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Future Badass

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"So never kick a dog because it's just a pup —
You'd better run for cover when the pup grows up!"
Les Misérables, "Little People"

The Bad Future has happened, meaning the Evil Overlord has won, it's The End of the World as We Know It and they are unquestionably in charge and making questionable fashion choices. There is hope in this bleak Dystopia however; some brave people have formed La Résistance.

Notably, these include most of the former Sidekicks, the Plucky Comic Relief, and even The Scrappy, with an occasional "main" character survivor; basically everyone you'd expect to be a loser in the future. But they're not the same characters we knew and loved (or hated), they're Darker and Edgier.

It seems living under an iron fisted despot is a great personal motivator to get buff, and all those bombed out HotTopic stores are just begging to be used by actual punk freedom fighters. Effectively everyone's gotten a badass Makeover and turned into fashionably scarred, goatee-sporting, longcoat-wearing, Shell Shocked Veterans and Genius Bruisers. Eyepatches are popular too.

Even the mousiest, ditzyiest, flabbiest, slacker-iest characters straighten out and become deadly serious professionals. Even if we grow to like these new interpretations of the same characters more than the originals, the status quo and attachment for the originals is sure to undo this harsh future.

At the very least it becomes somewhat ominous to know that, under the right (or wrong) circumstances the lovable Woobie or Goofball can become a cold killing machine. They might make a future reappearance (if the future gets unfixed again) or return in the much more disturbing event that the character suffers a Heroic BSoD, or worse, gets pushed too far.

If they're lucky, the reappearance of the hero can set things right before the Big Bad is too entrenched to be removed. In some cases it can be All Just a Dream, a Time Travel made Alternate Universe, or a Mirror Universe with a tiny difference.

A subtrope of Future Foil and Took a Level in Badass. See also Future Me Scares Me, Bad Future and Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome. Compare with Ridiculously Successful Future Self.

Contrast Future Loser.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann seems to begin with Simon leading the Dai-Gurren Brigade through a war with all the stars in the heavens which is theorized to be what would have happened if the Anti-Spirals were right and the Spiral races went on to abuse Spiral power. This Simon, while similar in appearance, is a lot cockier and more violent then his kinder canon self.
  • Tsukihime: According to several released small stories, in the future Tohno[/Nanaya] Shiki will become the Dead Apostle-slaying assassin Satsujinki, who has surpassed his past limits. One such story begins with him wiping out one of the 27 Dead Apostles, without him even noticing he was dead until it was far too late.
  • Reborn! (2004): Most notably Lambo, going from crybaby incompetent toddler to crybaby slightly more-competent bishonen in 10 years, and turning into an overpowered beefy stud in 20 years.
  • PandoraHearts has the whiny, sniveling Gil become the raw testosterone canon of Raven.
  • Dragon Ball Z's Android Saga features Future Trunks, who was the second Super Saiyan to appear in the manga and who wiped out Freeza, his father King Cold, and all of their minions single-handedly in his first appearance. Because he grew up in a Bad Future where every day is a fight to survive, he's strong and pragmatic, but also well-mannered; this contrasts with his mainline counterpart, who turns out to be a cocky Spoiled Brat as a result of being pampered. That said, when the two finally get to meet in Dragon Ball Supernote , they end up developing a brotherly respect for one another.
    • Future Gohan, who grew up in the same Bad Future but also had to shoulder the burden of protecting the planet after Androids 17 and 18 killed off all of his friends. However, he's also a subversion in that while he's a more focused warrior than the mainline Gohan, he is less powerful since he didn't have anyone to help him train.
    • In Future Trunks' timeline in Dragon Ball Super, Goldfish Poop Gang member Mai now leads the resistance against Goku Black, and has faced him several times and saved Future Trunks’ life with a flash-bang grenade. Being an ordinary human, she has to rely purely on technology in a setting where that doesn't work, but remains a Determinator.
  • Noein had the Dragon Knights Karasu and Fukuro as Future Badasses for Yuu and Isami respectively. Karasu got into fights with almost all the other Dragon Knights, and became a Determinator, singlehandidly invading Shangri'la the timespace that had nearly destroyed La'Cryma to rescue Yuu (then Haruka) from Noein.
  • Nasuverse:
    • Fate/stay night: Shirou Emiya, who starts as nothing but a high school student with a tiny bit of magical power, will eventually become Archer, a man who fights gods and becomes the last line of defense for the world itself.
    • Waver Velvet, the Naďve Newcomer in Fate/Zero, who eventually grows up to become Lord El-Melloi II, the man who dismantled the Fuyuki Grail after Fate/stay night.
  • Tekkaman Blade has Aki Kisaragi, who for the first season serves as the supportive figure of Takaya aka D-Boy, and eventually his Love Interest, who sometimes DO help him fight in piloting the not-quite-so-powerful ship. In the second season, after several years of Time Skip, she became a Tekkaman herself, and while lacking natural Tekkaman powers like flight or Voltekka, she still manages to be a badass fighter on her own, and goes on tutoring Tekkamen blessed with natural Tekkaman powers.
  • The ending of Mahoromatic has the main character become this, much to the consternation of many fans.
  • Reversed, somewhat, in Violinist of Hameln with Clari Net. Clari has yet to demonstrate any real prowess—only talk—when Trom and Flute come across a mirror that shows the past, and a scene with a pathetic-looking crying boy. The end of the flashback reveals the boy to be Clari. Cue adult Clari taking out an army of dragons. Singlehandedly.
  • Getter Robo:
    • While the cast were already supreme badasses, the After the End OVA Armageddon has the characters appear older and more rugged than before and ditch the old Space Clothes in favour of something more badass. Most notable is Ryoma, who gains a huge red Scarf Of Ass Kicking, a Badass Longcoat, chain belt and hand wrappings, and his sideburns go from "huge" to "have their own gravitational field."
    • Tagalong Kid Genki Saotome not only grows up to be a badass sufficiently capable of piloting Shin Getter 2 (and later, Shin Liger), but turns out to have been a very, very, very, very, VERY tomboyish girl, and only now shows how hard she got hit by the pretty stick. It also helps that she's gotten military training of some kind as well.
  • In Psyren, the Elmore Wood kids, after dying repeatedly in the future, come back with a vengeance, all kicking ass and taking names except Kyle.
  • In Claymore, after the Time Skip, a previously useless and weak character, Raki, takes several hundred levels in badass.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Bat and Lin are Tagalong Kids. After the time skip following the final battle with Raoh, they both grow up to be leaders of the Hokuto Army and strong allies for Kenshiro.
  • 20th Century Boys:
    • Otcho goes from an average Joe to an enlightened mercenary to a Bare-Fisted Monk who goes by the name of Shogun.
    • And Yoshitsune goes from a timid, ineffectual Woobie to a competent resistance leader, though he's still plagued with self-doubt and his major character development is learning his own worth.
    • EVERYONE becomes a future badass, good or bad - Kenji started out as a loser who run a store, and by the epilogue, he had became a symbol for hope, a rock star, and ultimately Messiah.
  • Invoked in Ravages of Time the moment that Liaoyuan Huo first uses the alias Zhao Yun, but used a lot in the series. For example, the little squirt who appears in the Wu camp as a raving Taishi Ci fanboy? He's going to grow up to be the general whose army brings down the kingdom of Shu.
  • Rogue from Fairy Tail, having come from a future where Acnologia decided to take over the world and has killed of 90% of the population, as well as having succumbed to his Superpowered Evil Side. When he turns up in the present, he has murdered and stolen the powers of his former friend, giving him the dual element power-up that, until that point, only Natsu had been shown to use reliably. He also invented a spell to control dragons, and manipulates the royal family into summoning as many as possible before turning on everyone. It's only thanks to another time travel based Deus ex Machina that he isn't responsible for the most deaths of named characters in the series (including a main character). And that's with another member of the cast having a tendency to kill people by standing too close to them.
  • Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is technically only from the very near future, but has lived through countless time loops thanks to her time control powers and thus has turned from a shy, bookish girl into the most experienced magical girl of the cast as she tries to create a timeline where Madoka doesn't become a Magical Girl and survives Walpurgisnacht's attack.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins series has an example that involves reincarnation. Present-day Elizabeth is sixteen years old and just as scatterbrained as that implies. Her first incarnation was a lot more elegant, in part due to the experience that comes with being an immortal angel ("goddess").
  • In UQ Holder!, Nodoka and Yue are shown to be world class warriors, a very far cry from the (mostly) normal school girls they were in Negima! Magister Negi Magi over 80 years ago.

