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"What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer, Morty? The answer is don't think about it."

Timeline 23 Josh: Look, Julia, in my timeline, you were the best student Brakebills ever had, at least until you were...horribly murdered.
Julia: Oh.
The Magicians (2016), "Twenty-Three"

This is when a character travels to an Alternate Universe and discovers their counterpart there is dead. Usually, it can be the result of Time Travel or perhaps a malicious entity at work. Whatever the case, when the characters discovers this fate, it may lead to shock or terror.

Compare with Discovering Your Own Dead Body, or Killing Your Alternate Self for when someone cuts out the middle-man. See also Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment, which may happen in cases in which the hero feels grief-stricken by the death of the alternate-universe person because they know the person from their own universe.

When an alternate version of a person is killed for crimes committed by the original, see Alternate Personality Punishment.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inverted in an episode of the 1960s Astro Boy anime, which features a parallel universe where Tobio Tenma never died. Also, in the very first storyline of the original manga, Ambassador Atom, about alien refugees from a destroyed planet almost identical to Earth, had a similar premise, though in this version both versions of Tobio had died but the alien Dr. Tenma was never able to create a robot version because he was working on the evacuation ships instead.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Happens quite a bit in the Cell Saga thanks to Time Travel introduced by Future Trunks:
    • Future Trunks's timeline has Goku dying from a heart virus that he contracted on Planet Yadrat following the battle with Frieza, with the other Z Fighters from the timeline in question being killed by Androids 17 and 18. Goku gets the virus in the regular timeline as well, but is saved from his future counterpart's fate by the cure that was provided to him by Future Trunks, which was developed by Future Bulma after Future Goku's death.
    • The main version of Cell killed the Trunks from his native timeline in order to steal his time machine. Cell goes on to add the main version of Future Trunks himself to the body count as well, though luckily the Dragon Balls are around in this timeline.
    • Future Trunks returns the favor by killing the Imperfect Cell in his own native timeline, while Krillin kills the fetus Cell of his main timeline too, essentially stopping the chance of another Cell wreaking havoc on their timeline once Gohan takes Super Perfect Cell down for the count.
    • Thanks to all the events that have unfolded in the Cell Saga, when Future Trunks returns to his timeline to finally face his evil versions of the Android twins, it ends up becoming a complete Curb-Stomp Battle in Trunk's favor that ends with the Androids dead, unlike the main counterparts whom survived thanks to (ironically) actions taken by the Z Fighters (namely Gohan having made Cell spit 18 out by accident, while 17 was wished back to life by Shenron).
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Inverted in the Edolas arc, with Mirajane and Elfman's dead little sister Lisanna, as Earthland's (the main setting) version of Lisanna is dead, but the Edolas version is alive. Turns out to be played straight later, as Edolas Lisanna really is Earthland Lisanna who was transported into Edolas, while the real Edolas Lisanna is already dead.
    • In the Grand Magic Games arc, Lucy Heartfilia's time-traveling Alternate Self from X792 rescues her present counterpart from the X798 Rogue Cheney's attack, but at the cost of her own life..
  • HuGtto! Pretty Cure has a Bad Future where Hana's death served as the Big Bad's Start of Darkness, which made him set on proving the that future brings nothing but pain and misery and seeks to stop the flow of time at all costs. Meanwhile, the main timeline's Hana has no idea of her future self's fate, and thus Locked Out of the Loop in regards to understanding the main villain's motivations or why he's so creepily obsessed with her.
  • An important plot point of Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja is that in the Alternate Universe where the thick of the movie takes place, Naruto's parents are alive while Sakura's parents are dead, and Sakura struggles with the decision of yanking this particular chain and hurt Naruto.
  • In Noein the fact that Haruka's alternate counterparts die in every other universe is a major plot point, which created the Big Bad of the series by driving him insane; if the most powerful Reality Warper in existence is destined to die in every single timeline, doesn't that mean God Is Dead?

