning as despite their destinies, they all make a conscious choice to fight evil at the risk of their lives; 2) sometimes, good is meant to triumph at the end.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', this is embodied in the sympathetic DarkMagicalGirl who is actually named "[[MeaningfulName Fate]]". She feels that she has no choice in her life and in her actions, and thus no hope. Ironically, this is her power at first, as her ruthlessness (as there are no other options to her) gives her the edge. The Heroine [[ContemplateOurNavels contemplates a few times]] on how she, on the other hand, ''chose'' to be a MagicalGirl, because it's something she wants to be. (Rather rare; most {{Magical Girl}}s are that way BecauseDestinySaysSo.) Thus, Fate and Nanoha's battle in the first season is symbolic of Fate vs. Free Will.
** Which means that with enough firepower, you cannot only Fight Fate, but you can also [[DefeatMeansFriendship befriend Fate]]. Befriend her right into the hospital. Then start [[ThereIsOnlyOneBed sharing a bed]] with her in [[TimeSkip a few years]]...
*** And if WordOfGay is anything to go by, the term [[ScrewDestiny "screwing fate"]] takes on a whole new level of meaning.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', it's possible to fight Fate. But look out, he can [[TakenForGranite turn people to stone]] and his {{power level|s}} is around 3,000, so...what? [[IThoughtItMeant Wrong Fate? Oh. Um...never mind, then]].
** Recent events show that [[spoiler:even [[CrazyAwesome Jack Rakan]] has a hard time, given Fate's [[RealityWarper abilities]].]]
** And in the most recent chapter, it turns out [[spoiler:''there are six of him'', two of which are unaccounted for. And they can be brought back from the dead due to their nature as constructs]]. Unless your last name is Springfield, it seems, you really ''can't'' fight Fate. Even then...
*** Right now? [[spoiler:Five of the Fates have already been defeated. The only one standing is the original, and he and Negi '''are''' fighting their last and more definitive duel.]] So it seems that ''you STILL can fight Fate''.
*** However, the other five have all been [[JokerImmunity resurrected]]...again.
*** Update! [[spoiler:You don't even '''need''' to fight Fate anymore. [[HeelFaceTurn He's on Negi's side]]. Unless you mean [[UnwantedHarem having Fate as your romantic rival for]] [[EvenTheGuysWanthim Negi]], that is.]]
** Asuna Kagurazaka in the first anime's [[GeckoEnding alternate]] [[OvertookTheManga story]] was doomed to die on her 15th birthday due to a DealWithTheDevil so the demons would stop following her and bringing destruction wherever she went. The series' lead's DisappearedDad attempted to save her and was promptly [[DroppedABridgeOnHim crushed under a bridge]]. [[spoiler:She has to die and comes back in time to break the deal. And not before Negi has a HeroicBSOD upon seeing her death.]]
* In ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', Lucia Nanami is prophesied to go through great hardship, so she is raised as a civilian. It happens anyway, but it could be argued that because she didn't know she was a princess, she met Kaito, gave away her pearl, and caused everything to happen that gave her TrueCompanions to get through it. The anime, however, has all this happen while she ''does'' know.
* Neji Hyuuga in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' used to be a firm believer in this, until Naruto shows him that DefeatMeansFriendship.
* Played with in ''Anime/SonicX'' with the character Cosmo, whose actual destiny ([[spoiler:i.e. turn into a tree, die, save the universe, in that order]]), is not revealed until the final two episodes of the series where the spirit of her mother reveals to her that [[spoiler:the stone she wears around her neck, similar to that worn by all species is in fact a [[AppliedPhlebotinum Magical Amulet]] which, when activated, will accelerate her growth into maturity, allowing her to become a tree, attach herself to the BigBad and weaken it to the point at which it can be destroyed]]. Because she had spent most of the series struggling with survivor's guilt, abject terror, and low self esteem, Cosmo saw this sudden revelation of her destiny as her redemption - she no longer felt that she had to stand by and watch their enemies destroy everything; she has a purpose at last. As such, she [[HeroicSacrifice follows her newfound destiny willingly]].
* Sartorius (Takuma Saiou) was always talking about this in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' when he was the BigBad. Aster (Edo) Phoenix did a bit, too, although this is more in the dub (where his catchphrase is "You can't fight destiny").
** The original series, at least in the dub, had a lot of this with talk about things being fated to happen, but 2nd season ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' went with ScrewDestiny with Jaden (Judai) having the power to defy fate. Somewhat similar deal with talk between Goodwin and Yusei in 5Ds.
** Judai's rival in the second series Edo Phoenix was a moderate example. At first, he believed Saiou's predictions and that this Trope was true (mostly because they turned out in his favor) but once Judai started to defy those predictions, he started to have his doubts, until finally deciding that if Fate existed at all, it was not written in stone. (Curiously, Edo's Destiny Hero monsters have effects that suggest altering time and destiny for the player's benefit, so it seems odd that Edo ever believed that the future could not be changed.
** This situation came up in ''Anime/YuGiOhZexal'' too. [[spoiler:[[TheReveal it was revealed that both Shark and Rio were two of the Seven Barian Emperors in their past lives]], and one of the current Emperors, Durbe, tryed to convince Shark that this Trope applied to them. Shark and Rio eventually did switch sides and join the Barians, but not for the reason Durbe wanted; they felt that, as rulers, they were responsible for the welfare of their people. In the end, Shark and most of the other Barians stood with the heroes against the Don Thousand, the true BigBad, ending the crisis and proving that in this case, surrendering to Fate is not always a bad thing.]]
* In episode 26 of ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'', an Esper dolphin whose visions have always been 100% accurate is introduced. He has two particularly dire predictions: the first being his death by several gunshots; and the second one, where [[spoiler:a war erupts between Normals and Espers, and a grown Kaoru has become the Queen of Catastrophe leading the Espers. Minamoto ends up gunning her down]]. Needless to say, Minamoto is determined to ScrewDestiny. He actually manages to subvert the first vision; his interference causes [[spoiler:the dolphin to die from only ONE bullet]], proving that just maybe the visions aren't infallible.
** [[spoiler:It's not even sure if the dolphin is really dead - [[NeverFoundTheBody he swims away and is never seen again.]]]]
* In ''Manga/RaveMaster'', if your a guy whose last name is Raregroove you are destined to be a good person who suffers a horrible tragedy that causes you to turn evil and try to destroy the world. If you're a guy whose last name is Glory you are destined to stop whichever Raregroove guy from the same generation as you (who always shares your birthday, apparently). Gale and King don't believe this since they're best buddies. How could they possibly fight against one another when they're trying to save the world together? ...Until Gale accidentally gets King's wife and kid killed when the later thinks they need to dirty there hands to accomplish their goal. They later try to put an end to this [[spoiler:when King kills himself and Gale sacrifices himself to save Haru]], but it turns out King's kid ''wasn't'' dead after all, so the cycle repeats.
** Interestingly enough, all of this was caused by a woman who [[ScrewDestiny screwed destiny in first place to save the human race.]]
* ''Manga/{{X 1999}}'''s main theme is that the future has already been decided and it can't be changed. Every time a dreamgazer looks at the future, they see the destruction of the world and the extinction of mankind. This did not end up coming true in the anime, and it remains to be seen if it will in the manga (if they ever finish it).
** [[spoiler:Not '''every''' time. Kotori's FamousLastWords to her fellow dreamseer Kakyou explicitly said that "the future is still undecided", which in the anime turned out to be true via Kamui [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]] and going through a HeroicSacrifice. The manga, eh, is something else.]]
* The theme in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', where the BigBad seems to control fate, while Guts and the Skull Knight are people who "struggle against fate/causality." Guts' power to do this stems from surviving his fated time of death on the day he was born (as well as again during the living hell that was the Eclipse).
* Lots of things in ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' are predestined and many things happen for a reason. Its revealed that whoever makes Eureka smile is her destined partner - Holland refuses to acknowledge that he was TheUnchosenOne by Eureka and tried ways to gain back her attention and trust (involving beating up Renton), which ultimately backfired and nailed the coffin on his chance with Eureka during their quarrel in the second season finale. Renton and Eureka meeting each other and falling in love, as well as them being together ever after, is also proven by the events in both TV series and movie to be a destined thing. One good example is Eureka being always able to make a come back in some form in the ending and stay with Renton, one way or another (Tv, movie, manga). There's a dialogue said by Talho in the movie when Renton reunites with Eureka after 8 years: "A first-timer breaking through a net of monsters...Is this just a coincidence? Or is it the work of a mysterious power?"
* Two of the Stands in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Bohemian Rhapsody and Underworld, actually manage to turn this into a ''weapon''. Bohemian Rhapsody fates people to re-enact stories that they have particular attachments to. This turns downright ugly, or even ''fatal'', if the character they're most like met an unpleasant and/or deadly end. Underworld, meanwhile, fates people to live through an unearthed memory of their current location. Underworld is a little more flexible because Donatello's victims aren't necessarily incorporated into the memory like Bohemian Rhapsody incorporates victims into stories. This means it's possible to circumvent the bad portions of a memory, as long as you wouldn't keep the memory from repeating its original form.
** A third (and notably dangerous) example is Yoshikage Kira's Bites the Dust, which uses this in combination with GroundhogDayLoop. It causes somebody to explode, rewinding time by one hour. When it gets to the point in time where Bites the Dust originally activated, fate sets in motion and the target dies again.
** Will Zepelli, from Part 1, subverts this trope in that he's given more or less the exact circumstances of his death, but makes no move to avert it because his death will help achieve his ultimate goal. Instead, he demands to know the manner of his death so he can plan on how to live from then on.
** Boingo's Stand, Thoth, takes the form of a comic book that predicts the immediate future. These predictions are boasted by Boingo as being 100% absolute. While this is true, they are also highly prone to {{Prophecy Twist}}s; especially if someone actively tries to avoid the predictions of the book. For example, when Boingo's brother Oingo is about to be caught planting a trap that Thoth has prophecised will blow up Jotaro, he uses his Stand to transform himself ''into'' Jotaro to escape detection and ends up being the one who is injured in the trap. [[spoiler:However, one of Thoth's predictions shows Jotaro's face being split in half with "blood everywhere". While this doesn't happen immediately, over 25 years later, Jotaro is killed by Enrico Pucci's Stand Made In Heaven. The scenario? His face is split in half.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', it's next-to-impossible to even make a serious attempt to fight fate, given how it toys around with laws of physics you've never even heard of. And if you do somehow try to fight it, you'll only [[FromBadToWorse make things worse]]. All you can do is try to [[EarnYourHappyEnding make the best of it]].
* Teeki of ''Manga/MuhyoAndRoji'' makes a HannibalLecture on this point after Julio immobilizes the heroes, claiming that Enchu, who had worked hard to try to catch up with Muhyo and become an Executor to support his mother, is a prime example of how people cannot change their destiny by their own efforts. Roji, however, [[ShutUpHannibal responds that Enchu merely couldn't deal with his grief]], before [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome breaking Julio's curse]].
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has a rule that karma cannot be averted; [[spoiler:Homura can TimeTravel all she wants]] but it won't prevent certain characters from dying, becoming Witches, or becoming Puella Magi in the first place. [[spoiler:There's no rule against changing the rules, though.]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': In spite of Bardock's visions of the future, the destruction of Vegeta was inevitable. Bright side, his vision about his son defeating Frieza was also inevitable as well!
** [[spoiler:In fact, Frieza's attempt to stop the rise of a Super Saiyan (and unbeknownst to him, subvert Bardock's vision) ended up with him creating the means to his defeat. After his defeat by Frieza, Bardock gets sent to the past and finds himself in a conflict with Frieza's ancestor, Lord Chilled. It also turned out that the Legendary Super Saiyan was ''Bardock'', meaning ''Frieza'' created the very legend that would eventually lead to his death.]]
** Gohan muses on whether the dark future Trunks comes from is inevitable, voicing his concerns to his father Goku by citing how the Androids were supposed to kill his friends and then one day kill Gohan himself. Goku notes that the future is far from set since his own death detailed in Trunks' timeline has been prevented thanks to the antidote which cured his heart virus. Though despite the future not being ruined by Androids some small echoes of the future do come true [[spoiler:Goku dies sacrificing himself to stop Cell, and Cell cripples Gohan's left arm echoing the future Gohan who had his left arm blasted off in a battle with the androids. Fortunately, both are fixable in this timeline.]]
* Discussed in ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDxD''. Ddraig tells Issei a rivalry with Vali is inevitable, since Issei possesses Boosted Gear (read: [[EmpathicWeapon Ddraig himself]]) and Vali wields Divine Dividing, which houses Albion. When questioned, though, Ddraig admits this isn't certain, past generations have had one wielder die before meeting the other (Issei was asking because he [[FirstEpisodeResurrection narrowly avoided being an example]]); it's only extremely likely since wielders of such powerful Sacred Gears tend to make a lot of noise and attract each other, and the two dragons will encourage the rivalry, since they were sealed into their current forms mid-fight. [[spoiler:Ultimately it's completely subverted when it becomes obvious that the once-DivineConflict has boiled down to a centuries-old pissing match, and Albion and Ddraig eventually reconcile, removing the driving force of the rivalry.]]
* Zig-zagged in one of the earliest chapters of ''{{Manga/Doraemon}}'', where one of Doraemon's gadgets lets Nobita see that getting hit by a truck is in his future. Nobita understandably spends the entire chapter trying to avoid this, to little avail. But it turns out that fate is flexible enough to settle for a ''metaphorical'' version of this future, like Nobita getting punched by a trucker, or almost getting crushed by a car billboard, and it's implied that fate is satisfied when Nobita makes it to his original destination and gets beaned in the face by a little kid's toy car.
* ''{{Anime/Superbook}}'':
** Because some of the stories Chris and Joy visit have bad endings, they often try to prevent them, but because how the stories have to end that way, there would be some obstacles. The first episode has the kids trying to prevent both Adam and Eve from eating the forbidden fruit from the serpent. That unfortunately cannot change as the serpent blocks the kids from getting near them.
** The only exception was in Jesus' birth, where two of the guards are planning to kill the newborn king, but Chris prevents them.
* Similar to Superbook, ''Anime/FlyingHouse'' did this on Jesus' death. The three kids try to prevent it, but other actions prevent them from stopping it.
* ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'' has several time-traveling characters join the cast, coming from a BadFuture that's partly comical (the world is ruled by perverted women and their masochistic male followers and the protagonists are part of LaResistance dedicated to restoring some modicum of decency and modesty) and partly legitimately tragic ([[spoiler:most of the cast didn't get their happy endings, becoming depressed and lonely adults]]). They tell the present-day characters that nobody who's time traveled has ever successfully managed to change the past...but this only serves as motivation for them to try even harder.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Present throughout ''ComicBook/BoosterGold'', but particularly in the issue where he tries to keep Barbara Gordon (Comicbook/{{Batgirl}}) [[Comicbook/TheKillingJoke from getting shot by]] ComicBook/TheJoker. He tries and fails to stop the event from happening multiple times before accepting that there are some things he isn't capable of changing because of solidified time (i.e. changing the past purposely, already extremely dangerous in "normal" cases, becomes impossible because certain events are too important to change, such as preventing Barbara Gordon from being crippled, thus preventing her from becoming Oracle, or saving ComicBook/BlueBeetle, preventing the Max Lord / Checkmate conspiracy from being revealed).