    Comic Books 
  • The X-Men story "Days of Future Past" had several of these, starting with Kitty Pryde—who is now called "Katherine", thank you.
    • The same future has Franklin Richards as a mutant freedom fighter, even though in comics set in the present day he's been 8 years old (or so) for decades.
    • Cable/Nathan Summers is the walking personification of this trope. Being sent to the future as a baby and returning to the present a much older, giant, grizzled, time travelling cyborg mutant super soldier.
  • In a 2004 arc in the Teen Titans comic, the Titans get warped to a Bad Future where the Justice League have all died and been replaced by their sidekicks, who are now uniformly deadly vigilantes: Robin has become Batman (and now uses a gun), Superboy has become Superman (and has no compunctions about ripping peoples' arms off), Beast Boy is the feral Animal Man, Wonder Girl is a deadly warrior as Wonder Woman, and so on. And they're all working for Lex Luthor. Overlaps with Future Me Scares Me.
  • Ultimate X-Men
    • Ultimate X4 (crossover with Ultimate Fantastic Four): Future Cyclops lost his powers, but is still badass enough to be the new Captain America. Future Shadowcat (still called Kitty though) develops the ability to become super-dense in addition to her intangibility, which allows her to bitch-slap The Thing around; also, she has a copy of Ultimate Spider-Man's web-shooters (her lover at the time).
    • In another, earlier UXM-arc, future Wolverine lost his Healing Factor and an arm, no less, which forced him to become even more badass as a result—cue Ultimate Cable. It was hinted that the Bobby of Cable's time is a legendary figure, with far greater power than he's presently capable of.
  • Seemingly normal high school student Victor joined the cast of Runaways after Gert came back from the future to warn the kids that he would someday kill every super hero on the planet. And not only was future Gert leading the Avengers, but she looked so different that the fifteen-year-old Gert didn't recognize herself.
  • A late arc of Impulse called "Dark Tomorrow" had Bart and his present-day then-girlfriend Carol transported to the 30th century after Bart's mentor Max Mercury "died." They discover that their future selves, living in a very Bad Future run by Bart's evil grampa, are quite Badass... and also fighting on opposite sides, with Carol working for President Thawne. Even though he's on the good side, future Bart is much more savage than the kid we all know and love.
  • Jack Knight went to the future and saw that Stargirl will eventually be a great hero. Her younger sister is also destined to become a Starwoman in the future.
  • Bratty Damian Wayne from Batman becomes one of these in Batman 666, taking place in the future (or perhaps a possible future). He stretches the no-kill rule to the limits, more than willing to brutally injure and kill his opponents, although he does mention that he promised his father not to kill. He "cheats" by rigging the entire city of Gotham with booby traps and bombs, acknowledging that he won't match his predecessors. And he has made a Deal with the Devil, able to survive and heal immediately when he was shot with bullets, his soul in exchange for his need to protect Gotham.
  • Sort of example in Hack/Slash; in the Murder Messiah Annual, it's revealed the previously thought dead Liberty Lochs cast a spell at the last minute that saved her from dying, but flung her into a post-apocalyptic future, where she was forced to become a Badass Biker, complete with a cool hoverbike.
  • Pretty much every character to survive to DC One Million becomes this at bare minimum, having to survive over 80,000 years. The biggest upgrade is that of Resurrection Man, who goes from having a quirky form of Resurrective Immortality that gives him random (often useless) powers to being able to kill himself for an instant to gain almost any power at will, on top of gaining the prestige and experience that comes with millennia of heroism. The most famous, though, is Superman, who only shows up near the very end, having spent the entire period at work inside the sun to keep it burning, and absorbed a great deal of solar energy and the Superpowerful Genetics of his entire line of descent. Though he's only briefly seen, his current heir possesses a fraction of his power, and is strong enough to hold back an entire galaxy.
  • Billy Kaplan. In the present, he's a powerful but fairly inexperienced reality warper who's poor judgment tends to cause disaster. In the future, he's a dimension spawning deity worshipped under the name Demiurge.
  • Double Subverted in the French comic Raghnarok, about a young dragon who just can't fly in spite of his mother's insistence (her teaching methods consisting her throwing him off a cliff until he learns) and whose Fairy Companion is a Stepford Smiler who's only allowed to use a kiddie wand. Fed up one day, he asks a witch to be sent forward in time to see if he ever grows up to be someone useful. He then sees a Mordor-esque Crapsack World dominated by a gargantuan, city-destroying black dragon who ceaselessly screeches "Raghnarok!!!", and his fairy has become an evil sorceress. It turns out that it's not him but his mother, since in this timeline he's been missing for a decade, sending his mother insane with grief until she can't do anything but torch the world calling for him, and the fairy went Well-Intentioned Extremist to help her. Further subverted in that the whole thing was real but didn't actually happen—the witch showed him the consequences of running away from his problems but closed the timeline by bringing him back (since her house was one of the first to burn).
  • Uatu the Watcher shows Hank McCoy a vision of possible futures, and in one, Magik became the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, likely as his successor, since he retrained her.
  • Irey West, the daughter of the third Flash, Wally West. As a child, she had an incomplete connection to the Speed Force, and could only vibrate through objects. However, every future we see her in, she's the Flash and has her father's speed.
  • The Avengers: The Ultron Forever storyline shows a future where Danielle Cage, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' daughter, becomes Captain America. The conclusion of the storyline shows she's on a team with a future Teddy Altman, with the following New Avengers claiming he's now "King of Space".
  • Royals: The flash-forward sections show Flint will one day become "The Moon King", with his powers far stronger than they are know, but at the cost of no longer being remotely human anymore, rather a skeleton suspended upside-down in a crystalline body. And it's still not enough to save him from the Progenitors.
  • The final arc of All-New Wolverine, entitled "Old Woman Laura", shows a possible future utopia where Laura is retired and her former sidekick, her young clone "sister" Gabby, is an adult and has assumed the mantle of Wolverine.
  • Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan is pretty badass in her own right as a teenage superhero, but various adult versions of her Alternate Universes have also appeared:
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Diana is only a "loser" when compared to other Amazons, and even then she's not nearly as pathetic as her detractors insinuate. Over the course of the story she earns her place as a true Amazon and the Oracle gives her a tiny vision of her future as Wonder Woman.
  • While no one is going to deny that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are already pretty awesome, The Last Ronin takes it further with the titular character. He uses all four of the turtles' weapons, has mastered every form of martial arts, and is able to walk away from a fall that should've killed him despite pushing 50. Oh, and care to guess which of the turtles grew up to be him? Michelangelo.

