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1%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1300132667030040100˛%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.˛%%˛[[quoteright:288:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Time_Yarn3_3310.jpg]]˛˛->''"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff."''˛-->-- '''The Tenth Doctor''', ''Series/DoctorWho'', "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink Blink]]"˛˛%%˛%%˛%%˛%% Please do not put fan theories as examples on this page.˛%% Please put fan theories the WMG page of the relevant work.˛%%˛%%Request made and permission granted in Ask The Tropers.˛%%˛%%˛%%˛[[noreallife]]˛˛Excepting [[TheSlowPath mundane travel from the past to the future at a rate of one second per second]],[[note]]For all you physics buffs out there, yes, this does imply that TimeTravel is unitless (or dimensionless, if you want to get really technical)[[/note]] no human has ever experienced TimeTravel first hand. Indeed, we don't know if it's even possible.[[note]]Albert Einstein's mathematics show it is achievable by TimeDilation through accelerating to high speeds, but only towards the future and without a way back. We also know that gravity slows down time, meaning that if you are in space your one second per second would be negligibly faster than on earth. Possibly exempting astronauts who, having been whirling around the earth at high speeds, have travelled a few seconds or minutes into the future depending on how long they have been in space.[[/note]] So debating [[OurTimeTravelIsDifferent which time travel]] [[TemporalMutability theory is right]] is much like trying to find the best flavor of Kool-Aid. Fans [[BellisariosMaxim are aware and accepting of this]], just like no one minds when OurMonstersAreDifferent, or two different series have [[FunctionalMagic different rules for magic,]] so long as the series' [[MagicAIsMagicA own internal rules are consistent.]]˛˛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.˛˛The standard HandWave (if one is given) is that time is very complicated and the particulars of the situation affect how the rules apply in ways that a layperson wouldn't understand. Which is one of the ''many'' reasons why some fiction fans ''really, really '''HATE''''' time travel.˛˛Despite the similar images the name might conjure, this is unrelated to SwirlyEnergyThingy (although [[BuffySpeak a Swirly Energy Thingy might very well have Timey-Wimey effects]]). Likewise, a ContinuitySnarl is not necessarily related, though the presence of TimeTravel-induced {{retcon}}s can certainly make a character's past ''seem'' like a tangled up ball of yarn.˛˛Compare CloseEnoughTimeline. Occasionally, anything involving this may decide to pull out the TemporalParadox card, and/or TheMultiverse. A TimeCrash is what happens when this ''isn't'' in play. See also NarniaTime. Aside from shape, unrelated to [[BallIndex ball-shaped behavior tropes]]. You had better hope it is unrelated to HappyFunBall.˛˛'''Warning: High chance of spoilers.'''˛----˛!!Examples˛˛[[index]]˛* Film˛** ''TimeyWimeyBall/{{Terminator}}''˛* TimeyWimeyBall/LiveActionTV˛** ''TimeyWimeyBall/DoctorWho''˛* TimeyWimeyBall/VideoGames˛[[/index]]˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛˛[[folder:Anime and Manga]]˛* ''Manga/FairyTail'': ˛** The ''Memory Days'' OVA features a plot where a magical book sends Natsu's team back six years in time for a few hours, creating a StableTimeLoop where they influence events from their past (Natsu getting the scar on his neck, and Lucy deciding to join Fairy Tail).˛** Things get ''really'' complicated with Eclipse, a gate created by [[BigBad Zeref]] that enables TimeTravel. [[spoiler:Hisui plans to use the gate to travel 400 years back in time to kill Zeref, which would create a TemporalParadox as Zeref would never have concocted the idea. This leads to a BadFuture where an army of 10,000 dragons in the past comes through the gate, and so Lucy uses the gate to stop this from happening. However, this creates a ''second'' BadFuture where [[GreaterScopeVillain Acnologia]] takes over the world seven years later, and so Rogue travels back to the day ''before'' Future Lucy arrives so he can stop ''Present'' Lucy from closing the door, resulting in a ''third'' timeline (the main one). Destroying the portal in this timeline prevents Future Lucy and Future Rogue from ever using it, thus sending them and the dragons back to their respective time periods. At this point, however, the timeline has become so jumbled that the damage caused by the dragons cannot be reversed, and everyone in that timeline [[RippleEffectProofMemory still remembers what happened]]. Moreover, one of the dragons from the past is also influenced to keep a nickname that was given to him in the present, while another's ghost clearly remembers them.]]˛** Ultear's DangerousForbiddenTechnique, Last Ages, reverses time at the cost of the user's [[CastFromLifespan lifespan]]. [[spoiler:She compounds the aforementioned timeline hijinks by using it to prevent them from happening at all, only for it to send her a single minute into the past. However, the spell gives everyone in the world momentary foresight of what would happen within that minute, which works in the heroes' favor, seeing how a good number of them were dying at the time.]]˛** Eclipse comes back into play again (this time in a much stabler way) when it's revealed [[spoiler:Lucy's ancestor, Anna, worked with Zeref to send Natsu and the other Dragon Slayers 400 years from the past through the gate. For this to work, Anna left specific instructions for her descendants to open the gate on the other side when the time was right, which was passed along until it reached Layla, Lucy's mother, on July 7, X777, a good 14 years before the above fiasco happened.]]˛** Another concept of time travel is discussed in the form of [[spoiler:Neo Eclipse, Zeref's ultimate plan, which would theoretically allow Zeref to relive his own life with all of his present memories intact so he can prevent his family's death, avoid becoming cursed, and stop Acnologia before he grows too powerful. Unlike regular Eclipse, which is all but stated to keep any alternate timelines it has created intact, this spell would completely erase the current timeline from existence.]]˛* ''Manga/MahouNoIroha'': Time travel is apparently very possible with the help of magic, and the MagicalGirl main character somehow changes some things but not others that leaves readers scratching their head.˛* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': Time travel watches pop up during the Mahora Festival arcs, creating {{Stable Time Loop}}s, multiple copies of Negi running into each other, a SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong or two, and some RuleOfCool duels that exploit the effects of short-range TimeTravel. However, it is later stated that long-range TimeTravel creates {{Parallel Universe}}s.˛* ''Manga/NatsuNoArashi'' enjoys playing foosball with its Timey-Wimey Ball as characters jump back and forth across the hours, leading to a series of {{Stable Time Loop}}s.˛* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'': The fucking up of the entire time-space continuum. Trying to trace the law of causality after a case of NiceJobBreakingItHero would cause more brain damage than the combined screws of Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, and Superstring Theory put together! Just one of the results was a situation where thanks to incorporating every single type of TimeTravel, you can't say if it is AlwaysIdenticalTwins, AlternateSelf, IdenticalGrandson, GenerationXerox, CloningBlues, MyOwnGrampa, TangledFamilyTree, EveryoneIsRelated or a blow your brain combo of all of these put together simultaneously! Putting what is confusing about the time travel involved into words is, in itself, extremely confusing.˛* ''Anime/DokiDokiPrecure'''s NonSerialMovie handles this trope in what's probably the most dumbest way possible. The BigBad, frustrated at the Pretty Cures escaping their temporal prison as well as reforming one of his minions, decided to travel to the ''future'' and kill everyone there. Apparently, according to this movie, if there is no future to look forward to, the present will cease to exist (despite the fact that going to the future and changing things there affects jack squat in the present).˛* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' can get into this in the "Future Trunks" arc. Previously in DBZ, Trunk's time machine worked firmly on alternate time line theory. DBS sticks to that rule.. for ''that'' time machine. It then introduces divine time travel through the time rings, which works on StableTimeLoop, as do any actions done by the gods using divine ki. However the time machine and time rings are both active, and each can only do its own version of time travel. It gets confusing ''very'' quickly. ˛** 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.]]˛* There's at least one Stand user in every arc[[note]]Except for [[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventurePhantomBlood Phantom Blood]] and [[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureBattleTendency Battle Tendency]], which did not feature Stands at all[[/note]] of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' capable of manipulating time (and at least one other that can predict the future but not travel through time). All of them seem to operate on slightly different rules as to whether or not the past and/or future can be changed.[[note]]With the exception of The World, which can only freeze time, not travel through it.[[/note]]˛** The predictive Stand, Thoth, predicts specific events in the near future. No one, not even its user, can stop those events from happening, but they're always vague enough for PropheticFallacy to be in full effect; for example, it predicts that Jotaro would have his head split in half by an explosion, but the brother of Thoth's user disguised himself as Jotaro to avert suspicion and ended up being the one to be hit by an explosion. [[spoiler:Of course, Thoth's predictions might not be so malleable after all - Jotaro dies onscreen ''twice'' in future parts, and both times his head gets split in half in the exact same pattern predicted by Thoth.]]˛** In the next part, Yoshikage Kira's 'Killer Queen Bites The Dust' has the power to trap its victim in a [[GroundhogDayLoop one-hour time loop.]] Anything that happens in the loops will happen again in all subsequent loops, though the leadup to those happenings may be different; for example, when Hayato managed to stop the teapot from falling off the table, the handle of Kira's teacup broke a few moments later, spilling tea all over his jacket, and after Rohan triggered [[HavingABlast Killer Queen's bomb]] in the first loop, he still exploded in the subsequent loop even though he didn't trigger the bomb. However, if Kira ends the loops before they complete, events that should have been fixed no longer happen.˛** In the part after that, Diavolo has the stand King Crimson, which is so infamously confusing that 'how does King Crimson work' has [[MemeticMutation become a meme]]. First of all, King Crimson itself has a sub-Stand called 'Epitaph' that functions almost identically to Thoth, in that it can predict the future at a range of up to ten seconds, and the predictions it shows cannot be changed but are vague enough to be subject to PropheticFallacy. (This is seen in one story arc when Doppio is granted access to Epitaph but not King Crimson.) King Crimson's power, however, allows it to 'skip' those ten seconds, making it so that any unfavorable outcomes Epitaph predicts simply ''don't'' have to happen.˛** Then there's Part Six, where Enrico Pucci eventually evolves his stand into 'Made in Heaven', which has the power to ''accelerate'' time. He uses this power to push the universe forward to the Big Crunch and recreate it. The new universe is exactly identical to the original, except that everyone living in it already knows everything that's ever going to happen to them and is unable to change it.[[note]]This is Pucci's idea of what he refers to as 'Heaven'; a world without surprises.[[/note]] Only Pucci is capable of changing events, though once he's changed someone's fate, they are able to act freely, as anything they do from then on is considered a 'butterfly effect' repercussion of Pucci's actions.˛** Finally, in Part Seven, Ringo Roadagain has the stand Mandom, which allows him to rewind time by six seconds. Unlike most previous time-travel arcs, Ringo can freely change anything that happens in those six seconds; he typically allows his enemy to deal him a mortal wound, memorizes their movements and position, then rewinds, dodges their attack, and kills them. He'd probably be the most formidable of all the listed users if not for the fact that ''everyone else'' can also remember what happened in the six seconds Ringo rewinds, and, if they're clever enough to figure out what his power is, can take advantage of it to change ''their'' actions as well.