    Comic Books 
  • In JLA/Avengers issue 3, the Marvel and DC worlds have become combined, turning it into a Silver Age utopia. When the characters learn how their realities are supposed to be, the character who argues for the restoration the most is Hal Jordan — who is "supposed to" be dead. Barry Allen is there too, but he's not quite so eager to restore the realities.
  • In Astonishing X-Men there's an alternate universe in which hundreds of alternates of the X-Men the readers know have been killed for an arguably greater good. Of course, there's plenty of What If? stories where famous Marvel characters are killed.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Men sees the Peter Parker of Earth-616 trapped on Earth-1610, with his counterpart having recently died. And he doesn't have the heart to tell Gwen that her counterpart on his Earth is dead too.
    • Something similar happens in Spider-Verse when Spider-Gwen find out that her mainstream counterpart is dead.
  • The Ultimate Marvel universe as a whole is almost filled with dead versions of characters still alive in the regular Marvel Universe now, mostly thanks to Ultimatum and the Ultimate continuity mostly avoiding Death Is Cheap.
  • Judge Dredd's "Helter Skelter" arc involved several villains from alternate realities where they had killed Dredd come to take on the prime universe Dredd.
  • The Dynamite comics that continue the original Battlestar Galactica present an arc where Apollo and Starbuck are sent to an alternate reality where the Cylons rule supreme. There, it's discovered that Apollo's alternate counterpart has already died, as did those of Tigh, Athena and Boxey. Inverted with Serena, who has long been dead in the prime reality but alive and well in the alternate one.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): In issue 50, Dr. Robotnik is Killed Off for Real, but eventually replaced with Robo-Robotnik/Dr. Eggman, a counterpart of his from an alternate universe with a near-identical backstory and all of the history with and hatred of Sonic that the original Robotnik had; having succeeded in defeating the Freedom Fighters in his world, Eggman had gotten bored with nothing left to conquer or destroy, and after discovering the death of his prime counterpart, made his way to Mobius Prime to "fill the void."
  • Superboy (1994): During the "Hyper-Tension!" arc Kon is investigating the murder of an alternate version of himself, who made it to his reality with a warning he wasn't fully able to spit out before dying of his injuries. Kon quickly learns that his best friend Robin is dead in the first alternate reality he visits, and that his own alternate has become Batman's partner and started wearing elements from Tim's costume in remembrance.
  • The Jem and the Holograms (IDW) miniseries Infinite involves Jem and the Holograms as well as the Misfits visiting an alternate reality where people are being enthralled by Emmett Benton's hologram technology, which is distributed by that reality's version of Eric Raymond. It is revealed that this world's versions of the Misfits and Jem and the Holograms have been killed by Eric Raymond to prevent them from ending his control over the populace, though it later turns out that Kimber, Stormer and Pizzazz all survived. The trope is also inverted in that Emmett Benton's counterpart is still alive.
  • Inverted in Star Trek/Green Lantern, where the first miniseries The Spectrum War has Ganthet die shortly after making his way to the Star Trek (IDW) universe and the second miniseries Stranger Worlds reveals that the Guardians of the Universe exist in this universe, including a still-living counterpart to Ganthet.
  • Flashpoint (DC Comics) has several instances where the timeline resulting from Barry Allen's attempt at preventing Professor Zoom from murdering his mother has a counterpart to a DC Comics character meeting a nasty end not suffered by their regular counterpart.
    • Bruce Wayne was shot dead in this timeline that fateful night in Crime Alley in place of his parents, resulting in Thomas Wayne becoming Batman and Martha Wayne becoming the Joker due to being driven insane by the grief of losing her son.
    • Wally West dies at the hands of Citizen Cold (this timeline's equivalent to Captain Cold).
    • Citizen Cold himself is fatally frozen using his own cold gun.
    • Inverted and zig-zagged with the timeline's version of Green Lantern Abin Sur, who survives his crashing to Earth (albeit still being visited by Hal Jordan coming to his aid) and later dies during the final battle, but is subsequently revived by the Life Entity as a White Lantern.
  • X-Factor (2006): The "They Keep Killing Madrox" arc has Jamie bouncing through alternate universes where he's just been killed. First, one where he and Layla have been brutally murdered on their wedding night. Then one where he's been killed by a Sentinel, and a third where he was Doctor Strange's pupil until he was killed by Dormammu.

    Fan Works 


Specific Examples

  • Aftermath of the Games:
    • In the third chapter, Sci-Twi asks Sunset if she has her own human counterpart somewhere. Sunset explains to her and the others that after figuring out how to use a computer, she looked up her own name and discovered that her human self lived in another town and died in a car accident, and her own parents died of grief soon afterwards. It's the reason why Sunset decided to keep her name.
    • Princess Twilight was horrified upon finding out that the human versions of her parents died in a drunk-driving accident. Applejack and Apple Bloom had pretty much the same reaction when discovering that the pony selves of their parents died many years ago.
  • The The Legend of Zelda fic Bound Destinies Trilogy, establishes the Fierce Deity as Link's Terminian counterpart, who was corrupted by Majora and purified into the Fierce Deity's Mask, whereas Demise is Majora's late Hyrulean counterpart.
  • In the Worm fanfic Dire Worm!, it is heavily implied that Dire is a dimensional counterpart to a character's mother.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls, a Fusion Fic with Bleach has a play on this idea with Sunset telling Princess Twilight that she found out her human counterpart died in a fire years ago raising the question if she got sent to Soul Society or became a Hollow. As it turns not, neither, because not only is she alive, but a Fullbringer in Hueco Mundo.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: Inverted. After the war against Darkseid, Supergirl introduces her alternate universe self Power Girl to her parents, Zor-El and Allura In-Ze. When PG hugs both of them, trying to hold back her tears, SG answers Zor-El's unspoken question by confirming that her universe's Zor and Allura are dead.
  • Book II of If Wishes Were Ponies has Sunset Shimmer shows us that Harry Potter exists as stories in her world, which she ends up sharing with the Cohort during the '92 Winter Hols including Fred Weasley learning exactly how he had died in a timeline where Harry never went to Equestria.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Darkest Timeline it is revealed that the Bad Future version of Princess Peach was killed, and that is what kicked off Bowser's takeover of the Mushroom Kingdom. It is later revealed that it was not Bowser who killed her, but Mephistopheles.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, the Izuku of Earth-2014.43 is devoured by Dracula before his Kryptonian Nigh-Invulnerability fully grew in.
  • In the Star Trek (2009) fanfic Written in the Stars, Fem!Kirk discovers that her dead counterpart, the Prime Fem!Kirk, is stuck inside her head.
  • "When it's Raining on Sunday" not only confirms that the 'Pietro' in WandaVision is the displaced Peter Maximoff of another reality, but also reveals that there was a version of Wanda back in that other world who was killed when she lost control of her powers.