    Fan Fiction 

  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne has a nightmare (implied to be a vision of a potential Bad Future) in which Superman has turned evil and Batman is working with La Résistance. Having already shown at the very least indifference to his previous Thou Shalt Not Kill policy during the course of the movie, the Bad Future Batman carries an assault rifle and sidearm, using them without hesitation on Superman's soldiers.
    • A further Bad Future nightmare is seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League, in which half of the Justice League got killed. Following a successful invasion of Earth by Darkseid, Batman has to team up with whoever was left in addition to remnants of the Justice League (Flash, Cyborg, Mera), including former enemies of his such as Deathstroke and even the Joker.
  • In Central Intelligence, Robbie is a seriously overweight and goofy high school kid who's constantly humiliated with jock Calvin the only one who helped him out. 20 years later, Calvin (now just a low-level accountant) is stunned to find that not only is Robbie an incredibly buff and muscled man but also a top CIA agent. Notable is that at their reunion, the former Jerk Jock Trevor seems oblivious to how Robbie has changed, still putting him down as a loser and "still a scared little bitch" as he shoves him...and Robbie easily knocks him out with a single punch.
  • This happened in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. During their It's a Wonderful Plot segment, Beaker — normally Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's hapless assistant — is a buffed bouncer. With a tattoo.
  • In Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, Fin Shepard's young son Little Gil is seemingly killed. At the end of the movie, Fin runs into a grown up version of Little Gil, now played by Dolph Lundgren, who explains that after fighting and surviving on his own for years, he's found a way to time travel to assist Fin.
  • Terminator franchise:
    • Future John Connor is referred to as a brilliant, badass military leader of the human resistance. The first film shows him in action, as part of Kyle's description of him to Sarah, then we see him as a child in the second movie and TV show.
    • Kyle Reese himself. Among other things, he makes pipe bombs out of mothballs and a few other sundry household items. What makes it apply to this trope is that then Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles shows us him as a young child before the war.
    • Reese also spends a lot of the first film telling Sarah Connor she's one of these, much to her disbelief, bewilderment and frustration, and his eventual disappointment. She is by the second film, though.
  • Time Chasers gives us a downplayed version of this with Nick, who is certainly hardened by his experiences throughout the film compared to his former self. He's still kind of a Non-Action Guy, though.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the future Sentinels are a serious improvement over the 1970s versions.
  • In the crime-ridden Alternate Timeline Bad Future of Back to the Future Part II, protagonist Marty's cranky old principal Mr. Strickland has become a heavily armed survivalist who seems to be fighting a lonely battle against the even more heavily armed criminal gangs of the Wretched Hive their hometown has turned into.