˛* ''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]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Board Games]]˛* There's a ''TabletopGame/BackToTheFuture'' card game based on the film, where again each player is someone from an alternate timeline trying to manipulate the universe into one where they exist. However, one big difference is that after doing so, the time travelers have to ''stop Emmett Brown from inventing time travel'' so that nobody else can mess with it and their timeline becomes the only timeline. Paradox much?˛* In ''TabletopGame/{{Chrononauts}}'', players are competing time travelers from alternate futures sent on missions into the past to recover various historical artifacts. Each player is playing tug-of-war with the timeline so that they can return home, which results in a very ''fluid'' history. If enough paradoxes pile up, they can even [[TimeCrash destroy the universe]].˛* In ''Time Agent'', your objective is not to win. Your objective is to have already won... without Time Travel being invented. [[MindScrew This is probably the least confusing part of the game.]]˛* In ''US Patent #1'' by Cheapass Games, each player has invented a time machine and hopes to profit from it, but the only one who will be able to profit is the one who holds a patent. Given that patents can be invalidated by proof of earlier work, the only patent that matters for a time machine is the chronologically first one. So the entire game consists of a race through time to be the first in line on the first day the Patent Office opens.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Comic Books]]˛* Marvel Comics' ''ComicBook/AdamWarlock'', specifically his evil future self The Magus embodies this trope. Adam Warlock met his futureself and immediately The Magus set about trying to ensure Adam would turn into him. This did not work when "Thanos" and the In-Betweener interfered and Adam was given a choice of timelines, wherein he chose the shortest. The Magus appeared again when Adam Warlock attained the Infinity Gauntlet and divested himself of his good self (The Goddess) and his evil self (The Magus). The Magus initiated the Infinity War, but was defeated. Later, to seal the Fault in space caused, in part by the Annihilation Wave, The Phalanx Invasion, and the War of Kings, Adam Warlock [[spoiler:who, as he expanded magical energy slowly started turning into The Magus, used an "unused" timeline to repair the fault. That particular "unused" timeline was the one in which he became The Magus]].˛* ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'':˛** Say the word "Kang" to a fan and they'll often shudder. His time-travel schemes are so complex that his future self, Immortus, is another major Avengers enemy, and the two can often be seen fighting each other. To give a sense of scale: most Marvel Handbook profiles are one to three pages long except for major characters like Franchise/SpiderMan, ComicBook/IronMan or Franchise/{{Wolverine}}. Kang's gets ''six pages'', and the bottom half of each page is devoted to Kang's timeline, which is chronological in years but requires jumping around from page to page to get Kang's chronological story.˛** Made even ''[[UpToEleven more]]'' confusing with the addition of a third iteration of Kang in ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'': Iron Lad who actually ''kills'' Kang in an attempt to prevent himself from becoming Kang and ultimately realizes the only way to save the future is to become Kang anyway. If you find yourself confused, know at least that you aren't alone:˛--->'''ComicBook/JessicaJones:''' Is this a time-travel thing? Because I ''hate'' time-travel things.\˛'''Iron Man:''' If it's Kang, it's a time-travel thing.\˛'''Jessica:''' See, this is why I hate Kang...˛** You can also thank Kang for raising one of the X-Men's greatest foes, Comicbook/{{Apocalypse}}.˛** During Bendis' run on two Avengers titles he floated the idea that time is both like a living thing(which it technically is, embodied by the SentientCosmicForce that is Infinity) that occurs all at once and is damaged by time travel. These theories were hypothesized by Iron Man during conflicts with Kang after one time travel too many to change one moment and defeat Ultron [[TimeCrash broke the spacetime continuum]] and collided multiple potential futures and parallel realities with their present. This would be revisited (or recycled based on how cynical one is) during [[ComicBook/{{AgeOfUltron}} Age of Ultron]] where another conflict with Ultron involving too much time travel led to another crash. This time the effects were further reaching, where instead multiple people in parallel universes were struck dead and others still were permanently shuffled around the multiverse.˛* Franchise/TheDCU has all sorts of fun here, especially when ComicBook/BoosterGold is involved, but it's been proven time and again that trying to ScrewDestiny usually ends badly. Aside from that, the Timey-Wimey Ball hurts Booster's head as much as it hurts the audience's.˛* ''Franchise/TheFlash'':˛** Professor Zoom has (retroactively) had his hands on the Timey-Wimey Ball from day one. In a single issue you see him edit his brother, parents, scholarly rival, and lover out of ''his own history'', apparently to make sure he'll actually become the supervillain he is. ItMakesSenseInContext.˛** And then the Professor started in on Barry's history, and that ended with Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice job breaking it, psycho.]]˛** The Flash himself historically averted this trope when at all possible. Barry and Wally repeatedly refused to even try holding the Timey-Wimey Ball. [[spoiler:Until Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}. NiceJobBreakingItHero.]]˛** The second Zoom came into being because he tried to grab the Timey-Wimey Ball and blew himself up. Unfortunately for him, his powers (unlike every other speedster) avert the trope.˛** An issue of ''Impulse'' had a MadScientist invent a time machine, and attempt to change the past so that he would rule the world. Impulse and Max Mercury go back in time to stop him, but wind up stuck in the far distant past. Max lectures Bart on the ButterflyOfDoom, and how even eating a fish might cause irreparable harm to the future. But then they discover that the mad scientist is now trapped in the past as well. The three of them decide that the best way to get home is ''to cause as much damage and destruction as possible''. Their [[InsaneTrollLogic logic]] is that if they completely change the past, it will alter the future so much that the scientist will never exist, which means he will never invent his time machine, which means they won't have travelled to the past in the first place, which means they won't actually cause any damage at all and find themselves back home. Confused?˛* ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'': With all the dimension-hopping, time-traveling technology in Gold Digger, naturally there's a lot of Timey-Wimey Ball action going on. However, of special note is issue #50 of the color series, which features an artifact that is an ''actual ball of string that can warp time and space''.˛* ''ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}}'': In ''Iznogoud's Childhood'', Iznogoud experiments a type of time travel in which the present and the past happen at the same time for a while, which he tries to exploit by attempting to get rid of the Caliph's younger self. The whole thing eventually ends up being a StableTimeLoop, in which Iznogoud's time travel is what causes his younger self (who UsedToBeASweetKid) to transform into the JerkAss we're familiar with. However, earlier in the comic, Iznogoud stabs younger Wa'at Alahf to test the time travelling nature, and that case works on a RippleEffect basis, in which adult Wa'at Alahf shows up with a scar he'd never had.˛* ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}''. [[ContinuitySnarl There's three of them.]] ''Two'' of their enemies are the {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of the Timey-Wimey Ball.˛* [[https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Limbo_(Temporal) Limbo]] in the Marvel Universe (mainly shows up in association with ''ComicBook/XMen'') is an entire ''dimension'' of timey-wimeyness. When the X-Men entered and got separated, both Wolverine and Colossus encountered long-dead versions of each other, and managed to escape just fine in the end. ComicBook/{{Storm}} was stopped at one point by her older self, who had remained in Limbo for decades studying magic. And ComicBook/{{Nightcrawler}} killed his older self.˛* ''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/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.˛* In the 1980s Marvel ''ComicBook/TheTransformers'' comic, one can alter the past to suit the present. However, there is also the possibility that one travels to a different universe that is simply the same as your own. So thus, any attempt to travel back in time to, say, [[spoiler:build a giant cannon to destroy the dark god who created you when he turns his attention to Earth in order to free yourself from his control as Galvatron tried to]], can potentially end in failure as it is not your own universe. [[spoiler:As it turned out, it WAS Galvatron's own universe.]]˛* 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.˛* ''ComicBook/ZipiYZape'': All the story about the time-travel machine built in a barrel revolves around this trope. In the first chapter, the twins use it to transform a wall lizard into its evolutionary ancestor (which turns out to be a crocodile). In all the other chapters, the twins use it themselves; it no longer makes anything appear in the present time, but depending on the chapter, it either just takes them to the past, or somehow transforms them in their ancestor (and, somehow, with all the knowledge and remembrances that those ancestors have). In one chapter, when their mother makes an omelette with an egg found in the past, the twins remark that its strange look is due to the fact that the egg had over two hundred years, even though the time travel should have prevented the egg from aging. Finally, in the last chapter, the twins get trapped in the future when their machine gets broken; strangely, in a rare example of an {{inverted|Trope}} SanDimasTime, it's said that house prices were getting higher because of the twins' absence.˛* ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo'': In Issue #31, a villain changes Robin's past to become his mentor and the other titans are helped by Good!Robin's future self a.k.a. Nightwing. During the epilogue, Beast Boy wonders how that Nightwing could exist at the same time as Bad!Robin and Raven handwaves it by saying they don't fully understand how TimeTravel works.˛* ''ComicBook/AllNewXMen'' had a hard time deciding whether they were changing the timeline, creating a new one, creating several new ones, or just messing everything up – OR [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast whether it had all already happened]]. Both this book and the tie-in ''ComicBook/ChildrenOfTheAtom'' had the added conundrum that while people from the past who were still alive in the present (and one who was dead in the present) were visiting the present, so were a bunch of people from the future, at least one of whom [[spoiler:was presently visiting from the past. Several times]].˛* ''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.˛* ''ComicBook/{{DIE}}'': The more that the party learns about the timeline of Die's world, the less sense it makes to them: [[spoiler: [[EvilFormerFriend Sol]] says he created Die, yet when the spirit of Creator/CharlotteBronte appears, she says that she and her siblings visited it frequently as children after receiving a gift of toy soldiers, which we later find out that Sol carved from Angria's sacred forests after becoming [[DimensionLord Grandmaster]]]]. And further complicating things, there's the matter of [[spoiler: Angela's daughter Molly, who shows up in Die as a [[TheUndead Fallen]] and looking years older than the last time Angela saw her, despite them only being [[TrappedInAnotherWorld back in Die]] a few months]].˛** [[TheFairFolk The Fair]] eventually explain that this is all because of a StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler: Die itself is [[GeniusLoci sentient]] and capable of reaching through time to ensure its own existence. It subconsciously inspired the various writers whose works contributed to Die's world, as well as Sol to create the game, and later as Grandmaster to create the toy soldiers that were sent back to Charlotte and her siblings, while Eternal Prussia is currently using the remains of Glass Town to create the six dice that brought the party to Die. As for Molly and the other Fallen, they've been brought back from a future where Die has [[MergedReality merged with Earth]], which it will do once it has completed the loop by sending the dice back in time.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Fan Works]]˛* Discussed at length in ''Fanfic/TheParselmouthOfGryffindor'': time-travel magic only exists thanks to a loophole in the rules of the universe, and so while ''theoretically'' it ought to allow you to change the past, in ''practice'', magic does its best to manipulate probablity so that the result is a StableTimeLoop. The farther back in time you go and the more efforts you make to change the past, the more unstable space-time becomes until you're either obliterated or kicked back to your home time period. ˛* ''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). 