    Films — Animated 
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has several examples:
    • The Peter Parker of the film's primary universe dies about 30 minutes in. Though Peter B. Parker, Noir Peter, Penni Parker, and Peter Porker are pulled into the universe via the same chain of events.
    • Peter Parker is dead in Spider-Gwen's universe as well, fulfilling the Death by Origin Story role for her.
    • Peter B's Aunt May is dead of unknown causes, probably age related as he's twelve years older than Prime Peter.
    • Kingpin's whole plan is to effectively bring back his wife and son from the dead by replacing them with their equivalents from another universe.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse:
    • Miguel's backstory had him try and replace his dead family by travelling to an alternate universe where he was murdered instead of them. Unfortunately, it did not work out as simply as that.
    • At the end, Miles accidentally transports himself to the universe where the radioactive spider that bit him came from. Because there was no Spider-Man there, it's a Crapsack World where his father died in the line of duty (while his uncle is still alive).
    • The crux of the conflict in the second half is Miles discovering that in practically all Spider-Man universes, a police captain close to him will commit a Heroic Sacrifice during a Spider-Man fight with a supervillain. Since Miles hasn't been Spider-Man that long, it hasn't happened for him yet, but he realizes with horror that his father is about to be promoted to captain in two days.
    • Gwen's father, George Stacy, is the police captain that dies in a vast majority of Spider-Man stories (the examples shown are The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Mannote , and the original comic), and part of the reason Gwen distances herself from him is the fear she will doom him to the same end. However, he is able to unknowingly avert his supposedly inevitable fate by resigning before it happens.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept novels, anyone from Phaze or Proton can't travel between these two realities unless their counterpart on the other world is dead. Immigrants to Proton don't have this problem, as only people born on Proton have a duplicate on Phaze.note 
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Blood Heat, the Seventh Doctor finds himself in a universe where Earth is ruled by Earth Reptiles, and learns it all started when the Third Doctor was killed during "Doctor Who and the Silurians".
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: In the Bad Future that Queen Elisha sent back her memories of to prevent, Souma and Liscia are presumed to have been killed in the rebel nobles' sack of Randel. A side story depicted in volume 10 reveals that not only did both actually escape, they rescue Elisha and Albert from their burning castle and plan to rally the remnants of Elfrieden's military to counterattack.
  • The Impossible Us: Geoffrey has one, from whom he inherited memories. Other examples include Dylan and, from the other direction, Jonas, but the survivors don't show any effect in those cases.
  • In Jingo, Vimes doesn’t physically go to the alternate timeline, but picks up the alternate Vimes’s Dis-organizer, to his horror as his decision not to go to Klatch gets the Watch - and eventually himself - killed in an invasion. Things To Do Today...Today...Today...Die.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Q-Squared, Trelane causes several parallel universes to come together: the Prime 'verse, the "Klingon war" 'verse (nearly identical to the one shown in "Yesterday's Enterprise"), and a 'verse where Jack Crusher is alive and is in command of the Enterprise. While Jack is alive in the third 'verse, Wesley died as a toddler, resulting in Jack and Beverly's divorce. As a matter of fact, Trelane notes that Jack is dead in every other universe but that one. He eats his phaser at the end, after accidentally killing Beverly for sleeping with Picard, his Number Two.
  • Red Dwarf: At the end of Backwards, Kryten and Rimmer are both killed, and Lister and Cat have to flee in Ace Rimmer's dimensional ship to avoid crashing into a planet. They arrive in a universe where both their alternates died playing Better Than Life, but Kryten and Rimmer are still alive.
  • In The Talisman, if you have an Alternate Self in "The Territories", you can flip into their mind when you travel between worlds. But if you don't, like Jacky, whose Twinner was murdered as a child, you remain yourself.
  • The Time Wars novel The Khyber Connection introduces an alternate timeline where Andre's counterpart is dead. Inverted in the later novel The Argonaut Sanction, in which the counterpart of Andre's dead mentor Hunter travels to the protagonists' timeline.