  • One of the Animorphs books concerned Jake waking up in the future, where all his friends were battle-scarred screw-ups. Jake himself has a huge Rated M for Manly body "a Yeerk would give up three ranks for".
  • Paul Carpenter encounters a badass swordsman version of himself in Tom Holt's Earth, Fire, Air and Custard—the end of the plot of that book was so convoluted it's hard to tell, and he never finds out for sure, but there's a good chance said version of Paul existed because a Canadian bank tried to change history to make Canada a major world power.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has Asahina Mikuru's future self. She's clearly more self-confident, wiser (and bustier) than her present self, and she's actually her own superior.
  • In the final book of The Pendragon Adventure Mark and Courtney, formerly fairly average high school students, have become grizzled leaders of the surviving human population on Earth.
  • In the first book of The Licanius Trilogy, a future version of The Smart Guy bookish Davian appears to Asha as an apparition with an Ominous Message from the Future. She remarks that he's much more muscular, stern and scarred than the present-day version of her friend.
  • In the ending of The Enchantress Marethyu turns out to be a far older and more powerful version of Josh.
  • In The Weakness of Beatrice the Level Cap Holy Swordswoman, the Sage is a mysterious figure who invented the system of magic used by humans. It's revealed that she's the future version of Beatrice, the main character... except then it turns out that this was a lie. She is a time traveler from the future, but she merely changed her appearance to pretend that she was Beatrice's future self.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Trance from Andromeda actually switched places with her future badass self in one episode. The change was permanent, but we also got a brief look at badass future Becca.
  • Arrowverse:
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Played with in that we meet the badass version first. Reverse Flash is a villain from the future who is much more powerful than Flash and curb-stomps him every time they fight unless he has help. Eventually, a younger, less experienced version of him arrives in the present who is easily defeated by Flash.
      • Savitar is revealed to be a psychotic, future version of Barry who is much more powerful than his present self.
      • The main antagonist of the second half of Season 5 turns out to be an adult version of Grace Gibbons, who grew up to become a Psychopathic Man Child and the second Cicada.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, a recurring villain introduced in episode 1 is Chronos, a temporal bounty hunter. He's well-armed and well-trained. He's strategic. He's ruthless. He's Mick Rory, aka the Pyromaniac thief "Heatwave" and one of the Legends. In episode 9, Rory betrays the Legends and is left for dead, but the Time Masters find him, train him as their bounty hunter and send him to stop Rip Hunter after the latter goes rogue and recruits the Legends in episode 1.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • When Cordelia wished an Alternate Universe into being, random classmates and Giles are forced to fight the vampires sans Slayer. Xander and Willow get a Gothic Punk makeover as Co-Dragons of the Big Bad. Buffy is an amoral killer in combat boots with a scar across her lip.
    • Willow's creepy alternate was also alluded to when she snapped following Tara's death, using the alternate's creepy "Bored now" line, with the same delivery, right before using her powers to flay Warren, Tara's killer, alive.
    • In the novel The Lost Slayer, Giles becomes a vampire king, and the Scoobies become a battle-hardened almost military group trying to fight him. Younger Buffy in older Buffy's body is surprised when she breaks out of where Giles was holding her and sees how they've all changed.
    • A sideways example in The Slayer's Handbook supplement to the RPG: an alternate setting called Hellworld, in which Glory's portal wasn't closed, unleashing a demonic apocalypse on Earth. One of the last remaining enclaves of humanity is defended by a group of grizzled demon fighters led by a horrifically scarred, nearly psychotic Alexander 'Call me Xander and die' Harris. In the same scenario, there are rumors filtering in from the wasteland about someone called "Ripper" who hunts down demons with a combination of magic and mundane weapons....
  • In Season 2 Danger 5 are stuck with Valley Girl Holly as The Load. After time-traveling back to World War II, they return to The '80s only to find history has changed and Hitler has taken over the world. Then they're rescued by Danger One, a badass Holly raised and trained by the Colonel to help them kill Hitler. Right after she explains this, the trope gets subverted when normal Holly blows her head off with her Evil Hand that's being controlled by Hitler.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Girl Who Waited", Amy gets trapped in an alternate timeline. When Rory manages to find her, she's 36 years older, dressed in armour made out of the robots she's killed, and armed with a sword and a home-made sonic screwdriver. Oh, and she's kind of pissed off at her friends having put her in this situation.
  • Inverted in the Distant Finale of Dollhouse. We follow badass Action Survivors Zone and Mag through two episodes of apocalyptic madness, during which they survive all kinds of crazy madness, only to finally decide to part ways after their side has finally won. The two of them, having until then been too busy surviving to dwell on the past, decide to tell each other what they were doing before the end.
    Zone: Mag... what did you do... you know, before?
    Mag: I was... at Brooklyn College. Sociology. You?
    Zone: ... Landscape Architect.
    Mag: [Cracks up] ... I wouldn't have called that one.
    Zone: [raises an eyebrow and swaggers off] People are such a mystery!
  • In The Flash (1990), Nicolas Pike is just a corrupt cop turned leader of a biker gang. In "Flash Forward", when Barry Allen is brought forward ten years, in Flash's absence, Pike has somehow taken over the town and rules with an iron fist.
  • Heroes has its own alternate future, with various side-switching and bad-ass-ifications. The most jarring one is Hiro, who goes from scruffy-looking, broken-English-speaking comicbook nerd to Badass Longcoat-wearing, hair-slicked-back, contemplative-yet-badass street samurai. And is pissed about it.