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.˛* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' fanfic ''{{FanFic/Gemini}},'' this trope is [[InvokedTrope invoked]] so as to [[DefiedTrope defy]] StableTimeLoop: It’s easier for the Daleks to change the past than it is for anybody else, so the military is trying to create super-soldiers that can change the timeline as easily as the Daleks can.˛* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', the time turners are used much more frequently, which leads to this when two or more are involved. Dumbledore and Snape have to resort to charts.˛-->'''[=McGonagall=]:''' Tell me your conclusions, but ''please'', don't tell me how you figured it out.˛** This is actually an inversion, or something. The writer doesn't appear to be confused about what kind of time travel is possible; rather, he works very hard to make sure that it follows consistent rules. And the characters know about these rules. But trying to work out the logical implications of these rules results in confused characters and confused readers.˛** Trying to find loopholes in the rules has been shown to result in leaving angry notes for your past self not to do so.˛* ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' has much more TimeTravel going on than [[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya the original]] -- to the point that at any point of story there is at least one open [[StableTimeLoop loop]]. Amusingly, Kyon once [[ShoutOut quoted]] [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] when trying to explain his understanding of TimeTravel.˛* In the Franchise/MassEffect's ''[[Fanfic/CrucibleMassEffect Crucible]]'', the multiverses work mainly as "Overwriting the timeline" but later the [=CrucibleVerse=] itself become a hybrid version of both "Overwritting" ''and'' "Branching timelines". Basically, time can be seen as a river with different universes as balls floating in it. Each ball has in front of it what look like millions of almost identical versions of itself in different points spread across the width of the river while behind there's nothing. As the ball floats forward depending on how the river flows ­it'll take the place of one of the many copies and the others in line with it disappear. The potential what ­might have ­been's all disappear when the ball finally arrives. So as the future hybrids come to the present of the [=CrucibleVerse=] and change it, the BadFuture soon disappear to be replaced by a new future.˛** But due to [[spoiler:Sam, Aunties and their "employers"]]'s intervention, a new future, different [=CrucibleVerse=] is created by pulling the bad future backwards and, as it can't survive on its own, [[ParallelUniverse branching off from the main timeline like a Siamese twin]]. In new time line, [[spoiler:the souls of those time travellers from the BadFuture]] are put into their younger bodies while alt.Jane [[spoiler:meet her main counterpart to know everything that happened in the now disappeared bad future to change the new twin universe for the better]]. This also cause Life and Death from the main timeline to work double-duty since they partly exist outside of time and space.˛* Various examples in ''Fanfic/TwilightStorm'', including; ˛** 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 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. ˛* In ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'', the main character Ebony travels back in time to teach a young Voldemort about love. But when she does, the plot really starts to get strange. A few examples are that characters in the past know what will happen in the present, that items will not work in time-periods where they're not invented yet, and that people can't die outside their native time-period.˛* In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' fic “[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1215322/1/Impact Impact]]”, while waiting for Darla to give birth (“[[Recap/AngelS03E07Offspring Offspring]]”), Angel Investigations are attacked by a Time Demon- a unique species charged with the responsibility of maintaining the flow of time- who attempts to kill Angel by using its weapon to switch Angel with the human version of him from “[[Recap/AngelS01E08IWillRememberYou I Will Remember You]]”, only for Cordelia to intercept the blast herself. Back in 1999, Cordelia ‘wakes up’ at the moment that the Day was reset (she speculates that she arrived before Angel changed history and just doesn't remember it after the reset), and a later confrontation with the Time Demon establishes that the idea of alternate selves is inaccurate, with the result that the Time Demon could have killed the future Angel by killing his displaced human self. [[spoiler:At the fic’s conclusion, Cordelia is returned to the present after sacrificing herself to save Doyle’s life, and after an initial period of confusion regains all memory of the new timeline, where Angel Investigations defeated many of their original threats with the aid of notes left by the future Cordelia, Cordelia recognising that these ‘new’ versions of her friends are still the same people just adjusted to new circumstances]]. ˛* Similarly, ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/471497/chapters/815855 Time v3.0]]'', being a ''Doctor Who'' fanfic that does its best to encompass all the chaotic mess that was the Time War, uses this trope up, down, and sideways.˛* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'' tries to avert this. [[PhysicalGod Daniel and Rayana]] explain Shinji and Asuka that they ''technically'' can stop Second Impact and other tragedies... but then Shinji and Asuka would be completely different people, ergo their fixes would be meaningless. So both gods use time-travel to undo the ''consequences'' of those tragedies.˛* In ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'' Shinji remembers everything what happened in the original timeline, even though a lot of events are significantly different due to his actions.˛* In ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', Shinji and Asuka set to avert [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Third Impact,]] even though it'd mean that [[spoiler:their beloved daughter will never be born.]] In order to avoid this, [[spoiler:[[HumanoidAbomination Kaworu]] sends Aki back in time, but she arrives several months later than her parents]].˛* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': [[spoiler:The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' gods]] changed the past so they never existed. Even so, Chaos Marine Khenmu and his brothers-in-arms keep existing, and [[spoiler:the fragments of the gods]] still existed and remembered the original timeline.˛* "Fanfic/BrotherOnBrotherDaughterOnMother" attempts to make some sense out of the trope as it applies to ''Franchise/StarTrek'' (with the obligatory ShoutOut to the {{Trope Namer|s}}) with a variant of the many worlds theory wherein time is actually a ''rope'' made of strands of probabilistic outcomes that can tangle up. The purpose of the TimePolice is to prevent that rope from "fraying" due to major temporal incursions; smaller incidents are usually papered over by the inertia of time itself.˛* ''Fanfic/TheRoadToShalka'' is a Whoniverse fic, so it had to happen. Specifically, it happens in ''Skypigs'', where the villain is trying to MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight, two Doctors (with their respective entourages) stop him together and we meet the companion's [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest long-dead parents]]. Before they were a couple.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]˛* The time travel in ''Film/AboutTime'' appears to have at least two different modes, but the explanation is very scanty. Tim can go back to a previous occasion and change what he did, but then he can choose to either live from that point onwards, or snap forward to where he jumped from and see what the changes have been. The event described in SecretKeeper seems to suggest [[spoiler:he can also undo these changes.]]˛* The whole messy issue of TimeTravel is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/AustinPowersTheSpyWhoShaggedMe'' when, after Austin starts to get bewildered by all the possible paradoxes his traveling into TheSixties involves ([[MindScrew "Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed."]]), Basil jumps in with "I suggest you don't worry about that sort of thing and just enjoy yourself", and then turns pointedly [[BreakingTheFourthWall toward the camera]] and remarks "[[MST3KMantra and that goes for you all as well]]". Much self-contradictory timey-wimeyness ensues since, as Mike Myers puts it in his DVD comments, "our theory of TimeTravel is that TimeTravel works [[RuleOfFunny however we need it to work]] for each particular scene's joke."˛** Although, ironically, the conversation that confuses Austin doesn't actually contain any inherent paradoxes; the Doctor Evil he was chasing was the contemporary version who had also gone back in time. Past Doctor Evil and Past Austin were both frozen cryogenically during the time period in question so there would be no crossover.˛* [[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.]]˛* ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' has different things happening to the hero as the past is changed. Read the timeline for the trilogy at [[https://backtothefuture.fandom.com/wiki/Back_to_the_Future_timeline this page]] if you have any questions about how it works. There isn't a single concern here that isn't covered there one way or another. To summarize, you ''can'' create alternate timelines, and any time it ''seems'' YouAlreadyChangedThePast (like Chuck Berry hearing the song he would later write) it's really just causing the same event in a different way (in the original timeline Chuck Berry ''did'' come up with the song entirely by himself).˛* ''Film/Ben10RaceAgainstTime'' includes a bit of this. [[BigBad Eon]] seeks to use the Hands Of Armageddon to bring his DyingRace to Earth to repopulate, but traveling through time so much has weakened him to the point where he's unable to use the Hands. His plan is to use the Omnitrix to turn Ben into himself (a second Eon), so that ''he'' can activate the device and end the reign of humans on Earth. The movie is pretty vague about how it works, but at first glance, it seems as though Eon may actually ''be'' Ben, corrupted by himself in his own past. On top of that, when Eon succeeds in implanting himself in the Omnitrix, he declares that "two cannot exist at once", disappearing into a different point in the time stream.˛* ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' establishes that "[[SanDimasTime the clock is always running in San Dimas]]" -- that is, that however long Bill and Ted are in another time, that much time will have passed when they return to their "home time". This is held up for the first film and most of the second... [[spoiler:and then utterly discarded for the ending of ''Bogus Journey'', where they zap away for 18 months and return seconds after they left.]] Of course, the first film kludges it a bit as well -- when initially going back to their own time, they actually end up at the same point they left, and have to be told by Rufus that they need to dial 1 digit higher for the next day. Even more odd, Rufus never tells the two of them his name. They hear it from their future selves, who presumably heard it from ''their'' future selves who...˛* ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' has the events of roughly half of Evan's blackouts caused by his older self [[MentalTimeTravel going back to them]], while the other half were normal initially, but could be changed by his older self. One blackout even has examples of both. Also, it is established early on that Evan is the only who has any memory of the old timelines, but at one point another character notices a change in the timeline for no apparent reason. ˛* ''Film/DejaVu'' starts out well enough, but implies that the detective has already gone back in time and failed. In the original timeline, the love interest dies, and the hero's blood is all over her apartment. So apparently, in the original timeline, he went back and failed. But then in the new timeline, he gets his wounds saving the love interest. He doesn't bleed all over the love interest's place until after he saves her. So how did there end up being blood in the original timeline, but the love interests dies? What's more, [[spoiler:the ending finishes without a StableTimeLoop of any kind, so either the changes made will reset or they've created one alternate timeline where everything is hunky dory and one where everyone's dead]].˛** The time travel model used for this movie actually ''does'' make sense, it just creates convoluted timelines and is pretty confusing when watched without knowing this beforehand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deja_Vu_Timeline.GIF#file The authors were pretty unhappy with the way the material was directed, saying that it made the film seem like it had many unforgivable plot holes even though there weren't any.