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Playing With: Never the Selves Shall Meet
Basic Trope: You can't meet yourself via time travel or dimension-hopping, or bad things happen when you try.
  • Straight: A time-traveler tries to meet himself; Very Bad Things happen.
  • Exaggerated: While you're time-traveling, you can't even think about your past self without destroying the universe. Alternately, Only One Me Allowed Right Now.
  • Downplayed: When a time traveler meets himself, it results in mass confusion for whichever one of them is from the future compared to the other as memories have to reassign themselves. In the end, they get better shortly, and nothing else happens.
  • Justified: You live in a Stable Time Loop universe. You don't remember meeting yourself, so whenever you try to do so it must mean that events conspired to stop it from happening. Alternatively, you might see your past self, but nothing bad occurs because your past self didn't see or interact with you.
  • Inverted:
    • You are a dimension-hopper who is only capable of opening your portals to the location of your counterpart in each Alternate Universe.
    • You remember meeting yourself a long time ago, and you finally got tired of waiting for it to happen and decided to get it out of the way.
    • The protagonist and/or the Big Bad make an army of their alternate selves.
  • Subverted: Time-travelers take elaborate precautions to avoid meeting themselves; eventually one discovers accidentally that these precautions are unnecessary.
  • Double Subverted: Time-travelers take elaborate precautions to avoid meeting themselves; eventually one discovers accidentally that these precautions are unnecessary. Everyone is relieved and stops being so careful, until six months later, when that first time-traveler goes violently insane.
  • Parodied: "Hi, Me. I'm Me. Nice to meet Me."
    Cue the sound of the universe ripping apart.
  • Zig Zagged: In a long-running series, sometimes it's impossible to meet yourself via time-travel, sometimes it's extremely dangerous, and other times the two selves can team up for fun and games. This is actually due to different writers, but some efforts are made at explaining this within the show.
  • Averted: Nothing in particular stops you from meeting yourself in the past.
  • Enforced: "We haven't enough money for this One-Actor-Two-Person-Special Effect. They just can't meet, okay?"
  • Lampshaded: "What, I can't use this time machine to cheat on my SATs by going back and telling myself all the right answers? That sucks!"
  • Invoked: "Bob's time-traveling future self is really scary. If I just hang out with Bob all the time, I'll never have to deal with him again."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: You deliberately travel back in time far enough that no one who knew you then could you could recognize you as yourself.
  • Discussed:
    • Time travelers discuss the possibilities of what could happen if you meet yourself in the past.
    • A time traveler meets his past self and says, "I thought this would've led to some problems... guess not."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: The idea of not coming into contact with your past/future self isn't outright stated, but when a time traveler is told that his past self was seen somewhere, he makes a note to not go to that place.
  • Deconstructed: Meeting other versions of yourself has no adverse physical effects, but is psychologically traumatic. The Evil Overlord uses it as part of his suite of enhanced interrogation methods.
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...Is psychologically traumatic. The Evil Overlord uses it as part of his suite of enhanced interrogation methods. But then he discovers, that this special form of torture rips a hole into the fabric of time and space , which treat to destroy him.
    • Alternatively: The Future prisoner breaks out and set the Past Prisoner free. They team up and try to kill their sort off common enemy. Bad things happen to those who fight against the Laws of Time Travel.

Get back to Never the Selves Shall Meet, but wait a few moments so you can be sure you've had time to leave it.

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