    Live-Action TV 
  • When Cole altered reality in another bid to get Phoebe to love him in Charmed, Paige (who was unaffected by the changes) discovers her counterpart in this new world is dead ("This universe sucks").
  • Day Break (2006): Almost all of Hopper's loved ones and aquaintances are killed at least once in alternate timelines before he finally achieves a day where Everyone Lives, including his girlfriend, his sister, his partner, and his informant. This can become pretty disturbing at times, to both the audience and Hopper himself, such as when he witnesses Rita being executed in front of him at the Quarry... then cut to the next day, where she's smiling and having breakfast with him.
  • Inverted in the alternate universe featured in season 28 of Doctor Who, where Rose's dad and Mickey's gran are both still alive. The Doctor and Rose don't have counterparts at all (apparently the Time Lords don't exist in that universe, and Rose's parents never had kids, though they do have a dog named Rose); Mickey's counterpart... well, he starts out alive...
    • At the end of the season, Rose, her mom (whose counterpart was turned into a Cyberman) and Mickey are trapped in the alternate universe. And the surviving versions of Rose's parents hook up and decide to have (another?) kid. In a later season the universes cross over again and Mickey decides to return to his home universe as his gran's counterpart has died of old age (rather than tripping on a carpet like his own gran).
  • Inverted in Season 2 of Dark Matter (2015), when the Raza crew end up in an alternate universe through a glitch in their Blink Drive and find that the crew of the alternate Raza includes not only Two and Three's evil counterparts but also alternate selves of their old enemies Wexler, Tash and Jace Corso, who are all dead in the main universe. This is used to re-introduce their characters after they were killed off. The alternate crew manage to sneak their way into the main universe at the end of the episode and reappear in several episodes of Season 3.
    • It's also played straight in the case of Six, since his counterpart was killed by Two's counterpart in the alternate universe months before our crew were transported there. And possibly Five, whose counterpart may have met a grimmer fate in the other universe than our Five did when she was discovered as a Little Stowaway; at least Five is implied to fear this was the case when she declines to research her counterpart, though it's also quite plausible that she simply never met the Raza crew.
  • Several episodes of Earth: Final Conflict deal with the consequences of Liam and Augur accidentally traveling to an alternate universe where humanity never built cities and is in the process of being conquered by the Taelons. By the end of the episode, the leader of La Résistance in this 'verse, Jason (Ronald Sandoval's double) is killed. However, his girlfriend Maya travels with Liam and Augur back to the prime universe and, eventually, meets her double Isabel. However, both start suffering the effects of two of them occupying the same universe. Eventually, they merge, but only the one from the alternate universe survives bodily.
  • Fringe:
    • Inverted, and arguably its most important plot point: it is in fact the "main" universe's Peter who dies as a kid. This sets the plot in motion as his father, Walter, goes on a journey to the alternate universe to steal back his sick yet not dead son from his alternate self and cure him like he should have done. This winds up being the only thing that prevents the end of all reality as Peter was supposed to die in all possible timelines.
    • And at the end of the fourth season, Agent Lincoln Lee decides to stay in the alternate universe for good, shortly after his counterpart was killed.
    • After the start of Season 2, Charlie is dead in the prime universe, but there is a still living version in the alternate one.
    • Olivia Dunham's mother died when Olivia was a child in the main universe, but is living and has a close relationship with her daughter in the alternate one. Main universe Olivia's sister Rachel is still alive, along with her daughter Ella, but in the alternate universe Rachel died in childbirth and so did her baby.
    • William Bell mentions that his alternate universe double died in a car crash some time ago.
  • Zig-Zagged in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Mirror Universe episodes, where they established a rule that if your alternate universe counterpart dies, you also die. Which didn't stop them from breaking that rule with Iolaus. The rule can be avoided if you happen in be "in-between" universes when your double dies. Prime!Iolaus was killed by Dahak, while Mirror!Iolaus was trapped between the worlds. After Hercules brings Mirror!Iolaus back with him, and he loses his cowardice, everyone pretty much forgets that there ever was another Iolaus. Additionally, when Prime!Ares kills the Sovereign (Herc's double with a Beard of Evil) in-between worlds, Hercules is fine.
  • Lois & Clark:
    • Lois enters an alternate reality where her counterpart died because Clark was kept from becoming Superman by his fiancee Lana.
    • Clark's parents died in a car accident in the alternate universe (thus never bringing him up with the same values that make Prime!Clark Superman), while still alive in the Prime 'verse. It's pretty much clear that Tempus deliberately chose a universe without Superman in order to do his thing.
  • Loki (2021): The main character of this series is the Loki from Avengers: Endgame who, thanks to the Avengers' time-traveling shenanigans to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, stole the Tesseract and escaped after losing the Battle of New York. He eventually witnesses the events that were "supposed" to happen (i.e. what happened to his prime-timeline self in the movies following The Avengers), including his main-timeline counterpart's death at the hands of Thanos.
  • On The Magicians (2016), Josh and Julia travel to Timeline 23 and find that that universe's Julia, Eliot, and Margo are all dead. Likewise, Marina-23 and Penny-23 find out that their Timeline 40 (the main timeline) alternates are dead as well.
  • The Man in the High Castle:
    • It is revealed that in this timeline Reichsmarshall Herman Goering and his family were executed on Hitler's orders because Goering tried to usurp power from his boss after he fell into a brief coma several years prior to 1962. This mirrors Goering's similar real life attempt at a coup when the Third Reich collapsed in 1945.
    • Inverted with Trade Minister Tagomi, who visits an alternate universe (from his perspective) where the Axis Powers lost World War II and his wife and son are both still alive and living in San Francisco. He spends considerable time there with them. His counterpart in our timeline is implied to have jumped off a bridge.
    • Frank Fink watches one of the Alternate Universe reels with Juliana, where he witnesses himself being executed by Joe Blake as part of a Nazi death squad. This is in a reality where the Space Cold War between the Nazis and Japanese "turned hot", and San Francisco was nuked and invaded by the Reich.