** It later turns out, as revealed in ''[[ComicBook/DCRebirth DC Universe: Rebirth]]'', that time can be changed in regards to these events, whether changing their outcome (so Barbara regains the use of her legs), or rewinding/removing them so they haven't happened (so Ted Kord is alive, but hasn't become Blue Beetle) - but only when the timestream's vulnerable, such as in the aftermath of ''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}''.
* ''Comicbook/UniversalWarOne'': When the group of heroes are trapped in the past, one of them realises that all the attempts to avoid the death of one of them is in fact leading to his death.
* [[NonLinearCharacter Doctor Manhattan]] of ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' states that he can't change the future that he sees because when he sees it, that means it's "already" "there"; the future is ostensibly present to him like the present is, so changing it would be like making something unhappen that already happened. This applies even to his own reactions, since sometimes he reacts with surprise to things he already knew about because that's what causality has him do. Thus, he has no free will. ("We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings.") But while he claims he can't react to information from the future, he does do so when he explains to people things he sees will happen. At around this point at the latest, it all turns into a huge MindScrew if you try to think about how it should really work. It helps that he's so absolutely neutral he's not really motivated to change the future anyway.
* Comicbook/XMen opponent Vargas (the BigBad for part of the early 2000s ''X-Treme X-Men'' title) was seeking out the diaries of Destiny, a long-dead BlindSeer with the ability to predict the future. Being convinced that the prophecies favoured him, he boasted to the X-Men that they couldn't fight fate. When he comes across a diary that depicts Rogue killing him in battle, he [[ScrewDestiny changes his tune]].
** Averted. Vargas changed destiny (only to be killed around X-Men #200 by one of the Marauders).
* In ''ComicBook/TheMetabarons'', the Metabarons are fated to never be happy and lead a tragic existence; son slaying father to succeed as Metabaron, wives dying, mutilation and general unhappiness.
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'' gets this a lot from demons who want him to assume his role as the AntiChrist. His response is usually rather realistic: "Says who?" followed by a punch to the face.
* Subverted in the crossover Comicbook/{{Spawn}} / Comicbook/{{Wildcats}}, where future versions of Grifter and Zealoth (the former being the original's future self but the latter being a new Zealoth) are sent in the past to slay Spawn, and as such prevent a future where Spawn became a ruthless dictator known as the Ipsissim. When they fail to kill him, the present Wildcats and Spawn agree to join them in the future to defeat the Ipsissim, but it turns out this was part of a predestination paradox, as the Ispissim uses the opportunity to give Spawn the medals that corrupted him and caused him to turn evil to begin with. When back to the present, the influence stats, and Spawn starts EvilGloating... until the future Wildcats realize their mistake and make a last attempt to modify a minor action in the past. This causes Spawn to recognize future Zealoth as an adult version of his beloved wife's daughter Cyan, come back to his senses and handle over the medals to her, such preventing his transformation into the Ipsissim and erasing this alternate future.
* In one ''Franchise/StarWars'' comicbook, Boba Fett was hired by Darth Vader to capture an Imperial officer who went rogue after killing his superior. He later learns the true reason ''Darth Vader'' was so interested in this case: the rogue officer had in his possession the severed (but still alive) head of an alien seer. Every prediction she makes comes true, no matter what. She predicted that Boba Fett would kill the rogue officer, and despite his attempts to avert his death, it comes to pass. Boba Fett was wise enough to refuse to listen to anything she has to say, claiming that he would make his own future. The only plans he has for her is to auction her off. Boba Fett eventually loses the seer to Vader. The seer warns Vader against trying to exploit her power by first showing him two false visions. The first depicted Vader being brought to Palpatine in chains, accused of treachery, and casually shocked to death with Force Lightning. The second depicted Vader triumphantly slicing Palpatine in half. The seer explained that she spared Vader the truth because she hoped he would kill her. In the end, he does kill her to keep her away from Palpatine...just as she predicted.
* In a ''ComicBook/ThargsFutureShocks'' story in ''Comicbook/TwoThousandAD'' an American actor sees a vision of his death: Being hit on the street by a characteristic yellow New York taxi cab. In an effort to avoid this fate, the actor moves to Great Britain and manages to continue his successful acting career there. Some time later he's acting in a movie which takes place in New York but is filmed locally, so the studio has built a reproduction of a New York street, and the production also involves a yellow taxi cab. I'm sure you can guess what happens next.
* The "Marvel NOW" restart of the ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' reveals this for Doctor Doom: [[spoiler:Ben Grimm had carried the guilt of altering Victor Von Doom's work -- something that Reed Richards had caught and tried to warn Victor about -- and, when he had the chance to stop Victor from performing his experiment thanks to the wonders of time travel, he takes it only to be stopped by dozens of other Dooms watching his birth. Reed gets Ben to calm down and allows the experiment to continue. As he later ruefully tells Ben, "Doom is inevitable."]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
** In pre-ComicBook/{{Crisis|on Infinite Earths}} ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' comics, it was established that although Superman could time travel by flying faster than light, he was physically incapable of changing the past - some obstacle would always crop up to prevent it, even a highly improbable obstacle.
** He first learned this lesson as ComicBook/{{Superboy}} when, after having just discovered he ''could'' time travel, he went back to prevent Lincoln's assassination. Against all likelihood, he bumps into the ''adult'' Comicbook/LexLuthor, who had simply been time traveling to take a break from the stresses of supervillainy. The encounter with Luthor delays Supes so he can't stop Booth's bullet. When Luthor realizes that he has inadvertently helped kill Lincoln, [[EvenEvilHasStandards even he is aghast,]] and he goes home, badly shaken.
** In ''Comicbook/WarWorld'', ''Comicbook/TheSpectre'' tries to show this to Superman, so he gives him a chance to save Krypton and prevent his foster parents' deaths. Superman fails both times.
** Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} also travels back in time sometimes to try to change the past, and she always fails.
* Brother Blood from the Franchise/TeenTitans is a strange LegacyCharacter. Back in the time of the crusades, he got PowerAtAPrice: he would be powerful, charismatic and immortal, but only up to the age of 100, when his son would kill him and become the new Brother Blood (with a similar curse to die at the age of 100 at the hands of his own son, and so on). Brother Blood Nº 6 and his son were both aware of this curse, and they both tried to escape from it. The father wants to be truly immortal and be Brother Blood forever, and the son despises his father and his activities. He escaped from him, to avoid that, but [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas when Brother Blood killed his mother]] (who was just one of his several wives) the kid began a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, and killed his father next to the pool of blood. And, after the deed was done, he accepted his fate, got into the pool of blood, and became Brother Blood.[[note]]This is the origin story of the first specific Brother Blood that the Titans and the readers have seen.[[/note]]
* A key part of King Sombra's StartOfDarkness in ''[[Comicbook/MyLittlePonyFiendshipIsMagic My Little Pony: Fiendship is Magic]]''. As a child, he and a friend see visions of their future selves; his friend as a princess, and himself as a monster. When it appears that his friend's future is coming to pass, the realization is a large part of what drives him over the edge.
* Averting this was the goal of the original ''Comicbook/DaysOfFuturePast'': Kitty Pryde was sent back in time to prevent the assassination of Senator Kelly, which would result in a sequence of events leading to the virtual extermination of mutants. Kitty succeeds in saving Kelly's life, but she returns to the future to discover that nothing had changed. It turns out, the "future" was a completely different universe altogether (Earth-811), and because of the laws of time travel in the Marvel Multiverse that one cannot alter their own reality's past, her actions were only able to prevent the same catastrophe from befalling the main Marvel Universe (Earth-616).

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In "Literature/CatherineAndHerFate", Catherine had told her Fate that given a choice, she would rather be happy in her old age than her youth. In her miserable and impoverished youth, she reminds herself of this trope to inspire herself to go on.
* The moral of "Literature/TheKingWhoWouldBeStrongerThanFate", and many other tales.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Discussed and defied. During a conversation [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Shinji]] asks [[BrokenBird Asuka]] if she has ever wondered what would happen if [[PeggySue they had the chance to travel back in time]] and [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong avert]] all what had gone wrong with their lives, including [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Third Impact]]. Asuka automatically replies that they would be incapable to avert the end of the world, not matter what. Shortly after they met Asuka's future self who told Asuka that they CAN fix things and if her younger self thinks otherwise is because she is so thoroughly [[BrokenAce broken]] and [[DespairEventHorizon burned-out]] that she is afraid to try to.
* In the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' fanfic A Rose And A Thorn 4, Project: Mirage goes back in time to try and stop Ashura from causing the fall of the ARK. It turns out that BECAUSE she did this while knowing what was going to happen, she made Sonic blue, and gave birth to [[spoiler:Knuckles]]. The experiment she mated with caused the rampage of the Artificial Chaos because she told him it was going to happen. She still couldn't save Maria even though she knew about it and was right there. But then, she had just been shot...
** But she did manage to kill Ashura so that A Rose And A Thorn 3 didn't happen, breaking a time loop that may have been going around for centuries, and because it ''didn't'' happen, A Rose And A Thorn 5 happened instead. So there was a point to it after all.
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheNightmaresOfFuturesPast'', Harry manages to come back in time, with the idea of preventing his future from happening. However, there are still things that happen no matter what he does - Voldemort trying to steal the Philosopher's Stone, Ginny falling under the control of Tom Riddle's Diary, Sirius escaping Azkaban, Dementors posted at Hogwarts...which makes him despair that maybe he can't fight fate, and worries that everything may end as it did in his past. However, there seems to be someone that is trying to force things to happen as they did during the books.
* In ''FanFic/TheThreeKingsHunt'' the Thief King comes back from the dead despite the Department's attempts to prevent this from happening.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': Shinji wonders if this is the case when he's forced to be absorbed into EVA-01 to defeat Zeruel. It's ultimately averted since events start to majorly deviate from canon after that battle.
* The first season finale of ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'' takes this trope and runs with it, built on a WholePlotReference to [[Series/DoctorWho "The Wedding of River Song"]]. The three-parter shows what happens when Fixed Points in Time are broken: TimeStandsStill. To cap it off, even when things are set right, one married couple has to be separated, because the wife has a destiny in her own time, two centuries in the future for the husband.
** There appears to be Foreshadowing for this theme in the fourth episode, when the heroes meet a woman from their future who has a brief but charged conversation with the Doctor in this vein.
* The ''Film/StarTrek'' fanfic ''Fanfic/WrittenInTheStars'' is about Fem!Kirk trying to follow her own path instead of falling in love with Spock like her counterpart did. But when she starts falling for him herself, and discovers that two other versions of herself fell for him, she eventually decides to just go with it instead of fighting back and making herself unhappy.
* [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos In the Slender Man fic]] ''Fanfic/ByTheFiresLight'', Detective Carl Rourke and Mira Grolinsky try to fight against the Slender Man's snowballing ascent to power, being the first protagonists to truly offer any resistance to it. Ultimately, though, their attempts to use the Slender Man's [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve meta nature]] against it end up backfiring and giving it the last power boost it needs to win.
* ''FanFic/FistOfTheMoon'' averts this repeatedly.
** The bad guys' entire plan is based on going back in time and changing the past. Unfortunately, while you ''can'' fight fate, it is a [[TraumaCongaLine massively bad idea,]] because the universe protects itself by making the fighter massively unlucky.
** Also, Mamoru's (incorrect) feelings about this are a part of why he breaks up with Usagi.
* FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops: ''Belief'' that this is true is a possible cause of Setsuna Syndrome, wherein the person attempts to [[{{Railroading}} railroad]] canon events into place. This usually places them at odds with most other loopers, who tend to cause severe timeline changes out of boredom.
* In ''Fanfic/HowToDrillYourWayThroughYourProblems'' a crossover between ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' and ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', Lagann cleans out Taylor's locker over the winter break. [[spoiler: She still triggers the first day back, and if anything, it's worse.]]
** Averted in the long run, since [[spoiler: Owl/Taylor joined Team Neo-Gurren, rather than the Undersiders.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'', the antagonist peacock Shen ordered the massacre of the entire panda population in China because of the prophecy that he will be brought down by a warrior in "black and white". In the end, his efforts to change his fate became the very beginning of his downfall (Shen's parents banished him for it) and sets up the chain of events that will fulfill this prophecy.
** "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."
** The Soothsayer does acknowledge that this will only happen if Shen continues on his current path. So he ''could'' fight fate, he just tried to fight the wrong part of it.
** Extra irony points because Po, the one destined to defeat him, doesn't even know that Shen EXISTS until a week before he fights him. Shen assumes that Po is looking for revenge for the deaths of his parents and his entire people, when as far as Po knows, he's only there because Shen stole a bunch of pots and took over a city on the other end of China and has no external reasons for vengeance.
** Also worth noting is that as an albino peacock, Shen himself is a black-and-white warrior. All the events of the film that conspire to bring about his doom are things that he directly or indirectly set into motion.
* In ''Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf'', Timon tries to fit in with the other meerkats at first, but eventually his aspirations (and distaste for their humble lifestyle) motivate him to leave the colony. But this means that- years later- he is in exactly the place he needs to be to save Prince Simba's life after the latter has been exiled. In this case, the 'letter' of Pridelands hierarchy had to be defied to preserve its spirit.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' is an excellent example.
** As is the film it's based on, Chris Marker's ''Film/LaJetee''.
* Deconstructed in ''Film/TheAdjustmentBureau''. Destiny needs its little helpers (called "The Adjusters") to ensure the proper unfolding of the great plan.
* Played rather frustratingly in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'', in that every character tells Alice she can't fight fate, and despite her numerous attempts to ScrewDestiny, the White Queen, who has the power but refuses to slay the Jabberwocky on principle, passive-aggressively guilt trips Alice into doing it for her. Ironically, being railroaded into [[TookALevelInBadass taking a level in badass]] like this ultimately gives her the self-confidence to ScrewDestiny back in the "real" world.
* [[{{Satan}} The Devil]] in the form of the Antichrist Franco Maccalusso in the ''Film/{{Apocalypse}}'' series knows he's doomed for the Lake Of Fire, and so decides to [[TakingYouWithMe take as many souls with him]] in the Tribulation through the MarkOfTheBeast.
* This is the whole plot of ''Film/TheButterflyEffect''.
* In ''Film/{{Deewaar}}'', Vijay references this idea when Anita suggests getting his tattoo removed after [[spoiler:Anand's funeral]] – if he were to change his palm lines, would that alter his fate?
* The ''Franchise/FinalDestination'' series is a variation, which says "If you're supposed to die, you will".
* ''Film/{{Knowing}}'' (2009) stars Creator/NicolasCage as a HollywoodAtheist who rushes around trying to find a way to prevent [[spoiler:(or personally survive) TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt]], but by the end we see there was nothing he could have done to change it.