    • What's really amusing about badass Hiro is that he's so exactly what original Hiro would have thought of as a Badass—it's unclear that he did it consciously, but he's the perfect incarnation of what original Hiro wanted to be. And is pissed about it nonetheless. This was actually requested by the actor as a nod to Future Trunks from DBZ.
    • Mild mannered Peter Petrelli either, who turns into a jaded, bitter Badass Longcoat with a huge scary scar and "hasn't had a good fight in years."
    • Matt Parkman goes from an unlucky police officer who Bennett is easily able to screw over into a badass FBI Agent who takes out both Bennett and future Hiro.
    • Claire Bennett gets this in Season 3, with a large helping of Face–Heel Turn or Knight Templar.
    • Humorously inverted in Season 3 with Sylar, who ends up the only person in the Dark Future version 2.0 who's pleasant, well-adjusted, and not wearing black leather.
      • At least until his son gets killed, at which point he promptly and quite literally goes nuclear.
  • A less extreme example to be sure, but Sun, of Lost, in the flashforwards is shown to essentially perform a stock market based hostile takeover of her father's company before he can blink.
  • Played with in Merlin. Merlin is destined to be the most powerful sorcerer who ever lived and unite the old and the new worlds. However, just when this will happen is kept ambiguous, so it's not going to be clear whether or not he's already become this until the series ends.
  • In Misfits, Superhoodie, who has been helping out the heroes, is revealed to be Simon.
  • Sanctuary: In "Pavor Nocturnus", a confused Magnus encounters a battle-scarred and extremely jaded Will. That's what happens when you're one of very few survivors of a zombie-type epidemic.
  • An interesting twist on this in Stargate SG-1, the episode "Moebius". Although it was really an alternate timeline, when the DifferentTimeline SG-1 encounters RegularTimeline Daniel, it's implied that they see him sort of as a Future Badass, since in their world, SG-1 had never existed and Daniel was somewhat of a wimp. But for the audience, that's Daniel as we know him, so we're not surprised.
    Original Daniel: Where am I?
    Alt O'Neill (of course): Ancient Egypt.
    Original Daniel: No I mean the other me.
    Alt Teal'c: I killed him.
    Original Daniel: Why????
  • A lot of people couldn't stand Captain Kathryn Janeway's moralistic hand-wringing and rule stickling in Star Trek: Voyager.note  Her alternate future counterpart, Admiral Kathryn Janeway stomped the rule book and then blasted it with a transphasic torpedo for good measure. She willingly violated all kind of regulations to fix everything that had gone wrong.
  • Supernatural: In the Season 5 episode "The End," which is one giant homage to 28 Days Later (though also a great episode in its own right), Dean has become even more badass and left all of his Woobie-ness behind (and he's highly reminiscent of Major Henry West, Christopher Eccleston's character in 28DL), and Sam is possessed by Lucifer. Slightly inverted in that Castiel has become a relaxed, stoned hippie/love guru, but even that is just a cover for his transformation into a Nietzsche Wannabe.
  • John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a Deconstruction of this. He knows, and has always known that he's going to become one of these, like his movie incarnations, and a TV series allows for more time to deconstruct that and show him living with that knowledge and suffering the traumas that would turn someone into that. He's even shown asking people from the future who've met him what his future self would do in certain situations.
  • Albeit not involving time travel, when the previously idealistic Blake comes Back for the Finale of Blake's 7 he now has the requisite cynical demeanor, facial scar and eye damage, though without the obligatory eyepatch (he was originally to have one just like his former arch-enemy Travis, but the actor believed that a scar would be more subtle).
  • The second-season finale of Timeless ends with battle-hardened duplicates of main characters Lucy and Wyatt emerging from an upgraded version of the team's time machine, offering to help save Rufus, a team member who was just killed in the past. Wyatt and Lucy are both certifiable badasses already, with Wyatt a professional soldier and history-professor Lucy having developed nerves of steel over the course of the show, even killing when needed. But the new versions are grizzled, dirty, and wearing action gear, in contrast with their typical well-kempt fashion show of period attire.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O: In 2018, Sougo Tokiwa is a friendly but somewhat flaky high schooler whose Goal in Life is to become a king. In 2068, Sougo Tokiwa is the Evil Overlord who rules the world with an iron fist and the most powerful Kamen Rider ever, who single-handedly defeated all his predecessors and now wields their powers for himself on top of being fantastically powerful on his own. Obviously this crosses with Future Me Scares Me, since Sougo wants to be a benevolent ruler.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Critical Shifts brought about by bad guys in Feng Shui are the game's version of the Bad Future. Usually, people who the characters have met do much the same thing they did in the original timeline, but sometimes, the people go through changes as a result of the timeline. In one fan-written Feng Shui adventure, a Damsel in Distress that the PCs rescued from a Serial Killer in a previous adventure goes Sarah Connor as a result of a Critical Shift where the demons of the Underworld have overrun the mortal world and leads La Résistance against the demons.
  • One Dragon Magazine Forum letter came from a DM who'd cured his players of wanting to switch to an Evil campaign with this trope. Sent to a parallel world, the PCs found that the goblinoids had taken over the planet using sci-fi technology, the good-guy demihumans were virtually extinct, and the Future Badass versions of the players' own retired PCs were practically the only heroes left outside of a graveyard. A few sessions of living like fugitives (and fleeing from monster-race adventurers!) convinced them that's what they were really looking for in a campaign, not Evil player characters per se.

