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* Two brief examples in the ''Series/DoctorWho''/''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series "[[https://archiveofourown.org/series/1694503 The Twilight Storm]]";

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* Two brief Various examples in the ''Series/DoctorWho''/''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series "[[https://archiveofourown.org/series/1694503 The Twilight Storm]]";''Fanfic/TwilightStorm'', including;



** The Tenth Doctor takes Bella to visit his old friend Steven Taylor, but Steven has already met Bella when circumstances in her future led to her going back in time to help the First Doctor and Steven prevent all later Doctors being erased from existence.

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** The Tenth Doctor takes Bella to visit his old friend Steven Taylor, but Steven has already met Bella when circumstances in her future led to her going back in time to help the First Doctor and Steven prevent all later Doctors being erased from existence.with a crisis.
** In ''The Day Of the Doctor'', Bella is thrown to meet the Eleventh Doctor who talks of their relationship as something long in the past and has to reconcile that with the Doctor she knows in the present.

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* Two brief examples in the ''Series/DoctorWho''/''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series "[[https://archiveofourown.org/series/1694503 The Twilight Storm]]";
** Bella meets UNIT in 2010, and they have records of her time with the Doctor from a trip she will make to the Doctor's original UNIT colleagues in the 1970s in her personal future.
** The Tenth Doctor takes Bella to visit his old friend Steven Taylor, but Steven has already met Bella when circumstances in her future led to her going back in time to help the First Doctor and Steven prevent all later Doctors being erased from existence.


Of course, sometimes they aren't. The Timey-Wimey Ball is the result of a series or movie where the writers are a wee bit confused or forgetful about exactly ''which'' kind of time travel can happen, sometimes within the span of one episode! One day YouCantFightFate (or at least not without the ButterflyOfDoom coming along), but the next you can ScrewDestiny and SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong by [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct killing Hitler]] and changing the past for the better. Especially headachy because there's no TemporalParadox, or if there is it's totally arbitrary.

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Of course, sometimes they aren't. The Timey-Wimey Ball is the result of a series or movie where the writers are a wee bit confused or forgetful about exactly ''which'' kind of time travel can happen, sometimes within the span of one episode! One day YouCantFightFate because YouAlreadyChangedThePast (or at least not without the ButterflyOfDoom coming along), but the next you can ScrewDestiny and SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong by [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct killing Hitler]] and changing the past for the better. Especially headachy because there's no TemporalParadox, or if there is it's totally arbitrary.


* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' has an interesting variation at one point. Knuckles, juiced up on Chaos Energy, was given the chance to bring back everyone on the Floating Island through his power. To do so, he keeps bouncing back in time and stopping a certain event. Not only does that have bad consequences for him, but what he doesn't know is that he keeps futzing up the actual Sonic events, creating timelines such as a [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAm pure [=SatAM=] world]], one based off of [[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie the 1995 OVA]] and a timeline where Robotnik never initiated his coup. At the end, Knuckles decides to stop that and just bring everyone back from the prison the Dark Legion launched them into.

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* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' has an interesting variation at one point. Knuckles, juiced up on Chaos Energy, was given the chance to bring back everyone on the Floating Island through his power. To do so, he keeps bouncing back in time and stopping a certain event. Not only does that have bad consequences for him, but what he doesn't know is that he keeps futzing up the actual Sonic events, creating timelines such as a [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAm [[WesternAnimation/SonicTheHedgehogSatAM pure [=SatAM=] world]], one based off of [[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie the 1995 OVA]] and a timeline where Robotnik never initiated his coup. At the end, Knuckles decides to stop that and just bring everyone back from the prison the Dark Legion launched them into.



** ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM'' screws up its time travel rules quite confusingly. Sonic and Sally try to travel back in time to before Robotnik's coup in order to stop him, but soon discover that this is impossible and they can't change the past, merely [[StableTimeLoop act out or ensure predetermined events]] (Sonic causes Robotnik's arm to be robotized, saves his younger self from getting captured, etc.). However at the last moment Sally attempts to change the fate of her nanny by telling her future information and it works, even though it logically shouldn't have. Even more confusingly, RippleEffectProofMemory is in effect, so Sonic and Sally don't remember interacting with someone they now logically should. [[LampshadeHanging Sonic is appropriately confused]].