* In the backstory of ''Film/{{Krull}}'', the Cyclops race made a [[DealWithTheDevil deal]] with The Beast: they would trade one of their eyes in exchange for the ability to see the future. The Beast took their eyes and gave them the ability to see the future. Specifically, their future ''deaths''. Any Cyclops who tries to avoid their fated end always ends up dying in an even more painful way instead. The Cyclops Rell leaves the rest of the heroes near the end because his time has come. [[spoiler:He goes back to help them anyway and holds open a pair of moving walls just long enough for the others to enter the lair. Sadly, they are unable to save him as the walls slowly crush him to death.]]
* In ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'' during the trek across the intensely hot Nefud Desert to Aqaba, one of Prince Faisal's men, Gasim falls off his camel during the night. Ali says it's too late to go back and that it is "Written" that he die. Lawrence goes back and saves him proving "Nothing is written!" Later, after they forge an alliance with the tribe of Auda Abu Tayi, one of his men is killed one of Faisal's. Lawrence decides to settle the dispute and save the alliance by killing the guilty man. It turns out to be Gasim. Lawrence then has to execute him with a pistol. Afterwards, when Auda asks Ali why Lawrence is upset, he tells him he brought the man he killed out of the Nefud. "Ah," Auda says, "It was written, then."
* This is revealed to be the crux of ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' movies. Towards the end of ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', Neo finally reaches the "source" of the Matrix and meets the Architect, the computer program who designed the Matrix. He informs Neo that Zion will ultimately be destroyed and that it cannot be saved. At the end of their conversation, he also mentions that Neo's "destiny", like that of his five predecessors, was to enter the source and restart the program, allowing 23 humans to be selected to rebuild Zion. Thus, the "prophecy" will be fulfilled that after a century of warfare between humans and machines, the fight will finally come to an end. However, Neo would only be restarting the war, not ending it. Finally, the Architect mentions that Trinity will inevitably die in order to save Neo. The Architect tells him that there is nothing he can do to stop that from happening. In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', Neo tells the Oracle about the Architect's warnings, and she [[spoiler:responds that the Architect is full of crap and can't predict the future worth a damn. Guess what? Zion is not destroyed and the war comes to a permanent end. Both Neo and Trinity die, though.]]
* ''Film/TheOutlawAndHisWife'': "None can escape his fate, even if he were to move more swiftly than the wind." The news that Kari is actually an escaped convict comes soon after.
* The Prophecy in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides'' states that a one-legged man will be the doom of Blackbeard. In the end, that's exactly what happened despite Blackbeard's efforts to try to reach out to the fountain of youth to avoid that fate.
* The Creator/SandraBullock film ''Film/{{Premonition}}'' mixes this trope with a partial TemporalParadox. In the future Linda sees, her husband Jim dies, she goes crazy, is suspected of hurting her daughter, and gets committed to an insane asylum. Her efforts to prevent Jim's death create Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, and the film's "happy" ending consists of a reveal that she was eventually released from the asylum, now pregnant with another child.
* In ''Film/SexAndDeath101'' (2008), the main character is emailed (by a MagicalComputer) a list of 101 women's names. It turns out to be a list of all the people he has slept with, or ''is going to sleep with'', before he dies. Initially, he thinks it's just a joke, as his current fiance happens to be #29 out of 101, but, regardless of how he tries to avoid it, he ends up sleeping with every woman on the list, in exactly the order in which they appear, and, to his dismay, the last name on the list happens to match that of a notorious FemmeFatale SerialKiller who seduces men before drugging them into permanent comas. [[spoiler:Indeed, she is the last woman he ever sleeps with, because [[ProphecyTwist they get married]] and live HappilyEverAfter.]]
* ''Film/SoundOfMyVoice'': Maggie claims to be a time traveler from a post-apocalyptic future. Based on her statements about time, this trope applies. She never suggests that any of her {{cult}} members can change the events that cause society to break down. She can only give a select few people the skills they'll need to prosper when it does. She also states that she's already met most of the people in her cult in the future, and says that the reason she kicks one man out is because she'd never met him, meaning he was always going to drop out at some point.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' as a whole. In [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Episode I]], we find out that Anakin Skywalker (just a kid by then) is TheChosenOne, destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. At the end of Episode III, he does the opposite thing: he joins the Sith Lord, and helps him to destroy all the Jedi order as Darth Vader. [[Film/ANewHope Episodes IV]], [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack V]] and [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi VI]] follow, and in the end Darth Vader kills the Sith Lord and dies shortly after... and thus the prophecy takes place: the Sith are no more, thanks to the actions of Anakin Skywalker.[[note]]And yet, it's the ultimate PyrrhicVictory. When Episode I began, there was a Jedi order of hundreds of members. By the end of Episode VI, all that remains is just a half-trained kid and a potential Jedi woman with no training at all.[[/note]]
** In ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', Anakin had foreseen his beloved Padmé's death and tried to find ways to prevent it, which led him to the dark side. Ultimately, he failed to prevent Padmé's death. Not only did he fail to prevent Padmé's death, he was the direct cause of it. She "gave up on life" because she had lost him to the dark side. Also, the force choking didn't help matters too much either.
* ''Film/SurfNinjas'' lampshades it repeatedly. Every time Zatch proposes a new even more difficult task for Johnny, someone will protest that it is impossible and he can't possibly do it, and someone will say "He can if it's his destiny". By the end of the movie, multiple people will join together in a resigned chorus of "He can if it's his destiny".
* The ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' films, as a whole, are an example of this. In [[Film/TheTerminator the first movie]], Sarah Connor learns that the fate of her unborn child, John, is to lead the remaining humans against the machines AfterTheEnd; [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay the second movie]] is all about Sarah and John trying to stop the end from happening, and seemingly succeeding. However, both continuities which AlternateContinuity explain that Sarah's actions did not prevent, but only ''delayed'' the rise of [=SkyNet=] and the nuclear holocaust, from 1997 when it was originally supposed to happen, until 2004.
* Played with in the 2014 sci-fi thriller ''Film/TimeLapse''. A group of friends discover that their neighbor was a scientist who built a camera that can take pictures of the future. From his diary, they read that he saw his death in the future and tried to stop it, then discover his horribly mangled body and assume this means that if you try to change the course of time, your timeline stops right there and you die horribly. [[spoiler:The truth is that YouCantFightFate for a different reason - it is literally ''impossible'' to alter the predicted future, no matter how hard you try, it '''will''' come true. The scientist died in a mundane accident involving dangerous gases, failing to prevent his death. Similarly, Callie learns the hard way that you cannot use the camera to "reset" your timeline to a more favorable one by sending a new message to your past self. One way or another, circumstances will cause the message to revert to the previous one, preventing any alteration of the timeline.]]
* The 2002 adaptation of ''Film/{{The Time Machine|2002}}''. Dr. Alexander Hartdegen creates a time machine to try to prevent his girlfriend from getting killed. She was mugged in Central Park, so they stop by a flower stand instead. But while Alexander is buying her flowers, she gets run over by a carriage. No matter how many times he travels back and does things differently, she always dies. This is later revealed to be because if she doesn't die, he'll never build the time machine in the first place, which would be a TemporalParadox.
* {{Discussed}} in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. Hank theorizes that the flow of reality eventually corrects itself, so one can't change the future by changing events in the past. At it seems [[AvertedTrope Averted]] when Xavier decides to ScrewDestiny and succeeds. However ''Film/{{Logan}}'' suggests this trope may ultimately be played straight: Though set in the "Good Future" timeline, mutants are ''still'' apparently gone.
* ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'':
-->'''Dr. Frederick Frankenstein:''' All right, you win. You win. I give. I'll say it. I'll say it. DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!

* One of the best-known stories is from ''Literature/TheHistories'' of Herodotus. While Herodotus has many stories of inevitable fates (reflecting the ancient Greek worldview), one story is still widely known 2500 years later. Herodotus reports that when Croesus, King of Lydia (a country in western Anatolia--now Turkey--which was one of the Great Powers of its day, and famous for its wealth) sent a massive convoy to the Oracle at Delphi carrying literal tons of gold, silver, and other luxuries to ask the Oracle a question: Should Croesus attack the Persians? And the Oracle famously answered: "If Croesus attacks the Persians, he will destroy a great empire." Croesus apparently read that to mean he would win, and proceeds to attack the Persians. Problem is, the Persians are led by this guy named [[UsefulNotes/CyrusTheGreat Cyrus]], and he beats the snot out of the Lydians, taking their whole empire and capturing Croesus (whom he makes an advisor). But the Oracle was right--[[ExactWords Croesus did destroy a great empire]], [[ProphecyTwist just not the one he was thinking of]].
* ''Literature/LeftBehind'' and all Christian-related end-times fictional stories feature the prophecies in the Book of Revelations.
** In universe, the final book of the ''Left Behind'' series, ''Kingdom Come'' has the case of [[LaResistance the Other Light]], an organization of Luciferians dedicated to overthrowing Jesus and God and subverting the Biblical prophecies that preordain their ultimate defeat. The hopeless nature of their fight, and the rather unsympathetic nature of the Christian characters has caused some to view the Other Light as [[DoomedMoralVictor doomed moral victors]] or at worst [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain ineffectual sympathetic villains]] rather than the forces of pure evil.
* {{Subverted}} in ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge shadows of things prophesied by the Ghost of Christmas Present, including Scrooge dying sooner than expected with his belongings being plundered by his maid, laundress and undertaker, as well as the impending death of Tiny Tim:
-->'''Ghost of Christmas Present''': I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner, and a crutch without an owner. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die... If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race will find him here."
** After seeing the vision, and pleading for a second chance, Scrooge makes good on his promise by buying a huge turkey for Bob Cratchit's family, promoting Bob to Scrooge's partner, donating generously to the charity solicitors, and finding physicians for Tiny Tim.
* The plot of Creator/PhilipKDick's novel ''The World Jones Made'' is driven by the titular Floyd Jones, who has the power to see one year into the future. Unfortunately, after he sees the future, he loses the ability to change the decisions he makes in that future - possibly because he's actually sending his memories ''back'' through time to his younger self.
* Seems to be the case in ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'' universe. If Ida foresees something, you can be sure that it ''will'' happen. If she foresees your death, no matter what you do, you'll still die, even if in ProphecyTwist [[spoiler:she'll be the one to kill you by accident.]]
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'', Ce'Nedra stubbornly refuses to accept the truth: that she is in love with Garion, whether she likes it or not, and that she has to go to Riva. It takes a god with a stare to die for to change her mind. The series makes a point of driving this home with a large hammer. Numerous times Polgara and Belgarath say that "Everything has already been decided." Which turns out to be true. Even minor, never to be seen again characters were born just for one particular purpose (such as the soldier heckling Ce'Nedra when she needs prodding to make an important speech).
** Possible lampshading in the related books ''Belgarath the Sorcerer'' and ''Polgara the Sorceress''. In those books, the titular characters spend thousands of years on assorted errands to ensure that the prophecy ''will'' be fulfilled. For example, Belgarath and Polgara practically dictated a major treaty to a sovereign power at swordpoint to make sure that, 500 years later, Ce'Nedra would be sent to Riva.
*** Definite lampshading in the former. The Prophecy's method of revealing information (concealing it in cryptic words until the right moment) is a necessary ploy to keep Belgarath (who hates the implications this trope) from doing things he's not supposed to.
** While the characters can't fight their fates, at the same time, the core of the plot actually concerns two competing prophecies. One prophecy triumphing ultimately means the other gets {{screw|Destiny}}ed.
** It's later revealed that it's ''possible'' to escape both fates. But it would make the universe go so far OffTheRails that the "third fate"'s outcome is unpredictable, and neither side is willing to risk that rather than accomplish the Prophecy that's good for them.
* This is one of the two overriding themes in all of Creator/ThomasHardy's work, the other being FromBadToWorse. Hardy did believe in a philosophy called "fatalism", in which this trope is ''the'' central tenet.
* Cersei Lannister in Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is haunted by a childhood prophecy that has successfully predicted several events of her life; this prophecy also predicts that she will outlive all her children, that she will be supplanted by someone younger and more beautiful, and that her little brother will strangle her. All of her attempts to prevent these things from happening only serve to alienate those around her.
** Running tally: [[spoiler:Joffrey is dead, Tommen's fate is largely dependent on her own (outlook not good), and Myrcella is surrounded by people who, while they don't wish her harm, will use her to gain power. Sansa Stark is being groomed for rulership by Littlefinger, Margaery Tyrell isn't dead yet, and there's Dany Targaryen. ''And'' she has begun to alienate Jaime--also her younger brother, if only by minutes--while Tyrion yet lives]].
** On the other hand, The Stallion That Mounts the World, a prophesied warrior destined to become the greatest of kings and lead the Dothraki across the sea died, stillborn. Unless the prophecy actually referred to Dany and the ones speaking got it wrong. Given that this is apparently the case with Stannis and Melisandre, it's quite possible.
* A major plot point in Audrey Niffenegger's ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife''. Henry realizes there is absolutely nothing he can do to change the past, when he tried (and failed) numerous times to warn a mother that her child is about to be in an accident, and when he [[spoiler:had to witness his mother's death]] over 50 times without being able to prevent it. The story doesn't delve into what would happen if any of the characters ever did try to change their fate - they simply accepted the fact that they couldn't.
* In Creator/HBeamPiper's short story ''The Edge of the Knife'', a history professor remembers flashes of the future as well as the past; what he doesn't always remember is "the edge of the knife" - the knife-blade moment of the present separating the two - and so he gets into trouble for things like looking for books in the university library that won't be written for several hundred years, because he wants to draw analogies between two different historical situations. He copes with all this by thinking of events being just as much historical facts if they happened yesterday or will happen in the future.
* The Creator/TimPowers novel ''Literature/ThreeDaysToNever'' has an interesting twist on this: one character, a Mossad agent, keeps having premonitions of things he will ''never'' do again (e.g. he hears a ringing phone and realizes that's the last time he will ''ever'' hear a ringing phone). The first time it happened -- he touched something and received the premonition that he would never touch it again -- he immediately tried to prove the premonition wrong, and not only failed but got his hand horribly disfigured instead. In the end, [[spoiler:we're never actually shown why he has these premonitions, but they all come right when he dies]].
* Creator/TerryPratchett and Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/GoodOmens''.
** [[spoiler:Adam decides that it doesn't matter what is Written, [[ScrewDestiny because you can always cross it out]]]].
** It reaches the point that two main characters realize they can pick any part of the book of prophecy at random and be assured that it'll be one relevant to their situation.
* Played straight and subverted in ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' by Creator/TerryPratchett
** Early in the book a psychic sees [[spoiler:the future burning of Ankh-Morpork]], and races off away only to be killed in an avalanche - proving that Death also has a sense of humour
** Later, Rincewind sees Death, who's surprised to meet the failed wizard, since he has an appointment with Rincewind the next day in another city. Death even offers to lend Rincewind a fast horse, but wisely he doesn't take up the offer. (This is Pratchett's take on an old Arab legend - see below under Myth & Folklore.)