    Video Games 
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, a tragedy occurs in the first half of the game. Fast forward 17 years later, two former Tagalong Kids eventually evolve into two badasses:
    • Shannan, who was formerly Ayra's Morality Pet and started out as a Distressed Dude, evolved into an ass-kicking Swordmaster, and when combined with the Balmung Sword, which grants him crazy dodge rates, he's one of the game's strongest combat units.
    • Oifey in the first generation was quite smart, but didn't seem to have any combat skill, being labeled as a tactician but operating as something between Sigurd's apprentice and his personal clerk. In the second generation, he's an extraordinarily strong paladin who has been safeguarding Seliph his whole life, and one of the best units in the game due to his great class and Disc-One Nuke status.
    • Finn is a relative newcomer to the battlefield in the first generation, and generally comes across as a relative weakling next to his master Quan. This carries over into gameplay, where Finn needs a fair bit of training to fight effectively, especially in early maps where everything has weapon triangle on him. After the timeskip, he's much more competent and experienced then his younger self—in story terms, anyway. In gameplay, he's actually identical to what he was when you last used him, but it has a similar effect, as it means he joins the army with four chapters of experience while everyone else has about one, making him an early-game powerhouse.
  • City of Heroes has a few examples. The final goal of Operation: DESTINY is to prevent your villain from turning into a Future Badass capable of taking down both the Freedom Phalanx and Arachnos single-handedly (as killing Lord Recluse in this future costs your right arm). Mender Silos may be another example, what violating the underlying laws governing time travel and generally being an mysterious benefactor with hidden, layered plots, and certainly commanding a more impressive set of capabilities and army than that modern-day bronzed poser Lord Nemesis.
    • The players themselves as of Issue 19. You are shown a glimpse of a possible future version of you effortlessly defeating groups of the strongest bosses in the game, before breaking the laws of the universe to send Mender Ramiel further back in time than should be possible. Possibly not applicable, since you're already a superhero, but your future, fully powered incarnate version is to a superhero what a superhero is to a normal person. And then some.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the mysterious Sheik turns out to be the future badass self of the princess Zelda, having disguised herself to evade Ganondorf and to aid Link.
  • Chrono Trigger inverts this with Magus (also known as Janus back in his own past). A full arc after crossing blades with the Fiendlord, you come upon a Creepy Child who informs you that one of your own will die. It's after the Kingdom of Zeal crumbles that Magus lets them know of his past, and the party makes the connection at that point; a savvy player should see this much sooner.
  • Fate/stay night has Servant Archer, who is nominally of the Archer Class and focused on ranged attacks, but is also very good at swordsmanship, and has the power to summon any sword he can think of, with his ultimate attack being a Reality Marble by the name of "Unlimited Blade Works." He is the future incarnation of Emiya Shirou, the protagonist of the series, who also has the ability to summon swords. Archer, however, is nowhere near the idealist that Shirou is, and his reason for coming to Shirou's time is to kill him.
  • Edward, yes that Edward, in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
  • BlazBlue: Hakumen, one of the Six Heroes who defeated the Black Beast in the past, is actually Jin Kisaragi, who in the near future of Calamity Trigger was sent to the past and underwent Emergency Transformation to become Hakumen.
  • In inFAMOUS, all-powerful Big Bad Kessler is revealed at the end to be an Alternate Universe version of Cole who traveled back in time to prepare his past self to deal with a monster destined to destroy the world. Depending on the Karma Meter, he either succeeds or he becomes something worse.
    • Its also made clear that the actions of the first game only would have changed the timeline to make him far, far stronger. Or it would have if he didn't die in the second one
  • There's an interesting variation in the Jak II: Renegade: our gun-toting Anti-Hero Jak meets his adorable younger self in the future before he's sent back into the past to grow up safe from harm.
  • Not a story-based example, but Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has an example in an early bonus mission, where you're tasked by three Disir to calm down the rampaging Yggdrassil. This doesn't turn out so well, as not only does he outstrip your team at that point stat-wise, he can also stop time. Before he can kill you, though, the hero blacks out and is saved by a mysterious figure. A few Sectors later, it turns out that figure was his own future self, sent back in time by the Norns the Disir would become after he defeated Yggdrasil. Bam. Textbook Temporal Paradox.
  • In the fan created game Touhou Mother, Cirno is a laughably easy recurring boss for the first half of the game. Then you're sent forward in time and you encounter her again, and she puts up a fight.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
    • This game has Isaac, hero from the previous game that saved the world 30 years ago. He is now 47 years old, but is more buff, boasts Manly Facial Hair AND a Badass Longcoat, and he still kicks major ass as he helps his son, Matthew, (the player) and Karis find their friend as he uses a BFS and retains most of the powerful Djinn and summons he used on his last adventure. It helps that being exposed to the Golden Sun in the previous game drastically reduced his aging, meaning he's still as spry now as he was as a teenager.
    • Eoleo is the son of the famous pirate, Briggs. In the previous game, he was just a baby with some powers. 30 years later? He's now pirate like his dad before him with a mastery of Fire Pysnergy and he joins your party later on!
  • Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days has Hanako, Adell's younger, nine year old sister. Ten years later, as the DLC reveals, she becomes Demon Lord Hanako, evidently fulfilling her dream of becoming as "sexy and powerful" as her idol, Etna. Though, to her dismay, her future self is still as flat as a board. Exactly as Etna!
  • Bayonetta one similar to the Jak and Daxter example: Cereza turns out to be Bayonetta as a child who by the end is sent back in time.
  • In World of Warcraft there is a quest you can get at level 72 in which you have to protect a magical hourglass from the Infinite Dragonflight. Before they attack you find yourself with "Future You" who is level 80 and will assist you in the battle. When you hit Level 80 you can take the next quest in which you have to protect "Past You" in the same battle.
  • Champions Online has more of an Alternate Universe Badass in the character of Clayton Griswold. In the normal universe he's simply an ordinary citizen with a bit of a helpful streak (and a bit of a homage to National Lampoon's Vacation). But when the heroes travel to Multifaria, they meet up with "The Grizz", the muscle-bound leader of La Résistance against the forces of Citizen Harmon.
  • In Dragon Age II, by 9:40 Dragon when the Framing Device is set, Hawke is known throughout Thedas as a certified badass and one of the individuals responsible for the outbreak of the Mage-Templar War, currently poised to throw the entire world in anarchy. The game itself takes place over the ten years leading up to that point, as Varric explains to Cassandra exactly How We Got Here—and Hawke starts off as a homeless refugee desperate to take on any job that brings some cash.
  • In the Team Fortress 2 comic "Death of a Sales-Bot", the Engineer travels to the present from 1999 (the game takes place in the 1960s), and he now has an entirely robotic right arm instead of just his hand, a glowing bionic left eye, Manly Facial Hair, a Pip-Boy, and a robotic Teddy Roosebelt, along with the Pyro, whose head is now preserved in a glass dome on a floating platform. He gives the RED team a warning about some vaguely-explained "Hat Wars" (also telling them that in the future, the President of the US will be a cybernetically-enhanced Pomeranian in a sweater), and to prevent that from happening they must not open the robotic crates full of hats that Grey Mann's robots were trying to sell them. Naturally, the Soldier hears him saying the exact opposite.
  • In several endings of Beyond: Two Souls, we get to see a flash-forward of Zoey—the little girl whom Jodie helped deliver earlier in the game—and, possibly, Jodie herself in futuristic combat gear, seemingly humanity's last hope against an apocalyptic invasion from the Infraworld.
  • Remember Henry Oldrey, that helpless little kid you rescue as Cornell during your first playthrough of Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness? Eight years later he comes back as a gun-toting Holy Knight out to save some more hostages in his own story.
  • A minor character in Homestar Runner is a little green alien named Nebulon who is most know for being an object of ridicule in a "Powered By The Cheat" cartoon: "Get out of here, Nebulon! No one likes your style!" In Stinkoman20x6, Nebulon is now several hundreds times larger, able to shoot energy balls, and is the king of the moon. But after beating him in a boss battle, 1-Up still takes the time to mock him. Due to the fluid nature of the Homestar Runner universe, he is both an alternate version and a future version, with the manual even saying that he's been working out, making it clear he is the same character.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Bradford is a neat, clean cut, by the book man in tie and sweeter. By the events of XCOM 2, he's become a grizzled, cynical, hard-drinking Cool Old Guy with scars. Not to say he wasn't tough in the first game, but in the second he seriously Took a Level in Badass.
  • Touhou Project: Maribel Hearn is a young girl with the ability to see boundaries, that is, the limits between two objects or concepts (such as parallel dimensions). It is very strongly hinted that she's a younger version of Yukari Yakumo, one of the most obscenely overpowered Reality Warpers in the series, who can not only see boundaries but do whatever the hell she wants with them. Said hints consist of her similar physical appearance, dress style, and when ZUN was asked for clarification, only answered "There was a man named Lafcadio Hearn". Who, for those who don't follow obscure 19th century poets, was an Irishman who later changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo...
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: Prince Sidon of the Zora comes from a Bad Future and is the only one of the future champions to be already alive, in much weaker form, in the present.