  • In Red Dwarf, Arnold Rimmer might technically be this to Ace Rimmer, having died in a nuclear accident and been brought back as a hologram in the pilot. Though in Ace's second appearance he's dying and attempting to convince Arnold to continue his dimension-hopping heroics. In Ace's second appearance he turned out to be the latest in a long series of alternate Rimmers who took up the mantle, so many that his predecessor's holo-bees comprise a Saturn-like planetary ring.
  • Happens a few times on Sliders:
    • One episode dealt with a world with a mandatory retirement age of 30. When the gang slides in, one of the first things they discover is the Quinn of that world floating face down in an indoor pool.
    • In the Christmas episode, "Season's Greedings", they find out the Wade of that world died at birth, along with her mother.
    • In an episode where technology stopped progressing after World War II, they find out the Quinn of that world died of polio.
  • In Smallville season 10 Lionel Luthor from Earth-2 transplants himself to Earth-1, where that Lionel is dead, and establishes himself as the "real" Lionel Luthor. He's foiled when Tess Mercer finds out and reveals that Earth-2 Lionel's fingerprints don't match Earth-1 Lionel's.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Done every Mirror Universe episode.
    • In "Crossover" Mirror Kira has Mirror Quark executed for smuggling Terran slaves off Terok Nor, and in "Through the Looking Glass" she has Mirror Rom Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. Prime Quark and Rom discover this when they visit the Mirror Universe in "The Emperor's New Cloak" several seasons later.
    • In "Through the Looking Glass", Mirror Sisko has been killed, and so Mirror O'Brien kidnaps the "regular" Ben Sisko as a temporary replacement.
    • Inverted in the case of mirror Jennifer Sisko, who outlived her "regular" counterpart.
    • It appeared to be a Running Gag for Intendant Kira to kill a mirror Ferengi in every story. She also takes out Nog in "Shattered Mirror" and Brunt in "The Emperor's New Cloak". The Star Trek: Mirror Universe novella "Saturn's Children" continues the trend with Mirror Zek.
  • Star Trek: Discovery does this with the Mirror Universe. When the titular ship finds itself in that universe, her counterpart ends up in the Prime 'verse. There, her Terran crew tries to fight the much stronger Prime!Klingons and gets obliterated. By the end of the arc, a number of named Mirror Universe characters are dead, including Sylvia Tilly (AKA Captain Killy) and Paul Stamets. Mirror!Burnham is presumed dead. Inverted with Phillipa Georgiou, whose Mirror version (the Terran Emperor) is alive, although stuck in the Prime universe. Also played straight with Burnham's mother, who was killed in the Mirror Universe but is revealed to still be alive in the Prime 'verse, just stuck 1000 years in the future.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tasha Yar from the reality where the Enterprise-C fell into a wormhole learns that in the soon-to-be-restored reality she was killed, she volunteers to go back through to help the C crew.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Deadlock" the 'real' Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman are killed, and replaced with duplicates from another Voyager (coming across a space-time rift) which self-destructs taking out some alien invaders.
  • Stargate Atlantis: in the episode "The Daedalus Variations" the team boards an alternate-reality version of the starship Daedalus, and are trapped aboard when it resumes randomly jumping to alternate universes. While investigating the ship, they come across duplicates of themselves from a previous universe who were similarly trapped and eventually starved to death.
  • Stargate SG-1 did this in some form for nearly every alternate universe they ran across.
    • "There But For the Grace of God": The alternate Daniel Jackson never joined the stargate program and died in a Goa'uld Orbital Bombardment of Egypt. Alt!Hammond subsequently died defending the SGC, Alt!O'Neill was killed trying to talk Alt!Teal'c into a Mook–Face Turn, and Alt!Carter blew herself up to keep a piece of phlebotinum out of Goa'uld hands. Alt!Teal'c died when the base self-destructed.
    • "Point of View": The alternate Jack O'Neill was killed in action defending his SGC from a Goa'uld ground offensive, and Alt!Teal'c died when Prime!Teal'c shot him. Inverted with Maj. Charles Kawalsky, who was alive in the alternate universe but dead in the prime timeline. We also see several alternate universes where the Goa'uld were patrolling the SGC; presumably none of the cast survived.
    • "Ripple Effect": Inverted. Among the alternate SG-1's that showed up we had at least two characters who were dead in the prime timeline: Martouf, a Tok'ra operative who died in "Divide and Conquer," and Maj. Dr. Janet Fraiser, who was killed by a stray staff blast in "Heroes, Part 2."
    • In the "Moebius" two-parter, SG-1 goes back in time to Ancient Egypt in order to retrieve a ZPM and ends up altering the timeline, so that Ra takes the stargate with him during the revolt. They get stuck in the past after their Puddle Jumper is found by Ra's Jaffa. This creates an alternate timeline, during which the stargate is never found. Sam is a civilian, while Daniel teaches English as a Second Language. Thanks to a video-camera left by the original SG-1, the newly-formed Stargate Command finds the other gate in the Antarctic. Jack, Sam, Daniel, and Kawalsky use the same Puddle Jumper to travel to Chulak. They end up getting captured by Apophis, who decides to send an invasion fleet to Earth. With the video-camera, they manage to convince Teal'c to join them, but he ends up shooting Daniel, who was implanted with a Goa'uld. They jump back to Ancient Egypt, and find out that the original Jack, Sam, and Teal'c were killed during an attempted uprising. It says something about the series that original Daniel barely reacts to hearing about his alternate's death.
  • Supernatural:
    • In Season 3, Sam lives through a "Groundhog Day" Loop episode in which Dean dies every day, and most days he has to explain to Dean not only what is happening to him but that Dean has died multiple times, in ways that are sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes darkly absurd, in the other timelines.
    • In Season 5, Dean travels to the future to discover that Bobby is dead and Sam is being used as Lucifer's vessel, which to Dean is a fate worse than death. Then, he hears Castiel being killed and then watches Lucifer kill his future self.
    • The Apocalypse World exists because Sam and Dean were never born, and they learn that both their parents are dead in that timeline. The trope is Inverted as they also learn that several of their beloved friends, Bobby, Kevin and Charlie still live in that timeline.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Road Less Traveled", the alternate universe version of Denise was killed in a motorcycle accident in the 1970s while her boyfriend Jeff McDowell was fighting in The Vietnam War. The alternate Jeff is delighted to see her alive and married to his counterpart in our universe in 1986.