* Creator/NormanSpinrad's short story "The Weed of Time". The victim - er, narrator - remembered the entirety of his 110-year life from the moment of his birth. An expedition to another planet brought back the weed which caused the precognition effect and it had been released accidentally and grew wild. The experience drives him insane, because he cannot change any of the events he experiences.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut's ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' takes this to the extreme, with the protagonist hallucinating himself a theory about the non-existence of free will, involving MentalTimeTravel and aliens. He does this in to make sense of what he saw during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'' has the Golden Age Prophecy, which predicts that two Sons of Adam (the Narnians' terms for a male human) and two Daughters of Eve (the Narnians' terms for a female human) will defeat the White Witch and restore peace in Narnia. It turns out that the Pevensie children are indeed the prophesized four. Although the White Witch tried to kill them to maintain her rule over Narnia, the siblings successfully defeat her and become the sworn protectors of Narnia.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** Ilúvatar (God) acts mostly through fate: Gandalf tells Frodo that "there are other forces at work in the world...one could say Bilbo was ''meant'' to find the Ring, in which case you were also ''meant'' to have it."
** The Lord of the Nazgûl not only fits this trope but proves that Fate has backup plans. The prophecy that no man could harm him proved insufficient in the face of [[spoiler:being opposed by the woman Éowyn and the Hobbit Merry, one of whom is not a man by gender while the other is not a Man by race]]. However, it can be argued that Fate originally meant for the Nazgûl Lord to face Gandalf [[spoiler:who is also not a Man, but an immortal Maia]] and had to go to [[TimeForPlanB Plan B]] after [[spoiler:Denethor's attempt to kill himself and his son forced Gandalf away from the battle at the crucial moment]]. If so, then [[spoiler:it's a Plan B that was thought out well in advance, because many months earlier Merry just happened to acquire a knife that was engraved with spells to defeat the Witch-King of Angmar, who just happened to be the selfsame Lord of the Nazgûl, without which his stroke might not have weakened the Nazgûl's power sufficiently for Éowyn to deliver the final coup]]. But that bit's not in the movie.
** The basic plot point of the story of [[CosmicPlaything Túrin Turambar]], thanks to Morgoth's curse on Húrin's family. His attempts to fight it only lead to more misery, for him and everyone else. This leads to a really [[DownerEnding depressing conclusion]].
** Also the point of the Doom of Mandos, which states that the Feanorians will never complete their oath.
** In the aftermath of Nirnaeth Arnoedia, Huor (Man) prophesied to Turgon (Elf) that new hope would spring from the two of them, saying "...from you and from me a new star will arise." This later proved to be true, for his son Tuor wedded Turgon's daughter Idril, and their son was Eärendil The Mariner, who sailed to Undying Lands to plead mercy for Two Kindreds. Eärendil himself was set to sail to sky with Silmaril on his ship, thus becoming the Morningstar.
* Creator/JaneYolen's ''Literature/GreatAltaSaga''. Jenna, destined to be a MessianicArchetype for her people, eventually accepts that she is "the Anna for this Turning".
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "[[Literature/XuthalOfTheDusk The Slithering Shadow]]", Thalis urges this on Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian about the LivingShadow Thog.
-->''"Be at ease," she advised. "If Thog wishes you, he will take you, wherever you are. That man you mentioned, who screamed and ran did you not hear him give one great cry, and then fall silent? In his frenzy, he must have run full into that which he sought to escape. No man can avoid his fate."''
* Explicitly the case in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. Several events that occur, occur because they are in the Pattern woven by the Wheel. The PowerTrio in particular ''[[WindsOfDestinyChange cause]]'' [[WindsOfDestinyChange people to take their fated roles in prophecy]], and conversely [[{{Railroading}} have their own actions dictated by the Pattern at many points]].
* ''Literature/{{Matched}}'' by Ally Condie. Somewhat of a variation, actually; Cassia tries to go against the society, but they've seen it all before. No matter how hard Cassia tries, the society's data is always one step ahead.
* In ''Powerless'', Rowan uses this explanation, verbatim, when trying to convince Daniel not to try to find out what happens when the super kids turn 13 and lose their powers and memories. Daniel ignores this, and it turns out that you ''can'' fight fate...if fate turns out to be a power hungry [[spoiler:old man]] covered in shadows, and not actually fate.
* This trope is actually part of the draw of ''Literature/MachineOfDeath'' Many characters try to subvert their, or other peoples, predictions out of fear or wanting to prove the machine wrong. You explicitly know they die of whatever their paper says anyway, but [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=675 according to the comic that spawned the project]] "part of the fun would be seeing how".
* This is explicitly the case in ''Literature/TimeScout''. You can act in the past, picking things up, talking to people, even killing people. However, if someone is crucial to some later act, he cannot be killed. YOU can, though, so you should be careful not to anger the wrong person. Paradox will be averted through a convenient coincidence.
* This is a primary theme of the ''Literature/{{Wolfsangel}}'' cycle. The main characters are bound to play their roles in the birth and death of Odin and Fenris across many reincarnations. [[spoiler:This is due to Odin, who is trying to fight/delay his fate by having his destiny play out on Earth; once the cycle of deaths is broken, the Norns will set Ragnarok in motion and end the era of the Norse gods for good. A HopeSpot appears in ''Lord of Slaughter'' with a way to break the cycle at last, [[UpToEleven but even with the Norns themselves pushing for it]], things do not go as planned.]]
* {{Discussed|Trope}} in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', where Septimus questions Marcellus Pye's intentions on creating a potion that gives eternal life ''along'' with eternal youth, since Marcellus has already taken the potion for eternal life already and Septimus saw him a withered old man 500 years later in Septimus's own time.
* In ''Literature/BeforeIFall'', after dying in a car crash while leaving a party, Samantha is forced to relive the last day of her life. No matter what, at 12:39 am, she always dies (or starts over on the same day), and she finds that [[spoiler:Juliet Sykes always kills herself, until Samantha jumps in front of her, thus ending the GroundhogDayLoop.]]
* Rule number ''1'' of ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive''.
** There is even a [[spoiler:Librarian who guards the records and life stories of every being that's ever existed. [[CrypticConversation Naturally]], [[VaguenessIsComing he]] [[YouWillKnowWhatToDo isn't]] [[BecauseDestinySaysSo very helpful]], at least in ''Necropolis'']].
* Brought home in ''[[Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods]]'' when [[spoiler:his mom contracts the plague]]; Gregor acknowledges mentally that there was no other way to ensure the prophecy would happen the way it needed to.
* This is a major theme of Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Lightning'': It's very difficult to change the future, because "destiny struggles to reassert the pattern that was meant to be."
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfArrowOdd'', a witch prophecies that Odd will live three hundred years, then be killed at the place where he grew up by the skull of the horse Faxi. Odd kills Faxi and becomes a viking, planning never to return home. When Odd is three hundred years old, he suddenly grows homesick and returns home, where he is killed by a viper nesting in the skull of Faxi.
* ''Literature/{{Somewhither}}'': This is what [[TheFatalist everyone in the Dark Tower generally believes]], to the point where it serves to handicap them. For example, when the astrologers predict that a force attacking the heroes will fail and reinforcements will be necessary, they won't just strengthen the first force - because they're afraid that acting contrary to the stars' predictions will curse them. In another case, a wolf-headed woman leaves the protagonist be instead of fighting him, because she had no victories or losses predicted by the astrologers for that day.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': Comes up a few times. There's a plan for the world, and the world doesn't particularly care what the people think or even do. In ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', Mort saves the life of a princess he was supposed to reap. That part goes fine, but the princess quickly discovers that everyone is still ''acting'' like she died, with mourning colors being raised in the halls and repeatedly forgetting about the princess even when she's standing right there. Even when she recruits a wizard (who can see her) as the "royal recognizer," it doesn't really help. In the end, [[spoiler:Death talks to the gods, and they agree to change the plan because they're a bunch of romantic saps]].
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' and its [[Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus sequel series]] has this in spades. In keeping with the heavy ties to Greek Mythology, all prophecies in the story come to pass in some form or another. Trying to avoid or fight off destiny only results in either nothing happening, or worse causing the prophecy to [[SelfFulfillingProphecy come true in the attempt to change it]]. That being said the prophecies themselves are very cryptic, and as a result are open to several, sometime positive, interpretations. (In fact, in the second series, Zeus refuses to accept the excuse of acting solely to help bring a prophecy to fulfillment as excuse, saying that there are always several ways to read them and for them to come true and actively trying to make sure they do happen in the way you think they will limits the possibilities.)
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': According to Wiol, the goddess of the Element Wind and Knowledge of the Future, there are certain things that are ''guaranteed'' to happen, but there are many ways in which they could happen. For instance, say there are two people who are destined to marry each other, they could either do just that, go UndercoverAsLovers, engage in CourtlyLove, jointly become {{parental substitute}}s for the same kid, etc. There is no possible future where ''something'' along the lines of "these two people marry each other" does not happen.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' is PlayingWithATrope here. A dark and seemingly inevitable prophecy forming one of the major plots of Season Three was [[spoiler:ultimately revealed to be an elaborate GambitRoulette on the part of time-traveling BigBad Sajjhan, who wanted Connor killed off before he could fulfill the true prophecy: causing the death of Sajjhan. Ultimately, however, the true prophecy comes to pass...[[ProphecyTwist as does]] [[SelfFulfillingProphecy the fake one]].]].
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS7E4Help Help]]": A teenager has had premonitions about her own untimely death. Buffy saves her from homicidal maniacs, a demon, and a DeathTrap, but she has a heart condition and dies anyway.
* ''Series/DarkOracle'': Attempts at preventing the comic's predictions from coming true inevitably result in a SelfFulfillingProphecy.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** First discussed in the First Doctor story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E6TheAztecs "The Aztecs"]]. Barbara is mistaken for a high priestess, yet refuses to sacrifice a man in the hope it will reform the Aztecs and the Conquistadores won't feel justified in destroying them. However, the man believes it's the will of the gods and commits suicide instead.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E3Frontios "Frontios"]], Turlough has Norna pick a hand and when that chosen hand has a good luck piece in, claims that it clearly shows that he can't fight destiny. In fact, he had one in both hands, because he knew what he ought to do.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E8FathersDay "Father's Day"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E5TheAngelsTakeManhattan "The Angels Take Manhattan"]] further clarify this: you can change the future all you want... unless you know it. Once you know something is going to happen, you can't change it, even if somebody who doesn't know still can.
** The Time Lords of Gallifrey (currently personified in one remaining member) are able to see the bend and flow of space-time to the point that they know when an event inevitably MUST happen in the grand cosmic scheme, and when certain things are permissibly malleable. The latter fact results in Donna convincing the Doctor to save a Roman family that they've befriended in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii Pompeii]] in 79 CE, even while he will not stop the [[RealLife eruption of Mt. Vesuvius]], no matter how many may be perishing. [[note]] Incidentally, the Doctor ''caused'' the eruption as a lesser of two evils. [[/note]]
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E16TheWatersOfMars "The Waters of Mars"]] the Doctor handles a fixed point differently, instead breaking his own rules and challenging time. [[FromBadToWorse Everything then goes wrong]] and the woman he saved kills herself to stop him.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]]: "[[ArcWords He will knock four times and then you will die.]]" There were an awful lot of dangerous but non-deadly four-beat noises before the end came.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E13TheWeddingOfRiverSong "The Wedding of River Song"]]: River's attempt to stop the Doctor's death. It was a fixed point in time and, when it failed to happen, time literally began to disintegrate.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor "The Time of the Doctor"]], this is invoked as part of the StableTimeLoop that explains why the Kovarian sect of the Silence couldn't stop the Doctor. In particular, they mention the attempt to steal the TARDIS and blow it up, which actually opened the very crack in the universe that the Time Lords are using to relay their distress call, leading the Doctor to Trenzalore and causing the war to occur in the first place.
--->'''The Doctor:''' The Destiny Trap. You can't change history if you're a part of it.
* The entire point of ''Series/{{Flash Forward|2009}}'''s plot, where everyone on earth blacks out and, if they survived, sees a FlashForward of themselves six months into the future (except for Film/{{Harold and Kumar|GoToWhiteCastle}}). For instance, Joseph Fienne's character sees that he's on a taskforce to find the source of the blackouts, and when he wakes up his investigations land him on...a taskforce to discover the source of the blackouts.
** Subverted when Harold's character, Demetri, survives March 15, the day that he was predicted to have been killed. The episode still plays it straight with villain Dyson Frost (who also predicted his own death on that date) dies.
** Olivia highlights a major piece of FridgeLogic: since the flash forwards are everyone's precise vision of the same 2-minute period, you can avert your flash forward simply by ensuring that on April 29th you are as far away from where you saw yourself in your vision.
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Quadruple-subverted]] with the Blue Hand Group: people who didn't have flash forwards since they'll be dead before April 29th and engage in risky behavior, as they think they have nothing to live for. When some of them live because others decided to ScrewDestiny, their members start dying before April 29th anyway, in the same manner as they were predicted to. Lloyd thinks its [[OntologicalInertia fate trying to correct discrepancies]] but it turns out to be [[spoiler:the Blue Hand's former leader doing what he thinks is fate's work.]] [[DoubleSubversion Double-subverted]] ''again'' when the FBI tries to [[spoiler:stop him from running over his last victim, only for one agent to accidentally hit her with her car]], proving Lloyd's theory that if you prevent your flash forward, someone else will just take your place in the sequence of events.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': It's implied that the Three-Eyed Raven was aware that Hodor would be thrown in a mind-loop, though the event appears to have been accidental due to the chaos and urgency that the attack on the cave caused, and Bran's inexperience in controlling his warging powers. In context, Hodor's mind-loop had to happen just because Hodor exists, meaning that it already happened even decades before Bran was born. He also made Bran concentrate on Meera's instruction, prompting the boy to create the loop. Whether he intended for this to happen (making Bran create "Hodor" in a desperate attempt to save his life) is not clear.
* In the ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' two part adventure "Armageddon Now", Callisto goes back in time to prevent who she thinks was Series/{{Xena|WarriorPrincess}} (because her army was in the village) from killing her parents. While trying to protect her family from Xena's army, the adult Callisto accidentally kills her own father & mother.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** The episode "Six Months Ago" has Hiro finding out that the waitress that he's been trying to save from Sylar is already dying from a blood clot on her brain.
** In season two, Hiro's father Kaito is [[spoiler:thrown to his death from a rooftop, and Hiro travels back in time to try to prevent it. However, Kaito is resigned to his death, telling Hiro that it's his fate and they can't use their powers to play God. Hiro eventually accepts that and lets the murder play out, but nonetheless uses the opportunity to discover that Adam Monroe was the killer]].
* The grim and [[TearJerker sad]] conclusion that Ted and Lily in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' come to in "Band or DJ" when they admit to each other that [[spoiler:there are times when Lily wished she wasn't a mother and Ted wished Robin was marrying him instead of Barney.]]
* Miyuki Tezuka/Kamen Rider Raia from ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'', a psychic who claims his visions are always accurate, believes this. [[spoiler:When he foresees the death of his friend Shinji Kido/Ryuki, however, he lies and tells Shinji that he foresaw his own death. During a later battle, Miyuki [[TakingTheBullet takes the metaphorical bullet]] for Shinji, averting his own prediction but turning his lie into a SelfFulfillingProphecy.]]