˛* ''Film/{{Detention}}'' has one of these as a result of several things: a mother and daughter undergoing a FreakyFridayFlip that sees the daughter transplanted into her mother's body circa 1992, another kid from the year 1992 undergoing a nineteen-year time warp to the present day (2011), and a [[AsianAndNerdy nerdy Asian kid]] in the present day transforming the school's bear mascot into a time machine for a science project. Ultimately, it will result in the destruction of the world... actually, just the destruction of Grizzly Lake High School, because hey, it's not like the main characters know of a world beyond high school.˛* ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' is very inconsistent with the way TimeTravel works across the film. The 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. However, this is dropped afterwards, and the rest of the film suggests that he only has his memories of how events originally 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.˛* ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'' is really inconsistent with its time travel mechanics. Four friends travel back to one day in 1986 and hijack their younger bodies, so everyone sees them as their younger selves. Except one of the friends - Jacob - wasn't born yet and looks the same in the past as he did in the present, and can also interact with the past, but whenever something happens that might possibly stop his conception he flickers out temporarily. Initially the friends, fearing the ButterflyOfDoom, try to enact a StableTimeLoop by making sure the big events they remember from that night still happen, but then they change their minds and try to make sure the night goes better the second time around. Some of the big events they remember still happen no matter what they do, but not in the way they remember them. Other events they really do alter. Meanwhile they directly or indirectly cause a couple of historical changes. [[spoiler:In the end Lou decides to stay behind and use his knowledge of the future to greatly improve his and everyone's lives. When the other three friends get back they all have much better lives but do not remember them.]]˛* ''Film/TheLakeHouse'' was a horrible mixture of TimeTravel ideologies. In some ways the timeline is constant -- the guy she kissed at the party turns out to be the guy she's communicating with in the past. Yet in other ways the timeline is variable -- she tells him how she misses the trees, so he plants one at the place she's going to live at -- which she magically doesn't notice having grown until after she sent him that letter. And then there's the grandfather paradox involving the (lack of a) car accident at the end/beginning of the film, causing her to go/not go to the lake house and end up communicating/not communicating with the guy in the first place. And there's also the dog in the past timeline who responded to the name given to it in the future timeline.˛* ''Film/{{Looper}}'':˛** If you injure the present version of someone, the time-travelling-from-the-future version of the person will immediately show the scars. However, all events involving the future version up until the point the present version was injured continue to have happened as if the injury had never occurred. So you can cut off a present versions legs to stop the future one from escaping, and the future version will immediately fall over in a location they never could have reached unless they had legs up until a few seconds ago.˛** The trope is lampshaded on several occasions by the protagonists; criminals who don't really understand how the various time travel paradoxes work, only that trying to sort it out in their heads just gives you a headache.˛** Subverted in the extended version of the diner scene which is included as a DVD extra: after telling Young!Joe that he's not going to try to explain the effects of changing the past, Old!Joe then proceeds to explain them, using a line of salt -- ''and it actually sorta makes sense.''˛* ''Film/LostInSpace'' contains a plot where John and Don walk into the future by an energy field just to find future Will and Dr. Smith creating that energy field as a result to build a machine to travel into the past, because the entire family was wiped out as a result of John and Don disappearing by walking into the future. When present Will and Dr. Smith enter the bubble, nothing happens to their future selves. Hell, Future Dr. Smith killed his past self without a second thought.˛* Time travel in ''Film/MenInBlack3'' varies between TemporalParadox (the plot starts off with history being altered so Kay died in the 60s), YouAlreadyChangedThePast ([[spoiler:Jay's father turned out to be have died in the process of [[SetRightWhatOnceWasWrong Setting Right What Once Was Wrong]]]]), and MentalTimeTravel ([[spoiler:Jay defeats the BigBad by rewinding time to avoid the attacks he can now see coming]]) depending on the needs of the plot.˛* ''Film/ProjectAlmanac'' begins because David finds a video of his current day self at his seventh birthday party, which leads to him discovering and rebuilding the time machine stored in his father's basement, suggesting a StableTimeLoop. Immediately after doing this, however, the cast wantonly screws with their own timeline to make things more favorable for themselves, clearly demonstrating that time can also be changed at will. What's especially crazy is that [[spoiler:the situation the video depicts is David retgonning himself by destroying the time machine, which he succeeds in doing, meaning the very situation that led them to the time machine originates from a timeline in which said machine does not exist]].˛* The film version of ''Film/ASoundOfThunder'' (if not [[Literature/ASoundOfThunder the book]]) uses hilariously inconsistent rules of time travel (and those rules don't make much sense ''before'' they start breaking them). It's a crucial plot point that the characters keep returning to the exact same point in time, but never run into previous versions of themselves (no explanation for that is given)... until the time they do (no explanation for that either). Plants smash through the walls of a building because the past was changed in such a way as to cause plants to grow larger and more aggressively (no explanation is given as to why someone decided to build the building in the spot where, in the new timeline, a giant tree has been growing for ages -- not to mention why the tree that's always been there smashes through the floor while people watch instead of just appearing as it if had always been there). At one point, the characters are unable to travel back to the point in time they want to reach because there's a time disturbance between the present and their destination in the past; the solution? Travel back to an ''even earlier'' point and then go forward (if you guessed that no explanation is given as to why the time disturbance is somehow not blocking that too, you've been paying attention). ˛* ''Film/StarTrek2009'': WordOfGod has it that instead of erasing the later series, it just split off a new timeline, so that the later series still happened in the original timeline (dubbed "the Prime" timeline in ''Fanon'') but has not in the new timeline. This gets weird as there are many instances of characters from the Prime timeline traveling back to before the split, which means that if a character from the alternate timeline were to travel back to say, [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries The orbital Atomic Accident]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine The Bell Riots]], or [[Film/StarTrekFirstContact The first Warp Test]] they would find time travelers from the Prime timeline, which from their point of view doesn't exist. Quite a MindScrew... or AssPull, depending on the variance of your mileage. Prior to the film, ''Franchise/StarTrek'' was pretty consistent that time travel changes affect the existing timeline, they don't spawn new timelines (though the existence of parallel but different realities ''were'' established, they just weren't caused by time-travel).˛* ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', contains a nexus which can at once be described as a portal through time and simultaneously interpreted as a veritable heaven which may, in fact, act as merely a database containing the sentient thoughts of all who have encountered it. Kirk's visit to his past doesn't affect the timeline (although one may say this is due to him not actually doing anything to affect it). Picard, on the other hand, experiences an alternate present. While all this could seem viable as time travel, Guinan stops by to mention that Picard can experience the past or the future, the limits of his experiences within the nexus seemingly being restricted to his own imagination. This should leave a very FridgeLogic-taste in anyone's mouth when they realize that Picard and Kirk traveling back to stop Soren may not actually be time-travel but merely a pocket of Picard's own imagination within the nexus. Thus everything that happens past this point in time (i.e. ''First Contact'', ''Insurrection'' and ''Nemesis'') are not actually part of the prime timeline as Picard is actually gone and the Enterprise is destroyed with its crew dead. Note that the new timeline Star Trek could still be viable as there's no mention of Picard or Enterprise D and Generations has no effect on Spock's existence. Basically, if you accept the nexus as a means of time travel then the time line splits. If you argue it as merely Nexus-Picard's mind, then it doesn't.˛* In TheFilmOfTheBook ''Film/TheTimeMachine2002'', the Time Traveler discovers that he cannot change any part of the past that would interfere with him creating the Time Machine, since it would create a TemporalParadox. He can interfere with other matters, [[spoiler:such as when he goes even further into the future only to see the Morlocks victorious over the Eloi, and afterward returns to the year 802701 to successfully defeat the Morlocks]].˛* Creator/JamesPHogan had a solution in ''Thrice Upon a Time''. The prospective time traveler induces a grandfather paradox. The universe doesn't abhor it or disallow it or anything, but simply plays out the umpteen zillion iterations of the events in question. A leads to B leads to Not-A leads to Not-B leads to A leads to B... It should go on forever, but on each run-through, quantum randomness causes things to be very, very slightly different (an atom decays or not, a pair of colliding air particle zig instead of zag) totally regardless of anything the time traveler does. Normally they won't make any difference whatsoever, but after a few million or trillion iterations, the randomness happens to align in such a way that it breaks the paradox (i.e., kills his wife in a new way) and lets the timeline continue past it. What we the audience see is merely the "final cut" version of history, the one that didn't get stuck in an endless loop.˛* ''Film/TimeChasers'', which 99 percent of its viewers know from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''. It tells - or rather, tries to tell - the story a man who invents a time-traveling airplane who has to repeatedly go back and stop his former boss from stealing and exploiting his invention for his own personal gain.˛* ''Film/CloudAtlas'': The film jumps between stories several times in succession. The film's example of TogetherInDeath also only makes sense if reincarnation isn't sequential.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Literature]]˛* ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' gets...''vague'' with how time travel works. At first at seems like traveling to the past always creates a fresh new timeline, or "string," where none of your other trips happened, and if you screw something up, you can always make a new string where you didn't. However, it turns out that the strings can become tangled if there are too many of them, and making changes to history is like plucking the strings, causing them to "harmonize" with each other. If you get too many strings harmonizing, time itself will [[TimeCrash shatter]] from the vibrations. Jake nearly causes this to happen by [[spoiler:saving JFK's life]], but somehow he's able to save the world by making ''another'' string where that doesn't happen. All of this is explained by a hobo who's been driven insane by a very nasty version of RippleEffectProofMemory (imagine remembering hundreds of different futures all at once, all in equal clarity) so there's a lot the reader never finds out.˛* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' made use of TimeTravel occasionally, and each time it apparently worked differently. Different techniques of TimeTravel were involved, at least one of which was by use of a [[TimeMachine thingy]] created by the closest thing to a {{God}} in the series, and another (a BadFuture-esque thing) was just flat-out never explained. The bad future was apparently [[spoiler:a dream caused by an advanced being for some reason. Maybe]].˛* Eoin Colfer's ''Literature/ArtemisFowl and the Time Paradox'' [[StableTimeLoop does not actually feature any paradoxes]]. The prequel on the other hand... [[spoiler:Specifically, an island was magically removed from normal time for 10,000 years, but the magic is breaking up and time starts running alternately forward and backward at varying speeds. Holly dies, but Artemis fires a shot backwards in time thus killing the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demon]] who killed her and bringing her back to life. Furthermore, Artemis goes back in time and causes a mosaic of himself to be created hundreds of years in the past, a fact which is only noticed in the present day after he gets back.]] Artemis questions the first paradox, but eventually gives up trying to figure it out.