    Video Games 
  • In BioShock Infinite: The second time Booker and Elizabeth enter a new Columbia through a tear, it is one where Booker and Slate, together as members of the Vox Populi, helped to get them much more power over Columbia, but that Booker had a Heroic Sacrifice. Unfortunately, this version of Daisy Fitzroy, unlike earlier ones, is much more Ax-Crazy, and, upon learning that Booker is alive suddenly, immediately believes that Booker is either an imposter or a ghost, and tries to have him killed anyway, turning the group who had been following him against him.
    • Then there's Burial at Sea, where Booker's daughter wasn't kidnapped like in the main game, but died gruesomely because of him. He is mentally worse than his counterpart. He didn't hold onto her as tightly when he was kidnapping her, and she was decapitated by the tear, with the other Booker presumably cradling his headless child. This broke his faith in God and he went to Rapture for another fresh start, which also ends badly.
  • This trope is played with in the BlazBlue: Continuum Shift story Slight Hope. Through Cauldron timefuckery, Makoto finds herself pulled into a parallel world where she in fact exists... but her close friend Noel Vermillion never did. She only figures this out in one of two instances, from different sources each time: either from Relius Clover after a bout of prolonged and precision-guided mindrape, or from Rachel Alucard after being saved from an exceedingly irate Hazama. Interestingly, Hakumen is also from a timeline where Noel never existed, but neither he nor Makoto ever met to verify if they experienced the same one.
  • Bravely Default has the main party traveling to alternate dimensions. In some of these, they're dead. In fact, Ringabel hails from another dimension, in which Edea, Tiz, and Agnes were killed right in front of him, which is implied to be the cause of his memory loss.
  • At the beginning of Chrono Cross, Serge finds himself transported to an alternate universe where he died ten years ago. Being the cheery game that it is, Another World is shown to be the better timeline for anyone not named Serge.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, this is foreshadowed with the way Alternate Tawna reacts to Coco's remark about her and Crash biting the dust. This ultimately comes off as Black Comedy, given the series' slapstick humor. In "Stowing Away", Tawna cites the reason why she prevents Crash and Coco from boarding Oxide's hovercraft to confront the N. Tropys by stating that she "can't lose [them] again". Later, the alternate N. Tropy from Tawna's dimension claims that she killed them herself.
  • Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse: The Big Bad is an alternate version of Bertram, who was killed by Stewie in the episode "The Big Bang Theory." Part of his motive for traveling The Multiverse to amass an army is because he "can't possibly allow a universe to exist without me in it."
  • In Final Fantasy XIII-2 the timeline is filled with paradoxes due to the effects of the Big Bad's chaos powers. The character of Alyssa discovers that her prime universe counterpart should have died, meaning that her continued existence is a result of one of these paradoxes. She lures the protagonists into a trap laid by the Big Bad because she fears that repairing the timeline will cause her to cease to exist.
  • Fire Emblem Engage: The “Fell Xenolouge” DLC takes place in an Alternate Timeline where Sombron actually wins and Elyos is in ruin. In this timeline, Alear has died, and when the Alear from the main timeline is horrified when they see their own grave. However, It turns out that the Alear that died is the opposite sex as the main one, and was not even a Fell Dragon.
  • In Guacamelee! 2, we find out that the Juan we played as in the first game was the only Juan across the entire Mexiverse to actually win the final battle against the Big Bad, though fortunately other heroes were able to step up and defeat him in Juan's place. Unfortunately, one of those heroes, a man named Salvador, ends up becoming the Big Bad of the game, requiring our Juan to step up and stop him.
  • I=MGCM:
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us the Green Arrow died standing up to Superman making for some awkward moments with the Green Arrow from the main universe. The alternate universe's Joker also died, at Superman's hand, after drugging Superman to make him think that Lois is Doomsday.
  • In Into the Breach, Bethany and Isaac Jones are twin siblings from different timelines, where the other twin died during childbirth in each of their timelines.
  • The death of Maya Amano led to the creation of an alternate timeline in Persona 2.
  • At the end of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Max dies and it is impossible to revive him. Fortunately, a Max from a parallel universe shows up to befriend Sam, explaining that his Sam had died in a similar manner. Interestingly, in Poker Night 2, when Sam tells this story, Max confirms it, even though it would be reversed for him.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has an interlude where Flynn and the party travel to two parallel timelines.
    • Subverted with Flynn; several people remark that he looks just like a young man who died years ago, implying that Flynn died in the other timelines. Then it turns out that the young man isn't Flynn, but his past life; the unnamed young man died in all three timelines.
    • Inverted with Akira, whom Flynn meets in both timelines. After helping the first parallel Akira, it turns out that Flynn's Akira is not only long dead, but someone he knew: he's King Aquila, the legendary founder of the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, who died over a thousand years ago.
  • A few instances of this is used in Super Robot Wars
  • Tales of Xillia 2 involves fractured dimensions. Fractured dimensions have fractured off of the prime dimension and revolve around the fact that something small is different in this dimension.
    • Several of the fractured dimensions include characters who died in the prequel to be alive in this dimension.
    • It's not revealed until much later, but Alternate Milla asks about Jude and learns of his father's former job in Exodus. While Jude isn't told this directly, nor did we see Alternate Milla's dimension for very long, she admits to herself that she must have killed Jude when he was a baby in her dimension.
    • Chapter 12 involves the party heading to a fractured dimension that overall seems rather happy... except majority of the party is dead. Killed several years ago. The only ones who survived are Milla and Muzét, who returned to the spirit realm, and Gaius, who remains permanently crippled. And this dimension's version of Ludger did it.
  • The Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft is set in an alternate timeline some 30 years before the "present day" of the Prime timeline, with a whole bunch of AU versions of both major lore characters and minor NPCs. Granted, the titular warlords are all dead in the present day of the prime timeline, but the trope still sort of applies as the AU versions keep dying earlier than they're supposed to. For example, Orgrim Doomhammer, who dies during the Talador questline, lived to be a good twenty years older in the Prime timeline.
    • In a more straightforward example, the AU counterpart of Prophet Velen dies in a Heroic Sacrifice early in the expansion's storyline, while our own version is still alive.