* In ''{{Series/Lexx}}'', time is forever looping and repeating itself identically. The Time Prophet, whose predictions drive several plot points, cannot actually see the future; what she sees is actually the events of a previous loop. This does not stop some from trying to avert prophecy, particularly the first-season villain, His Divine Shadow. [[spoiler:He fails.]]
* On seasons 3 & 4 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' [[spoiler:many characters cannot be killed or die (Michael, Locke, Jack) because "the island needs them". Similarly, many characters are fated to die and any attempts to save them only postpone the inevitable]].
** Also done with [[spoiler:the main law of time travel, "Whatever happened, happened", meaning no matter what the characters do, the universe falls back into place.]]
** Also done in season 3 with [[spoiler:Desmond's mental time flashes. No matter how he much he tries to save Charlie's life, he still needs to die.]]
* In the pilot of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', Merlin is told that it is his fate to protect [[TheChosenZero Arthur]]. Since he has a less than stellar opinion of him, he avoids him for the rest of the day. Then nighttime comes and an enchantress puts the court to sleep and throws a knife at Arthur. Merlin pulls him out of the way without thinking. By the time he's realized who he rescued, the king has made him the prince's new manservant as a "reward".
** The entirety of the last season. In the first episode, [[spoiler:Merlin is shown a vision of Arthur being fatally wounded by Mordred. Try as he might, he ultimately failed in preventing it and actually cemented its coming through his actions.]]
* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' episode "The Cycling Tour" plays with this trope for comic effect. Mr. Pither accepts a lift from Mr. Gulliver, whose company has been developing food that can predict accidents and avoid them ("Even if it's in your stomach, and it senses an accident it will come up your throat and out of the window"). While Gulliver is explaining this one of his experimental tomatoes ejects itself from the car. Gulliver is so excited that it works that he loses control of the car, causing the very accident that the tomato had predicted.
* "A Determined Woman", an episode of the DawnFrench comedy anthology series ''Series/MurderMostHorrid'', tells the tragicomic story of an inventor (French) working on a time machine, who gets so annoyed with her idiot husband disrupting her work that she hits him with a spanner, a little harder than she intended... some years later, after serving time for his manslaughter, she completes her time machine and goes back to try and save him, only to discover that her attempts to prevent his death were what caused it in the first place.
* Episode 6 of ''Series/MythQuest'' sees Alex wanting to change the outcome of Lancelot and Guinevere's affair. When he asks Merlin about it, he says "Never had much luck changing fate. You throw a rock in the river, and the water just sort of... moves around it."
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' had its own tendency to mess with this concept. "Gettysburg" is a great example. A mysterious time traveler, who had appeared in previous episodes, returns. However, this time, instead of attempting to arrange "justice" against villains from the past while remaining consistent with recorded history, he is attempting to directly change what happened. Specifically, he hopes to avoid the assassination of the first black president in 2013, regarded as one of America's greatest leaders, by a Southern Sympathizer whose beliefs are all tied up in the Glory of the Confederacy. The time traveler sends the guy back from a Gettysburg re-enactment to the real battle where he serves under an insane commander and faces the true harshness of the war and his supported side. He learns his lesson, and comes face-to-face with his ancestor, whose self-serving cowardice contradicts the impressive legend that he had idolized during his youth, and he rejects extremism and the no-longer noble rebellion against the government. However, the insane commander from Gettysburg is accidentally transported to the 2013 date and, while trying to kill "Lincoln" (in truth, an impersonator at the memorial event), manages to assassinate the president anyway.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' features a variant across several series- you ''can'' change the future, but it makes things worse. [[FromBadToWorse Much worse.]] In ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'', a robot goes back in time to prevent a war that was to happen two years later. It happened the next year instead. To say that [[Series/PowerRangersInSpace the war]] ended well is [[BittersweetEnding lying]].
** For a Sentai example, the original Sixth Ranger Burai of ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'' is told shortly after his introduction that he will die in 40 hours. This can be halted for awhile so long as he doesn't try to fight the bad guys but he needs to save the others often and whenever he does more of his remaining time ticks away. Every moment he appears in has somebody trying to find a way to prevent this, but they eventually find out that no, not even the gods can save him, his time has come. Sure enough he dies shortly before the finale, although he managed to make peace with himself and his impending death and dies with no regrets.
*** Another variant for another Sentai is another Sixth Ranger of ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'' [=TimeFire=] who is also destined to die. Here it's not as specific. [=TimeFire=] will die, but as the ranger and not the person, meaning anybody could fulfill this destiny as [=TimeFire=]. The original [=TimeFire=] found this out and did his best to make sure somebody else took over for him ASAP. Sure enough the new [=TimeFire=] dies in the battle he was destined to die in, but the original's selfish scheme is discovered by the other Rangers, who promptly kill him anyway.
*** In ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'' any time prophetic flashes, visions, or just straight up prophecies are brought up, they will come true. But once they have come true, there's nothing to stop anyone from undoing them.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'' played with this. In each episode, Sam's goal was to fight a particular piece of fate, and he invariably won. However, when he and Al occasionally tried to change other things in their own personal interest, they were unable to do so. For example, in ''MIA'', [[spoiler:Al lied to Sam about what his goal was, and had him try to stop Al's own wife Beth from remarrying while he was a prisoner of war. Whatever Sam did to keep Beth away from her future second husband, they kept bumping into each other in unlikely places. Sam was actually there to stop a cop getting shot.]] In ''The Leap Home, Part 1'', [[spoiler:Sam could not convince his father to take up a healthier lifestyle and live longer, or stop his brother from going to Vietnam and getting killed, because his only goal for the episode was to ''win a basketball game''.]] It seems the Unknown Force only unlocked little bits of fate at a time. [[spoiler:Sam did save both his brother's life and Al's marriage in later episodes, though.]]
* On ''Series/{{Reaper}}'', one guy manages to weasel out of his DealWithTheDevil. [[spoiler:The Devil gets his soul anyway.]]
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "Cassandra" provided a perfect example with a computer that could tell the future. After it had foretold that certain characters would be left alive, a gun was pointed in their face and the trigger pulled; naturally, it jammed. When pointed at another character who she foretold would die, it worked perfectly. This trope was then used almost word for word to seduce another character, since the computer had foretold he'd die while having sex with her. (When her boyfriend caught them in the act) But in the end, it turned out she was lying to cause jealousy. She foresaw that the boyfriend would kill her. He realized this and tried to avoid it, saying he wasn't going to kill her, but through a Rube Goldberg series of events ends up killing her anyway.
** Lister, who was foretold would kill Cassandra, wasn't dating Kochanski but it was foretold that he would kill Arnold with a harpoon gun as 'Rimmer' died of a heart attack after being told he would, but it was actually the captain of the squad wearing Rimmer's jacket with Rimmer's name on it. This was Rimmer's attempt at screwing destiny. This was all part of Cassandra's scheme as she knew she would die and rather sees 'visions' of the future rather than actual predictions as some of her 'predictions' are unclear even to her and thus attempts to take down whoever she can before she dies.
** Future Echoes. Each character sees "future echoes" which are events happening in the future, which will happen to the characters at some point as the ship is going past light speed. As they go faster past it, the echoes are in the more distant future. At one point, Lister sees the Cat with a broken tooth. Lister runs off to find the Cat to prevent it, and just as the Cat is about to eat the robotic fish inside the tank (which would break his tooth), the two struggle, with Lister trying to stop the Cat eating the fish. In this struggle, the Cat knocks his tooth off a corner of the ledge where the tank is, thereby breaking his tooth anyway.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode, "[[Recap/StarTrekS1E28TheCityOnTheEdgeOfForever The City on the Edge of Forever]]", Edith Keeler must die so that Germany doesn't win World War II and wipe the Federation from existence. (Had she lived, she would have founded a peace movement that would have delayed the United States' entry into the European front of WWII, allowing Nazi Germany sufficient time to develop the atomic bomb and thus win the war.)
* The classic ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E18CauseAndEffect Cause and Effect]]'' makes a point of this trope when Dr Crusher [[DefiedTrope very deliberately tries to avoid breaking her glass]] in the next loop but just ends up breaking it another way.
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', if you attempt [[UnwinnableTrainingSimulation the Kobayashi Maru]] scenario, it will result in failure, no matter what you do. [[spoiler:Unless you [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome hack the simulation program.]]]]
** You can also refuse to do the main part of the simulation claiming it's a trap.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** ''Every'' DealWithTheDevil ends with hell, no matter if you're a guest star or one of the leads. Well, they did save the one guy who only made the deal to save his wife...but no one since. As the season 4 opener reveals, [[spoiler:you can still get out with a little help from above.]]
** In a more typical example of the trope, the episode "The Monster at the End of This Book" reveals that [[spoiler:there's a man with the gift of divine prophecy whose prophecies ''always'' come true, even when Sam and Dean try to avert them--which doesn't discount the possibility of a ProphecyTwist if the prophet doesn't see the whole scene.]]
** Majorly subverted with the end of season 5. [[spoiler:Sam and Dean are meant to be Lucifer and Michael's vessels and battle it out.... they refuse and form Team Free Will.]]
** Discussed by Dean and Tessa in "[[Recap/SupernaturalS06E11AppointmentInSamarra Appointment in Samarra]]". Dean questions why some have to die and others don't, and Tessa replies that it's all part of a larger plan. Dean rejects this and goes on a tirade about destiny being nothing but a lie, but Tessa notes that he doesn't actually believe that.
** Happens literally in "My Heart Will Go On" when the MonsterOfTheWeek turns out to be one of the Fates. An AlternateHistory has been created (the Titanic never sunk) without her approval, so Fate is killing (via freak accidents) anyone descended from the passengers and crew. HilarityEnsues when the Winchester also get on her hit list.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' twists the whole notion around at the end of the second season: [[spoiler:John travels forward in time past Judgment Day, and discovers that he was superfluous; humanity is still around and kicking without him.]]
* "Profile in Silver", an episode of the 80s revival of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'', played with this trope. A historian from the future (who happened to be a direct descendant of John F. Kennedy) prevented Kennedy's assassination, only to set in motion events that would bring about a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Russia. [[spoiler:He manages to set things right by taking JFK's place in the motorcade, and Kennedy himself becomes a history teacher in his descendant's future.]]
** Several Sixties-era episodes used this, both times in the form of time travel - one tries to prevent Lincoln's assassination, the other tries to avert catastrophes (Hiroshima, [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct killing Adolf Hitler]], et cetera). [[spoiler:Neither of them can change anything, obviously.]]
* In ''Series/TheUnusuals'' episode "42" Detective Banks has to keep saving a woman who foresees several bus robberies and tries to die during one (and tries again, and again, because Banks keeps saving her) because she believes she's fated to do so. He finally convinces her that you make your own fate, only for her to die in a bus crash at like 11:50pm.
* In ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', Justin, Alex and Max will battle for the family's wizard power. The winner is the only one who gets to be a wizard, hence the whole serious SiblingRivalry.
** Also, there's the children growing up to be (almost) like Jerry, Megan, and Kelbo.
** The finale of the series [[spoiler:ended up ''averting'' this trope. Alex wins the final challenge and thus receives all of the Russo family's magical power. However, there's nothing that states that other forces can't grant people magic: Justin is appointed the future headmaster of Wiz Tech, and ''also'' becomes a full wizard. Max is the only one who doesn't receive any magical ability, but [[GracefulLoser he's OK with it]], and Jerry promises to give him the sandwich shop.]]
* In ''Series/TheWorstYearOfMyLifeAgain'', Alex finds himself reliving the previous year. Although he tries to change things to make it go better for him, either the same things happen in a different way or something even ''worse'' happens.
* In Wrestling/{{WWE}}, whoever competes against Wrestling/TheUndertaker at Wrestling/WrestleMania is destined to lose. Long live the Streak.
** Averted when Undertaker was defeated by Brock lesnar at Wrestlemania 30 thus ending the Streak. Undertaker would be defeated a second time by Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33 before retiring.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Synchrony" presents the case of a strange old man warning an MIT student and professor that the student is going to die at a specific time - because of this warning the professor, attempting to save the student, ends up accidentally pushing him into the path of an oncoming bus and thus the warning is a SelfFulfillingProphecy. The old man is [[spoiler:actually the professor from the future, who has traveled back in time]] attempting to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong Set Right What Will Go Wrong]] and prevent an impending scientific breakthrough [[spoiler:that would be made by the professor in collaboration with his girlfriend, also a scientist, and the student, and which would be a catalyst for a catastrophic technological development.]] Mulder cites an old theory of Scully's about how the future can't be altered, and so the old man's efforts are probably doomed. [[spoiler:Although the professor manages to kill both his present and future selves and erase all of his files, as the episode ends, the girlfriend is continuing the research on her own with backups of the erased data.]]
** And said scientific breakthrough? [[spoiler:Something enabling TimeTravel itself. What goes wrong is that it generalized knowledge of the future and knowledge that it can't be changed]].
* In ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD,'' everything a future-foretelling Inhuman sees comes true, no matter what. He'd gone nearly mad trying to stop disasters and fail every time. Fitz explains it as the meaning of time being the fourth dimension, one just like the usual three (height, width, depth.) As a two-dimensional creature traveling along a line on a page wouldn't know what's on the other side until it got there, every moment in time already exists, complete and fixed, and just isn't seen by ''us'' until we get there. In the end, the TonightSomeoneDies situation the man foresaw [[spoiler: goes exactly as he saw despite everything]].
** This might cause a problem in season 5, in which the team travels to [[spoiler: a future after Earth has been destroyed]]. If Fitz is right, that means there's no changing it.
* ''Series/TheFlash2014'': Played with. Towards the end of Season One, Eddie Thawne breaks up with Iris West after learning that Iris will marry her best friend Barry Allen in the future, and not him. However, the revelation itself was not the exact reason why he broke up with Iris, so much as the fact that it forced him to confront what he knew all along, but didn't want to admit -- that Barry's feelings were Iris were not unrequited, and that ultimately, she loved Barry more than she did him. Iris did not react well to this at ''all'', and her immediate reaction was ScrewDestiny. Eddie did come around to her way of thinking eventually, and they got engaged as a result. Unfortunately, it was played depressingly straight in the Season One finale after Eddie commits HeroicSuicide to stop [[BigBad Eobard Thawne]]. Ultimately, Eddie and Iris weren't meant to be.

* In the eponymous song by Diane Warren, a guy (?) sings about how his ex-lover will eventually come back to him, because they're soulmates. It's left ambiguous whether this is actually true, or the delusion of a crazed stalker.
-->''When it's meant to be it's gonna be that way\\
You can't fight fate\\
You can drive your car, drive it night and day\\
But you won't ever drive me away...''
* In the Spanish romance "Enamorado y la muerte" a young man wakes up to see Death walk into his room. (He mistakes her for his beloved at first.) He begs her for one more day of life, but Death tells him he has only one hour to live. The young man flees to his mistress' house and convinces her to let him in through the window. [[spoiler:The girl throws him a rope, the rope breaks, and the young man falls to his death. The hour had passed.]]

[[folder:Myth & Folklore]]
* The ancient Greeks ''loved'' these types of stories:
** [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Gaia and Ouranos]] prophesied that Kronos would be overthrown by one of his children, so he ate each child as it was born (that's both sons and daughters, just to be clear). His wife kept their last son, Zeus, hidden, so that Zeus could eventually fulfill the prophesy (as told in ''Literature/{{Theogony}}'' by Creator/{{Hesiod}}).