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** ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM'' ''WesternAnimation/SonicTheHedgehogSatAM'' screws up its time travel rules quite confusingly. Sonic and Sally try to travel back in time to before Robotnik's coup in order to stop him, but soon discover that this is impossible and they can't change the past, merely [[StableTimeLoop act out or ensure predetermined events]] (Sonic causes Robotnik's arm to be robotized, saves his younger self from getting captured, etc.). However at the last moment Sally attempts to change the fate of her nanny by telling her future information and it works, even though it logically shouldn't have. Even more confusingly, RippleEffectProofMemory is in effect, so Sonic and Sally don't remember interacting with someone they now logically should. [[LampshadeHanging Sonic is appropriately confused]].

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and ''TabletopGame/Pathfinder'' organised play campaigns (Living Greyhawk, Pathfinder Society, Adventurers' League) feature interconnected modules which do not necessarily have to be played in order. This is often invoked to explain how a player character can have played in a later module before an earlier one.


* Creator/JohnByrne's run on ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' has a classic example of the rules changing within a story. When Diana's mother becomes the new Wonder Woman, [[Franchise/TheFlash Jay Garrick]] recognises her as the mysterious woman who was involved in ''one'' of his adventures in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, and who he never really met. When he tells Hippolyta this, she travels to the past in order to maintain the timeline by ensuring everything happens the way Jay remembers. Once she gets there, however, she decides to stick around and become the Golden Age Wonder Woman and a member of the Comicbook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica. History is therefore completely altered after all, but no-one seems to mind.

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* Creator/JohnByrne's run on ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' [[ComicBook/WonderWoman1987 Vol 2]] has a classic example of the rules changing within a story. When Diana's mother becomes the new Wonder Woman, [[Franchise/TheFlash Jay Garrick]] recognises her as the mysterious woman who was involved in ''one'' of his adventures in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, and who he never really met. When he tells Hippolyta this, she travels to the past in order to maintain the timeline by ensuring everything happens the way Jay remembers. Once she gets there, however, she decides to stick around and become the Golden Age Wonder Woman and a member of the Comicbook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica. History is therefore completely altered after all, but no-one seems to mind.


--->'''Dave:''' see the thing with time travel is\\
'''Dave:''' you cant overthink it\\
'''Dave:''' you just got to roll with it and see what happens\\
'''Dave:''' and above all try not to do anything retarded\\

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--->'''Dave:''' --->'''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' see the thing with time travel is\\
'''Dave:''' '''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' you cant overthink it\\
'''Dave:''' '''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' you just got to roll with it and see what happens\\
'''Dave:''' '''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' and above all try not to do anything retarded\\


** The History Monks are originally presented in ''Discworld/SmallGods'' as ensuring everything happens [[BecauseDestinySaysSo the way it's supposed to]] (although, even then, the monk Lu-Tze decides to ScrewDestiny).
** In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', it's revealed that, following various alterations to the Disc's temporal dimensions, the "true history" barely exists, and their main job is to prevent the Timey-Wimey Ball from imploding.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', when Vimes travels thirty years into the past to become [[MyOwnGrampa his own mentor]], even the monks aren't sure what's happening.

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** The History Monks are originally presented in ''Discworld/SmallGods'' ''Literature/SmallGods'' as ensuring everything happens [[BecauseDestinySaysSo the way it's supposed to]] (although, even then, the monk Lu-Tze decides to ScrewDestiny).
** In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', ''Literature/ThiefOfTime'', it's revealed that, following various alterations to the Disc's temporal dimensions, the "true history" barely exists, and their main job is to prevent the Timey-Wimey Ball from imploding.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', ''Literature/{{Night Watch|Discworld}}'', when Vimes travels thirty years into the past to become [[MyOwnGrampa his own mentor]], even the monks aren't sure what's happening.


* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': In "Rattlestar Ricklactica", Morty accidentally gives a species of [[FantasticRacism racist]] alien snakes the secrets of the universe, causing them to band together to invent TimeTravel to travel across space and time to kill Morty. Rick solves the issue by going back himself and inventing time travel ''for'' the snakes at an earlier point in their species' history. Things rapidly get out of hand because the snakes cannot decide what events should and shouldn't happen; the palace of [[HitlerTimeTravelExemptionAct Snake Hitler]] becomes a chaotic battleground of dozens of time travellers trying to either kill or save him. Eventually the TimePolice have to get involved and erase the species from existence.

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* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': In "Rattlestar Ricklactica", Morty accidentally gives a species of [[FantasticRacism racist]] alien snakes the secrets of the universe, causing them to band together to invent TimeTravel to travel across space and time to kill Morty. Rick solves the issue by going back himself and inventing time travel ''for'' the snakes at an earlier point in their species' history. Things rapidly get out of hand because the snakes cannot decide what events should and shouldn't happen; the palace of [[HitlerTimeTravelExemptionAct [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct Snake Hitler]] becomes a chaotic battleground of dozens of time travellers trying to either kill or save him. Eventually the TimePolice have to get involved and erase the species from existence.


* ''Anime/TransformersArmada'':
** After [[spoiler:Thrust shoots Starscream with the [[{{BFG}} Requiem Blaster]],]] we see a shot of Rad as an eight year old waking up in his parents' car and asking tiredly where the Mini-Cons are (implying his "present" mind was momentarily in his past body). Then cut to all the kids - possibly in an alternate future - being told by a slowly dying Hot Shot that the Transformers have all been eaten by Unicron because they didn't know that [[spoiler:the Mini-Cons were servants of Unicron]] and were led to their doom. After this, cut to the kids now being at the moment of the Mini-Cons' creation millions of years ago [[spoiler:inside Unicron. Rad then touches High Wire's hand and frees him (and by association all the other Mini-Cons) from Unicron's control by reminding them of their past[=/=]future happiness together.]] The Mini-Cons then know to go to Earth after they leave Cybertron to meet Rad and the other humans. Cut back to the humans returning mere moments before [[spoiler:Thrust shoots Starscream, whereupon High Wire and his teammates [[CombiningMecha combine into Perceptor]] and knocks the gun away, causing Thrust to miss Starscream completely]]. And none of this is EVER EXPLAINED.
** The Mini-cons who prevented [[spoiler:Starscream from being blasted]] ''weren't'' taken along with the kids' inexplicable time-jump, and there is no reason for them to have done anything differently in the present. It can't even be due to the kids' actions in the past -- the Mini-cons would ''never have gone to Earth to kick off the events of the series'' if not for the kids, so it's not a case of the "old" High Wire [[spoiler:wanting Starscream to die but the "new" one saving him]].



* ''ComicBook/InvaderZimOni'' parodies the complexity of time travel a few times:
** In Issue 12, Zim claims that his actions in the BadFuture changed the past. Dib quickly points out that that isn't how it works, only to be told to shut up.
** In Issue 49, Zim messing about with time travel causes [[spoiler: all the {{alternate timeline}}s accessed via the [[PocketDimension Zimvoid]] to merge together]]. Again, an exasperated Dib tries to explain that's not how it works, only for Zim to ignore him, as whatever he did still got the result he wanted.



* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersArmada'':
** After [[spoiler:Thrust shoots Starscream with the [[{{BFG}} Requiem Blaster]],]] we see a shot of Rad as an eight year old waking up in his parents' car and asking tiredly where the Mini-Cons are (implying his "present" mind was momentarily in his past body). Then cut to all the kids - possibly in an alternate future - being told by a slowly dying Hot Shot that the Transformers have all been eaten by Unicron because they didn't know that [[spoiler:the Mini-Cons were servants of Unicron]] and were led to their doom. After this, cut to the kids now being at the moment of the Mini-Cons' creation millions of years ago [[spoiler:inside Unicron. Rad then touches High Wire's hand and frees him (and by association all the other Mini-Cons) from Unicron's control by reminding them of their past[=/=]future happiness together.]] The Mini-Cons then know to go to Earth after they leave Cybertron to meet Rad and the other humans. Cut back to the humans returning mere moments before [[spoiler:Thrust shoots Starscream, whereupon High Wire and his teammates [[CombiningMecha combine into Perceptor]] and knocks the gun away, causing Thrust to miss Starscream completely]]. And none of this is EVER EXPLAINED.
** The Mini-cons who prevented [[spoiler:Starscream from being blasted]] ''weren't'' taken along with the kids' inexplicable time-jump, and there is no reason for them to have done anything differently in the present. It can't even be due to the kids' actions in the past -- the Mini-cons would ''never have gone to Earth to kick off the events of the series'' if not for the kids, so it's not a case of the "old" High Wire [[spoiler:wanting Starscream to die but the "new" one saving him]].


* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' features Doctor Strange, an expert time traveller who [[spoiler: was altered by the Time Stone when he was younger and]] has spent all his extremely elongated lifespan (roughly [[spoiler: 500,000]] years and counting) manipulating history to the very specific end of defeating Thanos. As he becomes more prominent in the sequel, it's occasionally noted that time travel is extremely complicated - the general consensus is that you ''can'' change the past, but it's not easy and you ''really'' have to know what you're doing - and Strange generally declines to explain for two reasons. One, being cryptic and enigmatic is kind of his thing. Two, he dislikes "explaining temporal physics to neophytes". This is an audience, by the way, that includes ''Odin'' (though compared to Strange, when it comes to time travel, even Odin is a neophyte.

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* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' features Doctor Strange, an expert time traveller who [[spoiler: was altered by the Time Stone when he was younger and]] has spent all his extremely elongated lifespan (roughly [[spoiler: 500,000]] years and counting) manipulating history to the very specific end of defeating Thanos. As he becomes more prominent in the sequel, it's occasionally noted that time travel is extremely complicated - the general consensus is that you ''can'' change the past, but it's not easy and you ''really'' have to know what you're doing - and Strange generally declines to explain for two reasons. One, being cryptic and enigmatic is kind of his thing. Two, he dislikes "explaining temporal physics to neophytes". This is an audience, by the way, that includes ''Odin'' (though compared to Strange, when it comes to time travel, even Odin is a neophyte.neophyte). When Thor takes umbrage at this, Strange (who is over [[spoiler: ''300'']] times older than Thor) snaps that he should be glad that Strange isn't calling him a child.


* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in ''Film/AvengersEndgame'' which introduces time travel as a way to get what is necessary to reset [[Film/AvengersInfinityWar its predecessor]]'s DownerEnding, and at least twice Banner complains about people thinking time travel works the same way as in the movies. [[spoiler:It's explained that instead of creating paradoxes, altering the past would create AlternateUniverses with no effect on their own but the Avengers didn't simply want to leave other realities for dead by keeping their stones. Despite this the Avengers inadvertently end up creating at least three alternate timelines; one where instead of Loki and the Tesseract being returned to Asgard after [[Film/TheAvengers2012 the Battle of New York]], Loki uses the Tesseract to escape the Avengers' custody while Cap learns Bucky is alive early and HYDRA now thinks Cap is on their side, one where Thanos and his army died in 2014 around the start of ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', and during his trip to return the Infinity Stones to their original locations, Captain America manages to live the life that he originally couldn't with an alternate Peggy Carter.]]
** Or to confuse things further, [[spoiler:a Captain America from another timeline created the entire MCU by staying in the past and making a life with Peggy on the trip back to return the stones. Assuming every Captain America gets that same idea, it's as close to a StableTimeLoop the setting's time travel can accommodate.]]



* ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' is one big Timey-Wimey Ball. You've got the son talking to the dad on the same ham radio, and even the whole "changes happen in sync with each other" deal. The first time John changes history and saves his father, he suddenly has memories of both timelines, which is promptly dropped for the rest of the film as from then on he only has memories of how things originally happened.