˛** In ''Last Guardian'' Opal defies StableTimeLoop by having her past self from ''Time Paradox'' killed, and manages to survive. What Opal's timeline looks like now is anyone's guess.˛* ''Literature/TheBookOfAllHours'' duology by Hal Duncan doesn't even try to claim to be otherwise. It's such a mishmash of pocket universes, alternate universes, and paradox that causality can't even be seen with a telescope on a good day. Essentially: think of the universe as a huge piece of vellum on which reality has been written. Then crumple it up. Most characters make such a habit of going not just back and forth in time but ''sideways'' that one [[spoiler:goes back to the day where he, as a child, met his elder self, and that elder self committed suicide... only now, as the elder self, shoots his younger self instead. Nothing happens to the elder]].˛* ''LightNovel/DateALive'' has this thanks to the existence of [[TimeMaster Kurumi]]. A notable example occurs in the tenth and eleventh volumes. Origami (now a Spirit) has Kurumi send her back in time so that she can prevent her parents from being killed by a Spirit. Origami gets into a fight with another Spirit and one of her own stray attacks hits her parents' house. The revelation that ''she'' was the one responsible for her parents' deaths causes her to enter [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Inverse Form]]. She returns to the present (as Kurumi's power has a time limit) and causes massive destruction. Kurumi then sends Shido back in time in an attempt to prevent this. Shido initially fails but does comfort Origami after the fact, resulting in her obsessive love for him in the future. He then finds Kurumi's younger self and has her send him further back, allowing him to stop Origami from killing her parents. This creates a new timeline where Origami's parents [[YouCantFightFate still end up dying]] but in a traffic accident, so Origami no longer hates Spirits. However, she nevertheless inherits the power and personality of her original timeline's Inverse Form, which manifests as a split personality. Eventually, Origami's two personalities fuse into one, while the other Spirits also gain memories of the previous timeline.˛* In Connie Willis's stories, the time machine sends you not to your target time-and-place but to the nearest point such that your actions will not change history. (This is consistent with James Hogan's theory mentioned above, though the mechanism is not explicitly stated.) In ''Doomsday Book'' (which shared the Hugo Award in 1993), a history student aiming for England 1328 lands instead in 1348, where she can't affect history because everyone she meets will shortly be dead of the Plague.˛* Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels:˛** The History Monks are originally presented in ''Literature/SmallGods'' as ensuring everything happens [[BecauseDestinySaysSo the way it's supposed to]] (although, even then, the monk Lu-Tze decides to ScrewDestiny).˛** In ''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 ''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.˛--->'''Lu-Tze:''' For a perfectly logical chain of reasons, Vimes ended back in time even ''looking'' rather like Keel! Eyepatch ''and'' scar! Is that [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality Narrative Causality]], or [[StableTimeLoop Historical Imperative]], or Just Plain Weird?˛** If you try to place the times and events of some books, you will find they take place a couple years before a different book, and at the same time, hundreds of years before the IMMEDIATE SEQUEL of that different book.˛** [[WordOfGod Sir Terry]] himself at one point explained that "There are ''no'' inconsistencies in the Discworld books; occasionally, however, there are alternate pasts."˛* Creator/JackChalker's ''Literature/DowntimingTheNightside'': People leaping through time can affect changes. If the change is small enough, nothing much happens to the timeline, but significant changes can happen. Karl Marx is killed 3 different times, at 3 different points of his life. At the end of his life, not too significant. After he publishes ''Das Kapital'', not too bad either. '''Before''' he publishes it on the other hand... And this is just the tip of the timey-wimey iceberg.˛* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. The first thing we hear about time travel is that it's like a picture book; it looks continuous, but it's not, and scribbling on one page won't change the ending, so it's impossible to change the future. That gets thrown out the window pretty quick, with [[StableTimeLoop time loops]] up the wazoo. Several space-time locations get multiple time loops overlapping over them at the same time. However, starting in Novel 9, [[spoiler:the timeline splits-- not diverges, ''splits''-- and later fuses back together]], and in novel 10 it is revealed that [[spoiler:the evil time traveler Fujiwara is from a different future than Mikuru. In his, she's dead--and he wants to fix that, because she's his big sister. Unfortunately, in the timeline she's from (where she survived), her little brother never existed in the first place]]. So it's possible to change the future, right? Maybe. Because when all this craziness is going on, Kyon brings up the picture book analogy again, and it's confirmed that that ''is'' how time travel works (though at the same time it's implied to be an incomplete explanation). The mechanics of time travel in TheVerse are pretty much incoherent now.˛* In ''[[Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy Johnny and the Bomb]]'', Pratchett explains that most time travellers forget the original timeline when they return to the new one because of the human tendency to [[WeirdnessCensor accept what's around them as normal]]; but if you really try (or are reminded of it by some useful clue) you can remember how things used to be.˛* David Gerrold's ''The Man Who Folded Himself'' features a time-travel belt, which has the traveller completely paranoid about the possibility of a TemporalParadox destroying him. It turns out that {{Temporal Paradox}}es are impossible; TimeTravel rewrites history except for the guy who travelled through time. Various MindScrew moments: [[spoiler:the protagonist has orgies with himself of different ages, writes himself out of history, has a family with himself as a female, eventually has that written out of history (but his son still exists) and culminates in finally giving himself (as the son, so he's his own father) the time travel device. On the last, the idea of where it came from is explored a couple of times and eventually it's hit upon that it's impossible to know where it came from, the creators must have been written out of history. Oh, and he kills UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} at an early age. It's okay, he goes back and stops himself after finding out how much it screws with history]].˛* Creator/PoulAnderson:˛** ''Literature/TimePatrol'' stories are [[ShownTheirWork historically well-researched]] and confusing as '''hell.''' Among other things, the future is "uptime" and the past is "downtime," which makes it sound counterintuitively like time is a river that flows uphill. (This is consistent with convention in geology and archeology, where an earlier period is "lower" because its evidence is in deeper strata.)˛** Ditto in the ''1632'' series, the Grantville inhabitants from 2000 are "uptimers," the seventeenth century natives are "downtimers."˛** The same terminology is used in ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity'' (by [[Creator/IsaacAsimov Asimov]]), where use words like "downwhen", "upwhen", "anywhen" and "everywhen".˛* ''[[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]'': Oh God. There are too many examples to list, though things start getting particularly crazy from ''Dark Fire'' onward. Taken to extremes in ''The Fire Ascending''.˛* Creator/DeanKoontz averted some time travel issues in ''Lightning'' by virtue of having ''the Nazis'' invent time travel, the limitation being that it can only send you ''forward'' (and then you snap back to your point of origin when you make the return trip). While this has its own problems, it at least eliminates the ability to murder your mother before she gave birth to you. You cannot change your own past, but you can change the past of anyone born after you so long as the changes you try to make are not contradictory, and you can bring objects back. Played straight in that if a contradiction is demanded, the portal will refuse the forward transfer (this gets [[spoiler:the heroine killed]] in one timeline). "Destiny struggles to reassert the pattern that was meant to be." Sometimes happily, and sometimes not so happily, it succeeds.˛* The ''Never Again'' series starts out simple enough. It seems to follow the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics so that time travelers can do anything they want, but will create a new timeline that never intersects with the old. Then comes the third book, where that is thrown out the window, and the author's attempts to explain what is happening (with a lot of {{Technobabble}} about "intersecting universes" and the like) [[VoodooShark just raises further questions]].˛* The character of Phanthro in ''Literature/{{Relativity}}'' is a time-traveller from the distant future. He's constantly altering history (for the fun of it). When he's asked how he can alter the past without wiping his own time period out of existence, he just says, "Time doesn't work that way." No further explanation is ever given.˛* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:˛** Heinlein wrote a short story called ''Literature/ByHisBootstraps'', in which the protagonist exploits a time machine to move himself forward in time. Simple enough. The MindScrew comes in when [[spoiler:he does this by his future self sending back his intermediate self to persuade his past self to enter the machine's portal. When the past self becomes the intermediate self, he attempts to double cross the future self, but that double cross naturally results in him becoming the future self]]. Follow all that?˛** For a real, double whammy version of mind screw, read ''Literature/AllYouZombies'' [[spoiler:which chronicles a young man (later revealed to be post-real-sex change) taken back in time and tricked into impregnating his younger, female self (before s/he underwent said sex change); then he turns out to be the offspring of that union (time-relocated yet again), with the paradoxical result that he is both his own mother and father. As the story unfolds, all the major characters -- the young single mother, her seducer, the alcoholic writer, the bartender who recruits him into the time-travel corps, ''and even the baby'' -- are revealed to be the same person, at different stages of her/his life]]. How's your mind doing now?˛* Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat Saves the World'' features two overlapping timelines (one of which only has a temporary existence) ''and'' a loop. The lead character travels back in time to stop the Special Corps being removed from history, and manages to disrupt the enemy's plan. He then follows them further back in time, landing in an alternate history where Napoleon conquered Britain. He messes up the controls on the enemy time machine, and (after being rescued shortly before the alternate history disappears) follows them forward (but still long before his own time). He finds the villains (after a ''long'' time for them -- so long they've forgotten everything except that he's the Enemy), but is unable to stop them; they travel back in time, and he's only saved by a time machine -- allowing him to return to his own time -- which he then sends back with the instructions for what he just did. [[spoiler:Finally, he's told not to worry that he didn't stop the villains; they've just travelled to the first place he met them, where they will then travel back and create an alternate history where Napoleon conquered Britain, before...]]˛* ''Franchise/StarTrek'': The novel ''Q-Squared'' introduces several alternate realities, including one based on the BadFuture in ''Yesterday's Enterprise''. However, in this case, when the Ent-D finds the Ent-C, all the crew aboard it are already dead. Afraid of Klingons getting their hands on a Federation warship (even an old one), they scuttle it and move on. Oh, and by the end of the novel, that reality is even worse off, since [[spoiler:its Picard and Riker are dead]].˛* In ''A Tale of Time City'' by Creator/DianaWynneJones, the titular city exists outside of the flow of history on the rest of the world. From this vantage point, the citizens see that history works like weather patterns -- it shifts back and forth with minute details thanks to the butterfly effect and time loops. Basically, a more detailed explanation of the Timey-Wimey Ball, where shifts in the time travel theories are explained away as the changing "weather patterns" of time. For instance, on one day in Time City the inhabitants may observe that UsefulNotes/WorldWarII begins in 1939, but on another day they may notice that it has changed to 1938. Perhaps time in the book is two-dimensional, with Time City time orthogonal to time everywhere else. [[spoiler:Except it turns out that the history of Time City can shift back and forth too...]]