** It was prophesied that Achilles, the TropeNamer of the AchillesHeel, was to die young in battle. His mother, Thetis, attempted to defy this prophecy by dipping his body in the River Styx, attempting to render him invincible, but holding Achilles by the heel, which proved to be his one weakness. His father, Peleus, sent him to train with Chiron, and gave him a suit of bronze armor. Unfortunately, all of his prowess in battle was not enough to prevent a spear or arrow from striking Achilles on the heel and his dying at a young age as prophesied.
** Acrisius consulted the Oracle of Delphi, and found that he was fated to be slain by the son of his daughter. As such, he locked his still-maiden daughter Danae in a tower. Zeus came to her in a shower of gold and fathered Perseus. So Acrisius puts Perseus and his daughter in a wooden chest and throws them into the sea. Eventually, Perseus unwittingly kills his now-old grandfather in an accident at the Olympic Games.
** Sisyphus, who tried to [[TheProblemWithFightingDeath cheat death for as long as possible]], when Thanatos, the Greeks' equivalent of TheGrimReaper, came to summon Sisyphus to Tartarus, the dark, abyssmal pit section of the Underworld reserved for big-time offenders. Just as Thanatos came to Sisyphus' door, [[DidYouJustScamCthulhu he locked Thanatos in chains after asking him for a demonstration]]. Other versions have Sisyphus [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu knocking Thanatos unconscious with a heavy object, like a huge pestle or millstone]], with Ares watching the warriors slashing at each other with their swords bloody and wounded [[AndIMustScream but never dying because Sisyphus held an unconscious Thanatos captive in his house]]. Ares was not happy about this, sending him to the Underworld when he discovered Thanatos in Sisyphus's house, where he pleaded that he didn't receive proper burial rites, so he asked Hades' permission to go back to Earth to rebuke her, living for a time, until Thanatos wondered what became of Sisyphus, with Hermes dragging Sisyphus to Hades, where Sisyphus [[AndIMustScream was doomed to roll a gigantic boulder up a steep hill,]] which took every bit of remaining strength, only to have the boulder roll downhill and he would be stuck trying to push it uphill and failing time after time...
** Oedipus and his story revolve around this trope: He was prophesied to slay his father and wed his mother. It is an especially ironic example because after receiving the same prophecy his parents received and abandoned him for, Oedipus in turn exiles himself away from his foster father for fear of killing him, with no suspicion that his adoptive parents are not his real parents. In short, everything that the characters do to avoid the prophecy is necessary to make the prophecy come true.
** Two other famous cases involve the Oracle at Delphi; in the first, a man prophesied to die in the sea spends his life avoiding the ''ocean'', only to die in a forest the locals call "The Sea"; another is the Croesus story reported with ''Literature/TheHistories'' under Literature above.
** Another example is Meleager, who was fated to die young, specifically when a log of firewood burned out. His mother took the log and hid it away, and Meleager grew up to be a well-respected hero. But during the Calydonian Boar Hunt, he murdered his uncles in a rage after they insulted his martial prowess. His mother was furious and threw the log into the fire, and Meleager died.
** This (plus it being an accident) was actually the reason Perseus pretty much got away with a slap on the wrist for killing his grandfather. See, said grandfather, a king, received a prophecy that if his daughter, Danae, was ever to have a son, that son would kill him. So the king locked his daughter into a room to prevent any men from getting to her (as she wasn't pregnant yet). Zeus however heard her cries and next thing you know, Danae was pregnant by a shower of gold. When the baby, named Perseus[[note]]meaning "avenger" or "destroyer"[[/note]] was born, the king put the mother and the baby in a wooden box or casket and had it dropped into the sea. Zeus pulled strings with his brother Poseidon and together they ensured the two got a safe landing at an island. Said island's ruler wanted Danae as wife but Perseus refused to allow it (in lieu of a father or husband, he was Danae's closest male relative even if he was her son) so Perseus got sent on an assumed suicide mission to get Medusa's head. After he did and he freed Danae plus princess Andromeda, who he married, Perseus returned to his mother's homeland to find his grandfather the king ran away in terror at the news of his arrival. He took the throne that was rightfully his and ruled happily, then one day, partaking in the games in another city, the discus he meant to throw accidentally hit an old beggar living near on the streets. That beggar? ''Perseus' grandfather''.
* This trope is also all over Myth/NorseMythology. If anything, this was the real [[HornyVikings Norse]] [[PlanetOfHats hat]], having four different words meaning inescapable fate, one of them being "{{do|omyDoomsOfDoom}}m". Even the gods can't fight their fate, when [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Ragnarok]] hits the fan. It's interesting to note that "''rök''" not only means "''fate''" but also "''development''", "''cause''" and surprisingly "''origin''".
* An ancient Arab legend tells about a man who saw Death staring at him and fled to faraway Samarra to avoid him. When somebody asked Death why he'd been staring at the man he said, "I was surprised to see him here because I'm appointed to meet him in Samarra next week."
* OlderThanDirt: In the ancient Myth/{{Egyptian|Mythology}} story Princess Ahura: The Magic Book, the prince and his family cannot escape the punishment the gods decree for their sacrilege of stealing the holy Book of Thoth. They try, but it catches up no matter what they do. In the end the prince, his sister/wife, and their son die.

* The concept of predestination, which is prevalent in Western Christianity, especially in Calvinist denominations, less so in Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, but also in Islam. While the idea that the ultimate fate of every human being is ''foreknown'' by God is accepted by all, "Predestination" is normally associated with the idea that God picks who he will save ''completely'' independent of what that person does in life. This is because salvation is a freely given gift, and not something one can "earn."
* ''Literature/TheBible'': Lots of things are foretold to happen, such as the coming of the Messiah.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Thaumatology'' there are items that force a Destiny on the owner, causing them to fulfill it whether they want to or not. The Destiny doesn't run out either, an item that makes one person King of England will also make the next person who picks it up into the King of England.
* Duke Rowan Darkwood in ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' gets screwed over by this ''in spades'', [[spoiler:becoming destined to be the person who instigates (as the ancient wizard rumored to have crafted a spell that can destroy the Lady of Pain), starts (as Rowan Darkwood), and ''ends'' (as Gifad, who coaxes the party to help him cast the Sigil Spell) the Faction War all in one go. And all this time, the Lady of Pain had controlled ''everything''...]]
* True to its [[Literature/TheWitcher source material]], Fate is one of the overarching themes in ''TabletopGame/TheWitcherGameOfImagination''. Regardless of anything else, players must either make a roll from secret table or outright leave it to [=GM's=] decision what will be the Fate of their characters. Fate remains secret for players and [[InsistentTerminology Story-tellers]] are obligated to create such plot stucture that will eventually lead to fulfilment of it. That might include death, constant persecution, PerpetualPoverty, being ''always'' in the wrong place in the wrong moment or being mistaken for hero[=/=]villain. On the bright side, certain paths of Fate are can be beneficial, like ''[[PlotArmor dying out of old age]]'' or becoming famous [=and/or=] rich. If rolls are used, the most common outcome is [[MythologyGag having your Fate tied with somebody]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' generally averts this trope- pretty much anyone or anything capable of using Essence can alter Fate, and the mere presence of a creature from [[SpannerInTheWorks Outside Fate]] can cause a disruption in the Loom of Fate. The Pattern Spiders were created to smooth out the constant problems that these disruptions create, but bigger problems may necessitate the [[TheMenInBlack Sidereal Exalted]] coming out.
** Played with by ''samsara,'' the nebulous order that exists above and beyond Fate which the Maidens of Destiny may look to in order to foresee the future. The upside is that ''samsara'' is far more accurate as a predictive tool than Fate; the downside is that the Maidens are compelled to act in accordance with ''samsara'' whenever they view it. For this reason, they try not to use that particular power that much. Also, unlike Fate, samsara has no active power - except that the only beings that can perceive it (the Maidens) are also bound to bring about its predictions.
** Fear of this trope is also the reason why everyone wants [[EldritchAbomination Sacheverell]] to stay asleep. Supposedly, everything he sees becomes real, and while he's asleep, he can only see the present. When he's ''awake,'' however, he can see ''everything,'' past, present and future, which would result in the end of free will as they know it. For this reason, even his fellow [[AbusivePrecursors Yozis]] want him to stay asleep- they fear that even they would not be able to escape his predetermination.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Continuum}}'', this is not an inherent property of the universe as such. However, nearly all sapient life throughout time and space agrees on maintaining the universe the way it is (because not doing so causes damage to the timestream; more specifically, to the continuity of individual sapient beings), and accordingly it's going to stay that way; there's simply nothing in existence that can defeat the ClockRoaches when they come to fix things. Narcissists (the guys who fight fate) are destined to lose, though for this reason the War must be fought. [[spoiler:Except that it's possible that Narcissists may escape into alternate timelines instead.]]

* Subverted in Calderon's ''Life is a Dream'', where Segismund is prophesied to kill his father, King Basil of Poland, and become an EvilOverlord. Because of this, Basil locks Segismund away in a tower in the mountains, which [[SelfFulfillingProphecy angers him]]. For a while, the play ''really, really'' looks like it's going to end with Segismund killing Basil. [[ScrewDestiny It doesn't.]] Although he does actually kill his mother, but [[DeathByChildbirth that was an accident.]]
* Everyman, the central character of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everyman_%28play%29 the allegorical English morality play,]] who is summoned by Death to give a reckoning of his life, with Fellowship, his kindred and cousins, goods, strength, beauty, discretion, his five senses leaving him, with Knowledge departing from him at the end, and his only companion to the grave is his Good Deeds.
* A TearJerker example is the theme of ''Theatre/OurTown''.
* Theatre/{{Macbeth}}. A whole bunch of Theatre/{{Macbeth}}.
* The point of most Greek tragedies.
* In ''The Adding Machine'', this is the lesson Zero is taught with a BoltOfDivineRetribution.
-->'''Charles'': You can't change the rules--nobody can--they've got it all fixed. It's a rotten system--but what are you going to do about it?

* In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', generally speaking, anyone who tries to avoid their destiny fails. [[spoiler:[[BigBad Makuta]] was supposed to help [[BigGood Mata Nui]] repair the shattered planet Spheres Magna, but turned evil and tried to take over. When the two eventually fought, Makuta ended up drawing in the two fragments in an attempt to attack Mata Nui, one of which hit him in the back of the head and killed him. Thanks to Makuta pulling the planet chunks closer, Mata Nui is able to finish the job on his own.]]
** Prior to that Makuta actually [[ExploitedTrope exploited this to his advantage]]: He had put Mata Nui to sleep, but a group of Toa heroes were destined to wake him up again. Rather than try to stop the heroes at all costs, he arranged things so that reviving Mata Nui could give him even more power.
** Even earlier, both Mata Nui and Makuta tried to exploit this at the same time. Mata Nui determined which Matoran would become the Toa Metru, and a prophecy of their identities leaked out. The prophecy was quickly surpressed, but not before Makuta learned of it. He then tricked Toa Lhikan into deciding that the prophecized Matoran were not the ones truly destined to be Toa and caused Lhikan to pick six others who Lhikan thought would do the job. These six were, in fact, chosen by Makuta as six who would never be able to work together and therefor fail. These six became the Toa and Makuta seemingly won (at least for a little while). Future averted, right? [[spoiler:Nope. The prophecy was a lie created by Mata Nui for just such an occasion. The six Matoran Makuta planted in Lhikan's mind were in turn planted into HIS mind by Mata Nui, thus allowing those truly destined to take the power.]] Not bad for a guy who was asleep most of the series.

* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', no matter how many [[TheChosenOne Chosen Undeads]] relinked the fire, the prolonged Age of Fire will eventually end, and the Age of Dark will inevitably come.
** Until ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'', at least, [[spoiler:which has a decently well hidden ending where you TakeAThirdOption to link the Fire with the Dark Sign, creating an "age of humanity" separate from the Age of Dark, whether this ends up being a good thing or a bad thing for the world... well, who knows?]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', regardless of alternate choices made, the outcome of certain events; such as Doug's or Carley's death will exactly be the same.
* In ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'', all the things that happened were ThePlan [[spoiler:from the twins to, not only save the world, but also to make Heiss accept his fate of being the sacrifice.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries'', Kratos was able to fight the Sisters of Fate, but in [[VideoGame/GodOfWarII the game itself]] and the more recent ones it was revealed Kratos was fated to destroy Olympus. The implication being even the Sisters were bound by some higher power they could not control.
* Half of the ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series revolves around this trope. The other half revolves around ScrewDestiny. It's...complicated.
** In ''Soul Reaver 2'' [[spoiler:despite rampant time-travel, different versions of the Reaver existing at the same time, and ''killing himself with his own soul'', at the end Raziel realizes that he never escaped his terrible destiny; he had merely postponed it.]] History abhors a paradox.
** Finally in ''Defiance'', Raziel [[spoiler:finally realizes that he ''can'' alter the timeline and thus his own fate. But he ultimately embraces it anyway because he believes it's the only way to defeat the true villain behind all of Nosgoth's suffering.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', the main plot of the big bad is to [[spoiler:win the power of the gods to control humanity's own history. Not so evil after all. He both succeeds and loses, which sucks.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' focuses on TimeTravel to avoid a BadFuture. Despite going into various decades, centuries, ''alternate'' centuries or even obtaining the paradox endings, [[spoiler:it always ends with Etro dying, time itself being destroyed and the Caius achieving his goal]].
** Many people see ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' as the same thing: The party resolves to fight fate and escape the curse of the L'cie (turning to crystal or turning into a monster), [[spoiler:however they end up doing exactly what the big Bad wants them to do anyways and in the end are only saved from the curse by the intervention of one of the Gods (Who's intervention causes the events of the sequel to take place). ]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'' has three different scenarios (two for X, one of which is non-canon, and one for Zero), depending on the LuckBasedMission of the game. However, whichever scenario is played out, the BossBattle in the penultimate stage will ''always'' be [[spoiler:X vs. Zero, their prophecy finally being carried out]].
* [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The Armageddon]] in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. [[spoiler:You can't stop it, but you ''can'' [[MultipleEndings make it even worse]] if you don't fulfill the prophecy exactly.]]
* The main plot of ''VideoGame/{{Summoner}}''. The evil emperor Murod is told that his reign will be brought to an end by a summoner. So he spends his life finding the summoner, causing the destruction of his village, and later of the kingdom the summoner is from. This causes the summoner to fight and eventually kill Murod. Ironically, had he done nothing about it, said Summoner would have lived a happy life as a mere farmer.
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2''
** The Anguished One eventually reveals that the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_records Akashic Records]] exist and that everything is written in them, ranging from small events to bigger events. Nicaea attempts to prove the Akashic Records wrong by handing out the Death Videos and seeing if people can prevent the foreordained deaths.