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* ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' is one big Timey-Wimey Ball. You've got the son talking to the dad on the same ham radio, and even the whole "changes happen in sync very inconsistent with each other" deal. the way TimeTravel works across the film. The first time John movie initially suggests that there are two separate timelines, with a major character (John) in the present gaining memories of two separate timelines at the moment he changes history and saves his father, he suddenly has memories of both timelines, which father. However, this is promptly dropped for afterwards, and the rest of the film as from then on suggests that he only has his memories of how things events originally happened.occurred. Perhaps more bizarrely, the climactic ending (happening in the two eras simultaneously, as both John and his father fight off the Nightingale Killer) suggests that events in one era will instantly cause timeline alterations to the latter -- during the final fight, [[spoiler:Frank shoots off the Nightingale's hand during a HostageSituation]]. In the "present day" of 1999, the same individual watches his own hand twist and collapse down into a stump, which shouldn't be possible in the first place if his hand was shot off 30 years earlier.



* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in ''Film/AvengersEndgame'' which introduces time travel as a way to get what is necessary to reset [[Film/AvengersInfinityWar its predecessor]]'s DownerEnding, and at least twice Banner complains about people thinking time travel works the same way as in the movies. [[spoiler:It's explained that instead of creating paradoxes, altering the past would create AlternateUniverses with no effect on their own but the Avengers didn't simply want to leave other realities for dead by keeping their stones. Despite this the Avengers inadvertently end up creating at least three alternate timelines; one where instead of Loki and the Tesseract being returned to Asgard after [[Film/TheAvengers2012 the Battle of New York]], Loki uses the Tesseract to escape the Avengers' custody while Cap learns Bucky is alive early and HYDRA now thinks Cap is on their side, one where Thanos and his army died in 2014 around the start of ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', and during his trip to return the Infinity Stones to their original locations, Captain America manages to live the life that he originally couldn't with an alternate Peggy Carter.]]
** Or to confuse things further, [[spoiler:a Captain America from another timeline created the entire MCU by staying in the past and making a life with Peggy on the trip back to return the stones. Assuming every Captain America gets that same idea, it's as close to a StableTimeLoop the setting's time travel can accommodate.]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': In "Is That You?", Jake and Finn ends up helping Prismo [[spoiler: (who was seemingly KilledOffForReal in "Wake Up")]] with a plan that involves using a convoluted series of time loops and paradoxes to [[spoiler: replace Prismo's original host with an alternate version of Jake]]. At one point Finn hangs a lampshade when he points out the whole plan "seems rickety as yoga balls".

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* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': In "Rattlestar Ricklactica", Morty accidentally gives a species of [[FantasticRacism racist]] alien snakes the secrets of the universe, causing them to band together to invent TimeTravel to travel across space and time to kill Morty. Rick solves the issue by going back himself and inventing time travel ''for'' the snakes at an earlier point in their species' history. Things rapidly get out of hand because the snakes cannot decide what events should and shouldn't happen; the palace of [[HitlerTimeTravelExemptionAct Snake Hitler]] becomes a chaotic battleground of dozens of time travellers trying to either kill or save him. Eventually the TimePolice have to get involved and erase the species from existence.

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** For a more specific example that set off the entire plot: Trunks time-travels to the alternate past he created to get help against Goku Black. Black temporarily follows him and has a brief fight with regular Goku. Beerus and Whis, who were spectating, notice a similarity between Goku Black's ki and that of a Supreme Kai apprentice in universe 10, Zamasu. While they're investigating, Goku spars with Zamasu to find out why their energy is so similar. Zamasu really wasn't the most stable individual to begin with, and his defeat pushed him over the edge and prompted him to kill his master Gowasu to obtain a time ring, then use the Super Dragon Balls to [[spoiler: swap bodies with Goku]] and then terrorize Future Trunks' timeline [[spoiler: as Goku Black]], which prompted Trunks to go back in time. Beerus and Whis then go back to creating alternate timelines by [[spoiler: destroying Present Zamasu before he could kill Gowasu (the Time Ring prevented Goku Black from being erased by this) and warning the Beerus of Future Trunks' timeline about Zamasu's plan before it could happen, respectively.]]

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