˛* In Creator/JasperFforde's ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' novels, not only do the rules of TimeTravel make no sense whatsoever, the main character (whose father is a time-traveller) realises this, and often {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it. In one book, the rules actually seem to change over the course of a conversation with her dad, but she realizes there's no point in even asking.˛** In ''[[Literature/ThursdayNext First Among Sequels]]'', there is a subplot revolving around the fact that the time-travellers have mapped almost the entire future and found that TimeTravel has not yet been invented. By the end of the book, [[spoiler:Thursday and co. have managed to ensure that TimeTravel is ''never'' invented, and thus, could never have been used earlier in the series]]. This means that several events from the previous four books including the plays of Creator/WilliamShakespeare [[spoiler:and the ''beginning of all life on earth'']] logically could not have happened. Since many of these events were the results of {{Stable Time Loop}}s anyway, this is a case of Ascended TimeParadox. Or MindScrew turned UpToEleven. Either way, it's probably best just to apply the MST3KMantra and enjoy the series.˛** A significant part of the plot of ''The Woman Who Died a Lot'' is that the non-existence of time travel in a world where many people know they ''used'' to work for the [[TimePolice ChronoGuard]] has actually made the Timey-Wimey Ball ''worse''.˛* In ''Literature/WeCantRewind'', the narrator makes several attempts to make sense of how his world's peculiar form of time travel works for the readers, and then gives up, explaining that he'll probably [[MindScrew lose his mind]] if he keeps this up for much longer. [[spoiler:He mentions that the temporal theorists of Merciar, from which he's writing this account, are doing no better at settling their controversies over how exactly inter-dimensional time travel works, and that most of Merciar's citizens have already given up trying to make sense of it in order to preserve their sanity and advised everyone else to do the same.]]˛* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': The novel trilogy ''War of the Ancients''. Despite some dramatic changes (such as saving an entire race that originally went extinct), it's apparently okay to mess with time as long as the end result is roughly the same. Of course, it also helps explaining why said race appears rather plentiful in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' after having been said to be extinct in an earlier novel...˛* René Barjavel's novel ''Future Times Three'' is one of the first books to describe the GrandfatherParadox, and contains an appendix describing how the victim of the paradox is constantly oscillating between existence and non-existence. But there is also the case of an old servant who was saved from death by her bosses through time travel, who the hero does not remember having met because he visited the house before they went back in time to save her... and the servant seems to remember somehow that she should have died. Also, characters living during a war where common necessities are scarce are using MentalTimeTravel to go back in time before the war to buy any supply they run out of in the present (which should mean that at one point in the past their cupboards must have been bursting with supplies).˛* The ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' novels by Creator/AnneMcCaffrey have time-travel courtesy of a side-effect of how the dragons teleport themselves and their riders all over the planet. However, you can't change the past. Several story lines, especially in the original novels to do with solving the empty weyrs, rely on the fact that major characters go back in time to make history happen, usually inadvertently. Meanwhile, coming close to yourself causes mental confusion. This happens to Lessa at least once and, of course, it drives the plot.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Tabletop Games]]˛* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' uses this trope quite effectively: The heroes can jump between [[SanDimasTime 4 points in history]] by using the Netherworld. Transferring control of enough Feng Shui sites changes the future completely, except for anyone who's [[RippleEffectProofMemory visited the Netherworld]]. ˛* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':˛** This is a fundamental quality of [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace Warp travel]] given that the flow of time relative to realspace changes randomly during transit. Navigation for [[TheEmpire The Imperium of Mankind]] requires the use of psychic Navigators to essentially ''feel'' their way to their destination, avoiding the worst of the [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp storms and riding favourable currents]] to reach their destination. However, given the abovementioned mutability of time along the way, ''when'' you arrive is anyone's guess. The crew could be in transit for weeks or months at a time to arrive at their destination at the same time as when they left, centuries late, or even ''before they set out'', if you even get there at all. A graphical history for a given ship would more closely resemble a circuit diagram than a timeline if plotted out.˛** One specific example had an Ork leader accidentally end up at his starting location just before the fleet left, and then promptly attacked and killed his past self to get a spare of his favorite gun (the Waaagh! disbanded in the ensuing confusion).˛** There is also a long-running war between Eldar Farseers (who can manipulate current events to change the future) and actual time travelers from the Necron dynasties and Imperial Inquisition (who may or may not have accidentally erased themselves from the timeline).˛** One Imperial ship responded to a distress signal, but was ambushed in the Warp. Just before its destruction it managed to send out a distress signal...˛* ''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.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Visual Novels]]˛* ''VisualNovel/TimeHollow'' suffers from this trope at times. At one point, you [[spoiler:rescue a mother and son from dying in a bus crash.]] Immediately afterwards, time refuses to change. So you try again. And again, nothing happens. [[spoiler:Turns out the mother deliberately RE-changed events to cause her and her son's death.]] This is handwaved with an explanation that objects and people pulled or otherwise sent through a time warp become 'detached' in time. It may make your head hurt a bit more when you are able to talk to [[spoiler:the mother, older, in the timeline in which you saved her,]] even though that timeline, from your perspective, DOES NOT EXIST [[spoiler:because she keeps changing the past to prevent it]].˛* ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' requires Sigma to betray Phi at a critical juncture in order to open a plot lock. Due to this being an incredibly ridiculous and out-of-character thing to do, it is highly likely the player will only try it after Phi betrays Sigma in the alternate branch where Sigma allied -- which she explicitly declares she's doing only [[BlamedForBeingRailroaded because of Sigma's betrayal in the other path]]. You could almost call this a StableTimeLoop, except that it's an interaction between two different alternate universes that can only connect through Phi and Sigma's TimeTravel powers.˛* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' manages the difficult trick of pulling this off in a game that ''doesn't feature time travel.'' In the last episode, [[spoiler:Phoenix's investigation as shown would not be possible unless he could actually travel through time, rather than being able to select different times just being a tool for the convenience of the jury. He uses evidence he gathers in the present in the past, as well as evidence he gathers later in the same portion of the timeline in earlier incidents.]] Justified in that the investigation you see is a simulated version being [[spoiler:played out by the jury]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Animation]]˛* Lampshaded in ''WebAnimation/SonicForHire'' at the start of Season 6. As Sonic announces he would travel through time to make himself famous again, Tails points out the amount of inconsistent PlotHoles that would occur from this. With some of the characters being unaffected by the time effects, randomly having alterations on their bodies, or [[ApocalypseHow the universe falling apart.]]˛* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' starts out with a StableTimeLoop when Church keeps going back in time and ends up causing almost every problem that happened to the Blue Team. Then in season five, Wyoming uses his time travel ability [[spoiler:(which Church was originally using without knowing it)]] to try and win the battle. Tucker has RippleEffectProofMemory thanks to his sword and they end up doing things, and then undoing them. For example, [[spoiler:Caboose is killed by the tank, and Tex gets knocked out/killed by Wyoming. In the "final draft" of the timeline, Tucker yells at Caboose to stay away, and warns Tex that Wyoming knows that she's there]]. Then it turns back into StableTimeLoop when Caboose's mental image of Sister, who is a guy, gets pulled into the real world. S/he ends up materializing next to a dead Wyoming, whose suit malfunctions, sending him all the way back to Sidewinder. Turns out, ''he'' was the mysterious "Yellow Church" that fans speculated about for years.˛** Since the "Yellow Church" claimed his plan to solve the Sidewinder crisis "seemed like such a good idea at the time", it could be safe to speculate Sister/Yellow Church is there due to a further loop leading back to Sidewinder.˛** The series later attempts to explain all this earlier time-travel nonsense during the "Recollections" trilogy of seasons by [[spoiler:explaining that the Red and Blue soldiers are actually simulation troopers meant to test Freelancer troops against a myriad of mad situations and everything they were subjected to in Blood Gulch was in fact a controlled situation they weren't meant to understand]].˛** Actually Word of God from Burnie Burns has confirmed that [[spoiler:Church going back in time repeatedly never really happened, and was merely Gamma and Omega trying to cause Alpha to fracture into more A.I. fragments. Nobody moved through time in season 3. Yes this is a major retcon, but as of Season 8 it is considered the canonical explanation]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Webcomics]]˛* Used to great effect in ''Webcomic/The10Doctors''. It's even mentioned by name as to how all ten Doctors can be in one place at the same time.˛-->'''Third Doctor:''' You see... time is... well... it's...\˛'''Second Doctor:''' Well, it's... It's not linear... It is more sort of...\˛'''Tenth Doctor:''' It's... squishy-squashy...\˛'''Seventh Doctor:''' Wibbly wobbly.\˛'''Sixth Doctor:''' Semi-fluid!\˛'''Fifth Doctor:''' Gelatinous.\˛'''Ninth Doctor:''' Mushy-gooey.\˛'''Drax:''' Higgledy piggledy.\˛'''Fourth Doctor:''' Hi-ho the dairy-o!\˛'''Romana II:''' Green grow the rushes-o!\˛'''First Doctor:''' Alright, you lot!˛* ''Webcomic/AwfulHospital'': The alien zones don't always use "time" as we humans understand it, but something called "layers." Chronology can sometimes jump around on its own, via layers, without Fern needing to enter a time machine:˛-->'''Staph:''' As you read this letter, our kingdom will have undergone many generations of development... at least from our perception. Don't fret! In your own perception sphere, we are very much alive, and I'm certain you will have an opportunity to drop in and say 'hello.' Does that make sense? Sorry, we still don't really have a handle on how you experience the layers.˛* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' most of the characters can never find out what kind of rule Time Travel goes by, and one person once said it can be changed ''by the setting on the time machine''. However, it appears that they follow StableTimeLoop rules, as no time period is ever affected by what happens in another. Indeed, the only way time travel is different than going to a different dimension is that people ''think'' it may change history.˛** Dr. Light's lab is clearly shown being pre-destroyed by a time ripple tearing through it and enforcing events from the new past. So yes, the past can be changed if you use the time machine right.˛** [[spoiler:The ending however, suggest a stable time-loop, as it ends with a suggestion from a time-travelling ghost of Zero telling Wily to not activate him so he won't kill everyone. Then they all fake their death and move to Acapulco to prevent a temporal paradox.]]˛** There is a very good reason why "I hate Time Travel," is one of the more common {{Catch Phrase}}s of the comic.