    Visual Novels 
  • Episode 7 of Umineko: When They Cry revolves around a new character named Lion discovering his/her alternate self Yasu, also known as Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice who dies tragically in every single timeline other than his/her own.
  • This happens at one point in Zero Time Dilemma when Sigma and Diana transport themselves to another timeline where they were killed. They even find the dead bodies of their alternate selves.

    Web Comics 
  • Inverted in El Goonish Shive; we find out that in Lord Tedd's dimension the original, non-hybrid Grace lived.
  • Homestuck:
    • The comic features a ridiculous amount of dead alternate selves for nearly every character that has been introduced so far. This is due to the rules that characterize SBURB: the only successful way to beat the game is, supposedly, following the so-called "alpha timeline", and the game (or rather, the possibly sentient entity called Paradox Space) will eventually punish whoever makes a choice that is different from what's predetermined in the alpha timeline, thus generating a "doomed" timeline in which Failure Is the Only Option. Dead alternate selves are also an important part of the plot, as players have access to where they reside in the afterlife, the "dream bubbles", through various means and they usually aid the players and at times even influence the plot in a significant way.
    • Other than doomed selves, one could also consider guardians to be actually alternate selves, since they are literally the same characters but with their roles switched (for instance, grandfather and grandson, or ancestor and descendant, or even older and younger bro). And guess what, "alternate me is dead" is true for each and every one of their kids version. In every universe so far.
    • Being a Time player, Dave has the power to go back and forth in time. When the Draconian Dignitary steals his copies of Rose's Journals from his room, he considers the idea to go back in time and stop the thief, only to discard the idea after noticing the corpse of his doomed timeline self lying on the floor of his very room, proof that he has actually already tried that.
  • Alternate Universes play a big role in the "Maze of Many" arc in Goblins, and several universes have different characters being alive/dead when compared to the prime universe. Alternate Universe #114 is probably the best example; Forgath, Complains and Big-Ears were killed during the battle at the goblin warcamp, while One-Eye (a minor character who died in the same battle in the main universe) survived and became an adventurer working alongside Minmax.
  • Inverted with Retrope in TV Tropes The Webcomic: she was killed in all known alternate universes but resurrected later in the Prime (and only in the Prime).