  • 8-Bit Theater revealed that Sarda is the Future Badass version of Onion Kid, Black Mage's serial victim.
  • Harry Potter Comics did this with Deputy Bart and Rosie Weasley travelling back from an apocalyptic future to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Afterwards they stuck around as displaced time clones.
  • Narbonic, during the Unstuck in Time arc. The world sucks, Helen is a Brain in a Jar, Mell IS Vice President and is planning to become President, and Dave is in charge of Narbonic Labs.
  • The many time travel shenanigans from Homestuck provide a few strange examples:
    • Dave Strider, which is pretty impressive considering that his present self is already one of the most badass characters of the series. He's also a bit more emotional than his present counterpart (thanks to being stuck in an Unintentionally Unwinnable situation with two of your closest friends dead for months on end) and gets pissed off if you refer to him as "Other Dave".
    • Karkat uses a futuristic chat client to contact John 24 hours after the comic's present and finds John with all types of futuristic gear and fancy abilities.
    • Alternate timelines give us adult Dave and Rose, who formed La Résistance together and are heavily admired by the alternate version of their brother and mother, respectively.
    • Lord English, the mob boss of the The Felt, is a monster who cannot be killed by anything within space-time. When the protagonists meet his past self, he turns out to be an obnoxious, over-confident moron with none of his future self's menace.
  • Parodied in The Way of the Metagamer, in which everyone from the future is badass, no matter how far from the future they are. Even characters from five minutes in the future are incredibly badass.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dark Smoke Puncher. Battling jetpacking dinosaurs with his ninja wizard skills. The main thing thats different about him is the trademark Future Badass scar. He was already a ninja in the present working on his technomage gear.
  • Strip 457 of Brawl in the Family had Luigi accidentally taking Link's role in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. When he pulls out the Master Sword, his future self is shown to have a Heroic Build complete with Manly Facial Hair and Barbarian Long Hair. He eventually becomes the legendary Hero of Time by one-shotting Ganon.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Static Shock. Static becomes one of the most powerful DC heroes, as glimpsed in an episode where he meets his future self working alongside Terry McGinnis (the Batman of the future from Batman Beyond) and in a two-part episode of Justice League Unlimited where the present-day League travels to the Batman Beyond-era future and interact with the remaining future League members, including an older version of Static, who remains in top fighting condition thanks to future medicine ("65 is the new 30"). Adult Static also alludes to Richie/Gear—who in the present usually functions as the Plucky Comic Relief—having become a major Future Badass in his own right as well, and we're very briefly given a glimpse of this (though he has also become somewhat overweight, hence Static telling Gear when he returns to the past to "lay off the fries."
  • Interesting variation in the Teen Titans series — in the episode "How Long is Forever?" Starfire is pulled into a future where the Titans broke up after she vanished. While Cyborg is reduced to living in the ruins of Titan tower attached to a crude power generator, Beast Boy has locked himself into a cage at a freak show and Raven appears to have lost her mind, Robin on the other hand has become Nightwing.
  • The Made-for-TV Movie of Dexter's Laboratory, Ego Trip
    • Invoked when Dexter travels to the future for the primary purpose of seeing what kind of badass he is. In the dystopian future version of himself, he comes to resemble his hero Action Hank: big, brawny, and bearded (and unlike Hank, he goes bald), and his Mad Scientist pseudo-Germanic accent is replaced by an Arnold impression.
    • This trope is also averted in Dexter's other two future versions, a wimpy office drone and a hilarious old man. The Future Badass version of Dexter exists between the two chronologically. However, we eventually see the former take a level in badass.
  • Kim Possible's three-parter "A Sitch in Time": When Shego uses the Tempus Simia (Time Monkey) to take over the world, Kim's little brothers, Wade, Monique, and a gaggle of ripped Rufus clones, become buff freedom fighters and Doctor Drakken becomes a huge musclebound hulk. Ron even references the trope throughout the episode. In the second part of "A Sitch in Time", present-day Kim and Ron are this to their pre-teen selves when they go back in time to their first mission.
  • ReBoot had this happen twice to Enzo. First in the episode where Dot is given a "It's a Wonderful Plot" vision of what the future would be like without her, and Enzo is a bitter, scarred, leather wearing teen badass, and then later in season 3 when the show went Darker and Edgier, they had Enzo develop into the fully grown, bitter, scarred, leather wearing badass Matrix.
    • ReBoot also put this trope wonderfully in its place when they brought Young Enzo back to exist alongside Matrix (the system got rebooted, okay?) — at first Enzo is extremely envious of his older self, who is indeed a leather wearing badass with a hot girlfriend. He tries to act more like Matrix, only to discover that the horrors Matrix went through that drove him to become that way have left him emotionally wrecked and fairly miserable. The episode ends not only with Enzo resolving to just stick with being a happy-go-lucky innocent, but with Matrix deciding that he needs to be more like Enzo.
    • It bothered even Hexidecimal to the point she actually benignly altered Enzo's code so he COULDN'T become like Matrix!
  • In The Fairly OddParents! Made-for-TV Movie "Channel Chasers", the beginning shows Timmy's geeky friends Chester and AJ as buff adults, fighting against a bunch of Mooks, only to get taken out by the villain's Dragon. Later, Timmy's badass future self also shows up having turned out to be the true identity of The Dragon all along, actually operating as The Mole to take her down.
  • Godzilla: The Series: the episode "Future Shock" had part of H.E.A.T. travel to a Bad Future, meeting (among others) a badass Mendel and a heavily militarized version of N.I.G.E.L.
  • Ben 10
    • One episode has Ben and Gwen meet their future, adult selves. In the future, Ben has mastered the Omnitrix and become a Jerkass who dislikes receiving help from others (well, moreso), and Gwen has become proficient in magic spells.
    • One episode shows the future, adult version of Ben's Evil Counterpart nemesis Kevin 11, who has grown up from what was essentially a short-tempered, mutated bully into a truly deadly DNA-absorbing sociopath somewhat akin to a cross between Sylar and Naraku.
  • An episode of Samurai Jack ended with a guardian who had just spared Jack's life looking into a time portal, seeing Jack's future self and saying "Not yet Samurai. Not yet."
  • Gargoyles applied this trope in the episode "Future Tense," with Brooklyn and Alexander "Fox" Xanatos as the Future Badasses (Brooklyn even managed to hook up with Demona), and Lexington as the secret Big Bad. Though it turns out it was All Just a Dream, induced to con Goliath out of a time-travelling device.
  • Xiaolin Showdown had a rare villainous exemple, by having Omi travel to the future via self-imposed cryogenics, only to discover that Jack Spicer, of all people, had conquered the world, imprisoned the rest of the Xiaolin monks, enslaved his rival villains, and now ruled with an iron fist, and even eventually killed Future Raimundo, Kimiko, and Clay. And all it took was for Omi to be missing.
  • One episode of Invader Zim had Dib receive superpowers, after which he proceeded to expose all the paranormal beings he wanted to expose, becoming a world-wide celebrity over the next twenty years, saving the entire Earth from an Irken invasion and was awarded the "Greatest Person Ever To Live" award, all with an Improbable Hairstyle. A subversion however, as it was only a Lotus-Eater Machine concocted by Zim who wanted Dib to admit he threw a muffin at his head.
  • Danny Phantom
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, with Irwin being the leader of La Résistance after Mandy takes over the world and is a ripped mercenary, too. Hilariously, he still has his teetering-on-the-edge-of-puberty voice.