˛** At another point, Protoman adds a fresh level of murk due to a) lacking RippleEffectProofMemory and b) being paranoid enough to ''know'' he lacks RippleEffectProofMemory, by remarking that a time-travel story is exactly how he remembered the events in question...well, it's how he remembers it ''now''.˛%%* ''Webcomic/BreakpointCity'' can't decide quite how time travel works.˛* ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'': Dresden fucking Codak. This is what happens when DadaComics undergo CerebusSyndrome; [[MindScrew leave your sanity at the door]]. The basic mechanics of the wimey-ball are pretty clearly laid out [[http://dresdencodak.com/2007/09/04/an-exotic-matter/ at the bottom of this page,]] though as always some inconsistencies appear if you think about it too much (somehow, the artificial wormhole doesn't split the timeline, but the natural one does).˛* ''Webcomic/{{Earthsong}}'' has a bit of timey-wimey-ball action, since character are pulled together to one time, and then returned back to the moment they left after an indeterminate amount of time.˛* The sequel fic ''[[Webcomic/RichsComixBlog Forever Janette]]'' intentionally invokes the Timey-Wimey Ball by subverting the show's use of SanDimasTime -- by letting the Fifth Doctor meet the Master from the Seventh Doctor's time. It doesn't say how this is possible, other than a passing mention that the two Time Lords are "off-phase" from a common Gallifreyan synchronicity.˛* Discussed in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': Grace [[http://www.egscomics.com/egsnp.php?id=254 expresses confusion]] about how in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' Marty is affected by the DelayedRippleEffect and while at the same time possessing RippleEffectProofMemory. Justin tells her that the sequels don't make sense of this inconsistency and further that time travel is not allowed to make sense.˛* [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003151 This page]] of the Midnight Crew intermission in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' typifies the response. Though most of the time travel shenanigans seem ''fairly'' self-consistent, it's still hella complex.˛** In the main continuity of the series, it gets worse when [[spoiler:Future!Dave]] starts incorporating TimeTravel shenanigans. And even ''[[TimeMaster he]]'' doesn't understand all the mechanisms behind it, his advice to the other characters (and the audience) is just basically [[BellisariosMaxim "Don't overthink it."]]˛--->'''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' see the thing with time travel is\˛'''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' you cant overthink it\˛'''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' you just got to roll with it and see what happens\˛'''[[spoiler:Dave]]:''' and above all try not to do anything retarded\˛'''[[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003504 John:]]''' i'm just the timey-wimey messenger here.˛** However, MagicAIsMagicA applies heavily and every form of time travel is internally consistent. The problem arises when there are at least ''four'' different forms of time travel, and possibly even more, all of which abide different rules˛*** Heroes of Time have two options. Either A) They change destiny and cause a branch timeline, or B) YouAlreadyChangedThePast. They naturally have some intuition about what changes cause what. Time magic practiced by the Felt is more loose, and can be used for pretty much any form of TimeTravel. And then there's the weird stuff, like the Furthest Ring distorting space and time, potentially causing someone to meet their past selves by traveling in a straight line and Skaian portals.˛** The Doctor's [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink Trope-Naming]] soundbite is used in [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/arisen-anew "Arisen Anew"]] from the Alternia Bound album.˛** All the rules get thrown out the window when John touches a strange artifact that makes him unstuck from reality. He has the power to make [[OrwellianRetcon real and permanent changes in the alpha timeline]].˛* Time travel in ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' at first ''appears'' to work in a StableTimeLoop fashion, but then it's revealed that [[spoiler:It's possible to "break" a StableTimeLoop, an action capable of ''destroying the entire universe.'' [[OhCrap Several time loops have already been broken]]]]. And now [[spoiler:Every universe, save the "espionage" theme universe, has been destroyed. They got better]]. [[RunningGag And now]] apparently the timeline is too broken to go back pre-1933 (specifically the date of the Reichstag Fire). Complete with a link to this very article.˛* ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' has a big fat temporal loop in the Kethenecia arc in Book 3, but really the arc underlies the whole story so far. It's still uncertain if the protagonists can actually change the timeline should they chose to, since so far they did their best to fulfill the prophecies.˛* It's openly stated by a member of the TimePolice in ''Webcomic/LsEmpire'' that all bets are off if you time travel via magic.˛* ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' heavily lampshades this trope. The main requirement to avoid the variety of paradoxes is "Don't think about time travel".˛-->'''[[TheWatson Jones]]:''' Nnnnnooo [[http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/i-have-no-idea-how-long-this-arc-will-last I still think that's not how time travel works]]...\˛'''[[AwesomeMcCoolname Commander Badass]]:''' Look, anyone who watches as much ''Doctor Who'' as you do gotta know that technology more 're less runs on bullshit.˛* The characters of ''Webcomic/{{Melonpool}}'' handled time travel pretty responsibly the first two times. After they disable a mechanism that forbade them from being able to interact with things they had already done, including their past selves who ''were the time travelers'', the whole affair became a convoluted mess and every new revelation had to be resolved by [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment going back in time to stop themselves from changing what happened by going back in time to stop themselves from changing what happened]]. The moral of the story is: don't mess with time travel or your [[TimeCrash universe will implode]].˛%%* ''Webcomic/MinionsAtWork:'' [[http://www.theminionsatwork.com/comic/a-paradox-is-not-a-pair-remastered-sorta/ Pretend it never happened]].˛* Trying to track the [[RetGone timeline changes]] in ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'' may lead to you repeating this trope name [[MadnessMantra over and over and over again]].˛* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'':˛** An extended time-travel subplot establishes that it is difficult, but not impossible, to change your own history. Physical time-travel takes all the energy that exists in the Universe [[spoiler:or, as it turns out, in some other universe that's just out of luck]], but it's possible to transfer your consciousness back or forward in time into your own body, and you can undergo changes as a result of altered behavior. For instance, Dave never smoked. At several points, the question of paradoxes comes up, and it is immediately dismissed by pointing out that thinking about it could cause it to happen, so it's better not to.˛** The same storyline provides an example of inconsistent time travel effects within a single sub-plot. Dave didn't cease to have ever smoked until after the time travel; however, [[spoiler:Caliban's demotion]], though also caused by the time travel, was established backstory before the time travel occurred.˛* There don't seem to be any concrete rules to ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' TimeTravel. Possibly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the presence of beings like Father Time, Uncle Time, and the Fate Spiders who have an interest in making sure time runs smoothly and/or in a [[RuleOfFun fun]] way.˛** The fact that the original fate spider gives up, quits his job and then only comes back after his successor has screwed everything up even more says a lot, at this point they seem to pretty much just watch and be amazed that all of creation hasn't gone up in flames already.˛** In a later strip, Old-Riff says that TimeTravel follows the branching timeline rules, and therefore you can't change the past, you're just abandoning the BadFuture in favor of a different universe. But really, the way it works, this revelation doesn't actually contradict anything, since from the characters' perspective, they would have no way of knowing.˛* This is probably gonna be the only way to understand the whole time traveling bit in ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}''. To wit, AuthorAvatar Chris is launched into the future where he is able to help those in the future [[CureYourGays make the vaccine for homosexuality]] (even if that's not how it works) before being able to convince his future wife Lovely Weather he is his future self (despite the fact that he'd be ten or so years older) and do the nasty. He comes back, gives Magi-Chan Sonichu a Sonichu Ball and tells him to go back and get some of the vaccine to bring back to the past so they can cure everyone years earlier. And while he does talk to the past version of Lovely Weather, there's the case of the vaccine - if he brought the vaccine back from the past to cure everyone, why would there be a need for it in the future and oh, going cross-eyed.˛* ''Webcomic/TheStarshipDestiny'':˛** The robot Gizmo goes back in time to kill Hitler, reasoning that he can then go back again and stop himself. Instead, his first iteration convinces him to join in, since he can just go back again, and stop himself. Predictably, they end up having ''dozens'' of Gizmos brutalizing Hitler before he's had enough and stops his first self... and gives him a video recording of the event.˛** In another chapter, Gizmo went insane from a virus while saving the ship. The other crew members fix this by taking his head off (it contains his processors and memory drives), going back in time to just before he went insane, and switching heads, thus bringing his sane head back to the present while the insane one faces the virus (presumably, he can't go even insaner).˛* Done [[SoBadItsGood hilariously badly]] in the abandoned indie RPG ''Webcomic/ZybourneClock'':˛-->[[MemeticMutation Imagine four balls on the edge of a cliff.]] Say a direct copy of the ball nearest the cliff is sent to the back of the line of balls and takes the place of the first ball. The formerly first ball becomes the second, the second becomes the third, and the fourth falls off the cliff. Time works the same way.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Original]]˛* The ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' variety is spoofed in the ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'', where time travel doesn't work on pants.˛* ''WebVideo/MindMyGap'' is a plot made of this. It seem at one point that up to four chronologically separate events with the same characters involved are happening at exactly the same time˛* ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' has time travel mechanics, but also has laws, and etiquette, all to prevent this from happening. Still there are people who don't follow the "Six Minute Flux" mechanic and cause this.˛* According to Huey in ''WebAnimation/{{Ducktalez}} 5'', the time-travelling Deweys all come from alternate timelines that are created when one of them tries to change history. Huey offers a situation, but that fails. Also, Dewey tries to ask for the Doctor's help, but that fails.˛* ''AudioPlay/DoctorWhoovesAdventures'', being a ''Series/DoctorWho'' fanfiction, have a tendency. ''[[BadFuture Traveler]]'' in particular.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Western Animation]]˛* ''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". ˛* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':˛** ''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]].˛** In the ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' multi-parter Scratch and Grounder made it so a couple of Sonic's ancestors didn't meet, making Sonic disappear. But for some reason Tails is still there and able to fix this.˛* In the double-episode "Two Futures" of ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'', Wheeler uses a time pool to go back and prevent himself from receiving the fire ring. This results in a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack future]] because the Planeteers never became a team and saved the environment (though why they [[FridgeLogic didn't just find another guy to accept it]] is never explained). He then goes back and prevents himself from preventing himself from getting the ring. Then they both escape into the time pool again and merge for some reason. To make sure the viewers knew things were restored to normal, a scene from the utopian future is shown at the very end.