    Web Video 
  • During Dragon Ball Z Abridged Cell Saga, the main Cell makes a few mentions here and there (with even a few admittedly creepy flashbacks) of him killing his timeline's Trunks before taking his time machine. Just like from the source material, although it's arguably given more attention. Even Future Trunk's mentions it in the Epilogue, when creating a trap for his timeline's Imperfect Cell.
    Future Bulma: You really think he's going to take the bait?
    Future Trunks: I'm pretty sure I have a corpse in another timeline that says: yes, he will.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: In one episode of the sci-fi themed season Archer: 1999, the crew end up stranded on an alien planet after Archer spills a cocktail on the ship controls, and stumble across another ship containing what appears to be the corpses of their identical twins, with a few minor differences such as the color of their clothes and that Archer being bald. Krieger suggests that they've stumbled into an alternate universe, something seemingly confirmed by a video recording of Alternate Archer's final words, revealing that not only were he and his Lana still married, he had a much closer and friendlier relationship with his crew than the regular Archer did. It turns out they were actually a group of clones Mallory had commissioned to have two crews in operation and increase space salvage profits.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: In the season 3 episode "Time Heals", Gwen goes back to time and prevents Kevin's mutation. It creates an alternate timeline where Gwen is killed by Charmcaster and the villains took over the world, with Kevin working under Charmcaster.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "Two Futures", Wheeler changes the past so that he never joined the group after getting trapped in a cave-in, and changes the world for the worse, much to his dismay. After being unable to get any of his teammates to re-form the Planeteers, Wheeler heads for Hope Island as his last chance. Once there, he finds Greedly has transformed the place into a pleasure resort. He manages to locate Gaia, or rather, her body, in the toxic waste dump.
  • DC Animated Universe:
  • Probably one of the most horrifying takes of this trope appears in the titular Final Space. As it turns out, it's filled to the brim with the corpses of various Gary Goodspeeds from countless different timelines, all having closed the breach and also had their Earth's dragged into Final Space as well. As if all of them being in different states of decaying or mangled wasn't enough, Invictus possesses all of them to create a vicious and unrelenting horde. They're a regular and very deadly threat for the Team Squad during their stay in Final Space.
    • Although in a later episode in Season 3, Ash managed to exorcise one of the Zombie Gary's to learn some info about how he and the others died.
  • In the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "Worlds Without End", three Joes find their dead counterparts' corpses in an alternate universe where Cobra conquered the world.
  • Exploited in Rick and Morty. Rick takes advantage of this at the end of "Rick Potion #9"; when he accidentally releases a plague that causes a Cronenberg Apocalypse, he and Morty escape to a very particular universe where their counterparts cured the Cronenberg plague and were killed almost immediately afterwards by an unrelated incident, and take their place after burying them in the backyard. Notably, while Morty is rightfully deeply disturbed by the whole thing, Rick takes it all in stride and resumes with business as usual immediately afterwards, implying that it isn't the first time he has pulled this trick. They end up using it again some time later, when Morty accidentally compromises himself to the Squirrel Collective, with Rick complaining that they can only do this a limited number of times.
  • In the first-season finale of What If?, Uatu sends a variant of Natasha Romanoff to a universe where her counterpart had been killed rather than return her to her home universe (which had been utterly devastated by Ultron).


Video Example(s):


Dimension C-131

Following the events of the Cronenburg Virus, Rick and Morty are forced to leap realities to another dimension: one where the pair of them had died after managing to fix the problem.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / NothingIsTheSameAnymore

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