** The Triangulum Arc reveals that [[spoiler:after defeating Polaris and its Septentriones, the next batch of higher existences arrives in the form of Arcturus and its Triangulum, out to destroy the world and mankind, instead of merely testing them. And the Triangulum already appeared twice]]. One of the endings even includes realizing this trope and deciding to [[spoiler:fight a never-ending war with every Administrator coming to earth and trying to destroy humanity, with the party out to defend the world and regressing it over and over, until every Administrator is defeated]]. This ending is even implied to eventually [[DownerEnding not end well]].
* Kratos from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' tends to mention fate a lot in his battle quotes, such as saying "You can never escape fate." Considering what happened to him, it might be very justified.
* In the ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'', [[spoiler:Kyle STILL ends up meeting Reala in the very same place they did before despite what happened after the final battle. Coincidence?]]
** This trope is zigzagged in the game in general. [[spoiler:Reala]] coming back at all was a case of [[spoiler:ScrewDestiny]], as was [[spoiler:Judas]] [[AmbiguousSituation maybe]] [[ThePowerOfFriendship coming back]].
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlertSeries'': In spite of the TimeTravel, Allies will always win.
* Present for the BigBad in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime''. Larkeicus's plan is to stop an event that's about to happen from causing crystals to disappear from the world 2,000 years in the past [[TimeyWimeyBall (...somehow)]]. He calculates the exact time and location of the event, [[spoiler:which is in the middle of the air. So he builds a tower to reach that point. After you defeat him, Sherlotta tells him something along the lines of, "If there wasn't this tower, what could have possibly happened, all the way up here?". She then follows up by essentially [[InvokedTrope stating this trope]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', you are chased by an unstoppable monster sent to kill you because you changed the timeline and it was bad. It is implied that it was sent by the gods. So, what do you do? [[spoiler:In the alternative/proper ending you find a magical mask that lets you exist in two places at once. You let your other self get killed to free yourself from destiny and then you stop destiny again using a magical sword to destroy the monster.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', [[spoiler:you fight fate, or rather, FATE.]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Things don't exactly go smoothly afterwards...]]
** You get several opportunities (and multiple playthroughs) to try and avoid [[spoiler:the stabbing scene]] which was foreshadowed in the opening sequences. It doesn't work.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' (pictured above) has the bad ending where [[spoiler:you fail to defeat Lavos, followed by a cutscene where he destroys the earth.]] [[NightmareFuel Sleep tight,]] [[SarcasmMode kiddies.]]
* A good part of the common backstory of the Kusanagi, Yasakani/Yagami, and Yata/Kagura clans in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' relates to how they cannot escape from fighting the Orochi clan.
* The BigBad Dierker in ''VideoGame/TheSaboteur'' said to Devlin in the Zeppelin "You should have died under my knife. Not like this.". Despite Dierker's Devil Luck to survive every ambush and attacks Devlin throws at him throughout the game, ultimately Devlin gets to kill him for good in the ending, showing Dierker can't fight his fate of dying.
* ''VideoGame/SunsetOverImdahl'' is particularly evil about this trope, since the entire plot is the main character's attempt to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong (and [[spoiler:his supposed ally's successful attempt to [[StableTimeLoop make it go wrong in the first place]]]].) There's only one apparent change: [[spoiler:while in the beginning the hero was the last survivor, in the end he gets a decent burial and a tombstone, while others are dumped in a mass grave.]]
* The StableTimeLoop in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' involves some elements of this trope. [[spoiler:Ellone]] repeatedly sends [[spoiler:Squall's consciousness]] into the past in an effort to change it, but concludes after repeated failures that changing the past is impossible. The BigBad also mucks around in the past in an effort to change it, but although the meddling causes quite a bit of trouble for everyone involved, it ends up ''causing'' the very results it was intended to prevent.
** Squall himself also catches some You Can't Fight Fate; he doesn't want to be in charge of anything and takes it very badly when he's [[YouAreInCommandNow summarily appointed leader of SeeD]] thanks to Cid's knowledge of the StableTimeLoop, but not only does he grow into and accept the role as his destiny, he also gives [[spoiler:Edea]] the information which [[spoiler:she and Cid]] use to found [=SeeD=] and put him in charge in the first place.
* The villains in the ''VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'' frequently use this as a part of their HannibalLecture.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' has Gabriel Belmont attempting to ScrewDestiny, but no matter how hard he does, he cannot change it, and he cannot avoid it. Not only does he fail to save his love from death, but [[spoiler:he also becomes [[TragicMonster Dracula]]]] as the prophecy plays out; he also falls victim to [[spoiler:Satan]]'s EvilPlan all along...
* In the {{crossover}} ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' features a girl whose fate as written in the 'storytellers' book' is to die. The girl thinks that her death is her fate while Phoenix is sure that she will not die.
* ''VideoGame/SailorMoonAnotherStory'' is about you teaching ''bad guys'' about this. Well...yeah.
* ''VideoGame/FearEffect''. The second game strongly gives off this message, if the things the Eight Immortals say are anything to go by.
* GameMod ''VideoGame/RedAlert3Paradox'' [[PlayingWithATrope plays with this trope]] by having it in its motto: "You can't change the universe without repercussions...", as in "TimeTravel can only make the universe worse".
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', this ''was'' the case since the dawn of time. The Fateless One is special because he/she is ImmuneToFate, and thus is the ''only person in existence'' who can ScrewDestiny. Everyone else, even gods, can't change their fates.
* This is a large part of the character of Nozdormu, the Aspect of Time, in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''; he was shown the ''exact moment and cause'' of his death when he was first given his powers, but can do nothing to change it because of his role as leader of the TimePolice. Plus, he knew about the betrayal of his friend Neltharion and subsequent transformation to [[OmnicidalManiac Deathwing]], and that [[WellIntentionedExtremist Malygos]] would snap when Blue dragons nearly went extinct. The best example of this, though, is that Nozdormu ''also'' knows that he will eventually become [[FutureMeScaresMe Murozond]], the leader of the Infinite Dragons who are screwing with history. And he ''accepts it'', even if the thought terrifies him. He got better about it as of ''Literature/ThrallTwilightOfTheAspects'', deciding to only focus on the here and now, even if he knows for a fact what the future holds. "All that matters is this moment."
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' the Scroll of Fate dictates the fate of everything in existence. The only ones who can fight fate are the Nephalem (the player characters) since the Scroll of Fate doesn't mention them. Their fate is unwritten. [[spoiler:This is good news for Heaven, since the Angels are otherwise destined to fall to the Prime Evil.]]
* Combined with ProphecyTwist in ''VideoGame/UmJammerLammy'': In the original version of Stage 6 ("Vital Idol"), [[spoiler:Lammy avoids [[LookBothWays getting hit and run by an out-of-control car]] so as not to end up in hell (as Chop Chop Master Onion has foretold in her dream). As she keeps running, she doesn't notice the BananaPeel that PJ Berri has left because she is in too much of a hurry, then slips on it, falls down, breaks her neck and dies, thus fulfilling Chop Chop Master Onion's [[DreamingOfThingsToCome dream prophecy]]]].
* VideoGame/{{Braid}}: There are mistakes even Tim can't erase with his time powers, to wit...
** Green sparkling items and creatures cannot be manipulated by any sort of time travel.
** You can't fix attempting to use a key on the wrong door by rewinding time.
** [[spoiler:A secret star]] cannot be gotten if you solve the [[spoiler:World 4]] jigsaw puzzle too early.
** Time can no longer be rewound once [[spoiler:you see the ending]].
* The "Constant and Variable" concept in VideoGame/{{Bioshock Infinite}} fits this trope, no matter what actions is taken by the characters, the outcome still remains the same.
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]], but ultimately subverted in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''. Lucina travels back in time from a BadFuture where the Fel Dragon Grima was resurrected and destroyed most of humanity, hoping to stop his resurrection by changing history. When she only manages to change the circumstances of events leading up to its return like [[spoiler:Emmeryn's death]] rather than outright preventing them, she begins to fear this is the case. Eventually, however, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the Grima from her timeline followed her back (in its human form) and has been subtly manipulating events to ensure its resurrection]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', PhysicalGod Vivec gives this as his reason for persecuting the [[PlayerCharacter Nerevarine]]. He actually appears to have believed the Nerevarine prophecy himself, and knew that when the real Nerevarine came along, all attempts to stop him/her would fail, giving proof of his/her legitimacy.
* It seems that fate is quite determined to have Alexander, main character of ''VideoGame/CirqueDeZale'', become the hero who will save the world. Once Alexander accomplishes his goal of getting a circus together, [[spoiler:he is kidnapped by the sorceror he was supposed to stop. Once he escapes and ends up on a deserted island, he decides to just stay in the fancy mansion that another inhabitant of the island built, resulting in said mansion getting destroyed.]] In the end, [[spoiler:Alexander destroys the device of destruction, but claims that he just did it because he wanted to, not because he was destined to.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', the guy making the 'prophecy' (that Issun would become a Celestial Envoy) didn't have as good an idea of the big picture as he thought he did. Ishaku always pushed Issun to be ''perfect'', and eventually Issun got fed up and left to wander the world. Which is good because Amaterasu awakens in Kamiki, miles away from the Poncles' village, and serendipitously Issun is right there to help. Turns out Amaterasu doesn't care about an Envoy's artistic skill so much as his willingness to accompany and [[HeroicMute speak for]] her.
* ''VideoGame/RandalsMonday'': It seems more and more like this is the case as the game goes on. [[spoiler:Randal has to make a deal with demons to [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] this.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', Gae Bolg works on this principle. It's a weapon that reverses causality: instead of the attack puncturing the heart, the heart is punctured and THEN the attack lands.
** Still doesn't [[BornLucky keep Saber]] [[SuperReflexes from avoiding]] death, using her canonical luckiness and extreme skill to ensure it only grazes her heart. Fate is thus unavoidable, but you can escape the worst of it.
* Even if Ange from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' [[ScrewDestiny changes the past and helps Battler come home]], [[spoiler:Battler still won't have come home, because [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble it already didn't happen that way]]]]. Though in the canonical ending, [[spoiler:Battler is one of the only two survivors of the incident on the island, and the whole series is how he tries to figure out what happened during those two days on Rokkenjima. The whole scenario is flipped around: No matter what happens, everyone but Battler and Eva are going to die on the island since that's simply how it happened.]]
* In ''Steins;Gate'', the concept of Attractor Fields plays with this. Certain groups of World Lines (alternate timelines) will always converge on the same result. Using TimeTravel, you can change World Lines, and thus change certain events, but unless the World Line changes to that of a different Attractor Field, then that specific event will always occur. For example, if you witness a person die on October 13th, then that person will always die that day, no matter what the cause is. [[spoiler:However, the True Ending reveals that TrickedOutTime is possible.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/010203 Zoe]] [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20050814 being]] [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20090804 burned]] in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''.
* Happens all the time in ''Webcomic/HitmenForDestiny'' for example [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/thorsby/destiny/series.php?view=archive&chapter=39639 here]]. Characters who have prophecies predicting their death tend to die right on time ([[spoiler:though sometimes they die earlier than predicted, destiny being fallible and damageable]]).
* Played with in [[http://www.oglaf.com/sooth/1/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' strip.
* Webcomic/{{Goblins}} pulls this on a magnificent scale - Goblins are named after prophecies of their future so Saves a Fox attempts to thwart destiny by killing a fox. [[spoiler:Guess what? It was suffering from a disease which would have left it to die a slow painful death - in context, she actually ''saved a fox''.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has several methods of [[DreamingOfThingsToCome gleaning into the future]] or traveling through time, but the course of time cannot truly be changed. Any attempt to alter the alpha timeline is doomed to failure. If you're lucky, it'll turn out YouAlreadyChangedThePast. In a worst-case scenario, it creates a [[TimeCrash paradoxical offshoot]], [[FateWorseThanDeath doomed to veer off into nonexistence]] (as one character puts it, "The Universe eats paradoxes for breakfast"). Ultimately, the only thing one can hope to do is set up a series of {{Stable Time Loop}}s [[CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit to profit from what's bound to happen anyways]], or to use an offshoot timeline to work on [[ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest something which will aid the "fated" progression of the alpha timeline.]]
** On the one hand, {{Stable Time Loop}}s conspire to weave the outcomes of actions into the very structure of the game so that things "always had to happen this way". But on the other hand, these things still come about from people making (apparently) free will decisions. Kanaya highlights this a couple of times in Act 5 conversations with Aradia and Vriska. So ultimately fate may be one huge BatmanGambit.
** As of the end of Act IV, [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003842 Rose has had it with this fate bullshit]]. Incidentally, she knows she can't wantonly alter the timeline because [[http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004804 she knows it will just create an offshoot.]] [[AndIMustScream Which is something she's had personal experience with.]]
-->''Our otherworldly antagonists have assured us of our inevitable failure repeatedly, while the gods whisper corroboration in my sleep. I believe them now. [[spoiler:I just blew up my first gate]]. I'm not sure why I did it, really. I'm not playing by the rules anymore. I will fly around this candy-coated rock and comb the white sand until I find answers. No one can tell me our fate can't be repaired. We've come too far. I jumped out of the way of a [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] burning tree, for God's sake.''
** Offshoots don't always veer off into non-existence though, as sometimes Paradox Space finds ways to make sure that all parties that would be altered in the new timeline meet a swift demise, as a Dave and one set of Trolls found out the [[KillEmAll hard]] [[ImplacableMan way]].
** It also doesn't help the issue that we as the reader know the future, but characters in canon do not.
*** In short, in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' not only can you not fight fate, if you do manage to split away from the main timeline, a quasi magical force known as Paradox Space will doom you all to a horrible death. [[MindScrew Probably]].
** Interestingly, this only applies to major characters; [[MrExposition Miss Exposition]] claims that the universe only really cares that much about the actions of people who will have a major impact on the universe itself and its survival/[[spoiler:reproduction]], while those without potential for such impact have traditional free will and the universe will not split into a doomed timeline regardless of their choices.
** [[spoiler:John]] is the only person able to actually fight this, [[spoiler:as since he's no longer tied down to the basic causality of the Incipisphere, his actions as he flits across time and space can actually change the alpha timeline. Considering how narrowly the kid's made it out alive, this is more than a little scary for him.]]
** This also a major reason why nobody ever tries preventing the rise of the BigBad, Lord English, who doesn't even make a proper appearance in the comic until very late. Every time the possibility of mucking with time to prevent his arrival is raised, someone iterates that "You can't. [[StableTimeLoop He is already here.]]"
** And when the above two examples are mixed together, [[spoiler:it still ends up that this trope is played straight. Even when John teleports the Kids in using his Retcon powers to stop Lord English's younger self before he can become Lord English, it still ends up being the event that creates him anyways.]]
** It really doesn't help that [[spoiler:Lord English is ''also'' able to manipulate Fate for his own ends, being a Lord of Time who gained game-breaking powers thanks to playing and beating a Dead Session. The very juju that granted John his power was originally Caliborn's.]]
* This is Wanda's philosophy in ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'' after her and Jillian's experiences with trying to fight Fate just made things harder on them. Wanda chose to submit to Fate and became rather stoic and hopeless as a result, but generally gets what she wants. Jillian herself keeps fighting Fate despite the futility and is usually happier and more fulfilled even though she always seems to end up suffering and losing eventually. So, who won?