˛* In the finale of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', [[spoiler:Ashi uses her powers as Aku's daughter to open a portal in time which sends her and]] Jack back in time to the point where Jack was sent to the future. Jack drops out just after Aku flung his past selt into the future to begin with, and then kills Aku. [[spoiler:Ashi]] hangs on for a weirdly long time after that (apparently at least a few weeks) before [[spoiler:she collapses, having just enough time to explain that, because she was born of Aku way in the future, killing him in the past meant she was never born, before she faded from existence.]] Which raises the question: With Aku already dead, and [[spoiler:therefore Ashi having never existed]], [[TemporalParadox who the hell is in the future to send Jack back in time to kill Aku?]] ˛* Time travel in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' is... confusing. The first time TimeTravel is used as a plot device, and in most subsequent appearances, history is very malleable and can easily be changed... with serious consequences.˛** However, the episode "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker" appears to utilize a straight StableTimeLoop... however [[spoiler:Timmy's time traveling, in addition to causing Crocker to lose his fairies as a kid, also gave him a much more sophisticated fairy-tracker which he didn't originally have as an adult]], meaning that [[spoiler:Crocker must have lost his fairies]] a slightly different way the "first time around".˛** In a much later episode when Timmy wishes he were never born, ''a la'' ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'', Jorgen reveals that Crocker's childhood would never have been ruined had Timmy never existed, which means that there ''was'' no "first time around" [[note]]if there were, one would expect that Timmy negating his own existence would have undone all his changes to the past and history would be restored to the way it originally proceeded, sans Timmy of course[[/note]]. In other words, the writers wanted to use both {{Stable Time Loop}}s and {{Temporal Paradox}}es at the same time, resulting in a confusing mess. Cosmo did a lot to get little Crocker obsessed with fairies, but he only got the opportunity due to Timmy.˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':˛** Time travel results in the creation of {{Stable Time Loop}}s... except when it doesn't. In "[[Recap/FuturamaS3E19RoswellThatEndsWell Roswell That Ends Well]]", YouAlreadyChangedThePast is in effect, and everything makes sense. Then "[[Recap/FuturamaS4E10TheWhyOfFry The Why of Fry]]" contradicts this, and Fry succeeds in altering his own past (he doesn't prevent himself from getting cryogenically frozen, as he originally intended, but he does convince the Nibblonians to give him a better getaway scooter). Then, ''[[Recap/FuturamaM1BendersBigScore Bender's Big Score]]'' throws sense out the window: Bender's rampant time travel is revealed as the cause of [[ContinuityNod some events from previous episodes]] (such as the fossilization of Seymour, and the first destruction of Old New York by flying saucers), while completely altering some other events (the [[DownerEnding final scene of "Jurassic Bark"]] gets retconned). Both stable time loops (like the tattoo on Fry's butt) and utter nonsense (like Hermes Conrad stealing his own body from the past) work equally well. Rather appropriately, Bender's time travel is carried out by a ''literal'' Timey-Wimey Ball.˛** The entire existence of Lars Fillmore is built on a combination of a StableTimeLoop and an AlternateTimeline. In the future, [[spoiler:Fry meets Lars before going back to his own time. He then takes another trip back in time by an hour, displacing the Fry that existed at that time and turning him into a "time-paradox duplicate." The duplicate eventually becomes Lars, following his other self to the future and inspiring the original Fry to take on the false identity of Lars [[MindScrew once he becomes a duplicate though his upcoming use of time travel]]]].˛** Then there's Professor Farnsworth's time machine in "[[Recap/FuturamaS6E7TheLatePhillipJFry The Late Philip J. Fry]]", which could only go forward in time. When Farnsworth, Fry and Bender returned to a new, identical universe (making the Big Bounce theory true), it's impossible to know if the killing of the fish or Hitler did anything to Universe Two because they didn't get to stop in the 31st century to find out. They had to go around again to finally make a stop at Universe 3. This leads to all sorts of crazy implications as to what happened to the time traveling crew in the 2nd universe...do they kill their Universe 4 selves?˛** On the [=DVD=] commentary for "Roswell", the writers say that they initially intended to avoid doing any time travel stories, because it's basically impossible to make them make sense, but eventually they couldn't resist.˛** [[LampshadeHanging "You mustn't interfere with the past. Don't do anything that affects anything, unless it turns out you were supposed to do it. In which case, for the love of God, don't not do it!"]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/MiloMurphysLaw'' has characters change the past through time travel frequently, yet also has a number of gags that rely on the assumption of a StableTimeLoop. It's also inconsistent about when characters can or can't remember events that got erased from the timeline.˛* ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' has Kowalski try to stop two paradoxes that he created at the same time. While it's eventually resolved with a stable time loop, the second/third Kowalski couldn't have existed without having it's own paradox. It's... confusing. And the paradoxes effect time is only a few hours.˛* The plot of a ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' episode, in which the mice try to obtain a "World Domination Kit" from the future. It doesn't even ''try'' to make sense, but suffice to say it ended with the lab full of hundreds of Pinkys and Brains, and the ending tune changed to "They're Pinkys, they're Pinkys and the Brain Brain Brain Brain Brain Brain Brain [[OverlyLongGag Brain Brain Brain]]."˛* ''WesternAnimation/RandyCunninghamNinthGradeNinja'': When the past was altered so the Sorcerer's imprisonment never happened, it got the Sorcerer free but didn't change the world in any way that reflected the damages he would have caused during eight centuries of altered history. No explanations were given.˛* ''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 [[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.˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'': "Lost In Time" shows Stormy and Quinn trying to steal cable for Captain Murphy and inadvertently cause a rift that sends them back in time to just before they left Sealab (about 15 minutes). They try to prevent themselves from causing the rift, but past Captain Murphy is convinced they are evil dopplegangers and not time travelers, so he has them locked in the brig. When their past-selves cause the rift (again), they experience the same events but somehow the original pair is ''also'' in the brig when they get there. So now there's 3 Stormies and 3 Quinns running around. Since the time difference is only 15 minutes, each successive Stormy and Quinn react in the same way, and since each pair is unable to stop the next pair, the number of Stormies and Quinns keeps growing until the brig is filled with them and they have to start referring to each other by which iteration of the loop they came from (i.e. Quinn 1, Quin 2, "the 7s", etc). Eventually time itself is getting so screwed up that weird alternate versions of them start showing up too (like pixie versions, or [[Franchise/StarWars Quinn as Jabba the Hutt and Stormy as Salacious Crumb]]). The Quinns band together to try and think of a solution, while the Stormies play dodgeball. Ultimately, one of the Stormies reveals that they've been using their communicator watch(es) the whole time (but only with already locked up Stormies). One of the Quinns borrows it to call the version who is out stealing cable and ''finally'' ends the loop by averting the next explosion. Then, [[StatusQuoIsGod instead of using the combined brain power of dozens of genius Quinns to solve major world problems]], Captain Murphy has all the duplicates [[GladiatorGames fight to the death in the gym for his amusement.]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':˛** In one episode, Cartman freezes himself and is thawed out 500 years in the future. He then makes repeated calls to Kyle via a phone that reaches back through time, which makes changes to his time. He and everyone else 500 years from now only know the world the way it is after the changes. However, when he makes one more change at the end that ''hugely'' impacts history, he only remembers what the world was like ''before'' the change, while from everyone else's point of view it's always been that way.˛** In the episode "Goobacks" immigrants from the future come back through a time portal to get jobs in the present. When the townspeople try to improve the future so the immigrants will stay in their time period, the immigrants begin to fade away. A reporter notes that scientists say the time border follows ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' rules meaning it's one way only and you can't go back as opposed to ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' rules, where back and forth is possible, and ''Film/{{Timerider|TheAdventureOfLyleSwann}}'' rules, which are just plain silly.˛* ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' has a one-shot time-traveling metahuman who briefly teams up with Static and Gear, only to decide her powers are too dangerous, go back in time to before the Big Bang, and steal her past self's bicycle so she couldn't get caught up in it. Would be a classic paradox were it not for the fact that Static and Gear ''still remember the previous version of what happened''. [[LampshadeHanging Upon pointing this out, Gear comments that if you try too hard to figure it out, your head will explode.]]˛* [[http://www.cc.com/video-clips/pp2kiz/the-colbert-report-tek-jansen---from-the-future This]] episode of ''Tek Jansen'', a series of shorts originally created for Creator/StephenColbert's show, illustrates how bad (or ''[[SoBadItsGood awesome]]'') this trope can get.˛** A short summary for all the non-Americans who can't see the video: [[spoiler:The Prince and his three attendants, one of whom is named Schlorb, crash land on a planet. Tek Jansen arrives (and to clarify arrives means appear out of nowhere with a time machine) from the future to protect them. Then a second Tek Jansen arrives from further in the future and shoots the first Tek Jansen. Tek explains that in five minutes the first Tek would have eaten a couple of berserker berries, gone insane, and attacked them. He then eats the berries and goes insane. A third Tek Jansen arrives from sometime and shoots the second Tek. He says that Schlorb explained everything to him, but does not remember when. A fourth Tek arrives from the future and sends the third Tek into the past because Schlorb has an important message for him. A fifth Tek accidentally arrives naked with some lady on top of a console. The fourth Tek leaves (and to clarify leaves means disappear with the time machine) with them. A sixth Tek walks on screen with two clean shirts and does not recognize the Prince or his attendants. A seventh Tek arrives and shoots the sixth Tek because one of the shirts had too much starch in it. The seventh Tek is then eaten by a slime monster. An eighth Tek arrives in some sort of armor and asks if he was eaten by the slime monster yet. The kids say yes and Tek leaves frustrated. [[OverlyLongGag A ninth Tek arrives and says that he is pretty sure that he needs to take Schlorb into the past, and proceeds to do so. A battered tenth Tek arrives and warns the kids to stay out of caves, then leaves. An eleventh Tek arrives and says he knows of a great cave that they can camp out in. A twelfth Tek arrives, shoot the eleventh Tek, hands the group an egg beater, tells them to hand it to the next Tek that appears, and leaves. The Prince points out that this is pretty fucked up. A thirteenth Tek arrives fighting a giant egg. Tek grabs the egg beater and leaves, still fighting the egg. A fourteenth Tek arrives and explains that all this time travel has opened a chrono-rift in the space-time continuum. He is going to go fix it, but he wants the kids to do exactly what the next Tek tells them to. He leaves. But then a large group of Teks arrive all pointing in different direction. They proceed to fight each other, and the episode ends on a cliffhanger]]. This all happens in two minutes]]. You got all that?˛* There's a gigantic lampshade in ''WesternAnimation/TrippingTheRift''. The crew saves the day by turning back time Superham-style: by flying the ship around a star counterclockwise really fast. While they're setting up, they discuss the inconsistency of the rules of time travel and the problems with changing the past.˛* In ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', Bishop [[RippleEffectProofMemory keeps his memories of the previous chain of events when he returns into the future]]. Later the two parter "One Man's Worth" has the death of Charles Xavier before he founded X-Men resulting into a war-torn present. Wolverine and Storm from this changed reality travel into the past to help to save him. After the successful mission accomplishment they return into the future (present time) and for some reason lose all their memories about the Xavier-less reality.˛[[/folder]]˛˛----

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