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Playing With: Ret Gone
Basic Trope: Character is erased from existence.
  • Straight: Bob kills his grandfather in the past and stops existing.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob kills the ancestors of the entire human race.
    • Bob manages to not only to never exist, but doesn't exist in any timeline or parallel universe. Wait, who's Bob again?
    • Bob prevents the Big Bang itself!
  • Downplayed: Bob prevents the trauma that causes Alice to develop Carol as a split personality, effectively "killing" her but no one actually dies.
  • Justified: Bob was never supposed to exist, and by killing his grandfather he can create a Stable Time Loop that restores the original timeline.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is an only child, and when he returns from travelling in time, he discovers that he now has a seven year old younger sister that he didn't have before.
    • Bob accidentally creates Alice ex-nilho, she just exists from a certain point onward with no explanation.
  • Subverted: Bob kills his grandfather, thinking he will cease to exist, but doesn't.
  • Double Subverted: ...until Bob discovers he starts to slowly fade out of existance.
  • Zig Zagged: But with Bob gone, the timeline proceeds as normal, so Bob fades back into existence. But then the timeline changes, and Bob fades out. And so it proceeds as normal, and Bob fades into existence. And...
  • Parodied: My Own Grampa, with incest jokes all around.
  • Averted: Bob doesn't kill his grandfather.
  • Enforced:
    • The writer is a fatalist and views time travel as mocking God.
    • It's a set up for an Alternate History.
  • Lampshaded: "Oh no, I know how these things work. I'll probably end up killing my grandfather and stop existing or something."
  • Invoked: Bob hates himself so much he goes back in time to his first birthday to kill his baby self so he'll have never existed.
  • Exploited: Bob manages to arrange events such that if he ever is the victim of a Ret Gone everyone would be doomed.
  • Defied: Bob takes precautions when traveling in time so he won't be able to kill his grandfather even by accident.
  • Discussed:
    • "This armband makes you temporal paradox-proof."
    • Bob wants to commit suicide, and one of the things holding him back is the amount of grief he'll cause his family if he does it. In a monologue, he tells about his dream of travelling in time to erase his entire existence so he can disappear without causing pain to his family.
  • Conversed: "Hey, do you remember who Bob was going back in time to kill again?" "Yeah, Chris." "Wasn't that his grandfather's name?" "Come to think of it, yeah, he actually is Bob's- ...wait a second..."
  • Deconstructed: Bob was meant to take down the Big Bad Emperor Evulz. Now that he doesn't exist, Evulz already rules the world.
  • Reconstructed: Evulz was Bob's grandfather or one of his descendants.
  • Played For Drama: Bob's grandfather was a big jerk that severely hurt and traumatized a lot of people, including Bob. Now Bob has the opportunity to erase all this and make many people's lives better, by killing him in the past, but is he right in doing so? And what will happen to Bob if he does?

Back to Ret Gone

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