  • In Megas XLR, when Coop visits the Bad Future of an Alternate Universe he discovers that the alternate version of him has become a planet-destroying Evil Overlord, lost his gut and become ripped, turned Kiva into his emotionless cybernetic lieutenant, while Jamie is the badass leader of La Résistance against his reign of terror. Coop considers the weight loss to be the most despicable of his alternate self's crimes.
  • Superjail! has an interesting varition of this trope. After being apprehended by the Time Police, the Warden is shown a Bad Future where the Earth becomes a barren, bloodsoaked wasteland that has been enslaved by a vicious, cold-blooded dictator. Who is this dictator? The Warden himself. Present-Day Warden doesn't seem to mind, though.
    Warden: "Oh, wow! Where can I get a bootleg of this, this is great!
  • Codename: Kids Next Door featured future badass Numbuh 4 in a two-part episode that had a time traveling villainess succeed in committing wholesale gendercide and conquering the world. The second half of the story picks up several decades later: former Boisterous Bruiser Numbuh 4 is now a grim, battle-hardened old man leading the Boys Next Door, while using a custom mecha/wheelchair to get around.
  • The Ninja Turtles' 2003 incarnation gets a Bad Future episode - "Same as it Never Was." Donatello is sent 30+ years into the future to find that without him, the Turtles fell apart as a team, Splinter was killed saving his remaining sons, and Shredder not only took over the world but is poised to take over the universe.
    • First encountered and least recognizable is Michelangelo - who within the first couple minutes not only takes out a patrol on his own (with spiked nunchaku, no less), but destroys several tanks and a helicopter with one of the goons' own guns. He is then found to be missing an arm, disturbingly accepting of the fact that the world sucks, and thoroughly willing to bawl Don out for "abandoning" them. This contrasted with the bubbly, hyperactive, superhero-idealizing version of Mike present throughout the rest of the show. It's a little jarring and yet completely Awesome.
    • April O'Neil is actually in charge of La Résistance... and during the course of the episode gets to fire a bazooka.
    • Raphael is missing an eye and wears a bomber jacket.
    • Leonardo gets a cool trenchcoat and might be blind. Or he just took to wearing Sunglasses at Night to look more badass. It's hard to tell.
      • Future Leo's attire is strikingly similar to that of the Guardians, earlier in the series, implying he may have become one or at least helped himself to a spare...
      • But for all that, present Donatello manages to be the biggest badass, ultimately ending the war that they were fighting in the course of about a day.
  • In an unusual case to not involve time travel (kind of), Ravage from Transformers: Beast Wars. In the centuries since we saw him last, he became bipedal, decided to speak up more, and proved himself incredibly Badass. Maybe he was before, but he was too quiet to show it verbally back in the day, was too subservient to show it by personality, and was too kitty-shaped to show it with action. Then he took The Slow Path. He also speaks with a classy Russian accent.
  • An episode of American Dad! did this. It jumps into a future where The Rapture happens, and Stan is left behind. Him and Jesus team up to fight Satan. He's already a reasonably bad-ass CIA agent, but in the future he's a full on ripped Future Badass with an eyepatch. Strangely, there is nothing to suggest it's not the real, canon future. In fact, that episode's Big Bad later appears (albeit much younger) in another episode.
    • Another episode has a cyborg Stan from a thousand years in the future coming back in time.
    • Another episode had Steve and his friends hold a party for "unincluded" people which had the future versions of him and Snot travel back in time and tell them how great their future is, though they warn them not to become cool with the unpopular kids as it will destroy their promising future. Steve falsely thinks Snot broke their promise and went to become cool, but he didn't, and Steve accidentally becomes the cool one of the party. However, while he ruined their friendship with Snot in the future and made said version of him fall from grace (becoming even worse as the episode went on), Steve's future version gets much better to the point he has daily sex and is ripped.
  • In the Disney series Darkwing Duck, the trope applies in an unusual way, to the lead character. In the Bad Future episode "Time and Punishment", we see that the lovable, goofy-yet-competent Darkwing was transformed by the apparent loss of his daughter into Darkwarrior Duck, a Knight Templar to the extreme who rules the city with an iron fist and an All Crimes Are Equal mentality.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Played with in "It's About Time" when Twilight meets a scarred, eyepatch wearing, future version of herself in a black catsuit. It turns out she's from next Tuesday morning, and her entire look is not from an epic war in the distant future, but from simple mishaps that happen to her in the next few days, which were, ironically, all caused by her trying to find out what could've forced her to go back in time - the very same thing she wanted to prevent her past self from doing in the first place.
    • The alternate timeline versions of Cutie Remark feature several. In the first timeline, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Maud Pie are frontline soldiers in a brutal war of attrition with the scars to show for it. In the second timeline, Zecora leads whats left of pony-kind, including Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, in a hopeless Last Stand against the changelings. In yet another timeline, the Flim-Flam brothers go from annoying con artists to conquerors of Equestria.
  • The Super Hero Squad Show had the episode "Days, Nights, and Weekends of Future Past" where Falcon and H.E.R.B.I.E. are dropped in a dystopian Super Hero City forty years in the future (and in another dimension) where Scarlet Witch has become a dictator and full-fledged supervillain, and Reptil has grown up to succeed his mentor, Wolverine, complete with a Dueling Scar.
  • In the Crapsack Tri-State Area alternate universe of Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, almost all of Phineas and Ferb's friends are badasses in La Résistance.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jade becomes head of Section 13 who travels back in time to stop Drago.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Running With Scissors", Marco is stuck in another dimension where time flows much faster than on Earth. By the time Star retrieves him, 16 years have passed from his perspective and he's now a tall, handsome, buff warrior riding a dragon/motorcycle. Sadly, when he returns to Earth, his body reverts to his 14 year old self, though he remembers everything.
    • This happens again much later in the series when Star and Marco accidentally leave Mariposa and Meteora in said dimension. While they’re there, they eventually become independent children capable of defending themselves. Marco convinces them to come home by telling them about the food on Earth.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: "Timetagger" introduces the rabbit-themed time-traveling superhero Bunnyx, who is none other than the adult self of comically tiny but irascible Deadpan Snarker Alix Kubdel.
  • Beavis And Butthead: In "Huh Huh Humbug" (Yet Another Christmas Carol), Beavis (the Scrooge variant) argues to Coach Buzzcut (the Ghost of Christmas Future) that the future will be much different than what he's shown. In Beavis' vision of the future, he is the cyborg owner of Burger World, gunning down all customers in the store over one complaint over an order (Butt-Head's shot too, for good measure.) Buzzcut responds by grabbing Beavis and yelling "THAT IS NOT THE FUTURE!"
  • The Secret Show: Series Butt-Monkey Victor Volt has Changed Daily's role in the future, his daily name roster is a lot more respectable and deterred the Floaty Heads from invading Earth, which the present-time Victor also does in the same episode, although he did so by throwing potatoes at their ship due to being pranked by future Professor Professor, although this works.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Future Me Is Awesome


Future Box Ghost

Box Ghost might be a pathetic specter in the present, but when Danny finds the future version of him ten years in Dark Danny's time line, he's shown to have become far from harmless.

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Main / FutureBadass

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