** Later, an actual Predictamancer calls Wanda's worldview simplistic after it causes yet another screw up. Fate itself is a part of the world of magical disciplines and clever people can get around it or stall it for a time if they know how. Tricking a prophecy, moving the goal conditions further along and bizarre strategies that ensure maximum safety and no risk. The best people to cheat Fate are usually Carnymancers, but even they lose in the end. To beat the [[spoiler:strongest known Carnymancer, Charlie,]] though, Wanda needs to stop being so inflexible and start searching for loopholes herself.
** Theoretically, one could prevent a prophecy by killing the person that the prophecy is about, but on the occasions when somebody actually had the opportunity to do this, they were to scared to try because they believed that fate would retaliate by sending somebody worse to fulfil the prophecy.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'': [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/040918c I knew he was going to say]] [[ScrewDestiny that]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2005-02-05]] Squigley, after a moment dramatically contemplating a universe where free will is mockery, says, "sure, why not?"
* In ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' this rule is what gives Creator/BenjaminFranklin [[http://www.spinnyverse.com/2011/10/28/10282011/ superpowers.]]
* In ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'', [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level2/level-2-2/ Mimic doesn't like the prophecy.]] [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level2/level-2-5/ He likes it still less after hearing what they are after, but he still gets hooked in.]]
* The MegaCrossover FanWebcomic ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' uses a highly meta version of this and BecauseDestinySaysSo. The characters are aware of their fictionality, the stories they are from AND the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality so the destiny that says so and/or the fate they can't fight. More directly: [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} Jareth]] desperately tries to be a hero but [[RunningGag always fails]] and got [[SuperPoweredEvilSide villainous]] [[ParanoiaFuel backlash]] because of it. [[Film/{{Zombieland}} Tallahassee]] tried to escape his {{canon}} to bring back his son...[[TearJerker and failed]].
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' has [[spoiler:Sarda]] espouse this philosophy. This is due to [[spoiler:his failures at TimeTravel]], thinking that something that happened cannot be avoided. [[spoiler:Chaos turns that on its head.]]
* In ''Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy'', veteran time traveller J.J. knows that any event that she personally observes becomes immutable. However, if she looks away, she can leave the outcome ambiguous enough for her to go back and change things.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/LsEmpire''. While you can't change the past, you can't know the future, therefore the existence of fate is irrelevant.
* ''Webcomic/ScaryGoRound'': The "Hard Yards" storyline in 2017 involved a massive {{Retcon}}, according to which, much of the history of the Franchise/{{Bobbinsverse}} was probably generated by [[spoiler:a {{time travel}}ling Scout Jones attempting to prevent the break-up of her parents' marriage and the births of her half-sisters -- and actually [[StableTimeLoop causing many of the events involved]]]].

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* Done for laughs in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', when Church repeatedly goes back in time, to try to keep "a lot of really weird and totally inexplicable stuff" from happening. [[GroundhogDayLoop It doesn't work.]] Mostly, either his plan fails, or he actually ''causes'' the event he was trying to prevent, ''including his own death.'' He also seems to selectively forget his mistakes, since he still blames Caboose for the tank incident, [[AIIsACrapshoot even though Caboose wasn't really at fault at all.]]
* In ''WebVideo/TheEnd'', whenever Brendon meets someone new he receives a vision of the end of that relationship and he cannot change what he sees. His only choices are to accept fate or not to pursue that relationship at all.
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's editorial on ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'', he discusses the darker side of this, asking about the people who hadn't wanted to be mean and the people destined to be victims.
* In the WebOriginal/KingDragonCanon, Dennis plays a Telltale-Games-esque version of the game, but due to a PlotlineDeath in the original, a certain choice reeks of ButThouMust (Much to his dismay.)
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': Killer Monster was destined for evil, and not even Koden could prevent that.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', in the 'Pandemic' two-parter. The kids rope Craig into becoming a member of their Peruvian flute band and end up in a hidden Peruvian temple as giant Guinea-pigs try to take over the world. They see a picture of Craig on a temple wall and insist that he's part of a prophecy to defeat them, so he ''has'' to keep going. Even the evil Guinea-Pirate calls him TheChosenOne. Craig decides he's had enough, and tries to prove that he does have a choice, and that you can just walk away - pretty gutsy when you're a kid and it's five against one. Except in doing so, he steps on a stone that leads to him defeating the evil Guinea-Pirate. Sorry Craig, but you're going to have lasers shooting out of your eyes whether you like it or not.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "Seer No Evil", a gypsy moth named Cassandra gives a series of unlikely predictions to everyone except Zipper, but they all end in different ways than expected. Monterey Jack gets a pink fur coat (he gets covered in cotton candy), Gadget would have a run-in with a tall, dark stranger (specifically, the VillainOfTheWeek's monkey), Dale would fly without wings (a magnet picks him up after he gets his foot stuck in a thimble), and Chip would end up running into an elephant and get crushed by a trunk, implying that he would die. However, it was an automated elephant at the entrance of the fun house, and the trunk in question [[spoiler:had all of the stolen loot as well as Dale, Monty, and Gadget trapped inside, and they used force to knock it down and pry it open.]] Luckily, Chip didn't die, because [[spoiler:there was a hole in the floor.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'''s [[FutureMeScaresMe future self]]. The circumstances will be different, but the outcome generally the same. His present/past self says "ScrewDestiny" and appears to have avoided that fate...but did gain a useful ability.
** While Clockwork speculates that Danny's future self now exists outside of time due to a TemporalParadox, Danny's future self thinks it's a StableTimeLoop, and his final taunt to himself from the present is essentially this trope.
-->'''Future Danny:''' ''I'' still exist! That means ''you'' still turn into ''me!''
** The Observants see time linearly, which is why they demanded Clockwork kill Danny to prevent Future Danny's existence. Subverted with Clockwork himself, who has the ability to see ''all'' possible timelines, instead of a linear future. That being said, he can't simply SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, though he will intervene if someone were to manipulate the time stream to produce a favorable outcome for themselves, instead of trying to fix their issues in the present.
* The ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'' episode "Epilogue" (also a FullyAbsorbedFinale for ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'') has former CADMUS leader Amanda Waller explaining to Terry how her branch engineered his entire life to be the next Batman, from arranging for him to be conceived with Bruce Wayne's DNA instead of his actual father's, to setting up the DeathByOriginStory of his parents. The assassin they contracted for that purpose refused to go through with it, leaving the [=McGinnis=] family alive. Fate had other plans, however and Terry's father was later murdered by Derek Powers, coincidentally around the same time that Terry met the aged Bruce Wayne and managed to connect the dots about his identity as the former Batman.
** On the other hand, the very same episode emphasizes the choice Terry had in becoming who he is and how he's grown, considering the vast number of psychopathic or self-destructive nut-jobs CADMUS also ended up creating. It may have been fate that turned Terry into Batman, but it's Terry himself that became a hero.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker":
-->'''Timmy:''' NO! This is exactly what I was ''trying... to... prevent!''
* Comes up several times in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', thanks to the Phoenix Gate's ability to TimeTravel:
** During his first experience with TimeTravel, Goliath ends up in his own past and implores the past version of Demona not to make the same bad decisions that led to her becoming his enemy. When he returns to the present, Demona taunts him with the knowledge that she remembered that confrontation all along and that his efforts changed nothing. Interestingly, the bad guy she had teamed up with, Xanatos, already understands what the gargoyles will only later pick up about time travel, he's just there to arrange what he already knew happened, not to change anything.
** Later, Goliath attempts to use the time-travelling Phoenix Gate to save Griff from being killed during the Blitz in WWII London, after being accused of abandoning or murdering Griff by his companions. With increasingly improbable incidents occurring that indicates the universe has decided Griff is its new [[TheChewToy Chew Toy]], Goliath ultimately concludes that fate will not allow Griff to get home and uses the Phoenix Gate to bring Griff back with him to the present, [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast thus causing his original disappearance]].
** A particularly strange timeloop appears when the archmage, while falling to his death, is saved by his future self. This future self gives him some extra powers and instructions and after what can't have been more than a few hours sends him off to save what now is his past self.
** By the end of the Avalon arc, Goliath has learned his lesson enough that, faced with a dystopian future vision of things that will happen to his friends and allies and asked by Elisa to give her the Phoenix Gate in order to fix things, he refuses, stating that time and fate are immutable and cannot be changed. As it turns out the whole experience was staged by Puck to obtain the Phoenix Gate for himself, so Goliath is presented as making the right choice.
** A Xanatos and Goliath exchange explains this perfectly:
-->'''Goliath:''' If I did not fear the damage you would do to the time stream, I would leave you here.\\
'''Xanatos:''' But you won't, because you didn't. Time travel is funny like that.
** Eventually, Goliath decides to hurl the Gate into the timestream by itself, effectively removing it from reality, as he's clearly sick of people who ''think'' they can change history with it coming after him and his allies.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'': After some TimeTravel, Mojo Jojo chucks a young Utonium into the town volcano. However, the [=PPGs=] have travelled as well, and not only do they save Utonium, it turns out that this incident is what got him into science...[[StableTimeLoop and eventually led to the PPGs' creation.]]
* This trope was done on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in "The Ned Zone" segment of "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS16E1TreehouseOfHorrorXV Treehouse of Horror XV]]" where Ned can foretell people's deaths, and has a vision showing himself killing Homer. [[spoiler:He believes he's managed to avert the vision, but then has another vision of Homer causing an explosion at the nuclear power plant that destroys the town. In the course of stopping Homer from causing the explosion, he ends up fulfilling the original prediction, but Homer manages to cause the explosion anyway.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' spent several episodes of the fourth season dealing with Raven's prophecied role as the instrument by which [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt her father would enter and end the world]]. Despite hers and her friends' efforts of preventing it, she ''does'' become the portal for Trigon to get to Earth and destroy it...[[ResetButton they just fix it afterward]].
** In a way, Raven kind of retroactively says ScrewDestiny. She realizes the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt prophecy]] only came true because she let it ([[SelfFulfillingProphecy having given up fighting because she thought it wouldn't go any good]]), and then turns the DeusExMachina UpToEleven.
*** Another interpretation involves the prophecy's ExactWords. It says "[[{{Satan}} Trigon]] comes to claim, he comes to sire the end of all things mortal", thus correctly predicting what Trigon ''intends'' to do. It never says that he succeeds.
** In "The End, Part II," Robin calls Slade out on helping Trigon destroy the world. Slade responds that while he ''did'' play a part in it, even if he wasn't there, it wouldn't have changed anything; Trigon's coming was inevitable.
** Season 2's episode "How Long is Forever?" has Starfire sent 20 years into the future during a battle with a time-traveling villain named Warp. In the future, her friends split apart after her absence and Warp tells her, despite believing his interference caused it, that nothing has changed, as everything is as history says it is. Of course, [[ScrewDestiny reuniting her friends proves otherwise]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JacobTwoTwo'' starts with Jacob accidentally destroying his older brother's priceless, never-been-played Beatles record, and discovering a time machine that will let him go back to when he broke it. But every single time he tries to fix it, things turn out ''worse'', culminating in their ''[[DisasterDominoes entire house being destroyed]]'' (along with the record). Jacob finally gives up trying to save the record, and uses the time machine one last time to recreate the original incident (where just the record is broken and nothing else). And then he happens upon another copy of ''I want to Hold Your Hand''. Yay! [[spoiler:[[YankTheDogsChain And then Daniel accidentally breaks that copy, too.]]]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' Fry kills his own grandfather, but turns out to be his own grandfather after all (explaining his unusual brain structure, or lack thereof), so the Futurama timespace seems to be either impossible to change, or self-correcting.
** Doom coefficient, anyone?
* An ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' episode has the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Chaos convinced that Fate is on Aladdin's side after hearing about his many victories against impossible odds. This upsets him, to say the least, and that's when the episode gets a little more serious.
-->'''Chaos:''' To always win against such odds, Fate must have smiled on you.\\
'''Aladdin:''' Well, I try not to...brag...\\
'''Chaos:''' But I never liked Fate. Predestination goes against the grain. Besides, he cheats at cards. But if Fate has decreed that Aladdin always wins, what can I do? I mean, where’s the unpredictability in that? I’ve got it! Allow me to produce a little scenario I call "EvilTwin". I have no problem with Aladdin winning all his battles. The question is, which Aladdin?
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** One episode has Twilight Sparkle meeting her future self, who has messed up hair, a torn-up catsuit, an eyepatch, and a scar. Because Present Twilight talks so much, Future Twilight can't deliver a warning about the future, so Present Twilight panics and tries to prevent a potential disaster, not only causing the changes her future self wound up with, but it turns out there was no disaster in the first place. The warning was [[AnAesop to not worry about what the future brings.]]
** In the season 3 finale, Twilight's main friends have had their Cutie Marks accidentally switched by the latter and are forced to perform the task each Cutie Mark brings, it being their supposed fate to do so. [[spoiler:Subverted when everything goes back to normal.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', one episode shows the Flash's grandson Impulse going back in time through a one way time machine to prevent his grandfather from being killed by a super villain named Neutron where he believes will prevent the world from being devastated by Neutron's uncontrollable power. He succeeds in saving Flash and also eliminating Neutron's power with a blue pill that the future Neutron gave him. Neutron is changed by Impulse's actions, but the world continues to be devastated.
** However, he ''does'' later help change the outcome of [[spoiler:the Reach invasion; by helping prevent Blue Beetle's FaceHeelTurn, the Reach are ultimately prevented from taking over Earth like they did in Impulse's BadFuture.]] The Season finale (which until the revival was thought to be the last episode) suggests that there ''would'' be other threats to the Earth that might lead to the same (or similar) outcome, but until season 3 this can't be known for certain.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Odd's [[WhatKindofLamePowerIsHeartAnyway very useful]] ability to see the future provided endless examples of this. The first season seemed pretty convinced that his real superpower was watching things like [[spoiler:Yumi falling into the virtual sea]] without actually doing anything to change the future, until Jeremie finally realized how useless it was and coded it out.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', at every alternate universe shown so far, some event happens that makes [[AnArmAndALeg Finn lose an arm]]: his life in the Pillow World, a world where he had wished the Lich never existed, and his [[spoiler:previous life as Shoko]]. [[spoiler:As of "Escape from the Citadel", this happens to Main!Finn canonically. He does get better after a couple of episodes, though.]]
* Jughead lampshades this trope in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/ArchiesWeirdMysteries''.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'': This is the main reason why [[spoiler:Esther stopped pursuing Ben and started dating Antonio. While she really does like him, she realizes that her feelings can't compare to what's happening between him and Kai -- added with the knowledge from Spanner that the two are married in the future, she realizes that there's no point in fighting for him anymore since Ben and Kai are ''meant'' to be together]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "The Time Travelers Pig" has Dipper getting a time traveling device in order to go back in time and not hit Wendy in the eye with a baseball. But it's shown that no matter how many times Dipper goes back in time, he will always hit Wendy and she'll start dating Robbie. The one timeline where he doesn't hit Wendy also prevents Mabel from getting her pet pig. Dipper decides that he can't take away Mabel's happiness and goes back in time to help Mabel win her pig, but also lose Wendy.